Crime Scenes Revisited

I wrote this story in a different style wanting to see which one is better. Let me know what you think!

Once in a while something will happen in life that after it has occurred things will never be the same again, if a person is really lucky that something will be a good thing and the things that happen subsequently are amazingly good, but the other possibility is that something incredibly evil will occur and that something terrible is the result. The following is a story about one of the latter types of occurrences. The things that couldn’t ever be undone and the chain of events that unfolded took a lifetime for the truth of them to be discovered.

Two little girls are huddled up by the fire in a small cabin on a beach by the ocean. They have a pile of magazines on the floor in front of them and they have one spread out on the floor in that are both intensely concentrating on.

“Look, here it mentions that this murder happened in Oregon!”

“Let me see. Where?”

“Right here.”

“Neat.”

“In a small town in southern Oregon a 16 year old girl was walking home from school one day but she never made it home.”

The girls were 6th graders and they were at the coast for their spring break along with their mothers and sisters. It had been raining the whole time from the minute they got there and so they had been forced to find inside entertainment. They were delighted to discover a wonderfully horrible treasure trove of the potboiler style publication of “True Detective.”  Their mothers would never have allowed the girls to read the magazines if they had realized what they contained in the pages, stories of rape and murder in language that was not appropriate for young teenaged girls, but they hadn’t noticed these magazines that had been in with the assorted comic books and other reading materials that the coffee table rack was stocked with.

Headlines like “Stabbing Death of the Blonde Babysitter” and “Case of the Traveling Killer” were eye candy to the curious little minds that wanted to be scared to death!

This classic potboiler magazine was complete with grisly crimes and gruesome descriptions of them and the two girls managed to scare themselves silly, delight in reading the lurid details of the terrible real life crimes.

They were delighted to discover a story in there set in their own state and eagerly read the story. The story they were reading was of a 16 year old boy who had murdered a 16 year old retarded girl and the crime took place in town that the girls had actually been to.

“This says the boy who killed the girl’s name was Elmer. My dad has a brother named Elmer and he used to be in jail, but I don’t know why. I just met him and he was really nice so it couldn’t be him.”

“Look Mary Lou, this says Elmer Bradley. That’s his name.”

That was too exciting to not follow up on.

“Mom, what did Elmer got jail for?”

“Why?”

“We were reading a magazine and it had a story that had a man with his name in it that went to jail. He also lived in Oregon.”

“Let me see it?”

They were forced to show the stash of magazines in order to get an answer.

“Where did you get these from?”

“They were here under the coffee table.”

Shelly’s mother read part of the story and looked at the girl’s. “Yes that is Dave’s brother but this is an exaggerated version of what happened. I don’t think you should be reading these magazines, find something else to do.”

The young man walked down the path that had formed along next to the river and as he walked along he kicked the little rocks that had rolled onto the trail back towards the steep rock wall that lined the other side opposite from the river.

     All of a sudden he stopped and looked around, he heard sounds coming from farther on up the trail, it was the sound of someone walking on it and he quietly slipped behind a tree growing on the bank of the river and he waited to see who was approaching.

     The sounds of someone’s feet walking on the dirt trail were very faint. As he peered through the brush from where he was standing the young girl he had been waiting for appeared on the trail beyond a bend in it. He quietly stayed hidden behind the tree and waited for her to walk by. It was a fairly large tree with a cluster of bushes growing at the base of it so that he was completely hidden as the approached.

     After she walked by where the young man was hiding he picked up a large rock from by the river and slipped up behind her. She immediately fell face forward on the trail and he immediately took off running frantically away. He crossed the shallow river up ahead and one of his shoes got caught in between some rocks in the river and when his foot slipped out of the shoe he just kept on running as fast as he could.

     Unbeknownst to the young man there was someone else observing what had occurred from another hiding place behind another tree. This fact would not be known to anyone for many years, no one knew there had been an eye witness to this.

    The young man ran home as fast as he could and never stopped to look back. When he got home he realized he had lost one of his shoes so he took the other one off and took it out to the trash pile outside the old house that he lived in with his mother, father and four of his five brothers and buried it under the trash that was waiting there to be burned.

     The news spread through the tiny little school as soon as everyone arrived.

“Did you hear about Betsy?”

“Hear what?

“They found her on the trail by the river, and she was dead. Somebody killed her!”

“I bet Elmer did it. Yesterday I hear Tom teasing him about getting her pregnant. Elmer started crying. He is a retard just like she was. I am going to go tell the teacher.

      The boy hadn’t gone to school the next because he was scared. When the police came to the house they had the shoe that they had found in the river by the girl’s body. When they found that it was the same size as the boy wore they searched the property and found the shoe he had hidden outside. The police figured that when he had been teased about her he got scared and solved the problem the only way he knew how to, with a rock.

The trial was held in the nearest large town and didn’t last very long as the 16 year old mentally challenged plea bargained to a 10 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter

`Jail hadn’t been easy for the boy and when he was released he was taken in by the church in the small town he grew up in and worked for them until his mother got old and needed his help around the house. He moved in with her along with a woman who he had met at the church and he married her and had two children with her.

Lillian had divorced Elmer’s father after he went to jail and started doing household chores for other people, eventually she ended up being a caretaker for a fairly well to do man. She and her sons had very little contact with the ornery drunk that she had left. When she died she left everything she had to Elmer and that was alright with the other brothers because they had all made a success of their lives.

     On his deathbed Harlan confessed to a priest that he had been hiding behind a tree when his son hit the girl over the head. He also confessed that she hadn’t died from that, she died because he killed her because it was his baby she had been carrying. He needed to get rid of the terrible secret he had been hiding for over thirty years before he died he said.

     There was nothing Elmer could do to get back the ten years he spent in prison but at least his name was cleared and his children had the peace of mind knowing their father was not a murderer.

     The little girls that read about this story in the magazine were very pleased to find out that the 16 year old boy in the story they read had been innocent even if it took a very long time to come out.

This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

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