Excerpt from: Let's Play Autopsy
The next two weeks Sarah put all her energy in preparing for a trial. She couldn’t figure out why the defense attorney hadn’t gotten his client to agree to a plea bargain. This was a cut and dried case and the defendant, an absolutely adorable twenty year old named Sammy Jackson, had been caught on the premises by an off duty policeman. The adorable, but terribly stupid young man had attempted to rob a gas station using the old finger in the pocket trick. They had him on attempted robbery, but without a weapon he was sure to get off with only a few years in jail. For some reason, Jackson’s attorney thought he could get the kid off and had talked him into refusing a plea.
Sarah smiled. I’d let him go if I was on the jury, she thought. He’s a heart breaker, for sure. If Jackson’s lawyer gets a majority female jury, all the kid has to do is smile and they’ll probably find him not guilty. She decided to run it by her boss and see if they could make a better offer. The DA didn’t like to lose and there was a good possibility that Jackson would walk on this one.
Her intercom buzzing made her jump. She laughed as she pushed the button and asked Amy what she needed.
“What are you laughing at?” Amy asked her.
“You have a phone call on line six. A Mr. Brad Weiss. Do you want to take the call?” Amy asked her.
“I’ll take it. Thanks.”Sarah pushed the button and connected with Brad. “What’s up, Brad?”
“Sarah, have you watched the news this morning?”
“No, I’ve been busy working on a case. You sound weird. What’s going on?”
“Turn on Channel 5.”
Sarah picked up the TV remote and pushed the on button. She turned to Channel 5 and saw the Kalispell Chief of Police, John McKnight, being interviewed by a bunch of reporters.
“What am I watching?” Sarah asked Brad.
“Quiet. Just listen,” he told her. “He’s giving a statement.”
At 1:30 a.m. Albert Freeman’s body was found in his back yard. A neighbor, a retired fireman, who lives next store to Mr. Freeman, was awakened by his dog barking. He got out of bed to go to the bathroom and, as he walked by his bedroom window, he noticed a strange glowing light coming from Albert’s back yard. He opened a bedroom window, in order to stick his head out and get a better look, and the smell of burning flesh filled the air. He then noticed that something was burning in Albert’s fire pit.
The neighbor pulled his blanket off his bed and ran outside to Albert’s back yard. He threw the blanket over Albert’s burning body and extinguished the fire. He then dialed 911 and explained what had happened, adding that there was no need to rush. He told the emergency operator that he had seen enough bodies, when he was on the job, to know when a person was beyond help.
That’s basically all we have for now. I’ll answer one or two questions, but I’ve told you most of what we already know.
Sarah said nothing while she listened to Chief McKnight answer the reporter’s questions. She felt like someone had punched her in her stomach and she was finding it hard to breathe. She was about to turn off the TV, when one of the reporters asked, “Is it true that you found a knife sticking out of his stomach?”
Sarah stared at the screen. Please, dear god, say no, she thought to herself. Say it isn’t true.
“We really aren’t at liberty to say anything else at this time,” the Police Chief answered.
Sarah turned off the TV. “Brad, are you still there?” she asked.
“What the fuck is going on, Sarah? That’s two murders in just a few weeks.”
“So, now you think that Emma was murdered?”
“What?” Brad replied.
“Who would want to kill them? This doesn’t make sense. Why now, after all this time?”
“I just know we better watch our backs. There are still four of us left.”
“Stop it. You’re scaring me, Brad.”
“You better be scared. There’s more. I talked to my sister this morning.”
“Yes. She still works at Kalispell Memorial and she was on duty when they brought Albert in. Sarah, it wasn’t a knife that they found sticking out of his belly. It was a scalpel.”