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Friday, August 28, 2015

A Girl Can Never Be Too Careful



At police headquarters, Central Investigation Division....Arthur Richard Smith sat quietly...He was brown skinned, tall, six foot three..athletic build...with a nice tailored suit on and a cocky self confidence that bordered on arrogance...

Sissy and I sat outside and looked in... Jimmy was already in the "fishbowl"or interrogation room as it was called by the detectives...He said nothing..Just quietly stared daggers at Arthur...

I had asked Sissy ,Jimmy and Carlotta not to mention that Jean was still alive...That was going to be our trump card...

Carlotta walked in and sat down across from him..she dropped her files loudly...He didn't wince...He sucked his tongue in irritation...

''Look let's quit with the games and get this over."he said.

"Okay Mr. Smith.."said Carlotta...She put a receipt for a Spanish Astra pistol in front of him...

"Paid for with your credit card." said Carlotta..

He smirked...

"So?"

"Two women were murdered...Lisa Carter in Arlington,Virginia...You know her?" asked Jimmy...

"I knew her....We dated.."he said.

"Another woman in Wilmington,Deleware..Angela Walker....You know her?" asked Jimmy...

"Yeah...casually...AND?"he said.

"They were both shot and killed with a Spanish Astra pistol...Do you see where we are going with this Mr. Smith?"said Carlotta..

"That all you got...that I bought a pistol two years ago? I don't even own that pistol anymore..."he said..

''We have credit card receipts placing you in Arlington Virginia and Wilmington,Deleware at the time of both of those murders..."said Jimmy...

"So what? So was a lot of people....You got any witnesses? Anybody see me do anything?" he asked..

"Why did you give both women a phony name Mr. Smith?" asked Carlotta...

"Because I'm married , as I'm sure you know....I'm a bad husband, a cheater...not a murderer..." he said.

"A woman was shot the other night and guess what the bullet fragment told us?" said Carlotta...

"What?" he asked, now annoyed...


"That a Spanish Astra was the gun used....That's not the common weapon used by guys around here...and here you are...once again...In the area.."said Jimmy...

"Co-incidence....Now if you don't have anymore than that...I'm out of here..."he said and got up....

He walked out and stared at me and Sissy....


He smiled at both of us....I followed him to the parking lot...

"Hey!" I said..

"Who are you, another detective?" he asked..

"My name is Kevin Morris...I'm a private investigator...I was hired by Jean to look you up..."I said.

"Oh really?" he said..

"Jean is lucky to be alive...I know you shot her..."I said.

"You do huh?" he said.

"If it's it's the last thing I do..I'm going to make sure you don't hurt anybody else."I said.

"Oh yeah?  Good Luck with that." he said laughing and got in his car and pulled off..

Smug bastard.   The last laugh was about to be mine.

II-
I stopped to get a tumbler of coffee...By now he knew that Jean had survived.....but since he hadn't been arrested he probably figured she was in a coma.....I followed him...Clerow had placed a GPS tracking device on his car while he had been in police custody...

Sissy,Jimmy,Carlotta and I knew that we didn't have enough to hold him...but we wanted to rattle his cage..let him know that he'd been exposed.....Frighten him...

I figured he'd either flee or try to find Jean and silence her for good...Make sure she never woke up to identify him...Since she was the only living witness who could definitely say that he shot her..

I was right...The next two days he visited every major hospital in the area until he found the one Jean had stayed in.....And either Sean Jackson or Peeping Tom was around to photograph him....

He questioned hospital officials about when Jean had been released and where she had gone....Of course they didn't know..

Clerow and Owen Todd tailed him.....

I also knew that he was going to do his due dilligence and find out all he could about me too..Since I,like Jean was the only living witness to his crimes....He asked around at The Mermaid Club and Josies about me...He even visited my job..I wasn't there...Well,I was actually below him in the sub-basement headquarters of Morris Investigations...

It was time for him to get a very jolting phone call...

III-

The next morning, his phone rang...I imagine he was jolted...This wasn't a number he gave out...

''Hello."he said.


 "Hello Richard or should I call you Arthur?  That is your real name isn't it?  Arthur Richard Smith? and this is your real phone number right?  Not those two phony numbers that go to that phony apartment you claimed you lived in right?" said Jean..

He was silent...

''Cat got your tongue Arthur?...Don't worry...The police don't know a thing....I told them that I don't remember anything...but I do...I REMEMBER EVERYTHING!  See..The Private Investigator I hired is pretty damn good..Didn't take him long to figure out your game..."said Jean..

''What do you want?" he said.

"Well, you caused me considerable injury...I'm partially paralyzed thanks to you....That private detective did his work...You lied about a lot ,but you didn't lie about your bank account..Seems you do very well Mr. Smith...I want money...I want my medical bills paid...in full and I want a nice percentage every week coming from you..."she said.

"Or what?" he said icily...

"Or I call Lt. Sissy Van Buren and tell her I suddenly remember everything...and worse...I tell your unsuspecting wife...She's a lawyer too isn't she?  She's out of town on business...She's the real money isn't she? Bet you she has no idea that she's married to a lying cheating psychopath who has killed two women...two women who found out about her and threatened to blow her phone up..."said Jean.

''Where are you, let's talk." he said.

"There is nothing to talk about....And don't get any silly ideas about trying to shoot me again...I have a legally registered firearm and I know how to use it..."said Jean..

"I want twenty thousand dollars in small bills at my house tonight...no later than ten o'clock or I speed dial Lt. Sissy Van Buren and tell her everything..." said Jean..

"Ten O'clock it is...you blackmailing bitch!" he said ,stomping his foot...

"Oh I'm a bitch now...You weren't calling me a bitch when you were humping me and sweating and panting and begging for more were you...I was sweet baby then wasn't I...?  You just upped my price to 25G's....Want to call me another name?"  Arthur?? are you there?"she said.

"I'm here and I'll be there with the money at 10:00 sharp.." he said.

"Before you go..Can I ask you a question?" asked Jean..

"What?" he said.

''Why did you shoot me?  We were having such a good time...I know I satisfied you in the bed.."she said.

"You did...but you were starting to get clingy, asking questions, wanting to come over to my apartment...I don't like my side pieces to get clingy...I've got a wife for that...And now I find out you've hired a private detective....See...It was things like that I-I-I just couldn't have...It wasn't personal....Not at all." he said just as non-chalant as if he were talking about making brownies...This guy was a real monster.

He hung up....

Of course that entire conversation had been taped...He had just made his first big mistake...I had him on tape at least admitting that he shot Jean...

Jean was not paralyzed at all..She was fine...Fit as a fiddle...Thank God...

I knew that Arthur Richard Smith was not going to wait until ten o'clock to deliver that money...He was going to head over to MY HOUSE and finish the job...See ,That call had been made from my house...I knew he was smart enough to track the GPS on Jean's cell phone and pinpoint her exact whereabouts...

IV-


 I got a call from Owen Todd , who along with Sean Jackson,Lockpick Johnson  and Peeping Tom had been following his every move...

"Yo!" I answered.

"Big Cheese..He just left his house....and he had what looked like a pistol with a silencer..."said Owen Todd..

"Good...I wouldn't expect him to use the Spanish Astra ,since we know about it...Stay on him...He should be here shortly..."I said.

"Okay...Everybody in place?" he asked..

"Yupper." I said.

I hung up and I looked at my wife Sepia..

"It's time for you and baby girl to get out of here for awhile."I said and kissed her..

"Please try not to make too much of a mess.." she said as she picked up our daughter....



 "Kevin...I feel so bad putting you through this."said Jean...

"Relax..I got this all under control...There's Eva now..."I said.

Our friend, Eva Corona drove up....



 She put Kimmy in the child seat....Sepia got in the back with the baby...Jean sat in the front...

"Okay...I'll call you girls after this is all over..."I said.

"Be careful Mister Kevin."said Eva...

"Always..."I said and I watched as they pulled off..  I then sat down in my living room and waited...


It didn't take long...I heard my basement door being jimmied...This guy had skills...He got in through the basement and quietly walked up the basement steps to the kitchen..

He looked around and then quietly slipped into the living room with his pistol, silencer intact...cocked..

"YOU BRING THE MONEY?" I said laughing....

He was startled.....

"You know...As smart AS YOU THINK YOU ARE...You were really quite easy.to figure out...I knew you'd track the GPS on the phone call ,just like I knew you'd come here looking for me and her...Here's the bad news...She's not here..."I said...

"Well here's some bad news for you...I'm here and I have a gun...with a silencer...You on the other hand don't appear to be armed..Nobody will hear me pop you..Nobody even suspects that I'm here..."he snarled..


"I'm a card playin man ace...and my .357 mag and my friend's .45 trumps your little pop gun on any day."said Kool Kat who had his gun aimed at his head....Arthur turned to the side and Clerow had his .45 aimed at his chest...He was smiling that toothy grin of his...

"What the hell?" he said....

"If I was playing chess...I would say checkmate at this point ace....More bad news....the minute you broke in my house...you were photographed and it was automatically faxed to C.I.D. headquarters..."I said.

I opened up the door...

"I got some people that want to talk to you." I said..

Detectives Duke Baylor, Tony Hopkins and Tyriq  Pile walked in with two uniformed officers ,who took his weapon handcuffed him and read him his rights..



"Much obliged Kev" they said...

Detective Jimmy Barlow walked in...He took one look at Arthur and smiled..

"Arty..How's tricks? Didn't think you'd see us again did ya?" he said.

Arthur Richard Smith stomped his foot in disgust....

''Keep that up and you're gonna have one hell of a foot ache pal."laughed Jimmy.


Detectives Carlotta Rodriguez-Wallace and Sirena Pile walked in next....Carlotta was holding a bag with a Spanish Astra Pistol in it....



 "Hola....We found your Spanish Astra pistol in the storm drain a few blocks from your house...It still has your prints and DNA on it..."said Carlotta.



 "And here is where it gets cute Arthur....We got a ballistics match in the shooting of Ms. Stevens and the murders of a woman in Wilmington,Deleware and another woman in Arlington,Virginia...Some Detectives from those two towns are going to want to be talking to you soon." said Detective Sirena Pile..

"I don't believe it...I'm being arrested.." he snarled..

"Believe it Arthur." said Sirena..

"So in other words...It's a wrap....Take him away guys..."said Lt. Sissy Van Buren...Who looked at me and smiled glowingly...

"Another killer off the streets...Thanks again friend."she said and kissed me softly on the cheek.....

I smiled...

Kool Kat looked at me and smiled..



 "Not a bad life you lead friend." he said...and we both laughed...

V-



 Jean Stevens recovered fully and was back at work and back in her house within a week or two...

Sepia and I stopped by to visit her...

"Jean this house is beautiful.." said Sepia...



 "Your associate ,Bonita Foxworth sold this to me.."said Jean...who passed Sepia an envelope...It was filled with money...

"Here this is for you...Buy something nice for that baby girl of yours...I can't thank you and your husband enough for all you've done for me.." she said.

"So Jean, before you date anyone else...you check with me first."I joked..

"That's a damn good idea...You're joking, but I'm serious." she said.



 "A girl can never be too careful now of days.." laughed Sepia...

We all enjoyed a nice big belly laugh.

EPILOUGE-

 Arthur Richard Smith was found guilty of murdering a woman in Virginia and sentenced to death by lethal injection...He received the same sentence for a murder conviction in Deleware.....He received a life sentence for the attempted murders of Jean Stevens and myself....

He is presently in the Virginia State Correctional Center awaiting execution...His wife promptly divorced him...She had no idea she was married to a serial killer...

Sepia and I were enjoying a night out alone...Just the two of us at the new Micro-Brewery that had opened up in the neighborhood... Two new shopping centers...New Condos and apartments...new homes...so you figure...new buisnesses...

Sepia was at the counter ordering our food...I put my arms around her waist and kissed her neck...

"Ummmmm,I feel something very hard behind me sir...Is this my husband...or some other guy who is very,very glad to see me?" she asked..

"How about both?"I said kissing her neck...

She smiled...

"Good to know...A girl can never be too careful..."she said and we both laughed..




Thursday, August 27, 2015

Into Thin Air



48 HOURS LATER-

I sat at Jean Stevens bed side the entire time...She had been extremely lucky....She was found shot...and bleeding profusely , not far from the Art Museum two days before...She was lucky to be alive...



She had been hit with one of the two bullets fired at her...It had hit her in the side and gone straight through her without hitting any vital organs....The second shot, which her would be killer meant to be the kill shot ...the shot to finish her off ,missed her completely....it hit the ground, by her head and bounced off of the cement and landed several feet away...

Like I said...She was very,very lucky to be alive... He meant to kill her!

I sat by her bed until she regained consciousness....

 Jean woke up and looked over at me and smiled weakly....

''Kevin....Kevin...Ohhhh Kevin,I've been such a damn fool.." she said weakly...

"Now..Now...Jean, relax baby...relax...You're lucky to be alive..." I said and rubbed her shoulder gently...

"He shot me!   I couldn't believe it ..He shot me...He tried to kill me...Just hours before we were making sweet love in my bedroom...I can't believe he would do something like this to me...Why? What did I do to deserve to be shot?" she said, tears welling up in her eyes.

"It's nothing you did Jean...This guy is a little sicker than any of us realized...I thought he was just a player, a married man living a double life...I had no idea he is some psychopath...I was trying to get in touch with you Jean....You didn't answer your phone...Everything he told you was a lie...He doesn't live where he said he lives...He's not a lawyer...The guys at the law firm he said he worked at never heard of him...His drivers licenses, credit cards, debit cards...all fakes...In fact...his name is a fake.."I said.

"Then who is he Kevin?" she asked..

"I don't know....Nobody knows.....He wasn't who he said he was....He just vanished...Seemingly into thin air."I said.

Just then...my wife, Sepia and my buddy, Walter "Kool Kat" Jones  walked into the hospital room...

Sepia put her arms around me and rubbed my back and kissed me softly....She smiled at Jean...

"It's not often I let my husband spend the night with another woman...but he was so distraught when he found out you got shot...He blamed himself...I had no choice..." she said ,smiling sweetly...



"Ohhh my God...I'm so sorry....Kevin you didn't have to do this...This is all my fault...I've been a fool..a fool in love..."she said.

"It's okay...We've all been there...I'm just glad you're alive.....My girlfriend got a picture of you and your guy...She and her husband were at that gala...at the art museum....Robert Foxworth, her husband mentioned to her that Kevin was trying to find out information on this guy you were dating...She snapped several photos of him with her phone and emailed them to me."said Sepia.

I smiled and hugged my wife...

"What would I do without her?" I asked...

Kool Kat...who had been silent...spoke...

''Uh...we called your son and your daughter...They're both going to take you to one of their homes this afternoon ,when you get out of here..." he said.

"I can go home today?" she asked ,amazed...

"Yeah...You are the luckiest woman alive...No internal damage...You just have uh er ruh, that small hole in your side,where you got wounded...You're going to have to take it easy for a couple of weeks..but the doctor expects a full recovery...But until we catch the guy that shot you and I intend to get him...You're better off, not being at your house." I said.

Jean smiled and she sighed...

"You were right..I should have followed my gut....I'd be a thousand dollars richer and wouldn't be here in this hospital..." she said..

Sepia,Kool Kat and I stayed until Jean's son and daughter arrived and checked her out...

Sepia drove Kool Kat and I home...

"You hungry Walter? I'm cooking dinner tonight." said Sepia...

"Well Gee thanks Sepia...and will my god-daughter be there?" he asked...

"She sure will...Eva will be bringing her home in a few hours..." said Sepia...

I smiled....I slumped over and went to sleep...my first real sleep in 48 hours...

II-

A day later, after a good nights sleep, a shave, a shower and a hot breakfast at Sam Mother's diner...I was feeling much better...I got a call from Lt.Sissy Van Buren...She said we needed to talk...

So I headed to the headquarters of the Philadelphia Police department's Criminal Investigation Divison of which she is the head...

I walked in...a uniformed policeman led me to the conference room where Sissy, ADA Wallace and the detectives in her unit were seated...

Sissy greeted me with a smile and asked me to sit down...

"I called your house and your home office a day ago...Sepia told me you were at the hospital with Jean Stevens..." she said.

"You guys are investigating this? It's just a street shooting.." I said.

Sissy and her guys investigated major crimes..Murders,Kidnappings, criminal enterprises...Serial Killers, Mass Murderers, Drug Kingpins and the like...

"This is more than just a street shooting papi.." said Detective Carlotta Rodriguez-Wallace...

''You're right Kev, usually this kind of case would be a little under our radar, except that the bullet extracted from Ms. Stevens and found on the sidewalk come from a Spanish Astra... Not the type of pistol used by these street punks or the wise guys around these parts..." said Detective Tyriq Pile.

"Two years ago...In Alexandria ,Virginia...A young Black woman...An Attorney was gunned downed in front of her apartment and killed with the same type of weapon...Same M.O. as your client..Double tap...one shot to the chest...and another shot to the head..The gun used...is a match...Spanish Astra...

"Hmmmm." I said...


"Last year...a young woman...African-American, A Real Estate agent like your wife...Pretty,up and comer was shot and killed , after leaving a concert in Wilmington, Deleware...Same gun..Spanish Astra....Same bullets..A match for this shooting..."said Duke Baylor.


"When we heard about the shooting and the type of bullets and gun retrieved...We backtracked all of our cases and then hit VICAP...and we got a match to those other two murders...Both unsolved...."said Carlotta...

"Here is where it gets cute....Both women had recently started dating a man named Richard...They described him as tall, handsome, brown skinned...Well dressed....Claimed to be a lawyer...Both women told friends that he was secretive...and somewhat aloof...Wasn't interested in talking about himself or his past...no known relatives...wasn't interested in meeting their family or friends and seemed a bit shaky....Sound familiar?" asked Detective Sirena Pile..

"It does...Jean Stevens hired me because she was getting serious with this guy...and he seemed distant..She asked me to check him out...He told her his name was Richard Condom." I said.

They all smiled...

"Yeah ,I know.."I said.

"In Virginia...He was Richard Johnson." said Carlotta..

"And in Deleware...He was Richard Biggs.."said Detective Tony Hopkins...

"The FBI has been monitoring both of those unsolved murders and then this happened...It may be the first break we've had in the case....He didn't kill her...He slipped up...he hit her once and totally missed the second time...She's lucky to be alive.."said Sharon...

"Kevin...we are certain that the man you were investigating is the same man who killed those other two girls...Problem is...Nobody has a photo of him and only a few people have actually seen him...He has a knack for vanishing into thin air."said Sissy...

''Here's the thing...except for a few sketchy descriptions...No one has ever seen this guy...We don't know what he looks like..Now I kept it out of the paper and off the news that our shooting victim survived like you asked...We know she was your client....Can you help us?" asked ADA Keith Wallace...

I smiled..

"I have several photos of the guy." I said.


 "YOU DO?" asked Sissy in amazement...

"I've been tracking this guy for two weeks...I have footage of him and Jean Stevens...the night they met at Josies... I have photos of him at the Art Gala ,just minutes before the shooting...and I have one glossy of this guy...taken by one of Jeans girlfriends and the only other person to get a glimpse of him." I said and showed them the photos...

"Kevin...you should be one of us..."laughed Dr. Hazel Baylor, Duke's wife and a forensic investigator.



"Damn sure should be.." said Detectives Tyriq Pile, Jimmy Barlow and Duke Baylor in unison...

"I've got more...He rents an Apartment a few blocks from the park...If you get over there you'll find electronic equipment used to reroute calls...and I can give you both of his cell phone numbers..but that's it...Everything else he told Jean was a lie...Social Security number....Credit Cards,Debit Cards,
Drivers License...all fakes..." I said.


"This is more than we had....Thank you Kevin..."said Sissy...

"Yeah,but this guy may have moved on by now..Looking for another victim...He seems to vanish into thin air...It's like he doesn't exist.."I said.

"Oh he exists...and he's comfortable...He's probably scanning the news media looking for word of the shooting...Hoping she's dead...because if she isn't...She can identify him..."said Carlotta...

"Hmmm,You guys get on that apartment...You may find something you can use...I'm going to explore another avenue..."I said.

"Stay in touch friend."said Sissy...

''Always." I said.

III-
 Back at Morris Investigations ,my secret headquarters in the sub-basement of Morris Communications Inc.  The multi-media business I actually owned and ran for a living,I brought Hoagies, Steaks ,Fries and Beers for my operatives...Peeping Tom, Lockpick Johnson, Owen Todd,Kool Kat, Sean Jackson and Clerow...

They were busy looking up all online sales of a Spanish Astra in the past five years and doing background checks on the owners...I was certain Sissy and her detectives and Sharon and her FBI agents were doing the same..

"I got a hit Kevin" said Peeping Tom...

Clerow,Sean Jackson,Owen Todd and myself looked at his monitor...

"An Arthur Richard Smith of Philadelphia bought a Spanish Atra about two years ago...Bought it on the black market from Amsterdam...A further look into this guy shows that he is indeed a lawyer....Graduated from Penn Law School...Passed the bar
here and moved to Arlington,Virginia...according to credit card charges."said Peeping Tom..

"That's where the first young lady was murdered two years ago...What about Wilmington,Deleware?" I asked..

"It shows he was there for a few months with the law firm, Blockley and Naugle..but he had moved back here." said Peeping Tom..

"Around the time of the second murder.."I said.

Just then...my phone rang....It was Sissy...

"Hello Kevin...I've got some good news for you..."said Sissy..

"I've got news for you too."I said.."You go first.."I said.

"We hit that Apartment complex you told us about and found the equipment used to reroute calls...We lifted a finger print and we traced the equipment....The equipment was purchased by an Arthur Richard Smith...an area lawyer..He bought it on the Black market from Amsterdam..."she said.

"I traced a purchase of a Spanish Atra from the same guy ,Arthur Richard Smith to a black market website out of Amsterdam...And get this...Our boy made purchases in Arlington,Virginia and Wilmington,Deleware around the times of both murders..."I said.

"We really are in sync Kevin...We faxed photos of him to police departments in Arlington and Wilmington...It took a little time, but friends of both murder victims positively identified him as the lothario their friends was dating....We got him, we got him cold...Chica,Rico,Jimmy,Duke and five patrolmen went to arrest him...And get this..HE's married...Has the nerve to be married..."said Sissy..

"Why am I not surprised?" I said. "Thanks Sissy...Looks like we wrapped up another one huh?" I said.

"Yup...We been doin this a long time friend." she said..

"I know...What stories we'll tell to our grand-children."I said laughing..

"Good night Kevin." said Sissy..

"Good Night Siss." I said.


I turned to my guys who were just finishing up their steaks and hoagies and beer...

"Well guys...we can call it a night..That was Lt. Sissy Van Buren...She and her detectives were working along the same line as I was..They're going to pick up this guy as we speak.. Let's go home."I said.

What I didn't realize was that this story wasn't over just yet..There was still one last chapter left..
Sepia was still up when I got home...She sat on my lap in the living room...

"You got him lover?" she said...

"Sissy and the guys identified him and went to pick him up...He's a lawyer named Arthur Richard Smith..and check it out...He's married.." I said.

"See,I told you.."laughed my wife...

"Yeah,you did...I'm just glad it's over and Jean is safe..."I said.

But it wasn't over....This guy,as I would find out was a highly intelligent psychopath and he had one more hand to play..

(CONCLUSION NEXT)