Crime Mystery Thriller

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

Statement to Park Police, 9:17 AM, September 18


This morning started like any other. Began my run at 6:30 as usual, took the same route.

Well. I mean, except…

Except I’m halfway to the lake on the parkway when I decide to deviate from the paved path to run along the unpaved trail next to the creek. I don’t know why. Maybe because snow’s going to fly soon, and I’m already nostalgic for summer even if the heat was brutal this year. Maybe I want to see the changing leaves. Maybe I’m simply sick of the same route. Is this really important?

Okay. Here, just after this little low-hanging bridge with lots of sharp metal jutting from its side, I notice something in the creek, looks like a large log, floating in the shallow water. Only, when I see the colors are too bright—reds and oranges and blues— I slow my pace and it isn’t till I’m a few feet away that I realize it’s clothing. Then that the clothing has form, arms, legs a torso. But no head. I’m wondering if it’s maybe a dummy or a mannequin. Which would be weird enough.


God, it’s a freaking human body, so I scream like there’s no tomorrow, but there’s no one around to hear me. I mean it’s only just after 6:30, like I said, still pretty dark out. I puke, I mean who wouldn’t, seeing that thing floating there? Soon as I could gather myself, I call you guys.

No, I have no idea who it is. I mean, how would I know. It doesn’ have a face.

Yeah, no, I’m okay. Just shaken up, you know? Thanks for the tissue. 

No, I really don’t have anything else to tell you guys.

The police station? Oh, with the like real police. I guess so. How long? Okay. I’ll have to call work.


Interview with Primary Witness to Metropolitan Police, 11:35 AM, September 18

Okay, yeah, I’ll tell you what I told the park police. 

This morning was normal. I decided to deviate a little from my usual route to run alongside the creek instead of on the paved path above it to enjoy the temperate weather and catch the changing leaves before winter.

Halfway to the lake I saw something big floating in the water.  As soon as I realized it was a human body, I called the park police. I gave them my statement and they brought me here. 

That’s it. 

Why do I think I’m here? To tell you what I just told you, I guess.

I guess I couldn’t really see the changing leaves in the dark, you’re right. Just a whim, then, the changed route. 

Oh, was it a few hours after sunrise that I called the police? I must have been in shock, seeing this body and all. Time passed weirdly. 

No, I didn’t know him. It. How would I know since he didn’t have a head?

Oh, my god. How do you know it was him if he didn’t have ID on him? 

Who cares how I knew about no ID!! The Park police must have told me or I guessed or something! That was the man I loved! I’m in total shock. It’s really him? I can’t. I can’t believe this.

Could I have a second or two to take this all in?! 

Yes, water, please. 

A little better, thanks. 

So how did you identify him?

Ah. No, I had no idea he was in the system nor that he had a youthful arrest. Assault and battery doesn’t really surprise me, I guess. 

Blood on my legs and shoes? I guess I didn’t notice. That’s so gross. Maybe there was blood in the grass on the shoreline, I don’t know. So gross, god. I feel sick.

My fingernails? You want to take samples from under my nails? Why? My hands are clean, like really clean, but sure. And you want a urine test? I’m an avid runner, guys, I’ve never touched a drug in my life. But I want to cooperate.

Only, I’d like to call a lawyer first.


Interview Continues Post Lab Results, 1:45 PM, September 18

Yes, I moved out three weeks ago, for a little break. We were having a few…problems.

Why does that matter?

Oh, god…I’m pregnant?! I had no idea.

Arrest me? For murder?! How would I have done this? Decapitated him and dumped his body in the creek? He was a very big man. Besides, why would I? I loved him. I’m having his baby, for chrissakes!

Traces of dirt and his blood under my nails? That makes no sense! My hands are so clean.

I think…I’m done talking till my lawyer gets here.


Statement of Murder Suspect to Metropolitan Police, Defendant’s Attorney Present, 3:50 PM September 18

My lawyer has advised me to tell you the truth. So here it is. It’s ugly, but I didn’t kill anyone.

I did go for a run this morning, like I said. 

When I got home, he was there, waiting for me at the kitchen table. 

When were you going to tell me you were pregnant? He asked me so low I knew I was in trouble.

 I didn’t think I owed you the courtesy, I said, like a total idiot. We broke up, and it’s my body.

Your body is carrying my child, and I learn about it from one of your stupid friends? he said. I can still feel his spit in my face.

He was in that kind of white-hot rage that had nowhere to go but through me. That doesn’t happen often, but it happens. And when it does, I always end up at the clinic with a little “running” injury.  

I hadn’t taken off my shoes yet, so I ran back out the door and onto the parkway. I don’t have any idea why I went that way, stupid force of habit, my rabbit brain taking over, maybe. I mean, why didn’t I just pound on a neighbor’s door?

All I knew, all I felt, though, was run.

I could hear him huffing loudly behind, commanding me to stop, but I would never stop, not with the safety of my little one at risk. It was still dark out, but I know that route like the back of my hand. He’s not into exercise or the outdoors, so I can count on one hand the number of times he’s been on the parkway. And unlike a lot of the city, it can get really dark along that stretch. 

He fell behind a little, but he’d never give up, so I kept running. It wasn’t until I neared the lake and the sun was rising that I let up enough to look back. No sign. 

I was pretty sure he didn’t know about the unpaved path below the paved one, so I decided to double back out of sight until I caught sight of him, then try to sneak back to my house. Yeah, I wasn’t thinking too clearly. 

Anyway. I crept back, yard after excruciating yard, but he was nowhere. I began to hope that maybe he had given up, but when I reached the little tunnel under that bridge, I saw something at the mouth on the other side. 

I approached cautiously. It looked like a soccer ball or something, but it hadn’t been there before. Yes, you guessed it, it was his head. 

I screamed my bloody head off, but no one was around. Then I noticed his body in the creek.

I panicked, completely freaked out, sure everyone would think I had done this. I should have just gone home, showered, and let someone else find him, but something in me was compelled to see this through, to make sure no one could connect the body to me. Thinking that he couldn’t be identified without his head or ID, I buried both, then called you. Again, not thinking clearly. 

The self-decapitation? I’m pretty sure he didn’t duck going under the bridge and the razor sharp metal sticking out, sliced clean through his neck. Check the metal. It was dripping blood. That part is up to you to figure out though, right?

Yes, I’ll show you where I buried them. 

Anyway, I didn’t kill him, 

He accidentally killed himself.


Suspect’s Journal Entry Found in Home Search

Sept. 17

Dear Diary,

I’ve come up with way to end it. It’s risky, but then everything having to do with him is risky. Probably why I was attracted to him in the first place, I guess, that flirting with dangerous men gene I get from my mom. I know she’d agree that I have no other option. If she were still alive.

It has to happen tomorrow morning. Baby will grow to the point where she slows me down soon, and this plan relies on my comparative speed. I’ve called the city like 30 times about that bridge, to no avail.


I’ll call tonight and say I need to see him early, right after my run, to tell him something important. He’s always grumpier in the early morning, and as he always says, I know how to rile him up better than anyone.  

The rest should take care of itself.


Defense Attorney’s Closing Argument to Grand Jury, 1:11 PM, April 29

The prosecution has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, has not provided proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that my client was in any way responsible for the accidental death of this man. They have not produced any physical evidence suggesting my client, a woman who weighs 100 pounds less than the deceased, could have cut off his head and thrown him into the creek.

Her initial statements to police paint the picture of a woman traumatized. A woman who, as the expert psychologists called to witness pointed out, spoke erroneously due to post-traumatic stress syndrome, and a desire to do only one thing—protect her child. Her diary entry proves nothing at all except more of the same—trauma and fear.

As for the victim’s death, all the evidence points only to one fact: that a bridge, maintained poorly by the city, is to blame for his admittedly grisly death. If anything, blame the city.

Meanwhile, all we’ve seen is that my client, traumatized and abused by her former partner for years, acted of self-defense to save herself and her unborn child with the only weapons she had—her running shoes. 

And so she ran, folks, on a dark path she knew like the back of her hand, away from this man, a violent and abusive man, who followed her, likely with intent to harm her. He did not know this path, and he paid for it. 

And that is the whole story.

On rare occasion, the universe doles out natural justice, where the good persevere and the bad are punished. This, folks, is one of those times. Don’t undo this moment of universal balance by making the wrong decision. Don’t punish the victims, mother and child, of an atrocious man who ultimately deserved what he got.

Do the right thing. Find my client not guilty on all counts.


Jury’s Decision. Deliberation Time, 23 minutes

We the jury, find the defendant Not Guilty on the count of obstruction of justice with vote of 12 to zero. 

On the count of manslaughter with intent to harm, we also find the defendant Not Guilty with a vote of 12 to zero.

February 02, 2024 23:35

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Trudy Jas
20:44 Feb 08, 2024

"Love you to death"? And the Tony goes to the defendant? Lovely format, the ever (slightly) changing testimony. Well done.


Molly Kelash
19:21 Feb 09, 2024

Thank you! I have a love of the unreliable narrator, and this was fun to write.


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Alexis Araneta
08:05 Feb 05, 2024

Oooh, I love this ! The format you used, with the police statements, is brilliant. Great descriptions too. Wonderful job !


Molly Kelash
20:54 Feb 05, 2024

ThankS,StellaI I enjoyed working with the strange format and the unreliable narrator in a different way. Hopefully it leaves the reader wondering a little if she should be considered guilty or not.


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Mary Bendickson
06:48 Feb 03, 2024

Got away with murder.


Molly Kelash
18:58 Feb 03, 2024

Perhaps! Thanks for reading!


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