Why Forensic Detectives Dug up My Husband's Garden!
Actually, in fairness, it wasn't intentional on his part, but it is totally true that as a result of his actions (along with his Brother), forensic detectives did end up swooping down to my Hubby's parent's garden and digging it up.
It all began when Richard was a young lad (barely even eight yet). As is often the case with young lads, both him and his brother Paul used to tease their Sisters constantly and found this 'sport' very enjoyable. With this in mind they saw a golden opportunity to wind up their Sister Sally after she received a doll for Christmas that she had been desperate to have for many months. This was no ordinary doll though, and had been shipped from the United States especially for her. The doll was life size, with real human hair and features that made her appear exactly like a small child, right down to the lifelike finger nails.
So it was not surprising that when Sally was annoying the two boys one day, not content with hanging her Barbie doll from the nearest tree by its neck (as most lads might do), they conspired together to come up with the ultimate revenge, steal her prized possession, her life-size doll.
They waited until Sally was safely out of the way and kidnapped her doll with a view to hiding it. However, this left the problem of just where to hide a life size doll that wouldn't result in it quickly being discovered! After some discussion they decided their best bet was to bury the doll in the garden where it would be virtually impossible to find. Their plan hatched, the two lads surreptitiously snuck out to the back garden and dug a deep hole into which they placed the unfortunate doll, before carefully covering her over again, and then disguising all signs of any recent ground disturbance.
Sally arrived home and began to look for her missing doll. After hours of searching the panic had set in, and Sally was in floods of tears, accusing Richard and Paul of having stolen her beloved doll. Needless to say it wasn't long before their parents were called in to sort out the battle. About this point in time Richard and Paul both realised that if their Dad found out that they had been responsible for Sally's doll vanishing, they would no doubt be in for a good hiding, so they decided to continue to deny all knowledge of the absent toy.
After many vehement denials they finally convinced their Father that they were not behind the disappearance of Sally's doll, and that it was most likely she had simply lost the doll or left it somewhere that had led to it being stolen, such as the front garden.
Several years went by and everyone had all but forgotten about Sally's doll. It was around this time that Richard's Dad decided he would like to have a patio built in their garden, which would require the removal of an old greenhouse on the site first. The builders were booked and duly turned up to begin work preparing the area.
All went well at first, the greenhouse came down and the workman began to dig the foundations required to ensure the patio would be perfectly level once laid. This was when the problems started. As one of the builders sank his spade into the ground and began to lift the soil, a child's hand, complete with tiny fingernails appeared on the surface. As the shocked man peered a little closer he saw a few strands of human hair protruding through the soil. Of course the Police were immediately called by the alarmed foreman who explained he thought they had discovered a child's body whilst digging the foundations for a patio in a local garden.
Richard and Paul were walking home from school as usual oblivious to anything out of the ordinary when they turned into their road. They were amazed to see a number of Police cars parked outside their house, men in paper forensic suits coming and going from the garden and all the neighbours standing on their respective doorsteps watching the events unfold and nudging each other speculating on what was going on.
As the two boys arrived home they quickly worked out what was going on and looked at each other in total horror. Rumours were already spreading around the neighbourhood that a child's body had been discovered in John Lawson's garden, and was it possible there might have been a child killer living on their doorstep all along!
By now John had been called home from his work, and quickly arrived wanting to know what on earth was happening, and why were the Police digging up his garden. Initially he was viewed with suspicion by the Police who proceeded to question him whilst the forensics team worked carefully on uncovering the 'body'. Neither Richard or Paul had the courage to own up that they knew exactly what had been discovered in their garden, and could only watch, like deer caught in headlights from behind the Police tape as the excavation continued.
Of course within a couple of hours the truth was discovered, and the missing doll was unearthed, (no doubt looking a little the worse for wear after several years underground). Richard and Paul had to come clean to their Father about their prank from several years earlier, and no doubt got the good hiding they had avoided previously. Hours of Police time had been wasted, and the rumours of John Lawson's involvement in 'trying to hide a child's body under his new patio', lasted for many months afterwards (as gossip tends to), even though they were far from the truth.
When Richard told me this story for the first time I simply couldn't stop laughing, probably because I have a very vivid imagination and could visualize the whole sequence of events perfectly. I can assure you this is totally true, and Richard's parents can also confirm these events and the chaos that ensued as a result.