Tenino, Washington Imagine being a policeman on patrol in a town of less than 1500. Not much goes on. Evenings are probably spent riding around busting people for stopping in the middle of the street to visit, running stop signs, and giving directions out of town for those who’ve stumbled in wishing to get out. Imagine being on patrol and getting flagged down and told something that was so unbelievable, you don’t know whether to laugh at the guy or get him committed into some mental institution. Especially if that guy were telling you something similar to, ‘I was on this trail and some kid stopped me and asked if I’d help him get rid of a dead body that was in his truck…” and as you’re listening, the guy looks up at a passing vehicle and exclaims something like: “THAT’S HIM”!
26-year-old Bernard Howell made no effort to thwart the examination of what was occupying the front seat of his truck. And as they moved the zipper down the side, there she was snug as a dead chick in a sleeping bag….a dead chick in a sleeping bag.
I’m an advocate for clever explanations and I’ve yet to see any that haven’t already been used in some form or another. But my buddy Bernard may hold the lead for coming the closest. You see, 60-year-old Vanda Boone’s body just so happened to be where Bernard just so happened to be looking. And with her throat slashed and some blunt force trauma to the head, well Bernard thought he’d be the good Samaritan and dispose of the body…you know, to save her family the financial burden.
Bernard happened upon this body and decided he better pick up some supplies from home. He packed up some zip ties, the sleeping bag, and a 10-pound weight and thought the proper burial would be at sea. Well, more like “at swamp”. Perhaps he thought her family would approve. After all, burials at sea are kind of a romantic and a sentimental notion and well, it’s the thought that counts, right?
When Bernard Howell met the Washington court system for the first time (I imagine his arraignment), he decided to once again, explain his great intentions.
He did not kill her. He just found her, fucked her, then shoved her in a sleeping bag in preparation for her eternal rest at the bottom of the swamp. Or at least until whatever was tied to that 10-pound weight broke away to allow the rest of her bloated self float to the surface. Wait. Fucked her? Why did he admit to that shit? That’s nastier than slitting her throat, by all means. And I don’t think her family would appreciate that gesture. What was he thinking? (That’s rhetorical. I know damn well what he was thinking. This was the first broad he could screw without any complaints)
Bernard Howell has been charged with 2nd-degree murder and theft, (it’s believed he also stole the victim’s vehicle) and is currently being held on a $750,000 bond.
Bernard’s father, still reeling from the recent news of his son’s arrest and unnatural admission of screwing the dead, explains his son is a “regular American boy who got involved in a circle of drug users and snapped” and has “a screw loose”. Pops, I hate to tell you, regular American boys don’t go around allegedly slitting women’s throats then screwing their lifeless bodies, even while tripping on some good shit. I’m thinking he had some pretty deep and major issues and the drugs helped bring them to the surface. And as far as the loose screw, I believe it done fell out.
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