Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bad Apples

I guess it's just my natural curiosity about things....Holden Wakefield's rags to riches story sounded too good to be true...So I started checking it out....He was indeed buying the building that Ralph Scallion lived in...He had already bought up a couple of properties in Philadelphia......His company was called "Wakefield Limited".

I looked it up...It supposedly was started in 1982.   That's impossible...We were both just geting out of high school...It's Chief Operating Officers were listed as Robert Thornton and Holden Wakefield....There was several addresses for this company....One was in Manilla....I called that number and found that it was disconnected!  I made a few more long distance calls to the locals there and found that that number belonged to a long defunct warehouse.

The other address was in Honolulu, Hawaii....I called it....Same thing, disconnected....Belonging to a warehouse that had caught on fire!.

The number for New York City was non-existant!!!  So that left Philadelphia PA.   I looked up the address of Wakefield Limited and I got a Post Office mailbox.
The phone number was traced to Holden Wakefield's present residence... A beautiful condo,Which was miles away... That was not the number he gave me....He probably had given me his cell phone number...  I did a little more snooping and I found out that he did own a couple of warehouses... Clerow and I drove to his warehouses...They were open and they were filled with cheap furniture and rugs from various parts of the world...None of this stuff looked like it moved and certainly a man who dressed as he did, drove the kind of car he did , bought up a couple of apartment complexes and condos and lived where he lived didn't make that kind of money moving this cheap and ratty stuff.. This was a front!

A lot of red flags were flying right now.


As usual, I wound up at Robert Foxworth's law firm....Chance and Cole were in court...Robert and I sat in his office and enjoyed a nice Italian Hoagie , some chips and a Coke...I showed him all of the information I dug up and photos of his warehouses and the cheap ratty furniture and rugs....He looked it over between bites and said..

''This guy Robert Thornton.... I wonder if it's the same Robert Thornton from the neighborhood?" he asked.

"You mean Robert "Big Butt" Thornton??? Hmmm...He was a big time drug dealer....His organization was selling dope and coke around a lot of the military bases in Southern California when I was working out there....It was me and Holden who put him out of business...He's cooling his heels in a federal prison." I said.

"Yeah?  I read in the paper not too long ago that he's up for parole soon...He's been down for 15 years." said Robert Foxworth.

"Parole??? He got 25 years to life." I said.

"He's done a quarter of his sentence Kev...You know how that goes...He's due out soon." he said.

"Where is he?" I asked.

"You mean what prison? I don't know...You got a friend in the FBI, go ask him." he said.

"Do you think?....Robert do you think that Holden and Robert "Big Butt" Thornton have been in a quiet type of partnership all these years?" I asked.

"Your boy from Scallion's rooftop party?  Could be....I mean aint no way he's exporting and importing that raggedy ass furniture and bringing in the kind of dough you say he is." he said.

''And the real estate he's buying up?" I asked.

"You know how that goes Kev...Legitimate business to bring in revenue and launder any dirty money." said Robert Foxworth.

I shook my head.....

"I can't believe it....We made a case against Robert "Big Butt" Thornton years ago...We took him down and this guy cut a side deal?" I said.

"You said he got caught in the sack with your CO's wife and kicked out of the military....It was a nice way to stay afloat...I could see him making that kind of deal.....Find out where Big Butt Thornton is being held...Check his books...If they're loaded with cash....You got your man." said Robert.

Then again...I wasn't a cop or a NCIS investigator anymore.....I didn't have a dog in this fight...If Holden was a bad apple...That was on him...I wasn't even on a case.


Later on that afternoon...I'm in Josies, having a few beers.... Gus stopped by...

"Hey kid...drinkin alone tonight?" he asked.

"Yup." I said.

"Your crew aint been around....That's surprisin." he said... I smiled.

From the corner of my eye I noticed Rollie Rollerson, Black millionaire and a member of the board of trustees of the very Magazine that I run...he was talking to, guess who? Holden Wakefield and City Councilman Gil James...I got up and walked over to where they were sitting.

"Slumming Rollie?" I joked as I joined them in their booth.

'' pop up everywhere!"said Holden...

"I could say the same thing about you." I said.

"Rollie here tells me that you are the Editor and Chief of a very profitable magazine...." he said.

"Yes...I am." I remarked.

''Hmmm,looks like something I might be interested in either buying or investing in."said Holden.

"Kevin, this is city councilman Gil James." said Rollie.

I knew who he was...He was at this very moment, the subject of a major graft investigation....He was close to being indicted.

"I've read about you in the papers" I said as I shook his hand..

"Well everything you read isn't necessarily true...heh heh heh.." he said.

"I sure hope not." I said without a trace of a smile.

Holden ordered more drinks...and we continued... to laugh and talk...As the night wore on...He got drunker and drunker...I wanted to talk to him, but now was not the time...

Too much was going on....My old friend had really gotten in bed with a bad apple....No...he had himself become a bad apple.....I would try to talk to him, but after that...he was on his own.......


I got home around 3:00 in the morning....I walked up to my room....Sepia was fast asleep...She wasn't under the covers...The Air conditioner was blasting.... I sat on the side of the bed and kicked my shoes off! I had some more checking to do....Then I would talk to my friend and see what he was up to!

(Definitely To Be Continued...)

Monday, July 30, 2012


Nothing like a rooftop party.... Ralph Scallion was throwing a rooftop party on the rooftop of his apartment building...

He , His daughter and a West African cook named Jacques catered the entire affair...They had several grills going and Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Steaks,Chops, Spare Ribs and Shrimp cooking on the grill, Potato Salad, Macaroni salad...Baked beans and regular salads... as well as all of the beer and wine you could ask for...

Sepia and I had just been to a star studded wedding a week earlier...Mabel and 88 and here we were at yet another neighborhood event...

Sean Jackson and his wife Sheila were present as was Clerow and Corrie, Robert Foxworth and Bonita, Chance Howard and Anita Jenkins, Blake and Cherish, Paris and an unknown date, Cole, Nicole Butler...Chess and Rell, Chris Thompson and his date, Donald Smooth and his wife, My white friend who helped me crack a big murder case about a year ago, Meaghan...(She was now living with the West African cook, Jacques), Dollar Bill and his wife and Chinese Bob and his wife.

These were the people I knew , there was a lot more people here who I had never seen before...  Kool Kat and Chelsea arrived and Owen Todd and his date also arrived...
Cherry Johnson arrived and it looked like she was with Roscoe....but nah....I couldn't see that...but he was fixing her a plate of food and sitting next to her... Ralph Mole arrived with some New York Strip steaks...and to everyone's surprise...Fathead Newton was there too...with not one, but two lovely young ladies!!!

Sepia and I sat together...Sean and Sheila, Clerow and Corrie and Robert and Bonita sat with us...

Ralph Scallion walked by...I tapped him on the shoulder...

"Man know how to throw a party good brother." I laughed.

''Thanks Kev.." he laughed.

"The Food is great" said Robert Foxworth grudgingly...He had buried the hatchet and was at least on the surface trying to forget that Ralph had slept with his now wife, Bonita when they had broken up...

"Thanks Robert." he said.

"You stayin out of trouble since Minay been away?" asked my wife.

" much as I can...I've been a monk." he said.

She gave him the side eye..."A Monk eh?" she said.

"Hey Sepia...Even a monk has got to eat." he said...Clerow ,Kool Kat and I looked at each other and smiled.


"KEVIN.....KEVIN!!! IS THAT YOU???" came a voice......

I thought I knew everybody here....I heard the voice....Then I saw him coming toward me...

"Holden?? Holden Wakefield??" I said as the tall lanky, well dressed, light skinned gentleman walked toward me...He had a beer in one hand and a drink in the other hand...

"Kevin Morris...My man, pots and damn pans...How you doin baby?" he said. He then eyed Sepia, smiled broadly and exclaimed.... "Is this you? Hell, you doin damn well." he laughed.

"This is my wife Holden...JoAnne Cokely Morris....We call her Sepia." I said.

"Pleased to meet you " she said..She thought he was going to shake her hand...but he put his drinks down and pulled her toward him , giving her a big bear hug....

"Any wife of my man Kevin is a sister of mine." he said...Sepia managed a weak smile.

"Kevin and I grew up together in the neighborhood...Was in the Marine Core together too...both of us were boxers and both of us were NCIS investigators." he said.

"Oh wow...Kevin never mentioned you." she said.

"Well" he shrugged..."Wasn't much to mention...I was a drunk then." he said.

From the looks of things...He was a drunk now! I mused .

"So what are you doin now of days man?" I asked.

"I'm like you, out of the service....I'm a businessman." he said.

I hated when people I grew up with used that term, businessman....It usually meant they were into something illegal....This guy had ruined his military and law enforcement career with his drinking and womanizing...He had been married and was caught in the bed with our commander's wife!!!!! This ended his marriage and his military career... I hadn't seen him in ten years.

"I was over in the Phillipines for a taste, then I was in Europe.....I'm uh in the import and export business..I'm doin alright..." he said.

He certainly looked like he was doing well, Very expensive clothing, Rolex watch, Nice smelling cologne...Huge pinkie ring.....The trappings of outward sucess at least.

"How do you know Ralph?" I asked.

''I don't ...but I'm in the process of buying this apartment complex....I heard there was a party up here on the roof and you know me...I'm the life of the party.." he said.

"That you were." I laughed...Before he went bad...he and I did do some heavy partying...He was one of those types of guys where the party didn't start until he got there.


The party went on well into the night...A good time was being had by all...Roscoe and Kool Kat walked over to me as I went to get some more ribs...

"You better lighten up Kev...You'll wind up so fat you won't be able to fight crime." laughed Roscoe... Kool Kat busted out laughing...

I smiled..

''Hey uh...I saw you talkin to that guy, know him huh?" asked Roscoe.

"Yeah..we grew up together, was in the Marines together too." I said.

"Wow...He was in the service!" said Roscoe.

"You know him?" I asked.

"Not personally...but I've seen him around." he said.

"He got a phat ride outside...A Bentley with his name engraved on the side." said Kool Kat.

"He told me he's a the import, export business." I said.

Roscoe and Kool Kat looked at each other...

"What?" I asked...

"You might say that that is what he's into." laughed Roscoe.

"So what do you say he's into?" I asked.

"Nothin....If that's what he told you he's into...That's what he's into.... Nice talkin to ya Kev, but I gotta run, gotta drop Cherry off." he said.

"Cherry eh?" said Kool Kat with a hint of a smile...

"I'm givin her a ride home, that's all." he said.

We said nothin...He didn't either....

I stared at Holden from across the rooftop... He was talking to four girls...Had their complete attention...Just like he always did...

I had a feeling then that him being around meant trouble...I couldn't know then how right I was...

(To Be Continued.......)

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Sexual Tension Suite.

 Baby Stay Awake
don't go to sleep
it's time for me to make love to you.../

/ girl, stay awake..
don't play hide and seek
with your love...
when you know it's time for me
to love you.../

/ now I've had my mind on you
most of the day
and I've been contemplating
several different positions
and several different ways
ways I want to please you
so please don't just turn over...
I feel like gettin luckier than a
four leaf clover.../

/ We've watched a movie on cable...
now come on...
I'm willing and I'm able...
now isn't this deep...
you're talkin bout you want to go to sleep...
I know it's the late night hour...
but how bout if we both take a shower...
to begin our night...
it could be so right.../

/so baby stay awake,don't go to sleep
it's time for me to make love to you...
girl, stay awake-
don't play hide and seek...
when it's time for me to love you...

/don't make me beg-
stay awake...think of what you'll lose
if you go to sleep on me now..
baby stay awake...
good lovin is yours to choose...
try to stay with me now- /

/because girl I long to give you
what you need...
when you need it baby..
what you want-
the way you want it baby...
believe that I-
I'll be your good rockin daddy....
when you say you need it...
when you need it badly...

/ I long to give you-
I need yo give you
what you need
when you need it ...
what you want
the way you told me you want it baby..
honey just believe-
that I am your good rockin daddy...
when you're in need...
when you need it badly...../

We are in the room at the end of the hall...
you're wearing next to nothing at all..
visualize this with me girl..
you and me-
in the softest bed in the world...
baby close the door,
close the blinds...
let's slowly lose our minds...
visualize this with me girl
making love in the softest bed in the world..../

sweet dreams!!!

(Reprinted...Originally posted Sunday, August 3,2008 without illustrations)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dearly Beloved

The church was packed...Reverend Struthers, Deacon Larry Weatherford and Deacon Basil Robinson looked over the was a virtual who's who in the pews...Some people who were regular church goers and others who hadn't been seen in awhile..

They were all here for the wedding of Mabel Beverly Jenkins and Kerry "88" Moore.
Mabel's maid of honor was her sister, Corabeth Jenkin's Hamilton...Clerow's wife...Her bridesmaids were her older  sister, Victoria Jenkins Weatherford...Deacon Larry's wife who had just recently given birth to a 7 pound baby boy...Lawrence Jr., their younger sister...Anita Jenkins and their cousin, Sepia Morris, Kevin Morris's wife...

The best man was Reed Nelson, 88's band leader and best friend....Downtown Rob Brown, Meek Rollins, Bone Hampton and Symphony Sam.

In the audience was Kevin Morris, Clerow, Owen Todd, Kool Kat, Chelsea, Bernadette and Harry Charles, Paris, Blake, Cherish, Chance Howard, Cole and Nicole Butler, Meaghan and Jacques, Ralph Scallion (who catered the reception with his daughter), Chess, Rell and their two children, Chris Thompson, Donald Smooth and their dates,
Fathead Newton, Roscoe, Ralph Mole...Rollie Rollerson and his fiance... and of course ,Gus the bartender and owner of Josies, where everybody hung out and last but not least...The father of the Bride, Willie "Sweet Dick" Jenkins, from Monroe ,Louisiana with his new bride and their two children! Boys...Go figure!

Vocalist Ingrid Rhodes sung a very beautiful selection...Wasn't a dry eye in the crowd after she finished... 88 had written that song for Mabel two years ago when they first started dating. It had been a crowd favorite at Josies...a beautiful melodic song that 88 had played keyboards on while, Ingrid had soloed...

After her song was finished... Reverend Struthers began the traditional wedding ceremony...

"Dearly beloved...we are gathered here today...."


Cherry Johnson, the manager of the local Victoria's Secret stood in the back of the chapel.. Roscoe was there, but no one knew of their special arrangement (Friends with benefits) so she had to keep her distance...She hoped one day to be like Mabel, getting married..Not having to hide her relationship...

Samuel Rasulala had the nerve to be there too....and with Nadine!!!! Hadn't he just been at her place a week ago humping her brains out and screaming her name and begging her to take him back?? He had told her that he and Nadine were long over..What a lying dog...Look at him..He couldn't even look at her!!!

Clerow sat there watching Mabel get married...He allowed his mind to wander to a time when they both were young and in Monroe,Louisiana..spending many an afternoon making sweet, sweet love... before he got weak and got caught with Mabel's younger sister, Corabeth, who he had impregnated and since married... He pushed the thoughts out of his mind ...Mabel was now his sister in law....His married sister in law..

Ralph Scallion, the caterer looked at Mabel....He thought of their one night together, a booty call...88 and Mabel had broken up kind of sort of..and he being the shark that he is...lured her to his apartment...with wine and food...She was strong the first time, but the second time....she gave in..

Yesss lawd...He cherished that memory...and that's all it was now..a memory..Just like Debbie, Reed's girl...who was also there, also married and off limits... He wondered where his girl, Minay was....She was once again in London...Something was going to have to be done about that..he thought.


"Ah now pronounce you...Husband and may kiss the bride you lucky mother-"

"PASTOR!!!" yelled Deacon Larry Weatherford..

"Ahhhh...Ahhh yes...Kiss the bride....Uh er..ruhh.Thank you Deacon." said Pastor Struthers..

Struthers himself thinking of how years ago, his jaw dropped the first time Mabel Jenkins walked down that aisle and joined his church...He wasn't immune to lusting after her neither, although except for a few sly words...nothing ever came of it....

Mabel Beverly Jenkins was now Mrs. Mabel Beverly Jenkins -Moore...She had come to Philly to escape heartbreak and instead had found herself a husband..and many many great friends as well as a new and good life...

Her new husband "88" whispered in her ear...

"I can't wait to get you out of here and up to that hotel room girl."

She giggled like a school girl...

"Oh 88, stop bein so nasty...You can have me  all you want and more forever now..." she said..

"Yes LAWD!" he said with a raffish grin...Mabel giggled...

"Oh shut up silly" she said.

Willie "Sweet Dick" Jenkins handed Gus an envelope with $100.00 in it..

"What's this for?" asked Gus.

"Last time I was up loaned me fifty dollars..That was six months ago..Man shouldn't have to wait that long for his money...That's fifty and fifty more for your wait." he said.

"I like a man who pays his debts." laughed Gus...

Outside the church Cole and Nicole Butler kissed.. People walked past them to get to the bride and groom...

The wedding was over now...Time for the reception......And Mabel's new a wife!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

p.s. I Love You

I watch you every morning as you go
walking down the street..
Standing out from the crowd...
looking so good..
walking so proud..

The excitement rises up in me
at the thought that our eyes might meet...
pretty girl..
The things I might say to you..
My grandmother always told me that if heaven calls
make sure your line isn't busy baby...
So if our eyes should ever meet...
I'll make it real short...
but yet so sweet.../

p.s. I love you...
p.s. I love you baby../

I sit across from you on the bus..
as we both head home from work...
Me, I'm like a falling leaf
on a breezy spring day...
and girl....
you're like the wind..
that gently sweeps me away.../

The excitement again rises in me ...
at the thought that if we ever speak...
pretty girl I might just get the notion...
get the notion to tell you about my secret devotion...
So if by chance our eyes should ever meet..
and my lips might even speak..
I'll make it real short and real sweet.../

p.s. I love you...
p.s. I love you baby...

So if by chance our eyes should ever meet..
and my lips might even speak..
I'll make it real short and real sweet.../

p.s. I love you...
p.s. I love you baby...

Is that short and sweet enough for you baby?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Love Don't Need A Reason

From the day we first met
a day I'll truly never forget
I knew that I loved you...
but I should have asked you if you loved me too!
If I had've asked, maybe I'd understand why
you did what you felt you had to do!.

I took you home to meet my family
that should have told you how much you meant to me..
but you never said a word about your folks...
I talked about love ,but all you ever did was listen...
as if you were takin notes..
it reminds me of something a wise man once wrote../

Love don't need a reason
Love don't know no reasons
Love don't want no reasons../

Me moved into a nice apartment
we lived like man and wife..
I didn't mind working to pay your way through school
I didn't care about the sacrifice...
All I wanted to do was whatever made you happy,
but but sometimes you seemed so distant...
Almost like you were planning another life../

I had no intuition
to warn me that after I paid your final tuition
that one day I'd come home to an empty apartment
as empty as the space where your heart is allegedly in
I'm the dope..
the one who should have been takin notes..
the words will come to mind...that a wise man once wrote.../

Love don't need a reason
Love don't know no reasons
Love don't want no reasons../

Love don't need a reason
Love don't know no reasons
Love don't want no reasons../

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Where No Grass Grows

I usually am one or two steps ahead of my adversaries..Which is how I stay afloat....In this adversaries were three giant steps ahead of me...I felt like a fool...chasing false leads...interviewing half the Philadelphia underworld, interviewing the victims , when the keys to this entire mystery were right there in front of me all the time.

Valerie Price was the first person I went to see... It was mid afternoon and she was in her bedroom dressed "comfortably" you might say....

"Oh...It's you...If I'd of known you were coming..I would've put on some more clothes " she said obviously embarrassed that I was seeing a lot more of her goodies than I had a right to.

''Valerie....I'm here because you told me that you unknowingly moved a lot of those accounts for Mr. Jones right?" I said.

''Am I in trouble?" she asked.

"No...No..No.. The police don't know about you and they won't...I give you my word...but I need to know if you can access those accounts?  Not access...but tell me where you moved them to." I said.

She looked at me funny, then said....

"It began a little over three years ago...but I moved a lot of that stuff to a bank in Guatamala...I knew something was shady then....but I also knew better than to ask questions if I wanted to keep my job and possibly my life." she said.

"I know that your former firm is being investigated and that you no longer work there...but do you think you can get me inside and get me the numbers of those accounts?" I asked.

"You're asking a lot." she said.

I tossed an envelope on her bed.   It had $1000.00 in twenties in it...

"It means a lot to me doll." I said..

She smiled -"I see." she said."Let me put on some clothes" she continued.


"Nice spot....Kinda spot I oughta be drinkin at." mused Kool Kat as He and I walked into the tony little bar and up to the counter to talk to the bartender...

"Yeah, you could...You loaded...But believe me...these aint your kind of people." I said.  He laughed.

The bartender pointed us to a small booth in the back where the gambler, Steven Bristol was sitting.... Kool Kat walked over and sat down next to him and I sat across from him....

He looked at me and smiled a bit...Kool Kat cracked his knuckles and smiled in that menacing way of his and I looked at Bristol and smiled.

''You know...the fact that you did give me a tip that saved my life once is the only reason I'm not going to turn you in." I said.

"Aww come on Kevin...We are friends aren't we?" he laughed.

"It was you...You put Macaroni Tony on to Jones...You had to already know about his scam....Jones paid you in advance for information on perspective clients right?" I asked.

"Yeah...Yeah...but I told Macaroni Tony not to get those other gangsters involved ...I told him....By the time he realized that he was being ripped off too..It was too late." he said. "He had to pay them back all of their money or they would've hit him...He lost a lot of face...He was embarrassed." said Bristol.

"And You don't embarrass a man like Macaroni Tony do you? You had told him this was a sure thing and it turned out to be a big mess. He blamed you didn't he? He was going to kill Jones and you too wasn't he?   You hired Billy Bangs to take him out first didn't you?" I said.

He said nothing. He didn't have to....I knew how Steven Bristol thought and how he operated...and he knew that I knew too.

"It's cool...I'm not wired....and I don't care....I just need to know one thing...Where is he?" I asked.

''Awww come on Kevin." said Steven Bristol.

"WHERE IS HE BRISTOL?  The man asked you a question." said Kool Kat...

"Okay...Okay...if I tell you, we are all square right?" he said.

"Still playing all the angles...Man youse a trip..." laughed Kool Kat.

"Yup...I won't tell the cops about your involvement in the murders and we can call the game even. Billy Bangs is dead...Cops don't even care who killed him...They've already arrested a number of guys who hired him to do jobs...It's quite evident by the fact that we are having this conversation with you that there was nothing  in his house implicating you in anything. He's a bad guy." I said.

"Was a bad guy." added Kool Kat with a smile.

"Fair exchange" he said still smiling.

"What was the girl's name?" I asked.

"Girl? What girl?" he asked.

"The babe stayin in Northern Liberties...Your name is on the lease...She was masquerading as Alden's wife, I suspect she was his mistress and yours too." I said.

Bristol smiled....

"Damn, no grass grows under your feet.....Her name is Debra Brown, she's probably with Alden in Guatalmala..."

"Yeah..I figured as much....I gave his account information to the Feds...They froze his accounts...Right about now those two are finding out that they can't buy a damn thing....and if they have any rent due...they can't pay for it..Can't even buy gas for their cars....That money is being returned to the investors as we speak.." I said.

Steven Bristol laughed....

"You are good...I'll never cross you, that's for sure. Waitress, give both of these guys a drink! On me!" he said.

Kool Kat just laughed and slapped his thigh.


The Guatamalan Authorities arrested Alden Jones and turned him over to the FBI...

Debra Brown was also arrested by FBI agents shortly after in Miami, Florida......

Both were extradited to Pennsylvania and tried for Wire Fraud.... Alden Jones was convicted and given 25-50 years in Federal Prison....

There wasn't much to hold Debra Brown on accept aiding and abetting and harboring a fugitive, namely Alden Jones..She was convicted and sentenced to 3 years in State Prison...She was paroled in seven months and promptly left town.

I arrived home tired and satisfied that I had cracked one of my most baffling cases....Sepia called me from upstairs...

"Kevin come up here will you?" she said.

''I'm exhausted come down here." I said.

"Okayyyyyy but if I do, I'll have to put my clothes on." she said.

I was silent for a minute, then raced upstairs to my room to find her in some black and grey stilletto heels, black fishnet stockings with garters...a black sheer bustier and a white rose in her hair..

"WOW!" was all I could say...

"You like?" she asked.

"Y-Y-YES........YES LAWD!! and you have clothes on." I said..

"Wellll...for now...I don't expect these to be on much longer." she said with a seductive grin.....

"No...I don't either." I said.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I stood in the window ,catching a breeze and looking out at the street...I had on my shoes, socks and trousers...Sepia had on ,only a flimsy ,see through nightie...She had her arms wrapped tightly around me...

"Kevin, I've never seen you like this unsure...Why don't you just forget about this case?  You've been paid...You found the murderer of Tony, Dominique and Lacy and you know that Alden Jones is alive somewhere with a whole lotta money...The FBI will get him...Come on baby, you can't solve em all." she said.

"Yeah, you right...There is really nothing else I can do...I feel bad about all those people that lost their money though...." I said.

"Yeah...I know... I feel bad that Bonita and I sold them that house...Had we of known what kind of person Alden Jones was, we wouldn't have done business with him.." she said.

"You what? You sold them their house?" I asked.

"Yeah...They were one of our first clients...They were big because they paid for the house in full, they didn't take out a morgtage like most folks...Which we thought was odd...but his wife did say that he was a big time investment banker." she remarked.

"So the house was paid full?" I said,.

"Yeah." she remarked.

"His wife told me that they were in foreclosure!!! That she had to leave the house.." I said.

"Uh -Uh...They were paid in full...I got a big commission for that...don't you remember?  I told you about the big time black investor who just up and bought a a rock star?" she laughed.

"Damn that was him?" I said.

"Yeah!" she remarked...

"So his wife lied to me." I said...

"Desiree doesn't seem like the deceptive type....I doubt seriously if she even knows about it." said Sepia.

She walked out of the bedroom and into our study and went through some files....She came back with a photo of Her ,Bonita, Robert Foxworth, Alden Jones and Desiree Jones.....The woman in the photo looked nothing like the young tart in a t-shirt and panties that I talked to in Northern Liberties...

"See Kevin , that's her!!!" said Sepia..

"If that's his wife....Then who did I talk to the other night?" I thought...

"I don't know...but that's his wife." said Sepia.

"Well this changes everything." I said.

"Well Don't go running off just yet." said Sepia..

"Huh?" I said.

She kissed me softly...I returned her kiss...I opened up her nightie...She pulled me closer....I would see Robert in a few hours... We kissed passionately and I lifted her up on the dresser and began to go to town, kissing her neck and behind her ears...She moaned softly and unzippered my trousers...I slipped her panties off...And preceded to enter her slowly, softly, savoring every minute....

"OHHHHHHHHHHHHH babyyy." she moaned...

"Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu..." I grunted as we made love right there in that space for close to an hour... It took the edge off!


Robert Foxworth and I met with FBI Special Agent Frank Cotton in federal court later on that day...Sepia was right...The woman in her photo was indeed Desiree Jones and had been in Federal custody since Alden had vanished..She wasn't able to tell them much except that He might be in South America somewhere.

I had had Peeping Tom and Lockpick Johnson wiretap the other place where Clerow and I had interviewed the woman pretending to be Desiree Jones and had had Owen Todd and Sean Jackson sit on the place...We were all surprised that the FBI wasn't sitting on the place....The reason was because they didn't know about her...or this place.

Owen Todd reported that she got no visitors and that she went about her day pretty normal..She'd go out to get groceries and go to the mall to shop and occasionally got to Josies to drink and hear some music..Nothing odd. She had no visitors. She took several calls on her cell phone, which we hadn't cloned or tapped...That very well could have been instructions from Jones!!!

We did however pick up two phone calls....They were from Montreal, Canada of all places..telling her to go to a safe deposit box in Mid town...That was it.. When Kool Kat, Clerow, Owen and I got to the safe deposit box with Lockpick Johnson...We found it to be empty..We were too late!!!


We went back to the apartment in Northern Liberties.....It was completely empty...She had gone!!!! We had the licensce plate of her car...We gave that to the Police and they located her car in Long Term Parking in the Airport!  She had probably gotten tickets and joined her lover wherever he was at... The car was registered to a "Debra Brown"..So this was the deceptive mystery lady...Probably had a key to his house and was there the day I called and answered the phone pretending to be Mrs. Jones.
She had probably told Jones that I was on to them and he had sent her plane tickets and told her to get out of there...

I went back to Robert's office..I wanted to know who had the paper on this condo...To my surprise..It was not Alden Jones or Lacy Pryor.. The owner of this property was somebody I knew...Somebody I was going to talk to later....THE FBI and Interpol searched Montreal for a man fitting Alden Jones description....Apparently, he had given them the slip too!

Both of them were in the wind now! 

I sat in Josies with Kool Kat, Clerow, Owen Todd, Lockpick Johnson and Peeping Tom.....We were having a few drinks and shooting the breeze with Gus..It was not a celabratory situation this night.
"Wow Kev..looks like we lost this one big time...They really gave us the slip." said Kool Kat.

"Maybe...and Maybe not....This whole thing is starting to make sense to me in a way it never had before....and if my hunch is right...we'll may still get these guys. " I said.

"What you got up your sleeve Kev?" asked Kool Kat.

"This babe...This babe who deceived me...She's the key to the whole thing...If my thoughts are right...She'll not only lead me to Jones , but also to the person behind the murders." I said.

"You mean there's another person involved in this?" asked Clerow.

"There always was...and his name was right there ,right there in the beginning...Macaroni Tony even told me about him....I can't believe I didn't talk to him earlier..." I said.

"I don't understand" said Owen Todd.

"In time guys...In time...I've got one last card to play." I said.

(Conclusion Next)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Closer Than You'll Ever Know

My wife Sepia was always good for me...In more ways than one...Besides the mind blowing late night and early morning sex we'd just had...She was also able to put some perspective to this seemingly bottomless pit of a case...I had a missing investment banker who had fleeced several people to from anywhere from 15-20 million dollars....Two dead gangsters , one dead partner and not a clue as to who pulled the trigger, who had tried to kill me or the whereabouts of the money or the investment banker...Nothing.

Just the night before I'd found myself saying-
"None at all...This case is hopeless." I said. "I got nothin." I said.

"Relax baby...the answer might be closer than you'll ever know..Relax and attack it with fresh eyes tomorrow." she'd said. 

"The key to this case may be closer than you'll ever know." said my wife Sepia.... She said it again this morning as we had a delicious breakfast of  Scrambled Eggs, Hash Browns, Bacon and Toast, with Orange Juice and two tumblers of hot steaming an outside cafe in town...She was waiting for her partner, Bonita Foxworth to show up....

Bonita was late , but she joined us eventually.....

"I see you're driving your car today eh?" I laughed...

"Yeah..Sepia and I have an important client to show a house to." she said.

"Yeah?" I said...

"Yes...and you should get with Robert sometime today...He says that he may have something for you." she said.

"Okay..." I said....I pulled out a few bills and gave Sepia what started out to be a peck on the lips , but turned into a long sensuous kiss...

Bonita cleared her throat...

"Uhhhh if you two go on like that much longer I'm going to have to rent you a room." she laughed.

"Oh and why were you late and why is your hair kind of tossled?" asked Sepia with a devilish smile...

Bonita smiled guiltily......."Okay...Carry on!"

We all laughed.


At Robert Foxworth's office, his partner, Attorney Chance Howard, who might one day have a promising career doing what I do, investigating was very excited....

"Kev...for the past few days...Cole and me have been doing work ups on all of the people fleeced by Alden Jones...and guess what we found out?" he said...

''What?" I asked.

"They all had a link to the late Tony Dusable.." he said.

"WHAT???" I asked.

"That's right...Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians, Gangsters, Rappers....All of them were talked into this by Macaroni Tony.....See like bossman here, He had something on them...They either gambled in his high stakes card game, represented him or his associates in court, cared for him or his associates in medical matters or was his peers ...He was setting up an investment group.....He was the one who put all of these people on." said Cole.

"How do you know that?" I asked.

"The Past two days we have talked to all of these people...They all thought that this was a way to make their money grow...They are sick to death that they got ripped off.." said Chance...

Then it hit me.... I had to laugh....

"What's so funny Kevin?" asked Robert...

"It was all right there from the start...The Ponzi scheme....I'm sure Macaroni Toni was getting a kickback from everybody he put on to Jones and Pryor....He must have known all along what it was about...and then Jones got greedy... When his money was starting to look funny..He hired me....To get information so he could not only blackmail him, but have justification to kill him if all else failed.." I said.

"A guy like that doesn't need justification to kill someone he thinks is ripping him off." said Robert.

"True, but Tony's mind was funny like that....He re-imbursed his gangster friends....but my speculation is that all of those other poor saps were just going to have to take a bath." I said.

"So why is he and Dominique and Pryor dead?" asked Robert.

"Why? Because somebody else is involved...Either somebody told Jones to cut out all of the middle men....or there is an independent operator involved with their own agenda. Any of you guys consider that?" I asked.

"I did " said Robert Foxworth....Cole, Chance and I gave him the serious side eye.

"It's all there." I said, still laughing...."Great job guys.." I laughed as I left.

There was definitely someone else involved in this....Just had to find out who.


Here's what I did know...

Members of Alden  Jones family who I interviewed and several of his associates mentioned in court documents I saw, (thanks to my contact in records), that he had a young woman who handled a lot of his affairs...a Valarie Price. They gave me her address..She was no longer with the company and a quick background check showed that she had no criminal background....but they all seemed to agree that she more than anyone else knew the ins and outs of his business dealings to a point.  So why was she still alive? Why was she not in custody?

 A manager at the bank Alden Jones  and  Lacy Pryor directed, which has been purchased by another bank and reopened this week under a different name, said he couldn't comment, citing the ongoing investigation. Alden Jones left his home in Northeast Philly sixteen days before, telling his wife he was headed to the Virgin Islands for business, This was more than likely a lie!

 Two days later, Jones's wife said she'd received letters saying he was going to Key West, Florida to board a ferry headed to Fort Meyers and planned to jump off somewhere along the way to end his life. I doubt if that happened.

A check of his credit card records show he purchased dive weights and a ferry ticket. The ferry ticket was scanned at the boarding point, but that's where the trail runs cold. I called the Coast Guard.

 The Coast Guard searched for him, and investigators talked to the ferry crew and rental car agencies in the Fort Meyers area, to no avail. Nothing.. I shared this information with FBI Special Agent in charge, Frank Cotton.

I found and  interviewed  this associate of  Alden Jones named Valerie Price, who told me that she first met Lacy Pryor when she was fresh out of college and that they had worked together at an investment firm.....Years later ,after a brief affair with the then married Lacy Pryor,..She met Alden Jones... and they hired her to work at a new company they were starting.

Alden Jones became director of  Your Bank and Trust Inc.., in December 2010, when a company he and Pryor controlled bought a controlling portion of the bank's stock, according to a complaint filed late last month in federal court in New York. Jones then opened brokerage accounts through a securities clearing and custodial firm in New York  and Philadelphia and told bank managers he would invest in U.S. Treasury securities. Instead of investing the bank's money, Valerie Price said that Jones and Pryor wired the funds into accounts they controlled at other financial institutions and provided bank managers with fraudulent documents.

She said she believed that Jones and Pryor embezzled $17 million in bank funds. The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a complaint in federal court here in Philadelphia saying he defrauded investors. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.   seized Your Bank & Trust Inc.  Valarie said that since  2009, Jones and Pryor had raised roughly $40 million from about 115 investors, mostly in Philly and a few in South Jersey, through the sale of membership interests in their investment firm.

They routinely sent investors messages saying the firm, for which they made the investment decisions, consistently had positive returns, the SEC lawsuit says. Jones and Pryor provided monthly account statements to investors that were falsified to hide the fact that millions of dollars were missing. This was around the time they caught the attention of a savy gangster known as Macaroni Tony Dusable..
Valarie said that she'd never met him.

"I just did what they told me Mr. Kevin...I didn't ask any questions and didn't try to find out too much...When I couldn't stomach anymore...I quit the company and went to work for another firm...I've been gone six months now...But I still have my access card and I still know a lot of people who are still there." she said.

I believed her. Valarie said that she personally moved about $300,000 of a few clients money to Your Bank & Trust inc. after Lacy Pryor told her it would be a good investment. She met the also married Alden Jones once for drinks. She said that he tried to make a play for her, but was rebuffed.

 "He should have won an Oscar for his performance that day, He was as cool as a cucumber." she said. "He has left a path of financial carnage.I'm sorry I was a part of that...but I didn't gain from it."She said.

"Because you wouldn't sleep with him right?" I said.

''Right...He always told me that he'd buy me a car ,set me up in a condo..Anything ,if I'd just give him some...I refused.."she said.

"Neither of them knew that you knew as much as you know, did they?" I asked.

"I guess not..and after I left..I didn't keep in contact with them."she said.

The very attractive woman said that  said she discovered something was wrong late last month when she wanted to withdraw some money she had  invested with them from the firm to invest in another business.

She tried multiple times to contact the firm to withdraw her money. When she texted her financial adviser, he responded that he had had no idea what was going on at the company and said he thought Alden Jones was still alive despite rumors of his possible suicide.

I asked her if the FBI or SEC had been to see her...She told me no and that she and her girlfriends had just gotten back from a wedding in the Bahamas..She had no idea that Mr. Jones had vanished and that people had been killed.  I believed her...She appeared to be just an honest pawn who did what her bosses at the firm told her to do.

"Mr. Kevin...I think Alden is still alive...He wasn't the type to feel guilty about nothin involvin money and he certainly was too in love with himself to take his life." said Valarie Price.

"I think he's alive too baby and I think I know where he is." I said.

"You do?" she said.

"Yeah..Just hang loose...I may need to talk to you again." I said.


I got a call from Lt. Sissy Van Buren....She asked that I meet her at the M.E.'s office...

When I got there, She and the coroner were standing near the table where a short stocky man with slicked back hair lie...He had several bullet wounds in his torso...

"You wouldn't happen to know anything about this would you?" asked Sissy.

"Who me? Noooooo...I've been busy trying to track down leads on all the folks Alden Jones ripped off.." I said.

"Well..we found this guy in his car early this morning on a side street in West Philly....We pulled several slugs from a .38 smokeless and a .45 from him...We also found a rifle with a silencer in his car ,which was pretty bloody..We did a ballistics check...This is the gun that killed "Macaroni" Tony Dusable, Dominique Guinn and Lacy Pryor..." she me the side eye....

"It's obvious that there might have been someone else with him, driving....His body was found on the passenger side...but whoever the driver was, wiped the car down of any fingerprints.." she said.

"Wow you did good work Sissy..." I said.  She gave me the side eye...

"We found his blood outside of Pryor's place and a latent finger print...Do you know who he is?"she asked.

"Nope...Never seen him before in my life." I said...telling the truth...

"He's William Bangles....." she said.

"Billy Bangs????" I said in awe...

"That's right!....One of the highest price hitmen in the game...suspect in , if you believe the legend...100 killings."she said.

I had heard of him...Everyone in Philadelphia had....It was said that if someone called him in, you were as good as dead before the ink dried on the contract!  Clerow and I had took out a major  hitter and weren't even aware.

''Who took him out?" I asked innocently.

"I don't know....I don't really care either...I'm just glad he's off the street...I thought you might be able to help me with this one. My detectives found enough guns and other things in his apartment to link him to several unsolved and open murder cases...I expect to be making multiple arrests tomorrow of several major underworld figures, so whoever killed him did the city of Philadelphia a big big favor." she said.

I shrugged my shoulders...

"Good for you Sissy. This also clears three recent open murder cases you had.....I was refferring to (Macaroni Tony, Dominique and Lacy Pryor .)Maybe, just might help me with my case." I said and smiled...

I was pretty sure that it did.

(To Be Continued...)