Prompt Day #143: Bury a body in the most unsuspecting of places.
Cold Case Club
The club started out with the best of intentions. Just a group of like-minded people obsessed with shows like forensic files and CSI. We thought of ourselves as amateur detectives. Each month, the designated host chose a cold case and gathered as much information as he or she could. Then we would pour over it at the meeting and attempt to solve the crime.
The last meeting was at my house so I guess you could blame it on me, but I didn’t start the conversation. It just so happens that the crime I chose did not have a body, which is why it is still a cold case. There was a suspect (the ex-boyfriend surprise, surprise), there was enough blood found in the victim’s car to assume death had occurred, the blood type matched the victim but there was no body. Which started the argument of whether or not this constituted the “perfect murder”.
“No. It isn’t perfect. A perfect murder would have no suspect, no evidence a murder had been committed and most importantly no body.” Jenn said ticking each point off on her fingers.
“Well, even with a suspect and all that blood, no one has been charged or jailed for it because there is no body.” Kyle said “So, in fact it is the perfect murder. Even with all that blood, and modern forensics, they cannot pin it on her ex. That, my friends is the perfect murder.”
“I think Kyle has a point, but then so does Jenn.” I said thinking I had the best argument yet. “Blood is important for the police to find because that points to murder. Otherwise it’s listed as a missing person.” I had everyone’s attention and so I continued “So, establish that there was indeed a murder. That’s a must.”
“But stay off the suspect list entirely. I mean that is a must.” Jackson got up and started taking notes on our big dry erase board.
“Right” I said “The forensics comes from the body. You have to be able to get rid of the body. Somewhere no one would ever find it.” I pointed at Jackson, intending for him to put that on the list.
“Impossible” Mark, the oldest at 35, said “Eventually the body turns up. I mean look at the guy who put his wife through the wood chipper, or the guy who put his victims in vats of acid. The perfect murder is a thing of mystery novels but not in modern day reality.”
“Wanna bet?” Kyle said. Here is where we all should have stopped. Where we should have left our egos go and move on but instead we all stopped and thought about it for a second.
“I’ve had the perfect murder planned in my head for a long time. So, yeah. I think I could plan and commit a murder that could never be solved” Jackson said.
“I probably could if I wanted to do such a thing” Jenn added
“I have an idea too” I said wondering what it was we were all considering. I knew what was running through my own head: who would I kill, though to prove my point?
“I’m in” Mark said
“So, how much money you willing to put on such a bet?” Kyle said. His eyes were wide with excitement. “I say a thousand a piece. Five thousand total is a decent amount to kill for”
“Oh my God, what are we doing?” Jenn said “We’re not going to kill someone! I just thought we could each put our idea on paper and vote whose idea is the best. I’m not killing anybody.” She stood up horrified.
We all laughed and agreed it was a crazy idea until Jenn left.
“Ok, you guys still want to do this? The murder has to make the paper to qualify” Kyle went right back into his bet as if he’d had it all figured out for some time. “What is the waiting period before we declare a winner?”
“I’d say five years” Mark said “That seems about average for a murder case to go cold and pretty much be dropped or forgotten. If you pick the right victim that is.”
“Ok, five years. We put the money in a lock box and”
“Let’s go 5,000 a piece, make it worth the risk” Jackson piped in. Five thousand each was steep but a 20,000 dollar prize made the idea a little more enticing. We all agreed on five a piece, a lockbox and a key buried in a time capsule at the base of the big oak tree in the park.
“One of us is going to have to do Jenn, you realize that?” Mark said “She’ll catch on when four unsolved murders show up in the paper, don’t you think?” We all nodded silently.
“I’ll do it” I said. I’d been thinking about taking out the bum who is always begging down by the docks where I bike every day but Jenn would be easy enough. All the guys in the club had asked Jenn out at one time or another, she’d turned every one of us down. But I knew something they didn’t though. I knew the reason she turned everyone down. Jenn was sleeping with the chief of police. The married chief of police who was currently running for District Attorney. This would make the investigation into her murder very shallow. I knew this because I had a hard time taking no for an answer. I was smarter, funnier and better looking than the rest of these losers. I had to know. I followed her…for a few months. I just needed to know. So, I had an edge.
Everyone was fine with that. I don’t think any of these other pussies could have killed her anyways. But see, that’s when I knew, that money was as good as mine. If they couldn’t put their human feelings aside to take out one of our own, how would they possibly be smart enough to commit the perfect murder?
If you are reading this now, it is because I won, I took the key out of this time capsule and left this note in the year 2020. If you’ve followed the instructions on the container you’re opening it in the year 2120 and I am long gone. I just couldn’t let my brilliance go unaccounted for. I need the notoriety that comes with a famous event. I need to live forever. In 2015, I killed a girl named Jennifer Gilbert. Look her murder up. It was unsolved. I did it and I am going to tell you how.
The day we all decided to commit murder just to prove our ability to get away with it, I bought a track phone and began calling Jenn off and on. I needed that number to show up in her records. Just enough that when it happened to be the last number on her list of received calls, it wouldn’t seem relevant. I had to wait until it was the right time. I watched the obituaries, kept track of dates, planned my alibi (not that I thought I would need one but just in case.)
When the day came, I called her, told her that my car broke down way outside of town and needed a ride. She agreed. When she showed up, I was waiting for her. I walked up to the driver’s side of the car and without a word, I slit her throat. I needed a lot of blood…to prove she was dead. I let her bleed out in her car while I drove a big chunk of glass into her front tire.
When she was good and bled, I wrapped her up in a big plastic bag and put her in my trunk which also was covered in a plastic paint tarp. That I had secured in the garage before I left the house. It was close midnight at this point. I left the driver’s side door of her car hanging open.
I drove her body out to the cemetery. And in the pitch of night I carried her to the grave of a Mr. Harold C. McAllister who died at the age of 74 in his sleep, peacefully at home. And I knew where his plot was. You know how I knew? Because I had come to this cemetery immediately after the money for the bet had been put into that lockbox. I drew myself a map, see, and a map of every single plot with a stone that showed family name followed by two names beneath. Married couples, get it? One with dates of birth and death and one with just birth dates. I memorized their locations. Practiced walking to them in the dark. I watched for deaths matching those family names, looking into when they would be buried.
When Mr. McAllister died, I knew it was the right time. His plot wasn’t too far from the entrance to the graveyard but far enough from the road that I wouldn’t be seen. His was the death I had been waiting for. Fresh earth, a grave practically pre-dug. I carried her first and then the shovel. It didn’t take long for me to get through to the old man’s slab. I laid Jenn’s body on it and covered her back up.
Do you see the brilliance of it? I buried her in a cemetery. In a grave. Exactly where a body should be. My mother used to say to me “did you think to look for it in its rightful place?” Because what kid ever did that? But you know what? I never did it as an adult either and I put 5,000 dollars of my own money on the bet that no one else would think to look for her body there either. If you’re reading this now, I was right.
Jackson was arrested three weeks after he murdered the hobo who begged by the docks, the dumbass. He strangled him and threw his body in the river—weighted down with rocks in all the man’s pockets. The problem there was that the man’s clothes were about three sizes too big and they fell off easily. Allowing the man to float right up to the top. And guess who was seen chatting him up the last time the bum was seen? You guessed it. Guess whose hand’s matched the bruises on the man’s neck like a glove? Right again.
Kyle killed his wife, left her body in a hotel room that he paid for in cash under the name of a man his wife had been fucking. But guess who had a solid alibi and who didn’t. What an idiot.
Mark is missing. No one has seen him since our last meeting. Maybe he killed himself, which would potentially make him the winner except he can’t collect now, can he? Or maybe I killed him too. Better dig up the whole damn cemetery just to be sure, eh?