Motive, means, and opportunity – Opportunity

I’m working on a novella which may boringly be called “Motive, Means and Opportunity” where I will present a chunk of information from which you if you want to, can become the armchair detective.

Here’s the third part, the Opportunity

Where was I last night between 9pm and 3am?

Not with my wife, Wendy. She had gone out before 6 pm, about the time I got home from work. No, she didn’t really say where she was going, or if she did, given the list of the past, I didn’t believe her.

Where was I?

Home, alone.

Could anyone corroborate that?

Sadly no.  Isn’t that always the way, though?

But, the car I was driving was a company car. It had a GPS and tracking system, part of so-called security measures put in by the company I worked for, but in reality there to check after-hours use.

The GPS would show I never left home.  Using the car, that is.

The only other car had been taken by Wendy so the reality was, I hadn’t left home. The other car, the off-road vehicle was in the workshop, still waiting to be repaired. It was the car our son had been killed in, and neither of us had the heart to do anything with it.


Apparently, I had a visitor.

James Burgman had been seen outside my house at 10:30 pm, his car had been found two blocks away in the car park, away from the street, and he was found dead, shot by a gun that used 9mm bullets, at 4:45 am the next morning.

No. I had not been seen leaving the house, but it had been ascertained that it was possible to leave and not be seen, if I tried hard enough.

I hadn’t and had no reason to, but that didn’t seem to matter.

Sitting in the interview room, purportedly to help the police in their enquiries, Detective John Sanderson had detailed quite succinctly how I had a motive, the means, and the opportunity.

Little else mattered, particularly the fact I didn’t do it. It was only a matter of time before the gun was found.

So, there I sat in the station, waiting for a series of test results to come back, mainly gunshot residue on me and on my clothes, not just those I was wearing, but everything I owned.

In the end, there was nothing. They couldn’t prove I left home, or that I shot him. Not then. I was advised not to leave the city, that I was a person of interest.

When I asked whether my wife, Wendy, had been subjected to the same interrogation, the atmosphere changed, and Sanderson had rounded on me quite savagely.

“Her innocence is not in question. In fact, you would not be here if it wasn’t for her statement. She honestly believes you shot him out of pure jealousy, and, quite frankly Mr Winters, so do I, and it will only be a matter of time before I find the evidence to convict you.  Now, get out of my sight.”

© Charles Heath 2019-2023

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