Mommy’s missing: Based on a true story in Ronald Reagan’s hometown: 1946
In late 1946 a dishonorably discharged veteran was held without charge in the five-hour abduction of an attractive doctor’s wife and mother of three children. Mommy’s Missing is a detailed account of the kidnapper’s dark tale before and after he abandoned his pregnant wife in late 1946. It’s also the tale of a female reporter who brings him to justice even though she’s crippled by flashbacks of an assault against her on VJ day, 1945.
The story evokes a weird, strange fascination – almost a morbid fascination with hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings……Jessica
A dark and cynical tale I couldn’t stop reading……Laura
I can definitely sympathize with the reporter, Mercedes. I could imagine how difficult it was for her in that time (1946) as independent as she was……Mary
Excerpt from Mommy’s Missing:
The rapping at Mr. David’s door the next morning woke Shiller. He checked his watch. It was nine o’clock. Right on time. He pulled the beer bottle from his duffel next to the door and hid it behind his back. Glancing into a nearby mirror, he smoothed his hair back.
“Yes?” Shiller peered out the door. She looks terrific.
The woman paused before answering. “Hello? I’m Mrs. Sneed, the stenographer from the Decatur Personnel Placement Bureau. I’m here for the stenography assignment. Do I have the right house?”
Before she could pass her identification to him, he opened the door and presented his own business card to her.
Shiller opened the door wider, the sunlight warm on his unshaven face. “Come on in. I have a lot of work to get done, Mrs. Sneed.”
She stalled in the doorway and frowned. “What’s that smell?”
He shook his head.
She reached into her tote and pulled out her notebook. “Will you need me the whole day, Mr. Dixon?” She glanced behind him, into the house. “Will Mr. David be along soon? I understood I’d be working for the both of you.”
Before she said another word, he delivered a quick swing with the beer bottle, breaking it over her head. She crumpled to the floor. Her limp body lay in the foyer amid a puddle of beer and pieces of brown glass.
“He’ll be along shortly.” He took her arms and pulled her away from the door, slamming it behind her.
So easy. He tossed the neck of the empty bottle, its jagged end speckled with blood, across the hallway toward the kitchen. It landed on the hardwood floor and half-slid, half-rolled all the way to the front of the stove.
He took Mrs. Sneed’s arms and dragged her through the living room, her light green dress and wide white belt catching on the wool rug. Grabbing one of her arms, he pulled her over his shoulder like they had taught him in basic training. She felt light, not more than a hundred pounds. In order to finish the job, he headed for the spot he’d found yesterday in the dank basement.
Her arms flopped against his back as he plodded down the stairs. She smelled like beer. He would have to wash out the beer spots from his trench coat before he left. At the bottom, he stood her up next to the pipe. This was the hard part. Looping the clothesline rope around her waist, he then twisted her arms behind her and secured her wrists, tying them to each other and then to the pipe. With a filthy rag he found in a nearby bucket, he stuffed her mouth and used the tape to secure it in place. That would assure no screaming.
Drops of blood trickled down her forehead. Some had dripped onto the pearl necklace around her neck. He carefully removed it and wiped off the blood and then dropped the necklace into his coat pocket. Bending down, he placed two fingers to her neck to check her pulse. Pleased she was alive, he straightened and went back up the steps and shut the basement door. His whistled melody, “Doing What Comes Naturally,” filled the living room.