WIP Tragedy by Jessica Wren
A 20-year-old autistic man is found shot to death in the road. Three days later, Victor Bethel claims responsibility for the shooting. But Savannah, Georgia PD Sergeant Ben Zeigler and his new partner, Detective Angela McGuire, are doubtful that Bethel acted alone, and their best chance of solving the case rests on finding a mystery man named Seth Jordan who is terrorizing Bethel and his family.
Meanwhile, a string of suspicious suicides on a university campus lead the detectives to believe that a serial killer is on the loose. The two cases will collide in a way that will shock the entire city of Savannah to its core. As the two detectives discover Bethel’s heart breaking motive for the crime, they continue their hunt for a deranged serial killer with an esoteric M.O., while trying to fight their increasing attraction to each other…
“I was worried sick! How come we didn’t know you were in the hospital?” Williams asked his nephew in a voice of angry relief. Bethel’s response was to turn on the cop on duty.
“I said no visitors. What part of that did you not get?’ Bethel snapped at the hapless cop stuck with babysitting him.
“He’s here with me,” Zeigler stepped in authoritatively. “Officer, would you mind stepping out for a few minutes. The officer’s expression reflected pure gratitude to be momentarily relieved of the burdensome assignment as he walked out.
“Victor, I had no idea you didn’t want visitors, so I apologize. But your uncle was so upset to hear that you were in the hospital…”
Both uncle and nephew were ignoring Zeigler.
“What the hell happened? Did you get beat up by another inmate? And why didn’t you call us?”
“Uncle Buddy,” Bethel’s eyes were filled with tears. “I’m sorry. I can’t tell you.”
“What?” Williams asked in disbelief. Then, in a gentle voice, he asked, “Victor, how can I help you if you won’t tell me what’s wrong.”
“I just can’t,” Bethel began to cry. “Uncle Buddy, I’m sorry!” he was sobbing hysterically.
“See if you can get him to talk. I’ll wait outside,” Williams eyes were filled with hurt and disappointment as he and Sade exited the room.
“Victor, I promise I’m on your side,” Zeigler said as soothingly as he could. He was beginning to regret leaving his partner at the station. McGuire, it seemed, had a gift sensing people’s emotions and reacting accordingly. He also dismissed Detective Lawton so he could speak alone with Bethel.
“Dr. Cleary told me why you’re hear,” he said.
“What! She ain’t allowed to do that, is she?” he asked, unsure.
“You’re a suspect in our custody, so yes, we have the right to any medical information concerning your custody. Victor, I’m asking you to please tell me the truth. Who is raping you?”
“Nobody’s raping me.”
“A physical exam showed signs of extreme sexual abuse. Are you involved in an abusive relationship?’
“I’m not involved in any relationship.”
“Do you recognize this person?” Zeigler showed him the sketch. Bethel reacted as if there were a cobra poised on his bed, ready to strike.
“Where…did…?” Bethel was too terrified to speak.
“A witness from one of your gambling parties described him to us. Who is he?” Bethel’s voice was still unable to function. Zeigler was beginning to lose his patience and considered calling McGuire to join them. She would know exactly what to say, he thought.
“Please tell me, Victor. Who is this person?”
“Seth Jordan.” Bethel replied in a barely audible voice. “Did you see him?”
“No, we have no idea who he is. That’s where you come in. when we mentioned him to Emily, she nearly collapsed and also denied knowing him. Now, on the 911 call you made on August 4th of this year, you said a Seth Jordan attacked you with a knife. Is this the person who attacked you, Victor?” Bethel nodded, apparently defeated.
“Did he sexually assault you?”
“No,” Bethel replied emphatically. “Listen, I can’t keep this up anymore. If you can have my uncle tell Todd to meet us at the jail tomorrow, I’ll tell you everything.”
“Ok, great. Do you want your uncle to come back in here before we leave?”
“Detective, I’m dying to tell Uncle Buddy the truth, but I just can’t right now. I think Mom and Emily are in Kingsland, right? Because we were all supposed to go today to see my cousin.”
“They are, yes.”
“Please tell them to stay with Jeremy and not come back to Savannah for any reason. Tell Uncle Buddy to go too, today. I will say this much today: Seth Jordan will kill them if he sees them.”
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Jessica Wren Fiction.
Another Sample from Tragedy.
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“I said no visitors. What...
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