فصل 05

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  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter five

A bit of a criminal

The next day I really started work on the Murphy case. I needed to see Paddy Murphy, Brendan’s only surviving brother. The youngest Murphy brother, Ian, died in a car accident ten years ago. I found out from The Daily Echo information service that Paddy was now living in Peterborough. On the train I started to read the book Dad had given me about the Murphy case. It made interesting reading. There was a man called Peter Benson who had confessed to the crime after Murphy had been hanged. The authorities didn’t take him very seriously because he was slightly crazy and he didn’t seem to have a motive either. Or not one they could discover. Anyway, they had already hanged Murphy. There was also a story that Blakeston and the girl were lovers. This had been denied by the girl herself and by her family.

Paddy Murphy was a man of about sixty-five. As he opened the door and showed me into his tiny house, I noticed that he looked like the pictures of Brendan I had seen in the newspapers. The same pale skin and deep brown eyes. His house was small but neat and clean.

‘Yes, I know that Kawaguchi’s dead. I read it in the newspaper. I’m not sorry,’ he said with some feeling. ‘He was more responsible than anyone for what happened to Brendan. Kawaguchi was so sure that Brendan did it - God knows why, and he influenced his daughter. She changed her story again and again.’

We talked about Brendan, the elder brother he lost over thirty years ago.

‘Brendan was a bit of a criminal - the family have never denied that. He was a car thief and a burglar. He and his friend Johnny West were always breaking into houses here and there. But he wasn’t a murderer. There was no way he murdered Blakeston and everybody knew that. He was a young man - he liked girls, cars, having fun. He became a thief so that he could have all those things. But Brendan was no murderer.’

‘What do you mean - everybody knew that?’ I asked.

‘I mean, there was some kind of cover-up, somebody knew, somebody knows who did it. A lot of people think it was that guy Benson,’ he replied.

‘How did your family take it?’ I went on.

‘They were shocked at first, of course, when he was arrested by the police. They couldn’t believe it. But then everybody thought the real murderer would be found eventually, that it was just a matter of time. Anybody who knew Brendan knew that he hadn’t done it. And everybody trusted the court. It makes you laugh doesn’t it? Then, when he was hanged, it destroyed the family. Completely. My mother died of a broken heart and my father became more and more bitter. He started a campaign to get a pardon from the government. When he realised that he was never going to get it, he took up drinking heavily and died a few years later,’ Paddy said.

As I was leaving Paddy Murphy looked at me sadly.

‘Leave it alone, girl,’ he said. ‘A lot of people have tried to find out what really happened and a lot of people have failed. Brendan’s gone and nothing will ever bring him back.’

On the train home I stared out of the window at the flat lands around Peterborough and wondered about the cover- up idea. Why had Brendan Murphy been chosen and what was being covered up exactly? Was it just a mistake or was there something more serious behind it all?

Back at the office I spent part of the next day checking the names of all the black belts in the London area. Surprisingly, not one Murphy.

The next morning, the day of Kawaguchi’s funeral, I phoned Jun Kawaguchi to ask him about his sister.

‘You didn’t say anything about the Murphy case and the fact that your sister Naoko was shot by the London Road murderer,’ I said.

‘I didn’t think there was a connection, Miss Jensen. It all happened a long time ago,’ Jun replied.

Maybe there was a connection, maybe there wasn’t. I was hearing this phrase ‘a long time ago’ a lot, though, and it was beginning to worry me. In my experience, things that happened a long time ago can have a pretty powerful influence on the present.

‘Anyway, I think I should talk to her later,’ I said.

‘She is not here, Miss Jensen,’ Jun replied. He told me that Naoko was not coming to her father’s funeral. She was too ill to travel. She lived in Tokyo, a thirteen-hour flight away.

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