In a small town in Mazovia, the police find the remains of a newborn. It soon turns out that there are more hidden child skeletons. Lidia Gładoch, the alleged mother of the deceased children, fell into the ground. Someone has sent a report to the police, someone has seen a woman’s belly grow larger, but when the police begin to pursue the topic, no specifics can be established. It seems that no one saw or heard what was going on in the Gładocha house. The investigation is conducted by an experienced prosecutor, and the case immediately attracts the attention of journalists. The whole of Poland is already talking about the macabre find in Wrotnów, although the local community is still silent. Will the prosecutor manage to break the collusion of silence? Will the truth come out? And will the fault still be so obvious then?
Majcher used court files to recreate the story of a woman whom the media and society hailed a child-killer years ago. The book’s premiere is scheduled for January 26.
Magdalena Majcher “Little Crimes”, WAB – excerpt:
Sergeant Kamil Banasiak passed the grocery store. Out of the corner of his eye he saw regulars sitting on the stairs, but for the moment he had neither the time nor the desire to deal with them. He stepped harder on the gas pedal, and the engine of the service Polonaise howled loudly. It was his first day at work after sick leave, and from the early morning he pored over the documents he had to sort out if he didn’t want to drown in them. Moments after 1pm, when he had less than two hours left in his wages, he realized that among the unnecessary papers there was a letter from the district prosecutor from Węgrów. He could not underestimate him, so he had to temporarily abandon his dreams about dumplings, which his wife had promised to make, and, whether he wanted to or not, he went to Wrotnów. He was still hoping to turn both sides by 3 p.m., because at that time he was going to close the Miedzno police station four times.
Two years ago, he regretted that he was stuck in this hole, but now he saw only advantages: work from seven to three, peace of mind and high detection of offenses, because when Kowalski hit eighty on fifty, the whole village was buzzing about it. Of course, there was no question of crimes. For who would make them here? Banasiak’s only activities were chasing local youth sipping cheap wine in the bushes and endless discussions with drunks – “write this ticket, I won’t pay anyway, and the bailiff will not take me away, because there is nothing to do with it.” He appreciated this predictability. He abandoned his dreams of a higher grade shortly after he was 30. When he was young and angry, he wanted to change the world. He saw himself at least in Węgrów, of course in the criminal department, and maybe even higher, in Warsaw, for example. He secretly envied his colleagues from the capital’s headquarters. They chased around the city with the Pruszkowskis, they shot, not at the tires, but at people, they took over drug shipments, they negotiated with both politicians and gangsters. And these women, good God! Banasiak never betrayed his Grażyna he had no one with whom, but he was sure that if he had worked at the Mostowski Palace, the opportunity would have found him. Maybe he would even use his P-64 in the end? nothing, but at some point he came to the conclusion that the most important thing in life is peace.
So when he read the contents of the anonymous letter, he felt angry. What a retard, the guy who wrote it. That he also wanted to bother people with stupid things. A great crime has come to light, in Wrotnowo, its fucking hell, good. Banasiak would most willingly throw this letter in the bin and forget about the whole case, but since the prosecutor from Węgrów asked, there was no way out, he had to move his ass.
He noticed that the local shop clientele hid their beer bottles behind their backs at the sight of the marked polonaise and laughed out loud. He didn’t know why, but he saw something very funny in it – he goes to hunt down perpetrators of a great crime, and the drunks think that they are in his circle of interest.
Of course, Banasiak knew the Gładocha family, as did all the inhabitants of the Miedzna commune. Less than five hundred people lived in Wrotnów alone, and half of them were related or related to each other. Banasiak has long ceased to know who is whose son-in-law, nephew, brother-in-law or uncle. Grażynka was definitely better at these blocks. And being a gossip is, contrary to appearances, a very useful trait of the law enforcement’s wife, although Banasiak had to be careful not to reveal her business secrets, as if he might have some secrets at this post in Miedzno.
The Gładochowie family were one of the many families in the village with many children, many generations and everything in general … They had a large farm, perhaps ten hectares, which was the main source of income for the whole family. Young Gładoch – who, admittedly, was already under forty, but the old one was still alive, so he must have been young – was earning extra money somewhere at the construction site, which Grażyna informed Banasiak. A year ago his wife had left him, which the sergeant major, of course, also knew from his wife. A normal family, like many in the Masovian countryside. They did not stand out, they lived well with their neighbors, did not turn their heads and did not interfere in their affairs. The Gładocha daughters got married in the neighboring villages, and on the farm he, young Gładoch, probably Adam, stayed on the farm, unless Banasiak had screwed up something, because he had it to himself that he listened to his wife carefully, but his interest ended after about ten seconds.
Banasiak parked, or rather abandoned the polonaise on the side of the road. A few days earlier, the wheels would have stuck in the mud, because the third decade of May was marked by heavy rains, but the sun had been shining for a week and the senior sergeant could have left the car at the Gładochów fence without fear that he would have to call for a winch. He hesitated before entering the yard. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a woman hanging around on the farm next door, and it was with her that he decided to start his question. One of the Gładocha daughters lived with her husband and children next door. Banasiak actually did not plan to talk to her, but since she wound up on her own, why not take the opportunity? Opportunity – this is the key word that makes not only a thief, but also a policeman, of which the senior sergeant, although he could not boast too many successes at work, was well aware of. He forced himself to look fierce and cleared his throat loudly. The woman obviously intended to go home, but the policeman beat her up in time.
– Hello, can we talk for a while? – He asked, walking quickly to the daughter of the Gładocha family.
Magdalena Musialik gave him a piercing look, then shrugged as if she didn’t care.
“Please,” she said curiously, though.
“I am in such a delicate matter …” he began hesitantly, intensely wondering how the hell he should ask this woman if the bodies of her brother’s children had been buried on the farm of her parents. – You see, we got a letter. A very disturbing letter.
– A letter? Musialik shielded her eyes from the sun shining directly in her face.
– Yes, a letter. – Banasiak was gaining self-confidence. – Its author suggested that … the sister-in-law gave birth to children, and then these children were … killed.
What happened next, the sergeant chief could not have foreseen in any way. Magdalena Musialik clearly tensed. She bit her lower lip and looked away. Banasiak watched her closely. If he still had any remnants of faith that he would leave work at three o’clock, he had lost it forever.
– There was such a situation, but I … I don’t know, because …
– What situation?
“My brother and sister-in-law have five children,” Musialik explained deviously. – But she went pregnant more times, I’m sure of that. She was pregnant for the last time at the beginning of last year and somehow had a baby at Easter, but the baby is gone.
– There is not? Banasiak swallowed loudly.
– There is not. I once heard a conversation between Lidia and my mother. The mother asked her what happened to the child she was pregnant with, and she said that she had given up for adoption in Warsaw.
Only now did the senior sergeant realize that Magdalena Musialik was almost whispering, and that he had to bend over her to hear anything. He had served in the police force for almost ten years and was the first time he found himself in a situation where he felt fear. Fear of what can be found in the Gładocha farm. In his mind, like a mantra, he kept repeating: “Just not to screw it up.”
– My sister-in-law is strange. Musialik looked Banasiak in the eyes, and he saw determination in them. – She has probably left her family eight times, each time she has been away for three to six months. They often quarreled with my brother, parted, came back. And somehow at the beginning of the year … – she hesitated – I was in my parents’ attic and hung up the laundry. Something touched me, I don’t know why, but I looked under the box lying there and… Maybe you should talk to my parents.
– What did you find there? – Banasiak did not recognize his voice.
– Skeleton. Magdalena Musialik looked at him sadly. – Skeleton of a small child. I notified my father about it.
– And your father …
He put the skeleton in the sack that hung on the nail in the garage.
Sergeant Major Banasiak felt that he was out of breath. What this woman said was downright macabre. The policeman felt as if he were just hearing about a plot of a movie. It couldn’t be real life.
Tristin is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his in-depth and engaging writing on sports. He currently works as a writer at 247 News Agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the sports industry.