There is one thing I truly hate about my job and that is getting a late night phone call. When a call like that comes in, it means only one thing ... murder.
I’ve been a Homicide Detective for over 20 years and have seen the worse that a supposed civilized man can do to another.
My years in the Marines before I became a cop were less bloody. Sure, it was war and we killed each other, but here, stateside, among our own people is where I find the true cruelty of man. I’m coming up on mandatory retirement in less than two weeks and I will embrace it like I do my wife every night.
My wife. She is a wonderful woman and very passionate. These late night calls bother her more than they do me. But this one seems to bother her more than I thought it would. It’s most likely because she was hoping the last one was just that, the last one before I retired. She had hoped my time as a cop would end peacefully without having to deal with another homicide.
My wife had only been in bed with me for a few hours. She had a rare “girls night out” with several of her friends. They don’t go wild at some meat shoppe trolling for men or get stumbling drunk. A few of them get together now and then just to clear their heads from the mundane day to day life we all have. All of her friends are cream of the crop women that grew up together. Each one of them are in long term marriages, just like me and Helen.
When I was given the particulars of the call I knew this one was trouble. Helen knew from my expression is wasn’t good. “Who is it Jacob?” I looked at her having trouble believing it myself, “It’s Frank and Beverly Nelson.” At one time we were fairly close to each other. We were neighbors when the kids were small, but after they moved away we all got busy with our own careers leaving little time to maintain the friendship we once had.
It had to bad for my Lieutenant to call me out when I was so close to retirement.
Helen watched me get dressed with a look of apprehension on her face. If I didn’t know better I think she may have known something. I was in cop mode by now and had a job to do. “OK Helen, spill it. You know something, I can tell. You and I have been together too long to start hiding things from each other. What do you know?”
“I don’t know anything Jacob.” When I gave her the look I usually do when I know she’s holding something back she decided it best to give it up. “OK. I saw Beverly last week having lunch with some guy and it seemed to me they were awfully friendly with each other. They were too friendly if you get my drift.”
“How come you didn’t mention that you talked to Beverly last week? I figured you would have caught up with her and seen how she and Frank were doing.”
“I told you she was too friendly with the guy she was with and I didn’t feel comfortable talking to her. What she was doing with the guy wasn’t right. It was a disgusting display. Even from a distance it gave me the creeps.”
“What did this guy look like?”
“Early to mid thirties, well over six foot, short blonde hair, dressed in a gray business suit.”
“Anything besides them acting inappropriate bother you about them?”
“Trust me honey, that was enough. You know how I feel about cheaters.” Asking Helen anymore about what she witnessed between Beverly and this guy would have been useless. When she said “cheaters” it was over. Throughout the years we have both seen too many marriages fail because some damn idiot, male and female, decided that their wedding vows no longer mattered. We both despise cheaters and believe they deserve what they get when they get caught. I did however believe murder to be a little excessive.
I gave my wife a kiss and headed out. As I pulled up to the Nelson household, I noticed the coroner beat me there and was already busy with the bodies. Walking up to the house there were several uniforms keeping the spectators away. They did take a few seconds to tell me a few old man jokes. Everyone knew I was shy of mandatory so, to them, I was an old man.
My Lieutenant was there waiting for me which was unusual. Guess he wanted to gauge my objectivity and my ability to do my job since I once had a personal relationship with the victims. He was satisfied I would be OK and in the long run he figured it would be beneficial having me on the case since I would work harder to solve their murders.
I asked him how bad it was inside. He shook his head and handed me booties for my shoes. Taking a quick glimpse inside through the doorway I could see the blood splatter already. What ever happened, happened in the front room. I just finished putting on my booties when one of the rooky cops came running outside and spilled his guts on the bushes. A few of his friends gave him some ribbing, but for me, I’ve been there myself so I said nothing.
There wasn’t much to see after passing the threshold, but as I turned in to the living room the scene set me back. On the floor was a unclothed male of undetermined height suffering two shot gun blasts. His height was unknown because his head was missing. Well it wasn’t really missing. It was splattered all over the wall by the fireplace mantle. The second shot was made point blank to his genitals. Whoever did this was seriously pissed off and was intent on making a statement.
The second body was female partially nude and appeared to be in the process of undressing or covering up. She was killed with one shot gun blast to the chest, also point blank range. Her heart was gone. I knew what this meant. The female victim was Beverly Nelson.
The male on the floor wasn’t Frank. I knew that much. Even with his head missing the man on the floor was taller than Frank. Frank wasn’t tall in stature, but he was always solidly built from exercise and construction work. He owned his own company and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He always preferred working along side his men instead of sitting in an office. I respected him for that.
Upon immediate inspection of the scene, it appears that Frank came home and took care of business in the only way he knew how. He took out lover boy’s good looks and removed the tool he used to take his wife from him. Then, since Beverly ripped his heart out, he returned the favor.
The shotgun was dropped on the floor between the two lovers. The gun cabinet in the den across the hall was opened and there were 12 gauge shells laying loose on the desk close by. A quick count determined the box was new with four shells missing. It wasn’t hard to account for them. Three shots to the bodies and one remained in the chamber of the shotgun.
Frank’s finger prints being on the shotgun meant nothing since it was his gun, but if his prints were on the shells, then this would be an easy open and shut case. The box of shells were new. On the edge of the lid was a small mark of smeared blood. The killer more than likely cut their finger on the edge when they tried to pry it open in a hurry. Frank would have been very emotional at the time with his hands shaking uncontrollably while he prepared to shoot his wife and her lover.
Determining if the blood was his belonged to the experts on forensics team. If I was really lucky, they would also find his bloody finger print on the trigger of the shotgun.
If it turned out Frank was the killer, the District Attorney would present the case as husband comes home, finds his wife with her lover and snaps. A simple crime of passion. Frank would most likely get a short jail sentence, but he’d still end up bobbing for apples with a prison buddy for a few years.
It took several hours for the crime scene guys to map everything out. I headed home till it was time for my shift to officially start.
Not surprisingly, Helen was still up waiting for my return. I told her Beverly was dead and what was most likely her lover was dead along side her. She came over to me and hugged me tightly saying she will miss the person her former friend used to be but not the person that would cheat on her husband so blatantly and so publicly.
When she asked me about Frank. All I could do was tell her he was wanted for questioning, but that was all for the moment. Until the crime scene was fully processed, there was no direct evidence tagging him as the killer.
After a two hour nap I drove to the precinct. The preliminary report would still take a couple hours but I told the Lieutenant I was headed down to Nelson’s Construction Company. He already had a squad car on site waiting to take Frank into custody when he showed up for work. I was hoping a friendly face might make things easier when he did.
The office was already open when I parked the car. The patrol officers had already inquired about Frank and was told he was out of town bidding on a job. Frank’s secretary had been trying to get a hold of him for the past half hour. Frank wasn’t answering his phone but she had been able to find out his appointment was delayed until later in the morning, per his request.
The company he had his appointment with was located in Parkersburg. Since it was a long drive he reserved a motel room for the night before so he could make what was an early morning appointment. I knew if he wanted to kill his wife and her lover, there would be more than enough time for him to drive home from there, commit the murders and drive back in time to keep his original appointment. So why the delay? It would have helped his alibi by showing up as originally planned since the meeting was scheduled early in the morning. Not doing so was more of a red flag to his involvement.
Unable to make contact with Frank, it was decided to have the patrol car cruise by regularly just in case he showed up.
A call to the motel confirmed his check in at 2030 hours last night. I also called the cell phone company and pinged his cell phone. His cell phone failed to show up on the cell towers locator. His phone wasn’t turned off, it just wasn’t. A phone turned off can still be pinged. The emergency locator function cannot be turned off. Either the battery was completely drained or he removed it from the phone.
My Lieutenant approved the drive down to Parkersburg. If nothing else, I owed it to my former friend to show up personally and take him into custody for questioning.
The drive was uneventful until I ran into some road construction. The damn Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a nasty habit of a all or nothing approach to road repair. You’re either losing your suspension in a pot hole the size of a bus or you’re sitting still on the interstate waiting for them to figure out how to fill the damn thing. A simple two hour drive turned into a three hour cuss fest.
And if ODOT kept to their usual shit, then before 1800 hours the road was restricted to one lane only and then after 1800 hours they pretty much closed the roads down while they looked busy standing around.
To make matters worse, overhead utility lines were being run over the same section of road resulting in even longer delays. It was a scheduling nightmare for the State Troopers. I really felt for my fellow law enforcement brothers.
After finally making it to Baker’s Realty Experts, the first thing I noticed was the absence of Frank’s car. I checked in with the company president’s personal assistant and was told Frank was there and currently presenting his bid to the board and had been in their office for close to two hours. The meeting was expected to end at any moment as the president had another scheduled meeting immediately after. There were a total of three construction companies that made it through the initial screening and each were qualified of being considered for the general contractor’s job.
It was a very attractive bid. Bonuses were offered as an incentive to beat not only schedule deadlines but build quality as well.
I asked for some of the president’s time before his next meeting. The assistant went inside the conference room and came back with an approval for a few minutes but nothing more.
While waiting in the lobby, another general contractor came in to give his presentation to Baker’s Realty. You could tell he was very nervous. If I guessed right his skills were geared more toward the construction side of the business than schmoozing clients. He must’ve just come off the job because he was still knocking the dirt off his shoes and his hands showed the effect of years of hard work.
Fifteen minutes later Frank came out with a happy expression on his face shaking hands with the President and Board Members of Baker’s Realty. Needless to say he was shocked to see me standing there but he was able to keep his composure walking up and greeting me like the old friends we once were.
Pulling him off to the side I quietly told him to wait for me outside and not to try leaving as doing so would be very bad for him. His face continued to show concern but when he told me he would be waiting outside, I knew he meant it.
My time with the company president proved beneficial. Turns out the three companies were bidding on a five million dollar office building and a five year building maintenance contract, itself worth millions. It was possible the build and the maintenance jobs would go to different companies, but all were to present bids for both jobs.
I was told by the president that one of the bidders used to be a regional powerhouse until a few construction accidents and shoddy workmanship hurt their reputation. Now they were trying to regain the prestige they had before.
He was a fair man and was willing to give them a shot at redemption but he would be more critical of their proposal than he would be of the others. The third company was an up and comer with positive references. He doubted they had the resources for the construction side of the job but the maintenance side was well within their ability. He was the underdog of the three.
When I asked him of the prospects for Frank’s company he said that Frank and his company were the preferred bidder for the construction but not necessarily for the maintenance portion of the bid.
The president had his own concerns on why I was there asking questions about one of the men he was considering for a major build. I gave it to him straight. That Frank’s wife was murdered during the night and as part of a normal investigation, I needed to confirm his whereabouts.
He asked it I considered Frank a suspect, I told him, as a detective, everyone is a suspect until evidence proves otherwise. However, I explained our prior relationship and if he was the man I once knew, then no, I didn’t consider him responsible for his wife’s murder.
That seems to satisfy him for the moment, but he asked that I keep him informed of any information that, while not impeding my investigation, would be beneficial to his construction project. Too much money and too many people’s livelihood were at stake.
Since I had a possible murderer outside I couldn’t stay away from him for too long. Walking outside the office Frank was waiting by my car just as he said he would be. “What the hell is going on Jacob? Why are you here and why are you after me?”
It did seem that he was genuinely surprised by me being there. “I thought after last night you’d have figured that out on your own.”
“What the hell are you talking about Jacob?”
“Beverly, Frank. You killing Beverly and...”
His eyes opened wide and his mouth dropped open in shock. Next thing I knew he had tears flowing down his face. He fell against my car barely holding himself up. As a seasoned cop I’ve seen every acting job a person can play to try and beat a murder wrap. But here was a man who actually looked like he did not know his wife was dead.
“Jacob, did you just say ‘I killed Beverly?’ I couldn’t kill her. I loved her.”
Past tense, interesting.
“She was nothing but a cheating slut but she was still the mother of our kids. I wouldn’t kill her just for that.”
He knew. We have motive.
“Frank, why haven’t you been answering your phone and where is your car?”
I could tell he was still processing the news of his wife when he started to tell me about how he confronted his wife and her lover at his house. He said he didn’t take it well that her lover was in his home and he pushed the guy around a little but that was it. He did tell her since the house was in his name only, he wanted her out and that she would be served with divorce papers as soon as he could call his lawyer.
When I asked him again about his car he told me he caught some line wrap from the overhead utility work and dragged it all the way to the motel he was staying at. That was the reason for rescheduling this morning’s appointment. A local garage has his car and he planned on going there directly from his meeting to pick it up so he could head back home. Actually, he was going to a motel for the few days until Beverly mover her shit out of his house.
Since it would be part of the investigation and for the moment I needed to keep Frank in my custody, I drove us over to the garage working on his car. Sure enough his car was there and per Frank’s insistence they provided the written order detailing the time he dropped off his car and work they performed. The car never left their possession. As a courtesy the owner drove Frank over to his motel and to his meeting this morning.
I told Frank we were going over to a restaurant so we could talk more and have lunch. At this point I no longer worried about his fleeing. There was enough preliminary evidence to show he wasn’t the killer, but I needed to know about things between him and Beverly.
For the next hour and a half he spelled out what sounded like a bad internet cheating wife story. He was on the verge of tears through out his telling. Seeing the pain in the eyes of a man I knew on a personal level magnified my dislike for adulterers even more.
I’ve been a homicide cop for a long time and seen some extremely stupid reasons to kill someone. Like the guy who killed his brother because he ate the last pork chop. But here and now I could almost understand why someone loses it and uses a shotgun on another human being.
Sitting in that diner I knew I was retiring one month too late. I knew for a fact he was distraught over Beverly’s cheating and her murder. No one is that good of an actor. However, as a cop I knew he could be distraught and still be the murderer.
With our lunch over I told Frank that I was allowing him to drive his own car home but that I would follow him. At the moment I had no direct evidence of his being the killer and with his car in a garage in Parkersburg, I had no reason to place him under arrest. There was enough reasonable doubt.
I called my Lieutenant on the drive back and brought him up to speed. He advised me they still haven’t identified the male victim. His finger prints haven’t showed up on any data bases.
The next few days involved retracing Frank’s activities for the past few weeks and up to the time of the murders. During this time the forensic accounts where reviewing the financial records of the three companies involved in the Baker’s Realty construction bid. It was necessary to cover the money reason for murder.
People kill because of passion or money.
I was home asleep when I got another late night phone call. You wouldn’t believe the words screaming inside my head. This time though Helen wasn’t disturbed by the call. It was the night desk sergeant telling me he just had two patrols respond to a report of gunshots at a motel downtown. The room Frank was staying at was shot up pretty bad.
He wasn’t hurt but terribly shaken up. He was being treated by the medics when I showed up. Glass shards from the shattered window nicked him up but that was it. He was still in shock by someone trying to kill him but refused a trip to the hospital. He instead asked to be allowed to find a safe place to stay before the person who tried to kill him came back to finish the job.
I felt for him and thought about letting him stay at my place but I wasn’t about to put Helen in danger for Frank or anyone. He would have to spend the night at the station house until we could make better arrangements.
Later the next morning, Frank received the call from Baker’s Realty on his new phone. His company was selected for the construction job, but not the maintenance contract. The nervous guy I seen in the lobby was the third bidder and his company received the maintenance contract. He was happy with that.
He mentioned the president picked him not only because of his reputation but also because his closest competitor, Hugh’s Consolidated Builder’s, was putting unwanted pressure in his selection process, which he resented. Those actions became another factor in his decision making.
I knew the president of Baker’s was an upstanding guy. He also liked giving the little guy a chance to prove himself with the maintenance contract.
Forensics caught a break that linked the two shootings. They found a finger print on the door handles of both Frank’s house and his motel room. The print belonged to a career criminal with a bad reputation. Getting him off the street would be a joy.
While Frank began the process of setting up for the build, he received a few threatening anonymous calls and emails. While it lead us in a different direction, it also gave us motive. This time the threats were against his company. The possibility of equipment failures, accidents, and fires were only a few.
With Frank taken care of for the moment I decided to start following up on the movements of Beverly. According to Frank, my wife and a few others, it was obvious she lacked discretion when it came to her affairs. Her credit card purchases for the last two months showed a variety of visits to mens clothing stores, restaurants and a five star hotel downtown. Two or three times a week on average she was out enjoying the high life with boy toy.
In total, she ran up well over six thousand dollars in credit card bills directly linked to her and her lover in two months. Since the card was in Beverly’s name only, Frank won’t be on the hook for them. If he was, it wouldn’t surprise me if he dug her up and slapped the shit out of her. Instead he gets to collect the life insurance he had on her. That’s another motive I had to consider.
The lover’s motel would be my first stop. I was hoping security cameras caught a good head shot of they guy. Our cyber guys could use facial recognition against the FBI database to help us find the identify of Beverly’s headless lover.
I was right about the hotel. They used high definition video cameras at the front desk and caught the happy couple on a few occasions. It only took the cyber unit 4 hours to get an 85% probable match.
The feds started photographing everyone who crossed the border years ago. It seems a certain man with blonde hair, standing six foot four inches tall crossed the border from Canada all of four months ago. As usual the feds kept poor records but after a few phone calls I was able to find out that he came over on an H1B Visa as a Project Manager. No wonder our guys couldn’t find his finger prints, he was Canadian and wouldn’t be part of our regular database searches. But his employer here stateside was responsible for finger printing, criminal background and everything else. Of course that goes to the immigration people at ICE who makes it part of the database. At the time of my inquiry, ICE was four months behind on scanning the data into their system.
At least the Border Patrol tagged this guy crossing the border and called ICE, who called the State Department, who emailed the Border Patrol to confirm his Visa. So one Robert Tolson of Montreal crossed the border and after only four months of being stateside, he seduced a former friend and had his head blown off by an unknown assailant.
I called and talked to a detective in Montreal to let him know one of their citizens were murdered and hoped that he could give me some back ground on the guy. It turns out that Robert Tolson was a well known alias used by a lowlife named Stephen Wallace. He was a part time performer for an all male revue in Montreal. When he wasn’t doing that he was trying to milk ladies out of their money by making them believed he loved them. He was a fucking con artist. There were several arrest warrants out for the prick but before they could catch him, he just up and disappeared four months ago.
Now they knew where he ended up and now that he was dead, he was no longer their problem but mine. They even refused to accept the body for burial in Canada. I already knew who helped him with the fraudulent H1B Visa and in getting him across the border. If he came over for what I suspect he did, he was successful up to the point to where he had his head explosively relocated from his body.
With the day over with, I went home for the night. My wife had made me promise to be home on time today so she could give me my retirement present early.
As soon as I walked in the house the smell made my mouth water. She made my favorite meal. I’m a meat and potatoes guy mostly, but she has a recipe for Pacific Salmon with sauteed vegetables that is just outstanding. The food makes your mouth happy. It sits lightly in your stomach so when you thank your wife with an after meal romp, you’re not weighed down and unable to ... perform. If the food was any indication of what my retirement present is going to be like, then I’ll be performing for her for a long time.
The meal was wonderful and when my wife told me what my real present was, I sat dumbfounded for a minute. She had siphoned off a few dollars from our paychecks for years and put it in an vacation account that would allow us to travel for the next six months uninterrupted. We always wanted to travel to Europe and visit her extended family in Italy and now we can do it comfortably.
Oh yeah, we performed for each other.
The next morning we talked over breakfast. Helen wanted to know how my investigation was going, but I could tell her little. What information I could tell, reinforced her hatred for the actions of her former friend. “Cheaters deserve whatever happens to them,” was an new statement from my wife. “The more severe the adultery, the more severe the punishment,” was another.
I, however thought using a shotgun to put a 3 inch hole in Beverly’s chest and de-materializing a man’s head and genitals seemed a little excessive, but I’m a cop and that just means more work for me ... obviously. All in all I preferred a healthy dose of abject humiliation and financial ruination for any guilty party.
At the squad room the report from our forensic accountant was sitting on my desk. He reviewed the records of the three companies that were bidding for the Baker’s job. Murder was usually for passion or money. This is the money part.
One company was a LLC in trouble to the point of bankruptcy. The company still had its backers but it was operating under very tight controls. The other company wasn’t incorporated but was instead a partnership. One partner had a minor controlling factor in the company’s ownership but not its operations. The major partner essentially ran every aspect of the business. The Articles of Partnership allowed the company to be dissolved with only a two month notice. The notice was intended to give the other partner(s) enough time to line up financing to buy out the interests of the separating partner.
According to court filings, that is exactly what happened a few days before the murder.
If the remaining partner(s) failed in buying the interests of the separating partner, the company is to be dissolved completely and it’s assets sold and distributed according the financial interest of each.
The accountant made mention that having only a two month notice was very unusual. That normally wouldn’t allow enough time for the other partner(s) to line up financing. Considering who the partners were, I don’t think they ever intended to use it knowing it would most likely destroy everything they worked for.
Also, according to a different court, there had been another filing to dissolve the same partnership, but in an entirely different way. This action though, was given to the clerk of court one day prior to the petition dissolving the business partnership. He knew it was coming.
The filing in this court would automatically lock the finances of the parties involved. It essentially delayed the actions of any and all subsequent legal arguments. But since it was not a business transaction, the business partnership could continue to function until the court made it’s decision. This court filing was used to protect the petitioner and to infuriate the respondent.
The third company was financially sound but with much less cash flow. It was a simple partnership with equal interests of ownership. This one though had none of the crazy by-laws to dissolve the partnership like the previous company. It’s cash flow was smaller but the partners were putting every spare dollar back into the company causing it to grow twenty percent in the past two quarters alone.
The forensic accountant’s reports confirmed the two suspects I already had. Right now it was a toss up of who was responsible for the killing. Being responsible doesn’t mean they were the actual killer. If I find one, I’ll find the other.
It was time to start rattling cages. Time was running short and I wanted to finish this up before my last day on the job.
I went by the office of the one company to talk to one of my suspects. The receptionist couldn’t tell me where the man was, also telling me he’s been acting strange lately.
Sounded like he was getting ready to run.
I drove over to the residence of John Hugh and parked far enough away to make sure he wouldn’t notice me. While sitting there I observed Mr. Hugh and another man having what appeared to be a heated conversation. I recognized the man arguing with John Hugh immediately. There was an outstanding arrest warrant for the guy because his finger prints were at both Frank’s house and his motel room.
Calling in for back up I warned the responding patrol to come in silent. They made the radio call when they were less than one block out. That was my queue to roll up and surprise the wonder twins. Needles to say, one shit bricks and ran while the other reached for a gun. He suffered only a flesh wound. I called for an ambulance while the two uniforms cuffed Mr. Hugh who actually made it about one half block.
After a trip to the hospital so the doctor could put a Band Aid on the idiot’s boo boo, he and I went to join the runner at the station house. I spent the next several hours in interrogation talking about current events. Band Aid man refused to talk so I spent a little quality time with Mr. Hugh. It didn’t take long before he spilled his guts ... all over the floor.
After his lawyer and the District Attorney had a short conversation a deal was struck. The information he provided virtually guaranteed his next ten to twenty years would be spent in prison. He admitted he hired the hit man as a last resort because Plan A ran out of time and he was out maneuvered. He panicked and went to Plan B.
Plan A was hiring the Canadian gigolo to seduce Beverly. He figured Frank would get pissed off and do something stupid and get himself thrown in jail. After the Articles of Partnership came to light, Mr. Hugh knew that would be best. With Frank having to line up credit to buy out Beverly, he would lose the financial stability necessary to win the Baker’s Realty contract.
Even though Canadian Bacon did his job well, Frank did his better. He filed divorce papers one day before Beverly filed to dissolve the business.
Plan B was the hit man. Since dead men can’t win five million dollar building contracts, he figured if he had Frank killed, he’d get the construction job.
The interrogation of the hit man proved more difficult. He’s been in and out of prison for so long he knew how to play the game. He was a non-violent offender until about ten years ago when he went to the dark side. Since that time he had served time for aggravated assault and was suspected of several strong arm robberies. Only recently was it rumored he hired himself out as a killer.
After being presented with the signed confession of Mr. Hugh, he admitted to accepting a job to kill Frank Nelson but denied even trying. OK, I expected this fucker to lie, doesn’t mean I have to like it, but I did expect it.
He had difficulty holding his breakfast when I told him we had his fingerprints at the scene of the double murder and the scene of a motel shooting. After the mention of a capital crime he wanted to talk deal so he could keep the needle out of his arm. The District Attorney was running for re-election this November so he wanted a conviction badly and started to consider it.
As an act of good faith, our wannabe killer provided information that seemed to implicate my other suspect as he had eyes on the individual twice that night. The second time was when he did try to kill Frank by shooting up his motel room.
After knowing a hired killer was involved, the running theory was that Mr. Hugh gave the hit man poor intelligence on Frank so he went in and killed our friendly Canadian thinking he was Frank and since Beverly was a witness, he had to do her also. Only after did he realize his mistake did he try to kill Frank at his motel room.
But now after the man confessed to one attempted murder and giving information that could lead to the actual killer, I had my doubts.
In case he was telling the truth about not being Beverly’s killer, the D.A. agreed to the deal only if the information he gave resulted in a conviction of the other person or persons he implicated.
Home was exactly what I needed after dealing with those two. Helen knew how to bring me back to the land of the living after a day like this. She has always been the light in the darkness I walked in.
The next morning I drove over to the offices of Nelson Construction to talk to my old friend. He seemed a little surprised to see me. I guess the expression on my face wasn’t hidden as well as I hoped. I told him he needed to clear his schedule because we had more to discuss concerning his whereabouts the night of Beverly’s murder. He asked if he could have an attorney present. After telling him that would be a good idea, he made a quick phone call and said his divorce attorney would meet us there.
Odd it wasn’t a criminal defense attorney.
When asked, Frank re-accounted his activities on the night of the murders. Most had already been confirmed, but I wanted to see if his story would vary from his original statement. He pretty much kept to the script from before.
Consistency is good. He had word variation but still kept to the same story as before. If someone was telling the truth, they pretty much did it the way Frank just did. Too bad he left out some important details. His attorney sensed a need for a change in directions. He laid an envelope on the desk which contained the certified reports and photos taken by the private investigator Frank hired to follow his wife.
Needless to say, it was pretty damning. Frank had already told me that Beverly was cheating on him, but according to this report she was one cold hearted bitch. Robert Tolson or Stephen Wallace, or who ever you wanted to call him was screwing her blind for three months before he was killed. According to the report, he was only the last of several extra marital participants. Frank had her followed for the past year and knew of her affairs with just about everyone of her lovers.
The lawyer was trying to divert suspicion away from Frank to one of her former lovers. According to the private investigator’s report, more than one of them were rode hard and thrown away wet. A couple of the lover’s, “tweren’t none too happy about being discarded so callously,” as my pappy used to say. Any one of them could have held a grudge and wanted to take their revenge. The evidence contained in the envelope was going to be used in divorce court. He used adultery as a reason and named all her lovers in the action.
They were trying to add another player to the mix.
Bringing the conversation back to where it was before the attorney gave me the envelope, I told Frank it had been alleged by someone in custody that he had been seen leaving his house the night of the murders. And that the individual also described in detail the car he was seen driving away in.
It was about that time Frank decided he needed someone besides his divorce attorney with him. I agreed with him, telling him to contact his defense lawyer, I had time to wait. While he was making his call, I went out front to talk to my next contestant. The shift sergeant already had her sitting at my desk. Introducing myself, I told her I was almost done and would be with her shortly. All I got in return was a nervous nod.
Frank’s defense attorney was busy in court for the rest of the day so we would have to continue our talk tomorrow at the earliest. I wasn’t worried about him being a flight risk but still advised him not to leave town for any reason. Since I was still short on having any physical evidence, I couldn’t arrest him. All I had was an allegation from a convicted felon who’s story seemed hard to believe, but was beginning to be a bit more plausible.
Frank wasn’t expecting this turn of events, nor was he expecting to see his girlfriend sitting at my desk while I led him out of the interrogation room. Both of them looked at each other then at me thinking they were in big trouble. Well yeah, I’m investigating a double murder ... why else would you be here?
The conversation I had with his girlfriend, Barbara Baxter, was enlightening. It seems they have been an item for only about six months. She admitted she was in love with Frank and more than once begged him to end his marriage so they could be together. Their liaisons were few at first but with Frank admitting the end of his marriage was close, they upped their meetings to twice a week, but still very discreetly. She didn’t understand the need to keep their relationship quiet since Beverly was screwing around herself.
Wonderful. She knew Frank was married and had no problems with fucking him. What is with these people? I’ve arrested serial killers that had better morals.