Murder in Cross: December 11, 1905


Mary Warren preferred married men.

It wasn’t the thrill of the hunt or the satisfaction of knowing she could seduce a man from his wife (although how faithful he was, to begin with, is up for question in that situation).

No, what Mary found most appealing was the torment she could wreak on the man’s wife.

Mary had traveled with an elderly aunt for several years, and when they returned to Cross, her aunt had a telephone installed, one of the first in town. It was an item of much discussion and envy, and Mary was always quite pleased to show it off. By 1905, there were a handful of other families who had telephones, and Mary added a new aspect to her game.

She would only chase after married men who had phones.

On December 11, I was made aware of this when a good friend of mine, Annette Sloan, killed herself in front of her husband. When I learned of this, I hastened to Leon Sloan’s house, not to offer him comfort, but to see if he needed killing. I was never a fan of the man, nor of the way he treated Annette. Arriving at the house, I learned that he was indeed responsible, but I waited for the full story before I passed my judgment.

He told me that he had engaged in an affair with Mary Warren and that she had broken it off a few days previous. On the morning of the eleventh, she had called his wife and given, in excruciating detail, every intimate act that he and Mary had engaged in.

After the phone call, Annette had taken her life.

I advised Leon to do the same, and then made use of his phone by calling Mary Warren.

While Leon blew out his brains in his parlor, I spoke five words to Mary Warren.

“I am coming for you.”

I regret to say that she opened her wrists in the bathtub and was dead by the time I knocked on her door.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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