A Will to Kill: Chapter Fourteen
Glen’s head was still reeling when he sat down on the top row of the bleachers occupying the west side of Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute football field. Even though it was just 12 Celsius, the late afternoon sun felt good.
Eric had needed to unburden himself and told Glen everything. Like the vast majority of crimes greed was the motivating factor for Ann and Gary trying to murder Wanda and Steve; greed and to give some credence to Eric’s explanation, desperation. Bottom-line greed is what had kept driving the Cruso’s into the dire financial situations they consistently found themselves in.
According to Eric, it all was his father who masterminded how to poison the Grymski’s which, even by Glen’s standard, impressive. It was the execution that was sloppy… very sloppy. Eric explained his father, upon learning the Grymski’s had bequeathed their house to Tyler, wanted his son to inherit Wanda and Steve’s house as soon as possible. Murdering them seemed to be the only way Tyler would get their home in the near future. Having witnessed the argument between Teresa and Wanda during the Grymski’s Victoria Day barbeque, Gary saw this as an opportunity to make the murder appear as if Teresa and Josh did it. Gary came up with the idea of making it look like Teresa was extending a peace offering to Wanda by sending a basket of fruits. Knowing Teresa’s son Adrian had epilepsy and used phenobarbital to treat his epilepsy seizures, and coincidentally his father Josh, as well as Steve worked for Praxis Pharma, which manufactured phenobarbital, Gary decided to use phenobarbital as the poison. To obtain phenobarbital Ann and Gary stopped by Teresa and Josh under the pretense they were on their way to check out a washer and dryer they saw for sale on Kijiji. Once inside the Nazarian’s home Ann stole Adrian’s phenobarbital from his jacket, which was hanging on a hook in the front entrance. Besides stealing the phenobarbital, the Cruso’s also stole Teresa’s cell phone, which was on a hallway stand, since they knew Wanda would call Teresa to thank them for the basket of fruits.
Gary has the foresight not to have the basket of fruits delivered to his home. Eric explained it was his father who came up with the plan to have the gift basket delivered to the construction site under a false name. However, neither Gary nor Eric had the foresight to think there would be security cameras throughout a construction site. Once Eric received the gift basket his father carefully unwrapped it and his mother injected the fruits with phenobarbital and rewrapped the gift basket and then added a card signed from Teresa and Josh. Then Gary instructed his son to deliver the gift basket early the next morning, hopefully before Wanda and Steve had breakfast and therefore would be hungry and eat the fruits right away, which Steve did.
While the gift basket card being signed by Teresa and Josh made Glen think they were being set up, what really convinced Glen of their innocence was Steve’s promotion, back in August, to Praxis Pharma’s Regional Sales Manager. Josh would have to green light Steve’s promotion, thus why would he then try to kill him; he had nothing to gain from Steve being out to the picture at Praxis Pharma. Steve was a good soldier, and Josh had him exactly where he needed him. Another oversight by Gary.
Then, of course, there was Josh being employed with Praxis Pharma for many years. As Steve pointed out Josh has extensive knowledge regarding prescription drugs and would know the consequences of administering a particular medication to someone who hadn’t been prescribed that drug. Someone with Josh’s knowledge would not have chosen phenobarbital, knowing the large amount a person would need to ingest for it to even cause any serious harm. In his haste for Tyler to inherit Wanda and Steve’s house, Gary did not do any research on the toxicity of prescription drugs and the harmful effects of being administered large doses. Given how common it is for celebrities to overdose on prescription drugs you would think Ann and Gary… thankfully they didn’t.
“They’re my parents,” said Eric as Glen got up from the picnic table. “What can I say other than as their son I felt obligated and to be honest I knew my father’s plan was the only way I would ever have a chance to see my money.”
Actually, thought Glen as he looked out onto the football field noting the football team was assembling for what probably was practice, Gary’s plan was not that bad. Thankfully the Cruso’s weren’t professional criminals in any sense. A professional would have significantly increased their odds of being successful by not have signed Teresa and Josh’s name to the gift basket card, using a much more effective drug to murder them and would have picked a much better location to have the gift basket delivered to than a construction site with security cameras.
The only reason Grymski’s are alive today was because Ann and Gary didn’t know what they were doing.
Glen’s train of thought was broken when he heard footsteps walking up the metal steps of the bleacher. It was Athena and Tyler.
“Hi dad,” said Athena as she began walking along the row of benches towards Glen. “This is Tyler.”
“Nice, to meet you s…sir. A…Athena said you wanted to speak with me?”
“Glen, please call me Glen. I have a few questions to ask you if you don’t mind. Have a seat. This won’t take long.”
Tyler took a seat next to Glen and looked out onto the football field and seem to follow the footballs now being tossed around as the players warmed up.
“Tyler wanted to be part of the football team,” said Athena as she took a seat next to Tyler. “But the coach kept saying there wasn’t a position for someone like him.”
“Chicken,” said Glen as he reached for his wallet. “I could go for a nice roasted chicken tonight. How about you pick up one at Loblaws and make dinner for your mother and me tonight.”
Glen offered Athena a twenty-dollar bill and a smile.
“If you want me to leave just say so,” said Athena as she took the money. “Baked potato or roasted garlic mashed?”
“Surprise me… and you can keep the change.”
“Well Tyler as you can see I’ve got my instructions; I’ll see you around.”
“Bye A…Athena. T…Take care.”
Glen watched his daughter give a wave as she walked down the bleachers. A few of the players called out to her, and she also gave them a wave. Number 43 yelled out he would call her later. Athena shouted back to text her. Tyler returned to watching the footballs being tossed around. A few minutes passed before Glen asked, “What Athena just said, does that happened often?”
“Not being accepted.”
“Yeah, I’m not very popular… not like A…Athena is. It doesn’t help that I have been held back two times. I want to do well in school, b…but I don’t have the head for it. T…that’s what my father tells me.”
“School wasn’t my thing either Tyler, and neither was being popular. I was, and still am, very much a loner. The other day someone told me, what many consider friendship is really just a constant attempt to impress people.”
“W…who said that?”
“Adrian N… Nazarian mother?”
“You know Adrian?”
“Everyone does. E…everyone is talking how he’s sick and with the game coming up this F…Friday against Birchmount Park… A…Adrian is our quarterback, and we need him to win.”
“You seem to follow your school’s team, you obviously like football.”
“I really, really do!”
For the first time, Glen took a good look at Tyler, who had yet to make any real eye contact with him. Tyler had a bad case of acne, and his hair was greasy, with flakes of dandruff. Probably showers only once or twice a week, Glen surmised. His clothes, navy blue corduroy pants, a black hoodie with a faded Adidas logo on the back did not fit Tyler. His pants were too short, and his hoodie was much too big. He’s wearing Eric’s old clothes, thought Glen.
“Did Athena tell you what I do?”
“She said you are a p…private eye… that’s really cool!”
“That’s right. Actually what I want to speak you about has something to do with Adrian being sick.”
“Yes, I need some answers which I think only you will give me… I need honest answers.”
For the first time, Tyler turned to Glen and looked directly at him. Glen could sense he was holding back something.
“What is it Tyler? It’s just you and me here. Hopefully, Athena said you can trust me.”
“S…she did,” said Tyler slowly. “My brother Eric called me. S…said you talked to him and for me not to talk to you because…”
“Because why Tyler?”
Tyler turned back to looking out at the football field and following the footballs being tossed around. To give Tyler some time to think Glen took out his iPhone and pretended to check his emails.
“You can trust me Tyler,” said Glen as he put back his iPhone. “What did Eric say to you.”
“H…he said if I spoke to you, it would not go well for me at home.To be continued.