The Time Travel Killer
Copyright © 2023 by James C. Slater
8:20 A.M. Present Day
Pulling to a stop in front of the old two-story wood cabin Deputy Buster McGinn stared through the windshield at the weathered exterior. As he stepped out of his patrol car the skies let loose and he let out a curse as he slammed the door shut and hustled up the front porch steps.
Standing on the porch he turned around and looked back out at the rain coming down then with a frown he glanced down at the water around his boots, water that had fallen off the shoulders of his coat and the brim of his hat. As he stepped up to the front door it opened before him.
“Morning McGinn.” said Deputy Hailer.
“Morning Hailer, any updates other than what I got from the watch commander before I was sent out to relieve you?” McGinn questioned.
“Nothing more and the coroner is delayed due to a murder in town. Apparently, the murder of an older woman in backwoods of the county isn’t as much of a priority. All I know for sure is that old widow Guntry is upstairs in her bed with what appears to be a stab wound directly to the heart but there’s no knife in the bedroom with her, hell to be honest I can’t even tell that anyone was in the room with her. Strangest shit I’ve ever seen.”
“Hailer how many cases have we worked together the past 13 years or so?”
“I don’t know McGinn way too many; why?”
“Well because in all this time I’ve never heard you sound spooked and right now you sound a bit spooked.” McGinn replied with a grin.
“Laugh all you want but I’m telling you there’s something strange about her murder. You’ll see it when you get up there. Me, I’ve had my fill of this house so I’m leaving. All the photos are in the report, and I touched nothing upstairs so good luck.” Hailer said as he slapped McGinn on the back and walked out the front door closing it behind him.
Shaking his head McGinn slowly climbed the stairs up to the master bedroom where he found widow Guntry lying in the middle of the bed with her hands by her side and a gash in her nightgown on the left side of her chest. Her nightgown was stained red with blood as were the sheets, though the odd thing was that neither the nightgown nor the sheets were rumpled as if she had struggled at any point in time.
Before stepping fully into the room, he opened his phone, navigated to the case file, and pulled up the pictures that Hailer had taken. Though Hailer seemed in a rush to get out of the house he did do his due diligence in taking the photos. As McGinn looked through the photos, he realized that the wood floor showed age but not much dirt; in fact, as he looked at the floor now, he noticed there still wasn’t much dirt except for the boot prints left by Hailer as he took photos.
Coming to the photos of the wound in the victim’s chest he noticed it was a large gaping wound, which had to have been made by a very large knife, such as a boning knife like the one he used when he gutted deer. As Hailer stated he didn’t find a knife in the bedroom McGinn turned and headed back downstairs to find the kitchen.
8:40 A.M. Present Day
Stepping off the bottommost stair McGinn walked down the hallway towards the front door then just before reaching the front door he turned right and entered the kitchen. Flipping the light switch he noticed the kitchen was up to date, the wall to his left had a large bay window that was currently giving a gloomy view of the storm raging outside. The wall to his right was an off-white color with prints of different outdoor scenes hanging from it. The appliances were all stainless steel, and the countertops were granite. He was thoroughly impressed as widow Guntry’s bedroom looked like it hadn’t been updated since the house was built.
He wasn’t sure when the house had been built but he knew it was at least 50 years old as he was coming up on 60 and the house had been here all his life. In fact, as he looked back on it, he couldn’t remember anyone but the Guntry’s living in the home. Mr. Guntry worked with his father, and he could remember visiting the house a few times with his old man when he was younger. He knew widow Guntry had to have been in her 80’s as she was near his father’s age.
Shaking off the reverie he looked around the counters, noticed a knife block, and walked over to it. He examined the countertop near the block and then studied the block itself looking for any traces of blood. Seeing nothing he slipped on a pair of gloves and pulled out the two largest knives one by one. After examining both knives and comparing them to the photo of the wound he realized they couldn’t have been the murder weapons and slid them back into the knife block.
With a frown he then began searching the cabinet drawers for any other large knives. Just as he finished searching the last drawer nearest the sink, a loud clap of thunder startled him and then the lights went out. Without the lights it was dark due to the storm raging outside. Grabbing the flashlight off his belt he shined it around the kitchen looking for candles or anything to give off more light than his single flashlight.
Not finding any candles or anything of use for that matter, he began walking back toward the hallway with the intention of finding the breaker panel to see if a breaker had tripped. Before he could leave the kitchen though the room brightened up, but not from overhead rather the light was coming from the side. Glancing to the right he stopped in his tracks when he saw sunlight pouring in from the large bay window.
As he recovered from the shock of seeing the sun now coming through the window when seconds before there was a storm raging outside McGinn realized the entire kitchen had changed. The wall holding the bay window was no longer sheetrock, instead it was logs just like the outside of the cabin. As he continued to look around, he realized the countertop was a large hardwood slab and all the appliances were gone including the refrigerator. Even the wall where the scenic paintings had hung was now barren and seemed to be made of some sort of paneling.
Thinking it had to be a dream he closed his eyes and shook his head as he pinched his arm. Opening his eyes back up he found the same drab, old kitchen. Looking up he realized there were no light fixtures either. Walking up to the bay window he looked out and realized his patrol car was gone and the yard was completely different as was the driveway up to the house.
Glancing down at himself he was reassured when he noticed he was still in uniform and had his gun belt and all its accessories, well almost all its accessories. His cell phone was missing though he still retained his smartwatch on his wrist. Looking at the face of the watch showed that it was still 8:50 A.M. but there was no denying that something had fundamentally shifted around him.
Pulling his gun from the holster, he held it lightly in his hand as he passed through the kitchen and into the hallway. Walking down the hallway he noticed it wasn’t the same as it had been when he had previously gone upstairs and surveyed the murder scene.
Noticing an old calendar on the wall he stepped up to it and read the month and year. July 1847. Stunned, he took a couple steps back until his knees hit something and he fell backwards but rather than landing on the floor he landed in an old wood rocking chair. Glancing around the room he noticed everything in it seemed old and handmade. He wasn’t sure what was happening but unless this was some kind of practical joke, he had somehow slipped over 100 years into the past.
Looking around he felt a rising sense of fear. How had he gone from January 2024 to July of 1847? Nothing made sense, especially since everything about him was the same except the missing cell phone. For some reason he had retained his smartwatch as well as his gun, a Glock 17 polymer pistol which he knew was definitely not around in 1847. While he didn’t know what was going on he steeled his nerves and stood up from the rocking chair with the intention of finding out what happened and how to get back to January 2024.
9:00 A.M. July 1847
Refocusing, he gripped the pistol in the low ready position and began searching the ground floor of the cabin. As he went through each room, he was both alarmed and comforted that he was alone. As a man who normally preferred being alone, he found himself really wishing to see or hear another person as he was feeling completely out of sorts with the changes of the house around him.
After searching the final room on the ground floor, he carefully climbed the stairs. At the top of the stairs, rather than walking into a master bedroom like he had in 2024 he found himself in a short hallway with a door on each side. Pulling each door open to make sure he wouldn’t be surprised by anyone or anything, he found small, empty bedrooms. The furnishings were not modern and again seemed handmade.
Shaking his head as he stepped toward the closed door at the end of the hall, he steeled himself for what he might find. Opening the door he found the master bedroom, in the middle of the room were two small beds pushed together. The beds would have probably been considered twin size in 2024 but again they were definitely not modern beds.
Looking at the bed on the right he realized there was one thing about this room that reminded him of January 2024. There was a woman lying dead in the middle of the bed. Other than the changes in the décor he felt like he was looking at the murder scene from 2024, walking fully into the room he stepped around to the side of the bed and leaned over to study the victim. As he studied her lifeless corpse, he found she had been stabbed in what appeared to be the same manner that widow Guntry had been stabbed in 2024.
The sheets and her nightgown were not rumpled, and her arms were down by her sides. There was a large gaping hole in the left side of her chest and due to the wound the nightgown and sheets were stained red by the blood. Holstering the pistol, he reached for his cell phone so he could take pictures then realized once again he didn’t have it. Not only could he not take pictures he also had no way to compare this scene with the Guntry murder scene.
In his mind the two looked eerily similar. The wounds appeared to be made by the same type of knife but there was no way widow Guntry could have been killed by the same person who killed this woman in 1847, or could there? McGinn began pondering the implications of that line of thinking.
9:45 A.M. July 1847
The more he thought about it the more he wondered if he hadn’t somehow stepped back in time to try and stop the murder of widow Guntry. While he never thought time travel was possible and before now, he wouldn’t have ever considered a person from the 1800’s could kill someone in 2024 he now had to reconsider those thoughts. Here he was standing beside a bed with a murdered woman lying in almost the same position with what appeared to be the same type of wound in 2024.
With that in mind he realized that if he could end up at a murder scene that appeared in the same house, with the victim in the same position in 1847 as had happened in 2024 then it stood to reason that if the murderer in 1847 hadn’t been caught, he or she might’ve been able to travel to 2024 and kill widow Guntry.
Looking around the room he noticed a rocker. Walking over to it he sat down to try and gather his thoughts as well as plan out his next move. As he rocked in the chair, he kept thinking about the wound itself. This woman and widow Guntry’s wounds both appeared to have been made by a boning knife and yet no knife had been found.
Also, neither woman appeared to have struggled with their murderer or reached up in an attempt to stop the blood flow from the wound. With that in mind he began to wonder if they hadn’t been paralyzed somehow and then laid in bed and killed. As he rolled it over and over in his mind, he began to think that made more sense because a knife to the chest wouldn’t instantly kill them. The wound would definitely be fatal, but they would have had time to cover the wound with their hand before succumbing to their death.
Standing up he walked back over to the bed then hesitated. He knew DNA evidence didn’t exist in 1847 but he was still hesitant to touch the body without gloves as his training dictated. He finally broke through the mental barrier in his mind and reached out and put his left hand under the right side of the victim’s neck and raised her head off the bed.
When her head came up off the bed it easily rolled to the right so that she was now facing him. He wasn’t a medical expert, but he didn’t think her head should roll that easily. Slowly lowering her head back to the pillow, he then repositioned himself and reached under her head with both hands.
With both hands firmly underneath both sides of her head and neck he gently lifted her head again and with his fingers he probed the back of her neck. About halfway down her neck he felt a bulge.
Medical expertise was not required to know that a bulge like that in a neck was not a good sign. With his fingers touching the bulge he rolled her head side to side, as her head rolled the bulge moved slightly but not much. Lowering her head to the pillow once more, he then reached up and touched his neck in the same spot and rolled his own head side to side and could feel much more movement in his vertebrae which told him that her neck was indeed broken.
Her neck may have been broken but that wasn’t what killed her otherwise there wouldn’t have been as much blood on the sheets as there was. It appeared her neck had been broken somewhere else, but it just paralyzed her rather than killing her outright. Then her killer brought her in the room and placed her on the bed and presented her body almost like a sleeping doll before stabbing her. After stabbing her he must’ve taken the knife with him then cleaned the floors and room to make it look like no one had been in there.
10:15 A.M. July 1847
Standing up he gripped his pistol and decided to do a more thorough search of the home to make sure he hadn’t missed something previously. Looking up he noticed for the first time that there was no attic that the killer could be hiding in as the roof of the room was the roof of the house. Making his way around the bed he stepped up to the closet and peered inside.
The closet was just an opening in the wall, it had no doors to hide the clothes but out of a sense of precaution he sifted through the clothes then ran his hand along the back wall of the closet to ensure there was no one hiding in there. Finding nothing he walked out of the bedroom and down the short hallway to the small bedroom on his left.
Opening the door back up he walked in and went to the closet which was the only place someone could be hiding in the room. After thoroughly checking that closet, he stepped across the hall to the remaining bedroom and went through the closet in it. McGinn felt relief at not finding anyone hiding in the closets as that meant he hadn’t put himself in harm’s way by not checking as thoroughly previously.
Making his way down to the ground floor he began his sweep of the house again. The biggest difference between the upstairs and downstairs was the lack of bedrooms and closed doors. He walked back to the kitchen and examined it. There was no linen closet or pantry or any door of any kind in it. Directly across the hall he found a cozy little dining room. The table had no tablecloth and so there was no way to hide under the table and there was no closet or door of any kind in the dining room.
Leaving the dining room, he walked down the hallway and turned to his left into a very large family room. The wall to his right was made up of two large bay windows then to his left was the wall that separated the family room from the kitchen and directly in front of him was a long wall that sported a fireplace in the middle. Making his way to the middle of the room he looked all around. As he took in the room, he realized that upon first look at the wall with the windows he had neglected to notice a doorknob.
The doorknob was easy to miss as the door blended into the wall. Walking up to it he gripped the doorknob in his left hand while holding the pistol up in his right. Twisting the knob, he swung the door open and found himself looking outside. Stepping through the doorway he looked around what could be considered the backyard and saw a clothesline with clothes hanging on it and to his right about 100 feet away he noticed an outhouse which explained why he had not seen a bathroom in the house.
He promised himself if he didn’t find anything in the house then he would check the outhouse but that would be the last place he’d check. Turning back inside the house he closed the back door firmly again and when he did, he noticed there was no lock. He thought that odd for a moment then realized it made sense because he remembered when he was a young boy in the late 1960’s his own home had no locks, and this was 120 plus years before that time. He did double-check that the latch had caught, and the door was firmly shut.
Stepping out of the family room he looked to the left and saw the staircase leading up to the second floor but realized one thing he hadn’t checked was the area between the family room wall and the staircase. There was a passageway about 3 feet wide and at the back of the passage he could see a broom, mop and bucket and a few other items. As he stood there staring down it, he began to wonder if there wasn’t possibly a room underneath the stairs.
As he thought about the floor plan, he realized the dining room wall stopped about where the stairwell started yet when he stepped outside, the house was rectangular in shape which meant there had to be some kind of space between the stairwell and the dining room.
10:55 A.M. July 1847
The passageway was dark compared to the rest of the house as it had no windows, so he pulled the flashlight off his belt and turned it on as he stepped into the dim space. As he walked slowly down the passage, he studied the wall of the staircase and noticed that it was made of the same kind of panel board that the wall separating the kitchen from the family room was made of.
Reaching the cleaning supplies, he realized the wall under the stairs was just a wall. He had seen no break in the wall indicating a door nor was there any doorknob. Turning around he was about to think maybe this was all a dream and he really wasn’t in 1847 in the house with a murdered woman until he saw the scratches on the floor about 3 feet in front of him.
Kneeling down to examine the scratches he realized they could only be caused by something sliding across the floor and not in the way shoes would create marks, no this appeared to have an arc to it like a door would make. Standing up he shined the light directly on the wall and studied it. The wall at first appeared to be solid but as he ran his hand across it, he felt a small gap and could feel cooler air hitting his hand.
Holstering his weapon, he put his hand against the gap again and ran his hand along it towards the floor and then stood up and followed it up above his head. He knew he had found a doorway, but he saw no way to open it. He looked all around it but couldn’t see any marks indicating it had to be pried open, so he was at a loss.
As a last-ditch effort, he put his hand in the middle of the door and pushed, when he did the door slowly scraped along the floor as it moved inwards revealing a dark space under the stairs. Shining his flashlight around the space, he noticed a lot of support beams for the house but not much else. He was about to turn and leave the area then realized that in order for there to be scratches on the floor where he was standing the door also had to open outwards.
That meant that to close the door he would have to walk in there and push the door out into the passageway. Then walk out and push the door closed. Shining the flashlight on the floor to make sure it was stable, and he wouldn’t trip over anything he stepped inside. Grabbing the edge of the door he began pulling it toward himself.
11:15 A.M. July 1847
Just as the door came even with the wall, he felt movement behind him. As he spun around, he felt a rope slip over his neck and then he began being lifted off the ground. Shining the flashlight up he noticed a rope going through a pulley above his head. Looking back down he shined his light around the area trying to find where and how the rope was being pulled. Over in the far-left corner at the edge of his beam he could just make out what appeared to be someone pulling a rope hand over hand.
He tried to shout at them to stop but realized he was completely off the ground now and his throat was closed off due to the rope. Without thinking about the repercussions, he drew his pistol and quickly took aim at the pulley. He hit the pulley with his second round and when the round struck it, the pulley disengaged from its mount. As soon as the pulley came loose McGinn came crashing to the floor, upon impact he rolled his left ankle, but the adrenaline overpowered any pain he might’ve felt.
Quickly climbing to his feet, he pulled the rope off his neck and went charging through the space under the stairs for the area where he had seen the man pulling on the rope. He slowed as he came closer and shined his light around the area. He saw the end of the rope but didn’t see anyone near it so with his pistol leveled and the light under his fist he turned around slowly looking for whoever had done this to him.
Before he could complete a full circle, he was struck on the side of the head. Crashing to the ground once again he turned quickly and shined the light in the direction that the hit had come from. The light fell upon a man with a scowl on his face and what appeared to be a piece of lumber raised above his head in preparation to take another swing.
With no time to spare McGinn brought his pistol up and fired two shots at the man. Both 9mm rounds struck him in the chest and upon impact the man dropped the wood he had been holding as he stumbled backwards. McGinn watched as the man glanced down at the holes in his chest and then fell back as the shots did their job and caused him to bleed out.
Getting back to his feet McGinn cautiously stepped over to the man he’d just shot. He looked down and realized the man wasn’t dead, but his breathing was very shallow. McGinn wanted answers so he attempted to question him.
“Who are you and why’d you try to hang me?”
The man didn’t reply instead he let out a gurgle and passed away. Shaking his head, McGinn holstered the pistol then shined his light up and down the man’s body. The man appeared to have been well fed and in good shape, he was also fully clothed. Upon closer inspection McGinn noticed a sheath hanging from his side. Kneeling down to get a better view he noticed the sheath was long and wide and would fit a knife that had created the wound in the chest of the woman upstairs now and in widow Guntry’s chest.
McGinn had found the murderer but how he and the murderer ended up in 1847 he wasn’t sure. Just then he heard movement from above him on the stairs. Standing up quickly he hobbled to the door and pushed it open.
The door seemed to make a lot of noise as it scraped along the floor as it opened but McGinn had no way to keep the door from scraping. Closing the door back he realized it was brighter in the passageway now, so he turned the flashlight off and then unholstered his pistol once again.
Reaching the end of the passageway he began climbing the stairs quietly as he could hear movement from somewhere up above. As he crested the stairs he turned to his left and froze in his tracks. Widow Guntry saw him, dropped her laundry, and screamed.
“Mrs. Guntry?” McGinn asked as he holstered his pistol.
“Yes” she replied with a shaky breath.
“I’m so sorry to have frightened you, I’m Deputy McGinn we had received a report of suspicious persons in the area and when I knocked on your front door it opened so I assumed there was a burglar in here as I could hear you down at the front door.” He replied. He had to think on his feet to explain his presence in the home and he also had a hard time fathoming seeing widow Guntry in front of him alive when not long ago he had been staring at her lifeless corpse on the bed.
“It’s ok Deputy, sometimes that door doesn’t latch fully, and I have a bad habit of not locking it. I’ve lived here over 50 years and have never had a problem, so I just don’t see the need for locks I guess.”
“Well, I’m just glad you’re ok but for my own peace of mind would you be ok if I searched the house to make sure there is no one here?”
“That’s perfectly fine Deputy and by the way do I know you?”
“Yes, ma’am you do. My father was Curtis McGinn, he worked with your husband many many years ago and I even visited your home a few times as a kid.”
“Ahh yes, I remember Curtis, you know you favor him a lot. I knew there was something familiar about you. Well deputy you take your time inspecting the home I’m going to finish folding this laundry if that’s ok and then if you have time we can talk as I would like to visit with you.”
“I believe we can do that” McGinn replied and then turned and headed back downstairs.
11:35 A.M. Present Day
As McGinn made his way downstairs, he realized the small bedrooms were indeed gone and all the furnishings on the walls and such had become as they were when he initially arrived a few hours previously. Glancing down he found his cell phone on his belt. Pulling it out, he tried to pull up the case file he had looked at previously and found it missing.
He pondered the implications of the file being gone and widow Guntry being alive. He had no actual experience with time travel or the theories surrounding it except what he had seen in the “Back To The Future” movies. He assumed though that somehow the killer in 1847 came to the future and killed widow Guntry the same way he did the woman in 1847 then when he went back to 1847 somehow, he dragged McGinn along with him. When McGinn shot him under the stairs it brought him back to the future but also brought him back to a time where widow Guntry was alive because the murderer was killed in 1847.
He was standing in the dining room lost in thought when widow Guntry came down the stairs and startled him by placing a hand on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry Deputy I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“It’s ok Mrs. Guntry, I was just thinking about the times when I came over with my dad as a kid. It’s been a long time, but the memories just snuck up on me.”
“I can understand Deputy and call me Caroline, please.”
“Caroline, you said you remembered my dad Curtis, well my name is Buster, and you can call me that as well. Also, if you don’t mind could I ask you some questions about this place?”
“That would be fine with me,” she replied taking a seat at the dining room table. “What would you like to know?”
“Well, I was curious how old is this home? I know it has been here as far back as I can recall.”
“Oh, honey this place is much older than you or I. You see my great-grandfather built this house back in the 1800’s with his own two hands. My parents passed away when I was 20 and left the house to me so I moved in. Then when I got married it only made sense to keep living here as my husband Roy, who worked with your father, was renting a place in town at the time. By moving out here with me we were able to save a lot of money by not having to rent and it made a wonderful home for our family, of course over the years we did quite a bit of remodeling.”
“Wow I didn’t realize your home was that old. I wonder what it was like living in a nice log cabin way back then. I bet it was a nice cozy place to live.”
“Well in some ways it might have been but the murder of my great-grandmother, Lucille Ginter almost caused my family to leave the place.”
“Your great-grandmother was murdered here?” McGinn asked while putting a shocked expression on his face. “Did they ever find out who killed her?”
“No, unfortunately they never found out who had killed her but one day in 1847 when my great-grandfather was at work, he came home to find her dead in their bed after being stabbed. As far as I recall they never found the murderer or the weapon he used.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that. I wonder if the case is in storage, if it is would you mind if I dug it out and investigated it?”
“You’re more than welcome to investigate it, Buster. Personally, I’d like to know what happened to my great-grandmother, but it’s been well over 100 years I’d be very surprised if you find anything.”
“Well, as I didn’t find anyone else here but you, I’m gonna get going but if I do find your great-grandmother’s case, I’m going to look into it. Thanks for your time, Caroline.”
“No problem, Buster and you feel welcome to come back anytime you’d like.”
12:45 P.M. Present Day
Deputy McGinn arrived back at the station after talking with Caroline Guntry and went to speak to his boss. He found Captain Claymon in his office and explained to him about his visit with Carlone Guntry and the murder of her great-grandmother.
McGinn was surprised when the captain didn’t deny his request outright, he was even more surprised when the captain signed off on it. He was excited about this chance as he believed he might be able to close the case, but it all hinged on him being able to identify the man he killed under the stairs.
Since his cell phone was missing at the time, he hadn’t been able to take his own photo of the man he shot, though his face was burned in his mind. Being able to find a photo of the man from 1847 might prove to be the most difficult part.
When he got access to the records room to pull the case file he was surprised at the organization. The files weren’t digital yet, but they had all been sorted into filing cabinets by year and he was able to quickly find the file on the murder of Lucille Ginter. After signing out the file he stopped by the vending machine and grabbed a coke and package of crackers for lunch as it was now close to 1:20 p.m. and he wasn’t interested in waiting any longer than necessary to dive into the case.
Sitting down at his desk he opened the Coke and took a sip before opening the file. On the left-hand side of the file was a black and white picture of Mrs. Ginter and he recognized her immediately. He ate the crackers as he read the information in the file. Most of what he read was observations of the room and the state of the body etc… However, there was one other photograph in the file, when he reached the autopsy report he found a picture of the knife wound.
Seeing the wound excited him because he knew where he could find the weapon, but he wasn’t sure if they’d be able to match it up 100%. He felt like he was missing something, so he read through the notes again and realized they did describe in detail the house but one thing that was lacking was the area under the stairs. Finishing his Coke, he stood up, tucked the file under his arm and headed for the exit.
3:15 P.M. Present Day
Pulling back up to Caroline Guntry’s house he stepped out of the car with the file folder and walked up to the front door. Luckily, the rain had quit sometime in the late morning and now it was just a chilly day. He knocked on the door and only had to wait a few minutes before Caroline opened the door.
“Buster, what are you doing back?” she asked surprised.
“Well Mrs. uhm Caroline” he said smiling. “I was able to get access to your great-grandmother’s case file and as I read through it, I had an idea I wanted to check out. May I come in?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, of course you can Buster. Make yourself at home.”
“Caroline what I read described the scene of the house, but I noticed when I was here earlier in your dining room that the dining room doesn’t seem to go all the way to the back of the house. The notes in this file seem to state the same thing. Do you know if there is another room on the other side of the dining room wall?”
“There’s not one I’m aware of, but you’re welcome to look.”
“Thank you.” McGinn replied as he stepped towards the passageway between the stairwell and the family room wall.
As he walked down the passageway, he studied the floor. Seeing the marks on the floor he turned and asked Caroline about them. She stated she had never noticed it before but that the passageway he was in had always been a catch-all for storage space, so it was possible something just scraped the floor from years of things being stored in there.
Facing back to the wall he smiled inwardly and began feeling the wall for the door he knew was there. When he felt the breeze through the tiny gap he pushed on the wall and heard Caroline issue a sound of surprise when the door opened.
“The scrapes on the floor looked like an arc, as if a door had been opening and closing along the floor that’s why I gave the wall a push. Stay here, I’m going to go in and see what it’s like under there.” He stated as he pulled the flashlight from his belt.
Walking into the space he shined his light around and found the brass that ejected from his pistol when he had shot the pulley down and pocketed them. Then he continued towards the body and when he found the body, it was just a skeleton unlike earlier in the day when he had shot him.
Finding the brass from the shooting he pocketed them as well to erase the evidence that his gun had been used. Then as he looked at the skeleton closer, he saw the sheath holding the knife. With a smile he stood up and walked out of the room and called his boss as well as the coroner.
While waiting for the captain and coroner to arrive Deputy McGinn filled in Caroline on what he had found. He then went back in and using a flash on his camera he took photos of the room under the stairs as well as the body and a closeup of the sheath. When he came back out the coroner was there, and he went in and confirmed the body and allowed McGinn to go in and collect the murder weapon in an evidence bag.
By 5:55 p.m. they had the skeleton loaded up and all the evidence taken. Deputy McGinn said goodbye to Caroline and promised to call her once they had any updates.
2:20 P.M. The Next Day
Deputy McGinn came into the office that afternoon from working a wreck and found a surprise on his desk. The autopsy report from the coroner regarding the skeleton found in Caroline Guntry’s house. Turns out they were not able to get any DNA evidence to run on the skeleton, but the knife turned out to be an exact match for the weapon that killed Lucille Ginter.
One other thing to note was due to facial reconstruction they were able to put together a picture of how they thought the man looked and when McGinn saw the picture, he knew they did a very accurate job as it was almost an exact match to the man he had shot in that space under the stairs. Grabbing the information, he headed back out to Mrs. Guntry’s house.
When Caroline answered the door, he went inside, and they sat in the family room while he explained everything they had found. When he showed her the facial reconstruction of the skeleton a shocked look came over her face. When he asked what was wrong, she simply stood up and went to a shelf and pulled out a photo album.
Opening the photo album, she pointed to a picture in that picture were several people one of which was the man from under the stairs. When he asked her who that was, she simply stated that was Lucille’s son who they had sent to an asylum. He had broken out, but no one had ever found him.
McGinn apologized and stated that it appeared her son had come home and hid under the stairs and then killed his mother with the knife and then re-hid under the stairs. With tears in her eyes Caroline thanked him for his help in solving her great-grandmother’s murder.
McGinn stood up, handed her his card, and told her he was a phone call away if she needed him but for now, he’d leave her to her grieving and he left happy knowing he had solved a case that had haunted a family for generations.
Vote now - https://forms.gle/v1VQRhJ3UMb6tfZx9
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permission requests, contact email@example.com
The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.
Book Cover by Sean Campbell
Sign up for my Newsletter and you'll get access to exclusive deals, special offers, and be the first to know about new releases. As a gift, you’ll receive a copy of my exclusive, not available anywhere else novel Operation Snowdrop. Just click on Register to get your free book!