Sleeping Beauty Noir

She lay there naked in the supine position.  Her long naturally blond hair was still wet and curled down at her shoulders due to a recent shower, a bath, a quick dip into a pool? Maybe?

She emitted a light pleasant floral scent that lingered in the air from a bath soap or from a rich shampoo perhaps; roses blooming? Definitely not the sharp chlorine odor that assaulted the senses.  Rule out the swim.

Her well sculptured thirty-some-year body displayed a disciplined daily workout regimen at the gym or perhaps an early morning daily jog.   She definitely followed up with a healthy diet with no excess fat. Possibly flavored Greek yogurt and fruit and lots of greens. Vegans were just coming into their own and being in vogue in the early 70s.

She decorated her right toe with a gold-colored metal ring.  She did have pierced ears without the customary adorning accruements.  No vanity in death.

Her graceful arms were along her sides.  Her palms were slightly open that revealed fingernails that were carefully manicured but not polished.  Natural beauty needs no camouflage. She displayed no ugly visible marks, surgical scars, unsightly blemishes, youthful tattoos, or any indications of any recent or past trauma. Venus in repose, in situ?

Her gentle facial expression seemed peaceful and at rest—she was dead.

Cold to the touch.  Her alabaster skin appeared to be draining to a pale grey beneath the stark and harsh examination room’s operating light that reflected up from the silver metal table in which she occupied. Rigor mortise had not set in.  A statue in the making.

Death was present in that room along with Gumshoe. Sleeping beauty laid silent, somber, and serene.  No awakening kiss from a wandering Prince Charming.  No Disney-designed happy ending.

Rookie Officer (still on probation) Gumshoe’s first encounter with a dead body. Gumshoe was actually shocked. It seemed surreal since this did not what Gumshoe had expected to find in this sterile scene as he gazed at the lifeless body before him.

There was no blood, no gore, no sucking chest wound, no gunpowder residue tattooing, no petechiae swelling of the eyes, no ripped fingernails, no missing teeth, no protruding knife,  just a woman who appeared to be sleeping without breathing.

Just dead.  No wake-up for good forever expired from this life.

The local hospital called the police after she arrived at DOA at the ER that night at 0-dark thirty via a frantic trip in a car driven by her boyfriend who waited patiently outside the ER. He had no answers.  He found her and packed her into his car.  The car that was left running, doors still open, and the headlight illuminating the outside ER entry lot sign.

No life-saving measures were taken nor necessary— the pupils were fixed and dilated; no pulse; no heartbeat; no respiration. Death was already evident and the attending physician had no say except to pronounce her.

Later follow-up coroner investigation revealed an OD of prescribed sleeping pills. The boyfriend was cleared and who still harbored the unanswered question of “Why?”

Regrets are never buried in this life, my friend.

Was it:  Accidental? Willful? Self-murder? God only knows.  RIP sleeping beauty.

Gumshoe still vividly recalls the scene to this very day when the sweet aroma of roses are in bloom.  A silent prayer for a departed soul from Gumshoe.

Remember to always love the ones who love you and even try to love those who don’t.

Coram Deo


Danny Pitocco
Danny Pitocco
RETIRED (as a Detective with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Department, Washington State), Danny has over forty years of law enforcement experience across city, county, state and federal levels of government, including service as a Special Agent for the DEA, US Department of Justice. He’s a decorated law enforcement veteran, and recipient of the "Detective of the Year" award for Snohomish County, Danny is a certified composite artist and has testified as an expert witness in the field of narcotics and modus operandi of particular crimes in state and federal courts in California, and has given testimony before federal grand juries. Danny served four years of active duty in the US Marine Corps and loves Jesus as his personal savior.

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  1. Your right Ken, it is a waste when one is driven to take their life. Their selfish actions devastate and bewilder their family and friends in a lifetime of loss and regret. Witnesses along with first responders are also affected in this needless carnage. All humanity suffers regardless. Thanks for your comment my friend.

  2. Life is precious regardless the age. It’s sad that so many have decided to call an end to their life when they have their whole life ahead of them. God gives us life, He does not take it from us, but He does know when it is over and I am sure when life is taken from the womb, or a young person decides to call it quits , that it saddens Him greatly. Recently Naomi Judd, due to mental illness decided to end her life, leaving those that loved her heartbroken. That’s a deep sadness as well.

    • God is the author of all life and we are created in His image. To knowingly take any life except in righteousness self-defense or in defense of the family or in the helpless and vulnerable is an abomination to God. Thanks Linnie for your comment.

  3. How sad. Life is so precious. Death so permanent. Hard to imagine the hopelessness one must feel to do such a thing, especially in the prime of life. There is no depth too deep or darkness so dark that God cannot be found – be one must look.

    • Your right bro. All life is precious and a gift from God. Desperate and depressed souls who feel lost and helpless take extreme measures to stop the pain. No one is ever beyond redemption if they find the strength to reach out and take God’s helping hand. Thanks for your comment.