1. Outside- The Murder of David Bowie
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The December 9th issue of the USA Today paper showed a picture of the crime scene. David Bowie had been shot in the head on December 8th. There was a suicide note next to his body. His gold Rolex was missing.
I buried my face into my pillow...crying for the one I has worshipped from afar. I mightíve been crying for myself though, now that he was gone.
I am Ramoana A. Stone. At the age of 39, David Bowie was my life. My daughter, Baby Grace Blue, had helped David on his last album and I had known David for ages. Ever since his Ziggy Stardust days when I first got to meet him backstage to his current Little Wonder World tour, we had been like peas in a pod. I had helped him with his Bowie Net project and I had been the subject of many of his paintings. My walls were covered with framed letters, tickets, and invitations that he had sent me. I had been to dinner with him and, at one time, when CoCo Schwab was gone, was his personal assistant. I was also one of the only people that he trusted his sonís, Duncanís, life with during the early 80ís.
My phone rang. I could barely hear it over my tears. The answering machine turned on. My recorded message played Segue With Name, "Oh Ramoana, if there were only something between us!" then my voice came on, my usual cheerful voice, "Hi, this is Ramoana, I canít come to the phone right now...." A burst of tears flooded from my eyes while I was trying to listen --BEEP-
"Hey Ram, this is Evan calling." I picked up the phone knowing that Evan was the detective on this gruesome case.
"Hello?" I said, unsure if my voice would hold out.
"Hi Ramoana. Itís Evan, you know, from Teenage Wildlife. I assume that youíve heard about Davidís death?"
"Yeah, I have," I said with a distraught voice. "So, why did you call?" I had talked to Evan before. I am one of his main information sources for his David Bowie web site. Evan is a big David Bowie fan with a fetish with sheep who works at a little place called the Teenage Wildlife Detective Agency.
"I called to ask for your help. I know that you know tons about David and those who were lucky enough to be near to him. I need your help to solve this case. I donít think it was a suicide" Evan said in an almost whisper.
I started to sob. "Youíre asking me to solve the mystery of Davidís death? Well, Iím flattered but I donít think Iím really ready for it right now."
"Youíre the only one who could solve this Ram! THE ONLY ONE! Come to the Lausanne mansion tomorrow. Iíll be waiting for you." Evan said those last words so fast I couldnít even get one syllable in. --CLICK- I heard the phone, and then back to dial tone.
That night I packed, I really had no choice. I barely got a wink of sleep. All I could think of was David.
I got on the Internet and went into IRC #Bowie, the topic tonight was mourning.
I talked to ph0neyx (Brian), JoniVeSadd (Andy), CG (Kim), MWFTE (Candice), and Squeeeekie (Paula). They were all completely torn over Davidís death. One item of information I found interesting though was that Squeeeekie had just bought Davidís Rolex for $212 over the Bowie Trader Program.
When I asked whom she got it from, she said it was an anonymous seller. I know that this is possible. Bowie Trader allows for an anonymity feature to be used. There was no luck there.
I must have fallen asleep. When I woke up, I saw my computer screen flashing with a message from Veepster. He was asking me if I had heard about David. This made me realize that this wasnít some horrible nightmare.
I went to the airport and flashed my passportÖ.everything went smoothly. I was like a zombie. I still couldnít believe David was dead.
On the plane, I made a short list of suspects in my notebook. A good detective always takes notes. My list looked like this:
Angie Marie Barnett: Davidís ex-wife.
Iman: Davidís wife.
Corrine "CoCo" Schwab: Davidís assistant.
Ken Pitt: Davidís ex-manager.
The speaker came on, "Thank you for flying Swiss Air flight 605. The local time is 7:02 PM."
I closed my notebook and grabbed my overnight bag from the overhead compartment. Then I stepped off the plane.
I saw Evan immediately and embraced him with open arms.
"I am so sorry" he said.
"There is no reason to be sorry, itís not your fault that Davidís gone." I replied.
We walked hand-in-hand to the eggshell Oldsmobile that would take us to Davidís Lausanne mansion Evan drove, in remorseful silence.
There were twelve people in the house at that time including Evan and me. I saw seven suspects sitting on the couches and chairs in the drawing room and three Teenage Wildlife cops investigating the scene of the crime.
I took a look around knowing where everything would be from my research of Davidís life. I knew every little detail, from his current hair color to what book he was reading. I could tell you about his past and I could tell you about his present. I knew where he was almost every moment of the day. Itís a shame that there will now be no more future for me to figure out.
Evan introduced me to everyone so I wasnít doing this completely impromptu.
Before I sat down, I took a look at the suicide note. This was done on a computer! This note was a fake and a fraud! David doesnít have access to a computer while heís on tour, and yes, David was on tour that week, he had just dropped into Lausanne to see Duncan, his son, for an hour.
I sat down and looked at Angie. She sat directly across from me on the love seat where David practiced his saxophone. She seemed my most likely suspect at the time. I got to working on her.
"So, Angie, howís your life? Iíve heard that you got married again and you had another child," I questioned
"Yeah," Angie sobbed. I knew that she really loved him. Right from the first moment she saw him, she loved him. Through the drugs and abandonment of the 70ís, she loved him. The thing was, David never truthfully loved her. That was what bothered Angie the most, he only used her to further his career.
"Angie? Do you own a gun?" I asked.
Surprisingly, she was very frank about the whole ordeal. "Yes, I do, but itís never seen the world apart from my underwear drawer."
Not letting my knowledge show, I went on to Iman who was sitting in the chair to the left of the love seat. "So, Iman, darling. How was your marriage to the great one?"
"Truthfully," she said with her fluid Semolian accent, "It was going really great. We were going to have our first child in 9 months. I never had the chance to tell him." I saw tears forming in her eyes and at once I knew that she was innocent. I didnít even bother asking about the gun, even though I wouldnít have to. I knew that she always kept one next to her night stand by her bed. It just comes to show you that the more you know, the less you have to find out.
I tried to remember Davidís wedding to Iman. It was the most romantic thing I had ever seen. There was Italian music as you entered the church. They exchanged platinum rings and said a few words. David was so emotional that day. I can remember his black suit with his white rose in his lapel.
I couldnít bear the thought any longer. I squinted my eyes to get rid of the tears that were forming and turned to CoCo, she was on Imanís left comforting her. I never liked CoCo. Her face disgusted me, and I couldnít even look her in the eye. I decided to question her later even though I knew that she was completely incapable of murdering somebody, David the least. She had an unspoken bond with David, he had trusted her with his life for nearly 28 years now. Why would she even think of killing him? CoCo had no motiveÖ..or did she. There was that little skirmish in Berlin nearly 20 years ago that involved Angie, some booze, and CoCoís clothes going out the windowÖÖbut then why kill David? Angie was the one who deserved to die.
With that thought, I turned to CoCoís left and found a tall blonde man. I looked him over carefully. His blue eyes were covered by Alan Browning eyewear. He wore a tour t-shirt, from Davidís Outside tour, with jeans. I gathered that he was about 34. There was a girl on his arm. She had green eyes and had freckles covering her high-cheekbone face. She wore a long emerald skirt with a white blouse. She seemed to be about 18, maybe younger.
"So, whatís your story?" I asked.
"Well," the man said with an English accent, "my wife and I are huge Bowie fans and we were here in England to see his concert tomorrow when they arrested us and brought us here."
"I am so sad!" the girl said with utmost sincerity. She had a fading Californian accent. "I just found out yesterday that David died. My life almost ended with his."
"Have I ever talked to you two before?" I asked.
"Well, we go to #Bowie on Teenage Wildlife every day!! Weíre EARTHLING and A_Girl," the man said.
Ah, yes I remember these two! They were married January 8, 1998, Davidís 51st birthday. It all happened in the chat room. They found a priest and they were married in 10 minutes. She moved out to England in the preceding 2 months. These two were clean, I could cross them off my list. But just to be sure...."Why are you two even here then?" I asked.
"We were outside the fence of the mansion when it happened, I guess when the police got here, they thought us suspects even though we were just hoping to catch a glimpse of David. Someone said that we had just missed him," the girl said.
Fair enough, I thought, they werenít lying. Even I would do something like that. I turned one more time. I had never before met the person that sat on my right. She was tall and lean with long blonde hair. She had sunglasses covering her eyes. Did she have something to hide? She wore a plain blue t-shirt with a pair of faded blue jeans. She stood 2 inches taller than EARTHLING and was very intimidating. I wouldnít let that get to me.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"I am Liz Anne from Utah," She said with an accent that was very distinguishable from all the others. "I couldnít believe it when I found out that David had died. I love Bowie! I have 296 albums!" Her voice had an unusual tone of sincerity in it.
"O.K., so why were you brought here?" I questioned.
"I donít know. I was just nearby waiting, as I usually do to see David, and the next thing I knew, I was here," Liz said in that tone that I just couldnít put my finger on.
She was a very unusual girl, but nothing that would be considered unusual in the world of Bowie.
I took a moment to ponder thatÖ..and saw Ken Pitt to the direct left of Evan.
Yes, that was Ken Pitt. Davidís ex-managerÖ.his first manager. There was no need to talk to him, I had already ruled him out. Even though David dumped Ken for Tony DiFries, he never held a grudge with him. He knew Davidís mind and he knew that he couldnít stop him from doing what he wanted to do. Yes, Ken had tried to make David take a different path quite a few times, but it never worked. David was strong willed and stubborn. You couldnít get him to move if there was a train coming at him at 120 miles per hour.
I sat sipping on my lemonade thinking of how I could explain this. I remembered Davidís life and how I was a part of it. I remembered standing in the wings of the Hammersmith Odean waiting for David to finish Rock Ní Roll Suicide so I could meet him. I remembered handing him the roses that I had gotten him. He shook my hand and we got to talking about William S. Boroughs and his style of poetry. I had all 287 of Davidís albums and had been to at least two shows on every tour he had done. Suddenly, it all made sense to me. Liz was the killer! I looked around to verify it and then I made my conclusion.
"Evan, officers of Teenage Wildlife, take this woman and lock her up, she murdered David. Thereís no doubt about it." I exclaimed.
"How did you figure that?" Iman said.
" Well, letís start with the beginning. I knew it was a murder, it certainly wasnít suicide. David didnít have access to a computer long enough to write that note. So, I then ruled out most of you with simple deduction. Iman, you were really close to David, so close you couldíve done anything to him, but you really loved him. That also goes for Angie. CoCo, she was totally devoted to David, never even thinking of back-stabbing him. EARTHLING and A_Girl are true fans. They are innocent. And Ken had never held a grudge with David for dumping himÖÖthere was no need to, he was already
famous. Ken had no motive. But then there was Liz; she was out of place. Then I thought of what she said, 296 albums. David only made 287ÖÖtherefore I knew that she was a liar. I saw her purse beside her, it leaned to the right and I thought to myself, what it be that is making that purse lean. Then it came to me; it was a gun. And thereís one more thing, the Rolex. Squeeeekie had bought it in American currency, Liz was the only one who would actually have a need for American currency. And as for getting into the house, she was probably stalking David, like she said, and followed him in. A_Girl and EARTHLING werenít there yet, they had just missed David. Duncan of course hadnít gotten there yet either. Heís always late, and, as suspected, he never showed up. Therefore, Liz was the killer."
"Take her away boys." Evan said.
I couldnít believe the logic that had just came out of my mouth.
"Yeah, thatís right, I did it! I did it because my uncle, Mark Chapman, was sent to kill David that December 8th night. He couldnít get a clear shot, so he killed John Lennon instead. I was sent to finish the deed that he was supposed to complete," Liz admitted.
"How could you be that sick?!" I said. "I canít believe that just because of something that happened 18 years ago, to the day, that you would kill the only man who was bigger then the Beatles! You have some REALLY strange mental problems, girl!!" Everyone nodded in agreement.
After that, we searched her purse to confirm my suspicion about the gun. It was a cult 45 and there was one bullet missing from the barrel, the chamber was still warm. Also we found in her purse, a copy of Catcher in the Rye which was the book of Mark Chapmanís obsession.
I knew that nothing could ever make up for the loss of Bowie, even if the case was solved. I also knew that the gap that Liz had taken away from all of us that were in that room that day would never again be filled.
There wasnít really much to do after that. I helped Evan make his tribute to David and Liz was locked away for a long time. But, who knows what may happen next.
Editors comments: There really is no niece of Mark Chapman named Liz Ann, and there is no more Lausanne Mansion (David sold it).......but hey, it might happen!
Copyright A_Girl Inc 1999