“Her name was Kelly Simpson. She was a producer for a TV series that was shown on three different cable networks,” the tiny redhead informed Sally Howe.
“Maze, how did you make the ID?” I asked.
“Her ID card,” Sally said pointing to it hanging from her jacket.
“I’m surprised you missed your chance to say ‘elementary, my dear Watson’,” I said. You do that at least once every shift.
“The Shift has just started Marion,” Sally said.
“She is such a smart ass,” I said to Maze the forensic lab tech.
“But she is also a beautiful woman,” Maze said.
“Maze eat your heart out, she is Transgender not gay,” I replied.
“What the hell are you two whispering about?” Sally asked.
“We were just talking science.” Maze replied. I just smiled.
“So is this a dump job,” I asked. “The place looks awfully clean to be a crime scene. I mean there is not much blood around her.”
“If you had looked close you would have seen the drag marks. Definitely a dump job,” Maze informed us.
“She had on her ID badge. So I’m thinking she was at work, or going to or from work, “ I suggested.
“Now there is a real insight,” Sally said.
“So somebody needs to call the network. We need to know what she was working on in our little town, and where she was staying,” I suggested.
“Good idea so why don’t you do that Marion,” Howe said.
“You try to figure where she was when she got killed. My guess is she was stabbed, so I just gave you the cause of death,” I said.
“Maybe, but maybe not,” Maze said. “I have warned you not to jump to conclusions.”
“I’m going to put out a call for a person wandering around in bloody clothes,” Howe said.
“Why didn’t I think of that. I’ll go back and drink coffee till the uniforms pick the killer up,” I said.
“You might go back and drink, but I doubt it would be coffee,” Howe said
“You might need your doctor to check your estrogen dosage, you are beginning to sound like my ex wife,” I said.
“Did you just call me a bitch?” Howe asked.
“No offense intended,” I said.
“None taken you sad old man,” she said.
She turned and walked back to the plain car we shared. I followed behind like a puppy dog.
“You would have been a lot nicer to me when I was Steve,” Howe said.
“So would you I expect,” I replied. “Since I’m driving you try to find her boss’ number.”
“Sure, I have only been in this growing little slice of heaven three months, but that has been long enough to figure out you are a Luddite,” Sally said.
“I would surely be offended, if I knew what it means,” I said.
“I totally ignorant of technical things asshole,” Sally said.
“And damn proud of it,” I replied.
“No shit Watson,” she said. Even so she brought the number up on the computer in our car which was tied to every possible network in the world.
“She was here scouting locations for the show,” Sally said.
“Well she stepped on someone’s toes,” I suggested.
“Hello,” she said into the phone then just listened. “When they got the body to the morgue they found out that Kelly was also transgender.”
“Just fucking great. How the hell did the boss know before we did?” I asked.
“He couldn’t have. Don’t go all paranoid on me,” she said.
“The first transgender cop in our county gets the first openly transgender homicide stone whodunit in the county. You think that is a coincidence?” I said it to ridicule her.
“Okay maybe not,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been surprised, if the vic had been me, but a stranger, it had to be a coincidence.”
“Yeah, I hate whodunits and now I get stuck with you and it. How fucking lucky can one man be,” I said. “I’m going to have Jolly Joyce canvas the motel here and in Queenstown. She can find her faster than I can.”
“Your six year old grandson could find the motel faster,” Sally said.
“Enough breaking my balls,” I said.
“One more please,” She said with a grin.
“One more then,” I said.
“You wish I would break your balls,” with that she giggled.
“I’m going to demand a new partner on the grounds of sexual harassment,” I said with a straight face.
“Where we headed,” Sally asked.
“To the lab to watch the slide show and to review the evidence they collected from the dump site,” I stated strongly to avoid her wanting to change the plan.
“She most likely was working not partying, since she wore the ID badge,” Maze said before she started the show part of the show and tell. We got several view of the area and of the buildings inside of a hundred feet.
Then there was a 360 degree tour of the body in relation to the scene. Sally was making notes as Maze spoke. I made a mental note that Kelly appeared to have been posed.
“Go back to your view of the area in relation to the body,” I demanded.
“Did you notice something.” Sally asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “There may be a relationship to the Wheel Club. You may not know it, but it’s a biker bar. We don’t have many calls there, but the paramedics do. They do there own policing.”
“That’s nice to know,” Sally said making another note on her I Phone. “We need a copy of her current project.”
“Yes and have Jolly Joyce check the taxi drivers.” I suggested.
“Don’t forget the Uber folks,” Sally added. “Shall we go slumming?”
“I think we should gather all our facts before we break out our Harleys,” I said.
“Okay but lets go in the daylight,” Sally commented. “It will be dark before we collect all the information.”
“Plan the field trip for tomorrow. Feel free to make arrangements, if you feel the need for a swat escort,” I suggested.
“I doubt your bikers are as tough as those in in Queenstown, and I managed there,” Sally said.
“Good, SWAT hates to mess their hair,” I said.
“Let’s go to the morgue,” she said.
“Lets go have Chinese for lunch first,” I suggested.
“You are just plain evil,” Sally commented.
After lunch I drove to the Hospital, even though Sally knew the way. She preferred to avoid driving. I didn’t mind since I never trusted a woman driver. Though on second thought I had to wonder about that.
“Dr. Simpson, have you met Sally Howe?” I asked when we entered the morgue.
“No I haven’t, but I have heard of you of course,” the twenty something hospitalist and resident cadaver carver said. “It’s nice to finally meet you.”
“Gee thanks Dr. Death,” she said.
I expected him to give her hell, instead he just seemed pleased by the title. It pissed him off when I accidentally let that name drop. That was going to put his sexuality in question.
“So Doc what killed our TV chick?” I asked.
“She died from Exsanguination, extreme blood loss to you Marion,” he said.
“You really want to do a DIY post mortem on yourself?” I asked with a laugh.
“No but I am looking forward to doing one on you. You keep drinking so much and I’m sure it won’t be long,” he said. He didn’t laugh.
“Any idea what the weapon was?” Sally asked. She figured out quickly that she would get the most information, quickest.
“Something wide like a bowie knife and the killer cut her throat. He also punched her in the face more than once before he cut her,” he suggested.
“Can you misfile this until Monday?” I asked.
“Why,” he asked Sally.
“If it gets to the DA they will call it a hate crime and we will lose control.” I said. “If we don’t close it by Monday, the feds can have it.”
“What he said,” Sally said in agreement.
“For you I’ll go slow,” Dr Death said. “If I find anything different when I cut into her I’ll call. Oh we had DNA bearing material in his or her mouth.”
“Good we can bring you a sample for a match,” I said.
“By Monday, if you want to keep the case,” he said.
“Right,” Sally agreed.
“That went well,” I said.
“Sure, thanks to me, Dr Death is a closet queen,” she added.
“Ya think?” I asked.
“Okay,” she agreed.
We spent the rest of the day reviewing the summaries from the specialists and making plans for the next day. I figured we grab the owner of ‘The Wheel’ at home before he opened the club.
“I think we should do it before 8am,” I said. “Let him know how serious we take all this.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Sally said. “So do you have anything on for tonight?”
“A pint of Jim Beam,” I suggested.
“Right, see you in the morning. Call me when you leave for the office,” Sally demanded.
I had a couple of drinks before I accompanied the uniforms to the wheel to steal there garbage. At 10:15pm we found the blood covered rags that were still damp from scrubbing the floor. After logging them into evidence, I sent them to the lab for a match. That was necessary to maintain the chain of custody.
When I got home I finished the pint of my friend Jim, then went to bed. I had terrible dreams which thankfully I couldn’t remember at 5am the next morning. I hadn’t drank enough to give me a hangover, but enough to allow me to sleep. That being the case, I went to breakfast at Pop Evan’s Diner. I had the cop special. The half priced special consisting of anything on the menu. New cops weren’t told about it. I had been advise that it only applied to the old timers like me.
I sat at my desk reviewing the files until the 7am, when I called to awaken Sally. “So did I wake you I hope,” I said.
“I’m sorry Sally is in the shower,” the female voice replied.
“Sorry about that,” I said. “Just tell her Watson called.”
“Will do Marion,” the female voice said just before the line went dead. I had absolutely no intention of pursuing if further.
“So what shit did you get into last night?” Sally asked when she came into the office carrying a cup of fancy coffee.
“I went with the uniforms to collect the trash at the wheel,” I said.
“Did you find anything? she asked appearing bored.
“A handful of blood soaked rags,” I admitted.
“Cool,” she said.
“So, do we know whose it is,” she asked.
“Not yet, why don’t you call Maze and ask her to get on it first thing,” I suggested.
“Why don’t you call her?” she suggested.
“Because I think she has a crush on you,” I replied.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Sally said, but she placed the call.
“While she does that, we need to go get Big Ed before he wakes up,” I said.
“Can we break the door?” she asked.
“Not without a warrant,” I suggested.
“Can we get one?” she asked.
“Not without probably cause,” I said.
“What if the blood is a match,” She asked.
“You know better,” I suggested.
“Just checking to see, if you do?” she asked.
“I do,” I said. I also reached into the desk for my set of lock picks. I slipped them into my pocket without a word. Big Ed, the ratty looking biker, lived on the green of the local golf course. The house was probably worth half a million.
“Who the fuck said crime didn’t pay,” Sally asked.
“Nobody I know ever said that,” I replied.
I parked on the street and we walked up to the door. I knocked and we waited five seconds, then I picked the lock. We shouted from the door “Police is everyone alright in here?”
A very hungover looking long gray haired, homeless looking man came from the bedroom. “What the fuck?” he said.