I scanned the area. A short, older woman in her seventies, sitting on a bench on her front porch, caught my attention. "Her. Let's start there."
We walked the short sidewalk to her porch. It was lined on both sides with a three-foot-high hedge. Flower baskets hung from the ceiling.
"Hello, I'm Dezeray Jackson." I handed her my card. "And this is Tamara Steele. We're investigating an old murder from 2005 and were wondering if you might have time to chat with us?"
"What's that got to do with this here?" She waved in the direction of the chaos.
"Sylvia was involved in the case," I said. "She was a witness."
"A witness? Uh, huh. Well, now, that wouldn't happen to be about that poor little half-breed, would it? That's the only case 'round here that I know that wetback was part of. It's a damn shame the police wouldn't leave that promising young man alone. To think he'd have anything to do with hurting that girl. Everyone thought it was ridiculous. Of course, we all know who really did it."
The little hairs on the back of my neck stood up, and I fought back my desire to smack the old lady. I reminded myself that she was frail and ignorant.
"About Sylvia. Did you happen to notice anything unusual last night, or maybe hear something?"
"That brother of hers came over 'round seven-thirty. He was probably drunk. They all drink."
"Uh, huh? And did you notice or hear anything else?"
"It's like I told those police officers. They had a fight. I could hear them from my kitchen window. Everyone probably could."
"Must have been pretty loud."
"Interrupted my show. I was watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. Damn, if that ain't a good show. You seen it?"
"Yeah," I said.
"That Jax is one hot little pancake. I'll tell you something!"
"Jasper. Name's Mrs. Jasper."
"Mrs. Jasper, what were they arguing about?"
"I couldn't make that out. They weren't speaking English. I don't speak none of that Spanish or Spanglish, or whatever they want to call it."
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