When he was sure they were just barely out of earshot he screamed, “Your friends are dead. You hear me? DEAD!!”
He pulled off into a small clearing in the woods to take a leak.
Two hours later, state trooper Moe Burnside noticed a yellow pickup in a clearing in the woods slightly off the highway. He saw a beat-up yellow pick-up. It looked abandoned. He called in the plates. The reply made him reach for his gun, call for backup, and approach very carefully. He always did when suspects were as dangerous as William Burdett’s rap sheet indicated he was.
No need. What was left of Burdett’s head dangled out the driver’s side window frame. Blood was everywhere. The trooper flashed his light inside the truck and saw a very dead suspect with a gun clutched in his right hand. He sighed. “Suicide.”
Seventy-five miles away, Jayce Kendall’s brain roiled. He’d followed the caravan, kept going when the others turned back, and stopped out of sight when Burdett pulled into the clearing in the woods. Kendall knew Burdett would never leave his friends alone. The psychopath’s fate was sealed when he heard Burdett screaming about killing them. He crept to the open passenger side window of the old yellow truck.
Burdett saw him and growled, “YOU’RE DEAD!” as he reached for his gun under the seat with his right hand.
“Looking for this?”
When Burdett looked up, Jayce leaned in the open passenger side window, pressed the muzzle of Burdett’s gun against the man’s right temple, and fired. It was the only way he could be sure Burdett would never have another “misunderstanding” with Ray and his family, or anyone else, again.
Jayce wiped his prints from the gun and placed it in Burdett’s hand to make sure the psychopath’s prints were where they needed to be. He arranged Burdett’s hand and gun to make it look like he’d shot himself.
Returning to his car, Jayce stripped the surgeon’s gloves from his hands and placed them inside-out in a pocket. About half-way home, he bought a meal from a fast-food joint. He ate it in his car, stuffed the gloves inside the empty bag, wadded it up, and threw it into a garbage can before leaving the parking lot.
Jayce knew no one could ever learn what he’d done. He alone would carry the secret burden for the rest of his days.