I was glad to hear from you, it’s been a long time. How are you? I suppose I am as well as could be expected. It’s been an absolute nightmare. I still remember it all as vividly as if was yesterday. Poor Mrs Parker, such a lovely woman.
I had got up because I thought I had heard the gate, you know me, the slightest noise I’m awake, so I went to the window to check. I don’t know what made me look over to Mrs Parker’s front door, but when I did, I saw him! He was just standing there, as if he had been visiting her. I noticed he was wearing gloves and that he was holding something that looked like a hammer, which he threw into the bushes of Mrs Parker’s garden. He had started down the path towards the street when he just suddenly stopped, he must have sensed me watching him and ours eyes met. I could see he became nervous and the fear creep into those eerie bulging eyes and then he was gone. I was petrified, worried sick about poor old Mrs Parker so I called the police.
The police arrived in minutes, followed shortly by an ambulance. I watched them go into the house across the street and two police officers exit a few minutes later. They were making their way over to my house. They asked me to make a statement about what I had seen, as it was a murder inquiry: Mrs Parkers head had been smashed with a hammer. There were reporters all over the street. They knocked, asked for my statement, how could they be so cruel? Poor Mrs Parkers body was not even cold. I still cannot believe it. How could anyone do that to a defenceless old woman that would not harm a fly?
Of course, you know they caught him. I had to go and identify him in a police parade and as I watched through the mirrored glass, there was no mistaking the killer. It was as if time had rewound and I was watching him through the window again. His face was one I would never forget, his eyes were like pools of evil and he actually stood there smiling. I could not believe it. I felt sick to my stomach! They told me his name was Adams and that I was not the only witness, there were others that had identified him and I suppose that made me feel a little better.
Then of course there was the court case where I had to give evidence, I am sure you read about it. I was so nervous walking into the courtroom, but as soon as I saw Adams, I knew that it had to be done. He could not be allowed to get away with it and he deserved to be punished for his actions. I was prepared for a cross examination, the police officer had warned me that this was the practice in cases like these, but he assured me that the witness statements were proof enough. I answered the defence’s questions as honestly, and as well as I possibly could, and then he asked me if the man I saw was the defendant.
What did he want me to say? Of course I said yes. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next! He asked Mr Adams to stand, slowly the realisation hit me, the defendants exact double was standing at the back of the courtroom. I was flabbergasted! He was even wearing the same clothes! The counsel started asking me questions, but I was numb with shock, he had to repeat himself loudly until I finally acknowledged what he had said, could I still swear that the man I had seen was the prisoner. How could I! They were identical, right down to those evil bulging eyes, I could not differentiate between them whilst they were in the same room, never mind that night. All I could do was shake my head and wonder about Mrs Parker. Why had he killed her? Was he going to get away with it? Had she died for nothing? Then I noticed that they were both staring at me, those eyes chilled me to the bone.
How could anybody be punished now, the other witnesses could not tell the difference either. How could they convict someone with no evidence? Both men had alibis, they were at home with their wives, so of course, the case was thrown out of court.
Outside the press were like vultures, pushing and shoving, all trying to be the first to get the big story. They had been following the story for weeks and now wanted to know every gory detail. For some reason the Adams brothers decided to walk out of the front doors straight into the press. You could see the self-satisfied grins on their faces, they wanted the whole world to know that the case had been acquitted. The press were having a field day, you could not escape the reporters, the road was awash with them. The police had tried to move them along, but I discovered later, that they had only managed to clear the road. Everybody was pushing and forcing their way closer to the two men, and then it happened, the brothers were pushed into the road and from out of nowhere came a bus.
I remember the noise he made, it was more of a squeal than a scream, but it seemed to make time stand still. It was an awful picture, lying in the road was a man that could have been responsible for murder, sporting the same injuries as poor Mrs Parker. As I lifted my gaze away from the body, I noticed his distraught brother looking straight at me, as if it was my fault and I felt so terrified.
Was it an innocent man that had died under that bus? Was it Mrs Parkers murderer? He knew who I was and he knew where I lived. Would he want revenge for the death of his brother? I knew that I wasn’t the only eyewitness in the case, but only my evidence had been heard and I was petrified.
Which is why I just had to move. I couldn’t sleep or eat and no matter how many security locks were fitted I wandered around nervously, even scared of the shadows outside. I just couldn’t live like that anymore. I still have so many questions about Mrs Parkers death, but for the time being I want to stay away from Peckham. I just don’t feel safe there.