The Murder of Francheska Rios
It was only days after the murder of Francheska Rios; the media coverage had all faded away to a mere whisper. Her murder didn’t seem that important and it wasn’t getting the red carpet treatment from the city, and as the days wore on, Detective Nathan Chambers had wondered about that.
For one thing, it was the crime scene, not just where her body was dumped, but the actual crime scene. There was no blood trail, and Chambers examined the victim’s neck and head, satisfying himself that she had done all of her bleeding right against the low brick foundation at the P.T Barnum Housing Projects.
The media showed no concern; they simply asked Chambers about the murder of Andrea Simpson, an eighteen year old girl from the Fairfield City area. The difference between the two was not so much the nationality, but where they grew up. Rios lived in a neighborhood where young boys grew up wearing gold chains and shooting at one another for turf that belonged to the city. Simpson grew up in a city that had probably never seen a police tape cornering out a crime scene.
These young women were from two different planets; at least that’s how they were perceived by the media. The Andrea Simpson murder had all the earmarks of a major case, a successful family, a brutal murder and a lead story on the five o’clock news on every major network. Yet, for the murder of Francheska Rios, there were no special reports, no herd of reporters at the crime scene, and the city brass was nowhere to be seen.
Detective Nathan Chambers worked deliberately and at a faster pace than normal to dig up leads. Creating a diagram of the surrounding blocks; listing residents in each section of the projects matching them with criminal histories and alibis. He built a list of potential suspects and finally came to a realization that the two women were killed by the same man.
Chambers was at ease in the ghetto in a way that even the best white detectives were not, and more than most of the black detectives, too. His hard worked paid off and he had arrested a suspect. Daniel Davis was a black, reedy thin, and a well groomed man. He was in his late fifties, but had a sweet tooth for young girls. He killed Francheska and Andrea so that they would not identify him in the abduction. His attentions were rape, but he would chicken out in the last minute. He was afraid that DNA from his semen would show up in someone’s lab report.
Someone had him walking the girls around the back alleys until he was sure they were alone, and that’s when he pulled out the gun. Davis wanted the murders to look similar. He wanted the police to think that the murders were predatory acts by a dealer who simply wanted to show the neighborhood how hard he could be.
As Daniel Davis emerged from the lock up, surrounded by a full dozen guards, he glanced at the sky. It was a particularly bloody looking shade of gray, thickening to black at the horizon. The reporters flocked like seagulls tossing out questions about Andrea Simpson. Wondering why he would kill a young woman with so much life left.
Taking in the spectators, he glanced over at Detective Nathan Chambers and sheepishly grinned. That’s when Chambers wished that people still hung for their crimes. He just stared back at Daniels imagining a noose tightening around his neck. He would relish in hearing the order given, and have a trap door swing away, leaving that son of a bitch to twitch and die at the end of a rope.
If hangings were still in existence, there would have been no grin on Daniels face. His mouth would be turning drier than dust right about now. His stomach would be clenching with fear. And somewhere in the darkest recesses of his mind he would be begging Simpson and Rios for forgiveness.
On October, 15, there was a parade of black, long stretch limousines lined outside the Fairfield City Cemetery. There were reporters and television cameras littering the area trying to take pictures of Andrea Simpson. There were thousands of mourners from all over the state trying to express their condolences, and there were many signs asking for donations to be made to the family in form of a college scholarship.
In Bridgeport, The Boston Avenue Cemetery had a small gathering of four people standing around the cheapest casket money could buy. Most of the money for the funeral came from a police collection and a few mom and pop store-shops in the neighborhood. There Francheska Rios was laid to rest.
One of the four mourners turned away and stared at the entrance gate. There were no reporters, no out of town mourners and no one looking to donate anything in Rios’s name. There was a moment of complete and tangible silence. Though it lasted only a fraction of a second, it seemed much longer. Detective Nathan Chambers grabbed Francheska’s mother’s hand and held it as tightly as he could.
© 2013 Frank Atanacio