The Monday afternoon knitting group met as usual at the local library, and were talking about the recent deaths, old Steller Armstrong was deeply missed, as she had been active within the group and the founding member of their little troop. Her companionship, and sense of humour and laughter was greatly loved, as was her contributions to the local community.
Kate Winslow had returned from a six-month visit to family members now living in New Zealand and had been shocked to learn of Steller Armstrong’s death. “Oh, but my dear, it is not only poor Steller to have died,” said Janice the Librarian, “No since you have been away there has been a spate of unexplained deaths, admitting some could have been from natural causes, but not seventeen, and poor Steller making it eighteen.”
Kate breathed in deeply from the shock of this news. “Who else has died since I was away.” Janice lowered her voice and started to explain who from within the community of Mid Martin Henge had died. “Of course, we all expected Nancy Roberts to die as she had cancer, and Miss Smith from East Street, she died also from heart failure, but as for the others it is suspected they were all murdered, and the police are unable to explain why, and nor can they seem to find any direct connection, the community is living in fear, and wondering who will be next.”
Janice was the local source of much of the information and happenings in the area, and Kate did not doubt for one moment that there were any discrepancies in the news she had just been given.
It was at that moment that Ester Armstrong entered the Library and informed the knitting group that the police had cordoned off an unoccupied terraced house close to the Parish hall, and that it was rumoured a selection of items had been recovered connected to the recent murders.
As the police, carefully and methodically searched the cordoned off area, the residence watched as people dressed in white forensic clothing came and went, and the huge white tent was erected over the front lawn and restricted much of the local’s viewing.
“I am sorry sir, but I do not agree, I just feel these items were planted here to throw us off, and possibly to waist our time, I would even lay money on it that we will not find anything else connecting these murders.”
Inspector Culvate looked at Murphy Evans, and bit gently onto his lower lip. “What do you base this upon?” WPC Evans smiled, “My gut sir, or intuition if you prefer, and you know in the eight years we have worked together that in over ninety-eight percent of such times I have been proved right.”
Inspector Culvate frowned, as he knew his colleague was possibly correct, yet he had no choice other than to follow through on this line of investigation, and there was always a chance that additional items would be found, or trace DNA, so it was not a waste of time or resources.
“Over here sir we have found possible finger prints,” shouted one of the police technicians. Inspector Culvate watched as the prints were photographed and collected and then he looked back at his colleague and smiled. Murphy grinned, “Five pound that it belongs to who so ever delivered the skip, as often they use a hand to guide the skip as it is lowered into place.”
Simon Culvate took the bet and grinned as he had just received additional information, and as of yet, unknown to WPC Murphy that the search dog had indicated a further body had been awaiting discovery from within the house.
Five hours later after the floor boards had been lifted and the forensic teams had painstakingly removed top soil, there before them lay the mummified remains of a human. The body had been dissected and carefully wrapped in bed linen and then placed into black bin bags and buried. But judging from the remains the body had laid undiscovered for many years.
As the remains were removed, word quickly spread that something had been found, and those living opposite witnessed the forensic team carrying various containers into awaiting vehicles, and then been driven away.
Justin Gilmore whom lived only five doors away had been listening in on his scanner and had overheard that a dissected body had been found, and within minutes he had informed his mother and she in turn relayed the information forward.
It was Kate Winslow who on hearing the information, stepped aside from the knitting group, and found herself a quiet corner to sit and reflect on this news. Kate had lived in Mid Martin Henge since she was a child and had grown up within the small community as it grew. The house in question had once belonged to old mother Pilkerson and was inherited by her grandson when he was just seventeen years of age.
It was reputed that Mrs Pilkerson had travelled to Canada to visit family and decided to stay, then three years later, she had apparently gone for a drive and her car was found abandoned but her body was never recovered.
At the time, Kate had thought the story was strange, and that no one had seen mother Pilkerson leave nor had they heard her talking about a visit to Canada. Yet her passport had clearly shown she had travelled to Canada and had been found along with other items at the address she was reputed to be staying in while in Canada.
Now Kate felt a shudder travel along her spine as it dawned upon her that there was a likely chance that the body discovered was that of old mother Pilkerson, and that if so, then her murderer had been openly living within the community for all these years.
Reaching into her handbag Kate withdrew her Samsung Mobile phone, and tapped out a phone number, and then waited for her call to be answered. “Simon here.” “Simon its Kate, how are you and Janice and the children.” Simon smiled “Kate when did you get back..., we have missed you, we need to arrange a family reunion, and you can tell us all about your time away.”
Kate breathed inwards and Simon recognised it as been Kates way of delivering uncomfortable news. “Simon I am phoning about the reported body discovered, do you remember Old mother Pilkerson..., no stupid of me to ask, sorry that was before you met my Janice, sorry..., but Mrs Pilkerson use to live there in that house, and she was reported to have visited Canada, and mysteriously went missing while out there, and incredibly her body was never found.”
Simon realised he was being given important information and he knew his wife’s aunt rarely wasted peoples time on trivial matters. “Simon, I have a horrible feeling that the body you just found is that of mother Pilkerson, and if so, then it implements her two sons, and possibly Alice her daughter as she went to live in Canada.”