STORY EIGHT – The Truth
Detective McNally: Interview with suspect, Melissa Miller. Also present are myself Detective McNally and Detective Grant. Interview commenced 16:30hours Monday 30th July 2018. For the record, Miss Miller has declined legal representation at this time. So Miss Miller, what happened?
Miller: No comment.
McNally: Yesterday at 17:20hours you were found on your front garden covered in blood. Blood that does not correspond to any injuries on your body. How do you explain that?
Miller: No comment.
McNally: What about the scissors on your front doorstep and the body of your boyfriend upstairs?
Miller: No Comment.
Grant: Now look, Melissa, you’re in a whole heap of trouble. You’re not making things easy for yourself. This is your chance to tell your side of the story. There’s a lot of evidence that tells us you killed Mr Lepinski.
Miller: [Sighs] He deserved it, ok. He made one threat too many.
Grant: Who was he threatening?
McNally: Melissa? Come on, we can’t help you or Sophie unless you tell us.
Miller: [Silence]… He threatened Sophie. He threatened to use her like he does me. I locked her in the cupboard where he couldn’t get to her.
McNally: Ok. What do you mean ‘use her like he uses you’?
Grant: Melissa, we need you to talk to us.
Miller: He, err, well, we loved each other, to start off with anyway. He was good to me. Made me feel like a princess, you know. He took care of me, made me feel safe.
Grant: But it changed?
Miller: Mmm, we started drinking and occasionally he gave me drugs. I thought it was cool. But then I’d drink so much I’d black out sometimes, I think. I’d wake up feeling, you know, sore, down there, between my legs. He’d tell me what a great time we’d had and how much fun I’d had. I never remembered it but I loved him and thought he loved me too so I never questioned it.
Grant: How long did this go on for?
Miller: A couple of years, but then I started to get fed up of all the drinking and said I didn’t want to do it. He’d get angry, like properly angry, so I’d drink and go along with it. I didn’t want to upset him.
McNally: Was he ever violent?
Miller: [Silence]…Yes. There’s a dent in the lounge door where he slammed my head into it. I think it knocked me out because when I woke up he’d been out and bought me some jewellery. He told me how sorry he was and he didn’t want to lose me.
McNally: So you stayed?
Miller: Yeah, and it was great again for a while. We didn’t drink and we’d have a good time but then he’d want to do some drugs or something. Then it would all go to shit again. I think I always had a niggling doubt in my mind that something was wrong. Turned out I was right. One day I woke up and found another man lying on top of me, he was inside me. I tried to scream but he put his hand over my mouth. When he finished, he slapped me hard, then left. I heard Alex shouting downstairs so I screamed. I told him what happened and he said he would deal with it. He told me he’d make everything alright and we didn’t need to involve you lot. I believed him.
McNally: Did you recognise this other man?
Miller: Not that time. But his name is Soloman Torrence. He comes for a shag every Sunday. Alex used to make me shower, so I was clean for him.
Grant: Were there any other men you knew of?
Miller: I don’t know how many, I’d forget weeks at a time but my body was sore, so I knew.
Grant: And what about Sophie?
Miller: I found out I was pregnant so I thought things might change.
Grant: You didn’t leave him?
Miller: I couldn’t, he told me he’d been telling everyone I’m a useless drunk and I was doing drugs. If I tried to leave he’d have social services on me and he’d get to keep the baby. He did treat me well while I was pregnant to be fair. He wanted to protect his investment he said, so he only made me drink a few times while I was pregnant and he was never violent. I tried to refuse sometimes but he’d slip me that date-rape drug before I knew it. When Sophie arrived and was healthy I couldn’t believe it. All my dreams came true and I loved her the moment I held her. I couldn’t bear the thought of anything happening to her…of men…touching her.
McNally: How did you protect her?
Miller: I couldn’t be sure what would happen to her if I were…well, if Alex drugged me so I did the only thing I could do. I started locking her in the cupboard. I’d spit out the alcohol or pretended to be drunker than I was just so I could be there for Sophie. Sometimes it wouldn’t work and he’d slip me something. I know he used to take her out to the park or to my mum’s and other times I could hear her downstairs while men came upstairs to shag me.
Grant: You said he started threatening Sophie?
Miller: He knew men that would pay highly to, you know, be with Sophie. He said he’d let too if I didn’t earn my keep. He’d already started prepping her, they played naked tickling games together.
Grant: So what happened yesterday?
Miller: He said a new ‘client’ was coming over. I rushed Soph upstairs into the cupboard but he got angry. He said this man wanted an audience and it was part of Soph’s training. We argued. He tried to get her out the cupboard. I tried to stop him, and he pushed me down the stairs. I knew I had to stop it him. I grabbed the scissors and jumped him. I stabbed until he stopped moving. Then I was a mess, I don’t know what I was thinking, I just had to get out. I told Soph I’d be back in a minute and went outside. Then you lot showed up.
McNally: Thank you Miss Miller. You have been very brave. We will need to review your statement with the Crown Prosecution Service but based on your evidence I don’t think we will pursue this any further. I dare say that social services will be involved regarding Sophie but it’s likely you’ll be free to go.
Miller: Free to go? There’e nowhere I can go that the nightmares wont follow.
Grant: You’ll be offered support Miss Miller. Interview terminated 17:15hrs.