Thanks - this is exactly what I was trying to say. And I think DM perceived WM to be a threat in a number of ways, but primarily as a threat to his lifestyle. A "together" WM shuts down DM's freeloading rampages as a responsible and engaged parent would. A virtually absent WM in "freefall" squanders the family fortune before DM has his fill. Either way, DM's parasitic life of crime might have soon changed from "rich and indifferent bad boy seeks thrills" to "broke and desperate has-been seeks sustenance." But a deceased WM is not a threat to DM any longer. Problem solved. Incidentally, I think DM called MB first so he could have a "dress rehearsal" to prepare for when authorities would show up. He could tell his "story," let his mom take a look at the staging, er, I mean scene, and let her point out what issues she might. Then together they could determine which things needed tweaking - in story or scene - before showtime (or rather, the call to notify authorities). Not saying MB knew ahead of time, because he would need to see her raw reaction to the scene to determine whether his ridiculous story was going to fly. But, I think if she was immediately suspicious he'd know the cops would be too. And I believe she would help him set up a more believable scene if necessary (to include the poor pitiful WM narrative). This is all MOO.