Larry answered the ad in the paper. He was a heavy equipment operator and there was anything he couldn’t operate. Gladys read his application and thanked him for coming. The final decision wasn’t hers to make and she let him know this. He politely thanked her and walked out. She had made a few notes on his application walked down the hall then handed it to the General Manager. “So does he seem okay with the pay” Kenneth asked. Gladys smiled and said “yeah, I called his references and they all said he showed up for work on time and that he did a good job. He was laid off due to reduction of work force. He said he will run whatever we need him to.” Kenneth wrote a couple of notes and said “Ok, then I’ll give him a call.”
Larry came to work for the small contracting company and by all appearances was the perfect employee. He had worked there for about nine months and then one day he didn’t show up. Kenneth was upset but decided to give Larry the benefit of the doubt and called him at home. I mean maybe the guy was too sick to get to a phone and call in or perhaps he had fallen down the stairs and was lying in a crumpled heap, although if either of those things had happened he still wouldn’t be able to answer the phone. Kenneth didn’t think about that when he called. He dialed the number but it just rang.
Kenneth talked a big tough game but I could tell he was concerned about Larry. You see the whole company had all come to like him. He was amiable and helpful. He was always willing to go out on any call and spent his spare time not like many of the operators slacking off; but he would wash the equipment or repair rigging. He did whatever it took to get the job done and keep things rolling. Kenneth went to the front office and said “I’m going to check on Larry. This just isn’t like him.” Gladys watched as Kenneth walked out the front door then picked up the newspaper she had been perusing.
There on the front page was an article about the police digging up a truck with two people in it. The article went on to say that it had been buried several years before and that they were moving a concrete plant and happened to dig up the pick-up. Gladys read on a little intrigued and a lot horrified. Then she spotted it in the list of survivors of the victims was Larry. She determined this must be the reason for Larry’s absence. It made sense. He had been notified that his ex brother-in-law and his girlfriend had been found buried he probably was with his ex-wife’s family.
Kenneth returned a little later and said that he had driven past Larry’s house but the place had police tape all over it and that there were several patrol cars out front. He was upset and explained “they wouldn’t tell me nothing. I asked them what was wrong and they just told me that I needed to move along.” Gladys showed him the article she had read about the murders and Kenneth turned white as a ghost. “You don’t think he had nothing to do with this do you” he asked Gladys. She shrugged her shoulders and said “I’m sure it was all just routine. I mean he is the ex-husband of her sister and who knows what his ex-wife may have said.” Kenneth was mollified and they finished out their day.
Early the next morning as Gladys was making coffee with the crew of operators standing around waiting they discussed the possibility of Larry committing murder. “Oh I don’t he would” said Dewy “he is such a nice guy. Why last week he helped me build a barbeque.” Harold piped up and said “he came over and helped me pitch hay last weekend.” The conversation went on in the same vein with the general consensus being Larry was a really nice guy. Gladys who liked to play the devil’s advocate said “yeah but that is what they said about Richard Ramirez and John Gayce and even Jeffery Dalmer. That is what they always say when they interview the neighbors of a serial killer.” The guys got their coffee and argued there was no way that it could be Larry. Those things happened on the news, not in their work place.
Then the group got quiet as Larry brought his cup to the pot. “Hey y’all. Sorry I let you down yesterday. I was at the police station all day and figured I had better use my one phone call for my lawyer.” The guys all stood mouths open and eyes wide staring at Larry. “Hey Larry are they accusing you of burying those people” Kenneth questioned. “Yeah, I guess so. Them cops don’t really scare me though. They ain’t got no proof” Larry answered then he walked out the door munching on a donut and drinking his coffee.
Larry unfortunately was found guilty and sentenced. It just goes to show you it usually is the nice guy next door.