The search of Ms. Maddie’s studio gave the investigative team little to go on, other than the identity of her jealous ex-boyfriend; Mr. Vito Cappelletti. Photographs of the couple were found on the credenza, and a small box of unopened letters from Mr. Cappelletti sat in the entryway.
The letters that he had written to Ms. Maddie displayed emotional inconsistencies – from “You’re the only one I’ll ever love my darling,” with pleas for their reconciliation, to anger and threats, such as “You’ll be sorry you witch.” There were certainly signs of narcissism – and motive.
Vito owned Mamma Mia’s, a newer restaurant on the east side, and that’s where we met for my investigative interview. The large dining area had a romantic atmosphere – the only lighting in the room appeared to be the candles on each table, and soft Italian music played from small speakers that were hung high on the walls.
It was early in the day, long before opening time, and Vito sat alone at one of the tables near the bar. My body grew tense as I approached him. The Cappelletti name was well known in Jersey – for their involvement in ‘wise guy’ activity – and I’d never had dealings with these types in my small coastal town.
Vito smiled warmly and waved me over in a welcoming fashion, making me feel much more at ease. As soon as I sat down, a large older woman appeared from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. Vito introduced her as “Mrs. Cappelletti,” – Vito’s mother.
“You want to eat?” She asked.
I told her no thank you, and turned to talk to Vito.
“You look hungry,” Mrs. Cappelletti interrupted. “Let me get you some macaroni and gravy.”
“No thank you. I just ate this morning.” I said reassuringly.
She vanished into the kitchen, and Vito and I talked for several minutes. He seemed shocked to hear of Ms. Maddie’s disappearance, and he had been out of the country on the day she’d gone missing. He showed me his stamped passport, and travel itinerary that was on his phone.
I was about to bring up the letters when Mrs. Cappelletti came rushing back from the kitchen – a bowl of hot food in her hands.
“Here! Eat!” she smiled. “I made you macaroni and gravy.”
“No, no, I already ate.” I insisted.
Vito smiled and gave me a gentle nod. “Eat your macaroni.”
So… I ate my macaroni.
Suspect number two had an alibi, and by the time I arrived back at the station – I was ready for a nap.
TO BE CONTINUED
This was fun because I used to be married to an Italian, and was surprised when my ex-mother-in-law called her spaghetti “macaroni and gravy.” It sounded so southern to me.
The illustration was fun too. I wanted to try lighting, making parts of the man hidden by shadows – but I haven’t been able to figure that out in Illustrator yet.
Anyway, that’s all for now. We still don’t have any good leads, but who knows what tomorrow might bring!?
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed!