Jesus, if I thought this case was boring before, I didn’t even know the meaning of the word ‘boring’. For the last five minutes, I have actually been reduced to insulting nothing, that’s how bored I am.
I read Gayle’s statement. And - Jesus - it’s so obviously an accident I don’t even know why anyone bothered to waste paper with the statement.
Gayle - who is, in fact, the most local bobby there is - was doing his rounds at half eleven when he sees hears a noise - a shout or something - over by the cliff. He thinks it might be some ‘youths’, as he put it, doing a bit of underage drinking and generally larking about, as youths tend to do. So he goes over there, but sees nothing in particular to arouse suspicion.
Next morning, doing his rounds again, this time at nine thirty, he goes back over to the cliff to check he didn’t miss anything the night before. In the light he sees a body down the bottom of the cliff. It’s this man Watts, 24, fallen face down. There’s a smashed beer bottle, too. Watts fell and smashed his head in. Face is barely recognisable. The pictures aren’t exactly pretty. It all looks like an accident to me. But apparently not to the Powers That Be.
They call a senior officer in (although not all that senior), who finds footprints that don’t match Watts’ around the edge of the cliff, as well as another beer bottle. That’s all easily explained away - Watts drank two beers before falling, and there were some kids there the night before, the ones Gayle heard. Easy peasy.
But they still wanted me on it, so here I am. Honestly. Could they be much more stupid?
‘Right,’ says Gayle, rescuing my from my stupor. ‘I’ve made a list of people we might want to have a chat to. Like the landlord, see if he noticed when Watts left. And a few of the kids around town, who might’ve seen or heard something. Watts died pretty much instantly, the doctors reckon. And then there’s Ms Glenhold, his ex. She might know something.’
Now, this is interesting. ‘When did they split?’
‘Oh, only a month or so ago, as far as I know. He was pretty cut up about it, apparently.’
I look at him out of the corner of my eye. There’s no point in jumping to conclusions, but all the same… It pays to keep an open mind. But murder?! Jesus. We’ll either come back with the verdict ‘accidental death’ or ‘suicide’. Although, if you ask me, there are plenty of easier, and nicer, ways to go than jumping off a cliff that’s not even very high. Although if you get really pissed beforehand...
'Come on, then. Let's go rattle Glenhold's door.'