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The Murder Of Marabeth Waters

By Robert Trainor

Copyright 2018

By Robert Trainor

Smashwords Edition

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Most murder cases are solved quickly—the suspect is fairly obvious, and the physical evidence points to that suspect. However, there are some cases that prove to be quite difficult to solve, and this difficulty is usually created by some unusual circumstance that surrounds the crime. The murder of Marabeth Waters is certainly one of those cases—before the murderer was brought to justice, there would be a second murder that closely mimicked the first. Eventually, the truth would come out, but it would be a long and winding road that led to the door of this murderer who, despite committing a variety of blunders in the commission of his crimes, remained in obscurity until the very end.

It is important for me to note that much, if not most, of this book is based on a number of long recorded conversations I had with the detective who investigated this case, Devin Driver. I have no way of determining the accuracy of some of Devin’s recollections as they pertain to the murder of Marabeth Waters, but I have, in most cases, refrained from modifying his perception of events even when this perception appears to contradict known facts. What I am saying here is not that I suspect Devin of lying, but rather, for reasons that will become apparent later, I feel that his memory of the events surrounding the murder of Marabeth Waters may, at times, be somewhat skewed. However, for the most part, especially in the long conversation Devin had with Ambrosia, I have repeated his recollections exactly, word for word, as he told them to me. I doubt many readers will believe that a conversation like this could have actually taken place, but personally, based on her performance at the trial that arose out of this case, I think Devin’s memory of his interaction with Ambrosia is reasonably accurate.

I have also relied on Regina Hollister for the transcripts of conversations that she recorded with various people connected to this case. Regina investigated a number of issues related to the murder of Marabeth Waters, and without her help and cooperation, this book would have had to rely on inferences and anecdotal accounts.

Finally, my intention with this book is not to portray law enforcement in a negative light--it just so happens that the town where the murder of Marabeth Waters occurred had, in all probability, the most corrupt and inefficient police department in America. Because of various legal issues, which are too numerous and complicated to mention here, I have fictionalized the name of the town and state where this crime occurred.


Around one-thirty on the afternoon of September 20th, 2017, two students who were walking through a large field adjacent to Medford High School in eastern Connecticut came across the body of Marabath Waters who was lying just off a dirt road that cut through the field. Within a half hour, a number of police cars had arrived at the scene, along with the lead detective for the Medford Police Department, Devin Driver.

Devin was forty-four years old, of medium build, with light blue eyes and sandy blond hair that fell almost to his shoulders. He was well-known in Medford, having worked in the department since shortly after he graduated from college in 1995. Devin had originally been hired as a patrolman but was now one of three detectives in Medford, which was a relatively small and quiet town of fifty thousand people that lies on the banks of the Merrimack River, which flows south from Massachusetts and eventually empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Medford is a fairly typical northeastern town—it was incorporated in 1710, and there are still many structures within the city limits that were built in the 1800’s. For the most part, the northern half of the town is picturesque with wide streets and sidewalks that cut between rich neighborhoods; however, the southern end of town is not nearly so picturesque and is littered with a number of mini-malls as well as the gigantic Fairhaven Mall.

The high school is about a mile north of the mall, and beyond the field where Marabeth’s body was found is a dense forest that extends for miles before it reaches the outskirts of Haverford. The forest is practically primeval—there are no roads, paved or otherwise, that run through it, and over the last few years, it has become a favorite spot for the homeless, who often cut through the field to reach the woods.

The first thing that Devin did when he arrived on the scene was to take a close look at the victim’s body. Marabeth had apparently been strangled—there was a red cord made of cloth wrapped around her neck. The cord was decorative in nature and appeared to be the type of cord that is used to hold a window drape in place. Marabeth was dressed in a short black skirt and crimson blouse and did not appear to have been sexually assaulted, which seemed a little odd to Devin. She was obviously a very attractive woman, with blond hair that fell to her shoulders, and the skirt she was wearing! So short…it must have stopped about eight inches above her knees. Devin’s first thought was that she might be a prostitute—the garish bright-red lipstick and the low-cut blouse added to that impression.

Marabeth’s handbag had been found about ten feet from her body, and since it contained a photo ID, Devin was quickly able to determine both the identity of the victim and where she lived--according to the ID, she lived about thirty-five miles away in Hartford, Connecticut. Devin also found two credit cards, eighty dollars, a bank card, and a checkbook in Marabeth’s pocketbook, but, rather surprisingly, he couldn’t find her cell phone. Maybe she didn’t own one, but nowadays, most women carry cell phones in their handbags—maybe the murderer had stolen it, but if so, why had he left the eighty dollars behind? The other possibility was that the murderer may have destroyed the cell phone because it contained incriminating evidence.

However, there was something in Marabeth’s handbag that immediately drew Devin’s attention. It was a letter that Marabeth had apparently received from someone who, according to the return address, lived on 26 Willis Street in Medford. Curiously, outside of the return address, there was nothing else on the envelope—no postage and no address as to where the letter should be sent. Marabeth’s handbag was quite large, and the envelope had been buried beneath a number of items, including a set of women’s nylon stockings, two paperback books, two small bags of potato chips, an energy drink, and a number of other odds and ends. The letter, which had been written on a computer and contained no handwriting, was fairly brief, but it was certainly interesting.


If I were you, I would change your ways. Screwing around for money may seem like fun, and I’m sure the money is good, but sooner or later, your luck will run out. Don’t push it too far, or you’ll end up in a ditch—not that I care anymore. But a word to the wise should be sufficient—even for someone as depraved as you.

The letter was unsigned, so obviously, one of the first things that Devin needed to do would be to discover who lived on 26 Willis Street. But before leaving the area, Devin carefully searched the area around the body—by now, another detective, Kevin Maine, had arrived, and the two of them took a close look at the entire dirt path that ran next to where Marabeth’s body was found. Unfortunately, the path was hard packed and dried out from a recent dry spell that had lasted for almost two weeks, so neither detective could find anything that looked even remotely similar to a tire track.

The medical examiner, Darius Brooklyn, arrived while Devin and Kevin were searching along the edge of the path for anything that might be significant—the path followed a roughly semicircular route as it veered off from the paved road, Dorchester Drive, which ran in front of the high school, before it reconnected about a mile up the road with Dorchester Drive. The search took some time, but Devin wasn’t surprised when they came up empty handed since it wasn’t very likely that the murderer had tossed something out of his car as he drove away from the crime scene.

When Devin returned to the place where Marabeth’s body was located, Darius told him that Marabeth had definitely been strangled and that she had put up only minimal resistance. Most likely, the killer had approached her from behind and placed the cord quickly around her neck before he began to strangle her. Other than three of the fingernails on her right hand being bent back until they had broken--probably as she tried to place her hand between the cord and her neck--there was no other sign of injury to her body. Darius also told Devin that it was very unlikely that Marabeth had been raped since her clothes showed almost no signs of disturbance except for what one might expect when a body is pushed out of a car and rolled onto the side of the road. Devin wanted to know whether the murder could have occurred where the body was found, but Darius thought that was unlikely because there was no evidence, either on the road or in the foot-high grass that ran alongside the road, to support such a conclusion.

“Perhaps,” said Devin, “she was murdered inside the car that brought her here, and then the guy just threw her out of the car.”

“Not likely,” said Darius. “To do something like that, the perpetrator would most likely have had to strangle her as he faced her, and in that type of strangling, the victim puts up much more resistance. Also, even if she had been strangled from behind somehow while she was in the car, she would have been thrashing around and would have incurred some bruising to her body.”

“Do you have any estimate as to when she died?” said Devin.

“Somewhere around midnight, give or take a few hours. I’m just basing that on her body temperature, but I’ll be able to give you a more accurate time of death after I’ve analyzed the contents of her stomach.”

Before leaving the area, Devin talked to Kevin, and they decided that Devin would check out the address of the person who had written the letter to Marabeth, while Kevin would go to the homeless encampment that was a mile away in the middle of the woods across from the field. It was certainly possible that a homeless person had heard or seen something as he or she was crossing the field to the woods, but Devin was hopeful that the letter found in Marabeth’s handbag would lead him quickly to the murderer.

Before attempting to find the letter writer, Devin stopped at the police station to see what he could discover about Marabeth. Devin typed Marabeth Waters’ name into the police computer and discovered that she had two arrests for prostitution, another arrest for DUI, and two more arrests for possession of cocaine. At the time of her death, she was twenty-four, having been born on October 30th, 1992. Currently, she lived in downtown Hartford in a rent-controlled community of apartments that overlooked the Connecticut River. All of her arrests had occurred in Hartford—the two prostitution arrests were in 2013 and 2014; the arrests for possession of cocaine occurred in 2016 and January of 2017; and the DUI had occurred three months previously in June of 2017. The case for possession of cocaine in 2016 had been dismissed, but she had made a plea deal in the 2017 case that allowed her to avoid jail time in exchange for three years of probation. As for the other charges against her, she had received small fines for the prostitution charges and a six-month suspension of her license for the DUI charge.

Having finished with Marabeth’s biography, Devin discovered that the owner of the house on 26 Willis Street was Mark Sievers, and by four o’clock that afternoon, he was knocking on Mark’s door, which was opened by an attractive woman in her late twenties.

“Hello,” said Devin, “is Mark home?”

“No, he isn’t. May I ask who is calling?”

“I’m Detective Devin Driver, and I work for the Medford Police Department. Do you know where I can find him?”

“He should be home any minute. He’s a teacher at Hartford Community College. Usually, he doesn’t come home until five, but tonight is our second wedding anniversary, so when he left this morning, he said he’d try to be home by four. What did you want to talk to him about?”

“I’d rather not say right now. What’s your name?”

“Evelyn Sievers. Would you like to come inside and wait for him?”

“Alright,” said Devin as he stepped into an entranceway that led to a living room, which had a number of stuffed chairs and two couches. After the two of them had taken seats in the stuffed chairs, Evelyn said, “It’s not often that I entertain male guests.”

Devin wondered what that remark was supposed to mean. “How long have you and Mark lived here, Evelyn?”

“Mark and I bought this house about a month after we were married, but I don’t like it all that much. Mark and I are planning on having children, but this place can only accommodate two more people—at most. I argued with Mark about how this house wasn’t big enough for our needs, but like a lot of men—and I hope you’re not one of them—Mark tends to ignore me when I talk about practical things.”

Evelyn had straight brown hair that fell to her shoulders and was wearing a deep-blue blouse and short black skirt, which revealed a lot of leg. She also had a “crisp” figure—crisp was the word that Devin liked to use for a woman that didn’t have any extra weight on her. And also, to qualify as crisp, the woman had to have a figure that bulged out and bulged in where it was supposed to bulge out and in.

Devin’s wife had died of breast cancer about six months previously, and by now, he couldn’t help but look at women in a sexual way—it was just human nature as far as he was concerned, like some kind of primal instinct. But, of course, any woman that he met during one of his investigations was taboo and definitely off limits. That was the trouble with working for the police department—you always had to be aware that you were a public figure, and since people basically didn’t like or trust cops, they were always looking for a way to drag them down. Still…those legs of Evelyn’s were enough to make any man forget about his responsibilities. Even so, Devin was way beyond being seriously tempted--even if this woman’s husband was undoubtedly fooling around with a prostitute.

Probably, though, since Marabeth was twenty-four, she had now moved up the sexual food chain and was working for an escort service. It was a much more genteel way to ply her trade--if getting paid for having sex with a man could ever be called genteel. But that’s the way these women worked—often, they started out as teenagers who had run away from home, but after a few years of standing on street corners and trying to hustle guys who were driving by, a few managed to catch on with one of the two escort services that operated in the Hartford area. The pay was much better, and the security was also better, but as most everyone knows, no woman who gives up her body for money is ever completely safe from the predators who like to victimize prostitutes. They were, after all, easy marks. Many of them had no roots or connections in the area, so when they disappeared, no one much noticed or paid any particular attention.

Anyways, Evelyn had a very crisp figure. As Devin stared at it in what he hoped was a surreptitious way, he began to lose track of the conversation. It was obvious that Evelyn was rambling on about something or other, and from the few snippets that filtered their way into his consciousness, Devin began to realize that she was complaining about her husband. Mark made a fairly good salary, but it wasn’t quite enough for all the pressing demands that they were facing. Three kids was their goal, but Mark was now saying that it might be a good idea to wait until they were on a better footing financially. He had even suggested to her that she apply for a job at someplace like Walmart. Walmart! He might as well have told her to become a dishwasher or something.

The whole scene was beginning to wear on Devin’s nerves—not so much Evelyn’s senseless prattling because she at least had the hot legs to make her malarkey palatable, but it bothered Devin that when he was around a woman who looked like she might be willing to turn a trick or two, he would become plagued by a lot of persistent lewd thoughts. He might, just like he was doing today, be able to pretend that he was participating in a conversation, but the only real conversation going on at present was the conversation between Evelyn’s legs and his eyes. He wondered whether her skirt was slipping upwards by accident or design, but either way, it wasn’t a bad show.

Evelyn wanted to know whether he was married. “No, not at the present time,” he said.

Evelyn shifted her position in the chair so that her skirt came up another inch. “You’re one of the lucky ones, Devin. Now that I’m married to Mark, I know why people say that marriage is like tying yourself to a ball and chain. It’s just so unsatisfying to be lectured to all the time. Mark’s always complaining to me about something—last night, he threw a mini-tantrum because, according to him, my skirts are too short. ‘You’re always showing off your legs,’ he said. Well, why not? What’s so bad about showing a little bit of skin from time to time? It’s not like it means anything—not really. I suppose it could mean something if I wanted it to mean something, but I don’t really want it to because affairs are complicated for a married woman. But I’ll tell you something, Devin—just between you and me, I’m about at the end of my rope. Mark doesn’t show much interest in me anymore—I’m talking about sexual interest, of course. And when men start to do that, especially with someone who’s as attractive as I am, it can only mean one thing: He must be having an affair. I hope you don’t mind a personal question, but have you ever had an affair?”

“I’m not married at the present time, so—“

“No, I mean before that—while you were married.”

“No, never.”

“Well, aren’t you just the best little Boy Scout! So now that you’re single, how do you like playing the field? That’s beginning to look like a dream come true to me.”

Mercifully, before Devin could answer her question, Mark walked into the room. Startled, he looked towards Devin and then said to his wife, “Who’s he?”

“This is a detective from the Medford Police Department.”

Mark gave Devin a weird condescending look and said, “And you’re investigating my wife? What for? Welfare fraud?”

“Mark!” said Evelyn. “Be serious for once in your life. The detective is investigating you, not me.”

Mark laughed. “Detective,” he said, “I don’t know who you think you are and neither do I know what pony you rode in on, but I would advise you—”

Devin had been planning to interview Mark in private, but after enduring his rudeness, he said, “Mr. Sievers, does the name Marabeth Waters mean anything to you?”

“I knew it!” said Evelyn. “Is that who you’ve been fooling around with lately, Mark? I might have known. Detective, you wouldn’t believe how many lectures I’ve received from my husband about acting appropriately around men when all I do is wear short skirts. And now this!”

Mark still hadn’t said anything, so Devin said, “Would you like to discuss this privately, Mr. Sievers?”

Mark nodded towards a door on the side of the room, and Devin followed him. “Sure, there they go!” shouted Evelyn. “Now they’re going to bury the whole thing—that’s all men ever do with their dirty laundry.”

Devin and Mark went out onto the back patio and sat in some lawn chairs. “Mark,” said Devin, “I’ll repeat my question--do you know someone named Marabeth Waters?”

“Marabeth? That name doesn’t seem to ring a bell, and you would think a name like Marabeth would be difficult to forget. What did you say her last name was?”


“No, I can’t recall ever meeting someone by that name.”

Devin handed him the letter, along with the envelope, that he had found in Marabeth’s handbag. After Mark read through it, with what seemed like exaggerated carefulness, he said, “Oh, Marabeth! I’d totally forgotten about her. I’m a busy man, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen her, so it’s only natural that she slipped through the cracks in my mind.”

“You wrote that letter?” asked Devin.

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. What of it?”

“It’s a rather threatening letter—wouldn’t you say?”

“Detective, this letter was not…why are you asking me these questions?”

“You’re probably not aware of it,” said Devin, “but Marabeth was murdered last night.”

“Well, isn’t that something!” said Mark, in what seemed to be a jovial tone. “And now you’re thinking that…how did you ever find this letter?”

“It was in Marabeth’s handbag, which was discovered next to her body.”

“And what a nice body she had! At any rate, I had nothing to do with her death.”

“Then perhaps you can explain to me what the letter was all about.”

Mark laughed. “Yes, I can see why you’d be interested in it, but there’s a very innocent explanation behind it all. It just so happens that at the time I wrote the letter, I was working on a novel that’s loosely based on the escort services in the Hartford area. Actually, it’s more about the young ladies who are employed by the escort services than the escort services, but naturally, the two subjects overlap to some extent. And so, because I’d never written a novel before and felt very insecure about the whole thing, I wanted to do some real research about it. Being an English teacher at the community college, I’ve come to realize that most novels being published nowadays are very poorly researched, so—”

Devin couldn’t believe what he had just heard. “You’re telling me that your association with Marabeth was part of a research project?”

“Naturally—you don’t think I’d actually consort with someone in an escort service, do you? I suppose, since you’ve met Evelyn, you don’t think I maintain very high standards when it comes to women, but I would never engage in any kind of sexual activity with a woman who worked for an escort service—even if she was off duty. It’s not that I care what Evelyn thinks because she can’t think at all, but I do have my own personal set of standards, and I can assure you that a woman like Marabeth is far too degrading for a man like me to contemplate in a sexual way.”

“So how did you meet her?” said Devin.

“Just the way that you might expect—I phoned an escort service and asked to be hooked up to one of their cuties.”

“And this happened when?”

“Last March or April. Marabeth, at my suggestion, met me at a motel that was about five miles north of Hartford. Such a looker—for a few moments, I was severely tempted by the demands of the flesh. Her skirt couldn’t have been more than a foot long and…well, I won’t bore you with all the tawdry details.”

“I assume you paid for the motel?”

“Of course—plus, I also paid Marabeth three hundred dollars for her services, but when I use the word services, I’m not talking about sexual services.”

“Then what kind of services did she render you?” said Devin.

“I’ve already told you—I was using her to gain a first-hand insight into prostitution. And since my novel involves the murder of a woman who works for an escort service, I had come to the motel with the letter that you showed me a few minutes ago. I was going to mail it to her, but then I realized that would have meant paying her for two sessions, so when we met at the motel, I just gave her the letter because I was interested in how a woman in her position would react to something like that. I can’t believe that she’s kept the letter all these months.”

“But why would you put your return address on the envelope?”

“Detective, I can see that you aren’t able to detect much. The return address, as you can see, is simply a label that I printed on my computer and pasted to a couple of hundred envelopes that either Evelyn or I could use—that’s why my name isn’t included. Naturally, if I had actually mailed the letter to her, I would have used an envelope that didn’t include the return address, but since you must know, I was in a rush that evening—the evening when I met Marabeth--so I just grabbed the first envelope I came across.”

“How did she react to the letter?” said Devin.

“She said that threats were common in her business and that she ignored them.”

“Mark, I’ll be frank with you. What you have just told me is the most preposterous thing I’ve ever heard during my twelve years as a detective.”

From up above them came Evelyn’s voice. She was standing at an open upstairs window and had apparently been listening to their conversation. “Why don’t you tell the detective the truth?” said Evelyn. “I can’t believe that I’ve been sleeping with a man who’s been having sex with a prostitute. I’ll have to shower for five years straight to get the scent of her off me.”

“Evelyn,” said Mark, as he looked up towards her, “will you please mind your own business? I don’t know how much you heard of my conversation with the detective, but I’ve already made it abundantly clear to him that my association with the woman you term a prostitute was strictly part of the research for my novel.”

“What did you do, Mark? Stick a knife into her so you could get your money back?”

“Detective,” said Mark, “do you mind? I can’t very well talk about this here—not with my wife braying in my ear like a donkey with distemper.”

“Mark,” shouted Evelyn, “you’ll pay for this—I swear to God that you’ll pay for this.”

The two of them left the patio and walked down a dirt path that led to the garage. “Don’t listen to her, detective—she’s mentally disturbed. Can’t you tell? Every morning, she has this concoction of about twenty pills that she’s supposed to take, and if she mixes up the dosages, I’m in for a very unpleasant day. That’s why I write books—it gives me an excuse to be alone. I can go into my man cave, lock the door, and forget about Evelyn’s ravings.”

Once they were in the garage, Devin said, “Can you tell me where you were last night between the hours of…let’s say 9 P.M. to 3 A.M.?”

“I could, but I’d rather not.”

“And why is that?” said Devin.

Mark coughed, and then he coughed again and again and again. Finally, after spitting out a few gobs of mucous, he said, “Where were we?”

“Why won’t you tell me where you were last night?”

“Oh, that! I’m really caught in rather a difficult predicament, detective, because I’m sure that anything I say can and will be held against me.”

Devin couldn’t understand Mark’s cavalier attitude—it was like the guy thought he was being investigated for stealing a box of paper clips. “Mr. Sievers, you can take it for granted that if you refuse to answer my question, I can and will hold it against you.”

“I see…I see. Alright, but what I’m about to tell you needs to be held in the strictest confidence. I presume you can agree to that?”

“No, I can’t—not at all. For instance, if you tell me that you murdered Marabeth, I’m hardly going to keep that to myself.”

“Yes, yes—that’s all so obvious, but if what I tell you doesn’t involve a crime or doesn’t at least involve a crime in relation to Marabeth, then—”

“Mr. Sievers, I don’t have all day to listen to these suppositions and conjectures of yours. I’ll make it real simple for you: Either tell me where you were last night, or I’ll be taking you down to the station for further questioning.”

Mark laughed, in a contemptuous way. “Alright, I’ll answer your question, even though I shouldn’t. Last night, I spent the evening giving some much needed counseling to one of the young women in my advanced English class.”

“You spent the whole night with her?” said Devin, in an incredulous tone.

“As a matter of fact, I did.”

“What is this woman’s name?”

“Ambrosia. That’s not her real name, of course—it’s just a nickname that I gave to her.”

“And what is her real name?”

“Jane Tompkins, but I always call her Ambrosia.”

“And what kind of counseling were you giving to Ms. Tompkins?”

“Unfortunately, Ambrosia has become somewhat suicidal over the past year. Much like my wife, she’s on medication for her condition, but sometimes, the medications don’t quite take—if you get my meaning. It’s a very common thing nowadays and is undoubtedly caused by the enormously stressful world that we live in. What happened was that about eight o’clock last night, Ambrosia phoned me and said that she had a sharp kitchen knife in her hands and was thinking of slitting her wrists. Ambrosia is an only child, and her parents are vacationing in the Caribbean, or it might be the Azores, so I asked her if she thought my presence might be of benefit to her. I should mention that there have been two previous occasions where my assistance has been required, so it was no surprise to me when she literally begged me to come to her aid. Now, tell me the truth—have you already jumped to the conclusion that most people would jump to?”

Devin smirked. This guy must think he was an imbecile. “Let me ask you this, Mr. Sievers: When you were giving—perhaps I should say administering--this counseling to Ms. Tompkins were the two of you naked?”

“You see—that’s the problem,” said Mark. “I know this will be hard for you to accept, detective, but it doesn’t matter whether we had our clothes on or not—the important thing is that I talked Ambrosia back from doing any harm to herself.”

“It doesn’t matter whether you had your clothes on?” said Devin. “Don’t you realize that it’s a crime for a teacher to have sexual relations with a student?”

“Well, then, we were both fully clothed.”

“Even at three o’clock in the morning?” said Devin.

“Yes, the type of counseling I was providing to Ambrosia did not necessitate the removal of her clothes. It is true that around midnight, she went into the bathroom to change out of her clothes and into her nightgown, but as for me, I remained fully clothed during the entire event.”

“And…so you slept there last night?”

“Yes, I didn’t feel it was entirely safe for me to leave, and so—it must have been around three o’clock--she went to sleep in her bed, while I slept on an air mattress that was on the floor beside her bed.”

“What about your wife? Didn’t she notice your absence?”

“Nowadays, I usually sleep in the guest room because Evelyn thrashes around in her sleep. I told her repeatedly it was unwise to take sleeping pills, but once she got hooked on them, she became a nightmare to sleep with.”

Devin was totally disgusted with this guy. Undoubtedly, Mark was involved in a sexual relationship with Ambrosia. He probably had her totally brainwashed by now, so any alibi that she might provide for him would be useless. “Mr. Sievers, I’m going to have to take you down to the station for further questioning.”

“Look,” said Mark, “you’re accusing the wrong person. Evelyn probably knew about my meeting with Marabeth because she’s the nosiest person I’ve ever met, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the one who murdered her.”

“Are you joking, Mr. Sievers? Are you really accusing your wife of murdering Marabeth?”

“Who knows?” said Mark, in his usual flippant way.

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