Between the Lines

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Chapter 26

“What’s with the binder?” Claire asked when they were once more gathered at the pub.

“It’s called a murder book,” Keeley answered. “I’m going to write down all the evidence and everything we find out about the case in it. I’ve already made notes on what Daniel and his mom told me. It’s what the police use to solve murders.”

“And you know this how, exactly?”

“I googled how to do a murder investigation,” Keeley said defensively. The others all laughed, but they agreed it was a good idea, since none of them actually had any idea of how to go about the rather daunting task they had set for themselves. They wanted to know what else she had learned from her internet search, so she read out the notes she had written down. “Learn everything about the victims final days and weeks, their habits, friends, hobbies, etc. Question friends and neighbors. Look into their backgrounds, relatives, friends, employers, criminal records, activities, finances, romantic involvements. Establish a timeline to prove or break a suspects alibi. Look for inconsistencies in what people say. Follow every lead and treat everything as evidence. So, have either of you remembered anything?”

“Not much,” Lily said apologetically. “Joyce Williams was four years ahead of me in school. I remember that she was really beautiful, and had a great figure, but I didn’t know her personally. I asked everyone I could think of from school, and nobody could tell me anything, except that after she finished school, she worked at Banks dealership.

“Well, that’s a start,” Keeley said. “What did she do there?”

“I’m not sure, secretary or accounts payable or something.”

Keeley dutifully wrote this information down in her murder book. “Claire? Can you add anything?”

“I didn’t really know her either. I got out my old yearbook from grade 10 to see if there was anything in it. That was the year she graduated. She wasn’t into any of the extra curricular activities in school.” Claire pulled the yearbook out of her bag, and opened it. “There’s her class picture.” She pointed to a two by three inch picture of a lovely, unsmiling young woman with long wavy hair, and big dark eyes accentuated with a thick layer of makeup.

“What about her family? Do you know anything about her parents? Did she have any brothers and sisters?” Kira asked.

“I think she was an only child. I don’t remember any other kids, unless they were older and already on their own. She must have had parents, but I don’t know anything about them,” said Claire.

Keeley was disappointed that they didn’t have more leads to follow. “Okay, I’ll see what I can find out at the dealership. I can talk to John Banks, who was likely her boss, and maybe there are other employees still working there that knew her. I also want to find out who the caretaker was at the apartment where Joyce lived when she went missing. Maybe the police can tell me his name, and also the name of the kid.”

Lily had been paging through the yearbook, and now she laid it on the table, indicating a photo of a group of students in football uniforms on the football field. Caught on the side of the photo was the blurry image of a couple holding hands. “That looks like Joyce Williams,” Lily said, pointing to the young woman. “I wonder who the guy is?” She turned to the section with pictures of the graduating class and began to peruse them. Kira went to order another round of drinks since Traci seemed to be having trouble keeping up with the orders, and Keeley and Claire discussed the best way to put what Keeley had learned from her Google search into practice. They were interrupted by Lily’s excited exclamation. “I think this is him!” She showed the others a photo of a young man named Bryan Ferguson. He had the same dark brown, shaggy hair as the man in the group photo, although the facial features were hard to distinguish.

“Good work, Lily!” Keeley was suddenly feeling much more optimistic, especially when a quick 411 search on her phone showed a listing for Bryan Ferguson in Ashton. It looked like they had at least two leads. It was a place to start, and hopefully would lead to something useful.

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