Blood on the Potomac
office and moved out of headquarters quickly. The drive to the condo residence of Laura Smith-Hughes
The Smith-Hughes condo was located in the Watergate Complex along the river. The condo itself was
worthy of the status of its occupant. It overlooked the marina basin and received gentle breezes from the
water side of the complex. When Ciminelli and Hannigan arrived, the area had already been roped off by
police tape. As our dynamic duo entered the Smith-Hughes apartment, the appreciation for elegance was
immediately observable. The furnishings were elegant and suited the status of the Smith-Hughes name.
As Steve walked through the apartment, the I.D. and forensic boys were busy trying to retrieve
evidence from the furniture and items situated in the living areas of the condo. As Steve approached the
master bedroom, the intensity of the investigation increased. This was the actual murder scene, for Laura
Smith-Hughes lay on the bed in a bright red pool of blood. The victim was clothed in an elegant, expensive
teddy, and she was sprawled on a king-size bed covered with silk and satin sheets. Ms. Smith-Hughes was
a very attractive woman for her age, but today her body had been punctured over a dozen times by a
sharp object—probably a knife.
“A shame that someone so attractive could end up like this—a shame to waste such a body,”replied
the coroner as he worked on it. “This wonderful lady had sex before she became a pincushion, Steve,”he
“Give me an analysis of the pubic hair you retrieved and any info on the sperm you sucked out of her.
Maybe our records will show a match,”replied Linda as she examined the body of Laura Smith-Hughes
“Already accomplished, detective,”the coroner proudly proclaimed. Linda gave him a smile of thanks
for that remark.
culprit in through the front door. Having a roll in the hay shows that she knew him and trusted him, too,”
Steve mentioned to his partner.
“Nothing in the room looks disturbed, and our boys believe only her prints are on most items. This
looks like a love murder to me,”proclaimed Linda as she turned the sheet covering the body to one side.
“No great bruise marks on the body. I think our lady was surprised by her lover when he hacked her to
death.” She then flipped the bloody sheet back over the body. “Iwantthecarpetcleanedforeverythingwecan
find, fellahs,”Steve ordered the guys on the forensic team. “Especially at the door entrance.”
“The lady was the only one who had a drink, for only her prints are on this glass. The cleaning lady
whodiscoveredthebodydidn’ttouchormoveanything”declared one of the I.D. team. “It seems her boy-
friend came to pump her, not enjoy a cocktail, Steve,”commented one of the investigating officers. Steve
walked out of the bedroom, entered the great room in this unit, and glanced out of the patio doors. He
noticed that it faced the opposite side of the Watergate Complex. He slid the patio doors open and walked
onto the balcony patio outside. Because the apartment was on the third floor, the view to it was enjoyed
by several dozen other tenants in the complex.
“Linda, do you think someone across the marina is a peeping Tom? Maybe someone witnessed
something about Ms. Smith-Hughes and her lifestyle that would help us. Send some of these blues over
there to check it out,”observed Steve as he leaned on the rail of the balcony.
out.”As she stated this, she opened a fancy-looking phone directory. “This book contains several hundred
names. Some of these people are of high status, including the First Lady herself,”Linda revealed with
“What did you expect from such a lady, my dear?”remarked Steve. “High society reaches out to high
“Can we remove the body, detective?”thecoroner’sassistantasked