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Monday, March 16, 2015

Wet And Dead


If it wasn't for the fact that this was now a crime scene...This was a pretty nice place..A public bathhouse..One of three the city had just opened up..With modern showers and a huge Jacuzzi...

It had been talked about on the news for months prior to it's opening..Our Mayor, Cecil "Get Right" Brown and his wife, Anita Brown took the first bath in the Jacuzzi for Paparazzi and reporters..Much to the delight of our citizens .....

It was great P.R.  The Mayor's wife had recently been involved in a scandal....Lt. Tragg and several police officers were looking for a suspect and went to the wrong room and caught the mayor's wife in bed with a man who had been known to be campaigning for a city construction contract...

The controversy had been in the papers and on National news for weeks... In the meanwhile..The Mayor and his wife reconciled..and this photo op in the Public Bathhouse was a great way to take people's minds off of the scandal...


Today..a young man was found floating face down in the  Jacuzzi...


Dr. Hazel Hunter Baylor-Our Forensic Investigator was at the scene with several of her staff members who went in and pulled the body out of the pool and layed it on the side of the pool..

I'm Assistant District Attorney Keith Wallace...I prosecute Homicides among other crimes...I especially like the weird ones...This was one of those..

My wife, Homicide Detective, Carlotta Rodriguez-Wallace was on the scene with her two partners...Detective Tyriq Pile and Detective James Barlow...

"I'm going to stop wearing dresses Hazel...Everytime I wear dress...We get a murder that takes place either in the Sewer or near a body of water.." complained Carlotta...

"I hear you girl..That's why I'm glad I have staff members who wear wet suits...I just bought these shoes and as you can see,I'm wearing a new skirt too." remarked Hazel...

"How do you think I feel? I'm wearing a new suit...."said Tyriq, laughing...He rolled the body over...and peered at it...He was wearing latex gloves as was Carlotta and Hazel...

"He's only wearing speedos...Guess we won't find a wallet on him."mused Tyriq...

"Well from the looks of his neck..Cause of death was manual strangulation..." said Hazel..


''He's been in the water a long time...No chance of knowing accurate lividity or time of death right?" said Carlotta.

"Right ,I'll have to get him to the morgue." said Hazel..

My wife's other partner, Detective James Barlow walked in with two uniformed officers...

"We may have caught a break guys...I found this in one of the lockers...It was the only one that didn't have a lock on it..." he said and showed us a wallet that contained a drivers license...

"Our vic is Damien Boudreax..He's 28 ,lives downtown in Condo City...Worked at a Cyber Cafe..." he said.

Tyriq took his limp hand and put his finger on an electronic device that took his fingerprint...He pulled out his Ipad mini and smiled then showed us the results..

"This guy was in the system...According to his prints...He was born in San-Francisco, had four arrests there for pandering....Moved here a year ago..Two arrests by Vice for pandering...One for drug possession...Then he started working at the Cyber Cafe in August and no further trouble."said Tyriq.


"Who says honest work doesn't prevent crime?" laughed Carlotta...


"Are you the primary Carlotta?" asked Hazel...

''Yes...You can release the body."said Carlotta, who walked over to me and gave me a wet,sloppy kiss..

"Ummmm, I'm sorry I didn't say good morning to you Honey Bunny." she said.

I put my arms around her and hugged her..

"Ummmmm, this is one body I don't want to release." I said and kissed her cheek.

"Ouuuuuu."she said smiling...

This seemed like an ordinary run of the mill murder...Little did we know that it was anything but...

II-
Just as we were about to leave Lt. Sissy Van Buren of Homicide...My good friend of many years and my wife's supervisor walked in with Detectives Edwin"Duke" Baylor, Hazel's husband and Angela Belton-Barlow, Detective James Barlow's wife..

We all looked up...


"Siss, what are you doing here..They were just getting ready to move the body?" I said.

Sissy looked very grave...

"Chica, Rico, Jimmy,Hazel...Can we see the body before you move it?" asked Sissy...

"Boss Lady...Like you have to ask us....Of course.." laughed Carlotta..

"Well ,I know it's your crime scene chica...I don't want to come off like another Lieutenant we know and won't name." she said tongue in cheek.

"Never that Siss..Never in a million years."said Tyriq..

"Hey guys...hold up.."said Jimmy to the M.E. employees....

Hazel pulled the zipper down and allowed her husband, detective Edwin "Duke" Baylor to look at the body...

"You know this guy baby?" said Hazel...

Duke kissed her and smiled..

"No.." he said.

He examined the neck.....

"Manual Strangulation....He was found in the pool face down right?   Who got the call?" he asked.



"I did."said Carlotta,..

"Anonymous call right?" said Duke..

"Actually, He said his name was, get this .... Big Bob Johnson and that he worked here.." said Tyriq..

"Big Bob Johnson...Heh, Heh,Heh...He works here?...Junior...Check with the staff.  I'm bettin there never was a "Big Bob Johnson" and I'm bettin this guy is from out of town right?..Gay...Has a few run ins with the law...then all of a sudden gets hooked up with a good job right?" said Duke..

"Duke...What are you getting at?" asked my wife ,Carlotta..

Duke smiled at her and looked at Angie...


"You were right...It's him!!! He's Back!" said Duke..


"I knew he'd be back...I knew it.." she said...

"Okay...Can you two tell me what you're talking about? Who is back?" I asked..

"We called him "The Scribbler" said Sissy...

Just then Detective James Barlow returned...

"You were right Duke..No Bob Johnson has ever worked here...."he said.

''Bob Johnson is a phony name and it's probably your killer." said Duke...

"As I was saying..We called him the "Scribbler"  Four or five years ago...Three gay men were strangled in the downtown area and left nude, face down...We'd get a call from a phony name, Big Bob Johnson or Big Dick Brown and we'd find the body...In each case...The man was from out of town, San-Francisco, Seattle, Portland....Each guy was a former gay prostitute, had a few run ins with law, drugs,pandering...and then each guy got a great job and cleaned their act up....Then they wound up dead! All of the murders occurred during the summer..Duke and Angie worked it hard...Eventually we added two more detectives to it and we all worked it hard..We followed several leads...We never could solve it and just like that...The killings stopped..It was Angie's last case as a Homicide Detective..She took it very hard..She transferred to Internal Affairs after that..."said Sissy...

"I remember that...Duke took it pretty hard too..Losing his partner and not catching the guy....But how do we even know if this is the same guy?" asked Tyriq...

"It's him Rico!...He sent me a letter!"said Angie who showed it to him...

"See Rico he would write the newspapers and us..His handwriting was terrible..It looked like scribbling...Thus his nickname..."The Scribbler."said Sissy...

"DETECTIVE BELTON..I HOPE THIS LETTER FINDS YOU DOING WELL.....I HEAR YOU GOT MARRIED!! GOOD FOR YOU....JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW....I'M BACK!!! SORRY YOU DON'T WORK HOMICIDE ANYMORE....WELL I'LL JUST HAVE TO FRUSTRATE WHATEVER DETECTIVES THEY PUT ON THIS...THEY WON'T CATCH ME EITHER!"

''He's taunting us..I like guys like this...I like it when I finally slip the cuffs on em!" said Carlotta.

Angie hugged Carlotta...

"Baby Sis..That's how he gets under your skin...That's what he did to me..I made it personal and so did Duke, but not as personal as I did...and in the end..it burned me out....I couldn't work any murders after this happened.." she said..

"Angie..If I may ask..Why are you here now?" I asked..

"I know that this is Carlotta, Rico and Jimmy's case...and I know and respect their work...I swear I do...I just want to work this case with them...I'd understand if you guys say no and I won't hold it against you,I swear I won't...I came to Siss when I got this letter and she told me you guys had caught a murder..She said she would ask you Carlotta and that it was your decision.."said Angie..

"Angie!!!...Mami we are family....Of course you can work it with us...You and Duke probably have a lot of files on the past killings as well as forensic evidence...We can look at that and compare with our victim....The more the merrier."said Carlotta..

"Thank You Top"said Duke..."We heard what Lt. Tragg had done to you and we didn't want to step on your toes...That's why we asked..And if you had said no..we would have still been cool."said Duke..

"Duke...You and Rico and Boss Lady made me the detective I am..And Angie is my big sister...How can I say no to you guys." she said.

We all smiled..

"Okay...Move this body." said Hazel..

The body was moved out of the bathhouse...

"Guys..We got another problem.."said Jimmy...

"What now?" I asked...

"All of the cameras in here were disabled...There is 24 hours of footage missing" he said.

"That can't be a co-incidence...Still, I'll put a team on the ATM Cams,Street Cams and Traffic Cams..We'll pull something."said Tyriq...

Sissy looked at Angie...

"It'll be different this time Angie...You got Carlotta, Rico, Your husband and Duke working this with you..Not to mention Hazel...We'll get him this time...I've got a better support team for you.."said Sissy.

"Thank you girlfriend...You've been in my corner since I was a patrol cop..You're more than just my lieutenant...you're my friend."said Angie nearly in tears...

"I'm your sister!" said Sissy...

"Yeah...You are." said Angie.


III-

DEA SAC Carol Redding was in the office when we returned, drinking coffee with FBI Deputy SAC
Sharon Hopkins...

They both smiled when they saw us...

"Heyy Sissy, Hey Guys...From the looks on your faces...You guys must have caught a major case."said Sharon..

"Girl you just don't know...Hi Carol...Ms. Married lady!!"said Sissy smiling and hugging her friend..


"Heyyyy Sisss....Thank you all again for coming to Ed and I's wedding.." she said..

Carol and Captain Ed Cantrell had gotten married over the weekend on the same rooftop that Carlotta and I had gotten married at...and had had a great reception...Everyone that was anyone was there...
We had had a great time..

"So Where are you two going for your honeymoon?" I asked..

"I can answer that."said Captain Ed Cantrell...Who had just joined us...

"We are going to Punta Canta...For three weeks...Three weeks of fun and sun and no murders, no robberies, no mayhem..."he said.

"Unless they occur there!" joked Sissy...

"If they do..It's not our problem.."laughed Ed Cantrell, who then looked at Sissy...

"You uh won't have to worry about Lieutenant Tragg for awhile.." he said.

"Really? Did he retire?" joked Sissy..

Sharon ,Carol and I all busted out laughing....


Ed Cantrell laughed himself....

"We couldn't be that lucky..No..After that fiasco with him busting down the door to the wrong room and catching the Mayor's wife in bed with another man...He's been transferred to the Marine Unit.."said Ed Cantrell
"He's on a boat! No suits...No Hair gel...No Television cameras....Lieutenant Gatsby is on medical leave...And Tragg is taking his place until he returns...He goes out on the boat everyday...He hates it...He's going crazy.."said Ed Cantrell laughing....

"Isn't Gatsby close to retirement?  He was a Lieutenant in Narcotics when I started out as a young prosecutor." I said.

"Yeah and he screwed up a major investigation...On Television all the time just like Tragg, that's how HE wound up on the boat and off the streets...Now he's sick and near retirement... " said Ed Cantrell.

"Wowwww..You wouldn't have happened to have  had a hand in this Ed?" I laughed....

"No Not me...This came from the very top...The Mayor!!! The Mayor wanted him off the streets indefinitely and more importantly ,off the Television...He called the Commissioner and the Commissioner called the Deputy of Operations and that was that. So Sissy, You'll be getting a break from him for a little while..And more good news...No more COMSTAT until further notice!" he laughed..

"OH MY GOODNESS...THAT IS WONDERFUL NEWS...ESPECIALLY WITH THIS CASE I GOT GOIN NOW." said Sissy.

''Can I help out Sissy?" asked Sharon.

"If you don't, my feelings will be hurt." said Sissy, laughing and hugging Sharon.

IV-


In the other room...Carlotta and her team were going over how they were going to work this murder...

"Rico..Duke and Angie are turning over their complete files on the summer murders of five years ago..You and Jimmy go over it,See if there is anybody worth re-interviewing, see if there is anything,forensic evidence that needs re-looking into.."said Carlotta..

"We are on it Top..Junior and I will go with Duke down to Archives and bring all of that stuff up here."said Tyriq..


"I'll get some uniforms to help us out..It's going to be a long night..And I think I'll order us all some dinner from Sam Mother's place and some coffee.."said Jimmy.


"Okay...Rico...Me and you will get those files and I'll call Hazel and tell her to bring the forensic details to us.." said Duke..

"What do you want me to do Carlotta.?"asked Angie..


"Mami..you and I are going to find out about this guy..His life..Flag his credit and debit cards,talk to people in his life..reconstruct his last moments..How about that? You and me on the street,doing real detective work?" she said and smiled..
 Angie kissed Carlotta on the cheek...

"That feels good Little Sis." she said.

Just then a uniformed  officer walked in...

"You Detective Belton?" he asked..

"Yes." said Angie...

"This came for you....Just now." he said and then placed an envelope in her hand and walked out...

"Hey Don't I know you?" she asked..

"Sure You do detective...Officer Little...Johnny Little from IA...I worked upstairs with you...I've been detailed to Homicide." he said.

"Oh yeah..I thought you looked familliar."she said.

Angie read the envelope..

"HEARD YOU ARE BACK IN HOMICIDE ..THAT IS GOOD....BUT YOU ARE SLOW...I HAVE STRUCK AGAIN..."

Angie showed the letter to Carlotta ,Tyriq,Jimmy and Duke...  Then the phone rang....It was Detective Sirena Pile, Tyriq's wife and our newest detective..

"Hey Lotta...I called earlier...Hop and I got a call, an anonymous call about a murder...I think you all better get down here to the bathhouse..The Port Street Bathhouse..We got a dead guy down here." said Sirena...

Hop could be heard in the background...

"Sirena...All of the cameras in here have been disabled...I'll put a team on the ATM Cams,Street Cams and Traffic Cams..Maybe we'll pull something from the street."he said.

Angie looked at us-

"That was Sirena and Hop...We've got another one guys..Another letter and another murder.. "she said.

(TO BE CONTINUED)



3 comments:

Angie B. said...

This looks like it's going to be good...Love these guys!

Sunflower said...

Is this going to be another attempt at social commentary or does the fact that these victims are gay just to move the story along? IJS!

Toni said...

Very nice set up...Can't wait to see the rest as usual!