He told her they’d meet her in the lobby. She thanked him and asked where her sister’s body was? “Your sister’s body is at the coroner’s office Mary. I already checked and you can have someone from a funeral home come by and pick up her body for you.” he said. Mary thanked him and said she would get dressed and meet him that afternoon and she said goodbye.
Mary never thought someone would murder her sister. She felt a deep sense of guilt inside her that she should have done more to save her sisters life. As identical twins, both Shona and Mary laughed at how much they thought alike. It was almost like they could read each other’s minds. By the time Mary walked into the police station, both officers were waiting and greeted her.
In Officer Brook’s left hand he held a large brown paper sack containing Shona’s clothing and purse. Officer Brook’s asked Mary to call and leave him a message when Shona’s funeral was. He told her he wanted to attend her funeral. He handed his business card to her and she promised she would call him. When he was finished drawing, the police artist thanked Mary for meeting with him. The officer came very close to drawing the face of the man who killed her sister.
She made sure all of her doors and windows were locked when she returned home. She also closed her curtains. As she stood beside the kitchen counter she looked down at the address book beside the phone. Before she called anyone else she called the college administration office and told the woman her name and what program she was in.
She told her that her sister was murdered that morning and asked her to tell her teachers she wouldn’t be in class the rest of the week. After she hung up, she hurriedly wiped her eyes to see the telephone number. Mary called her mother Charlene. Mary didn’t know if she was more afraid that her mother would be home and pick up the phone or if she would have to leave a message.
When Mary’s mother answered the phone with a cheerful, “Hi Mary, how are you this afternoon? Mary broke down in tears and her voice trembled as she said, “Momma, are you sitting down?” When her mother said yes in a concerned voice and asked what was wrong, Mary told her. Momma, Shona was murdered this morning!”
Mary heard her mother gasp and begin to cry as she asked how it happened. “Momma, we were walking to Safeway down the path we always walk when a man jumped out of the brush holding a hammer and he grabbed Shona by the hair. When I heard her scream I turned around but it was too late. I wanted to run to her as he hit her in the head with the hammer, but she pleaded with me to run away.
Momma, I should have run to her and tried to save her!” Mary cried out as she sat the phone on her lap and sobbed. Again and again Charlene called out her daughter’s name but Mary didn’t pick the phone back up. When she finally put the phone to her ear she heard her mother ask Mary if she was there. “Yes momma, I’m here.” she cried out. “I’ll be over in 15 minutes. Stay right where you are!” her mother said and Mary heard her hang up.
By the time Charlene’s white Toyota pulled into the parking space, Mary was already running out of her apartment. As a mother and daughter hugged and cried, neither one spoke. Finally Charlene led her daughter back into her apartment.
When they were both sitting on the couch, Charlene asked her daughter to start from the very beginning. By the time Mary had finished, all Charlene could do was hug her daughter.
Words couldn’t describe the heartache Charlene had felt. She asked her daughter what the police were doing and all she said was that they were looking for the suspect and patrolling her neighborhood. That was when a terrified look came across Charlene’s face. “He didn’t take your sister’s apartment keys did he?” she asked worriedly. Now Mary’s face looked just as frightened as she said, “I don’t know.”
Hurriedly Mary went into Shona’s bedroom and returned with her sack of clothes and purse. Mary pulled the purse out of the top of the bag and dumped all the contents onto the couch. Frantically Charlene and Mary pushed the contents around and didn’t see her key ring with the bright orange plastic four leaf clover. “Oh my God Mary! He’s got her keys!” shouted Charlene.
“We’ve got to change your door locks!” she shouted as she looked left and right for the phone book. As soon as she saw it, she went and picked it up. Anxiously she flipped through the yellow pages until she reached the locksmith page. She used her cell phone and called the locksmith that had the biggest ad. Within 20 minutes a locksmith arrived and Charlene paid for both locks to be changed.
After he left, both women realized the killer could have entered her apartment and killed Mary too. Both women’s hearts were filled with grief at that moment. Mary’s mother asked where they had taken Shona’s body. “Franklin’s Funeral Home has her momma. They told me they would contact me sometime this afternoon to make funeral arrangements.” Mary said sadly.
“When they call you, you give them my number and let me handle all the arrangements Mary.” Charlene said as she leaned over and hugged her daughter. Charlene never thought the day would come when she find out one of her daughters had been murdered. Charlene stayed much of that day with her daughter though, deciding to talk with the man from the funeral home personally as soon as he called.
When the phone rang both women jumped and caught their breath as Mary brought the cordless phone to her mother. Funeral arrangements were made one week from that day at 2 pm. Charlene thanked the man and told her daughter she hated to leave but that she had to go to their church and speak to Father Janovich so he could speak to everyone at the cemetery.
She hugged her daughter tightly and told her she had to be strong. She said, “Day or night sweetheart, I don’t give a damn what the hour is, if you need to talk, call me.” Mary thanked her mother and waved goodbye to her as her car drove away. Over the next week, Mary fell deeper and deeper into depression and she began to get black circles under her eyes from lack of sleep.
That night as hard as Mary tried, she just couldn’t fall asleep. In her mind she kept seeing Shona’s face as blood flowed down the right side of her face as she pleaded for Mary to run away. For the next week, the police department had undercover officers in disguise walking the same trail Shona had been murdered on. They even had an officer and his k-9 dog walk the path.
But no attacks or reports of suspicious people were called into the police department. Charlene kept in phone contact with her daughter but it was sporadic and she understood. Shona and Mary were very close. Sometimes Mary answered the phone and talked a short while before crying and hanging up. Sometimes she would just break down in tears and say she couldn’t talk anymore.
Shona’s funeral was a week later and many of Shona’s college friends and neighbors in Mary’s apartment complex attended the funeral. So did Officer Books as he had promised. When the service was over, he told Mary and her mother that they hadn’t come up with any suspects. “We have a plaster cast of a 9½ size tennis shoe imprint we made from the dirt where Shona was murdered.
Because the suspect wore latex gloves we didn’t get any fingerprints. We do have a DNA sample of his semen though. All we need to do is find a suspect to match the shoe print and DNA.” he said in an optimistic voice. Both Charlene and Mary knew it could be years before they caught the suspect. They also knew they might never catch him. They thanked him for everything he and the detectives were doing to find Shona’s killer.
After the funeral was over Mary didn’t go directly home. Instead she went to the administration office of the college and withdrew. That evening she had no appetite and went to bed early. The bedside clock by Mary’s pillow changed to 3:20 a.m. when suddenly Mary awoke, sitting halfway up in bed as she screamed. Her face was covered in sweat and she swore she just heard Shona screaming out her name.
She knew it was a dream but it felt frighteningly real. She used part of her sheet to wipe the sweat off her face as she lay her head down on her pillow feeling her heart pounding. Mail for Mary and Charlene began to fill up the mailbox as did the newspapers outside her door. Mary ceased answering the phone and message after message filled the machine until it was full.
Most days Mary sat in the corner of the living room staring at the front door with her knees pulled up to her chin scared to death. Mary was afraid to sleep because when she did, Shona’s murder and her last words screamed out in her nightmares. Mary was losing weight quickly and her mind too. Charlene felt helpless for her daughter but knew all she could do was try to be there for her and give her the comfort she needed. Charlene too lost a lot of sleep.
Everything came to a head one early morning when Mary had finally drifted off to sleep and she heard Shona’s screams again! They were earth shattering and Mary frantically looked around and began screaming too. She began tearing her apartment up, throwing things and waking up her upstairs neighbors who called the police. When they heard her screams they believed someone was attacking her.
Soon blue lights were seen flashing in the parking lot outside her apartment door as four police officers with guns drawn rushed to her front door. They found it locked and while one officer stood besides the door pounding on the door shouting, “Police officers open the door.” Other officers tried to look in what windows there were, but the curtains were closed. Left with no choice the police officer kicked the door in and crouched low as he looked in all directions.
He saw Mary huddled in the corner of the living room next to a tipped over end table and lamp screaming. She looked terrified to death. One officer went to her while the other three officers searched her apartment. Mary was wearing a long blue chiffon nightgown and one of the officers got a blanket off her bed and wrapped her in it before putting her in the back of the police car.