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Mary Had A Little Lamb: Chapter Six

Updated on March 22, 2017

I Love It

I really do love the fact that all of you are playing along, looking at the clues, and trying to figure out what the hell is going on with this story.

I’m happy to report that I do know where this is going and all of you are partially correct.

How’s that for a teaser?

Mystery writers are famous for foreshadowing. We rarely leave meaningless clues, and what appears, in the beginning, to be meaningless, will gain in importance as the story unfolds.

This really does feel like a book, doesn’t it? What if I laid it all out but didn’t tell you who the killer was? I’d save that for the book-to-come.

Now that would be cruel! LOL

Let’s get with it!

Looking for answers at City Hall
Looking for answers at City Hall | Source

Come Together

Ninety-five patrol cops, ten detectives, and various upper-crust administration types sat in on the bullpen session following the death of Rose Marie Swayze. Emotions were running high. Most in attendance had a child of their own, and I had no doubt they saw their own child’s face on the photos displayed on the cork board in front of them.

The Chief of Police had five children. He was not a happy man.

“O’Dowd, Robie, sum it up for everyone.”

As lead detective it fell on me, so I walked to the front of the room.

“You all have the file in your hands. We’ve got a highly-intelligent individual who likes to play games. He’s big into nursery rhymes and evidently he likes the old rock group The Lovin’ Spoonful. He is meticulous. We have found zero in the way of forensic evidence at any of the scenes and, quite frankly, the scenes are almost other-wordly. He is either snatching the kids, or dumping their bodies, in places that would seem impossible. The only time he got sloppy was this last murder, Rose Marie, where he just dumped her body in broad daylight. His vehicle was seen but that’s where our luck ends. No license plate was seen, no solid description of the vehicle other than red and a minivan, which narrows the search down to about fifteen-hundred in Thurston County alone.

“We had one suspect, Anthony Bitron, really more of a guy who felt good for it because of some gut instinct, but Dawn and I were watching him when this last body was dumped, so our gut instincts were pretty much worthless there.

“And that, I’m afraid, is what we have!”

A hand shot up from the back, a patrol cop named DeBord.

“Detective,” he said, “You’ve solved what, over forty murders, so you must have a feeling about this. A hunch of some sort? What are we looking at?”

Good cops play more hunches than the public might want to know about. Hell, they probably play more hunches than their superiors want to hear about, and that explains why I hesitated before answering DeBord’s question.

“I think we’re looking for a team of killers.”

Tranquility is deceptive in Olympia
Tranquility is deceptive in Olympia | Source

On the Road Again

The meeting dragged on for another fifty minutes, but eventually Dawn and I escaped the questions and hit the road again.

We had, of course, discussed the possibility of more than one killer. We had rejected it outright at first, but then cozied up to it as the body count rose. We were riding the theory that what is impossible to do for one may not be impossible to do for two. We were also trusting in my gut, and my gut still told me that Anthony Bitron was somehow involved in that depravity.

“Where to?” Dawn asked me as we got in our sedan that early Tuesday morning.

“Let’s go talk to Bitron again but first, swing by Perfect Cup so I can grab a mocha. I’m buying today.”

“Big spender! In that case I’m getting a quad,” and she laughed, and not for the first time that morning, I felt some unprofessional urges. I loved her laugh.

Into the Spider’s Web

The Craftsman bungalow, midnight blue with burgundy trim, still sat on 8th Avenue Southeast, across from Bigelow Park. Bitron’s car was in the driveway. A white Ford Econoline van was parked behind Bitron’s car. It was nine a.m. on a stunning Olympia morning, mild temperature, sunshine promising a day of warmth, five little kids on the Big Toys, parents close by, dogs, cats, birds singing, squirrels chattering, an urban setting right out of the Saturday Evening Post.

Dawn pulled to the curb and shut down the engine.

“Let’s not go in yet, Dawn. You can bet Bitron knows we’re here. I just want him off-stride a bit when we talk to him. Let’s get out of the car, and while we’re talking we’ll point to different things around the neighborhood, like some things are pretty damned important.”

She followed my lead and we leaned against the trunk, looked in various directions, pointed, played our parts in the mini-drama.

“It seems so far-fetched, you know,” Dawn said while pointed at a car down the street. “Two killers? Pretty unusual, Bill.”

“Unusual, yes, but not unheard of at all. The Gallegos, Starkweather and Fugate, Lucas and Toole, there was a couple in Italy, one in England, killing as a team, in some ways it makes sense, makes it easier to commit the murders, easier to plan, and easier to establish alibis. On the other hand, two killers doubles the chances of leaving DNA behind. Anyway, I’ve got absolutely nothing on our friend Bitron other than a feeling the guy is hinky from his underwear to his Docker slacks.

“Well, we’ve given him ten minutes of us pointing at things. Let’s go see what Mister Anal Retentive has to say this morning.”

The next killing ground?
The next killing ground? | Source

Morning Company

Our knock on the door was answered by the man himself. Anthony Bitron was one of those people who probably crawled out of bed perfectly groomed. His slacks were creased, his shoes polished, not one hair was out-of-place on his head when he answered our knock.

“Detectives, good morning! To what do I owe this pleasure? More questions about my sighting?”

“Good morning Mister Bitron!” I said. “I was curious, do you like The Lovin’ Spoonful? You know, do you believe in magic, in a young girl’s heart, or are you more of a Mary, Mary, quite contrary sort of guy?”

If he heard the question he certainly made no reaction to it. He just smiled and held open the screen door.

“Come in, come in, I was just having coffee with a good friend of mine,” and he closed the door behind us and led us to a small brick patio just outside the kitchen. There sat one of the most ordinary people I’ve ever seen. That was my first impression. There wasn’t a distinguishing feature about him.

He was average height, about five-nine, five-ten, and average weight, maybe one-fifty. He had dull brown hair, cut medium length, brown eyes, no moles, no scars, and no tats. He rose when we came out of the house.

“Detectives O’Dowd and Robie, this is an old college friend of mine. Gerald Banks, say hello to the detectives.”

Banks stood and reached out a hand.

“Detectives, Anthony was just talking about you . . . the famous Houdini Detectives! It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

THE PLOT THICKENS

So there you go, and here we are! A new player has joined the game, and that’s where we’ll leave this story until next week.

Thanks so much for joining me. I’ll see you all next Wednesday, same time, same place.

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 5 weeks ago

      A team or duo. Now, I hadn't considered that. Bonnie and Clyde!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 weeks ago from New York, New York

      Very interesting and definitely does make sense to have more than one killer on this one. Thanks for the update and look forward to seeing where this story takes us next now. Happy Wednesday now, my friend!! :)

    • profile image

      MizBejabbers 5 weeks ago

      The plot does thicken, hmmm. The minivan adds a very suspicious touch, don't ya think? I read in some "how-to" write article once that if there's a gun on the table in chapter one, it had better be used by chapter three, so my hackles are raised with this minivan. Or does he use it to haul his own kids to soccer practice and this is just to throw us off. Very interesting. Oh, please, don't make us wait for the book. Signed, your fan, Miz B.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 5 weeks ago from london

      You sure know how to leave a man hungry, Bill, by putting the plate just out of reach. I blame Hub Pages. LOL:)

      Another great one with much anticipation.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I like that, Manatita...just blame HP! Works for me, brother!

      Peace always

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      More twists coming, Janine, so hang on tight.

      And thank you...Happy Hump Day, dear friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed, RoadMonkey, a modern day Bonnie and Clyde . . . or . . .

      :) Thank you!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I love puzzles, mysteries, and the relationships between variables. You are so good at this, Bill. You've combined the game boards of chess and checkers in a way that pulls the reader in with each paragraph. Well done, my friend.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I know you Bill, you are leading me down the primrose path. I'm on to you.

      Why did Briton direct his friend to "say hello" -- sounds like he is talking to a small child or dog? Lovers?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Eric, what a devious mind you have! LOL Perhaps you are more clever than the author of this particular series. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Genna! I have always loved mysteries and have read, literally, hundreds of them. I'm glad some of that experience paid off.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, your comment has appeared. I promise not to drag this out too long...as for the minivan, it is the preferred vehicle for serial killers...according to me. LOL

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 5 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very interesting and thrilling. So, one more killer joined the group of suspected killers. The story gets deeper now. Hope some clue may appear.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 5 weeks ago

      Thanks, Bill. I did email the HP team and it looks like they got my problem fixed. At least I hope so.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      The pot thickens, two instead of one, or maybe more? You give us just enough to want more. See you next Wednesday.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      What were Bitron and Banks saying about the detectives? Just as I was drawing closer to hear, you cut me off, Bill. I'll just keep my thoughts to myself for now.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, whatever they were saying, I'm sure it wasn't a compliment. :) See you soon, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, Ruby, you'll see me next week. I've already begun the next chapter and the pot is thickening for sure.

      Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I hope so too, MizB!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, Venkatachari, there is another twist coming next week. Stay tuned and hold on. :)

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      'say hello to the detectives'? Was this Bitron way of telling Banks to say little and follow his lead?

      The Lovin' Spoonful is probably a good place to start but 'Come Together' is the Beatles and 'On The Road Again', Canned Heat. A 60s theme maybe the connection. This is maddening, Bill. You're loving this, aren't you?

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Another great chapter. The plot thickens. Very much looking forward to the next chapter. Seems like there must be something to Bitron and this new character, Gerald, or is this just a diversionary tactic? Hmm...

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 weeks ago from England

      Ooh more intrigue! he did it, I can smell a rat at fifty paces! LOL! another great chapter!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I'm loving the twists you're teasing us with, Mr. H. I actually like the idea of leaving us hanging from a cliff by our weak finger nails while you solve the crime in a book! (Of course, I'll be sorry I said that!)

      I see one sick good for nuthin,,,,,,isn't spooky enough. There has to be 2 so the bastards can feed off of each other's evilness....Yeah, nothing like a blood-loving partner who could turn on you at any moment and cut out your liver!! Bleh-YUK....I just made myself sick.

      I need to rest up for the rest of this...whatever you have in store! Pleasant dreams........

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 5 weeks ago from USA

      You can't leave us here for a whole week! Loving this, Bill!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 5 weeks ago from SW England

      The 'thot plickens' as we sometimes say! I find these guys really creepy. Anyone who's that fastidious has to be abnormal one way or another. This is a great roller-coaster and I don't normally like those (cos I'm chicken).

      Have a thriller of a Thursday, bill!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you and I share a distrust of fastidious people. LOL I love it and totally agree!

      Wishing you a Thoreau-like Thursday!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, I'm so glad, Flourish, and yes I can! LOL Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sis! I love cliff-hangers, so that's what you're going to get, dear friend. "Cut out your liver?" You've been watching too much Anthony Hopkins of late, evidently, although it's not a bad idea, is it? LOL

      See you next Wednesday...new twist coming.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, I think we can safely say Bitron had a hand in the murders. LOL That's all I'm going to say, other than thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, would I be that devious to try diverting your attention?

      Yes, I would be, but am I now? That is the question!

      Thanks my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I am loving this, Zulma, even though it's gruesome....which says quite a lot about me, doesn't it? LOL So glad I've got you going, dear friend. See you Wednesday, and have a brilliant weekend!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 weeks ago from United Kingdom

      Wednesday?! What am I supposed till then?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I have no doubt you'll find something to do, Zulma. :)

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Bill. I know exactly what you mean, but I think the "rubbing off" is only part of it; and that the quality of the writing is more a tribute to your talent as a writer. The only thing I'm kinda/maybe certain about -- but I'm probably waaaay off -- is how Bill and Dawn will enact "closure" in terms of "catching." And that's what's so cool about your mystery series; there are so many kinda/maybe's, we never know. Wednesday is such a long way off. :-)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 5 weeks ago from Oklahoma

      Again, playing catchup, but really enjoying this darker look.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 5 weeks ago from SW England

      Now this time you got me! I'm afraid I had to look up Thoreau. Very interesting!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann...hoorah! My life is now complete. I stumped you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Larry! Dark comes easy for me. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I need you as my publicist. I'd be a millionaire right now if I had you pulling media strings for me. Thank you so much for your very kind words and your faith in my abilities.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 5 weeks ago from SW England

      Don't let it go to your head, bill! I'll come up with something... one day!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you will, Ann, but I'm going to bask in this glorious moment while I can. :)

      bill

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I'm just giving an exceptional writer his due. For example, when reading this mystery, we are taking a look at what's "there" and what's "missing"; in other words, what should be there but isn't, you sly devil. :-) :-) Great writing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I do thank you, Genna! Your words feed this writer's soul.

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 4 weeks ago from Charlotte, NC

      The gut feeling usually is accurate so my guess is Mr. Briton has something to do with this, somehow. I will stay tuned. I'm hooked.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Efficient, I'm feeling good vibrations from my gut right now. :) Thanks as always!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      "Anyway, I’ve got absolutely nothing on our friend Bitron other than a feeling the guy is hinky from his underwear to his Docker slacks."

      Nothing hinky about you, Holland. I'll follow this thriller to the end - 'especially' if it means purchasing an autographed copy.

      Hope you are having a peaceful weekend. Love, Maria

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 weeks ago from Riga, Latvia

      Well now you got me thinking that it has to be these two guys or these two guys are the decoys while the actual killers do the job and another one might just be in progress right now. Hot or cold?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasma, that is sound thinking...and I'll give you a warm right now. :) More to be revealed Wednesday.

      Thanks as always and blessings to you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank God, Maria, I'm not considered hinky. LOL That's one label I never want.

      Thank you dear friend. I'm so glad others are enjoying this thriller.

      love,

      bill

    • jo miller profile image

      jo miller 4 weeks ago from Tennessee

      You've made my day! I knew this was a book from the first chapter. Really glad you're going to pursue this. Good luck. And I like the idea of making us buy the book. I'm in.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Jo! Maybe by year's end I'll have this finished!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 4 weeks ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      I thought it was interesting how you said the man was indistinguishable and then went on to describe what he did not look like. you see, Bill. That is one difference between you and me. I would have stopped at "There wasn’t a distinguishing feature about him," and used that as a way of copping out on the anti-description. I see part seven is up. Off I go.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, you have a built-in excuse for not doing that...flash fiction doesn't give you that luxury. But nice catch and thank you!

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 weeks ago

      While they were "watching him" it might have been someone of 'contracted' profesional bluffing trail, to emboldening suspicious killer to continue his activity. (Sorry my friend, you are encouraging me to assume conspiracy in this srory.)

      Peace with us (we need it).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, I love that you are trying out conspiracies. Great thoughts as to where this is headed. Stay tuned!

      And yes, blessings for us all!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 3 weeks ago from Texas

      Well, I had a hunch of who I thought the killer might be. But you may have just blown my theory out of the water.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      That's the fun of writing mysteries, Shannon. I get to play with your mind a bit. LOL

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 2 weeks ago from Illinois

      What if I ... I got a big chuckle out of that line. I'm a little backed up here but at least I don't have to wait to read the next chapter. Hmmm...could it be a team? I shall see.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I think you're onto something, Honey! Hint, Hint! Wink, Wink!

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 12 days ago from Florida

      As soon as this latest body was dropped at a place where you could reach her easily - not to mention, broad daylight, I knew there had to be two. However, it is intriguing to why they would play it this way; messing up the perfect sequence of pattern; maybe just to throw the cops off? At this point, I'm still pondering, but I love to do that.

      Unfortunately, as much as I like a good mystery to try to figure out, I'm rarely correct with my observations and final opinion of the outcome. I haven't been able to come here and read a lot lately. I have a lot of catching up to do, and very anxious to do so. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 11 days ago from Olympia, WA

      And I love that you are pondering, Missy! Thank you very much...all good guesses, by the way, and I love that you picked out more than one killer. Well done!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 7 days ago from Central Florida

      The new player is nondescript. No moles, no scars, no tattoos.... no fingerprints????

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 days ago from Olympia, WA

      A mystery just like the murders, Sha! :) I'm sure in the book we'll find out something incriminating about that s.o.b.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 6 days ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Bill.

      So, the 'copycat' might actually be part of a team?

      I still wonder why the crime scenes were so different though.

      By the way, I think your idea of leaving the 'reveal' to the book is a good one, we writers have to leave something to keep people guessing

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 6 days ago from Olympia, WA

      We do for sure, Lawrence! Besides, as a reader, it's fun, the guessing part. That's what I'm doing, providing fun. LOL

      blessings always

      bill

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