Monday, November 17, 2008

Drug Murder

Drug Murder

“Jeez! I almost had another heart attack. My bloody doctor tells me to take up beachcombing to recover from my heart attack, and now, this!” Stan told the police after his ghastly find.

Stan had been beachcombing every morning at five before the crowds came to the beach. A year ago, Stan had suffered a massive heart attack which had almost killed him. Now he had a stent in his heart and according to his doctor, his heart was good as gold.

But his wife of thirty years, Betty, threatened to leave him if he didn’t stop his work as a corporate lawyer.

“I don’t want to be a young widow,” Betty argued.

Charles and Karen, his ungrateful kids agreed with Betty. “Dad, we have invested in your new career.”

His two rascals bought him a metal detector so he could get rich beachcombing for gold watches and lost wallets. Charles couldn’t wait for his old man to retire so he could take over the law firm.

That morning, it was still wet and blustery after a night of thunder and lightning and a torrential rain storm. Stan donned his parka, kissed the sleeping Betty.

“I am off, honey!”

Betty stirred. “Don’t go this morning, it’s too wet.”

“I will be alright, I have told you before that the best time for beachcombing is after a bad storm.”

Stan had caught the beachcombing bug. Rain or shine he was down at the beach. It was more for the exercise than for the findings. This morning, he was itching to go.

“Finders keepers” was the motto of the beachcombers. They were all retired men who enjoyed the thrill of finding something though most of the time. There was hardly any treasure. They were a group of gentlemen scavengers who enjoyed their camaraderie and cups of piping hot tea from their thermos flasks.

“Oh my God! It looks like a mini Tsunami had struck the beach,” Stan muttered to himself as he looked round at the flotsam, plastic rubbish, sea weeds and timber strewed about everywhere.

Stan zipped up his parka and started his metal detector. After two hours of fruitless effort, he was about to call it a day when his metal detector beeped. He looked closer at the pile of flotsam.

“What the heck!” Stan flung his metal detector to have a better look. It was gross. He shouted to his friends to call the police.

While one man called the police, the others came round to see what Stan had found. They saw a man who had washed up on the beach, half covered by the flotsam. He was lying on his stomach and he was fully clothed. Stan thought to himself, what kind of man would kill himself?

When the police arrived, Stan and his friends hung around out of curiosity.

“I am Police Constable Owen, I am in charge of this case. Who found him?”

“I am Stan, I found him on the beach. He must have killed himself by jumping into the sea.”

“We don’t think it is a suicide. The poor chap had injuries to the back of his head, and they looked like they were inflicted by some blunt instrument like an engineer’s hammer,” The police rolled the dead man over onto his back.

“Jesus! Jesus! I know this man. He is Morgan, Rich Morgan. He likes to be called Morgan,” Stan offered.

“Are you sure?” PC Owen asked.

“Yes, he is my client. I handled all his real estate transactions.”

“This is handy to know.”

“I am in semi-retirement, don’t tell my wife though. I can get you the addresses of his properties if that is any help,” Stan proposed and anxious to help.

Stan took PC Owen to his office building in the city. Stan and PC Owen went to his old office to get the addresses of Morgan’s three up market properties.

“Hi Stan, I didn’t expect you today, are you in serious trouble with the law?” Maureen, his old secretary, teased.

“Is Charles in his office?” asked Stan.

“Of course not! It’s not even eight yet,” answered Maureen.

“Will you get his key and open his door?” Stan requested politely.

Maureen was as old as the law firm that his father founded. Everyone joked that Maureen was part of the office furniture. Stan inherited Maureen from his father as his secretary, and she was worth every cent of it. She was single and was willing to put in extra hours whenever she was required.

“Surely you know that I can’t do this, you may be his father, but Charles is the boss now. What’s the hurry?”

“I can’t tell you at this stage. Will you ring Charles for me then?”

Maureen dialled Charles’s telephone number and both Stan and PC Owen spoke to him.

“Maureen, I told you that there wouldn’t be any problem with Charles.”

After they got the addresses, Stan offered to accompany PC Owen to Morgan’s properties. They were at three different up market areas of the city. They were the locations where the rich and famous lived. The three properties were fenced in by a brick wall seven feet tall. The gates were locked and the houses were guarded by Armorguard Security Company. Nobody answered the intercom at the gate. They went to the judge to get a search warrant

“It is like Fort Knox,” Stan joked.

“This is no laughing matter, there must be something behind these walls,” PC Owen suspected.

The security guards and locksmith arrived, and they got inside the wall and the house. The first thing that Stan noticed was the “greenness” of the house.

“Someone must love pot plants very much,” Stan observed.

“You are right about pot, all of these are marijuana plants. Morgan had been planting marijuana hydroponically.”

They went around the house. All the rooms were planted with marijuana in this high tech manner. Every nook and corner, including the double garage, was full of the plants at various stages of growth.

It was the same at the other two properties that Stan took the police to. At one of the properties, a neighbor noticed an older man, presumably Morgan, and a young man in a late model Mercedes coming in and out. They kept to themselves and never said 'hi' in or waved.

“They were always aloof, and we thought they were a homosexual couple who wanted their privacy,” remembered the neighbour.

“It’s all drug money, Morgan must have offended some big wits and drug lords. I always wondered where he got his money to buy these expensive properties,” Stan concluded.

The police found a brand new engineer’s hammer in the bathroom of the first property they went to. Despite the murderer’s attempt to clean up the bloodied mess, there were blood stains which the police picked up with their Polilight machine. The murderer had been careless and left the sales docket of the Bunnings Hardware Store that sold him the hammer. With the help of the neighbor and the hardware store clerk, the police drew an identikit picture of young man.

The police broadcasted the identikit picture over national television and newspapers. An anonymous tip off led the police to track him down hiding in a small town in the South Island. Both the neighbor and the sales clerk positively identified the young man in Morgan’s car and who bought the hammer. His name was Chris.

Chris confessed that he was working for Morgan. He claimed that Morgan was a faggot and was trying to rape him. Chris, in his own defence, he grabbed the hammer and hit Morgan on the head. The police found his story incredible that they had been together for three years, and it was only recently that Morgan started to rape Chris.

Upon further interrogation, Chris changed his story. There was no threat of rape. Chris was unhappy that he was doing all the donkey work while Morgan was a terrible and harsh boss. Morgan was getting all the money and paying Chris peanuts. He had planned to kill Morgan and keep the money for himself. He hit Morgan many times viciously with the hammer from behind when Morgan was urinating. Morgan didn’t have a chance, he didn’t even know what had struck him. After killing him, Chris bundled him in the Mercedes and drove to the beach and dumped him in the sea.

The police charged Chris with murder. Stan and his friends continue to beachcomb. Stan often reminisces and chuckles about his “find” which took him out of his monotonous life. His friends tease him that he could have a new career with C.S.I.

Betty wasn’t amused, “if Maureen tells me you set one step in the office, you are not coming home.”

Charles joked, “Dad, you are fired!”

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