CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Something About Stephanie



The three of us, Olivia, Beverly and myself sat around the conference room table in the office the next morning,Josie poured coffee for each of us and herself and placed Olivia and Beverly's notes in front of them...


"This is a mess isn't it Liv?" asked Josie..


"It is...but not an insurmountable mess...I saw the police report....They have next to nothing...No murder weapon...One eye witness , who only saw Eddie leaving the building...didn't hear any gunshots or an argument...So he really didn't see anything." said Olivia.


"They do have Eddie's fingerprints on the doorknob, but nowhere else...Not on the body and not on anything in the apartment...Eddie said the door was opened and he saw Ralph Jenkins lying on the floor in a pool of blood and he got out of there...As he no doubt should have.. but bottom line...no real eye witness, next to no physical evidence.." said Beverly....


"But ladies...they do have motive and opportunity....He was left at the alter....He was understandably upset...He was heard screaming that he was going to find Ralph Jenkins and kill him...That can bode very badly against him..."I said.



Both Olivia and Beverly looked like two little girls that were told they weren't getting any presents for Christmas...


"Now what I'm going to do today is get the coroner's report...determine time of death...determine where each of our players were at key times in the timetable leading up to the murder... I've already checked the credit card records of both Stephanie Cullen and Bonnie Sheppard...They weren't exactly truthful....Their records show they both went to the bar...but it was long after the time Ralph Jenkins body was discovered.." I said.


"Did you check the street cam video yet?" asked Olivia...


"I did and look what I found...This is footage taken minutes after Bonnie Sheppard left the wedding hall...See there is her car and Stephanie's car driving up to the apartment...She runs in.....Now see....five minutes and she's out...and back in the car and off...They're gone....Now there is Eddie....This is nearly thirty minutes later...He dashes in...and almost immediately....He's dashing out...Which means...Ralph Jenkins is already dead....but there are not any other cars coming up to or leaving the area in that thirty minute time period which means what ladies?" I asked..



"The killer was already inside.....!!!!" said Olivia and Beverly in unison...


"And may have never left.....Or the killer was there before any of our players got there." I said.
"Which means Stephanie and Bonnie may have rolled up on his corpse first and left without saying anything....Stephanie was very defensive yesterday..." said Beverly...


"She's always been defensive...If I didn't know better...I'd swear she was Bonnie's one true love.."joked Olivia..


"They're tight like that huh?" said Josie..


"Ouu girl...I represented Bonnie when her company had a major lawsuit against this rival company...almost like Bridget's lawsuit that we handled a month ago..."said Olivia..


"I remember...and Stephanie did all of the talking...So much so...That Auntay had to meet with Bonnie in secret over my apartment ,just to hash out the facts of the case without her interference..."laughed Beverly...


"It was a civil case and the Judge had Stephanie removed from the courtroom...because she was trying to do my job and try the case...question witnesses..."laughed Olivia..


"Did you win the case?" I asked..




"Oh yes and Bonnie treated me to lunch...with Stephanie not too far behind..." said Olivia..




"So I imagine Bonnie's boyfriends went through the same thing?" said Josie..



"Just what I was thinking.." I said.


"Eddie and Ralph may have hated each other, but one person they both had mutual hatred for would be Stephanie Cullen.....She thought that Ralph Jenkins was a lustful,playboy..."said Olivia..


''Well he was.. Only your ex-husband was worse!" laughed Beverly...


"True....and she thought Eddie Queen was a no talent singer and actor.." laughed Olivia..



"Wowwww...Well he hasn't had a hit record in a minute and his last three movies have gone straight to cable and DVD.." said Josie..


"Which explains why he still lives here in Philly and not in Hollywood or at least New York." laughed Beverly...


"Ouuuuuuuuuuuu that's just wrong....He is our client..."laughed Olivia as she,Beverly and Josie laughed...


I smiled..


"Okay ladies....good luck in your pre lim his morning...I'm going to try and find that eye witness and I'm going to do a little digging..."I said.


''Forgetting something?" asked Olivia..


I smiled..


"Come on Jo...I'll help you clear these dishes off this conference table.."said Beverly...


"Sure" said Josie, laughing slyly...


With them out of the room...I pulled Olivia to me and kissed her passionately...


"Mmmm...wanted to do this all morning.." I said...


"I'm glad you did....Ummmmm...I've wanted you to..." she said softly...


Nelson, who we hadn't seen since the wedding yesterday was coming in as I was leaving...


"Hey Donnie Ray...you better hang around for this..."he said...


"What's up?" I asked...


"Hey Baby!" said Beverly...who kissed him..


Nelson blushed like he usually did when Beverly kissed him, but this time he looked different...


"I don't know how to tell you this.. but Stephanie Culley just hired me to represent both her and Bonnie Sheppard...and one of the things she wanted me to do would be to give you three a cease and desist order...From now on...Anything you do towards them has to come through me...Look ,I feel terrible..I didn't go looking for this case...She called Foxworth and Associates....Chance and Cole are already trying cases and Mr. Foxworth can't stand her..He had Bonnie Sheppard do some decorating at his house and Stephanie came along and well was Stephanie...so he shuffled the case to me...When I realized who she was,it was too late...I represented Stephanie's mother in a civil case , a year ago and she drove me crazy ,butting in and acting as if she was the attorney..." said Nelson...


"But yet she hires you to represent her now!   Interesting...Nelson, relax.. We are defending Eddie Queen against a murder charge.. We aren't prosecuting them...Why Stephanie would get a lawyer is beyond me...All we did was ask Bonnie a few questions..." said Olivia..
"I told her that I am dating Beverly....And she said she didn't care..But that she didn't want Bev or you Liv and especially you Donnie Ray questioning them about anything." said Nelson...


"That means our pillow talk will have to strictly be defined to sex." said Beverly...


''Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.." said Olivia jokingly...and playfully punching Beverly's shoulder..
Beverly cracked up laughing...
So did Josie.


II-
Now I was curious.... I didn't intend to personally confront either woman....but they both had made me more than just a little curious..


By checking records and talking to people who knew them...I learned this much...


Bonnie Sheppard and Stephanie Cullen were both born around the same time...Lived on the same block as little girls...went to the same Kintergarden and Elementary School...They attended the same Middle school for a year and then Bonnie moved.


They were reunited again in college....They were room-mates, pledged the same sorority the same semester, the works...


Bonnie graduated.....Stephanie dropped out senior year.... Bonnie moved to New York and Chicago and flourished in the world of Interior Decorators.....and returned to Philadelphia ,where she set up her own business...Which grew and became very successful , due in part to her business partner and lover, Ralph Jenkins...


Stephanie...worked as a waitress, in retail and as an exotic dancer for awhile...And then she was reunited with Bonnie who gave her a job in her new company...She clashed often with Ralph Jenkins....which caused a strain in Bonnie and Ralph's relationship...


Bonnie and Ralph broke up and Bonnie was single for a year and then she met Eddie Queen....Eddie and Stephanie didn't get along any better, but Bonnie fell for him hard and they got engaged...Bonnie and Stephanie clashed ,according to what a few told me and Stephanie was let go....


She cried and pleaded for Bonnie to forgive her...and Bonnie did, but by the time she did, the wedding had already been planned and Stephanie was not part of the bridal party.


Funny what a few dollars, some drinks...a couple of burgers and a coke and small lightweight conversation will get you....That and a look at public records...


I pulled the very public corporate records of Bonnie's company and poured over them too the rest of the day...
I then found myself back at the apartment complex where Ralph Jenkins breathed his last breath...I pored over his room, I checked the dried blood splatter...the chalk outline of where and how his body fell..


I ascertained...That his killer was in his apartment, was someone he knew and was not someone who broke in and robbed him.. He was killed for a reason....I reasoned...


I heard the sound of footsteps....I spun around and to my surprise ,I saw Olivia and Beverly...
 "Heyyyy fancy meeting you here handsome.." said Olivia..
"We decided to come by and take a look at where the body fell, because we are thinking that his killer wasn't someone who barged in and was angry at him...We think the killer was someone he trusted and didn't feel threatened by..."said Beverly...


"Great minds think alike...That's exactly what I was thinking...Look, this is crazy...And maybe we'll have to go to your boyfriend Bev, but...Bonnie said she wished she could tell us why she had to bolt from that wedding....You don't get that far and have a crisis of conscience...It had to be something big..."I said.


"And why would she come here? Unless...." said Beverly...


"Ralph had something on her..." said Olivia..


"Maybe Ralph had something on both of them..." I said. "They're both defensive as hell....and now they've got an attorney and a cease and desist order...And the way this place was tossed ,they were obviously looking for something.." I said.


Beverly smiled..


"I'll find out..."she said.


"And how will you do that?" asked Olivia..


"Stephanie figured if she hired A lawyer who is close to us, she could get inside information , which is really stupid...because we can get inside information too." said Beverly...


"Attorney -Client priveledge...Nelson can't tell you anything..."I said.


"Can't or Won't?" asked Beverly....


"No baby girl...Don't put him in that position ....We 'll get the information we need.. We'll look at the company's books..."said Olivia..


"I did that..."I said.


"But you might not know what to look for, unlike an Attorney friend of ours who is also a forensic accountant."said Olivia...
"That would be our good friend, Attorney Lawrence Stevenson....who is also a Forensic Accountant..." I said.


We had helped him out two years back in a wild case that had us going to London to rep him on a murder charge and nearly getting killed ourselves by a hitman...Luckily..this case wasn't nearly as murky...
"Yes...I'll get him on this tomorrow.." said Olivia..
"We've got to find out what Jenkins had on Bonnie and or Stephanie or both!"said Beverly...
We were going an awful long way on what was now just conjecture and theory and was getting us no closer to who killed Ralph Jenkins...


Eddie Queen didn't own a firearm, but that meant nothing...They were as easy to get in Philly as anywhere else if you needed one..


III-
The Three of us next ventured to the Medical Examiner's Office...Where Doc Gibbons  greeted us...


"You know Lieutenant Tragg will have a baby if he knows I'm talking to you Liv, but you've always been alright with me..." he said.


"And you've always been aces with me Doc...Do you have anything for us?" asked Olivia..


''Well time of death was around 12:45pm.." he said.


"12:45 pm.... Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....Eddie could have done that, but he would have had to have made every light, gone in with guns blazing and then rushed out.....I don't think he had time to get there and do that.." said Beverly...


"No...He couldn't have feasibly have done that...."said Olivia...


"But he was there...His prints are on the doorknob..."I said.


"Yeah ,well his prints aren't the only ones there.....There was a woman's prints...All over the place...Stephanie Cullen....She has a record...She was booked on a soliciting charge a few years back....So her prints are in the system.." said Doc Gibbons..


"Well I'll be damned...Doesn't this make life interesting?" I said smiling...




(TO BE CONTINUED)






9 comments:

Toni said...

I didn't like Stephanie from the start...I thought something was up with her...

Angie B. said...

Well Now....Doesn't this open one's eyes??

Vanessa said...

Stephanie is the killer, remember where you heard this first!

Sunflower said...

Hmmm..Interesting!

Lisa said...

Stephanie and Bonnie are lovers and they both killed Ralph Jenkins...Or Stephanie killed him and raced to the church to pick up her girlfriend!

Halo said...

When you think about it...That does make sense...Why else could Bonnie not Marry Eddie...That's the secret that Ralph was holding over them...He knew they were lovers!

Rita said...

In this day and age..Why would anybody have to hide something like that? That could have been hashed out before the wedding!

Cheryl said...

Maybe her family didn't know!

Brenda said...

All Valid Points,let's see how this plays out!