Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Good Wife and the Good Mistress

I picked up Sepia, Bonita and Owen Todd and then headed to the M.E.'s office where I met up with Lt. Sissy Van Buren of Philly Homicide...She was there with one of the coroners...

Sepia and Bonita and Owen sat in a room where a Flat screen television screen showed them the dead man lying on a steel morgue slab....

"That's him!! That's one of the guys who pulled a gun on us and tied us up." said Bonita.

"Yes..That's definitely him!! I'll never forget that face." said my wife Sepia.

"That's the guy who was standing outside who shot at me." I said.

''His name is James "Sonny" Carlton...He's a local a rap sheet as long as he is tall..He's mostly muscle, but has convictions for narcotics trafficking ,armed robbery and assault..." said Sissy Van Buren.

"There was another man with him...He had on a stocking cap and some kind of scarf covering his face." said Sepia.

"Yeah, he came out of the house...He shot at me too...This one here said something about, they saw his face and that they should kill them...The other guy said that the important thing was that they didn't see his face." I said.

"Hmmm...You wounded him in the shoulder and he dropped his gun on the street..We found it and we found shell casings.." she said.

"Wow!" I said.

"His gun had his prints on it...We did a ballistics check...It's not the murder weapon and the other slugs we found that your second unidentified shooter fired at you are not from the murder weapon either...Our two victims were shot at close range with a .22." she said.

"A .22?" I said.

''Yes."she said.

"Hmmmmm....Well...Keep me posted." I said.

Sissy smiled-

"I was going to tell you the same thing." she smiled.


I dropped Sepia and Bonita off at their job.....Owen and I headed in another direction..

''Where are we off to Kevin?" asked Owen.

"We are off to see a grieving wife." I said.

I was short of help now of days...Clerow , Corrie and their kids were in Florida at Disney World...Sean Jackson and Sheila were on tour with Reed, Rob,Meek ,Bone,Ella and Debbie. I didn't need Peeping Tom and Lockpick Jackson's services as of yet and as for Kool Kat?  He was out there somewhere...Hadn't seen the big man in awhile....So Owen Todd, a very capable young man...a good driver and good with a gun was my back up.

We arrived at Carmella Belzer's house.  There was five or six of her girlfriends there and they were all crying and holding her...She was weeping uncontrollably...
Owen and I walked over to them...

"Uh Mrs. Belzer...I know this is a bad time, but can I talk to you?" I asked.

"Y-Yes...who are you...argghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...Jimmmmyyyy!" she cried.

"My name is Kevin Morris...I'm a private investigator..I'm looking into the shootings of your husband." I said.

"Really? because I just talked to the homicide detectives." she said.

"I'm sorry...I just need to know a few things and I'll be gone.....I guess you heard about who he was found with and where he was found.....Uh...Did he own that house? Why was he there?" I asked.

"No...He didn't own that house...I don't know what he was doing in that part of town with that slut!' she said...

"You mean Ms. Banks?" I said.

"Yes...She was his attorney...I might as well tell you...We were in the process of a divorce....She was acting as his attorney at day and his mistress at night.Slut...Whore!" she snapped..

"You tell him gurl friend" said one woman...

"Yeah that slut ass slut got what she deserved....him too." said another woman named Flory Johnson.

"Don't you even worry about it gurl." said yet another woman.

"Was that property her house?" I asked.

"I don't know....Why don't you go to her office..I'll give you the address." she said.

"Please do...and my  condolences." I said.

"Thank you" she said.

She gave me the address and Owen and I were off...


 At the law office of the now late Lorita Banks, we hit paydirt...A very attractive and efficient partner named Velma Collins greeted us...She was busy putting files in boxes and cleaning out the office that once belonged to her partner...

"Ms. Collins?" I said.

"That's Mrs. Collins." she said sharply and then smiled playfully....."That's didn't know...Are you from Homicide?" she said.

"No ,I'm a private investigator." I said and showed her my card.."I'm Kevin Morris and this is my assistant,Owen Todd..." I said.

She smiled....

"You want to know about Rita...My partner?" she said.

"Yes." I said.

She motioned us into her office and looked around...I don't know why...There was only one or two other people in the office.  We went in, sat down and she closed the door.

"Lorita was a great attorney...She gave me a job here when I first graduated from law school....I interned under her  as a paralegal and when I passed the bar, she remembered me and brought me back here....I owe her a lot..I learned a lot from her...But what she could've learned from me is how to run her personal life better." she said.

"Come Again?" I said.

"She was a hopeless romantic...Always carrying on with guys ,usually clients who were on the verge of getting a divorce...Guys who promised her that once divorced it was going to be her and them and it never was...They were just in the game for sex..They'd tell her that they loved her....but they really didn't..Years ago she had a torrid affair with this semi pro football player named Cock Robbins....He wasn't married yet, but he was a player..That didn't end well....Then she dated the millionaire playboy, Rollie Rollerson....She thought he was going to marry her..but he has so many women it wasn't funny...and there were others." she said.

"Sportscaster, Jimmy Belzer was another right?" I said.

"Yeah...He started out as just her client...He was going through a divorce....Then one day I came to work early and Rita was on her knees in the office, had his penis in her mouth ,going to town..He was sitting on the desk, with his head cocked back, eyes practically rolling out of the sockets....That was the worst...We were both embarrassed and we both agreed that she would never do another man in the office." she said.

"So here is my question....How did she wind up in that house...Neither she nor Belzer had ever lived there...In fact! My wife was going to show that house to a buyer...That's how the bodies were found!" I said.

"I don't know." she said.

"She had a key to that house.." I said.

"Well..that house used to belong to one of her clients..." she said.

"Oh really?" I said.

She was quiet for a minute....

"He's a gangster...A guy named Ben Ali...She repped him a few times...He's in prison serving a life sentence for murder." she said.

"Yeah...Him I know personally..."I said. After all, I was responsible for him being in prison.

"That was another bad romance...Mr. Ali was kind of violent...After he went to jail..His house went on the market..." she said.

"Was she still repping him?" I asked.

"I don't think so...but she  still had the keys to that house." she said.

"That explains why she had the keys...It was perfect...The house was empty, My wife's company had purchased it and was selling it...but they hadn't changed the locks...It was a cheap and discreet place to meet and have trysts with Belzer...Who would look for either of them there?? It makes sense.. Thing is...Somebody knew they were there...Somebody followed them there and killed them." I said.

"I can't help you there." she said.

"You've helped quite enough. Thank you darlin. And uh oh...if you're looking for another law firm to work at....Here is an address and a phone number...Her name is Cindy Waters, she's looking for another attorney" I said.

She looked at me and smiled... "Thank you,I'll give her a call."

"No...thank you, for your help." I said.

Owen and I left.


After I dropped Owen Todd off..I did some checking...I checked Carmella Belzer's phone and cell phone records for the entire week leading up to the murder...She had made calls to one Herbert Dandridge quite a bit!   Where did I know that name from?
Then it hit me...That was the man that Sepia and Bonita were supposed to be showing the house to, who had never showed up!!!

She said she had been in Los Angelas at the time of the murders, yet a check of her debit card and credit card records showed purchases made in and around Philadelphia practically everyday leading up to the estimated time of the murders...Then a trip to Los Angelas the day after the murders and a return , two days later, after the bodies are discovered....It looked pretty fishy...

The next day ,I stopped by Lorita's Law firm again...Velma discreetly allowed me to see some files pretaining to Jimmy Belzer's divorce.... He was a millionaire many times over...He had a prenup that only gave his wife a percentage of his earnings in the case of divorce...She was going to get paid anyway...So this wasn't about money and what did Dandridge have to do with this???

I checked gun shops and gun permits and I found a .22 purchased by Mrs. Belzer just two days before the murders...It was purchased with her debit card...Proof positive that she was no professional...

I spoke to several people in the neighborhood.....People who I know wouldn't be caught talking to cops, but who would talk to me.....One person told me that he saw Jimmy Belzer and Lorita Banks entering the house that afternoon...He knew because he recognized Belzer and asked for his autograph...Belzer gave him the autograph and slid him a few bucks to be quiet about seeing them go inside..

Another person told me that sometime after one in the morning they saw what looked like a woman, with her hair in a bun and dressed in all black, get out of a car and enter the house...This person said they heard screaming and what sounded like a sucession of popping sounds...Then nothing!!! The mysterious figure in black got back in the car and pulled off....she wasn't driving , which meant that someone else was also present.

I checked the phone records further....Carmella Belzer made a 25 minute phone call to Herbert Dandridge....This was the early morning hours before he was supposed to be shown the house by Bonita and Sepia... and when Carmella was supposed to be in LOS ANGELAS!

She left for L.A. the next day!  How convenient!

I think I knew who my shooter was...but now I had to find out what Dandridge's involvement was and who were those other two men.


That afternoon at home, My wife Sepia and I sat in the comfort of our living room talking...

"I think I know who killed that couple in that house." I said.

"You do?" she said.

"Yeah...I think I've compliled enough information to take it to the police tomorrow." I said.

"That's good..and I'm glad that at least one of those gunmen is dead." she said.

"Yeah...but it's the other one I'm concerned about...Tell me about this Herbert Dandridge..What do you know about him?" I asked.

"He owns a Semi-Pro Football team..He's an older man, got a lot of money to throw around...He wasn't planning on living in the house...He just wanted it from us as an investment property." she said.

''Ever meet him?" I asked.

"Oh God yes...Very firtatious..He saw me and Bonita and he was like a kid in a candy store...The lewd remarks , the double intendres .....but all in all...he was very nice." she said. "Confident to the point of arrogance. He thinks he's sexy." she giggled.

''You mean he had nice money." I said.

"Okay, he was an important and loaded client." she laughed.

"Well I'm going to meet this loaded client tomorrow." I said.

"You don't think he had anything to do with this do you?" she asked.. "He was a bit of a horn dog, but other than that harmless." she said.

"Don't you think it's funny that he never showed up at the house for the showing?" I asked.

"Maybe he forgot?" she said.

"Yeah I don't think he did...I think he sent some guys there to clean that mess up and they walked in on you...Then they decided that they had to get rid of you two and then I showed up...." I said.

"If you say so." said Sepia.

"It's more than just a hunch Sepia.It's a certainty." I said.

"You're the private eye." she laughed.



Toni said...

Good Story...I like that Kevin did all of the leg work on this one without the help of his so called "operatives." Waiting breathlessly for the conclusion.

Angie B. said...

This has been a good , short and action packed story so far...I think I know who the shooter is too!