Everyone Said She Did ItbyCromagnonman©
I stared at the page in disbelief, but there it was, plain as day; she had been giving him a blow job and while he was fully erect and enjoying himself, she had taken a zip tie and slipped it around his scrotum and pulled it tight but not tight enough to cause him pain. That didn't come until she had placed another around the base of his cock, then she tightened both of them, really tight.
By the time the paramedics had arrived on the scene his cock and balls were both purple. The removal operation was carried out with extreme care and he was rushed to hospital where every effort was made to save his reproductive organs. Doubts still remained some three months after the event as to whether he would ever regain full functionality to these parts of his anatomy. Damage to the blood vessels in his penis was such that no amount of physical or visual stimuli could induce an erection.
The 'she' in this saga was Loretta Martin. She was a successful young business woman with her own interior design business that attracted a clientele of equally successful people. That she should have been on a date with the victim, James St Clair was no great surprise to their friends; after all it was common knowledge that they were 'an item'. Every person that the police spoke to during their investigation had said that they made an ideal couple, they were both good looking and successful, they seemed to have so many things in common that it was expected that an engagement announcement was imminent.
What their friends could not understand was how the date had come to this. They had dined at 'La Bodega', their favourite restaurant, before the opera. Everyone said that 'La Boheme' was their favourite and they cried unashamedly at the end. They said their good-byes to their friends before their hired limousine had taken them to her apartment.
The limousine driver said that they were typical of a loving couple during the journey; whispering to each other and kissing often, and when he dropped them off they were holding hands as they entered her apartment building.
What had happened to cause her to do something like this to a man who was a respected member of the business community? What had caused her to inflict such pain on a man who she was supposed to love? That was what I had to find out.
The court ordered Psychiatrist, whose report was in front of me, had been unable to find any sign of mental instability. In his report he had stated that the only manifestation of any sort was a complete denial that the event had ever occurred. He questioned her about her childhood and found nothing that could have triggered such behaviour. He questioned her extensively about her sex life and concluded that it was 'normal' in every way, that she had an active and loving relationship with James and was anticipating his proposal eagerly. She had already chosen her wedding dress and paid a deposit on it.
Her attorneys had come to me, the sign on my door said that I was Matthew Lawrence, Clinical Psychologist, to see if I could unravel this dilemma.
When she walked into my consulting room it was all I could do to avert my eyes. She was the person who stopped conversations when she walked into a room, everything about her was flawless; her hair shone honey blonde in the light from the window, her skin looked as if it had never seen make-up and never would and her long slender neck carried the single string of pearls as if it was meant to do that from birth.
Her tailored dark blue suit fitted the curves of her body perfectly and her crisp white blouse was a perfect foil for it. There was no cleavage showing and she exuded an almost Puritanical quality that belied the charges that had been made against her, this quality was further emphasized by her black stockings and shiny low heeled shoes. Anyone less likely to have inflicted such pain on a man, especially one that she was said to have been in love with, I could not imagine.
"Won't you have a seat?" I indicated the chair on the other side of the low coffee table in the centre of the room. She sat with her knees close together as if she was afraid to allow me a glimpse of anything above them. The look in her eyes was of a frightened rabbit caught in the spotlight.
"You have been asked to come and see me because your attorney wants to find any reason for your actions that he can use to either get you off or reduce what is potentially a long period of incarceration. Do you understand this?"
"I understand. What I don't understand is why no-one will believe that I didn't do this thing. I love James and am looking forward to marrying him. I can't understand why he has accused me of this because I know that he loves me."
"I have read the police report and they have evidence that you are the only person that could have done this. There's the evidence that you were seen together by dozens of your friends at the opera. Do you deny that you went to see 'La Boheme' at the opera?"
"There is evidence that you and James were dropped off at the front of your apartment building at exactly 11.33pm and you were seen entering the building. Do you deny that?"
"At 12.09am the 000 emergency call centre received a call from your apartment requesting urgent Ambulance attendance. It came from a man who gave his name as James St Clair and when the Paramedics arrived they found him in agony with zip ties pulled very tightly around both his penis and scrotum. Do you deny having done this to him?"
"The DNA sample taken from the zip ties has been tested and the Pathologist has said that there is a 96.3% chance that it is yours, and that is enough to convict you of having done this horrible deed. Yet you still deny any involvement."
"Yes. I am innocent."
"Can you explain to me why I should believe you when everything points to your guilt?"
"Because I didn't do it."
"Can you provide any evidence to support your innocence?"
"Are you happy in your life?"
"Yes. At least I was until I was accused of this horrible act."
"How is your business going?"
"Very well thank you. I have several projects in the pipeline that will keep me and my team busy for months."
"And your relationship with James, were there any problems there?"
"No. We were very much in love, at least I thought we were."
"And now you think otherwise?"
"Well I have to, how else can you explain him accusing me of causing him pain?"
"Do you own a black dress with gold beading around the bodice?"
"Yes, it's hanging in my closet at home?"
"When was the last time you wore it?"
"I wore it for the first and only time a year ago when James and I went to see 'Figaro' at the opera."
"And you haven't worn it since?"
"Then how can you explain that when the police tested the dress they confirmed that it had been worn on the night in question?"
"I don't know! Why doesn't anyone believe me? I didn't do it. I would never do such a thing to anyone, least of all the man I love."
"I think that is enough for today." I took an appointment card from my card holder. "I would like to see you again in a week's time." I wrote the time and date on the card and handed it to her. She stood up and I walked with her to the door. "I'll see you then."
"Very well. Good-bye." With that she was gone. I stood and watched her graceful walk as she left my office.
What to make of this? Everything about this case points to her guilt and yet, there was something about her that screams out loud that she is, as she claims, innocent. But she has offered no proof of that innocence. I re-read the reports again hoping to find something that had been overlooked and that would support her claim.
I read them several times until the words had become a meaningless blur and as I placed the papers in my file I noticed that I had drawn a large question mark on my page of notes.
I had a miserable night, I couldn't concentrate on anything. I burnt my dinner, the wine I opened was 'corked' and undrinkable. To make matters worse there was nothing on TV worth watching so I went to bed earlier than usual. I couldn't sleep, my mind was filled with Loretta Martin, filled with the way she looked, the way she spoke, the way she protested her innocence. There was something about this case that didn't sit right in my mind and the frustrating part about the whole thing was that I couldn't put a finger on what it was.
At about 4.00am I got out of bed and made myself a cup of coffee and took a book on Forensic Pathology from my bookshelf and turned to chapters on DNA. The more that I read it the more I was convinced that unless there was a problem with the evidence itself, she was guilty.
I rang James St Clair at his office, explained who I was and requested a meeting. He was reluctant at first but eventually agreed to see me later in the afternoon.
At 4.00pm I was ushered into his spacious and beautifully appointed executive office. I detected the Loretta Martin touch to this layout. He came around his desk and shook my hand and indicating that I should take a seat. As I sank into the leather I mentally compared this with my Spartan furnishings. "You asked for this interview to discuss what happened between me and Loretta. I have to confess that I don't know what happened and even if I did, I don't think that will change how I feel about her. I hope she rots in hell for what she did to me."
"I understand how you feel." I had been taught right through university that the correct response was 'I know where you're coming from' to show empathy but that smacked of a programmed response and was an indication in many cases that you didn't have a clue where the person was 'coming from'. "But the reason that I wanted to speak to you was to see if I could find out from you anything that could explain the quantum shift in her behaviour. Every report that I have read, every witness statement, seems to indicate that her behaviour was in every way normal."
"I don't think that I can help you. I have gone over the events time and time again and the only conclusion that I can come up with is that she has totally lost her mind."
'I spoke to her yesterday and have to admit that she didn't strike me as the type that would do something like that. That is why I'm here, because of this contradiction in her personality, I feel that something isn't right about all of this. What I want to do is to take you through the events of that night to see if there was something that was missed in the initial investigation."
"It hurts to do this, and I'm reluctant to help you but I can't see the problem."
"Very well, let's go back to the beginning. When did you make the arrangement to go to the opera?"
"I had been called away on business and had to cancel our previous date, so to make up for that I made the reservations and sent her a text message with the details. This had happened before and was not unusual in our relationship. She understood that my business took me away on short notice."
"And how did she accept the invitation, did she call you or was it by text?"
"She returned my text message."
"The wording of these messages, was there anything odd about them?"
"No, they contained the usual things that we said to each other, you know personal stuff."
"Do you have your phone with you?" He took it from his desk drawer. "Do you mind if I see these messages?"
"No, I guess not."
He handed me his phone and I scrolled through his messages until I found his first SMS. It wasn't in the usual shorthand that seemed to be the norm. 'Hi Darling I miss you terribly and am really sorry I had to cancel our last date. To make amends I have dinner reservations and tickets to La Boheme next Saturday night. I will call when I get home. Love you all ways and always. XXXX J' "You don't use SMS speak?"
"Not in my texts to her, it doesn't seem to be the appropriate way of expressing love."
I read her response, and there was nothing unusual about that except. . . . I checked the numbers of both the outgoing and incoming messages and saw that they were different. I needed to follow up on this before I say anything, but there was something unusual about this that a friend of mine might be able to explain. "So you took her to dinner first at," I checked my notes, 'La Bodega', is this correct?"
"Yes. It was our usual practice to dine out and then go to the opera."
"How did you get from the restaurant to the opera?"
"We had a limo booked for the evening. It picked me up from my apartment and we went to Loretta's to pick her up. It then drove to the restaurant and stood by to pick us up and take us to the opera."
"How did the driver know when to pick you up from the restaurant?"
"He knew what time we had to be at the opera, knew how long the journey would take and we arranged to be picked up at a time that would get us there on time for the opening curtain."
"So everything about the night was planned and predictable?"
"Yes, that's the way that Loretta liked it, she was a very organized person."
"What was she wearing?"
"She had on a black dress with gold beading on the bodice. She did look beautiful."
"Did she say or do anything that was at all unusual?"
"Some of our friends commented that she seemed to be a little, what was the term, 'flirtier' than usual. I put that down to her being happy that we were together having missed out the previous week."
"After you got to her apartment, what happened?"
"We started to make love."
"Explain that to me, who initiated it, what foreplay was involved?"
"Do you have to know this? It's a little personal."
"I need to know."
"Well, when we got inside her apartment I took her in my arms and we kissed. I asked her if she missed me and she kissed me again and told me she had been desperately lonely without me. We went into the bedroom and got undressed. She hung her dress up as usual and tossed her underwear into a laundry hamper in her closet. When we got into bed she began to suck my cock which was how sex always began for us, she would suck my cock for several minutes and then I would put my finger in her and rub her clitoris. After several minutes of this we would usually have sexual intercourse only this time it never got that far."
"That was when she placed the zip ties around your balls and cock?"
"Yes. I didn't pay any attention to it until she tightened them and then I screamed at her to release me. The pain was excruciating, but she just laughed at me, took some clothes from the closet, got dressed and left."
"So she left you in her apartment, don't you think that strange?"
"I wasn't thinking about anything other than stopping my agony and saving my penis and testicles from permanent damage."
"Have you seen her since then"
"No. I was in hospital for her first court appearance and have no intention of having any contact with her until the trial and her being found guilty. I wish that this was a hanging offence so that I could watch her drop."
I got up. "Thank you for your time, it has been a great help." His puzzled expression followed me from his office.
When I got outside I dialled the number that was on the reply to his text message and got a recorded message telling me that the number was no longer in service. Interesting.
I decided at that point to become a part time detective. I rang a friend in the electronics industry and asked him about the phone number. "It was most likely a pre-paid phone bought for the occasion and now it is no longer in use there is no way of tracing it. It has probably been thrown away."
Why would Loretta go to the trouble of buying a pre-paid phone? Was this pre-meditated and she was covering her tracks? I had to find out more about her movements and why she wasn't telling me about them.
My TV didn't even warm up that night. I spent hours on the Internet getting as much information as I could about Forensic Pathology and DNA testing. There had to be something there that I could use, had to be.
I began to question my motives. Was it because her persona when I spoke to her was nothing like that of the person who committed this outrage? Was it because someone was lying and I needed to know who? Or were my motives more personal, I was attracted to her and felt that the only way that I could ever hope to attract her attention was to prove her innocence? I dismissed the last one as absurd, I would never compromise my professional integrity by getting personally involved with a client.
I checked with the limo driver and his evidence was unshakable, he remembered her because he thought that she was the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen in all his years driving celebrities around.
I interviewed the staff at 'La Bodega' and they had the same vivid recollection of Loretta and James, that they were the most attractive couple and more importantly they were regular customers and the Maitre d' was almost a personal friend and he didn't notice anything unusual.
I interviewed the friends that they spoke to at the opera and they all re-enforced the other statements that Loretta and James were the same Loretta and James that they had known for years. Nothing unusual apart from the comment of two of the women that Loretta appeared to be a little 'flirty', more than usual.
The first chink in this evidence came when I found that her car wasn't parked in its usual place in the undercroft car park. She had apparently driven it to work but had returned by cab half an hour before she was picked up by James in the limo. But then when I checked with her staff to find out why she would have left her car at work I was told that she didn't come in to the office but had telephoned to say that she had to go out of town to talk to a prospective client. There was nothing in her appointment diary to confirm this appointment. Strange.
Given this information I asked if she had an account with any particular filling station because if she, as she had told them, was going out of town, she would most likely have filled up before she went. I was given the location of the filling station who confirmed that she had filled up at 3.16pm on that day. I also got them to check the time, how much fuel she put in the car and the odometer reading of next filling, this information was a requirement when making claims of fuel expenses on Income Tax. From this I was able to get an approximation of how far her vehicle had travelled between the two fillings.
Having the make and model of her vehicle and the fact that she filled up on consecutive days I was able to calculate that she would have travelled some five hundred and thirty seven Kilometres in 18 hours which meant that she was probably out of town when the crime happened.
Where had she gone and why? Was it really a business appointment and if so, why wasn't it in her diary? If it wasn't a business appointment what was it? Either way, did anyone see her and could anyone corroborate her story and provide her with an alibi?
Because the police believed that they had sufficient evidence to convict it would seem that they had no interest in exploring the case further. So I decided that I had to look into it even if it was to satisfy myself that everything that needed to be done had been done.
My next step was to the County Records Office where I located her Birth Certificate and from that I had the name of both her parents and here I hit a brick wall, both were dead so were unable to provide background information on her upbringing. Something in her mother's death notice rang bells. The town in which she died and was buried was the right distance from here for her to have made the round trip to visit the grave, but why? It wasn't the anniversary of her death. I checked her mother's birth records and found that her birthday corresponded with the date of the alleged crime. It was worth following up on.