Who Wanted Dory Anthony Dead?
by Austin Mitchell
“The girl had several boyfriends. Ferguson has been lying to both of us.”
“But Ferguson said that he was her main boyfriend,”Barton countered.
“He was just imagining things. As I said the girl was going out with several other guys.”
“You said that you visited her apartment. What did you find out?”
“Not much, I’m still studying the photographs I took.”
“Okay, I’ll call Ferguson and arrange a meeting.”
The next day Barton called Ferguson to arrange a meeting at his office at two o’clock on Monday.
“I wasn’t the only guy she was seeing. There were other guys, but I thought she preferred me over them.”
Reece was shaking his head, while at the same time taking some notes.
“Do you know any of those other guys?” Reece asked, but Ferguson shook his head.
Ferguson went on to tell them that while at the house on that fateful night, a car had driven up to the gate and Dory had gone out to speak to the driver. He didn’t remember her coming back inside before he was knocked out. Reece didn’t know whether to believe him or not.
Barton said that the girl was killed by the same blunt instrument that Ferguson was found with. He then dropped a bombshell on them by revealing that she was pregnant! Ferguson said that he didn’t know anything about that, he doubted Barton’s story. Barton told him that was what the autopsy revealed.
Reece left the meeting confused. When he reached home his wife who doubled as his secretary asked him.
“Are you making any progress in the Dory Anthony case?”
“Ferguson, the guy they are accusing of killing her, has turned out to be a perfect fool. He claimed they were in love and were supposed to be engaged, but the girl was seeing other guys.”
“My goodness, and they’ve charged him with her murder.”
“Barton delivered a bombshell today. According to the autopsy she was at least a month pregnant. Ferguson said that he doesn’t know anything about that.”
“What! I think there’s more to this than meets the eyes.”
“Ferguson is just a sucker. Whoever killed that girl knew that he could pin the murder on him.”
“I can see your frustration, dear. Have you tried her workplace? By the way where did she work?”
Reece looked at her. He hated being made to look stupid in front of his wife. He hung down his head.
“I think you’ve been barking up the wrong tree, dear.”
Reece thought over what she had just said. They were sitting on the veranda of their four bedroom house in Bridgeport. Their two children were both on working vacations abroad. Both were university students. Reece was a man in his late forties while his wife was a woman in her middle forties.
“I don’t know why I started the way I did. The girl’s parents chased me away from their yard. I left my card with her cousin. She gave me the names of two guys she was seeing, but both of them were very evasive.”
“I think you should try to see as many people who know her, if possible. That way you can start eliminating possible suspects. She must have had friends at her workplace who knew about her social life. They’ll probably know the guy she got pregnant for.”
“That’s why I find the whole Ferguson episode so strange. He claims that on the night of the murder he was there with her when a car drove up to her gate. All he knows is that she went out to the driver. The next thing he knows is that he wakes up beside her dead body.”
“And you don’t think he could have done it?”
“Of course not. I’ve already described the guy to you.”
“If the girl was pregnant, then she must have had another intimate boyfriend apart from Ferguson. She must have been pressuring that person either for money or not to tell his wife about her pregnancy. Finding that person could give us a clue as to her murderer.”
Reece thought over what she had just said.
“I don’t know what I’ll find at her workplace, but it’s worth a try.”
“She must have had a friend, who knows her secrets.”
That made Reece wonder if he would ever find that person. Lesa Gilbert hadn’t come clean to him. He was sure of that.
It took two days for Hal Rowe, his assistant, to get the information he needed. Dory was a senior clerk with Vinny’s Auto Sales and Parts on Red Hills Road.
“How may I help you, sir?”
“My name is Reece Patterson. I’m investigating the murder of one of your former employees, Dory Anthony.”
“I’m really sorry about what happened to Dory, but I’m afraid I can’t accommodate you. We’ve been over that with the police already. They’ve interviewed practically every member of my staff. That and Miss Anthony’s murder have been very stressful.”
“I just want to ask a few questions.”
“As far as I’m concerned, the police have asked all the questions already. All of us will be much happier when her killer or killers are brought to justice,” Vinny Garth said before ending the call.
Reece was surprised at the suddenness with which the man ended the call. He wanted to interview some of the staff members who knew Dory. He couldn’t get into the establishment without Vinny Garth’s permission.”
On Wednesday, Garth agreed to see him.
“We’ve done all we could for Dory and her parents.”
“Did you know that she was pregnant?”
“She was a young woman and she had a boyfriend. Listen, we don’t pry into our employees’ affairs. I don’t know where this is all leading to. Look, as I told you I’m busy,” he said, ushering Reece out of his office.
Just as Reece was leaving, a young man barged into the room. Reece couldn’t help noticing the resemblance between the two men. He had put Vinny’s age in the middle fifties; this man would be just about thirty he thought. He had a gun in his waist and looked gung-ho.
“This is my son, Gareth. He’s my right hand man.”
Reece shook hands with the young man.
“This is Reece Patterson. He’s a private investigator into Dory Anthony’s murder.”
“Sad affair that, that guy they held, looks guilty to me based on what I’ve heard.”
Reece remained silent, only shook the two men’s hands again before departing.
Barton managed to get the case put off for another two months. Reece updated him on the progress of his investigations.
Realizing that he wasn’t getting anywhere with Vinny Garth as the man was refusing him access to any of the murdered woman’s colleagues, he decided to get in touch with Lesa Gilbert.
They were meeting at Reece’s office.
“I think you are hiding a lot of things from me. Did you know that Dory Anthony was pregnant?”
“What! I don’t believe you. She never told me any of these things.”
“You were very close to her. How come she never told you any of these things?”
“Dory had her life to live and I have mine. There are a lot of things she didn’t tell me.”
“So you don’t know who fathered the baby, the Anthony girl was having?”
She shook her head.
Reece was feeling a bit exasperated. He decided not to show it.
“The manager where she used to work is barring me from speaking to anyone there. Do you know any of her friends who worked there?”
The girl hesitated before replying.
“Listen, I’ve helped you all I can. Okay, Opal Keane and Renae Dennis were her best friends. They both work at Vinnys.”
Austin's blog: stredwick.blogspot.com