Based on what we know now, the murderer was watching, and listening, as Elsa and I talked on the deck. The following morning, footprints revealed that she stood for some time on the muddy path that led from the deck to the parking area in front of the house.
Then, after we’d moved into Elsa’s bedroom, the murderer heard the sounds of prolonged and enthusiastic lovemaking, and then (maybe) the quiet, happy, and affectionate conversation that followed, until I dressed, moved into the kitchen, took a beer from the refrigerator, and went out the front door of the house to smoke a cigarette in the parking area.
The murderer then moved silently across the deck and through the kitchen to Elsa’s small bedroom, where she put a knife to her throat.
“What did you see last night? What lies did you tell Marshall? Did you lie to him to get him to fuck you?”
The bed springs creaked as Elsa sat up.
“Do you think I’m going to be as easy to kill as Mary was? I could break you in half.”
“Not before I cut your throat. Mary had legs, and I killed her.”
“How many people are you going to kill because of that creep Manfred?”
“He was not a creep — he was going to be rich, and… that fucking bitch Mary killed him.”
I thought that Elsa could probably have overpowered Kim without my assistance, but I’m cautious by nature, so I stepped out of Elsa’s tiny bathroom and took Kim’s knife away from her.