Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer?

Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer? by Ann Rule Read Free Book Online

Book: Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer? by Ann Rule Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ann Rule
Tags: General, Social Science, True Crime, Murder, Criminology
the Mobile station, and he promised to call her as soon as he
    got back.   But Jim knew that the station had been closed down two days
    earlier, the windows soaped over, the pumps empty.   It would be very
    lonely and dark at night.   It was an odd place for Brad to bring the
    boys for Cheryl to pick up.   If he was having car trouble, there would
    be nobody at the Mobile station to work on it.
     
    Still, Jim kept hoping that he would find his sister there, loading up
    her precious sons, just beginning to start for home.   It was a short
    drive, but his mind went over a dozen possible reasons why Cheryl would
    be there, safe.
     
    She was not there.
     
    The Mobile station was dark and deserted, just as he had expected.
     
    The place was abandoned.   It was out of business.   Even the I.G.A
    supermarket next door was closed for the night.   Jim scanned the
    parking lot there for Cheryl's Toyota van, but he didn't see it.   There
    were only a few cars, probably those of employees who were emptying the
    cash registers and preparing night bank deposits inside the store.
     
    Jim returned to Cheryl's house and when he stepped out of his car, a
    figure emerged from the shadows.   It was Jerry Finch, who was there to
    find out what he could about the woman whose body was now on the way to
    the Medical Examiner's office.   He asked Jim Karr to identify himself,
    and when he learned that Jim was Cheryl Keeton's brother, he drew a
    deep breath.   He had to tell Karr the monstrous truth.   It was a truth
    that somehowSim already knew.
     
    His sister was dead.
     
    Jim wasn't even very surprised.   That was why his mother had sobbed
    when he called her.   Every single one of them in the family had tried
    to save Cheryl, as if they could somehow build a wall of love and
    solidarity around her so strong that nothing and no one could harm
    her.
     
    And yet, all the time, they had known it was like trying to stop Mount
    St. Helens from erupting.   Something had to blow, something
    inevitable, and all the love and concern in the world never could have
    stopped it.
     
    "He did it," Jim Karr shouted to Jerry Finch.   "That bastard did it!"
     
    He didn't say which bastard.
     
    It was a quarter to midnight when a group of law enforcement officers
    headed to the Madison Tower to inform Brad Cunningham that his
    estranged wife was dead.   Because they had no idea what they might find
    when they got there, Detectives Jerry Finch and Jim Ayers and Senior
    Trooper Keith Mechlem from the Oregon State Police had asked for backup
    from the Portland Police Bureau.   Officer Richard Olsen joined them in
    the parking lot of the new apartment complex.
     
    Together the four men took the elevator to Cunningham's floor.   A
    railed walkway ran around the perimeter and the apartment's main door
    opened off that.   Rick Olsen stood back near the rail as the State
    Police investigators knocked on the door of Cunningham's apartment,
    watching silently while Finch and Ayers spoke to the tall dark-haired
    man who answered the door.   Olsen could not hear the conversation, but
    he could see the face of the man in the doorway and knew that he had
    just been told his wife was dead.   Olsen heard no loud exclamations,
    and he saw no emotion flicker across the man's face.   "He didn't look
    surprised or shocked or agitated," Olsen would later recall.
     
    That didn't necessarily mean anything.   Shock does funny things to
    people.   They can hear their whole world end in one sentence and never
    blink an eve.   Not until later.   For that matter, there are no rules
    about how the human mind or the human body will react in any given
    situation.
     
    People have been known to sustain a bullet wound to the heart and run
    half a block before they drop.
     
    Ordinarily it would not have taken four officers to bring such terrible
    news to the family of the deceased.   But Finch and Ayers were already
    convinced that Cheryl Keeton had not died

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