The Giant of Hampton Bays

The officer explained everything as he drove e to the police impound to retrieve my car – which they had searched thoroughly. While I was in the holding cell overnight, two more people were killed. Since one of the two slayings was identical to Dr. Marcus’s, this was enough to exonerate me. The first murder took place in the parking lot of a restaurant called the Villa Pietro. After drinking at the restaurant’s bar, retired police officer Jackson Hardedge and his brother-in-law James Ruckman walked outside and headed for Ruckman’s car. Apparently, when they reached the vehicle, both men were attacked. Ruckman’s body was discovered soon afterward in the parking lot. His sternum was cracked and his heart appeared to have exploded. medical experts determined this damage was caused by an enormous strike with an object resembling a fist.

Both Ruckman’s car and his brother-in-law, however, were missing. At first it was assumed by police that Hardedge had murdered both Ruckman and Dr. Marcus, since he was a powerful man standing six foot six. However, this theory was quickly proven wrong.  After investigators found Ruckman’s car at the corner of West Landing Road and Petrel Lane directly in front of the gate opening for Shinnecock Bay, they discovered Hardedge’s body crushed on the beach. A thousand pound log was placed on top of him. Since Hardedge also had a broken cheekbone, it was determined that his attacker first rendered him unconscious in the restaurant parking lot before dragging him into Ruckman’s car and driving to the bay. Investigators were not ruling out the possibility that several men were involved in the crime. It seemed outrageous that any one man alone could have raised the log that was dropped down onto Hardedge.

Remembering that Hardedge was the remaining cop that Simeon wanted to kill, I asked the officer if any detectives had gone to the Vincent-Marcus Center to question him. The officer responded, “So, you know about our little town drama? Well, we went down to the center early this morning to talk to him, but he died two days ago.  It sure looks like the bum arranged it though.”

After recovering my car, the officer said I could return to the inn where I had been staying. He informed me, “Detective Trulick took the time to call the innkeeper and tell him you were not the killer and so he should still give you a room. I tell you, that Trulick is a hell of a guy -- ain’t he?”

“The best of the best,” I responded.

The officer warned me, “Look, not for nothing, but if you’re staying in town, be careful going out after dark. The Giant is still out there.”





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