letter From a Deadman by tamara Pettit

    In case you think that I am a novice at investigating suspicious deaths, know that I have spent many hours watching the Hallmark Mystery Movie channel as of late.   I used to scoff at those movies when Shannon watched them referring to them as a piece of “fluffery” (my word), but as I delved deeper into the file I started taking the process used by the main charactersmore seriously.    

     The heroine in the movies is often an amateur sleuth who encounters dead bodies on a regular basis and goes on to find the murderer.  These are so not realistic movies that you wonder how anyone could watch them, but then I still believe there is a secret Santa in everyone of us.  I digress.

    The heroine is systematic about narrowing it down to the killer.    She often puts up a white board in her office or home and then places photos of those people involved drawing links to the victim and to each other.  I tried that on my refrigerator, but didn’t have enough magnets to hold up all the suspects.  I did, however, seek out the commonality among Helen Williamson, George Paul and Robert Domer.  That’s a far stretch with Domerbeing in Canton.    Certainly, they were all linked to Lawrence Wise so much so, in fact, that he wanted to convey something about their death the night before he had the surgery from which he would never recover.

        Two of the victims, George Paul and Helen Williamson, have a common West Virginia license plate listed after their date of death.   That tells me that the owner of the car which held that license plate was involved in both deaths.  Was it Lawrence Wise?     I don’t think so because the words that preceded the listing of date of deaths and license plate said “a person skilled in the practice of law.”   It had to be an attorney and there is onlyattorney mentioned over and over: A.J. Rosenshine.

     I think the key is knowing who owned the car with the identical West Virginia license plate and I am on the track although finding who the plate was registered to in 1963 is a pretty daunting task.

      Who had motive?   Did Lawrence want to get retribution against A J by calling into question his involvement?  Dad’s notes in his interview states that AJ and Lawrence had a falling out over money?  The sum of $10,000.00  was put into a safe deposit box at the Citizen’s Bank in Lawrence’s name, but A J had the key according to the notes.  My own notes from when I went to visit the family of the women who had received the letter to look at the Masonic Bible, read that the older gentleman who spoke with me said “It was awful what A J was doing to those people.”     Who were those people?   What was A J doing to those people?  Was Lawrence Wise a victim or an accomplice?

       I also need to follow the money.  The $10,000.00 comes up frequently.  It was the amount in Lawrence’s safe deposit box.   But, it was also the amount offered to Lawrence’s landlady for the “letter.”    Money comes up again in the dialogue about Lawrence, “He withdrew $1,500 from the credit union every time he seen the Sheriff.”   

      Next week:  my progress in searching down the owner of the West Virginia license plate.