forworse (forworse) wrote in binky_betsy,

And then there was one...


“The time is 11.02 am on Monday the third of May 2010. Present in the interrogation room are Officers Brad Luggsworth and Jill Marks, and Dr John Patterson. Dr Patterson, can you confirm that you’re happy to have this interview tape recorded?”

“Yes, Brad…Sgt Luggsworth, I am.”

“Could you please confirm that you understand the purpose of this visit?”

“Yes. I’m here for questioning only.”

“That’s right. You have not been charged with any crime and you have the right to terminate the interview at any point. If you wish to take a break at any time, please say so. Could you please state for the record that you have waived your right to have a lawyer present?”

“I have nothing to hide. I’m happy to speak for myself without a lawyer present.”

“Thank you Dr Patterson.”

Brad opened the top folder of several piled on the table. “Please tell me about the night of April second.”

John cleared his throat. “Elly had planned this family get-together. She still had keys to my…our house. I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I never changed the locks. We were still married…anyway, people were arriving from all over and I’d had a long drive back from Manitoba. I wasn’t completely ready to stand by her side. Look, there’s a lot of history here. Do you want me to go into it?”

“Just the events of that evening please.”

“Elly was annoyed with me because she didn’t know where I’d been. I didn’t know what she had planned. I didn’t really know she was back at the house. It’s not like there’s any decent cell phone reception around Lake Superior even if I wanted to call…”

“Dr Patterson, please keep to the night in question.”

“Sorry. So I get home and find there’s this big party about to get underway and our kids and her kids and various other people are showing up. I guess I didn’t handle it too well. Right off there’s all the Thai food in the kitchen. Turns out she’d screwed up the order, and thought something called ‘shark ‘n’ fried’ was fish and chips. When she found out it wasn’t, she’d gone out to the chip wagon and got herself fish and chips. She’d eaten that already but didn’t leave any for me, so I was pretty cheesed off. She knows I can’t handle spicy foods. Leaves me on the can for ages.”

“Tell us about the night of April second, please.”

“I got back late afternoon, nearly 5. I know that because it’s when she told everyone to come over. I was starving, too, and there’s all this food I can’t eat and Elly saying she was so nervous she ate an entire batch of fake butter tarts to calm down. It really didn’t help my mood.”

“Dr Patterson, we have already taken plenty of statements about the events surrounding dinner that night. According to your initial statement, you were the last to leave the house. Is this the case?”

“Yes, and she was still alive when I left. It was only a few minutes after the others had stormed out. She was shouting at me about the state of the house, like I’d had nothing better to do than clean it every day while she was in the hospital.”

“So you said. Could you please tell us where you went and what time it was?”

“Like I told you, I went to the sports bar near the arena.”

“Were you alone?”

“When I left, yes.”

“At the sports bar?”


“Do you want to answer that?”

John licked his lips.  “I could use a coffee.” Brad nodded to Jill who left the room. Brad dictated the time into the tape recorder and paused the tape. He and John sat in silence for several minutes until Jill returned. Brad noticed that John’s ring finger was bare and narrowed where his wedding band had been for decades. Brad started the tape, read out the current time and he and John confirmed that they had not discussed the case during the interval.

John took a sip of the coffee and grimaced slightly. “Ugh, instant. That takes me back. Back to university and trying to make ends meet. My one indulgence was getting a real cup of coffee. It’s sort of how Elly and I got together. We met in the medical library and she suggested we get a cup of coffee together. Turns out she worked part-time at this café near the campus so we could get a discount. Her other job was in the university bookstore; that’s why she was on campus. I just assumed she was a student. All her sob stories about dropping out of university to pay for my education were just tales she made up. All that happened was she had to quit her jobs because the commute was too far for the paltry wages and tips. We’d bought the place here, Mike was enrolled in kindergarten and Lizzie was on the way.”

“Dr Patterson, you were telling us about whether or not you were alone at the sports bar.”

“No, I wasn’t alone. My fiancée will back me up. I called her on my cell when I left home and she met me there.”

“This is Ms Krelbutz? And how long have you been engaged?”

“Yes. Look, I know what people are thinking. I’ve always known what people think of me. You think I don’t hear them snickering about Train Man? Maybe I used to care. You know what? Who’s laughing now? I’m finally getting a chance to live my life. It’s like the blinders came off after nearly thirty years of marriage, and I realized that we were just moving through life like characters in a really boring story. We’d long ago lost touch and whatever was once between us had been gone for years. Maybe I left myself believe all her stories. Maybe I was just married to some fictional version of Elly I made up in my mind to keep from seeing how bad things had become. 

“I started seeing Kortney in the spring of ’07. Well, not seeing but, you know…my fiancée has a past, of course, and we met outside the sports bar and I engaged her services. Ha! Engaged…that’s funny! Obviously I kept it from Elly. It wasn’t too often, not at first. Maybe once every six weeks or so. More often that winter once the flannel nightie came out again back home. Kort just knew what a man wanted. It wasn’t just sex – not that it wasn’t amazing – but she’d also listen to me. Tell me I’m still a good guy and that Elly didn’t understand or appreciate me. I realized I was falling in love with her.

“Elly was so busy with Elizabeth’s wedding. It’s like she was obsessed with managing every last detail. I’m not even sure Elly was that bothered about the identity of the groom: it was all about being mother-of-the-bride. I tried to stay out of the way as much as possible. The trouble really started at the reception at the Empire Hotel. By this point Kort and I were exclusive. I’d told her about the wedding and she snuck into the reception. Hell, most of Milborough was there – why not her? But Connie Poirier saw me with her and started to shout at how I was a horrible man who had ruined Elly’s life. She said she was going to tell Elly. In a way I felt relieved: at last this hiding would be over. But then Elly had her breakdown and I never did find out if Connie told her or if it was just all the stress of the wedding. So I kept my secret and I gather Connie didn’t mention it again, but now I had Kort asking when I was going to tell everyone. I decided to end everything with Elly – not to kill her – but to get a divorce now that she was better. I went to the sports bar to tell Kort what I’d decided, and I asked her to marry me. She was so happy. She already had a ring picked out and I promised to buy it for her as soon as the store opened. We went back to the Empire Hotel because her roommate had company and that’s where my daughter saw me.”

“That would be Elizabeth Caine?”

“Yes, with her husband and her half-sister. Who I guess is my step-daughter.”

“And what time would that be?”

“10.30. Maybe 11. We were on our way upstairs. We didn’t come down again until morning, you know, when you called my cell phone to say you wanted to speak to me.”

“Thank you, Dr Patterson. No further questions. The time is 12.23 and I’m turning off the tape recorder.” Brad pressed Stop. Jill walked John out of the building. When she returned he said, “It checks out like we knew it would. The Empire Hotel CCTV footage shows them entering the lobby and the swipe card recorded that access to their room was granted at 22.54. There was a call for room service at 12.58 and the concierge’s statement is that he saw them both. You know where we go from here?”

“Connie Poirier?”

“Connie Poirier.”


Tags: retcons

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