Goldilocks and the Three Bears
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Kouric said the girl was the worst he’d seen in a long time. Worse than the chainsaw in ‘73.
“They hung her up like a sheet,” he muttered, lighting a camel.
The profiler, Smith, laid it down as self-defense. Plain and simple.
Feller, the lieutenant, didn’t trust the Bears.
With ten years and no promotion, he might not have known his way around politics, but he knew the crime scene. The profiler was right: open and shut. Might be air-tight. But the blood all over everything made Feller’s stomach turn, and he’d seen a lot of blood.
Who cared if it was breaking and entering? His gut said these Deliverance extras lucked out: a lone girl, their empty house.
Come home to find a nineteen year-old college girl in your bed.
The Rueger was a plant. Somebody was checking it now.
Feller walked back through the dining room. A big pot of hillbilly chili steamed on the dirty formica.
In the front yard the six foot family was detained near a squad car. The meth-head father, John Bear, was saying something about taking a walk. The wife looked broken. The son, maybe fourteen, wore a dull, mean look.
“So let me get this straight,” the uniform said. “Your chili was too hot, so you decided to go for a walk?”
“Yeah,” John Bear, said. “To cool it down, right?”
“Okay, and you came home. Then what happened?”
“Well, we seen somebody’d been in the chili. There was a plate out, and somebody used my spoon.”
“Right. Then what?”
Bear scratched his head. “Then we went in the living room to watch some TV. And my boy Rick’s chair had been busted.”
“So Rick starts cussin’ and runs upstairs and there’s some girl in his bed.”
“Okay,” the cop said. “Take it slow now, and tell me everything that happened.”
Bear squinted and bared his teeth. Feller supposed he was thinking.
“Well, you know, stuff happened awful fast. But Rick pulls the covers away and this girl’s bare-naked, but she’s got a gun. Rick and her started wrestlin’ with the gun and then we all was wrestlin’ with the gun and the girl and then the gun went off, and she was dead. See, it was just self-defense. This girl was in our home, officer.”
The uniform nodded.
Ricky must have loved wrestling with a naked college girl, Feller mused.
Kouric arrived with a positive ID: one Laura Goldi of Fresno.
“Nothing else,” he said.
Feller nodded. “Any sort of sex happen here?” he said, cocking his head toward the house.
“We’re working on it. Lab’s in there now.”
“Right,” Feller said. “Okay. Call me at the office. I’m getting out of here.”
Sarah Whitley is no longer allowed to babysit in this state