It’s been a while folks. I’ve been severely neglecting this blog for over a month now. I have no reasonable excuse except to say that I just couldn’t be bothered. I don’t know why because I love writing these posts. Thankfully, today I randomly got my mojo back, so here we are.
Continuing on from the first instalment, this post goes into more detail about the first-hand experiences of an ex-homicide detective, also known as my husband. The first instalment focused on suicide scenes he encountered. This one focuses on murders.
Below is a selection of the most memorable murder scenes he worked on:
A woman is killed by her boyfriend with a bow and arrow. He shot her with it thirty-three times. Yes. Thirty-three times. Can you imagine?
A man in Merritt Island (Florida) was found stabbed in the back forty-seven times. As a side note, did you know that stabbing in the back is an indicator of homosexual crime? I didn’t. I thought murder was murder, but no, law enforcement encounters fascinating patterns like this all the time.
This one has more of a back story to it. When I first heard it, all I could think was ‘wow: the things people do to one another.’ It’s remarkable to think that my husband is truly a glass-half-full kind of person. This was one of the things that made me fall in love with him, particularly because he has seen a lot of things that could easily turn anyone into a pessimist. Also, I have never seen anyone fall asleep so quickly and sleep so soundly. It’s wonderful, because you would expect an ex-homicide detective to have problems with nightmares or something, right? Nope, not my husband — he sleeps like a baby. I’m the one who has trouble sleeping and I have had a comparatively easy and luxurious life, no exaggeration. It just goes to show you that reality has a lot to do with your perspective on things.
Anyway, back on track (just had to mention that). The back story to the third murder is as follows:
(I am just recounting the events from my notebook from when I ‘interviewed’ Mark. I did this so I could remember the details as my head is like a sieve. Apologies if any of it is a bit muddled.)
A 16 year old is stabbed EIGHTY-EIGHT TIMES. She was a smoker. When she smoked, she went outside. She never smoked in the house.
The paper boy comes by her house at half five (5.30) in the morning and sees her body in the driveway. At this point, my husband sidetracks and informs me that the nature of the crime immediately narrows the pool of suspects. It suggests that the person knew her because of the overkill. This method of killing is personal and there is a lot of anger involved. It takes a lot of strength and is physically demanding to stab someone even once or a few times, especially if the knife comes into contact with bone or muscle. Therefore, someone who went through the physical exertion of inserting a knife into the victim eighty-eight times had A LOT of anger towards her. A LOT.
With this in mind, my husband and his colleagues begin to interview the friends of the victim, looking for a possible motive.
Because of the sheer number of stab wounds, the detectives conclude that it is highly probable that the murderer injured themselves while stabbing the victim. This is because knives can slip or you can miss and cut yourself accidentally and so on.
Interestingly, my husband worked on this case before smartphones and other gadgets were popular. Teenage girls usually had a little black book which would give information about their social lives.
After finding and examining the victim’s little black book, new information comes to light. It turns out that the victim’s brother has a 21 year old friend who expressed romantic interest in the victim. The officers call the 21 year old in question, and things really start to fall into place.
The 21 year old answers the call. They ask about his whereabouts and want to interview him. Now listen to this: he tells them he is at the hospital because he cut his hand. Alarm bells start ringing. Can you believe he actually told them this? They now have a possible suspect.
Lo and behold, they find another friend of the victim’s. This friend informs them that the 21 year old was stalking the victim and looking into her windows at night. The victim herself was aware of his peeping-tom activities because she had sex with a black male in her bedroom. The 21 year old confronted her about it, asking her why she slept with the guy. (Why did she have sex without drawing the curtains?)
Next, the officers interview neighbours, who remember a truck driving up and down the street at all hours of the night.
The officers on the case bring in the 21 year old for questioning. He claims he cut his hand whittling (carving wood). The nature and severity of his cut doesn’t match his story. It’s too pronounced, too deep, too severe. He is interviewed for seven hours, during which time he never confesses. While he is being interviewed, other officers on the case obtain search warrants for his vehicle and room (he still lived with his mother).
Criminals can be really stupid; or maybe in crimes of passion they are too blinded by rage to be careful; who knows. Anyway, the police find a knife with blood on it in his truck. They search his room and find a pair of shoes with blood on the floor, and clothes with blood in the washing/laundry basket.
Now this is very interesting and something I personally didn’t know: even though they found all of these incriminating items, they have to let the suspect go. On TV (my only experience of murders, thankfully) they make it look like they arrest the person immediately when they find DNA evidence. In real life, however, things have to be done meticulously. They have to wait for the evidence to be assessed in the lab before they can officially arrest the suspect. Lab results take weeks. So, even though he is there in the station and they have just found very persuasive evidence that he did it, they have to let him go until the results come back. I have to say that I would find this very frustrating if I was in this line of work.
You won’t believe what happens next. No, this isn’t click-bait. You really won’t believe it.
The suspect goes home and commits suicide. He leaves a note for his mother proclaiming his innocence.
Lo and behold, his mother actually sues my husband personally. Yes, that’s right. She sues him personally and also sues the entire Sheriff’s office, saying that her son killed himself because of the trauma he encountered during the seven hour interview.
Two weeks later (yes, a whole two weeks), the results come back from the lab. All of the incriminating items are, not surprisingly, covered in the victim’s blood.
The mother immediately drops the lawsuit and the case is closed.
You can’t make this stuff up.
So there you have it folks: some of the real-life things homicide detectives come face-to-face with. Let me just emphasise two things before I tie this up:
Mark was only a homicide detective for three years of his law enforcement career.
These are just a small selection of the most memorable cases.
I don’t know about you, but it makes me admire law enforcement when I consider the things they encounter on a regular basis. I am obviously going to be biased about my husband, but I truly admire his ability to come out of it all with his optimistic outlook on life. I genuinely think that if I had seen these things you could probably find me in a padded room somewhere.
And so, this is why I admire law enforcement, and I hope that if you are anti-police you will stop for a moment and consider the real people who go out and encounter things like this. I would also like to see unicorns and sleep on a cloud while I’m at it.
Thanks for reading. Click the link below to read the next one: