CSI: Morrisville

We had something of excitement here in Morrisville on Monday. The body of a dead man was found in the trunk of a car two doors down from us.

Yes, really!

It's actually tragic, but the very novelty of something this horrible happening (and it happening to someone no one knew personally) made it quite a sensation in our neighborhood.

I had been hearing helicoptors hovering for quite a while Monday morning before my "neighbor through the wall" came to tell me what was happening, but I hadn't paid them much attention. I often hear the news helicoptors overhead over traffic or other such banal news items. After being thus enlightened by my neighbor, I went out to investigate.

This is what I found: The house two doors down was taped off with police tape, and the alley behind the house was also taped off and filled with police and news vans and reporters. We live in a sleepy little town where NOTHING ever happens, so this was all quite unexpected. This sort of thing happens over the river in Trenton - not here. So, naturally, I stood there with the rest of the neighbors and stared and tried to find out what had happened. Daniel went with me and collected all the "big rocks" he could find in the alley. I made him stop when he started crawling under the police car, though.

I called Tim to tell him, and he didn't believe me and told me to take pictures to send to him. So I got the camera and skulked around trying not to look too obvious as I took pictures of the crime scene. It seemed rather macabre to take pictures of something like that, and I felt really dumb. Tim told me to pretend I was a reporter - but I don't think anyone really bought that, somehow. Here's the pictures I took.

IMG_1335 IMG_1334

No one knew anything for a long time. The police weren't sharing any details. So the press, starved for information so that they could actually have something of a story, went around asking the neigbors what they knew. I was interviewed by the Trentonian and Courier Times newspapers, and by NBC news. I made the (apparent) mistake of sharing something my neighbor had told me about hearing a party there Saturday night, because when they approached him to ask him about it he got REALLY mad and cursed a blue streak at them. I ducked and hid and hoped his wrath wouldn't fall on me too much. Oops.

I was actually quoted on the NBC website, but it was really embarassing. The reporter came up and asked me the usual, "What do you think of something like this happening where you live?" question. I kind of didn't know what to say, so I said with my typical understated irony, "I don't know. I've never lived in a neighborhood where someone's been killed," in a tone that said, "how do you think I should feel?" She nodded and waited for more, so I added, "It's pretty....um...surprising I guess." But this is how it reads in the article:
" 'I've never lived in a neighborhood where someone has been killed. It's pretty surprising,' Rachel McCleary of Morrisville, said."

Now, how dumb does that sound? I sound like the village airhead. At least the other neighbor quoted said she was "baffled," which is also pretty dumb but is better than "it's pretty surprising." Oh, the disadvantages of the written word, bereft of human inflection. Sigh. At least it wasn't in the paper (at least I don't think it was. I hope it wasn't.)

Yesterday we learned what had happened. The house above is home to either many members of an extended Polish family, or many different Polish families. In whatever case, there are bunches of people living there, and they all speak varying amounts of English and really good Polish. They're always perfectly friendly, though, and like to give candy to the kids. Well, two weeks ago, one of the men moved to Maryland. This guy had a roommate and they got into a fight. The next morning he woke up and found that his roommate was dead - I guess from the fight. The guy killed someone with his bare hands! So, what does a guy do when he finds himself in such a situation? Naturally, he puts him in the trunk of the DEAD GUY'S car and drives it to a house where he used to live, and family members currently live, and abandons it. No one will ever suspect him then. Well, the next morning, one of his relatives went out and found the body and called 911, and that was the end of his flight to freedom.

My neighbor thinks that they're probably Russian Mafia, but somehow I suspect that the Russian Mafia would be a bit smoother than that. I don't know. Just a hunch.

My consolation is that at least the people who still live there obviously weren't okay with the whole murder thing and turned this guy promptly in. It's nice to know you can trust your neighbors is such times.