read “…and Old Lace” (part one)
“Borrowed and Blue”
The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas
It was three weeks, more or less, after ex-Inspector Khazarian Rovas began looking at the “old lace” murders, that the case broke open anew. Micheal Avgoustidis sat in interrogation room #2 opposite the detectives in Rovas old stomping grounds. While he was not allowed in room #2, he could watch and listen as it unfolded.
The simple fact was he had missed a very important connection the first time around: Avgoustidis had had an affair with second victim, before and during, her engagement to another man. Micheal was married at the time, a loveless union at that point. Through part of the interrogation Avgoustidis surrendered the information that he was just going through the motions, not wanting to upset anything at his law firm as he entered his third year there. Avgoustidis fell passionately, and possessively, in love with Maria Vlachos nee Anton. Her fiancé, Daniel, never had a clue this was going on. None of this was out in the open. It was easy to miss, except for one thing that tied it all together, and led Micheal Avgoustidis to his admissions.
Maria had kept a detailed diary that she hid (very well) from her soon to be husband and Micheal Avgoustidis.
Avgoustidis’ hubris, in purchasing the townhouse from Daniel Vlachos, was Rovas’s first insight. That, and that the man never got back to him. Upon further examination, Rovas unearthed that Daniel, too, was dead. Six years to the day his wife had been murdered. Rovas had never believed too much in coincidences like this. The dates were too precise. Rovas went after every little detail he could find.
Sargent Detective Katsaros was a godsend. As Rovas uncovered more and more facts, he fed the information to Katsaros, who ran with them, as eager to bring this to an end and to justice. Between the two of them, things started to gel. They discovered that Avgoustidis’s wife death had originally been seen as suspicious. She had “tripped” over loose carpeting that gave way at the top of the stairs. According to reports, Michael said he blamed himself for not fixing the carpeting when she had asked. All charges were eventually dismissed, as the facts seemed to stand by the statement. Daniel Vlachos death had also been classified as suspicious: a fairly new car, a recent tune-up, and yet the brake line “blew out.” No suspects of foul play were found.
Rovas dug into Micheal’s life. He ran as thorough an internet search as he could following Avgoustidis’s footsteps. From the death of his wife to moving up the lawyer ladder, from the purchase of the townhouse to the death of Daniel Vlachos, backtracking to all information about Maria, to the other two women (whose only connection was the city they all lived in). He put a timeline together of facts that he and Sargent Detective Katsaros went over in Rovas’ study, late at night. Berrak, Khazarian’s wife, was inwardly distressed at this new/old obsession of his, but she made them coffee and sandwiches and left them to their consultations.
It was Katsaros who brought in the true turning point: Maria’s diary. The townhouse Maria and Daniel shared was well lived in. The wood flooring needed work, and renovation was a job both of them shared a passion for. All this was knowledge shared with their family and friends. Sometime in their labors, Maria created a hiding place under a board in a back corner of her walk-in closet of their second floor bedroom. There the blue diary rested, and would have remained, if Avgoustidis hadn’t hired contractors to put in new flooring on the second floor. The worker who found it began flipping through it, immensely enjoying some of the explicit details of the afternoon trysts. He immediately called in his supervisor, showed it to him, and they both brought it to the station, where it made it’s way to the detective unit and quickly into the Sargent Detective’s hands.
Micheal, though married at the time, was extremely jealous. His anger grew in intensity as the date of Maria’s wedding drew near. All of his rages were written in detail in the diary, as well as the main damning statement: Micheal confessed that he pushed his wife down the stairs. He had pulled up the loose carpeting a week before her death, hoping for an “accident,” but his patience wore out, and her nagging to fix it persisted. She wrote that he wanted Maria to marry him, not that “Greek loser.” Maria said no and tried to throw him out. He went into a verbal rage (not their first experience with his temper) that ended with Micheal threatening her to keep her mouth shut. He finally stormed out. Maria was frightened, enough to write that she planned to talk Daniel into selling the house after the wedding and moving far away. The only thing she hadn’t done was write his last name. His initials dotted most of the entries, and her naming Micheal only after times he infuriated her.
Confronted with the timeline, which he originally scoffed at, and then the diary, and the detectives conclusions, Micheal finally confessed to it all. He did push his “shrew of a wife” down the stairs. When Maria “threw him away”, he swore revenge not just on her but on the man he blamed for taking Maria away from him. The day he returned to work after what felt to Micheal as appropriate mourning, he noticed the paper on his secretary’s desk was open to the wedding and engagement announcements page. Her photo and notification was at the top center of the page. While glancing and offering his congratulations, Micheal saw a photo of another bride to be, one who looked similar to his “ex-wife” and to Maria in coloring and body type. That is when the idea came to him: how to get revenge on Maria and to not draw any attention on himself.
He bought a copy of the paper and saw the date of that woman’s wedding. It was three months off, and then a one week planned honeymoon. More than enough time to plan. As he was copying the information down, which he would later destroy and scatter in various trash bins around the city, he noticed some pictures of brides with intricate veils, which to him were more pretentious than the white gowns. Chaste, pure, modest? Yet these things were still part of the wedding trousseau.
Micheal admitted that the first and third murders were picked only for their resemblances. Without a real connection between the three, he felt he had a better chance of not being caught. Searching for one more soon-to-be newlywed took a few more morning papers, but he had what he needed within two weeks time. He broke into their homes while they were on their honeymoons and had found their gowns and accoutrements hanging in garment bags. He took the veils. Once the women came home from their trips, Micheal waited for the husbands to leave. He broke into the first and third (having left a window in the back unlocked), twisted their respective lace veils, and strangled them. He partially undressed the third one to look like the others.
With Maria, he just walked up to the front door and rang the bell. Maria was shocked to see him and didn’t want to let him in, but he talked her into coming inside so they could “talk.” Once the front door was closed, Micheal wrapped his hand around her mouth and forced her upstairs to the bedroom. He started to undress her, groping along the way, Maria fighting him, him pleading still that he loved her, she should run away with him, when she got a hand free and slapped him. The next thing he knew, she was dead on the bed, her lace veil tightly wound around her throat.
As to Daniel, his punishment was to live with her death. He bought their house, feeling both that the house was a place of her betrayal and of his redemption. It was, in essence, his trophy. Micheal said he had nothing to do with Daniels’ car accident.He had wanted Maria’s husband to live and suffer. Rovas, listening, believed him.
Upon returning home, Khazarian found Berrak in the kitchen, sitting at the table dicing vegetables for their dinner.
“Coffee?” she asked as she got up and he sat down.
As she busied herself, she looked at her husband and smiled. She saw him relax, for the first time in a month. Ex-Inspector Khazarian Rovas smiled back, anticipating the cup of coffee made to his liking.
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Twenty six case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve from this list of cold cases. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?
As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:
The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.
The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.
So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy what I’ve got planned.