Charged with Murder – Erotic Horror

Charged with Murder

All characters and situations are complete fiction, a product of my fertile imagination. No one was actually killed in the creation of this story. Any similarity to actual people and situations is purely a coincidence. All characters are at least 18. All constructive criticism is welcome.


February 18

My last class at the school wrapped up a few minutes early and I relaxed in my office for a while before heading out the door toward home. As I locked up, I saw my colleague Ashley’s door still open.

I popped my head in, “Ready for the long weekend?”

“Don’t you know it.”

Ashley was a vivacious professor. We both taught writing in the English department. She was about fifteen years my junior and I had taken her under my wing when she was first hired. I wondered my mentoring had been quite successful. My wife Beth and I had gone out of our way to make her and her husband feel welcome.

“Hey, Beth and I were talking about going over to Sugar Hill Farm on Saturday for pancakes. I guess that’s tomorrow. It’s maple sugar season and the breakfast is to die for. Wanna come?”

“I’ll see what Ryan says, but I can’t see him turning down pancakes. Count us in and I’ll text you if we can’t.”

“Okay, plan on being there early. Like eight. Otherwise there will be a wait.”

“Sounds wonderful.”

I waved, “Gotta go.”

It was about quarter after five as I pulled into the gravel driveway of our old farmhouse. Twilight was settling in. I wondered it was a little odd that the house was dark. Beth’s car was in the driveway. I unlocked the door, but the dog didn’t come running. Hmm.

“I’m home!”

Nothing. The house smelled a little funny, metallic maybe. I set down my computer satchel and lunch bag.


I walked into the kitchen and flipped on the light. Our dog Charlie lay in a pool of blood. Oh shit! Where is Beth? Where is the person who did this? What if they’re still here? Thinking all these things, I turned the light off.

We don’t own a gun, or any weapon for that matter. I tip-toed over to the cutlery drawer and pulled out a decent sized kitchen knife. I kicked off my shoes and decided I needed to lose my socks too. My eyes adjusted to the gathering darkness. Faint light came in through the windows. I stealthily checked the downstairs rooms and saw nothing. I quietly crept to the stairs.

I contemplated using the flashlight on my cell phone, but if the person who killed Charlie was still here, I didn’t want to give them notice I was coming. Every nerve in my body was on a knife edge. My senses tuned to the slightest sound or movement.

I knew if you stepped on the center of the stair treads, most of them would creak. I put my feet on the outer edge, straddling each tread. When I reached the top of the stairs, I could make out lump lying about halfway down the hallway. Oh shit! That’s Beth!

My heart was pounding. I stopped and listened for any sound. Nothing. I positioned myself with my back to the corner expecting an attack and flipped on the hallway light. Sure enough, Beth was lying in a pool of blood. I still didn’t hear any sound. I waited for about a minute, trying to control my racing heart. I took several deep breaths. When the intruder didn’t come charging at me, I tip-toed over to Beth and checked her pulse. Nothing. Her skin was cold.

I pulled out my cell phone and dialed 911.

“911, what is your emergency?”

I whispered, “I just got home. My wife and my dog look like they’ve been shot. I don’t know if the person who did this is still in the house.”

“Okay sir. What is your address?”

I gave it to the operator and told her my side door by the driveway was open. I flipped on the bathroom light. No one.

“Where are you at this time sir?”

“On the second floor. I’m going to barricade myself in the bathroom until the police get here.”

“Please keep this line open sir.”

“I’m not hanging up.”

I locked the bathroom door and sat down on the toilet. My mind was racing. Who did this? Where are they? Why? WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO?!

The 911 operator said, “Three police units just arrived at your house.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”

After five minutes or so, I heard voices in the yard. Then I heard the stairs creak. That was probably the cops. What if it was the murderer?!

There was a whisper at the door, “Mr. Murphy, you in there?”


“Just stay put.

Minute went by. My chest ached from my racing heart. I heard another voice, “All clear Jake.”

The voice outside the door said, in a normal voice, “Okay, Mr. Murphy. All clear. You can open up.”

I started to move toward the door, but suddenly my nerves took over. I returned to the toilet, lifted the lid, and retched my guts out.

“You alright?”

I grabbed a towel and wiped my mouth, “Sorry. I got sick.”

I opened the door and a young police office stood there, “Sir, I need you to come downstairs and not touch anything.”

“Let me grab my phone.”

I said to the 911 operator, “Okay the police are here. I’m hanging up.”

“Good night, sir.’

Good night? How the hell am I gonna have a good night?

I realized my feet were cold, “I took off my shoes and socks in the kitchen. Can I get them?”

The officer looked at me funny, “Why’d you take off your shoes and socks?”

“I didn’t know if the person who killed my dog was still in the house. I can be pretty quiet in bare feet.”

He nodded. I retrieved my footwear and sat down at the dining room table to put on my socks and shoes. I had difficulty as my hands started shaking.

I looked up at the policeman, “What’s your name?”

“Officer Jake Filipowski.”

“Thank you for coming, Officer Filipowski.”

“We’re going to need to take you down to the station and get a statement from you.”

I nodded, “Of course. I’m probably the prime suspect.”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“But all the cop shows do.”

“This is real life, sir.”

“Unfortunately.” My stomach was in knots, “Can I make a quick phone call? No, two calls?”


First, I called our pastor.

He answered on the second ring, “Dan, what’s up?”

“Pastor, I have some horrible news. You might want to sit down.” I waited for a moment, “Beth has been murdered.”

“Oh, God! Dan, I’m so sorry.”

My heart felt like it was gonna burst from my chest. My head began to pound as I realized the magnitude of what I just said.

I took some deep breaths. “I just wanted to get the word to someone. I don’t think the police will want you blabbing that around.”

“Okay. Where are you now?”

“At home, getting ready to go to the police station.”

“Okay, let me know what I can do.”


I hung up and called Ashley, “Hi Dan. Can’t go tomorrow?”

“Actually no. You need to sit down.”

“Oh, no! What happened?”

“Are you sitting?”


“I found Beth in a pool of blood. She’s dead.”

“Oh, my god! What can I do?”

“The police are here. I’m going down to the police station right now. I’ll call you later.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry Dan.”

I took a deep breath, “Yeah. Me too.”


I had to wait at the station for about a half hour until the chief got in. The force in our small rural town was too small to have a detective and they called in the state police. The chief and two detectives from the state took my statement. It took about an hour.

When they said I could go, I asked them for a ride back to my house. They told me a couple of friends were here for me.

I stepped out into the lobby and found Ashley and Ryan. They both came over and gave me a hug.

Ryan said, “You’re coming home with us.”

I shook my head, “No, that’s okay.”

Ashley touched my arm, “Dan, you don’t understand. Your house is a crime scene. They aren’t going to let you in there for a couple of days.”

I muttered, “Shit. Of course. I’m going to need some things.”

She said, “We stopped off and got you a toothbrush and a razor.”

I turned to the lady at the front desk, “I know I can’t go home. Any chance I could get one of your people to grab me a change of clothes or two?”

The dispatcher nodded, “Sure. Where are you going to be?”

Ryan gave her their address.

The lady wrote it down, “Okay, we can do that.”

“I left my computer bag by the back door. Any chance I can get that as well?”

“I’ll have to ask the chief.”

I nodded.

Ashley took my elbow, “Let’s get you home. You’re probably starving.”

“Now that you mention it.”


That evening after dinner, I sat in Ashley and Ryan’s living room. The impact of the day’s events finally hit and I began to sob uncontrollably. Beth was gone. I wondered back to when I had left the house that morning. Charlie was his usual hopeful self that I would take him with me to college. Beth kissed me and wished me a good day. She waved as I drove out of the driveway. Now she was gone.

Ashley came in and sat down next to me. She didn’t say a thing, she just put her arm around me and handed me a box of tissues. We sat there in silence for quite a while, I have no idea how long.

Ryan came in, “The guest room is all set for you.”

I nodded, “I can’t thank you two enough.”

Ashley said, “You don’t need to thank us. This is what friends do for one another.”

I nodded again. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and then the grief hit me again. The tear ducts opened up and I began to shake.


I never did get to bed. I fell asleep sitting on their couch. Sometime in the middle of the night I awoke from a nightmare. A single light was on in the living room and Ashley was sleeping in a chair across from me.

My outburst woke her, “Dan, I have some Z-Quil to help you sleep. Let’s get you into bed.”

I nodded.


I woke up around seven thirty, got dressed, and came downstairs.

Ryan was sitting at their kitchen table, “Help yourself to some coffee. When Ash gets up, I’ll make us some pancakes. Not the same as going out for breakfast, but I didn’t think you’d be up for it.”

I shook my head, “No. Probably not.”

Around eight o’clock, my cell phone dinged and I had a text. Professor Murphy this is Chief Danforth. Please come down to the station this morning. We have some additional questions for you.

I turned to my host, “Ryan, Chief would like me to return to the station.”

“One of us will give you a ride. Tell the Chief we’ll get you there in about an hour.”

Hi Chief. Just eating breakfast. Ryan and Ashley can drop me off in about an hour.

I got a thumbs up in return.


Ashley dropped me off at the station a little before nine. She said she was going grocery shopping and to text her when I was done.

When I walked in, the woman at the front desk pointed toward the hallway and said they were waiting for me.

The Chief wasn’t there, but the two detectives were. Their names were Josh Bellows and Lori Smithson.

I shook their hands and Detective Bellows motioned for me to have a seat.

I said, “I imagine I am your prime suspect. Should I get a lawyer?”

Bellows said, “We are just characterizing you as a person of interest. The medical examiner estimated that your wife died around two o’clock. We know you were in class at that time. You have a solid alibi. We would like to look at your financial records.”

“They’re all on our family computer. It’s in the library. I can give you the password.”

“Thank you. We’d also like to look at your phone.”

I handed it to them and used my thumb to unlock it. Detective Smithson left with it.

Bellows asked me to go over the events of the previous day again.

After I recounted that horrible experience, he said, “Now you came in the door off the driveway.”

“Yes, we call it our mud room.”

“When you saw your dog in the kitchen, you stopped and prepared to search the house.”


“Did you go near the door to your back porch?”

“No. I just took off my socks and shoes and grabbed a kitchen knife.”

“You stopped searching when you found your wife.”


“Why was that?”

“I suppose I realized I didn’t know what I was doing. When I reached down, I didn’t get a pulse. When I felt Beth’s cold wrist, I suppose I also lost hope that there might be a good ending.”

He nodded, “Do you know of anyone that would want to harm your wife?”

“No. She was pretty popular with our circle of friends and was one of the ‘church ladies’ at church.” I used air quotes.

Bellows nodded, “By church lady you mean?”

“There is group of about 15 or 20 ladies at church that do all the stuff – make meals, altar guild, host receptions for weddings and funerals, visit parishioners that are sick. That sort of thing.”

“How many people are familiar with your house?”

“I imagine a lot. Beth hosted the church ladies every couple of months. We throw a holiday party in December for everyone we know. Usually at least one party during the summer. We have dinner parties regularly.”

“How many people attended the holiday party?”

“Quite a few. Maybe forty or fifty. I have a spreadsheet in my work computer.”

“A spreadsheet? Why?”

“In case someone tested positive for COVID. That way I had a list of people to contact. Plus, I could invite the same people year after year.”

“How many years have you been throwing a party?”

“Maybe ten, twelve years. Well, except during the pandemic.”

“Of course. Just a minute.”

Bellows stepped out into the hallway, then returned, “I’m having both computers brought down here. I want a copy of that spreadsheet. You said you’ve thrown dinner parties?”

“Yes. One last month in fact.”

“Who was there?”

“Our friends Ashley and Ryan.”

“That’s who you’re staying with now.”

“Yes. Plus, two other couples. Brenda and Dave from church. Then there was Amanda and her husband Ken.”

“How do you know Amanda and Ken?”

“I used to play in a band with her. After dinner we had a little sing along.”

“I see. Is that a Fit Bit?”

“Yes. The data will be on my phone.”

“Okay, we’ll check that out. Are you romantically involved with anyone other than your wife?”


“Do you have any financial interests outside of normal retirement investments?”

“We own some stocks and mutual funds. All just regular investments. All at our stockbroker. All that information will be in our financial computer.”

“It’s on its way.” Bellows looked at his notepad, “How about life insurance?”

“We both have a policy. Mine is a lot more than Beth’s.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because I was the bread winner. I wanted to make sure Beth was taken care of if something happened to me.”

“Okay.” He flipped through his notepad again, “Where are your insurance policies?”

“In a fire box, one of those fire safe lock boxes. It’s in the bottom drawer of the file cabinet in the library.”

“Is there a key?”

“In a file folder labeled ‘Fire Box’. Second drawer from the top.”

He got up and went out into the hall again.

When he came back, he asked, “Is there anything else you might have remembered over night?”

“When I came into the house, there was a metallic smell.”

“Probably blood. Maybe gunpowder.”


“Anything else?”

“Not that I can think of.”

“Thank you, Professor. You’ll be staying with your friends?”

“I don’t have anywhere else to go. I’m not sure I want to live in that house anymore.”

Bellows nodded.

I asked, “When can I have my car?”

“Forensics is going over it now. We should probably be able to release it to you by the end of the weekend at the latest. We plan on working on this case the entire long weekend.”

“That’s right. Presidents’ Day.”

“Anything else we can do for you?”

I wondered for a moment, “I guess, I need to start thinking about funeral arrangements.” A wave of grief hit me, “Shit.”

“The medical examiner will probably be able to release your wife’s body on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

I nodded, “Beth always wanted to be cremated, but that just seems wrong right now.”

“Why is that?”

“Her body is evidence. If we’re going to get justice for her, we might need that evidence.”

“Good point.”

I was suddenly overwhelmed with all the things that would need to be done. Funeral. Burial. Relatives coming in.

“I’m going to need to tell people about this. When can I do that?”

“You can tell people now. The Chief is going to hold a press conference at noon.”


Ashley picked me up and I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon making phone calls. I decided to make a couple of calls and ask others to spread the word. Ashley called our faculty friends.

Pastor Rich came over and we made preliminary plans for a funeral. We went with Saturday, a week from now, to allow people to fly in. I knew Beth’s brother and sister would be coming in. My two brothers and their families would be coming in. Plus, our daughter’s family. Pastor tasked the church ladies with finding places for everyone to stay since we didn’t think anyone would want to stay at our house.


On Sunday, I got a call from Detective Smithson asking me to come by the station and that I could have my car afterwards. I had decided to skip church since I really didn’t feel like dealing with people.

Ryan dropped me off this time. When I reached the interrogation room, Chief Bradshaw plus Detectives Bellows and Smithson were there. A fourth person in a jacket and tie was sitting in the corner.

Detective Bellows introduced him as the assistant district attorney.

My mind went into panic mode, “So, I need a lawyer.”

Chief shook his head, “Sit down Professor. We have some questions to ask you. Once we’re done with that, we’re going to explain some things. To ease your mind, you are no longer a person of interest.”

I just nodded. My brain was racing.

Bellows produced a piece of paper that I recognized as the spreadsheet I used to track our party guests, “Professor, can you tell us how many of the people who attended your holiday party were single?”

I nodded, “Yeah. Do you have something to write with?”

Detective Smithson handed me a highlighter, “Just tick off the single people.”

I went through the list, marking as I went. I realized we had had a lot of single women there. There were also a handful of single men.

When I was done, the Assistant D.A. came over, “Professor, my name is Mark Coolidge. We sort of have a plan.”

Chief Danforth said, “Without going into detail, we have evidence that your wife’s killer may have been a woman.”

“A woman?”

“Yes. That’s all we can say at this time. Your pastor told us that you’re going to have the funeral on Saturday.”

I nodded.

Coolidge said, “We are going to put you under surveillance, not because we think you killed your wife, but because we think her killer may have some romantic intentions toward you.”

“So, someone killed her to get her out of the way and so the killer can step into her place?”

Detective Smithson said, “It sounds really creepy, but that’s exactly what we think.”

“Why do you think that?”

Smithson said, “We have evidence that the killer was a woman. That is rare, but not exceptionally so. Two percent of murderers are women. We spoke to our state profiler. Given what we found and more importantly what we didn’t find at your house, she believes that the motive may be romance.”

I nodded, then it dawned on me, “So one of our friends?”

Bellows said, “Most murders are committed by someone the victim knows.”

Coolidge said, “Most likely. In order to flush out the killer, we’re going to have to put you through the ringer.”

I was surprised, “What? How?”

“We will be recording everything that occurs at the wake, the funeral, and at the cemetery. You will need to stop by here before and after each event. We’re going to wire you up. We’ll install some cameras in the funeral home, at the church, at the cemetery, even in the church basement where you’re going to have the repast. We’re going to record all interactions you have. If no one gives themselves away, on Monday we are going to charge you with murder.”

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