From “Murder in a Small Town . . .”
Here are a couple of short segments from Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns, a book residing in limbo until something else happens. Remember, these segments were written very early on in my work on the book. (between six and seven years ago!)
(Chapter Seven, “The Exes” page 62-63) State and local police and authorities from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office no doubt are struggling to withstand the inevitable let-down that comes from a lengthy investigation. Forget about the first two days being critical; when a murder begins to recede into the past beyond a year, there can be no doubt that the original rush is fading fast. Picture a competent, resourceful investigator such as Detective Steve Rowland of the New Hampshire State Police simply running out of new information and, with limited resources stretching his department to its limit, finding a new case dropped on his desk. Under no circumstances would a man of the caliber of Rowland allow his concentration of the Stacey Burns murder to be compromised. When the possibility that this case might reach the nebulous “cold case” category is mentioned, the detective bristles.
“As long as I’m around, I will not give up on this case,” he says. (author’s note- He is no longer around and hasn’t been for years)
(Chapter Seven, “The Exes” page 64) In the murder of a wife or an ex-wife, the “look at the husband first” mantra of police procedure usually takes precedence. In the case of the Stacey Burns atrocity, the investigators had no choice but to pursue that option but they also had to immediately consider another option. They expanded this second mantra to include a “look to the ex-boyfriend” corollary. The police simply had to lock on to the two individuals who are too-good-to-be-true suspects. Further complications ensue when it becomes known that Stacey also had other male acquaintances playing a variety of roles in her life when she was killed. The fact that these acquaintances might have jealous spouses or girlfriends only adds to the complexity of the initial witness interview process.
Again, these two extracts were written year ago. Is anything in them still applicable?