Someone’s been charged with murder in two cold cases here. In the first case, they just assumed the murder took place, in the absence of a body. I don’t know: it’s hard enough to keep track of all the people we have and if someone lies low for for a while it seems rude to just conclude, ipso fucto, he’s been murdered. I suppose there are clues. I, for instance, can hole up inside the house for a long time–I’ve got toys–but if a few weeks go by and nobody sees any beer bottles in my recycling there might be cause to worry.

Anyway, the cases appear to have been broken due to forensic genealogy. That’s the relatively new practice of sleuthery using data that were volunteered to an outfit like Ancestry or 23andMe. Our murderer might have had cause to wonder just how much Neanderthal he had in him and didn’t stop to think that dribbling drool into a tube might have consequences for him down the line. (I’m guessing there was a lot of Neanderthal.) Or maybe he just wanted to reassure himself he was super white.
He was connected to the first murder due to the discovery of Probable Murderer DNA in the victim’s house. He was connected to the second murder due to the discovery of the victim’s dismembered remains in his shed. In criminal investigation circles, that’s considered a red flag. I’m guessing he lives in the boonies, and didn’t need his mower for a while.
He’s also being investigated for a number of other unsolved murders. They’d have him in the slammer already, if any of the detectives searching his house had gotten a craving for fish sticks.
It makes me think of when the Bob Crane murder case was reopened after the discovery of “previously overlooked” brain tissue in the suspect’s car. It wasn’t enough to convict, but again, highly suspicious, there being vanishingly few innocent ways to get brain tissue in your car, even with the worsening pothole situation.
The other thing it makes me think of is I don’t really know what-all is in our shed, and maybe I should find out.

Dave built the shed a long time ago and it has two doors that swing open wide. One of them opens easily by turning a bent nail and the other one is latched shut by two eye-bolts that slot into a cavity, and you have to pull them out from the inside. For thirty years now I’ve bothered to open that door only a couple times. If I want anything on the right side, I hold onto the middle post and swing my body around like a pole dancer. There’s too much stuff on the floor to actually step all the way inside. I am not tidy.

I do have four big containers of water in there somewhere for The Earthquake, and I should replenish them one of these days, but it’s a bother, and I figure even real old water would be fine in an emergency. Anyway I can’t rule out a body part or two. It’s not a big shed, but not everybody is all that big, and things happen. I know we have a saw.
We did find a whole cat tail in there once. Just the tail. Seemed like there had to be a story connected, and I was content to just wonder about it, because I don’t reserve my sentiment for outdoor kitties. Cats are wonderful creatures but once they step outside they’re coyote chow as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, months later, we did see a tailless cat skulking around the yard. I’d like to say we had ways of making him talk, but we didn’t.