Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 September 2012
‘There have been other occurrences, Officer Ricketsen, since my husband has been away. Almost every day something odd happens, and I attribute it to my . . .’ Missy paused, searching for the best term to describe what was happening to her, ‘I attribute it all to my stalker.’
Ricketsen nodded. There was too much evidence now to suggest anything less than a stalker.
‘Can you recall for me the other incidences, please?’ Ricketsen asked.
Missy covered a number of encounters that she considered to be minor – being followed through the supermarket, more nights where he was either outside the Fairmont house or creeping around the backyard, following her to restaurants and other venues. She explained to Ricketsen how a few of her friends had been with her when the mystery man was around. Ricketsen asked for their names, addresses, and phone numbers. In the event of the situation ending up in front of a judge, any witness to the events would be advantageous to Missy’s case.
‘You said there was a more serious incident that was really the catalyst for you to come here today. What was that, Missy?’ Ricketsen asked.
* * * * *
The day had been uneventful just like the previous few. For the last three days, Missy had not seen any sign of the man who had been stalking her, and as such, she let down her guard just a little. She had spent the day shopping and dining with friends, returning home just after seven that night, arms laden with bags from various boutiques. She fumbled for her keys but managed to get inside, close the door, and disarm the alarm system seconds before it blared off and alerted the alarm company of a possible intruder.
Heading upstairs to dump her purchases in her bedroom, Missy made the decision that she was too tired to prepare her own dinner, and would order in instead. Back down in the kitchen, Missy dialled the number for her favourite Thai restaurant and placed her order.
‘You and Mr. Fairmont must be hungry tonight, huh?’ asked the restaurant owner. Missy laughed.
‘Ah no, Raewyn, just me. Mr. Fairmont’s out of town on business. I just couldn’t decide which dish I wanted, so I’ll have the four that I was considering,’ she replied.
‘Give it twenty minutes, Mrs. Fairmont, and I’ll send Terry right over with your order,’ said Raewyn. Missy thanked the woman, hung up the phone, and headed upstairs again, this time to shower.
By the time Missy sauntered back downstairs after showering, she had only a few minutes to wait before the arrival of Terry with her food. He was Raewyn’s most punctual delivery guy, clearly understanding that customers liked their Thai food hot, not tepid or cold, when he arrived on their doorstep. Dead on time, the doorbell chimed.
Missy, surprisingly hungry despite eating a large lunch, raced to the front door and threw it open.
‘Hey, Mrs. F, how’s things?’
‘Hi, Terry. Meh, things is things,’ she replied in her best fake New Yorker accent. Terry giggled.
‘You trying to be Mr. DeNiro there, Mrs. F?’
‘Smart alec,’ Missy replied, continuing with the accent, ‘just give me my order and get oudda here!’
He handed her the brown paper bag containing her order, and she handed him one hundred dollars in return.
‘Oh, Mrs. F, this is way too much. Your order only came to forty five sixty two.’ He held out fifty dollars.
‘Keep the change, Terry. Call it a tip for always being on time,’ she replied. Terry’s attention, however, was somewhere behind her and his expression alarmed her.
‘Terry, what’s wrong?’
Unable to find any words, Terry pointed over Missy’s shoulder. She turned to see where he was pointing, and screamed.
* * * * *
Ricketsen made meticulous notes as Missy spoke. What at first appeared to be just another nuisance case was turning out to be a big deal.
‘Have the doors been cleaned since that night, Missy?’ Ricketsen asked.
‘Uh, no, I don’t think so,’ she replied.
‘Have you touched the doors, handles, anywhere that he may have put his hands?’
Missy shrugged her shoulders. She couldn’t be one hundred per cent sure that she hadn’t contaminated her unwanted visitor’s prints.
‘And you’re sure that you locked the doors when you went for a shower?’ Ricketsen wanted all bases covered.
‘Yes. The glass doors I didn’t even unlock when I got home. The only door that I unlocked was the front door. He must have picked the lock, and it had to have been done after I got home, because the alarm was armed all day until I got back and turned it off.’
Ricketsen reread the notes he had written about the latest incident. Missy Fairmont’s stalker had escalated his criminal behaviour by breaking in to the Fairmont home. Ricketsen contemplated the worst-case scenario: had the delivery guy not arrived on time, Missy might not have been around to report the events to the police. As much as he wanted to hold on to this case, Ricketsen knew he had to hand it over to the boys upstairs.
‘Look,’ he said to Missy, ‘I’ve got to be honest here. I think it’s best that I involve the detectives on this. We’re dealing with a guy who is escalating his behaviour, and he needs to be stopped and apprehended before anything bad happens.’ He paused, waiting for a reaction from Missy. She wasn’t going to argue with Ricketsen. She wanted this to end.
‘This guy has been in your house. We don’t know for how long, but we know that he can get to you any time he wants. So, I think that we also need to get you some protection.’
Ricketsen gathered all of the photos together, replaced them in the envelope that Missy had given him, grabbed the notepad that he’d been writing case notes on, and stood up.
‘Come on, we’re going upstairs to the detectives.’
. . . To be continued . . .