is a curious and one might say tragically comical set of circumstances
that brought me to my impending doom, sitting here on death row
counting the hours to my execution. I am having a hard time eating
my last meal; New York Steak, three eggs, hash browns, orange juice
and coffee and I feel my story should be told.
was three years ago on a sunny spring Monday morning, I shall never
forget it, how could I? I am, or rather was, a knife salesman by
trade. This allowed plenty of time to travel, and the lonely existence
of the road was far more enjoyable than the sheer level of wretchedness
I suffered when I was at home with Mildred. Mildred, please understand,
was my wife of twenty six years and I suppose I had loved her once,
yet, as I strive to recollect the emotion, my search is in vain.
All that I can bring to mind is the nagging, both incessant and
constant gradually etching away at my confidence. Each derogative
utterance chipping recklessly away at my increasingly fragile sense
of self, but as I awoke upon that spring morning things were about
to change. On this beautiful spring morning the events that were
about to unfurl had been meticulously considered for months
awoke, as we always awoke, and her mouth began moving the moment
her eyes opened. The insults quickly began as I made her breakfast;
I always made her breakfast, and served it to her in bed. As she
examined the tray in front of her the usual bombardment of condemnation
"Eggs too runny," "Coffee too strong," "Idiot,"
was the typical routine, yet this morning as my mood was so highly
elevated that I could withstand the verbal pummeling. At precisely
8:30 I was meticulously packing the fine German knives in a large
stainless steel case for a presentation later that day. I had in
my possession a second case, and this one I placed on the bed empty.
Moments later I heard my wife contently singing some wretched show
tune in the shower, something from the Sound of Music, I think,
but with her it was hard to tell. I calmly picked up the shiny butcher
boning knife from my collection, this is a strong long narrow knife
and as its name implies is used to sever through bones. Perfect.
I approached the bathroom door I could hear her shrieking rendition
of Julie Andrews and the sound of the gushing water. Holding my
breath I opened the door and entered. As I watched her flabby silhouette
wobbling behind the floral shower curtain I could not help but shudder.
A moment later, and with speed that surprised even me, I had thrown
back the curtain and plunged the knife with exacting precision into
the base of the neck. The shower water continued to gush relentlessly,
and the water turned into the most beautiful hue of red. Her death
was almost instant and relatively painless. Within a few moments
she collapsed into the bathtub. I watched fascinated as the blood
continued to flow for a few moments. This is why I had decided upon
the shower, so that the blood would drain away. After about twenty
minutes not a trace of red was left to be seen.
was then time for the next phase of my plan, and I once more went
to my trusted knife collection and returned the boning knife lovingly
back into its place, spotlessly clean and shining. Then I removed
a stainless steel meat cleaver and a butchers saw. My spirits were
rather high at this time, I was enjoying this far more than I imagined
I would. I turned my stereo on and the joyous sounds of Beethoven
filled the diminutive bathroom. Perfect. As I set about my gruesome
task I imagined the conductor gallantly guiding the orchestra as
they pounded out the fifth symphony and I too took the rhythm of
the music, and orchestrated my movements to it, I was having fun.
The arms and legs came off with relative ease. However the head,
which I had saved for last, was a little more trouble, in fact it
took me nearly ten minutes to finally disconnect each stubborn sinew.
Finally with one almighty whack from the cleaver the last ligament
surrendered to my blade. I laughed to myself Mildred was always
being awkward of course her murder was not going to be any exception.
the body had been cut and sliced tidily into small pieces and I
took the suitcase and lined it with plastic bin liners and methodically
positioned all of her body pieces in it. I placed Mildred's head
on top, and with much satisfaction at a job well done jubilantly
closed it. Perfect.
meticulously cleaned my knives and scrubbed using copiously amounts
of heavy duty bleach the shower. After all of my efforts I surveyed
the bathroom; spotless, perfect.
this point it was almost 10:30, still plenty of time for my drive
to West Virginia for my presentation at the Hotel association. By
11:00 I finally pulled out of the garage of my tidy little house
in Ohio in my station wagon. I had the two suitcases crammed into
the back, along with my overnight bag. I placed my favorite Mozart
CD into my player and as the piano sonata number eleven filled my
I finally started to relax "almost done," I had thought
to myself, "almost done."
had driven this exact same route many times over the years and as
I sped along the highway I knew precisely what needed to be accomplished.
I came to the appropriate exit, which is located right in the heart
of West Virginia, and took the adjoining mountain trail into the
green hills. I just needed to travel two miles up. You see I had
already dug the hole where I was going to dispose of Mildred. I
remember looking at my watch, 1:45; perfect. I still had four hours
before I had to do my presentation at the conference which was plenty
of time. I hummed along merrily to Mozart once more as I bounced
along the logging road. Very few vehicles ever traveled out here
so I considered it the ideal spot for the disposal. It was then
the unexpected happened. I felt the car veering sharply to the left.
I realized at once what my problem was, a flat tire. As I hastily
removed the contents from my car to reach the spare and tools, I
cursed to myself. Still, only a minor hitch and I still had time.
Thirty minutes later I was speedily racing along the mountain road
yet again. It had begun to drizzle at this point, and the road in
front of me was quickly turning to mud
These sudden April
showers were common enough, but I could not help to wonder deep
down that some strange kind of bad karma was beginning to overtake
me. I quickly suppressed the growing gnaw of guilt in my gut. This
was not going to be as easy as I imagined, I was no longer enjoying
the process, but now I had to keep on going
finally made it to my spot, with the rain still falling. I hastily
got myself from the car, grabbed the case and dropped it deep into
the awaiting cavity. I hurriedly started to fill in the hole, and
slipped, falling directly on top of the case. As I clambered to
my feet I realized that Mildred would have gotten a good laugh out
of this. I could just imagine her cackling disparagements at me
"Useless, pathetic, feeble, stupid
" It took almost
an hour to finally cover her up. I hadn't counted on it taking so
long and I was really behind schedule now, I was going to have to
hurry. Placing the inspiring music of Elgar into my player and turning
the volume up to maximum I once again bounced along the mountain
road, back to the freeway, and on to my convention. I managed to
distract my unfocused, doubting mind by considering what lay ahead
of me. The next couple of days were going to be fun, hotel conventions
hours later I had hastily pulled into the Charleston Weekender inn,
where the convention was being held. It was now six o clock, and
almost dark. I hurriedly checked in at the front desk, and as the
reservations clerk handed me my room key, she seemed to be eyeing
my dirty clothes suspiciously, I felt that somehow she knew what
I had been doing. Or was I simply getting paranoid?
a few moments I was in the hotel room, safely locking the door behind
me. I had unlocked the mini bar and poured myself a generous quantity
of bourbon. As I took a hot shower I kept seeing Mildred's face
from the corner of my eye, silently mocking me, and I had began
to question my own sanity
I remember thinking that I had to
pull myself together, that the worse was surely over.
at the stroke of 6:00 P.M. I marched punctually into the auditorium,
my confidence restored. Several hundred anonymous faces greeted
me with polite applause. I studied the carcass of the pig on top
of the stage, the expression on the dead animals face held a spooky
resemblance and I shivered. I took a deep breath and lifted my trusted
knife set next to the pig, my presentation on butchery was about
to commence. Perfect.
can imagine my shock when I eventually opened the case. The auditorium
instantly became hushed and I was unsure as to what had provoked
such a surprising reaction. Then I saw Mildred's face, smiling up
at me. See, I told you it was kind of funny, you have guessed what
mistake I made haven't you? Of course-I had only gone and buried
the wrong case.