The Swingers Playbook

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Alger, Washington is a place too small to be considered a city. It’s more of a hamlet surrounded by the larger cities of Bellingham, Burlington and Sedro-Woolley.


Located less than an hour from the Canadian border, Alger’s watering hole serves as a gathering place for locals who relish in the peace and quiet of woodland surrounded by a smattering of little lakes and forests to explore. The kind of tight knit place where folks are self-sufficient, but are also known to give the shirt off their backs to help a neighbor.   


That sounded just about right for the McBrides, Vanessa, Ken and their 11-year-old son. Vanessa and Ken had known each other since they were barely old enough to be considered teens. They became high school sweethearts, and by 2008 they’d been married for 14 years. 


A lot of trust and love went into that marriage. And, for the last 2-3 years they decided, together, to open their marriage to the Swinger lifestyle. 


They both could “play” sexually with other couples or individually. But there were rules. Vanessa and Ken had to approve of each other’s partners.   


That March, Vanessa shared with Ken that she wanted to “play” with Jeremy, a popular track coach and substitute teacher at Ferndale High School. Ken gave the thumbs up, no doubt thinking that Jeremy was just another partner for Vanessa to play with and that no one could ever come between them.


But Ken was wrong.


Suddenly, what had once been fun and exciting had stopped being fun, at least for Ken.   And there were other stressors in the marriage, financial pressures. Ken would lose his job. And he would start to snoop on Vanessa’s computer, discovering chats between Jeremy and Vanessa where they expressed their love for each other.


They were planning to “play” on Friday night, April 25th, and hadn’t asked for Ken’s permission. That went against their rules. 


On April 24th Jeremy didn’t show up for work, It didn’t take long for the whole community to begin scouring all those woods looking for him. One day, became two, and on the third day hikers would find Jeremy’s body on a mountainside.


The news spread like wildfire in this small bedroom community. Who had murdered Jeremy Scully and why? All those salacious details would begin to spill out. Even quaint little hamlets aren’t immune to tongue wagging over the titillating and shocking details of what goes on behind closed doors. 

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