Dead Wrong by Shirley McCann

“I know this comes as quite a shock, Andrew, but it’s really the most sane decision I’ve made in a long time. Jill spends most of her time here now. What could be more natural than me marrying my live-in nurse?”


Andrew Wallace remained seated across from his ninety-seven-year-old uncle, too stunned to utter a word. Jill’s services were recommended when Harry had slipped on his front porch and suffered a broken hip. While Andrew had no doubt that Jill was a caring, compassionate nurse, marriage was the last thing he expected to hear.


Andrew tried to keep his feelings in check, even though he was dying to ask his uncle about plans for distribution of his substantial wealth upon his death.


Harry spared him the trouble. “Naturally, I’ll want to change my will.” He pulled his new young wife closer in a disgusting embrace. “I want to make sure Jill is comfortable and wanting for nothing when I’m no longer around.” He shot Andrew a pointed look. “I can count on you to take care of the legalities, can’t I?”


As Harry’s sole heir, Andrew had anticipated collecting huge rewards when the old man died.   Now he would either be left with nothing or have to share it with a bimbo.



“Of course I’ll take care of it, Uncle Harry.” Andrew spoke the words freely, hoping his uncle couldn’t see the rage that was burning a hole in his chest. If Uncle Harry thought he would stand by and watch his whole future crumble, he had another thing coming.


The next day at his meager law office, Andrew played the part of dutiful nephew and made the requested changes to his uncle’s will. He was now left with a mere pittance compared to what Jill stood to inherit upon the old man’s demise. That’s when Andrew decided to take matters into his own hands.


As an attorney, Andrew knew that if Jill were convicted of murdering her new husband, she would be unable to inherit anything. And Andrew would be rich.


After spending the next few days researching which poison to use to quickly dispose of his uncle, Andrew received a distressing phone call from Jill.   “Harry’s taken a turn for the worse.”   Jill’s tear-filled voice cracked with emotion. “You’d better come right away.”


Fear escalated Andrew’s pulse. If Uncle Harry died of natural causes before Andrew had a chance to administer the poison and frame Jill, his plan would be foiled. He’d have to act fast and make do with whatever was at his disposal.


At the house, Jill met Andrew at the door, dabbing a dainty handkerchief over heavily decorated eyes. “He’s napping comfortably now,” she said in a shaky voice. “But the doctor says it’s just a matter of time. I’ll give you two a few minutes alone.”


Upstairs, Andrew noticed the ashen face of his uncle and realized he didn’t have much time. Spying Jill’s nursing bag beside the bed, he donned a pair of thin white gloves and rummaged through the bag. A vial of insulin caught his attention. During his research, he’d learned that injecting insulin to a non-diabetic could cause a fatal reaction. He smiled, realizing he’d found the perfect poison. Since Jill was a diabetic and carried the insulin in her bag, she would be the logical suspect.



Carefully, he injected the insulin into his uncle’s arm. He stashed the glove and the empty container into his jacket pocket just seconds before Jill entered the room with Harry’s family doctor.


“I can’t believe we didn’t have more time together,” Jill cried. “I don’t know what I’ll do without him.”


Andrew decided to set the stage for Jill’s impending arrest. “This is all your fault,” he shouted at Jill. “Other than a broken hip, Uncle Harry was in perfect health until you came along.”


Jill’s mouth dropped. Tears flooded her eyes, causing streaks of mascara to drip down her heavily made-up face.   “I can’t believe you could say those things to me. I love your uncle.”


Andrew felt bad. He didn’t really believe Jill would do anything to harm Harry, but he needed to warrant an autopsy after Harry’s demise. Besides, he had no intention of feeling badly once Jill was behind bars and he was spending all that money by himself.


Finally, Harry gasped his final breath. The doctor turned to Jill, his face solemn. “I’m sorry, dear,” he said. “Harry’s gone.”


While Jill sobbed, Andrew made his move. “Murderer!” he screamed at Jill. “I demand an autopsy,” he said to the doctor. “Just days after my uncle marries this bimbo and changes his will, he dies in his sleep? How convenient for his new rich bride!”


“No!” Jill objected, surprising Andrew. “I won’t have him mutilated like that.”


For a moment Andrew thought Jill might truly have loved the old coot.


Two days later, Andrew was summoned to police headquarters. Jill occupied a seat at a scarred wooden desk, her face pale.   Andrew accepted the seat beside her.

“You were right, Andrew,” a burly officer, whose name badge identified him as Lieutenant Rollins, said. “According to the autopsy report, your uncle was poisoned. Jill has already confessed.”



Andrew’s mouth dropped at the startling announcement. So Uncle Harry’s new, young wife was trying to kill him, after all.   Andrew couldn’t believe his luck.


Bolting from his seat, he slammed his hand on the desk in a mock rage. “I knew it!” he shouted. “Who else but a diabetic would have access to insulin?”


Officer Rollins folded his arms across the desk and smiled. “There is one problem, Mr. Wallace. Jill didn’t kill Harry.”


Andrew’s pulse quickened. “But you said¼”


“I said she confessed to poisoning your uncle. Jill has admitted to administering small doses of arsenic to help speed the process along.”


Andrew furrowed his brows. “So?”


“But it wasn’t the arsenic that killed him. It was a lethal dose of insulin that finally did him in.”


Lieutenant Rollins grinned. “The only way you could have known that Harry died of insulin poisoning was if you had administered it yourself.”

The End