Chapter Three: Interrogation:
Jessica sat in the room with Michael’s consciousness in the voice speaker box. She remembered the last time she talked to him before he called for his lawyer. He denied everything and tried to act smarter than her. Now, the ball was in her court. So many questions ran through her head. Would a consciousness need a lawyer? Would this case go through? How could she arrest a consciousness? Would this really work?
Jessica sat up in place.
“Hello, Michael,” she said. “Do you remember me?” The speaker box had no face, of course. She couldn’t observe any body language. Jessica would have to use her ears.
“No…” Michael said.
“What is the last thing you remember?”
“Taking my sons into the house and killing them.” Michael paused. “Wait… why did I say that?”
“You can just a consciousness. You can’t lie.”
“What happened to me?”
“You died. After you killed your sons.” There was another pause. Jessica had to be careful with this.
“I killed my sons?” Michael asked.
“Yes,” the detective said.
“And I am dead?”
“Yes.” Another pause came. Jessica decided to get started. First, start off with the basic questions. Maybe just to test the suspect a little bit longer.
“What is your name?” Jessica asked.
“Michael Roy Powell.”
“How old were you when you died?”
“Do you have any children?”
“Daughters or sons?”
“What are their names?”
“Jaden Austin Powell and Michael Roy Powell Jr.”
“How old are they?”
“Seven and five.”
“Are they still alive?”
“What happened to them?”
“I killed them.”
“How did you kill them?”
“Slit their throats. Broke Jaden’s neck. Burned down the house. I shot myself in the head.” The words kept spilling out of his non-existent mouth. Jessica fought to keep herself calm. Everything was going well. Now to get to the serious part.
“Do you remember your wife?” she asked.
“Yes,” Michael confessed with no emotion in his voice.
“What was her name?”
“Abby Susan Powell.” Another pause came. Jessica braced herself to go into the kill. This had to be just right. Everything had been going well. Now for the big guns.
“What happened to Abby?” the detective asked.
“I… I… I killed her.” She knew it! Everyone around Salt Lake knew. Now, this confirmed it. Now to bring it all home.
“How did you kill her?” Jessica asked. There was another pause. The tape recorder on the table was catching everything. Her partner stood back in the corner, silent and observing everything with his own questions. Would the judge allow any of this to go through?
“How did you kill Abby?” the detective asked again in a patient tone. Another pause came. Jessica and her partner waited with bated breath.
“I waited until she got home that night,” Michael’s consciousness confessed.
“On December fifth?”
“Then what happened?”
“I ambushed her in the dark. As soon as she closed the door, I hit her in the back of her head with a hammer.”
“How many times?”
“I don’t know. I was just so mad that night. I kept swinging and swinging until she lay motionless at my feet. I beat her to death while our sons were asleep in their beds.” The confession matched up with the evidence from the luminal spray they did on the floor, walls, and old couch the police managed to track down in the city dump.
“What did you do with the body?” Jessica asked.
“I wrapped her up in tarp, woke up the boys and told them we were going camping, and loaded them up in the car,” Michael said.
“I drove her out to the desert and dumped her body down an abandoned mineshaft.” It was all just as everyone thought. The little boys were telling the truth after all. Everything was almost into place.
“Where is the murder weapon?” the detective asked.
“I threw it down a well in my parents’ backyard,” the suspect’s consciousness said.
“And why did you kill Abby?”
“She was going to leave and take the kids.”
“Was there life insurance involved?”
Jessica rose to her feet. “Right, at this time you are under arrest for the murders of Abby, Jaden, and Mikey Powell!”
“What?!” the consciousness cried. The partner walked around the speaker and picked it up.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law,” Jessica went on.
“Don’t I get a lawyer or something?!” Michael asked. “This isn’t right! You can’t do this to me! I’m already dead. This isn’t fair! It’s not right!” Jessica said nothing as the dead slammed shut.
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