The perp, Chaz French, pushed his blood-spattered spectacles further up his nose. His eyes were dilated, and his face was pale. Shock at what he’d done, no doubt. The M.E. would be done soon, though, and they’d be able to wrap the poor guy in a shock blanket and take him somewhere cleaner. Somewhere more secure. Somewhere without any power tools.
“Samantha has always had terrible sinus problems,” the man answered in a shaky voice. “But this last month with the high ragweed count and all, she’s been miserable. She wakes up choking on mucus, her head is constantly throbbing. She can’t eat or sleep or think. Miserable.”
Bloom noticed that the perp was still speaking of his dead wife in present tense. He hadn’t realized he’d murdered her. That happened a lot, with Accidentals. Eventually, the reality would set in, and they’d relive their violent act, but right now, French was as much a victim as his late spouse.
“Yeah, sinusitis can be rough. My girlfriend takes Benadryl every night, just to breathe.”
“Sam does that too,” French said. “It used to be just one – half a dose – but lately it’s been two, or even four – a second dose around six in the morning.”
“I hear ya,” Bloom said. “But tell me about the dremel?”
“Well, tonight, Sam starts begging with me, crying that she’s in so much pain, and she can’t breathe and she just wants to tear her head open to relieve the pressure. ‘Just do something, Chazzy’ – Sam always calls me Chazzy – ‘Please just make it stop.'”
“And you decided to drill a hole in her head?”
“Well, yes and no. See, we’re both history buffs and we’ve been reading this novel where a doctor recommends trepanning to fix a mental disorder.” Bloom gave the guy a pointed look, and French elaborated, “I know, acute sinusitis isn’t a mental disorder, but she’s my wife and she’s begging me for help, and what am I supposed to do? I wanted to use the power drill, but Sam suggested the dremel because it’s not as powerful, and would be easier to control.”
“Except it wasn’t?”
“Oh, it was. And I’d downloaded instructions from the Internet, so I had a guide, but… but, see, the vibrations, they started a kind of… well, Sam said it was a tickle.”
“And then she sneezed, and her head went forward and then the dremel was buried in her brain and still spinning, and oh, God! SAM! Samantha!!! I’m so SORRY.”
Spattered blood mixed with tears as Chaz French broke apart in front of Bloom.
The psych consultant arrived then, and wrapped the poor son of a bitch in a warm jacket before guiding him to the white van.
The medical examiner returned from the other room, then, her expression grim and her ashy color betraying her exhaustion. “Accidental,” she said to Bloom.
He nodded. “I figured. Anything else?”
“Yeah. We have got to get this home trepanation instructions off the web. This is the fourth one this week.”