This is the thirty-seventh part of a fiction serial, in 809 words.
It took so long for Ross’s superior to read out all the charges, I had to use the toilet before the time allowed with my solicitor.
She had been very thorough in her investigations indeed, going back as far as the death of my baby sister, which they did not charge me with. Even she knew that would never fly in court. But they charged me for Paul Carpenter, as they had found my fingerprints and DNA on his shoes and clothes, after I had arranged them to make it look like he had done that.
Then they mentioned Sophie, saying they had found my DNA on the washing line taken from around her neck. They charged me with her murder too.
Next up was the teacher, McCarthy. My DNA was found in semen samples taken from the scene. Charged with his murder.
The Chief Inspector had a lot to say about Foxy, telling me he believed I had tampered with his fork-lift truck. But as he didn’t charge me for that murder, I guessed the evidence wasn’t going to make the case.
Last but not least, they charged me with murdering Eve. Then with Ross sporting a very smug smile, they left.
My solicitor was trying to look on the bright side. I tried not to laugh. Facing trial for no less than seven murders had no bright side that I could think of. They only had to get a conviction for one, and that was life imprisonment.
“The thing is, Daniel, the evidence against you for Paul Carpenter and your wife Eve is completely circumstantial. There are no witnesses, and no motive to show that they can prove. As for the others, they are going to be rather difficult for you. I will let you know when we will be having a meeting with the barrister I mentioned”.
The news soon spread around the prison. I was already known for being charged for three murders, but now I had been charged with seven, I became an overnight superstar.
Sitting out another six months on remand, I got to see the comings and goings of many different cellmates. When one of them was overheard telling someone else that Maria’s husband would fix it so I got killed in prison, the next thing I knew I was placed in segregation for my own safety.
Over the course of three meetings with the barrister once we had a trial date at Crown Court, he decided not to put me in the witness box during the proceedings. I was to look serious at all times, and say nothing. He was planning to defend me on the evidence. I hadn’t told him about being abused by Uncle Brian, or by Maria and her friends. I wasn’t going to let that come out.
The trial turned out to be the longest on record in our county. With me instructed to plead Not Guilty, every single shred of evidence had to be gone through. To be fair, my barrister earned his fee, talking such a load of old shit day after day, that had I been on the jury, I would have found myself guilty.
But he was partially successful. I was found not guilty of murdering Eve, and not guilty of murdering Paul Carpenter. It seemed that the jury just couldn’t get past the fact that all evidence presented for those cases was purely circumstantial.
As for the others.
The old lady next door. Guilty.
Funnily enough, Ross had dropped the charges of harrassment involving Julian.
The judge remanded me for psychiatric reports prior to sentencing, and I was taken to a secure prison wing in a mental hospital. For seven days, I had sessions with psychiatrists, took written tests, looked at abstract pictures and had to say what I saw in them, and marvelled at the crazy bastards I was locked up with. No wonder none of them were on the outside, they belonged in there, undoubtedly.
As you might imagine, the reports did not come out in my favour. I was described as manipulative, narcissistic, cold and cruel, calculating, lacking empathy or conscience, and showing no remorse for my crimes or my victims. One doctor summed it up quite well in the court. “This man is so incapable of feeling, he is actually unable to even feel sorry for himself in his current predicament”.
If hanging had still been available, that judge would probably have tied the knot himself. He sentenced me to life with no parole, to be detained in a secure hospital for the rest of my life, never to be released. I was a ‘danger to society’, and an ‘unspeakable, heartless individual, unable to feel remorse, now or later’.
Well, they got me good, didn’t they?
But I wasn’t finished yet.