The missing link
The evidence was overwhelming and there was no doubt that the woman opposite him had killed her husband. She looked at him with hostility. Her eyes had much in common with those of a sneaky little rodent. One of those irritating beasts that kept nagging at you and did not know when to stop. He studied her while she kept tapping her foot on the ground, biting her lower lip and remaining silent. She had no intention of enlightening him or admitting to her crime.
What did that man see in her, he had asked his colleague when they had studied her together in the next room before the interrogation.
The girl is ugly, a skinny little brat, and that face, his colleague had added, shivering in horror.
The photos of the butchered man were still fresh in their minds and they were glad that they had not been the first to arrive at the scene of the crime, but that today's retired former colleague had been assigned the case.
Don't believe everything you see, what they say, the old detective had said during his farewell speech, appearances are deceptive and whoever catches an innocent person rewards the perpetrator for his crime.
The evidence against the creature sitting opposite him at the table looked strong. She had not said a word, had not responded to his questions and only looked at him with her cold gaze. Her eyes gave him chills.
Never judge a book by its cover, his mother had kept repeating.
Nothing is as it seems and trust me even the impossible is possible, the retired detective had told him more than once.
All the evidence pointed to her as the culprit. The clothes were found, her clothes, covered in blood. The knife with which the man had been slaughtered came from her kitchen. Her fingerprints were everywhere and witnesses had seen her. She had not called the emergency services and had not shed a tear, nor had she looked shocked. His colleague had noticed she had all the characteristics of a black widow, a psychopath.
It isn't as black and white as you think it is, he heard a voice say. Startled, he looked back but no one had entered the interrogation room. She was still sitting impassively opposite him, her eyes fixed on him, for a second he was unsure whether she could see him.
Although his colleague thought they had done their job and the judge had the last word, he could not hand over the case yet. Suddenly he had the uneasy feeling that something was not right. The file in front of him was thick. Thicker than many other files he had seen. Besides the gruesome photos, there were reports, witnesses and testimonies that all proved that she was the culprit and the police needed to look no further.
The dossier is a big lie, echoed the voice. Although outwardly unmoved, he hit the button to alert the security who would take the suspect back to her cell.
No water and bread yet, he thought, but for the time being, solitary confinement.
He still had 24 hours to close the case and decided to spend the entire evening and if necessary the night on the file of the horribly murdered man while he tried to overcome his distaste for the unattractive suspect.
Could it be that she was innocent? Why hadn't she asked for a lawyer?
That investigation is rambling on all sides. This is a test, said a loud voice. Was it all in his head? Was he losing his mind? Would you believe her if she was attractive, could speak, if she could hear, had good sight and had the strength to fight back, to resist? Could she really have killed a man nearly six feet tall? He was old but not weak.
The voice no longer terrified him. He looked intently at each photo, reading each page of the file, noting the inconsistencies and questioning anything that wasn't right. Indeed, the file rattled on all sides and the more he thought about it, the more convinced he was that she was not the culprit and her life was in danger too.
He carefully studied a photo of broken glasses on the seat of a chair. A piece of glass was missing. Did someone sit on it? In a flash, he remembered a rip in a pair of trousers. He kept coming across the same name again and again. The name of the person who had told him so many times that nothing was as it seemed. A person he believed to be trustworthy and sincere, A man of excellent reputation but capable of mercilessly slaughtering an elderly person who had offered a safe home to a person maligned by all.
This photo can be found on pixabay.com