Authors: Barrie Turner
Copyright © 2013 Barrie Turner
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems – except in the case of brief quotations in articles or reviews – without the permission in writing from its publisher, M-Y Books.
187 Ware Road
As he approached the quarry entrance, he braked lightly in order to slow the car down and then, once inside, he allowed the vehicle to crawl noiselessly between the huts in order to ensure that the car was no longer visible to possible prying eyes. He opened the door and stepped silently into the blackness of the night. For a few moments, he stood quite still taking whatever time he needed to allow his eyes to adjust to the all-encompassing darkness before walking as quietly as possible to the rear of the car. As he walked he became aware that he was becoming sexually aroused by the knowledge that, even though this was his first victim, it was almost certain that this would not be his last.
Without another glance he raised the boot lid and lifted the lifeless body out of the car then, with a quick grunt, he hoisted the corpse onto his shoulder and walked to the edge of the lake.
Before setting out on his macabre journey he had already wrapped the body in black polythene sheeting which he had tied and bound securely; and now he proceeded to attach a quantity of large stones to the parcel in order to ensure that, when he consigned her body to the deep, it would fall rapidly to the bottom some sixty feet below where it would be entombed within the thick layer of mud which covered the floor of the lake. Now he was satisfied that all was ready and he began to smile to himself as he pushed the parcel into the water. He smiled because he knew that he had found the perfect spot and that her body would never be found. Still smiling as the parcel slipped slowly beneath the surface, he had no way of knowing that a trailing rope had snagged itself on an underwater tree root a mere twelve feet below. Totally unaware of the consequences of this fateful happening and the effect the discovery would have upon him, he quickly turned and retraced his steps to the car. He was now more than satisfied with his gruesome night’s work and felt secure in the knowledge that girls and sex no longer mattered. Furthermore, never again would he experience the shame and humiliation of a woman rejecting his advances or, even worse, berating him over his premature ejaculation. As he started the car, it began to rain quite heavily and this only served to increase his feeling of wellbeing for he knew that by the time he got back home all trace of his visit to the quarry would be well and truly washed away. Yes he smiled – he felt he was home and dry!
Detective Inspector Taylor drove into the station yard at Merseyside Police headquarters and he parked his car in his allotted space. As he walked across the yard to the entrance, he was pleased to see the bulky figure of Detective Sergeant West disappearing through the door ahead of him. ‘Good old Westy,’ he mused, ‘always reliable, always there on time.’ These days they weren’t just coppers, they were also firm friends after having spent more than ten years solving crime together. From the look of things now, they could well be on the trail again.
Some three days earlier following a quarrel with her boyfriend, a young woman from Bromborough had been reported missing. Today, he and Jim West were going over the water from Liverpool to interview the young lady’s parents and her boyfriend. Afterwards they would compare notes before deciding upon their next course of action. He was in the building now and he steadily climbed the stairs to the first floor where there were a number of offices including his own and that of Sergeant West. As he walked through the main office he caught sight of his colleague and motioned to him to come to straight to his office.
Detective Inspector Taylor seated himself behind his large mahogany desk, and he began to speak as soon as Jim West came through the open office door.
“Listen Jim I just wanted to have a quick word before we set off. I wondered whether or not you have any thoughts on this missing Bromborough woman. You know the Wilson girl?”
“Do you think it could be one for us or do you think she has just run away somewhere and disappeared for a while?”
Jim West hardly waited for his chief to finish speaking before he replied, “I know it’s early days yet, but I’ve already got a gut feeling about this one. My guess is that the girl’s already dead and that it is one for us. I don’t know why I feel like this, but I do. Maybe it’s just instinct but there it is.”
“What makes you so sure?” asked the Inspector, knowing full well that his colleague hadn’t quite finished.
“Well, Peter, it’s nothing you can put your finger on, and there’s certainly nothing definite yet, but the bloody boyfriend has been down at the local nick trying to get them to widen the scope of their missing person’s enquiry. He’s also been sticking his nose in telling the desk sergeant he thinks she’s been done in. Apparently, the boys themselves think he is almost daring them to go and find her. My experience of this type of behaviour in previous cases, and indeed many others in other patches, is that it nearly always follows that the missing person has been killed, and the boyfriend, the husband, stepfather, or other close relative is the one responsible. Despite this, I’ll keep an open mind until we’ve got something definite to go on.”
“What about the girl’s parents? Do you know anything about them?”
“Not a lot,” said Jim. “When I spoke to the boys at Bromborough they just said they were an average, decent, hard-working couple, who are now genuinely concerned that their only daughter has not been seen for a couple of days. What makes it worse as far as they are concerned is the fact that she didn’t take any clothes with her.”
The Inspector remained silent for a moment or two before speaking then he said, “Well I don’t think we have much choice. As always, this is the part of the job that we hate doing – interviewing the parents of missing offspring, but I am afraid we don’t have much in the way of alternatives. Come on then Jim let’s grab a quick cup of tea then we’ll drive over there to see what we can sniff out. Afterwards we’ll call in Bromborough nick then, before we leave, we’ll go and have a word with the boyfriend to see what he has to say for himself.”
The drive through the city centre and the Liverpool tunnel was quite uneventful, and it took barely an hour in Inspector Taylor’s unmarked police car to get to the Wilson residence. They were soon seated in the comfortable lounge of the Wilsons’ unpretentious semi-detached home.
The Inspector was going to begin, and, in situations such as these, he was always hesitant, and decidedly edgy. The trouble was he always felt for the parents and it was as if he could actually feel what they were going through. In fact, it was almost as though he could read their minds. Naturally, the last thing he wanted to do was to heighten their fears, or increase their own anxieties, and he certainly didn’t wish to alarm or distress the Wilsons any more than was absolutely necessary during the course of their initial enquiries. Within a short space of time, he was able to establish that the missing girl had not taken any clothing other than the clothes she was wearing on the night she disappeared. Although she would have had money in her purse, her parents were able to verify that she hadn’t taken any of her credit cards, or her cheque book. Noting this, but keeping his thoughts to himself, Jim West was already beginning to think that things were looking ominous. The parents also confirmed they knew she had been going out with Harry Thompson for at least six months, and they had met him on a number of occasions. Whenever they met him he always appeared to be well mannered, and quietly spoken. Furthermore, in addition to being punctual, he was always tidily dressed, even when wearing casual clothes. They mentioned that whenever Diane spoke about him, which seemed quite often especially of late, it was obvious that she thought a lot about him. They also confirmed that she had been talking recently about going to live with him, and perhaps one day getting married. This was something they were more than pleased about, especially as he worked in a local bank, and there had been talk of him being promoted. Finally, they confirmed that Harry appeared to be very upset about the disappearance of Diane, and, it was not until Harry telephoned them on the Saturday morning that any of them, Harry included, realised that she had gone missing.
Sergeant West asked whether or not Harry had told them about the quarrel the previous evening, and they both nodded nervously in agreement. The Wilsons confirmed that Harry had been with them in the house whilst they made contact with every person they could think of in an effort to trace her. At the end of the day after they had learned nothing new, they decided to report her disappearance to the police at the local station in Bromborough. The following day, Harry had stopped by on his way to work, and during that day he had telephoned repeatedly in order to ascertain whether or nor Diane had returned home. During the course of his last call, he told them that he was going to finish work early, and that he had arranged to take some time off work. He also stated that he would call round later after he had visited the station again. Sergeant West intervened at this point to remind his superior that this was the visit by Thompson that he had spoken about earlier before they left Liverpool.
By now, both men could see that they had learned as much as they were going to do at this visit. As they turned to leave, Inspector Taylor faced both parents and said, “As you know it’s still very early yet, and, hopefully, when she has got this silly quarrel business sorted out in her mind, she will return home full of apologies for all the fuss and upset she’s caused you both, and I am sure you’ll be extremely relieved and delighted. Because she’s not a minor, she is quite able to run off like this however much out of character to you this might seem, and, because of this, we can hardly treat this as a full-blown murder enquiry at this stage. We will, however, initiate a missing person’s enquiry, and carry out local searches. Should our initial enquiries fail, we’ll reconsider both our position and our strategy, and proceed accordingly. Having said this, I now have to ask you both whether or not you think Harry Thompson is telling you the truth. In other words have you ever considered the possibility that Harry Thompson may actually have caused your daughters disappearance?”
The effect of this question literally stunned Mr. and Mrs. Wilson as it was totally unexpected and Mrs Wilson put her arms around her husband and began to cry. Both officers were well aware of the discomfort and distress the Wilsons were experiencing, and it was all too painfully obvious that neither of these devoted parents had even contemplated such a terrible thought.
Seeing the degree of discomfort, Sergeant West responded first urging both parents to calm down and offering profuse apologies before saying, “Sincerely, we do understand how difficult it is for you both, but it is equally important that you also understand our position. If your daughter has come to any harm at all, we have to consider, and take account of, every possibility no matter how hard, or far- fetched it may seem to you. Still visibly distressed, and very badly shaken, the Wilsons said that they couldn’t bring themselves to think that Harry could possibly be involved.
Tight-lipped and silent both officers left the house, and returned to their waiting car. Neither man spoke until they were safely around the corner and out of sight.
“Thank Christ that’s over,” said Sergeant West.
“I agree”, replied Inspector Taylor, “That’s why I always detest this part of the frigging job. Everybody knows, as well as us, that we have to ask the bloody awkward questions and, when we do, just look at what happens. They look at us aghast, as if we’re vermin or sick in the bloody mind. At times, I think they just don’t realise we have a job to do, and, we have to ask awkward and embarrassing questions. “You know Jim,” he sighed, “at times like these I begin to wonder if I might be getting too old for this bloody job because it certainly never gets any easier.” He started the engine once again and they drove in silence to Bromborough police station.
Some lively banter with their brother officers revived their spirits a little, then it was time to make the short journey to the home of Harry Thompson which lay just over a mile away in the picturesque village of Eastham.
Within minutes, Sergeant West had the car outside the neat little terraced house situated on the main road just beyond the golf club. The house was overlooked by trees on the opposite side of the road, which formed part of the country park and nature reserve. From the back of the house there were views across the river Mersey to Liverpool in the distance beyond, but neither man had time for sightseeing today as they strode purposefully to the front door. In response to their knock, the door was opened by Sally Thompson, the adoptive mother of Harry Thompson.
“Mrs. Thompson?” Enquired Sergeant West with his warrant card in his hand clearly visible. Quickly noting the nod of acknowledgement, he added, “Sorry to disturb you, Ma’am, but we are police officers investigating the disappearance of Miss Diane Wilson, and we would like to ask your son Harry a few questions in connection with this.”
Rather nervously, Mrs. Thompson ushered both men inside. Before closing the door, she took a hesitant look up and down the road in order to determine whether or not any of the neighbours were about, or watching. She followed both men into the house and into the small front room, where she urged both officers to sit down and make themselves comfortable whilst she put the kettle on and made the tea. Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil, she volunteered the information that, although Harry was out at present, she was certain he would be back within the next ten or fifteen minutes. She poured the tea, and returned to the room with a tray and some biscuits, then, somewhat apprehensively, she sat down to await the officers’ first question.
After what seemed an eternity and unable to bear the silence any longer, she asked both of the officers if she could be of any help.
Jim West was the first to respond and he replied, “Well we doubt very much if you can, because the purpose of our visit is to speak to your son to see if he can help us with our enquiries. So we need to speak to him first.”
Although she was almost afraid to speak by now, she still felt it essential to point out the officer’s mistake as she countered, “No officer, he’s not my son; he’s adopted.” With time passing agonisingly slowly she was becoming increasingly worried, and her mind began to blur with the events and happenings of recent days and weeks.
The impact of her statement wasn’t lost on either of the two men as they both made a mental note that all might not be what it seemed to be here in the quaint little backwater village of Eastham. A fully trained and observant officer would have noticed immediately the glance, which said it all, as it passed between them, quite unnoticed by Mrs. Thompson.
At this moment however, their thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a key being inserted in the lock on the front door. Within a few moments, both men were looking at Harry Thompson.
Stating the nature of their business, Sally Thompson introduced the men to her adopted son.
“Mr. Thompson,” began Sergeant West, “Can you confirm to myself and Detective Inspector Taylor your movements on the evening of September 11
1988, and can you also state and confirm the last time you saw Diane Wilson alive?”
Harry didn’t need any time to think about his answers to the questions because he knew full well what the truth was. Furthermore he reasoned, if that is what they wanted to know, he was more than prepared to tell them everything he knew because, as far as he was concerned he had nothing to hide. In this frame of mind, he told the officers everything he knew, including the sex session, and ending with the quarrel, which culminated in Diane’s refusal to allow him to see her safely home.
It was the Inspector who terminated the interview. Then, presumably in an effort to catch him unawares, he fired his final shot. “Harry Thompson did you kill or cause any harm to come to Diane Wilson on, or after, the evening of September the eleventh?”
Harry heard his adopted mother’s involuntary gasp of breath as the impact of the question hit her hard and he saw her mouth begin to open, and her jaw begin to sag momentarily. He also observed the anguished look of fear in her eyes. Looking at all three people in the room, he answered as firmly as he could, “No I did not and that is the truth.”
Neither officer had anything further to say apart from keeping everybody fully informed about any future developments and that, for the moment, Diane’s disappearance was being treated as a missing person’s enquiry. Following on from this, there would be local searches, and appeals to the general public through the local press, for help and information.