Short Story: The Mystery At Hammond Mansion Part 2 (Of 5)

 

The next stage of Emment’s investigations was to go and see Marie Shepherd’s family. In contrast to the huge house that was the Hammond mansion, Marie Shepherd’s family home was a small but comfortable house in a council estate. Emment parked the police car outside the house and got out. A group of teenagers were loitering sitting on the wall of the neighbour’s house.

“Sergeant, are you here because the Shepherd one snuffed it?”, one teenage boy shouted.

Emment didn’t respond and went to knock on the door. A young woman in her early thirties appeared with a cross with Jesus around her neck. She had a striking resemble and Emment realised she was Marie’s identical twin Samantha. Her eyes were red and tired. She greeted him and led him inside where the Shepherd family were seated in the living-room. Marie’s mother Sally, a warm woman in her late fifties, offered Emment tea as Emment surveyed the final members of the family, Marie’s father Michael, early sixties, in a wheelchair and looking angry and her brother Patrick, mid-twenties, a mechanic with an uninterested face and Patrick’s girlfriend Kate, early twenties, prim looking.

“I’m very sorry for your loss.”, Emment began.

“That’s all very well son but what are you doing about it?”, asked Michael.

“Well, um … we’re gathering a list of sus … of who was there in the house that night and questioning them on what they seen.”

“And how long will that take?”

“I just have the people who worked there left to speak to …”

“It’s that son-in-law. The gay one.”, Patrick said.

“This is what happens when someone hasn’t God in their lives.”

A religious fanatic, thought Emment. Great, that’s all I need!

“Was Marie seeing anyone?”

“Not that we knew of. She was seeing a nice chap Matthew who did missionaries with the Church. But it ended recently. He was very hurt as he was very fond of our Marie.”, Sally said.

Interesting, thought Emment.

“Where could I find Matthew?”

“Oh but Matthew would never hurt our Marie. He’s a sweet boy.”

“No, I’m sure he wouldn’t Mrs. Shepherd. But I’d still like to speak to him if I could just to see if he knows anything about who could have done this to Marie.”

“Of course.”, Sally replied uneasily and supplied him with Matthew’s address.

“Was Marie enjoying her employment at the Hammond house? Was she having any problems that any of you knew of?”

“Oh she was very happy with the position. It paid well. And with just the two parents there there really wasn’t much problems that she had to deal with.”, Sally said.

“It was just of a Sunday when the rest of the family came over for dinner that she did. That gay fella would go on about atheism and obviously it’s not the kind of thing any decent young woman would want to hear.”, said Patrick.

Patrick was actually beginning to irritate Emment. He hadn’t been reared to describe people by their sexuality and he silently wished he’d say Josh but knew it was clearly too much to ask.

“And what about the other members of the family? Did she like them?”

“She did, yes. She didn’t know them too well. But they were all otherwise quite charming.”, Sally said.

After Emment left the Shepherd house, he went to speak to Matthew. He lived in a small flat overlooking the local Catholic Church. He seemed surprised to see a policeman at the door but he greeted Emment pleasantly with a strong handshake and offered him some tea. They sat down in Matthew’s kitchen.

“I understand that you and Marie Shepherd had been dating. But that recently the relationship fell through.”

“She left me. Told me she wanted more from life than I could give her.”

“And how did that make you feel?”
“I didn’t kill her.”

“We just need to eliminate everyone …”

“I was angry and hurt. But I wouldn’t hurt a hair on Marie’s head.”

“Ok … was it a sudden change? Did she previously feel like she could have the life she wanted with you?”

“I believed so. She was a sensible, steady girl. Not like these crazy modern girls you see. She wanted a home life and a family. She knew I was going to be able to provide for her. Once that seemed enough for her. Obviously working in that big house gave her big ideas.”

Matthew paused.

“It was a pity. Because I loved her. She was the girl I was going to marry. You need to look into that Josh fella officer. More than once she had arguments with him.”

Afterwards Emment went over to Hammond mansion. There he interviewed a butler called Jeff who said she was ‘a bit of an airhead’ but he ‘had no reason to want to kill her’, a cleaner called Eimer who said ‘she kept to herself and read the Bible a lot’ and a chauffeur Mark who said ‘she was a pretty girl but too in love with the Almighty for my taste’. Finally Emment got to speak to someone who actually knew and liked Marie, housekeeper and cleaner Annette.

“She was a bright girl. The impression I got was that she wasn’t used to using her mind. Everything had been almost decided for her. Get a decent job, marry a nice Catholic boy and have a family and she didn’t question it which was a pity because she was bright enough to do so. Maybe she was beginning to live her life more her way having left that Matthew chap. Sadly she never got to Officer. She was a nice, quiet girl.”

“And she got on for the most part with everyone?”

“Everyone bar Josh Kelly-Hammond. Look, it was a clash of personalities. Josh is an intellectual and to be honest Marie was so sheltered that it was a bit of a culture shock. A real pity really as I often thought they were quite alike despite their differences.”

“In what way?”

“They both had brains Officer. Not that the other members of the Hammond family don’t. But they don’t really go into anything. Marie and Josh did. But Marie was afraid to go too far. A real shame.”

When Emment left the Hammond mansion, he went over to Josh’s and Alexander’s house. It was a Georgian-style townhouse in Dublin City. Emment knocked at the door and Josh answered.

“I have a few questions to ask you Josh.”

“I thought you might.”

Josh let Emment in.

“Leo, keep watching the cartoons there. You need anything buddy, just holler.”

“Noted Dad.”, Leo replied, sipping down some coke.

Josh led Emment into the kitchen.

“Alexander’s at work so …”

“That’s fine. It was you I wanted to see.”

“Ok.”, Josh replied and for the first time Emment noted nerves in his voice.

“Tea? Coffee? Beer?”, Josh offered.

“Coffee’s fine. I’m on duty.”, Emment replied, sick of having tea all day.

“Oh yeah, sorry.”, Josh grinned, making Emment tea and grabbing a beer himself.

He’s nervous about something to be drinking, thought Emment.

They sat down at the table.

“I’ve spoken to three people today and your name came up. Josh, what aren’t you telling me?”

“In what way?”

“You knew her better than you let on, didn’t you?”

“Marie?”

“I haven’t time for this, of course Marie.”

“Ok, ok … maybe. More at the end maybe. She, um, she wasn’t that bad at the end.”

“Wasn’t that bad at the end?”

“I mean she was still Catholic and she believed strongly in that and that was grand. But she … she wasn’t as vicious about it. She seemed to understand at the end that people felt differently and she understood the angle to why they might. The night before she was killed was a Sunday. We always went over for dinner of a Sunday. And as I left she came over to me and I remember that her words were ‘I finally get it, this whole atheism thing. I watched an interesting documentary about it.’ I got to explain to her that I didn’t believe in God but it didn’t mean I didn’t like Catholics, heck I’m married to a Catholic and my son is Catholic and I left the house that night thinking we could maybe be friends. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be.”

“That’s convenient Josh …”

“It didn’t happen overnight. Gradually week on week she was becoming easier to get on with. I think she was probably a nice girl beneath it, just … just a bit brainwashed to not like people.”

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Big Brother: 7 Talking Points From the Series!

 

 

And so we have come to my last BB blog post. 7 talking points from the series. There has been many more talking points from the series but that would take all day …

 

Lotan’s Removal

At the beginning Lotan was alright but gradually he seemed to change. By the time he got removed it wasn’t a surprise. Fight night 2 was a major talking point of the series and Lotan was removed the next day after throwing his drink hitting Isabelle, Hannah and Deborah with his drink when Isabelle said he wasn’t a role model for his son. After that all hell broke loose with practically everyone involved:

 

Ellie & Sam

While I think their relationship sent most of us to sleep, their relationship was definitely a talking point from the series:

 

Kieran & Deborah

Kieran and Deborah’s friendship/will-they-won’t-they relationship kept us all gripped including a date, fake proposal, fake wedding and fake divorce:

Raph & Andrew

Raph and Andrew’s unrequited love was a talking point of the series including that awkward moment when Andrew tried to kiss Raph:

 

Raph’s Twerking

It was a very entertaining, funny moment from the show. He smashed it! 🙂

Andrew’s Wax Session

Another talking point. Super cringy but he was very brave. Good on him!

Arthur Just Been Arthur

He may have been only just over a week or so in the house but he made the most of it and became a really memorable housemate:

Thanks for a great series everyone! Roll on CBB! 🙂

 

Six Great Outfits From BB2017!

In my second last BB blog post I will be talking fashion baby! The following is my six favourite outfits from the season …

 

Andrew’s Rock/New Romantics Outfit

Personally I think Andrew had the best dress sense in the house. But I’ve picked his rock/ New Romantics outfit as a highlight:

Ellie’s Teal Dress

Ellie’s teal dress in the house was admired by me, my mum and my sister. She very much got this right. Sadly I couldn’t find a pic of it but I had to mention it.

Sue’s Hippie-Style Dress

Sue has great style. Very oriental and very colourful so it was difficult to pick one outfit but I’ve picked this hippie-style dress below:

 

Hannah & Deborah

Again Hannah and Deborah have many great outfits to choose from but I have chosen their matching gold outfits as a highlight:

Joe’s Black Catwalk-Style Outfit

Joe has great style and I’ve picked this outfit with his eviction outfit a close second:

Savannah’s Eviction Outfit

I loved Savannah’s very stylish eviction outfit below:

 

 

 

 

Big Brother: The Aftermath

Last night Isabelle Warburton was revealed as the new Big Brother winner. Following her win she revealed that she will help raise awareness of mental health conditions as she knows people who have been affected by them.

‘I was thinking [of donating to] something like Mind my brother ran for them in the London Marathon so something along the lines of that would be good. I just think that mental health is pretty neglected because people don’t see it physically, a broken leg is given more attention than something in people’s head. It’s so important to raise awareness. I’d never say I’d suffered from anything severe but I do know people who have.’

As someone who knew someone very close to me who suffered from depression I think this is great and very admirable and I know exactly where she’s coming from. Even in this day and age sadly there is still s stigma which surrounds mental health issues which is very sad and very wrong.

Meanwhile second chance housemate winner Andrew Cruickshanks revealed during his interview with Emma Willis that he would be donating some of his winning money towards helping people living in poverty in Ghana. Again very admirable.

4th place finalist Tom Barber revealed how he left the house days before the final to go to hospital for a brain scan. Speaking about his bromance with fellow contestant Kieran Lee he said,

“I love him to bits, he helped me through a lot. I got ill, I had to go out and have a brain scan and stuff, ear infection, tonsillitis. I was like, ‘I can’t go any longer’ and [Kieran] was like, ‘You’ve got a couple of days left so keep going’. So, massively, I love him.”

3rd place finalist Deborah Agboola told Rylan Clark-Neal that she and Kieran were just friends and has said she would love her own TV show. I’d definitely watch it.

Runner-up Raph Korine said his ideal guy was,

‘Someone interested in culture, someone who is confident. Confidence is important’.

Raph added that ‘a nice smile’ would be top of his list when it comes to looks.

Talking of finding love in the future he said,

‘You shouldn’t be looking for love – if it comes to you it comes to you – if you look for it too much you’re focusing on the wrong things.’

Exactly Raph!

Raph also said that he hoped to show the diversity in the gay community.

‘There are many different types of gay people, you don’t have to be a certain way. I came out because I wanted to be comfortable within myself. People expect that I’m straight. I don’t want people to assume things about me.’

Meanwhile it has been reported that contestant Simone Reed was removed from the final after allegedly spitting at Andrew Cruickshanks following his exit from the house.

On a more happy note, contestant Hannah Agboola posted a video on her Twitter page of herself, her sister Deborah and Raph singing and dancing at the aftershow party to Hannah’s theme tune in the house Love, Peace and Harmony. That was fun to watch.

Hope everyone had a fantastic night and thanks to everyone involved for a great show! 🙂

Watch the moment Isabelle won here:

 

Well done Isabelle and all the finalists! 🙂

And well done Raph & Andrew for brilliantly representing the LGBTQ+ community from someone who is also part of the LGBTQ+ community. 🙂

Isabelle Wins Big Brother!

The Big Brother final took place tonight and Isabelle Warburton was crowned the winner. Raph Korine was second followed by Deborah Agboola in 3rd and Tom Barber in 4th with second chance housemate winner Andrew coming out of the house first.

 

 

Well done Isabelle and also well done to Raph who did me proud coming second. Well done to Deborah, Tom and Andrew too.

 

Thank you Raph for representing the LGBTQ+ community, all the nerds, BB fans and all non-English people brilliantly as someone who is all four. Love you Raph. Well done! 🙂

Why Raph Korine Is My BBUK Winner …

 

 

Well the BB final is on it’s way and soon the winner will be crowned. My winner is Raph who I have loved in it from the start. The way things look he might not win but no matter what he is my winner this series. This blog post is why …

 

I loved that when Arthur was been bullied and isolated early on the show Raph didn’t get involved with the bullying and isolation and was a good friend to Arthur. Too many people in life to save their own skins in these situations tend to join the majority and I thought it was a lovely representation of Raph as a person that he didn’t. It was also very brave.

 

I think he has been a very consistent housemate. If people aren’t been themselves they tend to get found out after a while in there and he has never changed. He has a lovely, kind personality which is also very nerdy and shy. And it’s personal taste really but I’m more drawn to like personalities like that. Talking about his personality I must bring up something Rylan said on BBBOTS the other night. Now I love Rylan too but his comment about Raph been “odd” and an “oddball” was disgusting. And I didn’t feel it was meant in a good way even though he tried to backtrack and say it was. Otherwise he wouldn’t have said “I hate to say it …” beforehand. While I have a huge Rylan fan since X Factor I do believe we have to value the diversity of personalities in the world and there is absolutely nothing wrong with been a nerdy, shy guy who is not constantly roaring, cursing and going on about sex all the time. Raph is most certainly not odd or an oddball, he’s just a nice guy on a TV show.

 

I like that he’s a Big Brother fan and even more so that he admitted he is. And I think he genuinely is a Big Brother fan because he’s a member of the This Is Big Brother forum and he has a huge knowledge of the show. I think he was determined to get on the show and fair dues to him he did and is now in the final. Is he a gameplayer? Of course he is, he’s in a gameshow. I wouldn’t expect him to admit he was because for some reason gameplaying is a dirty word in Big Brother even though it is a game. But of course he is but they all are and I wouldn’t expect any of them to be anything else in a gameshow. But a gameplayer doesn’t mean that someone isn’t a nice person.

 

I like that Raph doesn’t isolate anyone and that he always stands up for himself but also doesn’t make a big scene out of it for TV. His friendships have been great to watch in there with Chanelle, Deborah, Hannah, Sukhvinder, Imran and in the latter part Tom and his diary rooms have been great viewing as has his attempted matchmaking between Deborah and Kieran. He’s just an all-round nice lad and is my winner. But whatever happens he has done great regardless.

Big Brother Blog 5!

We have our last 4 plus Andrew and so it is fitting to now discuss the five finalists …

 

Isabelle

A lovely girl who will probably win but who wouldn’t be my winner. I loved her in the Lotan situation and she’s a nice girl. But other than that I can’t find anything that makes her my winner. I wasn’t fond of how she treated Simone with Chanelle and the whole “selfless” thing drives me up the wall as does all this talking about her insecurities. We all have insecurities, everyone in that house has insecurities, the last week leading up to a final to win £65,000 is not the time to bring them out. A very intelligent girl and a savvy gameplayer. Has had fake moments for certain but she is a nice girl at the back of it and if she does win I wish her all the best of luck.

 

Tom

Tom has won me around. I didn’t like him to begin with but I have got to see Tom’s true personality as time has went on and I have got to like him. Since Lotan and Joe have went Tom has really came into his own and I’m glad he made the final. His friendship with Kieran has been lovely to watch.

 

Deborah

Deborah is a lovely girl. Very down-to-earth. While Raph is my winner I wouldn’t be disapointed if Deborah won. Her relationship with her sister Hannah has been beautiful to watch in the house and her sort of romance with Kieran has been brilliant to watch too. Very sweet and lovely, she would be a most deserving winner.

 

Raph

Ah Raph, we’ve been on a journey together for sure! 🙂 Again a lovely, down-to-earth lad who has been a fantastic housemate and should be very proud of himself. The way he stood by Arthur at the beginning when Arthur was been bullied and isolated was wonderful and he has been consistent throughout. Whatever happens Raph is my winner.

 

Andrew 

So Andrew can’t win but is coming out with £33,900. Not bad, eh? Dramatic is an understatement for Andrew but I think he’s a nice lad and I’m very pleased for him for getting the money. I think he’ll do great things for his hairdressing career with the money and I wish him all the best.