Chapter 3 Excerpt:
The city’s drunks, derelicts, and alarmed citizens bogged-down the sheriff with conflicting reports: shots fired in the riverbank cornfield, sightings of mysterious men who appeared out of the mists in odd- shaped hats, and a dozen other weird “goings-on.”
Detectives focused on Vernon James as the primary suspect with all the necessary credentials: the lust, jealousy, perversions, weapons’ availability, opportunity and motive. Vernon James’ son also inspirers suspicion. While the two James’ men–and Helen James– piled lie onto lie for mutual protection.
When the county coroner developed more lurid details of the horrendous crime, he further enhanced the first perspective with more proof of the James’ sexuality, all central to the murders.
Conflicting statements from alarmed citizens confused Pleasant Valley police and county authorities. Typical of these, was Pete Bennett. He reported to the sheriff, “I work at the factory near the cornfield. It’s my job to lock and secure the work areas at the end of the workday. On October 12th, at 5:45 p.m., I heard a series of three shots, a pause, and then a volley of four or five additional shots. They all came from the cornfield. I’m sure of the time ‘cause I checked my watch.”
“Why didn’t you report the incident sooner?” the sheriff asked.
“Cause I know the kind of people who hang out around that cornfield. I got four kids and a sick wife worryin’ me. I don’t go near there, and I don’t let my kids go there.”