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: davesphotoexploration.wordpress.com

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

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….

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