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Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Death In Strawberry Mansion


The next morning,I was out and about..I had to contact Frank Burke and make plans for the meet...As I was driving..I saw a familiar sight...Police cars and flashing lights and the crime scene tape..

Somebody had managed to get themselves killed...I wondered who...Normally,I would have kept on going, but I saw some friends of mine in the crowd...

Standing outside the bloody car...I saw Forensic Investigator, Dr. Hazel Baylor...

Standing next to her ,with Latex gloves on was Detectives Carlotta Rodriguez-Wallace, Jimmy Barlow and their boss and my good friend, Lt. Sissy Van Buren..I hadn't seen them in awhile ,so I parked and got out..



I smiled when I saw them.....

From a distance, I saw Detective Tyriq Pile questioning witnesses and instructing uniforms to keep the crowd back, but to let me in...

"Heyyy Kev.." said Tyriq..

"Rico!" I said and waved as I walked up to the crime scene...

''Well Hello Kevin...it's been a few weeks.."said Sissy, who greeted me with a hug and a soft kiss on the cheek..

"Who is the unlucky guy who managed to get himself killed?"I asked..

"His name is Pete,Pete Jenkins...A local grifter, a few arrests for pandering, fraud..nothing heavy....Jimmy and I used to roust him when we were patrol officers in this neighborhood."said Carlotta.

"He was harmless..he certainly didn't deserve this....I wonder who he pissed off?" said Jimmy...

I took one look at him and was shocked..

"OH MY GOD!!! IT'S HIM!!! FROM THE OTHER NIGHT!!!"I exclaimed..

"You know this guy Kevin?" asked Sissy..

"I saw him the other night at Mulberry Street..Last Friday...He was working with another guy who stole something very valuable from the uh Ms. Panties 2016 pageant!" I said.

Hazel looked at me and blushed...Then she busted out laughing...

Carlotta did likewise...

"You were at Ms. Panties 2016 Kevin?" she asked and continued to laugh...

Sissy looked at me and smiled wryly, then she too busted out laughing...

Tyriq and Jimmy both gave me dap..

"My man Kev...I was looking for an excuse to get out of the house and go to that...So was Duke."said Tyriq..

"Damn mann, respect!" said Jimmy High fiving me...

"No..No..No..It wasn't like that...I was working...The guy who sponsers the show hired me ,because his accounts had been hacked a few days before and he felt somebody was going to steal the Gold Laced Panties and Bra set." I said.

"This guy here stole the Gold Panties??" asked Carlotta, who continued to laugh...

"No..No..He was a decoy for the real thief...I have no doubt he and another  man I have yet to find were working together..but he in no way was the mastermind...He was probably paid for his troubles and sent on his way..Besides...I can't even prove that much..It was just a suspicion.."I said.

"Somebody wasn't worried about proof...This man was tortured...all five of his fingers were broken and he was shot in both knee caps.." said Hazel..

Jimmy,Tyriq and I all winced..



"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.." we moaned...

"Then he was shot in the head and killed..Probably somewhere else and brought here...judging by the lack of blood at the scene."said Sissy... "This is near Strawberry Mansion...Which means Frank Burke either did this or he at least knows who did this...Not much goes down around here that he either doesn't have his fingerprints on or isn't in the know about ." she said.


"He won't talk to you guys..."I said.

"Maybe if we pick him up and bounce him around in the fishbowl for a few hours we'll get something."said Tyriq..

"Forget it..He's old school...He'll have a lawyer or two down there before we get him down there..And besides, we have no proof he's involved in this.."said Sissy..


I pulled Sissy to the side...

" Siss, give me some time...I might be able to get you something you can use.." I said.

"You and I have known each other for a long time friend...You've never been wrong before...We are still going to work this case..but I'll await your call.  Okay..Let's get him out of here and to the morgue" she said.

 I watched what was an all too normal sight ....a murdered man on his way to his next to last resting place...

I kissed her cheek....

"I'll be in touch...See you later guys "I said and got in my car and pulled off...

II-
 I called Frank Burke's number... I didn't get an answer...but I left several messages for him...I told him I'd meet him in a popular Health Food Bar...It was a neutral spot..I told him my client had approved of the buy...

I next called Kool Kat and told him where to meet me..

The Organic Restaurant I mentioned was in my neighborhood....and it was safe...

Mostly young people hung out here...No gangsters or tough types...

Kool Kat met me and we waited...

"I don't like this man...You said that Pete Jenkins was found murdered?...He was one half of the crew that stole the panties.."he said..

"Yeah...the unimportant half...Why would Burke make a move on a nobody like Jenkins unless he was sending a message to Christopher Robinson?" I said.

"Yeah Kev...but why?  He has the Panties and Bra...He's about to get his money...Why would he make a move on them?  Robinson squared his debt as far as we know right?" asked Kool Kat..

"As far as I know...Something isn't right...I'm going to the men's room..Call me if you see anybody."I said.

"Famous Last words."laughed Kool Kat as I stepped away...

 "I'm going to the john" I said as I tossed a few dollars on the table...

"Okay Kev..I'll wait for you." he said.

I finished my business as they say and was washing my hands when the stall door slowly opened...I saw a big hulking figure in a dark suit slither out....before I could turn and dry my hands...the man had a garrotte around my neck and was squeezing hard....He was big man.. I recognized him...He was one of the goons who had been with Frank Burke the day before..
"MISTER BURKE SENDS HIS REGARDS" he said as he squeezed harder...

He was a little younger than me, but strong as hell..He was squeezing the breath out of me and practically lifting me off of the ground...I took what strength I had left and kicked him in his groin as hard as I could...He grunted, but he loosened up his hold just enough for me to elbow him in his jaw, snapping his head back and sending him flying...

I didn't have the time to catch my breath before he was heading toward me...."I AM KAMAZI...AND I'M GONNA BUST YOU UP!" he said..  Just what I needed..A talkative killer..

"Like you busted up Pete Jenkins?" I asked.

"Oh...you saw my handy work huh? Well that aint nothin com pared to what I'm going to do to you.." he said.

"Why are you doing this? I have the money...The million dollars .."I said.

"Yeah right...You hacked into the bosses account and looted him of 12 million..You Jenkins and Robinson are working together." he said.

"No chief..you got it all wrong...I don't know where Robinson is..We've never met."I said.

"I don't care..The boss wants you dead and I'm gone kill you just like I offed Pete Jenkins."he said.

I landed some good lefts and rights to his body, but he was equally good with his hands...he landed some good lefts and rights to mine...I countered and landed some lefts and rights to his face, but he equaled me with some well placed lefts and rights to mine...

What I had in my favor was that he wasn't a trained boxer or kick boxer like I was and he wasn't in top shape and in fact, I could feel him getting winded...I cracked him hard in his jaw and saw blood trickle from his mouth...I cracked him again and saw the sweat fly off of his face...I hit him in his stomach and he bent down in obvious pain..I landed some more lefts and rights to his jaw which sent him into the wall...and down on the bathroom floor..He lay there for a minute...still conscious and breathing heavy...I was holding my neck and still gasping for air...

I hauled off and kicked him hard in his side...

He moaned in pain...

I stumbled out of the restroom, trying to catch my breath and trying to run down the back hall when Kamnazi came out with his gun, a .45, drawn and aimed at me...I pulled out a taser...Something new Peeping Tom gave me and fired...

"AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!  FA LA LA LA LAHHHHHH, LA LAAA, LA
LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" he screamed and fell to the floor....Smoke was rising from his clothes and he was shaking...

"Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!" he yelled in a high pitched voice...

Kool Kat raced around to the men's room and aimed his 357 magnum at his head..

"No Walter no..Don't shoot...He's helpless..."I said..

He was...He was paralyzed and shaking like a leaf...  I had gotten his whole murder confession on tape...I was wearing a wire and I took his gun out of his suit jacket and put it in a plastic bag...

Kool Kat and I got some plastic and tied him up...He was still shaking...

''What are we gonna do with this mope?" asked Kool Kat.

"Call the cops." I said.

III-

 "Thanks once again Kevin."said Detective Sirena Pile as she read the man known as Kamazi,real name,Jonathan Williams, his rights...
 "Let's go mope."said Detective Antonio Hopkins,her partner as he delivered the killer to uniformed officers...
 Jonathan "Kamazi" Williams was still shaking as he was led to the Paddy Wagon....

I passed Sirena a Zip drive...

"Tell Sissy this is his full confession for the Pete Jenkins Murder , while he was trying to murder me.."I said.

''Why was he trying to murder you Kevin?" asked Sirena ,giving me the side eye..

''A misunderstanding of sorts."I said.

"Well he should get full clarity next time...You beat the piss out of him from the looks of things." said Hop..

Kamazi had two black eyes..a broken nose and swollen lips...and to top it off..He had been tasered..Not his best day...

I handed Hop the plastic bag with the gun in it...

"This is more than likely the murder weapon...Because this guy was too stupid to get rid of it after he shot Pete Jenkins.." I said.

"Boss Lady will be happy...So will my husband,Carlotta and Jimmy..You just closed their case for them.."laughed Sirena.."You owe me. Be Easy Kevin" she said and kissed me softly on the cheek..

"Thanks again Kevin." said Hop as he Sirena and several uniformed policemen took their murder suspect to central booking.

 "I told you something big is going on here Kev...Burke has a contract out on you...What is going on?" he asked.

"During the fight Kamasi said something about Burke's main account being looted and 12 million bucks being lifted...He thought Jenkins,Me and Robinson were in cahoots..

"WHAT? I thought you guys safeguarded those accounts?" asked Kool Kat..

''We did...Robinson never wanted those measly accounts...3 Million in one,2 million in another..2.5 million in the third one..No..He was looking for the big one...He got 12 Million dollars...He got the real show stopper..He is good!"I said laughing..

IV-
And so I left another message for Frank Burke...I asked for a meet at the same bar where we had first met...In Strawberry Mansion...I told him I had the money...

I sat at the bar,sipping wine...

I saw him enter, now minus a goon...It was him,his driver and three guys now..He was furious!

"YOU GOT A LOTTA DAMN NERVE COMING DOWN HERE IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS !!" he snarled.

"Oh? I'm trying to give you some money and collect those panties and that bra.."I said.

He looked incredulous..

"WHAT?" he said.

He was quiet for a minute...

"You didn't know did you? You didn't have anything to do with this,Did you?" he asked ,giving me the side eye..

I produced a briefcase with the money..

"Have one of your guys count it or can they do that?" I asked.

"Check him for a wire."said Frank Burke..

I stood up..I pulled out my .38 smokeless..

"Oh no...That's not gonna happen .....There is your money..Take it or leave it..Now hand over the Panties and our business is done."I said.

He took the briefcase...

"I'm not handing over nothing."he said.

"Hey..I gave you that money in good faith..."I said.

"Your boy Robinson hacked into one of my accounts...He hit me for 12 million...Until he is found ,You get nothing....So here's the deal..You're pretty sharp...You managed to get a photo of him and his name..Find him...Tell me where he is..That's all I ask and you have my word..You and your client will have the Golden Panties and Bra set..." he said.

"So I'm working for you now?" I asked.

"Essentially yes...And if you don't find him....You're going to wind up like Jenkins."he said.

"Your boy Kamazi tried that...How's he doing?" I asked.

"What?" he asked, surprised..

"You didn't know huh? He tried to whack me in the Health Food store on your orders...He's in jail." I said.

"What? I didn't have a contract on you...At least not yet..."  he said.

I looked at him...

"You didn't know did you? You didn't send him at me did you?" I said..

We both looked at each other..

"ROBINSON!!!!" we said in unison...

"OUUUUUUUUUUU..He's a slick one..."growled Frank Burke.."I'm doubling up the bounty on him...Find him...I'll give you the Golden Panty and Bra set,plus a million dollars..."he said and he and his cronies walked out of the bar...

Kool Kat ,who had been sitting in the back came forward....

"You're going to just let him go with your client's money and you didn't get the panties or the bra?" he asked..

"I never thought he'd send an obvious amateur like Kamazi after me..It was Robinson...Robinson tricked him...Robinson probably knew that he killed Pete Jenkins..."I said.

"So what's our next move chief?" asked Kool Kat..

"Next..We catch ourselves a thief!"I said.


(CONCLUSION NEXT)


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