Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fishbowl Blues

Later that same night,Tyrell James, the  ex-husband of murder victim, Juanita James sat alone in the interrogation room or "Fishbowl" as Detective James "Jimmy" Barlow nicknamed it...

Detective Edwin"Duke" Barlow and I  and a uniformed officer stood outside and watched him as he sat in the fishbowl...

"ADA...When I first became a detective...the old detectives told me that if a guy sits in there and falls asleep...more than likely he's guilty." said Duke.

''Really?" I said.

"Hey man....nine times out of ten...they were right on the money." he said.

"So how bout this one?" I asked.

"He don't look like he's about to fall asleep...I found him...He was at a bait and tackle shop....He knew about the murder...and he seemed genuinely sad...He came down here without a struggle." said Duke.

''How many times do you get a person to come down here and talk to us without some resistance?" I asked.

"Next to never." laughed Duke.

Carlotta walked in just then....

"Hey Top, you get any fingerprints off of that pack of cigarettes from last night?" asked Duke..

"I see you read the dailies...." she said with a smile...

"Yeah...." said Duke...

" prints at all....The lack of prints in this case is what's bugging me...we've eliminated everybody that was supposed to be there...But whoever the condom belongs to left no prints." she said.

"That's no doubt your killer." said Duke.

''Yeah, that's what Jimmy and I think too.." said Carlotta.

''Where is Jimmy?" asked Duke.

"He got a twenty on our other suspect...The boyfriend....Some rollers stopped him...Jimmy went to pick him up." said Carlotta.

Carlotta had some folders in her hands....She looked at us and smiled and then walked into the fishbowl and sat down across from Tyrell James...A handsome brown skinned guy about six feet, two inches...

Carlotta offered him a cigarette!


''I don't smoke....You got any soda?" he asked.

 Carlotta looked at the window...A uniformed officer went and got a Coke for him.

"Detective Rodriguez....I took some time off the day before Juanita vanished and I know it looks funny...but I planned to take that time off about three weeks before this happened." he said...He was nearly in tears..

"I know...I was at your job...I saw a copy of your time off request." said Carlotta.

"I went fishing...That's my hobby...I was with three guys...I can give you their names." he said.

"I already know who they are and they alibied you...You were fishing when you say you were...and My partner found two people who placed you at the marina...But we have you on camera entering Juanita's apartment complex...the night before you left for your fishing trip..." she said.

"Yeah...I was there...Juanita and I were married..We was talking about getting back together again..We weren't enemies...From time to time..we ,you know, got together." he said.

"I heard that she already had a boyfriend and that there was some resistance.." said Carlotta.

"That jerk...That's who you should be interviewing...He's a professional student...Went to Temple for three years...dropped out...Then went to Drexel for two years, dropped out again...Now I hear he's in Community...While he works at a Steak and Hoagie shop..A bum!!!." he spat...

"We are getting around to him....Did you and Juanita have sex?" she asked.

"Yes ,Of course!!...We were divorced but from time to time...We still got together...We were still friends." he said.

"With benefits!" added Carlotta smiling...For the first time, Tyrell smiled too..Carlotta had that way of disarming you with her smile and her general demeanor.

''Yeah, with benefits.." he said...smiling slyly.

"Mr. James...I hate to ask these type of questions...but did you have anal sex with her?" asked Carlotta....Duke and I blushed...

"Damn Top!" said Duke....shaking his head...

I smiled...My girl was in her zone right now.

"Yes...She gave me a blow job  too if you must know...She was soooo good at that...Yes lawddd!" he exclaimed..."Anyway...yeah...we did it doggie style and then standing up amongst other things." he said.

"Did you use a condom?" she asked...

"No.....We had been married...I suppose I should have since she was involved with somebody else....But No...I didn't use no condom..."he said..

Carlotta went in a folder and showed him photos of Juanita's death scene...

''Wow....She didn't have that on when I was with her that night." he said.

"She didn't?" asked Carlotta..

''Nahhh..She had on a blouse and some tight jeans...She took em off and she had on some bluish green bikini panties.." he said.

"You remembered that huh?" she asked.

''I sure did...she looked good in em..."he remarked with a sly laugh.

Carlotta laughed , then showed him a photo of the semen stained panties...

''Yeah...them!!..Thas what she had on." he said.

"Do you mind submitting a DNA sample??...You do not have to....You can have an attorney present." she said.

''Nah, I aint got nothing to hide." he said.

Dr. Hunter swabbed his mouth, took Blood and urine samples and his hair, bagged them and tagged them...

"Thank you Mr. James....You're free to go." she said.  "We'll be in touch." she said and then smiled.

"You're good....If a guy had of been asking those kind of questions, I would have gotten angry...but you!! I couldn't get angry at you...You made me laugh..Shame you're a cop....Me and you!! We might have at least been friends." he said.

Carlotta smiled... ''Sorry"she said.

"Don't be...You're still one cool chick!" he said.

"Even if I am a cop?" said Carlotta.

"Yeah." he laughed as he walked out.

Duke looked at her...

''What do you think Top?" he said.

"I don't like him for this..." she said.

"From what I observed...Me neither." he said.


Later on that night, Detective James Barlow walked in with a uniformed officer and another man, a younger guy...He was dark brown skinned , six feet, muscular build with dreads...

"Folks, this is Christopher Marlow...The boyfriend of Ms. Juanita James..." he said.
''We picked him up at his home." he said.

"I thought you were going to watch video." said Carlotta...

"I am...The apartment complex manager gave me the video I requested....Can you interview this guy for me Carlotta...?? He asked.

"Lucky for you, I did a work up on him." she said.

Detective Barlow smiled...

"Yeah, that's why I love working a case with you." he said.

Duke ,looking like the proud father just folded his arms and laughed....

"Look at my rookies...They make me proud everyday." he joked...He had mentored both Carlotta and Jimmy when they first became detectives so many years before.

Duke and I watched him as he sat alone in the fishbowl...He was figedty...Carlotta walked in with her folders and sat down...

"You want a cigarette?" she asked.

"I don't smoke." he said.

"You hungry?" she asked.

"Nope." he said.

"Okay...then let's just get to it....We have you on video entering Ms. Juanita James's apartment on the night before she was discovered murdered." she said.

"She was my girlfriend....I called her...I'm sure you know that too." he said.

"Yes...I saw the phone record....She got two calls...One from you and one from somebody else who we haven't determined yet." she said.

''Maybe that's from whoever killed her." he said and smiled.

Carlotta smiled and laughed at him....He laughed too.

"Okay...Maybe....You called around 11:00 pm and you arrived around 12:30...." she said.

"I don't have a car...I took the subway." he said.

"That time of night??....Must have been important." said Carlotta.

"It was." he said.

"Booty Call?" asked Carlotta....

He looked taken aback at first....Then Carlotta gave him the side eye and then he cracked up laughing and slapped his palm on the table....

"Yeah...It was a booty call if you must know..." he said. Again, she smiled and he smiled back...He relaxed some...They were having a great conversation...If this didn't involve murder, you would have thought they were two friends joshing each other.

"So you two had sex?? I have to ask you this." she asked.

" I know...Of course...." he answered.

"You didn't use a condom did you?" she asked.

"Wow you gettin personal mamasita!." he said and chuckled.

"That's my job." she said. He cracked up....Carlotta laughed too.

"Sommme Job! No...I didn't wear a condom...Never did..She was my girlfriend." he said.

"Was there trouble in the relationship?" asked Carlotta getting serious..

" Well obviously not that night.....Yeah...We was having problems...She said that I wasn't ambitious enough for her and she was thinkin about getting back with her ex husband...But look...there wasn't no high drama....It wasn't hostile...I didn't kill her...I swear I didn't... We had sex, but it was consensual...I swear." he said.

"I beleive you...You don't look like the type that has to take it from anybody" said Carlotta....He smiled, obviously liking the compliment.

Carlotta showed him death scene photos...

"Wow...who smeared all that lipstick and make up on her?" he asked.

"That's what I'm asking you!" said Carlotta.

"Come on...That aint even me...I don't get down like that...And she didn't have that on when I was with her...She had on a pink night gown, nothin on under it..." he said.

We had found the pink nightie he was talking about in the bedroom in a corner...No semen was on it!

"Would you volunteer a DNA sample Mr. Marlow? You don't have to...And you can have an Attorney present should you decide to do so." she said.

''Nah...I'll give you what you need....Just to clear my name." he said.

"Thank you." said Carlotta.

"You know....If you wasn't a cop...Me and you could probably be friends...Have a few drinks...a few laughs...You is one fine mommy." he said.

"I get that a lot." said Carlotta.

"I bet you do." he said, Laughing.

So for the second time that night Dr. Hunter swabbed a suspects mouth, took Blood and urine samples and his hair, bagged them and tagged them...

"Thank you Mr. Marlow....You're free to go." she said. "We'll be in touch." she said and then smiled.

"No prob...I hope you catch whoever done this...I loved Juanita....She aint deserve to go out like this." he said.

Carlotta looked at Me and Duke...Shook her head...

"I don't think it's him either." she said.

"Well one thing we know...Those cigarettes don't belong to either of them...because neither guy smokes." I said.

"That's what I was trying to find out." said Carlotta smiling at me.

"Come on...let's go." I said.....Carlotta smiled at me...."Okay,I'll meet you at your car." she said.

''You ready Hazel?" said Duke to Dr. Hunter.

''Yes...I'm tired." she said.

It had been a very long night...Poor Jimmy, he was still watching video when the four of us left.


A few days later, Carlotta and I were in Sissy's office talking to her...She had just gotten off of the phone...

"Well...That was Dr. Hunter.... The semen found in Juanita James's body belongs to Tyrell James and Christopher Marlow....The semen on the panties that were found in the corner is Tyrell James, just as he said.....But the semen in the condom and on the floor and in the kitchen doesn't belong to either of them...." she said.  "Ewwww, this case is kind of icky." she said.

"Isn't it?" agreed Carlotta.

"Well who does that extra semen in the apartment belong to." I asked.

"The mystery man!! Dr Hunter said that the semen in the condom..and all of the other semen  does not belong to Christopher Marlow or Tyrell James..." said Sissy.

"Which means she had a third gentleman caller that night." I said.

"Maybe an unwanted caller." said Sissy.

"Hmmm"I said.

"You know...Someone else called her ,right after Christopher Marlow called...Jimmy and I are going to track that caller down..." said Carlotta.

"Way ahead of you both." said Jimmy Barlow, who was just entering the office.

"Who called her?" I asked..

"Detective Angie Belton." he said.

"Angie? Well, they're friends...Nothing strange about that...Still, maybe you better ask her about it Chica...She's coming over here today.Maybe she can tell us who that third guy might be." said Sissy.

"I will." said Carlotta.

"What did I miss?" said Detective Tyriq Pile ,who had just entered Sissy's office...

"Everything...We have almost cracked this case." said Carlotta.

"Yeah?" he asked..

''No...Not even close." said Carlotta.

Sissy,Jimmy and I burst into laughter....

(Definitely To Be Continued...)


Tate 2 said...

Carlotta is a cool chick! Am liking her more in each story she's featured in!

Joan said...

A good outing....They actually did some police work and didn't concentrate on the bedroom or their relationships.

Brenda said...

Love the partnership of Carlotta,Jimmy and Tyriq....This is how this series started out...Now you've added Duke, Dr. Hunter and what looks like Angie Belton as regulars...Seems like it's going to be very little room for my favorite charactor, Sissy Van Buren.