Tuesday, February 21, 2012

(c)Susan Elizabeth Dykhuis, February 21, 2012

Reading something on the Internet regarding "is there ever a perfect murder?" made me recall reading some 40 years ago a short story about a perfect murder.

The basic story (author whom I do not remember, nor actual name of the book) was somewhat like this:

The Weapon: A Frozen Leg of Lamb.
The Victim: A cheating husband.
The Alibi: Shopping for "the fixings" of a husband's favourite dinner.
The Murderer: His pregnant wife.

And this is how I recall reading what happened:

The Murder:
Wife hit cheating husband on the head with The Weapon: A frozen leg of lamb. Places leg of lamb in oven to roast, using the oven on/off cooking timer.

The Alibi:
She went out of the house, shopping for a nice wine and a delicate pastry dessert to serve with the dinner of roasted leg of lamb -- her husband's favourite dinner. Came home perhaps 45 minutes later. Her husband was, can you believe this, dead on the floor!

Reporting the Murder:
Crying and hysterical, she called the police to report her husband apparently dead at home. They came immediately. While they were checking the crime scene, she was still crying and somewhat hysterical. One officer suggested she make dinner to keep herself occupied because being busy would calm her and be good for the baby's sake. She agreed that was a good idea and got busy preparing dinner.

The police & detectives check around, looking for clues, especially the weapon. Found nothing. Wife was once again upset and crying, asking "How this could be? Did they think perhaps someone he had arrested in the past held a grudge big enough to kill her husband?"

The police officers and detectives were co-workers of her husband. How could they not help her find the murderer? Try as they might, they could not. They asked where she was that day. She mentioned being out getting groceries, etc. Came home, found him dead. Called them. She was told they would have to check that what she said was true. Two officers went off checking to see if anyone saw her about at the green grocer, the liquor store and pastry shop. People recalled seeing her that afternoon, doing just what she did every day around that time -- purchasing ingredients for dinner.

When the dinner was almost ready, still very upset, she asked if they would join her for dinner as she did not want to be alone. All ate the delicious dinner she made. After dinner, they helped her clean up and then one of them threw out the trash which contained the bone of the leg of lamb they had dined upon.

Months went by; the baby was born. Her husband's co-workers and their families supported her through her ordeal and celebrated with her when her son was born. She named her son Thomas for his paternal grandfather and George for his maternal grandfather. Her late husband's colleagues and families attended the baptism and other events in her baby's life.

After two years of searching, they came to the conclusion that yes, her husband was murdered, killed in his own home and yes, they had no idea who did it, what the weapon was and where it could be hidden.

They also concluded her husband was the one who let the murderer into their home as no windows or doors were damaged, nothing was amiss and later, the murderer let himself out. Their view was since the victim knew the murderer and let him in, it could one of many people he would let into the house on any occasion thus any DNA found in the house would match many people. They concluded that as none of the DNA pointed to which person could have murdered him as the people whose DNA was in the house had reliable alibis at the time the murder was committed.

Eight years later The Widow married a collegue of her late, murdered husband (who -- we hope for her new husband's sake -- is not the cheating kind.

(c)Susan Elizabeth Dykhuis, February 21, 2012

If anyone can tell me the name of the author and name of the book I read about the perfect crime, please let me know who it is so I can credit the author. Thanks!