Small town in Colorado. 8 AM. July 15, 1997.
A neighborhood in pueblo was awoken by the deafening sound of a gunshot fired. 19-year- old Timothy Marks bit the bullet in his downstairs restroom. Across town at approximately 8:45 AM, another gruesome scene as Stephanie and Olivia Davis were discovered lying dead in Olivia’s bedroom. 17-year-old twins. Wrists slit in an apparent suicide. 9 AM, a call to the local fire department found themselves battling a fire in the open fields of Mr. Livingston’s farm. At the center of the fire was 17-year-old Chuck Livingston’s Ford pickup truck. Inside they found Chuck, burned to a crisp. Ruled an accidental death.
For a small town, four children dead made a lot of noise. All four kids had grown up together in the quiet town. All four seemed happy according to the parents and local groups of friends. I did not want this case, but they specifically called me down from Denver to assist. Local police did not know what to make of it. What was there to make. Three dead because of suicide. One as an accident. Case closed. My boss gave me the talk about how we are always to comply and work with our neighboring towns. All that good cop cliché talk. I came from the LAPD. You look out for your own. You do not give up an inch to anyone in warzones like South Central. As cold as it may sound, a couple of dead kids is nothing compared to some of the things I see in Compton, LA. I watch kids kill, steal, and sexually assault each other on the daily out here. I may have been a little biased, but kids do not exactly hold a special place in my heart.
Still, I drove my sedan to the small town. The air felt thick as the tension in the town was at an all-time high. I was greeted at the station by the Chief of police.
“Hey there. You must be Detective Peterson from Denver. I am Chief Owens. Glad you can make it with such short notice.” He stuck out his enormous paw for an embrace. I did so, but not before noting that the amount of sweat on this man’s head and hand were astoundingly abnormal.
“So, what do we know so far? Aside from the obvious suicides?” I said with a snarky attitude.
“Well, they are all close friends. Thats for sure. Have been since kindergarten. Thing is though, they had no underlying issues. They were not depressed. They had not had any physical problems. All came from good loving families.”
Yes. I have heard that before. Good loving families until a father or an uncle gets too loving. Blinded by all the small-town charm, they could not even do the normal police work it took to solve simple cases. God knows I am alone in this investigation.
“Okay. I am assuming you have already purged the family for any information that might result in finding a motive. I am going to go ahead and try my luck. Can you point me in the direction to find the homes of the victims?”
Chief Owens gave me a map. Detailing the whereabouts of the victims’ homes. Each one marked by the name of the victim and cause of death. At least he was good for something. First on my list was Stephanie and Olivia Davis. I was greeted by a disheveled looking woman at the front of the home. She was doing some sort of yard work before she caught sight of my car and arose. She had been crying. I can understand why. I approached her cautiously.
“Ms. Davis? Hi, I am Detective Peterson. I am working the cases down here of the four children. I was hoping to get some information on Olivia and Stephanie?”
Ms. Davis invited me in for coffee and broke down the events that led up to that morning. Apparently The four children had spent time together the night before at Timothy’s place. Something that was always done. When the twins returned home, they seemed off, but Davis relented that to it being 12 AM. There seemed to be a lot of trust between these kids and their parents. Other than that, there was not much Ms. Davis could offer me. I thanked her for her time and made my way down to Timothy’s place.
Timothys place is where the downfall of my investigation began if I am being honest. Timothys mother was a widower. Bit of a loner in a town of so few people. She did not seem to care too much about the stigma.
“Ms. Marks thank you for taking the time to meet with me, I was hoping you could assist me with any information that would lead me in the right direction to figure out a motive or connection.”
Ms. Marks went on to explain that the gang of kids spent time together down in the den as they always did. They ordered pizza from Gastonis. Watched movies. Ate popcorn. All teenage kid stuff. Then she dropped a bit of a bomb that no one here seemed to believe was important information.
“They were all so happy and excited that the town had finally gotten back to some regularity” “What was that madam?”
“The trial you must have been informed on that, sir.”
There was a trial involving all four kids here that was lifted about a week before the investigation started. According to Ms. Marks, there was a woman claiming that the kids drugged her 14-year-old special needs son. They then proceeded to film him performing humiliating acts on camera, which the courts dismissed as “Childlike horseplay” after the camera stopped rolling, the child went missing. He was found in the nearby woodland area. Beaten to a pulp. Tied to a pine tree. The mother was a grieving mess. Knowing full well she should have never trusted anyone with her boy. The kids all played dumb and acted as if they had no clue what had happened to him after they dropped him off at home.
To preface why the trial ended so abruptly, the woman of the special needs child, was disliked greatly. She was a mother out of wedlock in a very conservative town. She also never went to church and made a point of wearing her satanic beliefs on her shoulders. She was a heathen to these people. When the child was found dead, the local police did not even notify her face to face. They decided a phone call would suffice. When the trials began, she was there every step of the way. Anytime she spoke up she was threatened with being held in contempt. A mother, who just lost her son in the most brutal of ways, threatened in our American justice system. Can you imagine. It was obvious that even with a great deal of evidence surmounting the children, she would never get the justice she so rightfully deserved. She refused to press on with the case and left town that same day.
Well, there went my lead. They did not name her as no one typically talked to her. She rented the home that they stayed in. Always paid cash. The property owner was away on vacation in another country. And the police officers, well there was not a whole lot on that file. So, I was going nowhere with that lead. Still, the amount of hushed tone about a case that was dropped a mere week ago seems off. I decided to drive down to my last stop. Mr. Livingston’s farm. Mr. Livingston was the most at peace of the three parents. He was as cool as a solider in battle. Not worried about the situation that had unfolded right before his yard.
“Mr. Livingston, do you believe this was an accident?,” I asked.
“What is it matters anyway boy. The kids are gone. It is what it is.,” Mr. Livingston replied
That odd tone and dismissiveness towards his own son would have been a major red flag if I were not so sure that it was his age keeping him such a cold-hearted man. Livingston was 79 years old. Which made him a new father at 60 with Chuck. I was stone walled. Yet again. I thanked him, for nothing, and was making my way to my car. About to drive into town and take a break when a farm hand stopped me.
“You talking to Liv’ bout the crazy stuff going on in this town?,” she asked.
“who’s asking?,” I replied
“Listen, I got some information that might help you.
This farm hand let me know that the woman of the special needs kid, had been spotted several times in the woods. Some people say she has taken shelter in the burned-out cabin that used to belong to Ms. Davis’ family.
I asked her to show me. We met up a couple of hours later outside the local farmer’s market. She guided me along the wooded area. Somewhere between the town and the main highway there was a small rest stop area, I parked there, and we walked into the woods. I drew my pistol reassuring her it was for the safety of “us.” We trekked for what felt like hours until we came up into an open area. In the middle was a charred house. Roof still attached barely.
“I am assuming this is the place. Charming.” I said as we pressed forward.
We walked through the open hole in the wall. There was not much to see. Some half-charred furniture and a couple of rotting walls. I took a hard look around. No sign of anyone here. As I turned around, a dust be blown into my face. A harsh cough overtook me. My body went numb as I collapsed to the ground. I sat there looking up at the farm handle. A wicked smile now plastered over her face.
“You nosy bastard. What gives you the right to come seek answers for those rotten kids! Those... those MURDERS!” she shrieked as I lay unable to make coherent sentences.
She kicked me in the side of my ribs. At this point I was sure I was going to die. I just was not sure how. She continued.
“Those snot nosed bastards killed my baby! In cold blood. Left him to rot, tied to a tree! They all should have burned like Chuck Livingston, who beat his face in with a two-by-four! Or shot in the head like innocent little Timmy M, who threw boiling hot water in his face! Or even slashed, like those two monstrous girls who drugged my baby in the first place!” the raw emotion and anger foaming from her mouth was more terrifying than you could imagine. I began to get some movement back in my mouth.
“Listen, I understand your emotions. But killing me is not going to help you. Let me help you” Her back was towards me, but when she heard that, she made her neck unhuman like to become face to face with me.
“Kill you? No detective. You are not going to die here. But you are mistaken in one area. You do not understand. But you will.” with that she pulled out a piece of paper from her pocket and began reciting some foreign language. Saying the same thing over and over. I noticed a half-broken cabinet begin to glow. She walked over and removed its contents. She now held whatever it was in her hands. As she moved closer to me, still repeating those words, I could make out a roundness. Then eyes, ears, teeth. It was a head. Her sons head. She now spoke with an evil in her voice.
“Now detective, you want answers, look into the windows of my son’s soul, and feel the pain he went through! Feel the pain like those disgusting children did! Search inside his soul to feel what he felt!”
With that I was suddenly conscious with no control over my body. It was if there was play going on and my mind was simply watching first person. It was at that moment that I understood what she meant. I was reliving the trauma brought onto this young man. The night began with him kissing his mother goodbye. Followed by a drive to the nearby woods. There was weed and alcohol. I was nearly drowned in alcohol before the twins coerced me into eating a handful of pills. I had no clue what it was but before I knew it, I was naked dancing around like a fool. Thats when boys swept me to the floor. Timmy took his hot coffee and poured it on my face The rest of them kept on laughing and drinking. Thats around when chuck began beating in my face. Time seemed to jump around. I felt terrified. Almost as if this were some repressed memories in my own psyche. It all came to an end though. When I felt the rope binding me to the tree. Face cut up. I could only see red as the teenagers stood there proud of their work. They called me names. Threw things at my face. And left me there.
I began to feel myself fall out of this body, like I was falling down a well. On the way down, horrible images of pain and sorrow filled my eyes. Every murder, rape, and assault case I ever worked rushed past me. Forcing me to cope with the ever-mounting pressure of being an officer. Kids I killed in the name of the law rushing past me. Snippets of their funerals and grieving family filling my eyes. In my ears I could hear sorrow and agony as loved ones wept and pleaded. The noise became deafening. The sights are more gruesome. Just when I felt the urge to pass out, I awoke. I was in the middle of the police station. Sitting in a waiting area. The noise of the precinct should have given me some relief, but I could not feel anything. Anything but sorrow. I was not sure of how I got there, but I did not care. I stood up, went to my sergeant’s desk and told him I am handing in my resignation.
- This was the last thing written by detective Peterson, before he took out his service pistol and shot himself in the head in the middle of nowhere on a Colorado highway.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, RayyanWrite a Review