Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Red Shoes

'As you can see Miss Kitson this is a very serious matter.'

'Of course Inspector Ash, I totally understand. For a child to die and in my crèche. I'll do everything I can to help you. Please call me Kath.'

Kath Kitson was a stunner. She looked like Marilyn Monroe only sexier and here she was in my town. Everyone was sure the child's death was S.I.D.S., but these things had to be investigated. There were five children at the crèche and as they started to wake after their afternoon nap one of the children hadn't. As far as I could see Kath had done everything she could. As soon as she had realised she'd called an ambulance and tried to give CPR but on such a small child there was little more she could do. The parents of all the children had been interviewed and all of them couldn't praise her enough.

'Well thank you for your help Kath,' I shook her hand and stood up to leave. 'I think everything is fairly clear but I will let you know if I need anything else.'

She rose from behind her desk and walked me over to the office door. As we walked I glanced down and noticed she was wearing the strangest shoes. They were flat, bright red and covered in elaborate beads. They most certainly did not go with the rest of the Marilyn look.

'I see you've noticed my shoes,' she said. ‘Not exactly high glamour but they are so comfortable when you are on your feet all day.'


The cause of death was cot death but the autopsy did report that the child had some illnesses that would normally have been seen in an aged patient. These were all assumed to be birth defects that had led to the cot death.


Six months later I went back to do a check on the crèche and to reintroduce myself to Kath Kitson. It was never ethical to go out with someone who you have investigated but after six months, well you know!

'Good Morning Inspector,' a woman in her mid fifties answered the door.

'Good Morning,' I said. 'I have just come to check on the crèche after that terrible incident. Is Kath in?'

'I'm sorry inspector she has had to go away for a few days. She has left me in charge; I'm her mother, Kathy.'

As I looked closely I could see the family resemblance.

'Well if I could just have a quick look round, check everything's okay.'

'Of course,' she smiled and opened the door for me to enter. As she did so I noticed her shoes. They were exactly the same as her daughter's.'

'Comfy hey?' I nodded at the slippers

'Sorry what do you mean?' she flustered and started to stutter.

'I only meant that your daughter has the same shoes and she said how comfy they were.'

'Yes, yes. Sorry I see what you mean now,' she seemed to calm down and showed me around the crèche.

After the tour everything looked fine and I told her I would not need to visit again for a while.


A year after the death of the child I got a call from the courts reminding me I had to do one last visit to the crèche. I had just been handed a rather vicious mugging to investigate and I had got a girlfriend so the visit held no excitement for me. I sent my sergeant.

'How was the lovely Miss Kitson?' I said as he handed me the report after his visit.

'I take it your being sarcastic,' he snarled. 'She must be ninety.'

'What do you mean Kath Kitson's in her twenties and Kathy, her mother, is in her fifties but both women are easy on the eye.'

'Well apparently I met the grandmother then. Katherine she informed me her name was and she was not the friendliest woman I have ever met. She was wearing the weirdest shoes you have ever seen, all red and Arabic looking. Still the crèche was fine so you can sign off the report.'

As the sergeant left the room I started to wonder if everything was as it seemed. Three women all with similar names, never seen together and all wearing these bizarre shoes. Oh well not my problem, the crèche was fine so back to my mugging.


The next morning I got a panicked call from Mrs Eccles, her son had just been rushed to hospital and he belonged to Miss Kitson's crèche. She had heard of the other death and thought I should get over there as quickly as possible. Normally I would dismiss this as an overly concerned mother but with the strange coincidences at the Kitson's I decided to pay them a visit.

As I arrived, there were cars parked all over the place and people carrying children out of the crèche.

'What's going on?' I asked one of the dads

'I have no idea. I just got a call saying the crèche was closing and we had to collect our children now.'

The Kitsons were nowhere to be seen.

I managed to calm all the parents down and insisted that they take their children to the local hospital to be checked over.

Mrs Eccles son died of a stroke, two of the children had arthritis and one was suffering from high cholesterol. They all seem to have illnesses of the elderly.


I headed back to the office and decided to see what I could find out about the Miss Kitsons. I searched for hours and there was no record of any Miss Kitson and then finally an old newspaper clipping showed up.

A photograph of Kath Kitson accompanied the article "Katherine Kitson, also known as Kath or Kathy, was today convicted of the murder of her son. She will be hanged by the neck until dead at 6:30am on 23rd January 1912."

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