Murder in Cross: December 26, 1948


It took me several years after my return from Europe to get a handle on the murders which had been committed while I was away.

The first person to feel my wrath was Eunice James, a young woman I had known in passing before I left. From what I gathered, she married her high school sweetheart, Melvin James, and together they worked at a small factory helping to can foods for the war. Melvin, despite his war work being listed as essential, felt the need to enlist, and he did so without confiding in his wife.

From what I gathered, Eunice was furious. The pay of an enlisted man was far less than the skilled labor he was performing. Unbeknownst to Eunice, he told his sister about his troubles before he disappeared.

Eunice told everyone that he had gone off without saying goodbye, but no one believed her.

His relations searched for him, and they requested information from all the branches about where he might be, but there was no assistance from the government. There was a war to be won.

This morning, I met up with Eunice at her apartment, and I asked her, politely at first, where her husband might be. She hemmed and hawed for the better part of an hour, and only when I cut the wedding ring off her finger did she bother to speak the truth.

She had killed Melvin in 1943, beating him to death with a frying pan. After that, she had cut him into small, manageable portions and smuggled him into work, where he was canned and shipped out to various parts of the world.

I admit it was an ingenious way to rid herself of the body. But I was fond of Melvin. He had always been a pleasant young man.

As for Eunice, well, the pigs are feeding on her now and I suspect she’ll stop screaming soon enough.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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