Angela Smegley ruffles through her father’s belongings with tears in her eyes. She is looking for the box containing the original case that drove him to his untimely grave. The man spent hours upon hours searching clues and digging up nothing to help in his endeavor. The more he found nothing the more he was driven to search.
But alas this tale does not start here…it starts in 1960. A murder in a back alley street, a man’s corpse was found or so they think it was a man. It was left behind with a look of horror upon his face. The body was completely void of any identification. It was like someone was playing a joke on the police force, because the body looked like a mummy from Egypt. Dried out and barely hanging together. Pictures were taken and people who found the body were interviewed. The police did what they could to keep it hush hush to prevent mass terror or the complication of public knowledge.
The police chief placed homicide detective Michael Smegley. A rising star among the force, he solved several serial killer cases and made quick work of it. It made him a prime candidate for this odd case and best man to take it. Smegley did what he could to get as much information as he could from every bystander that found the body. An old woman was the first to see it. Her dog ran into the alley only for her to find the horrifying corpse.
At this scene was found a bloody rose lying on the chest of the corpse. The blood was old and stained onto the white rose. Inside the corpse’s clutched hand was a note. The coroner had to take his time in removing the note from the brittle hand. The note read, “I am sorry….” The y in the sorry was evidentially scratched in. Whoever the killer was did not allow the man time to write the note. It brought up many questions in Smegley’s mind. To what end was the man sorry for and why.
The coroner had no idea of time of death or how it was done. No stab wounds, no bullets, nothing gave any sign of how he died. The clothes worn by the corpse were a casual business suite worn by several men of that time.
Approximately a month later another man was found in the same state in an old warehouse used for the auction lot. No identification and completely dried out. Smegley once again came to the scene to find the same situation. A bloody whit rose laying near the corpse. Not on the chest like the other one. This corpse look even more terrified than the other. The mouth locked into what appeared to be a scream. This man however was dressed in casual work clothes. Like a full body suite like a mechanic would wear.
Pieces of the case were not fitting together except the corpse’s state and the bloody white rose. Smegley tried to find out if there were any missing mechanics in the area, but found nothing. No missing person’s report or anything that could lead the case to a definite solution.
Smegley became like a tenacious bull dog. Going where ever he needed and talking to some of the lowest criminals, but none would talk. The police chief was riding him to solve this case as a hoax or a real case that needed to be solved. Smegley had a feeling it was far from a hoax and kept searching for something. He checked around at local garden shops to learn more about the rose. A woman by the name of Samantha Hartley gave him some answer to the rose. It was an honor white rose and white roses were symbolic for apologizing. Smegley asked her where to find them and unfortunately they could be found at any gardening store.
From this doomed case grew a relationship that grew between Samantha and Michael. They married, but their honeymoon was not blissful. The police chief deemed the case a hoax and claimed it closed. Smegley did not want to hear that. He stole all the case files to prevent them from burning. Samantha watched as her husband began to bury himself further and further into the case while she became more and more pregnant.
Smegley continued to work on cases at work, but the case of the odd corpses claimed his home life. Samantha was a loving wife and who remained by her man’s side. Years went by with no break in the case. Their child was now 11 years old. Angela now was witness to her father’s obsession.
Just when things looked bleak another body was found. This time it was in a fancy hotel four hours away. The corpse was clutching a bloody white rose in his hand like he was squeezing it for dear life. His wallet sat on the desk with several dollar bills inside. A gold watch still wrapped around his dried out wrist and a wedding band on the floor. Smegley looked over the scene like a surgeon operating. Scanning every detail and he found something he thought was crucial to the case.
On the desk across the room was two wine glasses. One had red lip stick on the rim. This man was not alone, but all of his identification was gone. The police chief tossed the case out after several days since no one came to claim a missing person. Smegley had hoped someone would step forward to claim someone who was wealthy. The golden watch on his wrist was indeed a wealthy man’s gift.
Once again nothing came up and the case was once again closed. Smegley grabbed up all of the pictures and any evidence he could. Anything left behind was burned just like the other murders were done. Smegley had several note books loaded with notes.
Years went by and Angela had grown up to have a family of her own. In his last days of life he kept mentioning seeing a glowing serpent over and over. Samantha had died long before her husband did and Angela was left to take care of what other’s called a crazy father. In his last moments of breath he begged his daughter to find someone to solve the case. He knew they were linked somehow and someone had to have done it.
Now Angela finds herself outside the office of a well-known detective with the only box her father said to take with her. Inside were the original files from the case made from the 1960’s. Coroner’s notes and pictures included. The roses and the bodies were long gone. All that remained was Smegley’s beginning notes and the files inside the boxes he kept.
Angela wiped away tears with a napkin as she entered the office building. It was up to the detective inside to help her now.