CRIME: Connecticut Morning

One morning last week Peter Higginson, seven, and his blond brother John, four, awoke as usual at 7 o'clock. After the winter they had spent in boarding school, the comfortable, red-&-white clapboard house in Connecticut's quiet Litchfield Hills was strange, lonely, still. The nearest neighbor lived half a mile away. Behind the house, a dark wood stretched away to a hillside. Beyond the white picket fence in front was a little-used highway.

Barefooted, in white pajamas, Peter and John ran downstairs. Something was wrong. The living-room lights were burning. Their mother, who usually had breakfast ready at this hour, lay...

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