Monday, November 5, 2012

The Death Club

I felt good...I sat in my new conference room with my board of directors...and for once it wasn't a hostile exchange...Back in those days when my company's principal owners were the Harris Group...The only friend I had in the room was Rollie Rollerson, the Black millionaire playboy and philantropist..who had also been a board member.

A lot had changed since then..I had hand picked an investment group....made up of my wife, Sepia and her business partner in Real Estate, Bonita Foxworth, My main man Clerow, who rents apartments and homes and was a small business owner himself and
Chris Thompson and Chess Parker , who's company, C&C Brothers owned and rented out Condos, Apartments, owned a couple of gyms, Juice Bars and a major shopping center that employed half of the area's citizens...and our lawyer, Conrad Nelson and his wife, Jill.

Thanks to these guys...I now looked forward to board meetings...It was always a good time... I had Harry Charles order up good food...Sean and Sheila Jackson and I sat in the room with Sepia, Bonita, Clerow, Chris,Chess and Donald Smooth and went over
the latest financial reports..

''Wow Kev...your subscriptions are actually up!  How did you swing that?"asked Chess.

"Most of them are from on line subscriptions..Young urban Black and Latin people with money to spend reading my magazines and newspapers and blogs on their laptops, IPADs, Smartphones....Had to stay up with the times." I said... My wife was just beaming...

Mabel Jenkins Moore, who owned three Soul Food eateries and Dollar Bill who owned the Supper Club, Bottom of the C. were also at the meeting...I had a sattelite feed from my new radio station playing in their establishments....The radio station had been up and running for about a month now... I had time to donate to it..Since I hadn't had a case to investigate in just as long..

"Man Kev, Everybody loves the music...I've had about ten people ask me for subscriptions to your station." said Dollar Bill.

"Me too...My customers love it...Especially in the morning with the Neo -Soul and at night with the Jazz.." said Mabel..."My husband raves about it." she added.

Mabel had recently married Kerry "88" Moore, a known Jazz Keyboardist who taught at the local high school and sat in with Reed Nelson and his band when they played at Josies.

"Wow...that was faster than I had hoped." I said.

"Well Kev...We got another surprise for you." said Donald Smooth.

"Yeah? What's that?" I asked.

"Hope you didn't get too used to this building....Chris and I just bought another building..a few blocks down from here."said Chess..

"It's a Media and Arts Center...We bought it off of a guy who owed us money for cheap...We are going to do some renovations to it..and if you're willin...You can set your entire operation in there...First three floors will be for your Magazine and Newspapers and the fourth and fifth floors you can use for your radio studio.." said Chris.

"WOW!! That's great." I said.

"Don't worry about the movers..We got that covered for you." said Chess.

"Man, I don't know how to thank you." I said.

"Keep turning in quarterly profits like you doin dog...You makin us all rich baby!" laughed Chris....My wife Sepia, Bonita,Mabel,Dollar Bill,Clerow, Chris, Chess and Donald Smooth all laughed and stood up....Our meeting was over...

There was surprisingly, someone else at our meeting....Rollie Rollerson...He was no longer a board member, but had never the less asked me if he could sit in... I didn't mind....But I knew he wanted something...He didn't come up here for nothing.


"Kev, let's walk....You want a coffee?" said Rollie Rollerson.

''Sure, after all that good food...I could use a cup." I said.

Rollie and I walked to the nearest Dunkin Donuts and ordered two tumblers of coffee...
Rollie made a phone call...Then he stopped and looked at me and smiled.

"An associate of mine, Mr. Wayne Cooper is going to meet us here in a few minutes..." he said.

"What's this about?" I asked.

"You've done well for yourself Kevin...Put together some friends with money, basically took over your business...I envy you." He said ignoring my question.

"Okay Rollie, what's up? You in trouble?" I asked.

"Uh Yeah, Kind of..I'm in a investment club of sorts myself....Me and several other millionaires...We all invested a couple of millions we had to spare into the pot... I originally thought that the money was earmarked for charity and or a sweet tax write off...I visited Attorney,Robert Foxworth and he showed me the fine print...It's a clause that states...that the entire pot will go to the last surviving member and the charity of his or her choice and or their estate." he said.

" what? At best ,you have a nice tax deduction every year." I said.

"At first I didn't think anything of it..and then , Wally Drollinger drowned last month!" he said.

''Wally Drollinger?? The millionaire..yeah, I heard about that." I said.

"Kev..Wally was one of our investers....He was an Olympic swimmer...He drowned under what the cops are still calling suspicious circumstances.." said Rollie.

"Okay...anything else?" I asked.

"Cole Cummly, heard of him?" asked Rollie.

"Yeah, he owns a condom and contraceptive company, he's loaded." I said.

"Was loaded Kev..He fell up under a train a few months ago...It was listed as a suicide...Cops found a typewritten suicide note." said Rollie.

"Oh wow!" I said startled...

"And there's more...Another one of our investors, Sean"Shakes" McGonigle..The ex football player...Found dead last week outside of his condo....Some folks said he jumped....Cops wrote it up as suspicious.." said Rollie...

"So you think someone is knocking off all of the investors right?"I said.

"Yes...I don't want to go to the cops....I can't prove anything...but this is too many co-incidences...I'm so shook,I'm not even staying at my place....Here is my present address and my phone number...You and my fiance are the only people who know where I am...I need you to look into this Kev...Here is an envelope...That's 3G's...a downpayment for your troubles." he said.

"Okay...I'm on it....Hey uh...where is your friend...The one that was supposed to be meeting us here?" I asked.

"I don't know..." he said... He called the number...there was no answer...

"Kev, Let's get out of here." he said...

We walked toward his car...a 2012 Lexus ,just like the one he bought my wife...

As he was about to enter the car, I noticed a strange string protruding from the door...

"Rollie, get out of the way!" I yelled...

I tackled Rollie , just in time for his beautiful car to explode into a ball of fire!!!!!....

The explosion broke the front window of the Dunkin Donuts and sent everybody running!!!

Rollie looked horrified!

"See Kev..See?  They tryin to kill me." He said.

"Wow...Looks like you're right." I said.

"After you give the police your report, we'll check in your friend." I said.


Rollie's car was of course totalled and still smoking when Lt. Sissy Van Buren ,Detective Carlotta Rodriguez and some Philadelphia Bomb squad men and other policemen arrived...

"Haven't seen you around in awhile Kevin." said Sissy..

"Yeah,I know...I was having coffee with Mr. Rollerson here and uh we came out and his car exploded..." I said.   I had forgotten that Sissy had "history" with Rollie Rollerson....

"Hmmm, was it a jealous husband or boyfriend or some woman he lied to." she remarked out of his ear range to me... I smiled...

"Aww Lieutenant Van Buren...That's not nice." I said.

"Maybe not, but probably true....What were you doing with him?" she asked.

"He sat in on my new Board of Directors meeting and we were just having coffee afterwords." I said.

"That's all?" she asked.

"Well he wanted me to look into some of his business partners activities." I said, which was after all the truth..

Sissy smiled...

"Maybe you better look into his last three girlfriends." she said.

"Hola Kevin...What's new?" said  Detective Carlotta Rodriguez.

"You know me Carlotta, keepin my nose clean as usual." I remarked with a sly grin..
Carlotta gave me  a sly grin back...

"We got a statement from Mr. Rollerson and some witnesses...We'll have this car hauled out of here and taken to the police lab for analysis." she said.

''Wow...what a mess...." I said.

"Next time Kevin...Pick a safer person to have coffee with." said Sissy, who looked at me and then Rollie....

Carlotta ,who didn't know what any of this was about just shrugged..She smiled at me...

"Nice seeing you again Kevin." she said.

"Ladies...Always a pleasure." I said as they got in their cars and pulled off....

We watched as the tow truck pulled what was left of his car away....

"Sissy still hates me." mused Rollie...

I said nothing.


Rollie and I took my Lexus to his Friend, Wayne Cooper's Condo....

"I just called again... No answer...That's strange...He said he was going to meet us at Dunkin Donuts ...It's not like him to be late." said Rollie..

"Is he one of your investors?" I asked.

"Yes...He's a millionaire too...Owns several companies...We've been good friends for years...I went to him with my suspicions and told him that I was going to hire a good friend I knew who was a private investigator to look into them." he said.

"You trust him?" I asked..

"Y-Yes..." said Rollie.

"With this much money involved and this many people dropping dead...You can't trust anybody." I said.

"Oh I trust him." said Rollie.

Rollie and I entered his building and took the elevator up to his floor... I noticed that the door was ajar...I motioned for Rollie to stand back...I pulled my gun and walked to the door...I cracked it open and walked in....

Upon walking in ,I was astonished by what I saw....

Wayne Cooper was hanging from the ceiling...very ,very dead!!!!

Rollie walked in and put both of his hands to his mouth.....

"OH MYGOD!!!!!" he said.

"I guess you can trust him." I said Dryly.

(To Be Continued...)