THE SEVENTH CROSS

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CLAIRE TELLS JANICE EVERYTHING

Now it was Claire’s turn. “My official job is Investigative Reporting. I work out of the Houston office but I make my home now in Seattle. Derek is my fiancé and we work together on some of the more interesting cold cases. This was a case that we had already put a serious amount of time into but like all these cases, we needed a break of some sort. And then Derek got a package from some anonymous source claiming knowledge of this particular case. We get lots of these so called leads, but we can’t afford to ignore any of them. When Derek opened up the package it contained the newspaper article that Joline had mentioned, as well as these photos, and the name of the individual in the photos. Also, a phone number of the sender which he called immediately. And that’s really where I come in.” Claire paused.

Joline jumped in “Mom, I knew it was him the moment I saw that cross! I was so scared but I knew I had to do something.”

Claire continued “When Derek told me about the package, and when we began looking into Jason, well naturally, your name came up, and I knew I had no choice. Part of the reason I was back in Seattle was to try and make amends to a family that I had treated so cruelly. I needed to try and explain why I had left. They deserved way more than that but I was chicken and I knew they must hate me! But when your name came up, well, that was it! I was in and the time was now! And that was my baby sister, and . . .” Claire began to cry. And that’s when Janice wrapped her arms around her, and rocked her back and forth. Little sister comforting big sister while Joline looked on.

And finally Claire was able to continue “I had done a lot of research on crosses and just wasn’t getting anywhere. All the crosses were exactly the same so we figured there had to be some significance but we kept drawing a blank. But when that package arrived we finally had something. We had been pretty accurate on our timeline but still no closer to the identify of the perpetrator. Now we had a name. So we did the research into Jason, and of course into you as well. What choice did I have after that?”

Janice was stunned. She kept nodding her head but this lady of words had none. Finally “Can we go home now? Please. I need to sleep.”

And that’s where it ended for now.

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