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My Mom Becomes A Murder Suspect

I recently read a reference to dropping a found drivers license in the mail to reunite it with its owner. If you wonder if this works, I can confirm that it does by recounting my mother’s brief stint as a murder suspect.

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the U...

Nixon, who makes a cameo appearance in this story as a time reference. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You might remember that I am not convinced my mom didn’t kill Reverend Sun Myung Moon. She had the motive, though perhaps not the opportunity. This is a different event. I am certain that she did not kill this guy.

Pretty certain. Yup.

Mostly.

Wayback Machine

Let’s go back in time. Way back. I was in second grade. My brother was in kindergarten. Depending on your age you might call that time period the Pleistocene Era or the early years of the Nixon administration. Our family had just moved from Hoboken, New Jersey to Charleston, West Virginia for my father’s first assignment in his new job.

One day, Mom decided to walk downtown and meet Dad for lunch. She walked down the hill, then crossed a bridge over the Kanawha River. During that crossing, Mom became a “person of interest”.

English: Kanawha River; downtown Charleston, W...

The bridge to jail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Traffic breezed by to her right. To her left, the safety rail and a drop to swift water. Ahead of her, a wallet was on the sidewalk. She picked it up and found a driver’s license in one of the wallet’s slots. Mom knew just what to do, and she was on the way to the perfect place to do it – the post office where my father worked. She dropped the billfold in the mail before meeting Dad for lunch.

They spoke briefly of the wallet. Neither thought much about it. My parents finished lunch. Dad returned to his office; Mom crossed the bridge and was home when I got back from school. Things were pretty normal in our family.

Another local family wasn’t having a normal time. One of their clan was missing. A few days later, they got the news that his body had washed up on the river bank, downstream from Charleston. Soon after that, there was a brief period of abnormal at my house.

Because She Crossed The River, She Almost Went Up The River

Mom called Dad’s office a couple of days after their lunch. “The police are looking for me. They want to talk to me” she said.

The morning news reported the name of the man found on the riverbank. It was the name in the wallet my mother found. The reporter went on to say that two days after they found that poor soul there along the river, his wallet inexplicably turned up in his mailbox. The police were looking for the person responsible for it being there.

Photo of Jack Webb and Harry Morgan from the t...

There may or may not have been finger pointing. Col. Sherman Potter may or may not have been there. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mom felt that it appeared that she had something to do with doing that gentleman in. She’d done the right thing, but this looked like one of those “no good deed goes unpunished” situations.

Dad drove back across the bridge. Mom was waiting in the front yard. He gave her a ride downtown and turned her over to “the man”.

Well, not exactly turned her over. They rode together to the police department. Mom told the police her story several times with Dad by her side. No bare light bulb in an interrogation room. No hand cuffs. No tense conversation with a confrontational detective. They were out of the police station in short order. Speaking of short orders, they had time to hit a diner for lunch before I got home from school.

Dad went back to work. The motherly desperado and I picked my brother up from kindergarten. My brother and I never knew about the day she had until years later, when the tale went from “this will be funny some day” to “funny today”.

Happy Birthday, tomorrow, to my favorite suspect!

I still think you may have killed Reverend Moon.

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25 Comments on “My Mom Becomes A Murder Suspect”

  1. Laura says:

    I believe that your mom didn’t kill that guy, but what about your dad? Have you ever considered the possibility that your dad ran into the guy on his way to work that morning and, on a whim, decided to steal the guy’s wallet, throw him off the bridge, and then discard the wallet in one of the mailboxes conveniently located at his office? And then later, when he realized that the police would eventually trace the wallet back to the post office, he could have told your mom about it, and they could have cooked up this cover story about her finding the wallet.

    Happy birthday, Omawarimom.

  2. With a rough and tumble childhood like that, no wonder you have a potty mouth.

    Happy birthday to Mom-awarisan!

  3. Blogdramedy says:

    The day before her birthday and people are gifting her options on new names for the Witness Protection Program.

    Happy birthday, Omama.

  4. We Found Him Captain! says:

    Maybe the guy fell off the bridge while trying to get the wallet out of his pocket. HBH to the MOMMAWAN!

  5. Katie says:

    Well I’m glad I got here after everyone added “mom” to your name in a special way.

    This is exactly why I never help anyone.

    • omawarisan says:

      Damn, because I have a body I need to hide and I was thinking one more wouldn’t be noticed in Chicago. Make an exception and help out once more because I do the best impersonation of the Boyz II Men cane guy in the blogosphere?

  6. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    The secret lives of moms – that’s a topic with incredible depth. Knowing my mom better than I ever have in childhood, I wouldn’t put it past her to become embroiled in some nefarious undertaking. Remember that movie with Arnold S and Jamie Lee Curtis? Though this isn’t exactly like that, some elements fit -such as, there’s a husband and a crime.

    • omawarisan says:

      They do have a lot going on behind the scenes, don’t they?

      I’d pin this on her, but I can’t find a motive or any connection with this victim. Reverend Moon, she’s got motive, but I can’t find where she flew to where he was to do the job.

  7. I found a dollar on the ground last week, and I kept it. I bet the police are looking for me right now.

    Happy Birthday, Grammy! (Oma, please explain to your mom that I’m your daughter. I haven’t gotten any cards from her.)

  8. Debbie says:

    I’m glad everything turned out okay for your mom, Oma. That must have been pretty frightening for her, even though she knew she was innocent. Back in the day, police officers tended to believe sweet young moms, though, didn’t they?? Happy Birthday to her, too!

  9. Maybe that was where she learned the “f” word?

  10. You have the makings for an exciting thriller, except maybe there needs to be some finger pointing or some swearing. That is a lovely bridge, that will work well for the movie too. She was just trying to do a good deed. She deserves an extra big cake. Happy Birthday to her!

  11. Daile says:

    She sounds mighty suspicious to me. Are you sure she’s really your Mom? Maybe she switched identities with this guy?

  12. I’m so glad they didn’t send your Mom up the river. Great story and probably one your dad throughly enjoyed telling for years, and now you can blog it! Happy Birthday to your Mother!

  13. That is so great! (Except for the part about the dead guy.) But I don’t think I would trust the postal workers not to steal the wallet.

  14. This was the accepted practice when I was a kid. Find a wallet throw it in the nearest mailbox and it will find its way home. Of course as a kid I that meant pretty much anything you found could be put in the mailbox and the magical post office would get it back to its owner.
    Later in life I found a wallet. I turned it in. It had a lot of cash and lottery tickets in it. My boss thought I was an idiot. He told me to take the money and tickets and through the wallet in the mail box. I insisted he call the owner of the wallet. The owner came in, my boss pointed me out to him as the person who had turned in the wallet. The guy didn’t even acknowledge me, much less thank me, just took his wallet, counted his cash and turned around and left. My boss called me an idiot one more time and shook his head at me the rest of the shift.

  15. […] Now, I’m nearly one hundred percent certain that my mother isn’t likely to have been involved in the death of Sun Myung Moon. She’s been on her best behavior ever since the time when I was in second grade and the police questioned her about the untimely death of a another gentleman. […]


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