Mystery Crime Suspense

Everyone jumped as Marcus slammed the phone down. Silence followed the drama, then whispering turned to chatter. As police headquarters returned to its normalcy, Marcus continued to brood. A simple DNA test is all I asked for, and what do I get? Delays and excuses! Don’t they realize the longer it takes, the longer the murderer is loose? It took all his willpower not to pick up the phone and throw it across the room. Instead, he took a deep breath and replayed the recorded statements from the three suspects. It was a strange way to calm one’s nerves, but if it worked, why change it? Marcus started the player. Let the therapy begin.

After listening to these recordings for countless times, there was no mistaking who the first suspect was. Fred Pierce, a business associate of the victim Susan Delaney. “I’m telling you I had nothing to do with Susan’s death.”

The voice of the interrogator interrupted, “Just tell us what happened on June 29th.”

“Yeah, sorry. It was in the evening, around 7 P.M. I got a call from her saying she wanted to talk to me about a client. I asked her, couldn’t it wait until morning? I’m cozied up on my couch ready to watch AGT. But she wouldn’t have any of my excuses. So, I dragged myself off the couch and went to her apartment. After about an hour of talking shop, I went back home. That was it.”

The interrogator continued, “Does she normally call you after hours?”


“What was so different that night, the night she was murdered, would she call you?”

“I have no idea. But you know, she was so hot, I was hoping it would become something more personal.”

“We talked to some people at your office, and they say you had it out for her. Something about how she snatched one of your potential clients and got him to sign a multimillion-dollar contract with your company. A raise and promotion followed, leaving you in the dirt. I’m sure you were pretty pissed about that. The question is, were you pissed enough to kill her?”

“Hey, I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t. I can’t recall how many nights I drank myself to sleep, trying to put it behind me. but I did, and I had nothing to do with her murder. But if you ask me, you might try talking to George Dougherty or Paul Hussein. If you think I had a reason to kill her, then I’m sure you’ll want to talk to them too.”

Your story may be touching, but it has no substance, would you be willing to take a polygraph and give us a sample of your DNA?

“No problem, man. Anything else?”

Marcus turned off the player. That was the problem, he thought. All the suspects were ready and willing to take a polygraph and give a DNA sample. The results of the polygraphs came back, and they all passed. As for the DNA tests, Marcus was waiting impatiently. He started listening to the next tape.

The interrogator began, “Please state your name for the record.”

“My name is George Dougherty, and this is my statement. In the afternoon of June 29th, I was in the middle of drinking myself to oblivion when got the sudden urge to have it out with Susan. I’m not sure what you heard, but I’ll say it anyway. Unbeknownst to my wife, Clara, Susan, and I were having an affair. It lasted for about six months before I saw the light, or closer to the truth I saw the drip. It turns out Clara’s needs were more than one man could handle. When I went to my doctor, he said I had gonorrhea and had inform everyone I had sex with, including Clara. The moment I told her, it was over. I was devastated, but when I informed Susan of my upcoming divorce, she just laughed. I mean, she just laughed. How could she think something like that was funny? Oh, I wanted to strangle her then, but I held myself back, and instead, I found comfort at the bottom of the bottle. Anyways, I went to her apartment, but when I got there, I lost my nerve and went home. That was it.”

“Strange. We never released to the public how she was murdered. Did you know she was strangled with a piece of twine?”

“No, sir. I had no idea.”

“You mentioned you wanted to strangle her and then she ends up dying that way. Seems to me to be more than coincidence.”

“I’m telling you I had nothing to do with it. Yeah, I was pissed with her, but not enough to actually kill her. Had you tried asking Paul Hussein and Fred Pierce about their whereabouts? You might find some real answers there.”

Marcus loaded the last testimony in the machine. Eased of the edginess in his nerves, now he just wanted to relax. So, he pressed the play button for the last time.

“State your name for the record.”

“My name is Paul Hussein, and this is my testimony. It was the evening of June 29th. I was at home checking my Date-Online profile seeing if I had any hits, and low and behold, there was no name I instantly recognized. Susan Delaney. I tried calling her to see why she was harassing me, but I got no answer. So, around 10 P.M. I went to her place to confront her. I banged on the door for about ten minutes, but there was no answer. Thinking I could meet up with her at work, I could have it out with her there. So, I went home and went to sleep.”

“You just stated she was harassing you by answering your Dating profile. How was she harassing you?”

“Awhile back, she betrayed my trust. I was engaged to be married, and the day before we were to be married, Susan told my fiancé I was gay. How could she say such a thing? Needless to say, the marriage was off, and my reputation was ruined. So, when she replied to my dating profile, she was spitting in my face.”

“Are you?”

“Am I what?”

“Are you gay? Did you tell Susan you were gay? Is that how she betrayed your trust?”

“I’m Muslim. I’m not gay. If I declared myself gay, I would be risking my life as well, as any ties with my family. I’m not gay.”

“Did you tell Susan you were gay?”


“Any reason I should believe you?”

“I swear to Allah I have nothing to do with Susan’s demise. If you need some suspects, ask George Dougherty or Fred Pierce.

“Thank you for your time.”

Marcus placed the tape player back in his desk drawer. Circles, he thought. No beginnings, no ends, and if you follow them long enough, you’ll make yourself dizzy. It was at that moment a clerk handed him an envelope. A smile spread across his face as he tore it open and read the report. Ask anyone who’s sitting on a toilet, he thought. No job is complete without the paperwork.

Grabbing this jacket, shouted as dashed out the door, “I’ll be back.”

“Go, Terminator!” an unrecognized voice replied.

His heart began to race, as he drove to his destination. The answer was in front of me the whole time. Stupid of me not to see it. A moment later, he was standing in front of a doorway ringing the bell. When the door open, he was facing a woman he hadn’t met before.

“Clara Dougherty?”

“I’m Clara.”

Sorry to bother you. I’m Detective Marcus Holmes. I’ve been working on the Susan Delaney murder.”

“I’m sorry detective, but what does that have to do with me?”

“Maybe nothing, maybe something. Until a short while ago, your ex-husband was a suspect because of his involvement with her.”

“So, he’s in the clear?”

“Yes, ma’am. You see, the murder weapon was a piece of rope, and it held the DNA of the perpetrator. Surprisingly, it was female DNA, clearing all our suspects. Susan was the reason your marriage was destroyed. With that fact, why wouldn't you want to seek revenge? And since you’re the only woman we know who had a motive to kill her, I have one question to ask. Where were you on the evening of June 29th?”

September 26, 2022 21:15

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Sherri Moorer
14:58 Oct 06, 2022

I like a good story with multiple suspects. Well done!


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Howard Seeley
21:24 Sep 26, 2022

Suspenseful story for mystery lovers. Enjoy!


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