Day 03: Arlene Ramsey (Hard City)

Detroit, 1946.

When people think of a woman assassin, they think of some Rita Hayworth-looking glamorpuss. That’s not Arlene. She has that kind of reassuring face you’d like to see in a doctor’s office or behind a lunch counter. Arlene is an assassin though, and has eleven confirmed kills to her name. Don’t hesitate, don’t stand out. That’s words to live by for a contract killer.

Arlene made her first kill in the jailhouse. She was inside for knocking her (ex)husband down with a bottle, and stealing his wallet and car. While inside, she strangled an officious trustee who tried to blackmail her. Arlene got away with it, and the only other witness, Astrid Felton, knew to keep quiet, up to a point. When they got out, Astrid admitted that she’d told her boyfriend Eugene Farrugia, “a big man in the COMMISSION”.
This turned out to be a half-truth at best. Gene was a go-between, and quite squeamish for a made man. Still, Arlene found that they could do business. She’d do the hits and Gene would be her mob-connected agent. So far he’s done right by her.

Arlene’s current target is Sister Cassandra, and boy does the job drag. Sister Cassandra is a nun and medium, putting parents and sweethearts in contact with soldiers lost in the Pacific or in Europe. Except her real name’s Marie Schofield and she’s about as much nun as Arlene. She used to be an accountant for a little saloon and casino in Hoboken, NJ, until she took off with the money.
It seemed like an easy job. Plug the mystic broad in the breadbasket as a warning to other long-fingered individuals, collect fee and don’t look back.

Arlene posed as a rube at one of Sister Cassandra’s seances, with the aim to kill her after the show. She was slightly distracted by a teary-eyed man clutching a picture of a jug-eared boy in a navy uniform. She felt for him. He did not deserve to be hoodwinked by some clip artist in a habit. They exchanged a few words. He was Ellis Bouchard, and the boy was Jakob.

Of course the jug-eared boy made an appearance (“I see a J… Jake? A young man in uniform…”) and Arlene felt that she could kill Cassandra just for that. Then Cassandra announced that there was an older man with Jake. She described the narrow face, the warm smile with the tobacco-stained teeth. Even the scar on his cheek from when a milk cow got rowdy and kicked him. It was Arlene’s late father, and it took all her self-control not to react.

Now she’s in a quandary. If it’s some kind of clever act, Arlene wouldn’t mind prolonging Sister Cassandra’s suffering some. But what if it isn’t? Arlene needs answers, and that is why Cassandra is still among the living.
Of course Gene’s getting antsy, which means that someone else is breathing down his neck.



Arlene did some time. 


Eye for Trouble. 


Button Woman

Arlene makes her bread killing people. Primarily for the Commision. 


Pistols, Stealth.



Arlene does not stand out if she doesn’t want to.


Likable, “Not the Type”. 



Arlene expects people to be selfish and looking for easy solutions. She's rarely wrong. 

DRIVE: Get out of the murder-biz and have a real life. 


I trust GENE FARRUGIA more than others. That’s still not a lot. 

HANNAH MANLEY is great fun, as long as you don’t depend on her.

I feel some sympathy for ELLIS BOUCHARD. He’s an innocent fool. 




Nice dress, coat and hat

M1911 pistol

1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

Cigarettes & lighter


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