Harmon turned onto the narrow graveled, uphill road, reached the top and exited his vehicle. Surveying the area, he soon spotted the iron fence surrounding the grave of “Victoria,” a wild, black-haired young woman accused of witchcraft in 1798. Legend said she was bound and gagged by the villagers, tied to a wooden chair, and repeatedly dunked. Failing to drown, they labeled her “a witch,” doused her with whale oil, then burned her alive.
Waiting, Harmon soon saw headlights. “Thanks for meeting me, Deputy,” he said, shaking hands.
“My assignment was to recover evidence from the crime scene and locate witnesses,” Downs explained, adjusting his wig.
Offering cigarettes, Harmon asked, “Any luck with witnesses?”
“Yes! A teenager named Ted Bloom agreed to meet me at the cornfield to point out the location where he saw two individuals–matchin’ the descriptions of Lorena and Shaun–havin’ sex. When Malloy and Thomas learned of Bloom, they beat me to the cornfield and sent him home. I was very angry about their cancelin’ an appointment with a potential witness, and I told ‘em so. They have interfered with the James’s case from the start. Each time the investigation lead away from Vernon James, Thomas and Malloy cut it off and froze out any theory provin’ James innocent.”
“So, Thomas and Malloy are railroading Vernon James?” Harmon asked.
“Absolutely! And Ted Bloom’s statement should be pursued in depth.”