At 5:00 A.M., Laura Kimber found herself standing in a piss stench hallway of a run down house on Kossuth Street. The camera man, stopped flashing pictures long enough to reload his camera and Kimber used that respite to walk through the bedroom for the third time. The fifty two year old man was stabbed twice in the neck and once in the heart, and then, it seemed, shot in the back of the head at close range.
Denver Burke was found by a neighbor, a middle aged Mexican woman on her way to work at a near by seedy motel as housekeeping. She noticed that the door to Burke's apartment was ajar, and she wanted to let him know so she knocked. No one answered so she let herself in and saw the body dead on the floor.
There were no witnesses, no motive, but still there was a body on the floor. After the stabbings the man was dead, and then dead some more with the gun shot blast. One of the uniforms sat on the bed trying to piece together everything about the senseless murder. The man earned minimum wage at his job, and he could hardly afford the rent. There were lottery scratch off tickets in the garbage, and of course there were no big winners or they wouldn't be in the garbage.
The man had no television, a broken micro-wave and a small compact refrigerator with only ice cubes in the freezer. He used dirty sheets as curtains to keep the sun out, and his toilet was busted. Kimber knew that because there was a bucket of water next to the bowl. She knew that he had to pour the water into the bowl so that it would flush.
Denver Burke was surviving the best way he knew how and was murdered for that ambition alone. A more meaningless murder could not have been committed.
“Burke has no family,” said another uniform as she walked into the bedroom. “He's just a loner, no wife, no kids, and hell no pets.”
Detective Laura Kimber looked up, distracted. “What...no pets?”
The uniform nodded and turned away.
The paramedics pronounced him at 5:05 A.M., and the scene was secured, with the Bridgeport Police keeping everyone but the other residents outside of that run down house on Kossuth Street.
Making his way into the building and up to that second floor roach infested apartment, Chambers noted right away that there was no sign of forced entry. Not at the front door, nor at the victim's apartment. All the windows in his small apartment were locked and secured.
Burke was face down, centered in a pool of coagulated blood that stained the already filthy white carpet. Chambers walked over to Laura Kimber, but she had nothing to add or say. She tightened her lips and closed her eyes.
“He died, just trying to live,” said Chambers.
There was a stillness in the room. No one else spoke.
© 2015 Frank Atanacio
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