It was a chilly mid-December night in 1984. The tree had been trimmed, the stockings had been hung, and Robert and Monique Hamilton were on their way home from Robert’s office Christmas party in the city. Little did they know that an unexpected present would be arriving early this year.
Monique was a devastatingly beautiful woman, the kind that was always the object of the lingering and appreciative eyes of every man who encountered her. Her long legs, svelte figure, and flowing blonde hair had helped her achieve a successful modeling career in her late-teens and early-twenties. Modeling, however, was just a hobby for her while she was putting herself through business and later law school. In just a few short years, she had successfully built a career as a defense attorney, representing some high-profile clients in some equally high-profile cases. Her relentless determination and winning record paved the way for her to become the youngest partner in the history of Baynes-Sterling-Feinstein-Hamilton at age 31.
Her husband, Robert, was a few years her senior. He was a high-ranking executive, specializing in mergers and acquisitions for a large corporation, whose name shall not be disclosed. With their combined income of well into six figures, and no children, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton were very well off, to say the least. Robert had finished a very profitable year, and thanks to Monique’s charm and fluency in her native French, had just closed an enormous deal to buy out a French-based industrial firm, earning his own company a significant profit right before the holidays. He was a bit more of an American traditionalist than his international-flavored wife. Whereas she chose to drive a Mercedes 380 SL, he stuck to the principal he had been raised on – Cadillac was the ultimate expression of success.
That night was meant to be a night of celebration and enjoyment. His company had rented out the swanky restaurant located on the top floor of a skyscraper in the city. It would be a night of socializing, dancing, and drinking.
Mr. Hamilton had the tendency to over indulge it in the drink department a little on these occasions, but tonight he had stayed seemingly sober enough to drive. Monique had wanted to stay at a hotel in the city, but Robert couldn’t bear to leave their precious Yorkshire terriers alone over night. They left the party in his 1984 Cadillac Seville at around 12:30 in the morning, to make the 45-minute drive to their large home in the suburbs.
It was just after 1 AM. Robert was driving, and Monique was dozing on his shoulder, as “Betty Davis Eyes” played on the radio. Her peaceful state was abruptly shattered by the sudden screech of brakes, Robert’s shouting, and her body propelled forward into the dashboard. Looking up, the sight of a bloodstained, shattered windshield sent chills of terror down her spine. She wanted to scream, but if her legal career had taught her anything, it was to remain calm and composed in the face of an unexpected situation. Robert was just sitting there eyes wide, faced forward, with his hands clenched on the steering wheel. “I hit him, I hit him”, he kept muttering, as tears began to roll down his cheeks.
Monique got out of the car, and scanned the surrounding area. No one had arrived on the scene; there was no one around at all, only the lifeless body of a man lying in the middle of an otherwise empty street. She momentarily froze, then rushed over to him. Quickly taking his pulse she confirmed what she already knew –that he was dead. In that moment, any lingering effects of alcohol disappeared, as the gravity of their situation sunk in.
By that time Robert had let himself out of the Seville, and was slowly walking toward them. She continued gazing down at the motionless body in front of her. His clothes were filthy and worn, his shoes had holes in them, and his grungy long hair and beard looked as though things were living in them. Searching his pockets revealed no wallet or keys – just some change, a pack of Lucky Strikes, and a fifth of cheap whiskey. The man they had struck was a homeless drifter – what he was doing out in the suburbs was a mystery.
We would all like to think that we’d do the right thing in a situation like this, but when faced with the actual reality, things aren’t so simple. You see, Robert had already had several serious driving violations, including a DUI back when he was in college. Although he wasn’t falling over drunk, Robert was clearly intoxicated. Given his history, and her knowledge of the legal system, Monique knew he’d receive no sympathy in a court of law. Robert wasn’t just some man she married – he was the love of her life, and she had hopes of starting a family with him, if this got out all those hopes would be dashed.
She pondered the situation for a moment. In reality, who would be affected by this homeless man’s death? For all she knew, he had no family, no job, and no obligations. His disappearance and death wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knew him; maybe no one would even notice. By contrast, Robert turning himself in would destroy both of their lives.
Robert was just standing over the body, his hands pressed against his temples. Taking his wrists, Monique looked directly into his eyes. “I’ll make this okay”, she whispered in her smooth, seductive voice.
Tossing her mink coat into the back seat so as to not get blood on it, Monique shivered in the cold December air. She grabbed the victim’s ankles, while Robert lifted him by the shoulders. As together they carried him to the car, Robert glanced up at his beautiful wife, her jewels glistening in the moonlight. He was overcome with love and respect for her. This was the ultimate test of their relationship, and she was willing to risk everything she had for it.
Getting the six-foot corpse into the trunk of the Seville was no easy task. Its bustle-back styling severely limited its trunk capacity. Closing the lid required them to fold the corpse into a contortionist-like position. At last, the trunk lid gave a firm “thud”.
With Monique behind the wheel, they sped off, heading back towards the city. The car had sustained some front-end damage, but mechanically, it was still driveable. Visibility was the hard part, as the windshield had been shattered and only one headlight was still working. Within twenty minutes, they were in a rough part of the city. Recalling a case from the past, Monique knew the spot to ditch the car, where it would likely be stripped for parts. They pulled over, left the keys, and walked off into the night.
Naturally they both feared they would be caught, but days passed and nothing happened, not even a mention in the news. Weeks turned into months, and then years. No one else had witnessed the accident or the subsequent removal of the body. What became of the Seville is unknown, but amazingly Robert and Monique were never caught.
Needless to say, 1984 was not the merriest Christmas for the Robert and Monique Hamilton. Neither that night, nor the Cadillac Seville was ever mentioned again between them. Given their wealth, the appearance of a new car in their elegant driveway shortly after Christmas didn’t seem out of the ordinary to any of their friends or neighbors. Robert couldn’t bring himself to buy another Cadillac, given the inevitable associations with that night forever engraved on his mind. The years went by, and Robert and Monique Hamilton went on with their lives. They continued their successful careers, had a few kids, and kept the secret of that December night in 1984.
It was an unusually warm December day, thirty years later when George and Monique got a call from their now-adult son, Adam. He had made a hobby out of restoring classic cars, and wanted to show them his latest purchase. They hopped in Monique’s Range Rover Autobiography, and headed down to the garage to meet their son. As they pulled up, they saw Adam waving them over, to a 1984 Cadillac Seville, identical in colors to the one George had owned thirty years go. It was then that Monique finally let out a high-pitch scream.