Sunday, December 8, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment thirty two. "The last and final installment!"

Welcome all to Devil at Dusk Installment thirty two!

Sunday night the Sheriff’s Office got some more reports of UFO’s, this time the people that called said they saw lights of an unidentified flying object around the highway 15 area not far from the farmhouse. Monday morning Jerry and I went and got our search warrant and we made it back over to DD’s aka Mr. Baker’s (“the killer”) house while he was at work. Shortly after arriving we made it into the house, the first place we went was down to the basement. While searching the basement I noticed what looked to be blood stains on the floor and Jerry found a bag with many pairs of beige nylon seamed stockings in it, Eureka! This is the evidence that we really needed to link Baker to the murders. After that we checked the rest of the house but that was really all that we were able to come up with as far as evidence goes. So we left DD’s and went back to the Sheriff’s Office and we showed Sheriff Holifield what we found, we also mentioned the blood stains. The Sheriff told us that it was enough evidence to make an arrest.

By then it was already late in the afternoon so we had a few hours to make the preparations to go in and make our arrest. We contacted all the neighboring police departments and sheriff’s offices and we pulled as many officers, sheriffs, deputies and their dogs. This would also be Sugar the blood hound puppy’s first work debut. We all knew DD got off work in the early evening, at least a once or twice a week he would run some errands or go shopping after work in Bay Springs. We wanted to time it so we were all arriving at his house just around sunset, that way we knew he would be there. Soon it was time to pull our motorcade together, the Sheriff gave me a flashing light to attach to the top of my car and a siren, he told me since I was the lead investigator for this investigation that they wanted me to be at the head of the pack! I was speechless; I had assumed that I would just ride along with Jerry in his car!

So I lead the way for the rest of the motorcade of police vehicles and sheriff cars. We all had our lights and sirens on until we got a few miles from the farmhouse then we turned them off. We all finally arrived at the farmhouse and parked so we were surrounding the front of the house. Then we all started getting out of our vehicles. Just as we were starting to surround the house, DD was taking the trash out. He looked around and realized we were all there to come and get him! He started to run towards the partially wooded area out behind his house. All the men and I plus all of the dogs came after him. He ran through the small wooded area which ends up in a clearing, we all follow. After that we saw the most amazing sight ever!

We saw a large saucer shaped UFO!!! It was just on the edge of the woods in the clearing (a good spot for a UFO to land and to stay somewhat hidden for the most part). DD also sees the UFO (he had the dear in the head light look on his face) and he also sees the men surrounding him. The next thing we know an alien pops out of the UFO!!! It looks like a female (it has a body similar to a female that is) it was thin and short with a big oblong shaped head with big huge black eyes and a nose but it did not appear to have a mouth.  The skin on this thing had a greenish tint and was kind of leathery looking. She ran after DD (The Devil at Dusk) who was our killer. We all stared dumbfounded at the sight that unfolded in front of us! DD started to run toward the men but the men surged forward with guns drawn toward DD. Then the alien finally reaches DD! She takes one hand (her hand had three fingers on each hand, so a total of 2 hands with 6 fingers) then she takes 2 of the 3 fingers, reaches out and pinched the nerve where the base of the head and neck meet. DD drops to the ground, he was out cold! Then the alien rips his clothes off and drags him to her UFO and pulls him in! Then she fires up her UFO, turns on enough lights to light up a football stadium then proceeds to take off!!!

We all just stood there watching like we were in a daze! I really think we were in a daze, I think the alien put something in the air to basically make us stand there and do nothing. Afterwards we all said we felt numb and the whole thing seamed to happen so fast. We felt like we had been in a fog bank.We all got into our cars and drove back to our houses. Jerry came back to my place, we go in, Jerry sits on the couch and I get us some tea. I come back with the tea and sit next to him. We were both still in shock by what we had seen. I say to Jerry… well that was bar none the strangest damn thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Jerry nods his head and says yes ma’am, strangest damn thing ever!!!

The End

Monday, December 2, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Thirty One.

Welcome Folks to Devil at Dusk installment number thirty one.

The next day I put on a pair of overalls with a button down shirt, I braided my hair in two pig tails with a big straw hat and then I put on my old cowboy boots. I went out to the stable and grabbed a piece of straw and placed it between my two back teeth. Then I got into the old pickup truck and drove over to the pharmacy in Bay Springs. I parked the truck and walked in. I told the gal behind the counter that I needed something for a tooth ache, she smiled at me and said all right; let me go get our pharmacist Alan. Next thing I know I am standing face to face with the killer! The hair stood up on the back of my neck because he looked just like the drawing that Charlotte did. With a smile on his face he asked me, how can I help you today? I told him that I had a tooth ache and asked him what he recommended, he told me to rub a little bit of clove oil on the gums surrounding the area and that it would help tide me over until I was able to see the dentist. I thanked him and took my bottle of clove oil to the cashier, paid and then left.

I got into my truck and drove to the Sherriff’s Office, I spoke to Jerry, and I told him I saw Mr. Baker at the Pharmacy. I asked him to do a vehicle registration search on him to see what we could come up with. He found Mr. Alan Marcus Baker at 4292 Willow Springs Road Laurel MS 39440 and a 1950 Pontiac Chieftain was registered to him. Now we know his middle name which we did know before (also matches the cuff link AMB), the address matches the address that was on the mail box so now we do know we have the right place and we now know that the 1950 Pontiac is a Chieftain. I asked Jerry to please research Mr. Baker’s info for me to see what else he could come up with, he told me will do. Then I asked him if he wanted to come with me tomorrow to do a stakeout in front of Mr. Baker’s house (it was Sunday and the pharmacy was closed every Sunday), Jerry said yes he would like that. I told him I would bring the picnic basket. He told me he would let me know tomorrow if he was able to dig up any more dirt on Baker.

Sunday morning rolls around, Jerry meets me at my house at 7 a.m. and we get into one of my cars and drive over to Mr. Baker’s place. I drove the sage green car so it would blend into the scenery better than some the other cars, once I got there; I drove the car so it was tucked away into the wooded area and parked it. This way we could be concealed for the most part where we could watch and wait. I asked Jerry what he found out about Baker, he said he inherited the farmhouse from his mother 9 years ago, one year ago he got a parking ticket, then 6 months ago (in December) a guy driving by the farmhouse had a flat tire, he stopped alongside the road in front of the house to change out his tire. It was about 45 minutes after sunset and he reported to the Sheriff’s Office that he had heard a lady screaming, he said it sounded like it was coming from the basement of the house. 

One of the deputies went out to the house and spoke to Baker, he said there had been a report called in that somebody had heard a woman screaming and it sounded like it was coming from his house. He told the Sheriff that there was not a woman at his house, the screaming sound was the mystery radio show he had been listening to, he said he liked to record the episodes and listen to them at a later date. He told the Sheriff his name and that he was the pharmacist over in Bay Springs. December was when the first murder had happened so Baker must not have taken into consideration that a car could break down, right in front of his house (especially since it was not a very well traveled road though there, but there was a few other houses peppered along the road) however either he thinks fast on his feet (to come up with the murder mystery radio show) or he figured he better make sure to have all bases covered and came up with it in advanced. I am sure he had been very careful in the future that nobody would be hearing a female screaming at his house. Also since the female screaming had been reported back in December prior to when the first body had been found, so there was no reason for the Deputy to not believe what Baker had told him, the deputy never looked any further into the case and closed it.

We talked about the case together a little more in depth, we talked about how it looked like he had been kidnapping the girls at dusk and killing them in the night shortly after that and then dumping the bodies off later in the night. I nick named our killer the Devil at Dusk and started referring to him as that most of the time after that. A couple hours after we got to the farmhouse we saw him pull his car out into the driveway and so he could wash his car. He washed it, dried it and polished it, then drove it back into the garage. I pulled out my camera and took pictures of him washing his car. After that we stuck around for a few more hours but nothing else happened so we drove back home. We had decided that we had enough information collected to finally get a search warrant, so on Monday Jerry and I went to court to get a search warrant.

To be continued…..

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Thirty

Welcome back everybody to Devil at Dusk Installment Thirty!

I was up at 6 am the next day, I pulled out my typewriter and I typed up a synopsis of the information I had gotten from Marguerite. Soon, I would go to my office and I would use the parts of the synopsis that were important and after that it would all go into the file. When I was done I started making some breakfast for Marguerite and I. Marguerite woke up she said she smelled bacon cooking and got up to join me for breakfast. When done we cleared the table and did the dishes. Then we made ourselves presentable for the day. After that Marguerite put all of her things in her overnight bag, she came out to join me in the living room just before we headed out for the bayou. I thanked her again so much for all of her help and I paid her for her services. She took the money and said wow, thank you! From the looks of it I imagined that was probably the most money she had seen at one time in her entire life.

 I said to her alright kid lets hit the road, we drove on and before too long we finally made it to the bayou. We saw the swamps, bridges, dilapidated house boats, mosses, the weeping willows, magnolias and mangrove trees. I pulled up to her little pink shack and she asked me in, I told her I would come in for a moment to say hi to her papa and her grandmere. Marguerite’s grandmere asked me if I wanted a glass of sweet tea and I said that would be wonderful. In the mean time Marguerite’s papa asked me how the investigation was going and he also inquired whether or not his daughter was able to help. I told him yes that she has been a very big help. I thanked him and Marguerite’s grandmere again so much for letting me take Marguerite away from them for a few days. Soon I was done with my tea and had to be on my way, I thanked them all again and said goodbye.

I drove home, a few hours later I arrived. I called up Jerry to see if he wanted to go grab a burger, fries and chocolate malt at the diner down the street. He said sure thing doll, I will be over in an hour to pick you up. Exactly an hour later he picked me up and we drove down to the diner. After eating we went to see what was playing over at the theater, there was a comedy that was about to start in 20 minutes. So we bought our tickets and picked out our seats for the show. When the show ended we came back over to my cottage and I invited him in for glass of Port. We talked about the information we got from Marguerite, the investigation and what our next strategy was going to be with the new info we had gotten. Our next step was to try to locate the farmhouse that Mr. Baker lived in just off of HWY 15, then to have a stakeout so we could see who lived there and to take note of the comings and goings of our person of interest. My plan was to start trying to find the farmhouse tomorrow.

The next day I drove from Laurel to Bay Springs on HWY 15, along the way I saw lots of small houses and tiny shacks. At about the 7 mile mark I found a network of small roads of off a small main road in a semi wooded area. On the small main road was a big old light grey farm house, I drove in front of it and noticed a mail box out front. I made a u turn at the end of the road and drove in front of the house slowly to see if there was a name on the mail box, there was a name and address. The name was A. Baker, so I drove back over to one of the other small side streets where my vehicle would be camouflaged by the wooded area, this way I was able to park alongside the road and see the house with my binoculars. I stayed for a couple of hours and since I did not notice anything I took off. My surveillance was mostly for fact finding rather than anything else. I would came back over the course of the next few days or week, to wait and watch to see what else I could find. After that I went in to Bay Springs and found where the pharmacy was located. I was going to come back tomorrow to visit the pharmacy with a costume on because I did not want our person of interest recognizing me at a later date.

To be continued…..

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Twenty Nine

Welcome all to Installment Twenty Nine of Devil at Dusk!

After Marguerite was done looking at all of the evidence, Jerry and I took her around to all of the places where the murder victims had been found. Marguerite told us she would collect all the information she could from these things and places, then while we were at dinner she said she would discuss her findings with us. She said it would be better that way instead of bit by bit because by the end of the day she would have more of a complete picture rather than just fragments to share with us.

Half way through the day we needed a break, so we all came back to my cottage and I made us sandwiches, sweet tea and some fruit for lunch. When we were done with lunch we all got back into Jerry’s car and hit the road again. By the end of the day we had managed to go to all of the sites where our victims had been found. Jerry drove Marguerite and I over to Ling’s for some Chinese food for dinner. During dinner Marguerite shared with us the information that she had picked up; she told us she believed that the killer’s last name is Baker, she said she believed that the cuff links I had found by the railroad tracks did indeed belong to him (the cuff links I found had the letters AMB on them, so I was correct they were initials).
Marguerite said that he is only about 5 ft 4 in tall, with a stocky build; he has medium brown hair with a crew cut, blue eyes, light skin and a round face. She told us he drives a white or cream colored 1950 Pontiac, he works as a pharmacist over at the pharmacy in Bay Springs  MS, which is right on HWY 15 and is about 15 miles away from the town of Laurel. She also said he lives in a big old farmhouse in a semi secluded area about 7 miles from Laurel and that his house is also just off of HWY 15.

Marguerite said that our killer kills because he had been molested by the lady that was his care taker when he was a child; she was from the town of Laurel. His mother had a nervous breakdown when Baker was 8 years old and she was put in a mental institution. His dad hired a lady who was 29 years old and had a 10 month old baby to come to take care of him while his dad was at work, his dad worked 10 hours a day, five days a week. This lady took care of him for almost a year. Marguerite says that Baker never got help or counseling so now he is getting his revenge on the young women in the town of Laurel.

The description that Marguerite gave matched what Rose the gal that almost was kidnapped, gave us right on down to his physical description and his car. Also after Charlotte came up with her sketch and we showed it around to people, some people thought he looked vaguely familiar because he just lived down the road but he did look so familiar that people knew directly who he was. I was guessing that was because he worked in Bay Springs so he probably did mostly all of his shopping, errands etc… in Bay Springs and probably only came into Laurel to stalk and kidnap then kill his victims. The whole time Marguerite was talking I was taking notes. After dinner Jerry dropped off Marguerite and I at my cottage. I told Marguerite to go in and make herself comfortable and that I would be in shortly. Jerry stood on my front porch and whispered in my ear to have a good night. He gave me a hug and a kiss and then he went off into the night.
I went into my cottage and sat on the couch to listen to the music on the radio, while I processed all of the information from the day. Marguerite came out of the bathroom where she had been getting ready to go to bed. She came over to tell me good night, she was such a tiny waif of a girl, I had to keep reminding myself she was in her 20’s and not a teenager. I stood up and gave her a big huge hug and thanked her so much because she was the key really for me to be able to finally track down and get the “monster”.  Marguerite said she was so glad she was able to come and help out. I told her to be ready to leave the cottage to go home by 9 am. She said very good and goodnight.

To be continued….

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Twenty Eight!

Welcome back to Devil at Dusk installment twenty eight.

Marguerite and I traveled all the through the bayou, crossing the bridges that went over the swamps, we drove through the groups of small trees and we saw moss covered cottages. Everything looked like it was dripping with green. Halfway home we stopped off at a small diner for a cup of coffee so we would not be tempted to drift off to sleep on the way back. Just before we finally made it to my cottage in Laurel Mississippi it was almost 11 pm, we were getting off the main highway and driving onto the main street we both noticed something very strange looking in the night sky, it was a large circular object all lit up with a ton of lights! Oh my goodness I exclaimed! This is the UFO several of the people around town have seen! Marguerite’s violet eyes were as big as saucers, she said wow! I have never seen one of those before! We could not believe our eyes!

We finally pulled into my gravel driveway and went into the cottage. I showed Marguerite around the cottage and where the guest room was so she could put her things down, I told her to make herself at home that my cottage was hers for the next few days. Since we were both very tired after a long and exciting day we had decided it would be a good idea to turn in for the night.

The next morning I made us breakfast with bacon, eggs, toast, fresh fruit and a pot of coffee. Just as we were finishing up and getting started on the dishes we heard a knock at the door. I told her that must be Jerry; I had told Marguerite that Jerry (the man I was dating) worked for the Sheriff’s Office and that he is a Deputy Sheriff. I also mentioned to her that he would be joining us for the day and that he had been assisting me on the serial killer case. Today we would be riding around in his sheriff’s car on official business. I introduce Jerry and Marguerite to one another and we all get into the car. Jerry starts to head over to the Sheriff’s Office and on the way over we tell him about the UFO sighting we had, we were both very excited about it and both of us were talking a mile a minute. We finally got to the Sheriff’s Office and we all go in. Jerry and I take her on the tour of the office and introduce her to everybody. Then we take her to where we store the evidence and we sign for each piece so she can have a look at it and to touch all of the pieces.

To be continued….

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Twenty Seven

Welcome everybody to installment twenty seven of Devil at Dusk!

After speaking with Ilya I was convinced that I had to try to track down Marguerite and to have her use her psychic abilities to help me out with trying to find out who our serial killer was. Since I pretty much did not have anyone else to call on about this matter I decided to just get in the car and drive on down to the bayou and ask around to try to find her.

So the next day I did just that, I got into my car and drove to Larose Louisiana. Larose was a very old and small town. I finally made it there and I stopped off at the first coffee shop I found. I walked in and took a seat at the lunch counter. The waitress came over to me; she wore a starched pink and white uniform with a name tag that said Marge on it. She was chewing on a piece of gum and had a pencil behind her ear. She pulled out her note pad and pencil and took my order. I was only there for a piece of pie, coffee and to get some information. I started to make some small talk with her and I noticed she was quite friendly. I had told her I was passing through on business but I had heard of a young gal by the name of Margarite that was a healer out in these parts. I told the waitress that I had been suffering from some horrible migraines for most of my life (I thought I had better use a pretext here instead of saying I needed a psychic to help me catch a serial killer). Marge says to me…ah yes, you are talking about the white witch’s granddaughter! She lives here in Larose out in the bayou just on the outskirts of town! I said oh I did not realize that was her moniker but I do believe we are referring to the same person. I asked Marge where does she live, how can I find her? I told her I was desperate to find something to help me with these horrible migraines! She said for me to follow this here main road west until I end up in the swap lands. She said that I will find a few shacks out there and a very small general store of sorts, Marge said Marguerite lived in a tiny shack that had been painted pink (her grandmere’s favorite color) many moons ago however now the paint had been pretty washed out looking after all these years. Marguerite and her grandmere’s house was located behind the general store.

I finished eating my pie and drinking my coffee, soon after that I settled my tab and thanked Marge very kindly for all of her help and information. I got back into my car and drove out to Marguerite’s house, sure enough there was the strange looking washed out pink shack. There was a young girl sitting on the front stoop, in a little patch of shade reading a book. She looked to be only just a mere teenager and she was very thin. She was wearing a clean but very thin cotton house dress that looked like it was from the 1930’s and she was barefoot with her feet in the dirt. Her skin was very pale white, her scalp was pink and her hair was also very light. Her hair was down to her waist and she had locks of matted coils of hair all over her head. She looked up at me as I was pulling into her driveway, she had pale violet colored eyes and that was when I realized she was an albino. Now I knew why people said she looked different than most people.

I got out of the car and said hello. I introduced myself and asked the girl if she was Marguerite, she said yes. I explained why I was there, that I was in dire need of her help. I needed her to use her psychic abilities to try to help me catch the serial killer that had been terrorizing the small town of Laurel Mississippi. I asked her if I could come inside to speak to both her and her grandmere. She said yes, I followed her inside the tiny house. Her grandmere was sitting in a rocking chair doing some knitting. Marguerite offered me a nice cool glass of sweet tea, I told her that would be lovely. She came back with three glasses, one for each of us. We sat and talked for hours, I learned that Marguerite was actually 23 years old even though she looked like a school girl. She was very tiny and thin, she got her stature from her grandmere. Her and her grandmere looked just alike, except her grandmere was much older and not an albino.

Marguerite told me she had been home schooled and had been in training to become a healer ever since she was a small child. She realized she had psychic abilities when she was about 14 years old. When I first approached Marguerite and her grandmere they were both very quiet and reserved because I was a stranger from another town. They were not really open to strangers for the most part. However I think they could see the fear and desperation in my eyes and how much I needed to capture the killer before he struck again! The clincher was when I explained how Bet my dearest friend in the whole wide world ended up at the mercy of this cruel savage beast! I felt so much guilt over not being able to protect her or to save her. I also had so much guilt because the serial killer was on the loose still and I had not been able to capture him yet. I did not express a single word of my guilt to Marguerite but she sat down close to me, took my both of my hands into her two tiny hands, then she looked me straight in the eyes and she said to me, you can let go all of your guilt now. She told me to let it wash away and to be healed. She told me to let go of my burdens that I had been carrying on my back all of these months and that it was not my fault, not a single bit of it.

I started to cry because she saw into my heart and knew my feelings. Those were the feelings that I had to hide every day from all other people. I had to hide them because I was supposed to be invincible, I was the investigator and I always had to be strong. However there I was sitting here crumbling in front of this tiny young gal who was so wise beyond her years. Marguerite tells me she will do whatever it takes to help me find the killer, even if that meant that she had to leave the bayou and her grandmere for a few days (she told me she needed to come to Laurel to see the evidence we had collected and to also see the places where the victim’s bodies had been found). Marguerite leaving the bayou for even just a few days was an incredible thing in itself because Marguerite had never left the bayou in her entire life except to go into town a couple times a year. She said she would get hold of her papa to come out and to take care of grandmere for a few days. So off we went to get her papa, he was not too far away.

Her papa followed us in a big old farm truck all the way back to the pink shack. When we came back grandmere Katherine Marie had made a giant pot of Etoufee’ with fresh vegetables, big juicy prawns and flavorful crawdad tails over rice for dinner. We sat down to eat the wonderful feast that Katherine Marie had prepared for us, during dinner I had explained to Marguerite’s papa how I needed Marguerite's help. He and Katherine Marie were both fine with me borrowing Marguerite for a few days because they could see it in my eyes how urgent and important it was. So that night Marguerite packed a small overnight bag and we traveled back to my cottage in Mississippi.

To be continued…..

Monday, October 28, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Twenty Six

Welcome to installment twenty six of Devil at Dusk

I had to do whatever it would take to try to track down our killer! I had to be smarter than he was. I had been hearing rumors around town for a few weeks now that there was a psychic over in Larose Louisiana. I asked around to the towns people here in Laurel what they happened to know about this person. I heard many interesting stories regarding this person…they all said she was a young lady probably in her early 20’s (well at least that was a start, right?). One person told me she was 4 foot 8 inches tall and lived in the smallest house in the world, another person told me she was a witch and to be careful, another person told me she was a white girl from South Africa and her pet monkey rode around on her shoulder and went everywhere with her!

I finally went to the Russian’s the ones we had hired to teach at the horse riding school, because they had cousins that had moved to Louisiana. They had been keeping in touch via phone and letters, while the cousins made their journey through the south and eventually would be heading up to the eastern seaboard as a part of the traveling circus. I knew it was a long shot but I had to find out something about this person to see if it was worth my while to contact her. The Russian’s said their cousins had contacted them just the day before, they had said they were in a small town in Alabama for a few days and the cousins left them a contact number to reach them at in case of emergencies. They gave me the number to reach them directly. I contacted them as soon as possible.

 I spoke to Mr. Ilya Markov and I introduced myself. I asked him if they made it through Larose Louisiana on their journey and surprisingly they had (Larose was not originally on the route but the circus took a detour because one of the performers had gotten very sick). I asked them if they were familiar with a young gal in her 20’s that was a psychic there in that town. He said yes, he had heard that, he had heard that she was in her mid 20’s and was raised by her grandmere and her papa (her mama passed away when she was little). One of Ilya’s circus friends was the performer that had gotten very sick and needed her help. They said she was Cajun traiteure (a healer along with being a psychic), her skills for being a healer had been passed down from her grandmere, to her papa and then down to her. Her papa had gotten remarried a few years ago and had moved however he was still living in Larose. They said her name is Marguerite and her grandmere is Katherine Marie. 

Her grandmere was getting quite old and with her papa gone, Marguerite was taking over on doing most of the healing now but she does get quite a few requests for her psychic abilities. Marguerite was also taking over the role of caretaker now that Katherine Marie was getting on in years. Ilya told me they said she was born and raised on the bayou. She was a little bit of a wild child and a very pale looking girl. He said they had heard that her psychic abilities were spot on though. I asked him if there was anything else that he could tell me, he said she looked different than most people but that was just what he had heard since he had not seen her he did not know about any of that….

To be continued 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Twenty Five

Welcome to installment twenty five of Devil at Dusk.

The next day I went to see Hazel’s aunt and uncle, after sitting down and talking to them for an hour, it was very clear they were not involved in her murder. Of course as always I would go and double check on a few things to confirm all of this. The aunt and uncle were just kind and concerned relatives trying to help their young niece out of a bad situation that she got caught in.

A couple weeks later the Sheriff’s Office gets a call just right after the sun went down. It was a 17 year old girl named Rose; she called and told them a man in a vehicle tried to get her attention and then tried to grab her and pull her into the car. The Sheriff’s Office then called me to come in to interview her after I got off the phone, I called my office gal Charlotte to see I could come by to pick her up and take her to the Sheriff’s Office to do a drawing, she said yes. When we finally arrived Rose was already there. I introduced myself and Charlotte to her. Rose told us her name was Rose Marie O’ Malley.

 I asked Charlotte and Rose to follow me into the little room where the interviews are conducted. I had Charlotte and I sit at one side of the table and Rose sat across from us. I asked Rose to describe the circumstances which led her up to the possible abduction attempt. She said she was on her way home from her friend’s house. She left her friend’s house right when it was just starting to get dark out, she said she knew she was supposed to start making her way home way before dark but they had started a board game, she was winning and she wanted to finish it. So finally they got done with the board game and she told her friend good bye then dashed out the door.

She got about halfway home when a man in a car at a stop sign motions for her to come over to him; she went over to see what he wanted. He had an address written on a piece of paper, he was asked her where Maple Street was, she told him it was several blocks that way and she pointed North. He told her he had been in that direction several times and could not find it. Then he asked her if she could get into the car, sit next to him, while he drove then she could show him where Maple Street was. She said um… I am sorry, I can’t do that. Then he said awe come on all I need is just a moment of your time, I really need to get to Maple Street, and she shook her head no. Then he opened the door and proceeded to try to grab her.
She ran away from him to the first house that she saw. She knocked on the door and an elderly lady answered it, she told her I am in trouble ma’am could I please come in and use your phone?  The lady said why yes dear come on in. The lady said please explain to me what is happening dear?  Rose told her a creepy man in a car tried to grab her and that there had been a serial killer on the loose for a while now and that she was scared. The lady showed her where the phone was as soon as possible. That was when Rose called the Sherriff’s Office.

Next I asked her to give Charlotte and me a detailed description of what the man looked like and to also describe his car. This way Charlotte could do a sketch of the guy and I would take down the details in my notepad. Rose said he had on a dark green fedora with a black grosgrain ribbon. She said his hair was cut very close (almost to the skin) on the sides and he was very clean cut looking. Rose said he looked like he was about 40 years old. She said he was kind of pale and had light blue eyes, round face and a small slightly turned up nose. He had on a white shirt and tie with dark slacks. Charlotte was sketching away and when done she showed the sketch to Rose. Rose said yes, that's him! Then Rose moves on to describing the car she says it was a cream colored car, she thought it was a 1950 or 1951, she did not know the make or model but she said the top was rounded and it had four doors. She did not have a chance to look at the license plate except for just a brief second and all she could tell was that the car had Mississippi license plates.

I asked Rose if she could recall anything else at all about this guy or his car. She said no at the moment she could not, I gave her my card and told her that if she remembered anything at all to please contact me. Sometimes when a person is under an unusual amount of stress and they are in a little bit of a shock state, after a day or two they will recall some more details that they did not remember at the time. When we were finally done I thanked Rose for her time. Charlotte and I walked her to the door. I asked Charlotte to draw up a duplicate sketch of the suspect and she whips out another fast sketch. Then I spoke with Deputy Miller (he was the deputy that was on board that night) I told him that I had a gut feeling that guy was our serial killer. I had Charlotte give one of the sketches to Deputy Miller. Then I mentioned that it was interesting how at first his target group was girls in their 20’s and 30’s, now it seems as though he has switched to teenage girls considering the last victim was 19 and now this girl Rose that was here was 17. He may have switched to the younger ones thinking they were more naive and vulnerable but who really knows why, who really knows the mind of a killer?

To be continued….

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Twenty Four

Brooksie van Pelt 1950's Private Investigator
Photo by Dave Haworth:

Welcome ya’ll to installment twenty four of Devil at Dusk!

One June 1st 1955 we got a call letting us know another body had been found. Another young lady had fallen victim to this cruel insatiable beast that had been lurking around these parts of Laurel Mississippi yet again. The call came in to the Sheriff’s Office a few minutes after 8 a.m. Walt Renfro the owner of the hardware store came in early that day to do paperwork (he does this twice a month and has for years). The hardware store is kitty corner from the diner on Main Street. He said he parked his car in the back of the store and came in through the back door. He went right into his office and he worked on his paperwork for about 45 minutes. About 15 minutes before 8 a.m. he started to get the store ready for the day, he opened up the till and got the cash out. He took a look around at everything and it looked good to go, next he turned on the lights and now that it was finally 8 a.m. he went up to the front to turn on the neon open sign and unlock the door. He looked through the glass door and down at the sidewalk at a large black garbage bag that was split down the center. He stepped outside to have a closer look and he realized that the body of a dead girl was in the bag, right there on the sidewalk on their main street in small town America! He goes back into the store and picks up the phone and calls the Sheriff as soon as possible.

The Sheriff’s Office calls me next, to let me know there was another body to go and take a look at and to try to glean evidence off of. I had just walked in my office right when Charlotte my office girl was answering the phone. She handed the phone over to me and I agreed to meet with Deputy Sheriff Jerry Hill at the crime scene as soon as I could get there. I finally arrived and Jerry was already there. Right away I pull out my camera and note pad, I start to take some notes and take pictures. In the mean time Jerry is chalking around the body in the bag and putting up the yellow caution crime scene tape. While Jerry is working away, I mention that our killer is getting quite ballsy, just tossing the body out on the sidewalk right in front of the store fronts. Jerry agreed with me and the he adds, maybe he is getting tired of keeping up with the killing spree and maybe he wants to get caught. You have to admit that dumping off a body in a big black bag in the middle of town will raise some eyebrows and will cause everybody to be even more on alert from now on.

Jerry and I had to work with both accuracy and speed to try to get the body out of there since having a body hanging out in a bag on your main street in town was not the best for business. In the mean time Walt turned off his neon open sign for the time being and set out to do some cleaning and organizing. As soon as we were done with our work we had to add some post haste to things, so instead of going back to the office to make the call to the coroner to pick up the body we caught Walt’s attention in the hardware store and asked him if he could let us in to use his phone, he said yes. Luckily the coroner got the phone right away and said he would be down in 10 min.

The coroner picked up the body and took it away where he would examine it, make some calls and then proceed to identify it. In the mean time we asked Walt the store owner some questions (just to make sure he was not a suspect). We asked him where he was last night when he got off work at 5 p.m. and this morning prior to when he made the call at 8:00 a.m. He told us he got off work and went straight home, had dinner with his wife Ava. After dinner they read the paper and listened to the radio. Then before bed they went on a night walk and came home and went to bed. Walt said he woke up at 6 a.m. got ready for work, had breakfast with his wife and then left for work at 6:45 a.m. and made it to work right about 7 a.m. After that we thanked him for his time and we went back to our offices. Walt turned his open sign back on and unlocked his doors and was ready for business. Once I got to my office I called Ava Renfro, Walt’s wife and asked her a few questions, everything checked out and Walt was definitely not a suspect.

Later on that day I got a call from the coroner and he said he had an identity for our victim; Hazel Anne Montgomery, 19 year old female, unemployed, single and 3 months pregnant. She had been living with her aunt and uncle here in Laurel for the past two weeks. Her aunt and uncle described her as being shy, young and naive. She left her small town in Alabama where she lived with her ultra religious parents, they pretty much shunned her and did not want anything to do with her now that she was pregnant. The coroner said her body was found in the exact same condition as all of the rest of the bodies, large gaping knife wound in the back, black plastic garbage bag, stockings missing. I made a file folder for Hazel Anne Montgomery and put all of my notes in it. Then I picked up the phone to set up a time to talk to Hazel’s aunt and uncle.

To be continued….

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Twenty Three

Welcome to installment twenty three of Devil at Dusk:

On Friday my parents picked up Will and drove him back to Laurel for the weekend so he could spend some time with the Russians to help them out with the horse riding school. We all made sure to watch him like a hawk while he was here, we had to keep him as safe as possible. The Russians were good people and we were very lucky to find such a competent duo to take over the school. When the weekend finally ended my parents and Will went back to Chicago. I sure did miss having little Will around; he always had a smile on his face and a friendly hello for me every time he saw me.

The day after the family left there had been more reports and calls in of another UFO sighting. Three different people who lived in town said they had seen a large round object with many lights hovering over town for several minutes, and then the thing just zoomed off. They all said they had been up pretty late the night before and they all had seen it either just before or just after midnight. I went out and spoke to all of them and took down their statements. I wonder how many others had seen it but just did not call.

Time was really flying along here since I first got to Laurel; the month of May was soon drawing to a close. On May 30th it was Memorial Day and I know it was a day to pay respects and to remember our loved ones we lost who had served our country but yet I still felt compelled to bring flowers to both the graves of JT and Bet. I took the day off and spent about an hour in the cemetery just appreciating the peace and quiet. I made sure that the graves of JT and Bet were tidy and well decorated. When I was done I met up with Jerry because he was off for the day and we had a picnic, we drove a few towns over where there was a big beautiful park with a river flowing through it. It ended up being a very lovely day. The next day was May 31st and I was back to work.

On June 1st another body was found!

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Number Twenty Two

Welcome everybody to installment number twenty two of Devil at Dusk.

1950's Detective Film Noir Story
"Mugs" has been caught!
"Mugs" model: Corey Beffert
Photo by Dave Haworth:
1950's Film Noir Story
"Mugs" breaking and entering into the residence of Miss Violet
Photo by Dave Haworth:

After speaking with Miss Violet, I got into my car and went back to the Sheriff’s Office. I spoke with Sheriff Holifield and told him that we should bring in Marlin Malone aka Mugs for questioning. The Sheriff and I got into the Sheriff’s vehicle and we went to where Mugs lives, he was not there. Next we went to his dad’s place and talked to his dad. His dad said he had not seen him for a couple of days. We went back to the office because things seem to be at a standstill at least until Mugs surfaced.  

The next day while I was out and about, my office gal, Charlotte had gotten a very unusual phone call over at the investigation firm. She took down the message and gave it to me when I walked in the door. It was Mr. Calvin Johnson (everybody calls him old man Johnson) and he had a farm a few miles just out of town (on the southern end of town) he said the night before he saw a UFO. He said he was not going to call however he just got done talking to his neighbor (his neighbor and his whole entire family saw it too). He told his neighbor he would call the authorities (because he had them as other witnesses now) however before that he was not going to call for fear that we would all think that he was crazy and lock him up in the nut house. I got back into my car and drove over to old man Johnson’s farm; he was out in his garage doing some cleaning. I walked up and poked my head in and said hello to Mr. Johnson, then introduced myself.

I asked him to tell me exactly what he saw, he stepped out of the garage and he started walking to the middle of his field so I followed him. He told me right there just above us is where he saw a moderately large round object (the object was more than a few feet and less than a several feet in circumference around) and it was all lit up like a Christmas tree he tells me. I asked him if he could draw a picture of it and he told me to follow him back to the garage where he had a note book and a pencil. He drew a picture of it, he gave it to me and I put it in my pocket. I told him I was going over to his neighbor’s next to hear what they had to say.

I went over to the neighbor’s house and Mrs. Walker came to the door with a baby on her hip. I introduced myself, and then she calls for her husband and all the kids. Mr. Walker comes downstairs with 5 kids (boys and girls) ranging from age two to eleven (two of them were twins). I asked them to describe the events that had happened the previous night. We all went outside and they described the same thing as Mr. Johnson. I pulled his drawing out of my pocket and they all said yes, yes, that’s it! They all seemed to be pretty excited that they had all witnessed a real live UFO and that they had an investigator out there to talk to them. They asked me what I knew about it and I told them this was the first that I heard of any UFO’s out in these parts but I was going to be keeping my eyes and ears open from now on. I asked them for any other info regarding this incident and they told me that was all they had but they would call if they had anymore sightings or info to give. I thanked them kindly and told them I had to be on my way.

That night Jerry and I went out to dinner, we went to the diner for meatloaf with all the fixings and peach pie and coffee. I told him that it had been a very strange day to say the least. He laughs and says yep that’s what he had heard!  He drove me home and gave me a goodnight kiss on the porch; he was not able to stay on any later because he had to be up very early for work the next morning, it was his early shift the next day.

A few days later Jerry was out and about with one of the Sheriff’s office cars when he spotted Mug’s driving a car filled to the brim with stuff and he was heading out of town. He pulls Mug’s over and brings him into the Sheriff’s office for interrogation. They held him in a cell until I got there, then they let him out and put him in the office they use for questioning/interrogation. Then I stepped in and closed the door behind me. I introduced myself to him. I questioned him about why he broke into Miss Violet’s and what he was doing over at her house the other day. He finally admitted that yes he had broken in and that he had been watching her in the key hole of her bedroom door. Then I started to ask him about the murders that had taken place around town (because now at this point he was our prime suspect in the serial killer case). I started off by asking him where he was on February 15th 1955 at 3:00 pm (this was the day that JT had fallen ill), Mugs tells me that he was at his dads house. Then I proceeded to go down the line asking him where he was in conjunction with each murder. Most of the time he was actually at his dad’s house (he spends most of his time there it seems) the rest of the time was at the diner, his friend Tommy’s apartment and one time at his aunt and uncles house.

In the mean time while I was checking on his list of alibi’s he had to sit in a jail cell, we kept him over for a total of three nights (two for breaking and entering Miss Violet's home) and unfortunately for him his aunt and uncle were out of town for a few nights so he had to spend an extra night in jail. We were finally able to get a hold of the aunt and uncle. Mug’s alibi’s all panned out and we had to let him go because he was no longer a suspect in the murder investigations. While I was letting him go, I told him if we ever caught him over on Miss Violet’s property again that he would be spending more than just a few nights in jail.Then one of the deputies finished processing him, had him sign some paperwork and they returned his belongings to him, Mug’s was a free man again.

To be continued….

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Twenty One

Welcome all to Devil at Dusk Installment Twenty One!

A few weeks later my new hire Charlotte was pretty much fully trained and she was doing an excellent job. The phone rang and Charlotte answered, it was the Sheriff’s Office, they told her that a gal by the name of Miss Violet called them to report a peeping tom. Charlotte handed the phone over to me and I spoke to Sheriff Holifield, he told me Miss Violet had contacted them to report a peeping tom. He took down her information and he told her that I would get back to her as soon as possible. Sheriff Holifield thought there may be a possibility that this incident was linked to the serial killer. I told the Sheriff that I was on it! I called up Miss Violet on the phone and I asked her if I could come over to her house right away. 15 minutes later I was pulling up in Miss Violet’s driveway. I went up to her front door and noticed the screen had been taken off of one of her front windows and the window had been left opened. I knocked on her front door, as soon as I saw her I recognized her right away, from Ling’s Garden (the lounge side), she was one of the cocktail waitresses. I introduced myself to her and she asked me to come in and she offered me something to drink, I said yes a glass of water would be great. She said this whole peeping tom incident had her pretty shaken up. I consoled her and told her I was sorry. I asked her to tell me what happened today with this peeping tom incident. She said she had slept in like she does every morning because she worked late the night before. She said got up around noon like she usually always does. She did some chores around the house and read her beauty magazine. Then she started getting ready for work around 1:30 in the afternoon. She had stepped out of the shower and was getting dressed; she was just zipping up her skirt when she heard a crashing noise outside her bedroom door! She opened the door and her neighbor who lived two doors down from her was just outside her bedroom door. As soon as Violet opened the door she saw him and she screamed. He took off running down the hall and out the front door.  

1950's Detective Story
Mug's peeping in the key hole
Mugs: Model Corey Beffert
Photo by Dave Haworth:

1950's Detective Story
Miss Violet Getting Ready For Work
Miss Violet: Model Brooksie van Pelt
Photo by Dave Haworth:

She said right after that she called the Sheriff. First I asked her if I could take a picture of the window and the screen, after that I was going to ask her some questions. She said sure that would be fine. I went out and snapped a couple of pictures. I came back in and asked her to tell me her neighbor’s name. She said his name is Marlin “Mugs” Malone (his name is Marlin but everybody calls him Mugs). He came here with his family when he was about nine years old; they were from New York City. They wanted to get Mugs out of the city because it was starting to have a negative effect on him; he was always a rebel and kept to himself a lot. Violet said she was born and raised here in Laurel. She said her and Mugs went to school together however she was a few years older than him. She said in high school she always felt like he had a crush on her even though he used to pick on her. I asked her what kinds of things he did to pick on her. She said he would call her names like smelly violet is just a stinky little flower. Then he would demand that she give him her telephone number and if she did not he said he would just come over to her house for a little visit anyways. She told him he had better not even think about coming over to her house, that there would be hell to pay with her dad if he did. Then he would always make faces at her when she would say that and he would imitate her saying: there would be hell to pay with her dad in a high squeaky voice. Back in those days they lived several blocks away from one another.

Miss Violet said a few years after high school Mug’s went back up to New York to stay with his family there. Then he ended up coming back to Laurel about a year ago to take care of his dad, his mom died several years ago and now his dad’s health was not good. She said when he came back from New York he looked like a greaser and like he belonged in a gang. He looked like the guys she would sometimes see in the movies and he stood out around here because nobody had that look here. I felt like telling her most of the US does not look like Laurel because Laurel is stuck in a time warp. Most people here still have the same hairstyles and clothes that they wore during the war or just after it but I kept my mouth shut.

I asked Violet what she knew about the serial killer and she said she knew that the serial killer was targeting women in their 20’s and 30’s other than that she did not know too much else. I asked her if she thought that Mugs was possibly the serial killer and she said no she did not think that he would hurt or kill anybody, she just thought he was a little odd is all. I asked her if he had done anything else strange since they had been neighbors. She said not really but she felt like he was always watching her (which was a little unsettling). I asked her to show me which house he lived in and we stepped outside and she did, then I asked her where Mug’s dad lived. She said he still in the same old house that they had when they first moved here when Mug’s was nine, then she gave me the address. After that I thanked her so much for her time and that I had to be on my way.

To be continued….

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment Number Twenty

In case you are new to my ongoing Devil at Dusk story here is a link to Installment number one:

Hello everybody it is time for this weeks installment of Devil at Dusk:

Monday had finally arrived, the day for me to pick out the new office gal. I decided to go with Miss Charlotte Lakeside. Charlotte was born and raised in Laurel, she is 22 years old and single. Her parents sent her to business school in Chicago (she too has relatives there). She is very bright and passed all of her courses with A's. Of course I had to pick the gal who went to school in Chicago! At this business school in Chicago they taught the students everything there is to know about working, running and managing an office also how to start a business. Plus clerical skills, typing, shorthand and accounting. Charlotte had just completed school and just got back to Laurel, she was now ready to go to work.

During the interview process I asked each person I interviewed what they like to do for hobbies in their spare time. One of the things Charlotte had mentioned was that she likes to draw portraits of people. The day I interviewed her I asked her if there was anyway she could come back into my office later that day or in the next day or two to show me some examples of her work. She said yes and came back that very same day with some photographs and some drawings. I was quite impressed, her work was very good. I knew that her drawing skills would come in handy in my office, so this was also one of the deciding factors. In an interview I always ask the people I interview what do they do in their spare time because you never know when someones hobbies may be beneficial for your business until you ask. The other thing is sometimes you can weed out some of the bad candidates if they have hobbies that are really not too conducive to your business.

I had Charlotte come in for her first day on Tuesday. I was going to train Charlotte to do a little more than what I had Bet do, with Bet this was just a side thing. With Charlotte this was a full time and could possibly work into a career for her. My plan was to train her to run the office and to be my assistant. She would help me out with the clerical side of the investigations. One of the things I would train her on is the chain of evidence, so in the future she would be the one in charge of taking care of and checking in or out all of the evidence. Charlotte told me she was pretty excited to work for an investigation firm and to be my assistant. She was very eager to learn and willing to be trained on what ever I brought her way. She told me she never even dreamed or even considered working in the line of investigations but since she was naturally inquisitive she thought this would be right up her alley.

I showed Charlotte the filing cabinet, how to put the files together and in what order. I also showed her what I would like her to do in her spare time; to look over all the files regarding the murder investigation, for her to get familiar with all of the victims, their co-workers and their families. Then I told her to make a list starting off with the oldest first to the newest of all the names of the family members, friends and co-workers that were listed in the files along with any addresses if no address then for her to try to locate an address. When she had the list completed I would then take it and in my spare time I would proceed to talk to all of the people on the list (I knew it was a long shot) to see if they may have any information relevant at all to the case. So far I had talked to all of the people who found the victims bodies, interviewed them in full detail and also some of the parents. Now it was time to talk to the rest of the people. I pretty much assumed that if any of these people had something extremely relevant that they would have already come forward but sometimes just talking to a person about a particular event can lead them to recall even small things that they may not even deem important but could possibly be something very helpful.

Then I showed Charlotte the files of the most recent investigations that I had been working on. When the phone rang I showed her how it was to be answered and told her not to let it go beyond three rings. After that we took a walk over to the sheriff's office and I introduced her to all of the staff. I took her in to Jerry's office and introduced her to the newest member of the sheriff's team, Sugar the bloodhound puppy. Since Sugar was officially a part of the team she got to come to work every day with Jerry. She was however just in training right now because she was still just a puppy. Charlotte bent down to pick up sugar, she thought she was so cute and thought that was the greatest thing that Sugar was able to come to work with Jerry. Jerry told me he had made some decisions regarding new hires for the horse riding school and would get together with me tonight regarding this. I told him thank you and told him I would see him later.

It was lunch time after that, I told Charlotte she had a half hour for lunch and that she could go out to eat or bring a lunch and eat at her desk or walk to the park. She had a sandwich and an apple, she said she would go down to the park. I told her I would be back in a half hour and I walked back home and ate. When I was done I came back to the office and Charlotte was already back. I told her I had some work out in the field to do and in the mean time I had her work on filing and answering the phone. I told her I would be back at 4:00 pm and that she could go home and I would lock up for the night. I went about my business and at 4:00 pm I came back, I told Charlotte that she did great and I would see her at 8:00 in the morning.

I went home and a couple hours later Jerry came by and we had some sweet tea and cakes. He told me he hired a very competent married couple for the horse riding school today. He had interviewed many people but decided to go with these two because Bet and Will always worked together as a team, even though Will was just a kid he was always a huge help to his mom. He is also a very competent horse rider and she was training him to be her partner in the business and to eventually take over the business. He figured since the school had a team before that they could use a team again. He told me the couple was born and raised in Russia, over in Russia they were from a long line of family members who were born and raised in the Russian Circus. This was a husband and wife team that had been entertainers for the circus and did trick riding on horses. He said the couple could not handle the oppression in Russia any longer so they left and came to the states with a few other family members. All of the family members that came ended up down here in different parts of the south but not to far from one another. They all tried to get into jobs that involved horses, this particular couple originally landed in Florida and they tried to open a school but it did not take off and they were back at square one not knowing what they would do. They had some of their Russian cousins living here in Laurel that came across our ad and told this couple he hired, about the position that was open. The cousins would have taken the position but they had just been offered a job to work for the traveling circus out of New Orleans.

He told me he would introduce them to me tomorrow, if lunch time would work he would bring them by the investigation office. I told him yes tomorrow would work great, this way they could start on Thursday. Jerry said he would contact them and confirm them for tomorrow. Jerry had the day off on Thursday this week and he said he would show them around the stables, the school and introduce them to the stable hands. Not this weekend but the following weekend someone would get Will and bring him home so he could be introduced to the new couple that was going to be teaching at the school and he could work with them to show them how the school was run. The first few days they would be working here would mostly be about them getting familiar with everything.

To be continued....

Monday, September 9, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Installment number nineteen.

1950's Film Noir Story
Cute little bloodhound puppies and mama dog.
In case you are new to my ongoing Devil at Dusk story here is a link to Installment number one:

Welcome everybody to Devil at Dusk installment number nineteen.

Will’s grandparents drove him up to Chicago and left him with my parents. We hated taking him out of his school in Laurel with only three months of the school year left but we really did not see any other option. However I do think he will do really well in Chicago. The school is a little more progressive and I think that Will likes my parents a lot, possibly even more than his own grandparents (I hate to say that). My parents have been and will be so much more interactive with him than his own grandparents. They will take him places and do things with him plus he will grow up with culture from the city like I did. He will have opportunities to go see museums, plays, movies, operas, ballet and live music. Also to see and play sports. He is such a great kid, I was telling him about all of the opportunities and he was excited about all of them.  At first he was not too sure of the opera or ballet but he said he would give it a try at least once.

After Bet’s body had been found, Jerry spent a lot more time with me. It was good for me because I had such an empty hole in my life now with both Bet and Will gone. My heart just hurt, I could not stand it but every day the pain got a little better. Jerry was great to hang around with at this point you could say we were officially dating. Jerry is a very handsome man, tall, athletic build; clean cut with dark wavy hair and brown eyes (his eyes always have a twinkle of mischief in them). Plus we had so much in common with him working for the Sheriff’s Office and me being a private investigator that grew up with a dad who was Police Chief of the Chicago Police Department.

A few days after Bet was found, Jerry shows up at my house to introduce me to his new little friend. He got a little blood hound puppy that he was going to train to locate missing people and to help with other investigations. The little puppy was so cute, all tiny and warm! Because she was so sweet he named her sugar. Sugar went everywhere with him, even to work plus Sugar and I became fast friends.

After the funeral for Bet the attorney for the estate contacted me and let me know that there were some important matters to discuss with me regarding the will. I went to Attorney Wendell Townsend’s office later that day. He had said that JT put a clause in his will that stated Bet would get all of the cars/trucks (JT had owned 3 cars and two trucks) unless something happened to Bet, in that case the cars would be passed onto the investigation firm. Wow, that would prove to be very helpful when it came to doing surveillance. The other important matter was that I would oversee the horse riding school that Bet ran. I will be the supervisor and watch over things until Will turned 21 and then at that time he would be the supervisor and caretaker (he will be brilliant for this because he was always his mom’s assistant and knew so much about the horses). It was written so I would make the profit and be able to keep it since I was the supervisor and caretaker of the school until Will was of age to do so. In the meantime I had to put an ad in the paper as soon as possible looking for a new teacher for the horse riding school. Again Jerry stepped up to the plate here since his aunt had a horse riding school and he spent his whole life around horses he was in charge of doing the interviews for this position.

The next thing to fall into place was the investigation firm. All of a sudden it got busy; I had investigations coming out my ears! I ended up working about 6 ½ days a week. I would go into work at the office and work every day for a few hours that way I would be available to take calls in the morning, and then in the evening do the investigations. Soon I was starting to burn out fast and had to rethink things, especially since I did not have Bet as my office gal any longer (bless her heart). So I ended up putting an ad in the paper, looking for a full time office helper. I started the ad on a Monday and ran it through Friday. I had at least one to three gals come in every day for interviews. I finally had it narrowed down to my three favorites. I would make my decision the following Monday and notify the person I picked via phone.

To be continued….

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Devil at Dusk - Link to Installment one/part one

I have noticed I have quite a few views on my previous installment of Devil at Dusk number 18 which is way more then any of the other installments has had so far, this has prompted me to put up a link here to the beginning of the story part one/installment one for those of you who are interested in reading the story from the beginning here is the link:

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Part 3 of a little trip down to California!

This is the final blog post for this trip I promise!

We finally made it through the Avenue of the Giants and we were back on HWY 101 again. We drove along for a while and we started getting kind of close to the coast but not to where we could see it but we could feel that it was dramatically cooler. We saw a sign for the turn off for Historic Ferndale California. The last time I had been to Ferndale was many years ago, I was passing through and stopped for dinner. The town looked a little different but had only grown just a small amount. I really want to come back through here and stay over night sometime because it is so cute plus they have some nice vintage and antique stores. We drove by a business that actually had live mannequins in the window! They looked so cool, they appeared to be wearing vintage inspired clothing, I wanted so bad to stop but we could not, we had to forge ahead!

Anyway I do have to warn y'all, the pics were taken by me, the worlds worst photographer! I hope they are not too horrible, they are a little cattywompus is all. Tim was driving and we had the top down and I was at the helm of the camera. So enjoy!

Victorian Inn  Historic Ferndale.

A little white steeple church in Historic Ferndale.

Very cool old cemetery.

Classic car that we had followed in to Historic Ferndale.

The ornate building next to the big yellow post office are restrooms, I thought they were cute and took their pic.

A beautiful ginger bread house bed and breakfast.

Well this is where the blog post about my trip ends. Soon after Ferndale we cut over to HWY 199 which goes inland and was hot and dry again, then over to I-5. We made it to Eugene to have a late dinner with Tim's mom. After that we finally made it home just before midnight ( we dropped off the Nash car and got the big car) and had to get out to the campsite in the Tillamook forest, where we dropped off Tim's kids and their friends earlier in the week. Three 17 year old's and a 20 year old. We got to the campsite at 1:00 am and boy we were very tired! The next day we drove into Tillamook on the northern Oregon Coast to do some shopping and ended up at my mom's (15 miles south of Tillamook in Beaver Oregon) house to see her and my brother's for just a brief visit.

Funny how on Thursday we flew in to San Francisco then by the time Sunday rolled around we ended up on the Oregon Coast in Beaver Oregon in a very round about way!

Also our little car made it the whole way from San  Rafael up to our house just outside Portland Oregon (hundreds of miles all in one trip) and it ran like a charm! I do have to say it is a good little car. Along the way we made heads turn, had lots of people smile and wave at us. People taking pics of the car and sometimes of us and the car. Every time we went to a rest stop or gas station we would get the young people asking us what kind of car it is and the old timers saying to us, oh yes, how they remembered the Nash Metropolitan from way back when. It was quite the little trip, yes indeed!

Until next time!


Part 2 of a little trip down to California!

Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Avenue of the Giants Sign. Avenue of the Giants is a historic scenic road that parallels HWY 101 for over 30 miles.

The Chimney Tree is a tree that had caught on fire years ago and was completely burned out on the inside. It has a red door you can walk through and you can actually walk in it. The outside of the tree is still living!

This is the inside of the Chimney Tree, there is a hole up above that as you can see has daylight pouring through it. For some reason it kind of freaked me out to go in here, it maybe because I am a touch claustrophobic.

We drove down the road a ways on the Avenue of the Giants and we got out to take a picture of me standing in this big huge tree! 
A picture of my little car in the big redwoods!

It was Saturday morning, we got up bright and early to get on the road because we had over 500 miles of driving ahead of us and had to get home. We still decided to stay in the redwoods though and I found a brochure for the Avenue of the Giants in the hotel. This is a road that parallels highway 101, is more scenic and has points of interest along the way.

I am actually going to have a part three the last part is also mostly pics and is the last leg of our journey! 

A little trip down to California to get my new classic car!

This week I am taking a brief intermission from Devil at Dusk for a two part blog post (2 in one night) about my trip down to California to buy and bring home my new cute little classic car! Another installment of Devil at Dusk will be posted next week.

Nash Metropolitan 1961 Convertible
Here I am in San Rafael California with my new 1961 Metropolitan Nash Convertible.
A few months ago I got the idea that I wanted to get a car, my own car. Last time I owned a car was in 2008 and I lived in the city where everything was close and handy. Now that I am living in a small town 24 miles west of Portland (where there is only one bus or rely on Tim to drive me everywhere) it just made sense to get a car, one just for me. As most of you know I am a vintage clothing lover, it is my passion and classic cars are also a passion, almost an obsession even, which is pretty much at the same level as vintage clothes. I knew after seeing American Graffiti for the first time when I was a wee child that I wanted to own a classic car.

But which car, there were so many to choose from? I happened to encounter my first Nash Metropolitan over a year ago and fell in love with it right away. It was so small and so cute! When it came down to choosing a classic car what I really wanted was a small classic car, a compact classic even. After some further research I found out that the Nash Metropolitan was the first American compact car. They were produced from 1959 to 1961. When I first started seriously looking for the Metropolitan I found one for sale not to far from Portland at a car show/cruise in I went to. It was yellow and white with a hard top. I tried calling the owner a few times, left messages but he never called back. So I went looking online on craigslist and found a few in the area for sale, they were all hard top. Then Tim had mentioned to me about how this car would not have AC in it and that I may want to look in to convertibles instead. So I switched gears and started looking for a convertible. The convertibles I had realized are a little more rare so I had to expand my search to all over the US.

The closest one I found was the one above and it was in San Rafael California. So Tim contacted the owner and then we hopped on a plane just this past Thursday and flew into San Francisco and arrived little bit after 10:00 am. Then we took a shuttle to San Rafael however somewhere along the way there was some miscommunication (Tim dealt with the owner, I let him take over in that department). We ended up with the wrong address and a phone number that was not getting through to the owner. We ended up walking for miles and miles, taking buses, cabs and more walking. By the time the day ended we had done many hours of walking. Don't even ask what the mix up ended being, it will take way to long to go into it! We were almost going to give up and take a plane back home because we were basically floating around with no place to go in a strange city (our plan was to get the car Thursday morning and start driving home after that). We had decided to not give up and to stay the night in San Rafael. We had planned to be in Historic Jacksonville Oregon before nightfall on Thursday night which was about a little over 400 miles away but I had to call at the last minute to cancel our reservation. I told them it was an emergency that we were literally stuck in San Rafael California with no car. We were very fortunate they did not charge us for the room because it was an emergency.

That night we ended up checking into a room at a motel in San Rafael where we had a chance to sit a moment and not be running around in panic mode. Then we were finally able to figure out how to contact the owner and where he lived etc... like I said long story. The car had been stored at a friend of the owners house and we were able to arrange to see the car that night. We took a cab over there and checked out the car, unfortunately it was after the banks had closed so we had to come back the next day to buy it. However we got to see it and at the last moment the owner of the car pulls up in his Maserati (he had been at Burning Man for the past few days) to answer our questions. The interior had been fully restored and a new engine had been put in it. The exterior paint was in really pretty good condition too, there are several minor repairs that need to be done but other than that she was good to go. The owner ended up knocking off $1,000.00 off of the price of the car for all of the inconvenience!

The next morning which was Friday we came back and bought the car. Then we had to go to the mall to get a bunch of things before we took off on our road trip and also to eat. We ended up getting a very late start. We took the top down on the car and we were getting ready to head over to I-5. We were on a connecting highway and the traffic was starting to back up and was at a complete standstill! We were sitting there frying in almost 100 degree weather. I had mentioned to Tim we may want to take the next exit and head west toward highway 101 and drive through the redwoods and eventually the coast (where it would be much cooler) we knew it would add on many extra miles and hours even but it would be more fun so we did it.

One thing Tim had mentioned was that he wanted to go through a drive through tree once we got to the redwoods. We found one of the drive through trees and drove our car through it.

Redwoods Drive Through Tree
No trip to the redwoods would be complete unless you drive your classic car through a redwood tree! 
Soon it started getting dark and we had to get serious about getting some food and a place to stay for the night. We found the food, we ate at a place called the Peg House which basically was a window where you place your order and you sit at a picnic table outside and there was an awesome band playing blues that night. Next we had to find a place to stay which was no easy feat with it being Labor Day weekend and all. We finally ended up in a little town called Benbow and we stayed at the Historic Benbow Hotel, it was 10 pm when we finally checked in, we got the second to the last room left. This place was absolutely amazing so of course I had to add some pics!

Historic Benbow Hotel
Our room for the night in the Historic Benbow Hotel.

Antique desk in our room.
Our room had a balcony and this is the view from it.

We were so tired, we passed out as soon as our heads hit the pillows. The next morning Tim woke up and took some more pics of the place while I was getting ready.

At the Benbow Hotel we parked next to a 1935 Plymouth, the owners had sign in the window explaining it's history, the car had even been used as a prop in a movie at one time (I forgot the movie), the owners bought it in the 80's. 

Historic Benbow Hotel.

The beautiful veranda.

Staircase, look at all the beautiful dark wood.

Living room and fireplace.

Lush green grass and stone bridge.

This concludes part one of the California trip!