My Way Ch. 03byDG Hear©
Please read the previous chapters before continuing on to better understand the story.
The next day Moose seemed happier again, but I wondered what he would want to discuss. So far I didn't really have any dates when he did anything. I knew it began when he returned to the states and ended two years ago when Marsha shot him, but that was all.
The first two men he killed were the State Representative and Jerry Stinner, the man who broke up his marriage. And John Baker was the last one.
"Joe, I have a question for you. I told you I had fucked four of my wife's best friends. They were Laura, Melanie, Doris, and Terri. You know about Laura, your ex, but why haven't you asked about the other three?"
"I was asked to find out about the missing people. Other than that I only write about what you tell me. If you want to talk about them, I'm willing to listen. As far as I know they are all still alive, married and doing well."
"Well Joe, I'm horny as hell and of course there is no sex for me in this prison so I get off on my memories of the women I've fucked."
I noticed Moose always used the word fuck, rarely used the word sex and never the word love. I felt he must be quite the empty person inside.
"Let's start with Doris. She was married to some guy named Charles. I saw them at the reunion years ago and decided she would be my first fuck of Marsha's friends. By the way, your Laura was second, just so you know. At the reunion she had on a sleek white dress. Damn, she looked good in it too. I danced with her and backed her into a corner. Then I reached down and grabbed her ass with both hands.
"At first she was shocked and told me I should stop. When I asked why, she said she was married and her husband might see. So I looked over at Charles and noticed he was watching us. Then I slowly brought my hands up and squeezed her tits. Damn, that woman had a fine set of tits.
Doris begged me not to in front of her friends. I laughed and let go of her tits and lead her back out to finish the dance. I whispered in her ear that I was going to fuck her and her husband could watch if he wanted to."
"So, when did you hook up and what did Charles say?"
"It turns out Charles was a voyeur and liked to watch his wife get fucked. I went to their house that night and literally fucked the piss out of her while Charles sat back and jacked-off. Damn, she was one hot woman. When I said I fucked the piss out of her I meant it. After I came in her she let loose with a stream of piss that shot ten feet across the room.
"Damn, it was like the good old days overseas. Those bitches knew how to fuck. In case you're wondering I took Doris out to the cabin a dozen times. I got tired of her Peeping Tom husband watching me fuck his wife even though she was great. I guess Marsha and her ended their friendship when she found out Doris was fucking me on a regular basis."
I lived in this area most of my life and never knew Doris and Charley were that way. But I knew when I saw the couple again I would think differently about them. Before Moose went on, I changed the subject back to the main topic.
"Moose, the AG and Mike have been checking on some of the stories you've been telling me. And although they're finding them to be true, they need names and evidence. Is there any kind of proof, like times and dates, names of the victims, or where the bodies are located you can tell me?"
Moose actually laughed out loud. "Tell those fuckers I have all the proof and evidence they'll need to kill me ten times over. Hell, make that twenty times over. They'll get it when I'm finished with my story."
The following week Moose said his daughters had been there to see him. They could visit him for one hour, one day a month. Some months they didn't make it. I asked him about his relationship with his daughters.
"Why do they choose to see you? After all, you tried to kill their mother."
"Joe, I'm going to tell you something no one is going to believe. I'll explain it to you in more detail later. I've mentioned it to my girls but I did not try to kill their mother."
"But, Jeff, you pleaded guilty. Your hand prints were on her throat. Yet now you say it isn't true."
"I said you wouldn't believe it. But I'll explain that later. First, about my daughters. I love them. Yes, there's a small spot in my heart for the ones I love. I don't know how Christy and Cheryl feel about me. At times they yell and other times I see them cry. As I mentioned before, I stayed out of their life. I'm bad news, Joe, and I never wanted my daughters to get close to me.
"But you remember I went to their ball games. One day I saw Marsha there shortly after I killed her ex-lover, Jerry Stinner. She had found out the guy had gone missing and said she figured I had something to do with it.
"Of course, no one had any proof he was dead. I looked at her and told her to make sure she kept a loaded gun in her nightstand since she never knew when it could be her turn. But I laughed and added she didn't have to worry, because my daughters would always have their mother around to raise them.
"I saw it scared her and that she wasn't sure exactly what I meant but I also knew she would keep a gun in the nightstand. Before she could speak I got up and left."
"So, you never talked to your daughter?"
"No, I told you they would stop by the shop and I talked to them but was never close to them. I always sent Marsha money besides my support check so the girls had a decent life.
"Throughout their teen years I kind of watched over them but we were never close then and aren't now. I truly love them but I don't tell them so. Maybe after I die you can tell them for me in your book."
Regrets, I've had a few But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way
"Moose, do you have any regrets? Why do they come and see you? You say you aren't close but yet they show up. I have to wonder why."
"Sure, I regret not being a real father to my daughters. They're good girls and deserved much better, but it was too late for me. As far as the killings, I don't regret a one.
"There's another point to my madness, Joe. You asked why I waited two years before coming out with this story. It was for my daughters. For years now I have been putting money away in special accounts for them.
"When these stories come out, everyone and their brother will want to sue me. I have very little money left in my name. They can't sue my ex or my daughters. I have no connections with them or the money in their names. I have to protect their financial future.
"When I was found guilty and put in prison, the assets I had left were sold to pay off my debts. I had the remainder given to my daughters and also in an equity account for my lawyer and court fees. The girls got about a half million dollars each. After my death they will be given the numbers of the special accounts I had set up for them."
"So you figure they come here to see you because you gave them money? I don't think so, Moose. Even though you aren't close, I think they know you care for them. And they care for you, regardless of your past. Why else would you have given them money, unless you had feelings for them?"
Moose looked away, but I think I saw his eyes water a bit. We talked about more of his crimes over the next couple of weeks, but it was more of the same thing: mob people getting off, pimps beating up hookers, and drug dealers selling to kids.
While I was talking to Moose one morning I saw him moving his hands. He was telling me slowly in sign to stand up and block the monitor. I have a younger brother who was deaf and back in school Moose asked me to teach him how to sign so he could talk to him the way I did. I was happy to do it because the more people who could sign, the happier my brother was.
I figured he had something to tell me and didn't want it on tape where anyone heard or saw it. So I stood up and did as he said, but about two minutes later a guard came in and told me I had to sit down at all times. I apologized and told him I was just taking a little stretch. But I got Moose's message.
The message was, 'Go see Cheryl and look in the old chest for ledger.'
Somehow I felt we were near the end of the interview. The ledger must be some of the proof he was going to provide but wanted me to retrieve it instead of the police.
The next day I went to see Cheryl. I knew who she was but had never talked to her.
She opened the door as soon as I knocked. "Cheryl, I'm Joe Ritter, I'm talking with Jeff Daniels . . ."
"I know who you are, Mr. Ritter."
"Your dad, I mean Jeff, asked me to look in a chest. Do you have any idea what he's talking about?"
"You can call him my dad; that's what he is, after all. The chest I think he's talking about is one my grandfather owned. Dad gave it to me before he went to prison. He thought I might want it since it was an antique. Plus I was always close to my grandparents. There's some old stuff of my dad's and my granddad's in it."
I looked inside but didn't see anything that looked like a ledger. Then I remembered those old chests often had soft bottoms and hidden compartments. And my hunch was right. Cheryl just stared at me as I took the ledger out and then put everything else back. When I finished she asked me a question.
"Mr. Ritter, I know you're doing a story on Dad. Now they're saying he's a serial killer. I believe it to be true because a couple of times when men would bother Christy and me, soon after they went missing. We didn't think much of it back when it happened but later we wondered if dad had anything to do with their disappearance.
"The same thing happened to a couple of drug dealers who hung around our school. After we mentioned it to dad, they disappeared too."
"He's a different person now. Going to war and the divorce changed him. He knew he had major problems, It's why he never got close to you and your sister. I'm sure of that."
Cheryl started crying. I held her for a few seconds till she caught her composure. Then I took the ledger and thanked her for her time. I glanced through the ledger and all I saw were initials, a few names, and a lot of dates. I assumed Moose had his own code. But as I got ready to close the book, I saw a note on the back page. It referred to an old wardrobe closet given to Christy. Since I had her address too, I took the chance she was home and drove over there.
It was somewhat the same as I learned at Cheryl's. Both girls were smart and knew their dad had problems for years. They didn't know he was a murderer till he killed their mother's lover and attempted to kill their mother.
I told Christy who I was and like her sister she said she knew why I was there. Her sister had just called her, they were close. Christy had the wardrobe filled with her own belongings but I noticed the height on the outside seemed higher than on the inside. I pulled off the front piece of molding and found a hidden drawer. In it was two plastic bags filled with wallets and ID's such as driver licenses. Christy was shocked to see them.
"Mr. Ritter, I had no idea that stuff was ever there."
"It's okay, Christy. This is the information your dad was telling me about. But I need to take it with me."
"It's the proof he's a serial killer, isn't it?" She said as she started crying.
"Yes, I think it is. I'll need to take it to the police. I'm so sorry. Please don't tell anyone about this."
"Mr. Ritter, I never believed my dad was going to kill my mother. He told us a few times that he would never do it, but now I'm not sure. Do you know?"
"To be honest with you, your dad said he would never kill her but even with the bruises, I believe him. Why would he admit to so many murders and not that attempted one? Doesn't make any sense. If I find out for sure, I'll be sure to let you know."
I put on a pair of plastic gloves and I quickly glanced through the driver's licenses, recognizing some of the names Moose had mentioned. Christy was watching me and asked if a Randy Miller was among the IDs.
I checked through a few more and looked up at her. "Who was he?" I asked since I didn't remember Moose mentioning his name.
"When we were about fourteen, Mom dated him. He was always nice to us in front of her, but when she wasn't there he would kind of flirt with us. We didn't like it and told her about it. She said he was maybe just trying to be nice to us. One night he stayed over and was with mom.
"In the wee hours of the morning he came into our room, drunk. We told him to leave but he said not till he got a kiss from us. We yelled for mom and she came in with a handgun she kept in her nightstand. She pointed it at him and told him to get out of her house and if he ever went near us again she would shoot his balls off. He called us sluts and some other choice words and left. Then Mom apologized for not believing us. After that night we never saw Randy again."
"Did he come up missing?" I asked.
"He was laid off from his job so we didn't know. Really, we didn't want to know. About a month later they found his car completely stripped down but no sign of him. Now since I see his driver's license, it seems dad found out about him."
Knowing what I did about him from the interviews, I didn't deny what she said. Instead, I thanked her for her help and left.
Once I had the ledger and all the IDs of the missing people, I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. I didn't want to involve the girls in any way. I came to the conclusion I should tell Mike about the book. But before I did, I copied each page. I hadn't figured out the pattern or code Moose used. Hopefully they would let me give it to Moose so we could get the answers. I decided to hold back on the IDs for a while since I wanted the rest of the story first.
The next day I met with Mike and showed him the ledger. When he asked me where I found it I told him I couldn't tell him. He got really pissed at me and told me he could arrest me for holding back evidence.
"I want to see the Attorney General right now. I don't have to put up with your shit. If it wasn't for me talking with Moose, you'd have nothing and now you want to threaten me. Go fuck yourself. I won't see Moose again until I talk to Mr. Parks."
Two hours later I got a call from the AG asking to see me as soon as possible.
"Mr. Parks, I looked through the ledger and it's all in some kind of code. What I need is to give it to Jeff so he can explain them. It has names, the who, where, and when, for each of the crimes, and I believe it also says where the bodies are buried. Only Moose knows this code."
"Joe, why can't you tell us who gave you the ledger?"
"No one gave it to me." I lied, not wanting to implicate the daughters. "Jeff used sign language and told me where to look for the ledger.
"When your friend Mike accused me of obstructing justice and talked about arresting me, I had enough. I'm not his puppet. I promised you I would do all I could to get your information and I've been true to my word."
I didn't want to tell the AG I had the IDs yet, I wasn't sure what their next move would be. They were power hungry men but they knew they needed my help. So I made something up and told them Jeff had buried the ledger and told me where to dig it up..
"Well Joe, what do you suggest? We can't just give Jeff the ledger. He might destroy it. Right now it's all we have. My people are trying to break his code but not making much headway."
"I suggest you make copies of all the pages and let me give them to Jeff. I'm hoping he will explain the code he used. He also signed to me that he would explain where to find the IDs to help determine remains."
He was thinking about my idea since he didn't have many options and still wanted to play the boss role.
"Okay, Mr. Ritter, I'll approve copying the ledger. You can give it to Jeff. But when he tells you where the rest of the information is, I want it as soon as possible. After all, you're still on my payroll."
"Sir, there's one more thing. Jeff said he wouldn't give the location of the IDs till he finished telling his story."
"Damn bastard! Who does he think he is? He's the fucking criminal. He has no rights. How much more time do you think you'll require to get the information you need?"
"I think I could be done in about two weeks. By then you'll have a goodly number of cases solved. A definite feather in your cap." I had learned how to play the game too.
A big grin crossed his face. "Okay, you have two weeks to get the job done. You won't have to report to Mike. I'll let the prison know about the papers. You've done an incredible job, and I won't forget it."
I really didn't trust him all that much but I figured I would be able to get the information I needed to write Moose's story without much intrusion.
Julie saw it was all getting to me and did her best to stand by me and listen to all my criticizing. Far too often I had to apologize to her for taking my frustrations out on her. She was a wonderful wife and mother. Talking to Moose was bothering me though.
I knew he slept with my first wife and his ex-wife's friends, and that made me wonder how many other women he had slept with.
One day Julie told me I was too close to the story and it was a strain on our marriage. Instead of talking it out with her, I did the stupidest thing and asked her if she had ever met Moose.
The room went silent and I saw a tear in the corner of Julie's eye. She knew I was wondering if she ever had sex with him. After about a half minute of silence she looked at me.
"No Joe, I've never met your old friend Jeff Daniels, or Moose, or whatever you want to call him. So now you don't have to worry if I ever slept with him. I can't tell you how much it hurts that you think I would have done such a thing. From the day we began going together I have been honest and faithful to you. That will never change."
She walked into the kitchen, leaving me alone, feeling worse than I ever had. I guess I was just letting Moose's past get to me. I did my best to apologize to her but they were words I could never really take back. We never talked about it again.
I went to see Moose the next day and explained that the AG wouldn't give me the ledger but that he made copies of the pages so it might help refresh his memory. He laughed when I told him that no one could figure out his code. The guard dropped the papers into a chute in the Plexiglas and passed it to Moose.
"Do you have a pen or pencil so I can write some information on this paper for you?" asked Moose.
The guard then put two crayons into the box. "Christ! The mother fuckers are afraid to give me a damn pencil," he said as he laughed again.
He set the crayons and papers down. "I know we don't have a lot of time left for me to tell you my story. Once they get their answers they'll probably stop your visits."
"That's probably true. They're not interested in your story as much as I am, just the facts about the missing people. The AG has given me two weeks to get whatever information I can," I replied.
"Well, in that case we'll use the two weeks the best we can. I'll start by telling you about Melanie and Terri. They were the last two friends of Marsha's that I fucked."
"It's hard to believe you had sex with either of them. They are both still happily married, last I can remember."
"Believe me, Joe, I have no reason to lie to you. By the way, have you been telling your wife about my story? What does she think?"
Why did he bring my wife up? Damn!
"I've told her some things, but not in detail. I wanted to tell her everything, but since I'm here as part of a criminal investigation, I didn't feel right doing that. But she did say you sounded pretty messed up and confused."