Blood orgy at the sex shop> The New Detective

“Ecome in quickly … “

With a firm hand, Diane grabs her daughter and pulls her inside. Through the window, she quickly observes the parking lot and the fast-food restaurant opposite. Its good. Nothing on the horizon. The sexagenarian breathes:

– I already told you not to come see me at work. Do you want some coffee ?

Alexis nods absently. Every time she walks into this shop, the young woman can’t help but smile. His mother has been working there for twenty-four years. A business not really “like the others” … With her impeccable brushing and her grandmother’s blouses, Diane Spagnuolo reigns over endless shelves of porn magazines, dildos and naughty lingerie … Trotting with small steps on the immaculate ground, she looks like a librarian – except that X‑Spot clients are not very interested in great literature.

Customers with different profiles

There are the old regulars, who are not ashamed to walk through the door to chat with the boss. ” Is this DVD good?There are passing customers, who run to the inflatable doll department and scamper off as quickly as possible, their eyes riveted on their shoes. And then there are the deranged, the perverts, whose eyes betray the insatiable vice. Is it because of these that Diane is afraid for her daughter? In truth, not really. In twenty-four years at home, the brave grandmother has seen them pass, obsessed. She checked them all. And she knows she will watch the next one. No, if Diane is afraid of anything, it’s the neighborhood as a whole, which has never been so dangerous.

Yet it used to be so dapper, the Midway District shopping area in San Diego! With its gunsmith, its grocery store and its liquor store, we would come as a family to bake a burger and buy something to last the week. And then, as a burger, the entire neighborhood found itself sandwiched. Stuck between two fires, between two cut-throat cities. To the north, on the Leland Street side, violent crime has tripled. To the south, on the Rosecrans side, they can’t even be counted anymore… Is it because of the new drug addiction treatment center? Or the blood donation lab, which attracts problems like flies? In any case, for five years, more than 100 homicides have bloodied the asphalt. The calculation is quickly done: on average, one every two weeks.

The old lady trembles for those she loves

But, for now, no blood X-Spot. In the calm of the back room, the coffee is flowing.

– How are you, my pretty? Diane asks, straightening out a stack of magazines with suggestive covers.

Fingers tight on her hot mug, Alexis watches her mother. His energy. His good humor. Nothing, decidedly, could dampen his enthusiasm. And if, faced with this world gone mad, the old lady trembles for those she loves, she is not afraid for herself. Who would dare go after a 65-year-old sex shop manager?

But that’s when the bell rings at the front door. A lousy character appears, and enters the aisle of garter belts. Soles sticking out and a dubious cap on his head, he has not had to sleep in a real bed for a long time. And he looks completely drunk. The trailing leg, the individual abandons the fine lingerie and approaches the counter.

– Hello Frankie, welcomes Diane. It’s okay, you can go …

Then she points to the back door. It is there, in the backyard, that the brave woman allows the neighborhood tramps to come and sleep in the warmth. A former volunteer in the Salvation Army, she has kept a huge heart. Nothing that surprises Alexis. But enough to alarm him a little: you never know, with these guys …

The old crappy slips away, still without uttering a word. The back door creaks shut.

– Come on, it’s time to go, breathes Diane, snatching the cup of coffee from her daughter’s hands. It will be dark. And don’t hang around in the parking lot!

Alexis is afraid for her mother

A few moments later, the young woman is already outside. In the fading light, shadows stretch over Midway District. Alexis walks away quickly, not completely reassured. She is afraid for her mother. And she is right. But the danger here will take its most odious form …

– She was there, lying face down on the ground …

Sitting on the sidewalk, the manager of the general store struggles to find his words. Passing through the door of X-Spot, this October 29, 2018, Nayef Ahmaz did not expect to discover the cold corpse of his nice neighbor. Traces of struggle, the cash drawer open, and then:

– Blood… he sobs. Blood everywhere.

Like many traders in the area, the old man has been complaining about the growing insecurity in the neighborhood for a long time. Ten times he went to the police station. But we didn’t listen to him. And here’s the result…

“I don’t blame you,” he stammers in front of the police officers in charge of taking his testimony. You are short of staff, I know. You patrol when you can. But this neighborhood… This p… neighborhood!

65 stab wounds in the back, head and neck

On the autopsy table, Diane Spagnuolo’s body tells the story of the horror: 65 stab wounds in the back, head and neck. What to add to the homicide the aggravating circumstance of “torture” and threaten its author with the electric chair. But who was guilty of such barbarism? A client of the sex shop? One of the backyard sleepers? The CCTV review quickly leads investigators in another direction. The suspect weighs approximately 120 kilograms. He sports a small bun and wears a blue backpack.

A few hours later, Shaun Ward, 39, was arrested without tweezers. It takes three men to master it. In his belongings, we find the crime knife still reddened, and a small wad of dollars spattered with blood: the meager recipe of the X-Spot , 300 dollars. That is to say the entire booty of the aggression. His only motive. Disgusting!

The most horrible crime the judge has seen

Three years after the events, Shaun Ward appeared in court.

– In my whole career, explained Judge Weber in the preamble, I have never dealt with such a horrible crime!

In the box, the thick brute keeps his eyes in the dark. On probation at the time of the facts, he knows that silence is his best ally. But the man will finally decide to unseal his lips, once, the time to plead guilty to all his charges. The only effective method to avoid the death penalty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

– It is a small victory to know that he is in prison forever, welcomes Alexis Spagnuolo today. But I miss my mother terribly. With her, it is a bit of our hearts that all went away …

The young woman is not the only one to mourn the old lady. In the Midway District, tramps have no place to sleep. theX-Spotis now closed, and no one wants to take it back. Thanks to its earthy boss, the sex shop was the soul of the neighborhood. Leland Street as well as Rosecrans side, there is no longer any hope …

An investigation by Axelle Winieux

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