THE RAINY NIGHT MURDER - Episode 2

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Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - conversations, the media, the police, rape, confession, weapon, lawyers, murder weapon, DNA, fingerprints, killed.




Two days later news of Monica’s gruesome murder filled the media with Abel’s face pasted beside her body. As days went by, more facts emerged; the police got an order which required the mobile network operators which Abel and Monica used to make available the conversations which took place between them before and in the night of her murder. With it the police established their suspicion that the deceased was in need and had called Abel for help and instead he took advantage of her that night by raping her and eventually killed her. Some of the conversations between Abel and Monica were made available to the media. Medical tests overwhelmingly proved that there was violent penetration before Monica was killed. The police did a DNA profiling of the blood found on the crime scene and matched it with Abel’s DNA test result. The fingerprints found on Monica where also those of Abel’s. The police had less to worry about when one of Abel’s colleagues at work informed them that Abel had told him he could not wait to have sex with Monica, even if he had to drug her to do it. Abel did not deny he said that but maintained his stance that he neither raped nor killed Monica.

 At the beginning it seemed there was virtually no evidence to help Abel as his lawyers tried to build a case only on his confession of what happened that night. Abel admitted to having a scuffle with Monica which led to her attacking him with one of the bottles of wine he had brought along that night. The telephone conversation between them had shown they talked about drinking that night, of course there was no trace of alcohol in Monica’s blood at the time of death, since they didn’t have to drink that night. The police believed something happened between them which led to Monica attacking Abel with the bottle of wine, they conjectured that Abel must have tried to rape her and she resisted. They based this on the evidence that Monica’s shirt was found in his car torn; they reasoned that if she had consented to the act, her shirt wouldn’t have been torn, and there were also marks on her body which showed she was physically assaulted before she was raped. Abel could not bring himself to tell his lawyers or the police that he had actually intended to rape Monica before she fought him off with a bottle of wine. He had to throw in a few lies to cover that up.

His claim was that he had offered her money to have sex with her but she got angry and attacked him with a bottle. In his confession he claimed that Monica knocked him unconscious and that when he woke up, he found Monica dead by the road side. To the police Abel’s version of what happened that night was gross, they scoffed at him and pressed him to confess to his crime. There was however a little puzzle which the police investigators could not solve – the murder weapon. Experts the police brought in agreed that Monica did not die of rape; post mortem result showed that she died when her throat was slit. A study of the cut on her throat showed that it was made with a sharp weapon and not a blunt or crude object. That murder weapon was not found anywhere on the crime scene.

On the missing weapon the defense lawyers tried to build a case. They surmised that Monica had fled from Abel’s car thinking he had died when she attacked him. Their view that since Monica had lost her shirt when she had a scuffle with Abel, she had fled from Abel’s car clad only in her skirt and brazier, hence making her an easy target for a sexual deviant who must have found her and took her where he raped and killed her and then brought her body back to the very place where he had found her fleeing from Abel thinking he was dead. They held that the missing murder weapon was not used on the crime scene. Their argument was somewhat persuasive in that Monica’s blood was not found on the crime scene, on Abel or on the spot where her body was found, clearly she was killed somewhere else and brought back to the crime scene. The lawyers reasoned that Abel could not have done all that while he was unconscious in his car.

They opined that even if he was conscious, the sort of injury he had could not have allowed him to drive Monica to some location where he raped and killed her and then drove her back to the crime scene. They sought the opinions of medical experts who strongly affirmed that Abel’s injury could not have made it possible for him to endure the exertions of sexual intercourse. So his lawyers concluded that there must have been someone else on the crime scene that night who raped and killed Monica and not their client. There was no semen anywhere—even though medical examiners determined that Monica was sexually assaulted.  The absence of semen on Monica and on the crime scene made it very difficult for them to establish that Abel was neither the rapist nor the killer. Abel’s lawyers prepared their case and waited for the trial to begin.

However, there was something which someone had hidden from the police and it wasn’t just the murder weapon. The night Monica’s body was found, the police homicide unit had found a piece of flesh under the nail of her baby finger. Her other nails were very clean, whoever killed her must have taken his time to clean off his flesh from under her nails before dumping her in the brush by the roadside, and had in his haste missed the little detail police crime scene examiners found. Also a body fluid was found near her chest area; these samples and the others were taken to a lab for analysis and strangely nothing was heard about them all through the case. The young forensic physician, Itoro, who did the analysis at the lab, knew the DNA results of the saliva and the fluid did not match with Abel or with Monica. So someone else was certainly there that night. He made his findings known and submitted the result and was thanked for his work. However, as the police built their case against Abel, those pieces of evidence were carefully removed and not a word about them was mentioned in the police report on the case.

Itoro had become suspicious of police handling of the case and mentioned it to his father, a retired senior police officer. His father told him to make copies of the lab results available to him and to make a video of the samples he analyzed. Three days after Itoro got his father copies of the DNA result of the samples found on Monica and a video of the samples; he was found dead on a bus on his way home from work. Post mortem result revealed a large amount of cyanide in his blood. The police thought he was not poisoned because cyanide can be found in a great variety of substances like almonds, apple seeds, apricot kernel, tobacco smoke, insecticides, pesticides and the list goes on. Murder in this case can be blamed on a household accident, such as ingestion of pesticide. Also the fact that Itoro worked in a lab where he came in contact with several lethal substances made it difficult for the police to conclude he was murdered.  And who would want to murder a harmless young man like him. However, Itoro’s father knew a lot more which he did not reveal to the police. He knew his son’s knowledge about the DNA samples found on Monica was the reason for his murder.

Itoro’s father, Edem Inyang, lay low and secretly worked to find out the extent of his son’s knowledge and whom he had spoken to about the mysterious DNA samples found on Monica. After the police were done building their evidence against Abel, they charged the matter to court. In the light of the overwhelming evidence against Abel, he stood very little chance of getting anything out of the case. His lawyers battled to convince the judge that he was not the rapist or the murderer, but they lacked evidence, all they had were theories. The prosecutors believed that Abel had hidden the murder weapon where no one could find it. The police had turned his car and Monica’s car inside out and scored every blade of grass and turned every stone on the crime scene but still could not find the murder weapon. The defense lawyers brought in medical experts to prove that there was no way Abel could have raped Monica while he had the kind of injury he sustained that night. And there was possibly no way Monica could have risen from death to stab Abel with the bottle. But the big problem for the defense lawyers was that only Abel’s fingerprints were found on Monica.

There was nothing to prove that Abel did not commit the crime; he could have hidden the missing murder weapon anywhere. Police prosecutors harangued Abel in court to reveal where he had hidden the murder weapon, but he maintained that he was not the rapist or the killer. Abel cried all through the case and at some point he yelled in court, “There is nothing to prove that I killed Monica except that I was on the scene and that my blood was found on her!” The police prosecutor went into a fit of rage and yelled back at him, “Yes there are too many evidence against you! Your fingerprints were found on her, there was penetration, you told a colleague of yours that you would even drug her to have sex with her, your blood was on her and you admitted to trying to pay her for sex! You are a rapist, murderer and a pathetic liar!”

As the case wore on and the defense lawyers expected the worse, they advised Abel to change his plea, but Abel didn’t budge. They had hoped that by getting him to plead guilty as charged, they would get the judge to give him a life sentence instead of a capital punishment. However, when the judge delivered his judgment, it was as many had expected. He handed Abel a death penalty for the crimes of raping and killing the young woman Monica Uzondu. Monica’s fiancĂ©, James, who had been calling out for blood was elated in the courtroom when the judgment was delivered. He leapt into the air and shouted in excitement. Had it not been for the police, his friends and Monica’s family members, he would have broken Abel’s neck the moment he got close to him the first time he set his eyes on him at the police station. He was so peeved he hurled insults at him and spit into his face. While James exited out of the courtroom after the judgment, he bent over and whispered into the ears of Monica’s mother, “How I wish the court would grant me the permission to be Abel’s hangman. He took away my sunshine when he killed Monica. Even if I kill him a thousand times, I still won’t be satisfied. He should never have been born.”


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Uzoma Ujor

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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog: THE RAINY NIGHT MURDER - Episode 2
THE RAINY NIGHT MURDER - Episode 2
Nigeria's leading fictional story blog - conversations, the media, the police, rape, confession, weapon, lawyers, murder weapon, DNA, fingerprints, killed.
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Moofyme.com: An African Literary Blog
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