Here we were, waiting for the captain to start our morning meeting with all the detectives, undercover officers and patrolmen in attendance. This was a regular morning ritual. We sat and the captain gave us our daily log. Why did I feel today would be different? I was a guy so I didn't have women's intuition. Must just be something in the air. It was only a month to Valentine's Day and someone was going to get the shit assignment. It's happened every year for the last three years.
The captain entered the room; he always started our day with something interesting or funny.
"Everyone be seated and we'll get this meeting under way. We have a lot to discuss this morning," said the captain.
"There was another case of underestimating the ammo requirements." The captain looked like he was reading from an official paper. "As reported earlier this week, some dirt bag that got pulled over in a routine traffic stop in Florida ended up shooting the deputy who stopped him. The deputy was shot twice in the chest but luckily was wearing a chest protector. The assailant left the officer lying there and fled the scene. The officer made it back to his radio and called it in."
All of us were sitting there shocked; hearing that one of the good guys was injured.
"The officer is okay but had severe chest bruises from the bullet impact. He is back on the beat," remarked the captain. "Good men are hard to keep down."
We all clapped knowing one of our own was okay. "What happened to the assailant?" asked one of the officers.
The captain continued, "A statewide manhunt ensued. The lowlife piece of human garbage was found hiding in a wooded area with his gun. SWAT team officers fired and hit said low-life sixty-eight times. "Now here's the kicker: When asked why they shot the guy sixty-eight times, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told the Orlando Sentinel ... get this, 'That's all the bullets we had.' God bless Sheriff Judd!"
We all laughed after we realized it was a joke. The captain had a way of telling a story and making it believable.
He continued his meeting. "We have our usual problem this year trying to find Cupid. As most of you know, he has been killing people for three years now and has to be caught. I am assigning Jim Hartly and Charlie Weaver to the case."
Aw, shit! I'm Jim Hartly and I got the assignment nobody wants. This Cupid fellow has caused the city havoc for the last three years in a row. Every year he kills one or two scumbags. He only does it on Valentine's Day each year. That's why it's so hard to catch him. To the best of our knowledge, he only does it on that day and only kills scumbags.
The captain added, "We all know that being a vigilante is wrong, but this character does what the rest of us can't. Shoot first and talk later. In his case, talk never. The clues have been pretty dry."
The odd thing and the reason we call him Cupid is that he does his killing with a bow and arrow. The person who catches him will be both cheered and booed. I really didn't want to be the person to catch him, but now it was my assignment.
"Captain, who's this Charlie Weaver fellow and why is he assigned to this case?"
"It's a detective coming in from the fifth precinct - supposedly an archery specialist. I hear that she won the archery competition two years running and is one of the best in the state."
"She? Did you say she, Captain?"
As we were talking, a woman walked into the meeting room. She was a real stunner with frizzy hair the reddish-orange of a sunset and a body that would give you a hard-on just to see her. Rather than movie star pretty, she had the sweet girl-next-door type of loveliness. My mouth dropped open just looking at her. I thought she looked too young to be a detective but I found out later she was just a year younger than me.
"Captain Shivers, I'm Charly Weaver. I've been assigned to your precinct to help bring in the Cupid killer."
"Welcome, Detective Weaver. You'll be working with Jim Hartly here if he can get his mouth closed."
I felt a bit embarrassed, "Captain, isn't this assignment pretty dangerous to have a woman in the part of town we'll be in? Especially one as attractive as Detective Weaver? We have to go door to door and talk to lowlifes who knew some of the victims."
"First off, my name is Charly with a 'y' but my friends call me Charlie with an 'ie' on the end. Second, if that was a compliment, thank you, but I'm very capable of defending myself, even without a bow and arrow," she smiled.
Wow, this gal had it all. It would be interesting to work with her as long as I could keep my thoughts in the right place. I apologized to her, trying to explain that it wasn't that I didn't think she wasn't capable, but I was just concerned about the areas of the city we would be in.
After the Captain's meeting, Charlie and I headed out to our unmarked vehicle. Funny they called it unmarked, but every scumbag in the city recognized our vehicles. The other detectives teased me as we left. It just put a smile on Charlie's face.
We headed over to the donut shop (yes, we eat donuts) to discuss the case. Charlie just had coffee while I ate a cinnamon roll with my morning dose of caffeine.
"Have you read up on the Cupid character?" I asked Charlie.
"I've been following it for years - three years to be exact. It's almost sad taking out a person who is getting rid of the scumbags for us, but the law is the law. I've read the histories of the victims. Every one of them has been involved in violent crimes: murder, rape and drugs to name a few. That probably means that we are going after a revenge killer but he probably is connected to all three cases. We need to go back to the beginning, ... back to the first case and see if we can get clues from there," replied Charlie.
Damn, I thought; a body, brains, and looks. I wondered where she had been all my life. I wanted to know more about her. I knew, since we were going to be working together, that we should know about the other's background and how to protect each other's back.
I came up with an idea that I would review the first two years' worth of cases and Charlie would go over last year's case. We would then get together to compare notes and voice our different opinions. She agreed that it would be a great way to start. We headed to our archives building and pulled the files on all three years' worth of Cupid murders.
We were surprised that there was so little information. We figured that the different agents reviewing the cases didn't have their heart in it. After all, Cupid was doing us all a great favor by getting rid of the scumbags.
A little background on me. I enlisted in the service right out of high school. I trained to be an Army MP, (military police). I enjoyed it. For a young guy, it made me feel a little powerful. I know a lot of people won't like that statement but I'm just being honest with you here. After returning home, I trained at the local police academy. With my background as an MP, I was pretty much prepared for the training.
I started on the police force at twenty-three years old. My parents were proud of me. I came from a middle class working family. I had three sisters: two older and one younger. We fought a lot when we were kids but as we grew up we became close and I was kind of their protector. Maybe that's where wanting to be a cop started.
I'm now thirty-five and work as a detective. I went undercover for two years and it just wasn't for me. I've been married twice, both ending in divorce. My first wife, Sandy, was kind of my girlfriend in high school. She wrote me while I was in the service. For everyone in the service, letters from home were a Godsend. When I returned home, we were married inside of two months.
We were too young and immature to be married. I started on the force and got the really shit hours. She wanted me home more and that just didn't happen. We argued more than we made love. We only lasted two years. Thank God, we didn't have any children. Don't get me wrong; I like kids, but I believe they need a secure family with both a mother and father at home.
We divided what little we had in the way of assets and each went our own way. Sandy really was a sweet girl but we just weren't meant to be. She ended up getting married about two years later to a guy who worked in a credit union. I see her from time to time and we talk a little. I guess there is always a spot in our heart for old flames. She's the mother of two kids now, and seems very happy.
Monique was my second wife. After my divorce with Sandy, I began going out a lot. Monique was a hostess in one of the establishments I frequented. She was a combination hostess/waitress. We started dating and after about six months, we flew to Reno and got married.
Our life was pretty good for the first two years. It was then I took the undercover job. I stayed in another city and came home to see Monique whenever I could. She didn't mind me taking the job at first, but it got old to her pretty quick, always being home alone.
Most readers can figure out what happened. I came home unexpectedly one day and Monique wasn't alone. She was with some guy from the club. They were sitting and drinking on the sofa. They still had most of their clothes on but there was no mistaking what had been about to take place.
A very scared Monique started crying as I grabbed her date and with his arm behind his back threw him out the door and onto the lawn. He had trouble getting up since his trousers were undone and fell to his ankles. I told him if I ever saw his sorry ass again, I'd kill him. Those were my exact words.
We lived in a rented apartment. I told Monique that I was going to my parents' to stay. She wanted to talk but I told her there was nothing to talk about. She chose to be with another man and it didn't look like she was being forced. I told her to take whatever the hell she wanted. The next time I came home, her sorry ass better not be there. She was crying as I walked out the door.
She was totally wrong in what she did, but I had to wonder if my job and not being around led her to finding love in the arms of another man. She tried to talk with me, but I couldn't be with her anymore. I cared for her; I really did, but I knew I could never trust her again.
I actually cried after our divorce. I just couldn't make it work. I realized my job didn't mix with being a husband. After I finished my last undercover job, I applied to be a detective. I've been one for two years now. I didn't keep regular hours, but I didn't have anyone to come home to anyway. I stopped by to see my parents regularly and also my sisters and their families.
I do date, but do my best not to get serious about anyone. I let them know right off the bat that my job and marriage were not a compatible combination. The detectives and officers who make it work have my utmost respect.
I kept going over the information on the first two murders. The crime scene and information was so similar. Granted, the killings were done with a bow and arrow, but there were witnesses in the second murder. They weren't good ones but they were witnesses.
In the first killing, a man was killed standing in a doorway. We knew that he was a drug dealer. The victim was supposedly alone and found by passersby. No witnesses whatsoever. The crime scene investigators said that someone must have been on the roof of the buildings across the street from where the victim was standing. He received an arrow straight to his throat.
The roofs were checked but no identifiable prints were found. The killer didn't even leave shoe prints at the first murder site. He must have put some type of painter caps over his shoes. There were no leads at all. As explained, the murder was done on Valentine's Day.
All the family members were talked to, but no results. What friends we found out he had were mob connections and, as usual, no one was talking. The police even waited for a few of the victims' contacts to show up and arrested them for trying to buy drugs. No one cared for this scumbag but no one had a clue as to who killed him.
The second killing was different. The MO was similar but it didn't seem right to me. This time the dope peddler, our so-called victim was also a pimp. Again, the killer was on the roof across from where the victim got out of the car to talk to one of his ladies. Now there was a witness. Only, all she saw was a person dressed in black who disappeared from the roof immediately. She had no other information to share other than the victim was her boyfriend.
The crime scene investigators found boot prints this time. They came from a size eleven boot that could match a million pairs of boots. It was a common type that could be bought in any shoe store, albeit it was an expensive boot. We did have a picture of the print in case we ever got lucky. We also had a cigarette butt but didn't know if it belonged to the killer. The butts were squeezed and smashed, the filters torn off so we couldn't even get any DNA off of them. The killer must have taken the filters with him.
The arrow that was used to kill the second victim was a different type. It was something that I would have to discuss with Charlie. I knew nothing about bows and arrows other than when I watched an old cowboys and Indians flick. I had to wonder if whoever killed the second victim was the same one who killed the first one. I was ready to discuss my findings with Charlie who was going over the last killing.
I should mention that all three of these cases were open. It's just that they happened only once a year and the evidence always came up blank. When it got near Valentine's Day, the press would always drag out the old press releases and ask if the department would be able to catch Cupid this year. The captain would assign someone to go over the case history again and hope they were able to stop it from happening again.
After the next morning meeting, Charlie and I headed back into the archives room to compare our notes. Damn! She not only looked good but she smelled good too.
We worked all morning on the cases. When we broke for lunch, I asked her if she would mind going to a small cafe where we could talk. I wanted to know more about her. She smiled and agreed to have lunch with me. She drove her car over to her place, which was not too far from the restaurant. She had a small bungalow that looked nice in the evening darkness.
I drove on over to the restaurant and introduced her to the owners as "a very good friend of mine." That seemed to amuse Charlie. When we got settled down at the table, she asked, "What do you want to know about me?"
"You know, just who you are and what's important to you. If we know a little about each other's life and experiences, it will make it easier to work together."
She smiled and brushed her hand over her short-cropped red hair, "I found that in the Army it was easier to keep it cut short. Being on the police force, it works out just as well." She paused and gave me a grin than curled my toes a bit, "It's not really as ugly as it looks. When I wear it long and take care of it, it's not all frizzy like this. It's actually my best feature — I'm sure you'd like it. But you have to wait until I leave the police force before you can see it long.
"I get the red hair from a distant relative, Crispen O'Driscoll, who came to this country sometime around one hundred and fifty years ago. He was from County Cork in Ireland and settled in this area as a blacksmith. I guess from the stories he was a real hell raiser, ... always getting into fights and having the ladies chase him.
"When I was five..."
Here I interrupted her, "I'll bet you were really cute back then with your freckled, button nose and fiery red hair. I bet you had a temper then, didn't you?"
She laughed at that, "Well, I still do. If you hang around me very much I'm sure you will find out at some point. I'll bring in some pictures from when I was younger and you can see for yourself.
"Anyway, when I was five I saw Stagecoach on our old black and white TV — I didn't know about it being a classic and I had no idea who John Wayne and John Ford were. I was enchanted somehow with the Indians shooting at the stagecoach. Some of them had guns but the rest were shooting arrows from their bows. I was amazed how they flew through the air, almost like magic. I didn't realize then, of course, that they were just one more way to kill and that they were dangerous.
"I just knew that shooting arrows like the Indians did was what I wanted to do. I used a practiced combination of my sweet charms and my temper to make sure I got a bow and arrows for Christmas. It was a little bow without much power and the arrows had rubber suction cups on the end. I shot at everything in the house and generally made myself a nuisance. I wore that bow out, broke all the arrows, and for my birthday got a much better one with rubber tipped arrows.
"It just kept growing, and when I was twelve I joined an archery club and started winning competitions. Mostly it was age group competition against girls, but some of the tournaments were open to everyone. I lost more than one potential boyfriend that couldn't live with my whipping his butt. When I was seventeen, I tried out for the Olympics but just missed the cut. I've improved a lot since then, but I mostly shoot for fun. When I was in the Army in Germany, I competed a lot in local tournaments. I doubt I'll do the state championship thing again."
"What about the Olympics? Are you interested in doing that again?"
"No, I don't think so. I think with a lot of work I could make the team, but I'd probably have to leave the force for that. And I love what I do and get a lot of satisfaction from it."
I nodded at that. I felt the same way. I couldn't see myself doing anything else. "How did you wind up in the Army?"
"Well, when I was in high school I could see that we didn't have enough money for college for me. I talked to a counselor and, considering my experience, competing with what amounts to a weapon; he suggested that I should take a look at ROTC. I wound up spending my last two years of high school in the Reserve Officers Training Corps and they paid my way to college, plus they paid me a monthly stipend.
"The stipend was actually pretty good; it started at around three hundred dollars a month for the freshman year, and added fifty dollars per month for each of the remaining three years. I had to go to summer camp for four weeks for the last two years, and I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant when I graduated.
"I made First Lieutenant fairly quickly and was a Captain when I left the Army."
"Why did you leave? I would have thought with that much investment you would have made a career out of it?"
"Well, that was my plan. But something happened and ... well, I don't really want to get into that."
Okay, I could see a sensitive area that I should stay away from. "What about boyfriends?"
"Well, there has been a couple over the years. Frankly, I haven't met many men that lived up to what I was looking for. There was a Major in Germany but that's enough about me. What about you? Any ladies in your life?"
I blushed at that. She turned the tables on me when I wasn't expecting it. I stammered a little, even though I had nothing to hide. "Sure, there have been a few girls. I guess I'm like you. I've been married a couple of times and now I'm a bit gun shy about getting hitched again. I have a couple of - I guess you could say friends with benefits - but nothing serious."
We had a good discussion and we both felt more comfortable with each other.
The next morning we sat down together and discussed the case. I explained to her about the differences between the first two Cupid murders. She looked at me as if I might have caught on to something. I asked her about the last killing.
"Well, the MO was very similar to your second one, only two people were killed. Either the killer wanted to be seen or maybe wanted to make new headlines," replied Charlie.
She explained that the two men were coming out of a restaurant. It was a nice business district and one was shot in the neck and the other in the heart. She mentioned that, since the arrow went through the chest cavity and partially out his back, she felt the archer used a crossbow instead of a compound bow.
"Charlie, what is a crossbow and why do you think the killer used one?
"A compound bow is more of a standard bow. You hold it in your hand and pull back on the string. As you pull back, it becomes easier to pull, hence the name compound bow. A crossbow locks into place when you pull it back. You also hold them on a horizontal angle when shooting them. It's a lot easier to control and generally would be more accurate to some degree," replied Charlie.
"Look over these first two killings. Can you tell which type of bow was used?" I asked. "The arrows were a bit different. What do you think?
I watched Charlie study the pictures. Since she was a professional archer, maybe she could see something the rest of us were unable to see.
"I don't think the archer used a crossbow in the first killing. The arrow hit his neck and lodged about half way through. Considering the distance of the shot, I have to believe that an arrow from a crossbow would have gone further through the neck stopping at the quill. You know, the feather part," she laughed.
"Charlie, I don't think we're dealing with one killer. I believe we have a copycat killer. The last two killings are the same but they seem to differ from the first one."
"What? Are you suggesting there might be two killers out there. That doesn't make sense. There have been killings for three years now and only on Valentine's Day. If what you say is true, why did the first one stop and the second one start?" asked Charlie.
"I don't know; I just feel it," I replied. "The first Cupid left absolutely no clues. There is nothing to go on. In the other two murders, he let himself be seen and used a different type of bow. Why the change? I believe it's because there isn't a connection with the first murder other than a copycat killing. Why a copycat? I don't know. Most copycat murders are done by those who want attention."
"Then who are we looking for, the first killer or the second one? We have a little more to go on in the last two killings. As you mentioned, we have no leads at all in the first one," replied Charlie.
"What do we have on the third murder again?" I asked.
"Two victims, if you want to call these lowlifes victims. They were getting out of a car to go into a nice restaurant. One was shot in the neck, the other in the chest. First, the driver was hit and then the passenger. There were two other men in the back seat but neither was shot at. According to them, they saw a figure dressed in black on top of the roof on the building across from the restaurant. Just like you mentioned in the second murder."
"Did they see his face?" I asked.
"According to the investigation report, the archer was wearing a black ski mask and was dressed in black. They found a boot print again, a size eleven. No cigarette butts at the last killing," replied Charlie.
We decided to concentrate on the last two Cupid killings. The MO was very similar and we figured that this person would be the one to try again this year. We started comparing the backgrounds of the victims.
Victim year two was a pimp who owed money to the mob. Maybe it was a hit, but by who? What person would do a mob hit with a bow and arrow?
The two victims from year three were both mob lieutenants. Could it be that someone wanted them dead? Who would be willing to talk to us about it?
After we finished, I asked her out for coffee. I didn't really have anything related to the cases to talk about; I just wanted to spend more time with her. Damn! I was falling fast.
Over the coffee, we got to know each other a little better. I asked her how she liked the military.
"It was great at first. But they still have a long way before women will be fully accepted. What I hated the most — and it was mostly the macho types in the lower ranks — was the constant borderline insubordination. Like a guy undresses you with his eyes — you just can't go running to the Inspector Generals' office every time something like that happens. You just have to suck it up and move on.
"Then there was one incident — I don't really want to talk about it — something happened that I did have to go to the IG's office. It was whitewashed and I was furious about it. It came down to one of those he said/she said deals. They told me to get a witness, for God's sake. It was beyond plain harassment. No woman, or even a man, should have to put up with abuse."
"I haven't seen too much of that here in the police force, have you?" I asked.
"No, it's really been good. I've learned to have a tough skin and to give as good as I get. Like last week, another detective gave me a leer and said, 'How would you like to have a real man?' I looked at him like he was a worm, and told him, 'Yeah, sounds good! Damn shame there aren't any of them around here.'
"The other detectives all laughed at him and he came by later and apologized."
I had fun with her and when I put my hand out for her to shake she surprised me, stood on her toes, and kissed my cheek instead.
"I could get used to that," I told her.
We had our usual morning meeting. The captain told us one of his many stories. It seemed that they fished a body out of the river the night before and he had his mouth taped with duct tape, his hands tied behind his back and his legs chained to two cement blocks.
After the autopsy, the captain asked the coroner what the cause of death was and was told by the coroner, "It was the worst case of suicide he had ever seen."
After the morning meeting, Charlie and I talked to the captain. We told him about our suspicions and he told us to go after the latest one. He was hoping that another murder wouldn't cross his desk again this year.
Charlie and I headed out to the archery range. She wanted to show me the difference between the crossbow and the compound bow. Man, could that gal ever shoot! I guess that's what you do with a bow and arrow.
She asked me to try it. She made it look so easy that I couldn't say no. She showed me how to hold the bow and when I pulled back the string and let the arrow go the damn quill cut my wrist. I dropped the bow and grabbed my wrist. I looked over at a laughing Charlie. I told her to stop laughing or I'd put her over my knee.
"You wish," she laughed.
She was right. I'd give just about anything to get her over my knee. She did stop laughing and applied pressure with a napkin to my wrist till it stopped bleeding. It felt good with her just holding my hand.
We headed over to the clubhouse and she wrapped my wrist. She knew everyone in the place and introduced me. Everyone snickered when they heard I got cut my first time out. They were all decent enough people. We ate lunch while we were there and talked about the case.
I asked Charlie how good an archer would have to be to shoot and kill at the distance we are talking about.
"They would have to be damn near professionals. An amateur might get lucky one time out but to do it consistently, it would take a professional," she said.
There were about twenty people in the clubhouse, all archers, while we were eating lunch. I asked Charlie how many of them would be capable of making the shots we were talking about.
"None," she replied. "We have a few people who belong to this club who could make that shot, but not consistently. As far as I know, none of them have mob ties. In fact, most everyone in this club were talked to after each killing. They are mostly hunters who go out during primitive weapon season. Most are pretty nice people."
"Is there another archery club near here," I asked.
"There is one over at the country club. I don't belong but they allow me to shoot there since I won the championship two years running. It's good for their business. I'll call them and let them know that we will be coming over tomorrow."
After leaving the archery range, we stopped and questioned the two mob guys whose bosses were killed the year before. They weren't very happy to see us. They kept remarking how inept we were; not being able to find the killer. The guy named Moe was telling Charlie that she should come back alone and he would show her a good time.
"You make me sick. You deal drugs to kids and use women as if they are your personal property. Maybe we shouldn't find Cupid. Maybe you're next on his list," replied Charlie.
Moe laughed at Charlie and wasn't paying her any respect. He told her she had nice tits. He reached out to touch her breasts when she grabbed his arm, threw him on the floor, and bent his arm behind his back until he was screaming.
His buddy John started to interfere when I told him that it would be a big mistake on his part. He just stood back while Charlie read Moe his rights.
"You do realize you were assaulting an officer when you tried to touch me. I could place you under arrest and maybe get you locked up for a while," she said, as she sat on his back.
"Hey, Lady, I didn't mean any harm. It was just a joke. What if I apologize and we'll let bygones be bygones?" asked Moe.
Charlie got off his back and let go of his arm. "Maybe you should try treating women with a little respect. Next time I'll break your fucking arm and then arrest you."
After we left, I told Charlie never to get mad at me. I'd love to wrestle with her but would be afraid I would lose.
She smiled that beautiful smile. "If we ever wrestle, I may just let you win."
Damn! This girl could push all my buttons. I had to admit I loved being with her. I knew that after this case was closed that she would be going back to her old precinct.
We headed to the country club the next day. They welcomed Charlie with open arms. I thought to myself, who wouldn't? She had it all.
After a few introductions, Charlie was asked if she could demonstrate her prowess in the archery field. A number of would-be professional archers were invited to watch her demonstration.
She first used a regular bow and then a compound bow and then a crossbow. I could easily see why she was the state champion. She was fantastic, hitting the bulls-eye every time or damn close to it. Watching her made me wonder about her past. The way she wrestled down Moe and totally despised the drug dealers. I wanted the thought to leave my head. There is no way that Charlie could be Cupid. For one thing, her feet were too small. That thought alone made me laugh.
We were given a free lunch and talked with a few of the archers. Charlie told me that some of these guys could easily have mob ties but weren't that good a shot. Then she said, except for Murphy.
Lee Murphy was a state champion archer. He was number one till Charlie entered the picture. Charlie mentioned that he should be a politician. He was two-faced as hell and would stab you in the back in a minute.
"Tell me more about this Murphy character," I asked Charlie.
"He has a gigantic ego problem. He wasn't even in the country when the first murder occurred. After the first Cupid murder, he seemed disturbed. It was as though he was pissed because the Cupid killer was getting attention about being the best archer around. He just won the best archer title a few weeks before. That must have hurt his ego," replied Charlie.
I remember watching Murphy during Charlie's demonstration. He stood back and just watched from a distance. He was a limelight stealer and he wasn't in it right now. He came up to our table and said hello to Charlie. He acted overly polite. It didn't take a psychologist to see right through him. He was very jealous of Charlie holding the title for the last two years.
After talking to us for a few minutes, Charlie told me that Murphy had invested in quite a few businesses. On our own hunch, we decided to make him our suspect. Charlie had only been on the force a few years and damn near a rookie detective but I was surprised that whoever ran this investigation didn't ask her opinion. I didn't know anyone smarter when it came to archery.
After getting back to the office, we ran all the reports on this Lee Murphy. We needed to know if he ever crossed paths with any of our victims over the last five years or so. Also, we wanted to know if he knew Moe or John. They became lieutenants after the killing of their bosses last year. To us, it meant they were connected.
This Murphy character had his hands in a lot of tills. As far back as we could check, his businesses were all above board but somewhat questionable. It was hard trying to link him to anything. He sold a lot of items in the archery business. He owned an outdoor equipment store that handled guns and archery equipment as well as almost anything for the outdoors. He owned buildings and real estate throughout the state.
We went through his applications for guns and found out he sold guns to both Joe Bowery and Tony Fieaty. These were the two men who were killed by Cupid last year. He sold them their guns three years ago. Again, all the transactions were legal.
I went to his store to question him further. Charlie said she would prefer to stay at the station and keep checking the records. She said this Murphy guy gave her the creeps. Besides she knew as much about archery as Murphy did.
We checked further and found where he sold guns, albeit legal, to Moe and John also. When I questioned him about the gun sales, he said he didn't remember Bowery or Fieaty. It was too many years ago and he said he sold a lot of guns to a lot of people but that his transactions were all legal and he had the papers to prove it.
Murphy did mention that he remembered these guys, Moe and John. They had each purchased a nine mm handgun for self-protection. He then recalled that it was because the Cupid killer killed their friends, and they wanted handguns to protect themselves. When I mentioned that the two men who were killed were Bowery and Fieaty, he tried to act surprised, but I knew better.
An archery expert would have kept up with this kind of titillating story, one that the assassination was done using bows and arrows.
I asked him further about the Cupid killer and showed him a picture of the arrows that were used. He told us they were standard arrows, a good grade and were used by hunters to kill deer and other larger game.
I knew all this because Charlie explained it to me. When I asked him if he sold this type of arrow, he said he did and showed them to me. He told me he sold hundreds of those arrows every hunting season. When I asked him if anyone in particular stood out who might have bought them, he gave me a quick no. He didn't even take the time to think about it.
I asked him about the killings and how good an archer would have to be to accomplish it. I showed him photos, and documents explaining the distances. He smiled when looking at the photos like he was almost proud of Cupid's ability; not a normal reaction from someone who was so arrogant as he was.
"The archer would have to be better than good; he'd have to be great," said Murphy.
He went on to say how hard it would be to kill a moving target at these distances when considering it was nighttime and shooting at an angle off a building. It was as though he was bolstering his own ego saying only a few people he knew would be capable of making those shots.
I walked around his store and looked at the bows and arrows, but spent more time looking at all the firearms he had in stock. He had enough weapons to supply a small army.
"They're all legal," he said to me. "I have the papers on all of them."
I walked over and looked at the boots. I saw some that had a sole similar to the ones I remembered in the pictures of the murder scene.
"Best boots in the business," spoke Murphy. "It's the same kind I wear when hunting."
"A little expensive for my blood," I replied. "I usually wear government issue shoes. Get reimbursed for them. My size ten and a half is easy to find. What size do you wear?"
No one was ever told about the boot print. It was one of the things we kept quiet about."
"Eleven's my size. You ought to try a pair. They're really comfortable boots," said Murphy.
After our little talk and finding out his boot size, I asked him for a list of people he considered worthy of making those types of shots and he gave me a short list. He said he was capable but didn't put his name on my list, but he did list Charlie. When I looked at the short list and saw Charlie's name, he laughed.