Sometimes, Your Honour, one gets up in the morning and one has no idea of the dramatic events that will unfold even before one has a mid-morning coffee.
Honestly, I had no idea when I got out of bed on that Thursday that I would stab my wife to death with the kitchen carving knife even before we had breakfast. Usually we do the dishes in the evening after dinner, but on this occasion the dishes weren’t done. We had had a little disagreement the night before and my wife had stormed off to the sitting room to watch some facile television program which is what she usually does. I went to the computer and looked up things about nothing. If we hadn’t had the disagreement we wouldn’t have been doing the dishes the next morning and I wouldn’t have been drying the carving knife and spontaneously plunging it into her bosom.
I’m not telling you this to get off the charge that my wife is dead, but I have no idea why such an event happened. I was going to spend the morning in the garden. She was going to town to buy a knitting pattern to make gloves for the grandchildren. And suddenly, WHAM, I had stabbed her. So it wasn’t at all premeditated. It is an unexplainable action for which I would plead leniency.
I believe the claims made by the detectives are false. Someone must have planted something. I certainly wouldn’t have typed into the search engine: What is the most effective place to stab someone dead with a carving knife?
Mrs Irene Rodgers didn’t exactly regard it as murder. Husband Perry’s death was more of a duty on her part. He had been bleeding off the government all his life. If it wasn’t a sickness benefit it was unemployment. If it wasn’t unemployment it was travel expenses. If it wasn’t this, it was that. After fourteen years of dependence upon the government, Irene had had enough. She did away with him. Surely the government would thank her – if they knew.
Perry’s demise had been well planned. In preparation she had dug dozens of little holes all around her substantial flower garden. After the killing, efficiently done with the pull of a trigger, she had used some fuming nitric acid to diminish the remains as much as possible, and then “planted” bits around the flowers. It took her a good week.
When all was done it was time to shop. But first things first: she had to apply for the widow’s benefit.
The coroner said it was death by drowning. Things hadn’t been going too well for Janelle and Melville. They had been living together for fourteen years in a rather nice villa in the south of France. It had a swimming pool for summer and a sauna for the cold. Around about the eleventh year of their relationship they began to argue big time. They had often argued, but not at the level the eleventh year ushered in.
Janelle wanted to heat the pool. “How lovely to take a dip in the winter.” They could well afford it. But Melville thought it nice to do seasonal things in a seasonal time. “Why swim in the winter?”
The argument had intensified over three years. It was now winter, and Janelle was harping, harping, harping.
“Ok,” said Melville, “if it’s a winter swim you want it’s a winter swim you’ll get.”
Elaine didn’t know a great deal about guns. Her husband D’Arcy had a gun; a rifle of sorts. He called it a 303. It was left over after the war. She had watched him fire the gun a few times, usually at birds in a tree; something like that. There was never any purpose to it; it was firing the gun at birds for the sake of nothing.
And then he shot her cat. It was just walking past, minding its own business, at the bottom of the garden. Elaine would never forgive him for that. She made meticulous plans to use the gun herself.
She knew to point the gun and pull the trigger. She would do it as he came in through the back door into the kitchen. That way, if the bullet went straight through him, it would go outside into the garden and not make a hole in the wall.
Here he comes now; home from work. He always used the kitchen door. Elaine had the gun sitting on the bench. She grabbed and pointed.
“Goodbye D’Arcy,” she said as she pulled the trigger. “You’ll never kill another cat.”
It was a marvellous way to murder. Elsie wondered why no one had thought of it before. She wondered why it wasn’t ever employed in a whodunit novel. She had used it twice on her husbands; first on Bert, and several years later on Edgar.
There was not the slightest suspicion stemming from the murders. All she need do each time was to feign a genuine grieving.
And now her third husband was in line. She had grown tired of him, and if the truth be told, he had grown tired of her. A murder, particularly Elsie’s method of murder, was a lot cheaper (and quicker) than a divorce. She made provisions to carry out the deed the following Friday. That would give her the weekend to make suitable arrangements for grief.
Friday arrived! The deed was done and with considerable panache! Frederick was dead! How sad is that?
What was Elsie’s method you might well ask? To give the method away would ruin the possibility of using it again. She might need to perform it on Hubby Number Four.
Everything was hunky-dory. Stan had arranged the murder to perfection. Absolutely nothing could go wrong. His wife was definitely on her last legs. He had cut the brake cable on her car. Next time she went out she need only drive out the gate, onto the road, and over the cliff.
“Goodbye, Honey,” he said cheerfully as Patsy left to go shopping. “I’ll open the driveway gate for you.”
“That’s very kind,” said Patsy as she climbed into the car.
Stan opened the gate and stood there ready to close it after she had passed. All was going well. Everything was hunky-dory. Patsy headed for the gate. Her foot slipped on the accelerator.
When Philby murdered his parents it had a profound effect on his siblings.
Gadsby, the oldest brother, put it in plainest terms on behalf of the others: “It’s not that you did it, it’s the way you did it.”
To have got into the family van and rammed into a power pole with just his parents between the van and the pole seemed accidental enough. But accidental it wasn’t.
“We know it wasn’t accidental,” said Shelby, the oldest sister. “It’s too much a coincidence to be accidental.”
“I’ve a good mind to report this planned murder to the police,” said Hannahby, the next sister down. “It was callous and thoughtless.”
“You can’t tell me we’re not pleased,” said Alanby, the youngest sibling. “We’re all victims of their abuse one way or another. Just the other day I was threatened with punishment for not tidying my room. But it’s how you did it. Shocking.”
“Disgusting is more the word,” said Gadsby. “Next time, and of course there can’t be a next time, just make sure you warn us first so we can all get into the van.”
Mr and Mrs Bishop would frequently be heard by all the neighbours when they were having an argument. Mrs Bishop was the more vociferous of the two, and her strident voice carried the swear words a considerable distance. Mr Bishop was more mousey. He appeared to be a lot more timid, and would often mumble his response.
“I wish to goodness he’d take a few lessons in voice projection,” joked neighbour Molly Bendale. “Sometimes it is impossible to pick up what he’s saying.”
Even though they argued repeatedly, it was still a great shock to all the neighbours when Mr Bishop died suddenly in his kitchen one Sunday morning. A great silence hung over the street for a while, more from lack of arguing than from grief. And yet, Mrs Bishop was eventually noisy enough in her distress. Perhaps it was shock; perhaps it was sorrow.
“I don’t know how she’s going to fill in her time from now on,” joked neighbour Molly Bendale, “now that her nemesis has gone. Still I suppose they loved each other in a way.”
Loved each other indeed! At the trial, the Bishop’s kitchen frying pan was the main piece of evidence.