I regained my composure and noticed Detective Olson was staring at me. I looked down at the death certificate again and saw the date and time of death showed he had died around the time I had gone to bed. Detective Olson had questions for me.
“Mr. Cox, can you tell me where you were last night?”
So I was a suspect. It was ridiculous but I looked him in the eye and kept my cool.
“I was home all evening. I had dinner, listened to some music and went to bed. As I said, I woke up a short time later to the sound of the siren.”
“I see. What about the other two?”
He reminded me of the times and dates of their demise.
“I was at home when both of them were killed.”
“And you live alone?”
“Yes I do. My wife passed away a couple of years ago.”
He made some notes on a pad he took out of a drawer and then tapped the pencil on the edge of the table for a moment as he looked out the window. I couldn’t believe what was happening but I wasn’t much concerned. I hadn’t killed my friends so there couldn’t be any evidence that I had. I was pretty sure not having a solid alibi couldn’t be held against me.
“All right then Mr. Cox, do you have any questions for me?”
“Well, yes. I take it then that Michael’s death was also attended by a death certificate?”
“Yes it was. This all seems to be the work of one person. The only thing that connects them so far is the death certificates, the method of murder used and the fact that they were all friends of yours.”
Hearing it put like that I could see how it didn’t look good for me.
“I’m going to have to ask you to stay in town for awhile Mr. Cox. I may need to ask you more questions. I hope you understand.”
“Yes, of course. I have no plans Detective, other than attending yet another funeral.”
“Good. Then we’re finished here for now. Thank you for coming down again.”
I drove home in a bit of a daze. I couldn’t for the life of me begin to understand anything that had happened. I returned home to find a message on my phone from Allen’s wife, Marie. She wanted me to return her call. I wasn’t really in the mood but I rang her anyway.
“Hi Marie, it’s Phillip. I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“Hello Phillip. Yes, it’s all still such a shock for me. I hate to disturb you but I was wondering if you might have any idea who would want to do such a horrible thing.”
“No, Marie, I don’t. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Allen isn’t the only friend I’ve lost in the last two weeks. There have been two others.”
“Yes, the police told me this was the third murder of this type. I had no idea the others were friends of yours. My god, that must be horrible for you.”
“Yes, well, I’ve been to the police station twice. They seem to be treating me as a suspect. It’s most peculiar. At any rate, I have no idea who would want to kill friends of mine. I can assure you it has nothing to do with me that I’m aware of, though I must say I am beginning to fear for my own life. I dread going to the mail box now.”
“Yes, that horrid certificate came as quite a shock. Allen tried to hide it from me but I found out. He thought it was just a macabre joke.”
“Well, if there’s anything I can do please don’t hesitate to give me a call Marie.”
I hung up and remembered I hadn’t checked my mailbox before coming into the house. I went out and got the mail and returned, and as I sorted through it I came to a plain envelope with no postmark or stamp. I opened it with trembling hands.
Tomorrow – Part 7 – The End?