By Rachael A Payne
“I wanted him dead, so I shot him.” Sally sat back in her chair, proud of her confession. She took a drag of her cigarette.
The Doctor smiled at such an easy admission, despite the fact that he had not asked her any questions.
Here she sat, this middle aged, scraggly looking woman with greying hair tangled around her taught face. To look at she was weak, thin, with large developing wrinkles on her face and arms, probably due to too much smoking and alcohol abuse, and yet she was dangerous.
“You say your husband beat you?”
“He beat me every chance he got and not just with his fists. It was chair legs, leather belts. One time he up and smacked me in the head with a tyre iron. A tyre iron, can you believe that?” She shook her head and spoke to herself, “I hated him.”
“Is that true Sally?”
“Are you calling me a liar!?”
“Not at all. I’m simply trying to understand why you did what you did.”
Sally let her agitation show, “I’ve already told you why. I’ve told the police, the detectives, you. I’ve told everyone. He was the meanest man alive.”
“Alright Sally, calm down.”
Sally took a long drag on her cigarette, her hands still shaking from anger.
The Doctor spoke to her in the most soothing voice he could, “Perhaps you can tell me why you never went to the police, Sally. Why didn’t you report the abuse?”
“It wouldn’t have mattered. They wouldn’t have done anything.”
This was an unusual case. Was she a psychopath? No. Delusional? More than likely. How could he make her see the truth?
“When did you and your husband get married?”
“I don’t remember.”
“How long were you married for?”
“I…I don’t recall.”
“Sally, do you remember your husband’s name?”
“Of course I do.” She paused before stuttering a name. “Phil. Phillip.”
The Doctor pulled out a photograph and placed it on the table in front of Sally. “Is this your husband, Sally?”
The doctor pulled out another photo and placed it down next to the first, “and is this your husband?”
Sally studied the photo of a male laid out on the floor, a gun shot through his chest. She smiled and nodded with satisfaction. “That’s him.”
“Well then Sally, I have some information for you.” He picked up the first photograph and held it in front of her. “This man. This man’s name is not Phil or Phillip. It’s Michael Grey he was an electrician sent by the owner of the building to carry out some routine work.”
“No. No that’s Phil my husband.”
“Sally, you know that’s not true. You and Michael had never even met before you shot him. Michael was married to another woman, Sylvia. They had been married for seven years…”
“Don’t think I don’t know what you’re trying to do. You want people to think I’m crazy, but I’m not. I know my husband.”
“You’ve never been married, Sally. There’s no record of it. That’s why you don’t know how long you’ve been married, why you hesitated on his name because it isn’t real.”
“No, no, no. Don’t tell me it isn’t real. I know what he did to me. I know…”
“There are no police records of domestic violence at your address. But there are records of abuse from your neighbours caused by you.” The Doctor pulled out sheets of paper from his folder along with another picture that he held up in front of him. “This is Annie Marks, your seventy six year old neighbour. Do you recognise her?”
“Well these bruises on her face Sally, you did that to her.”
“How dare you. I never did that to Annie.”
“Annie complained about the smell coming from your apartment and using her words you ‘just went crazy’ and you attacked her with an iron. That was two days before you shot and killed Michael Grey…”
“You liar, you’re nothing but a liar.” Sally slammed back her chair “Dirty, lying little…” Spit was frothing out of her mouth as she started to rip at her hair. Two guards came rushing in to quiet her as Sally thrashed herself around.
When she had finally calmed down enough she sat back in her chair. With her head hanging down and her covering her face, she spoke. “I did it, I did those things. To Annie, to that man. I did it but I don’t know why.”
“That’s good Sally. We’re making real progress. Let’s leave it there for now.” The Doctor rose from his seat, dubious as to the truth in her confession.
Sally waited for the door to clink to a close before she looked up. She stared at her reflection in the two way mirror. She pushed back the hair from her face and straightened herself up.
Taking a deep breath she addressed whoever was listening, “I didn’t do those things. That Doctor made me say that. I only said it so he would leave. My husband Phillip beat me every day we were married and if you let that Doctor back in here I’ll show you exactly what my husband did to me on him. Then we’ll see who’s crazy.”