For a moment I was speechless. I understood now about the queasy feeling I had experienced when I had asked him what the date of death was. My mind was trying to tell me it might be more than just a sick joke, and so it had been.
I did my best to compose myself and asked Marjorie if she knew what had caused his death.
“I don’t know, Phillip. The police are here investigating. They seem to think he was murdered but I don’t see how that could be. I mean, we were sleeping and…oh, I just don’t know.”
She broke down at that point and I told her I would come over when the police were done to talk to her. I hung up overwhelmed by sadness. The situation was incomprehensible. The police were treating it as a homicide? Who would want to kill Nigel? As far as I knew he had no real enemies. He had talked about a couple of people at work he didn’t get along with but other than that he was just a mild-mannered ordinary guy.
I stumbled through my morning in a daze, oblivious to everything. When the phone rang again a few hours later I about jumped out of my skin.
“Hi Phillip. The police have left. The coroner’s report will take a day or too but it seems they found a mark on his neck. It appears he was injected with something in his sleep. I’m just numb. I can’t believe this is happening.”
I told her I would be right over and to just take it easy. As I hung up I tried to get my mind around the situation. Nigel murdered in his sleep. It didn’t make any sense. I spent the better part of two hours with Marjorie. She was a train wreck. I comforted her as best I could and I was so drained by the time I left it took all I had just to drive myself home.
Two days later she got the coroner’s report. He had been injected with cyanide, of all things. Death was instantaneous. Two detectives had come around to question Marjorie and they had come armed with a search warrant. They turned the house upside down, leaving her devastated.
I was furious at the news but held my tongue. They were only doing their job. Still, it rankled that Marjorie would be a suspect in his death. They were the most devoted couple I knew. I could only hope that the killer would be found quick smart and that justice would be swift.
A week went by and the police had nothing to go on. There had been no fingerprints and the doors had all been locked. They did find a basement window that was unlocked and they speculated that was the point of entry, but again they found no evidence. Whoever had done this horrible deed seemed to have been well prepared.
As if the death of a good friend and trying to help is wife deal with burying him and sort her life wasn’t hard enough things were only to get worse. That evening I received a call from my ex-wife that left me reeling yet again. A friend of ours that neither of us had seen for a few months was found dead in his apartment. She had received a call about it from his mother. The police were saying it was a homicide.
Part 3 Tomorrow