Friday, October 24, 2014
Back at Homicide (Blogophilia 35.7)
“Yeah…It wasn’t a pretty scene…Channel 5 was there, but I let the PIO handle that…Yeah, that annoying bitch…anyway, it doesn’t look like I’ll make it home for dinner…guessing about 10…Yeah, I know…I love ya...Bye.”
As he clicked off, he realized how much he hated making that call. It was like the death notifications, painful. The death of dinner and lost family time made him sad. He had to admit, she was one patient woman. For 28 years, she was always there, whether with a cold drink or a good ear when a particular case was bugging him never needing details, only the sound of his voice. She really was his dream lady. For all of the offers from hookers and coworkers he would get, Carol was more than enough for him. She was his serenity; hours spent cuddling on the couch in their little autumn of old. He sure could use that now.
Sunlight glinting off the roof of the guard shack blinded him. Flipping down the visor, he rolled down the window and waved his badge at the reader. With a short beep, the arm rose and he made the familiar left turn into the half empty parking lot. It was still Saturday and most of the staff was off. He pulled the car in and with another way of his badge, he was in the building.
Homicide was a bullpen that sat to the left of the elevators on the third floor. The Chief was a fan of modern open office design, so nobody had a private office. The Captain bitched about it, but Murray didn’t care. Staying in his cubbyhole, more than half of his time was on scene or in court anyway. Filing cabinets, laptop and the interview rooms were all he required here. A place to watch people masquerade as something they weren’t. He flopped down into the chair, putting the notebook in its designated space on the right side of the desk. It was going to be a long night.
The message light was blinking slowly on the desk phone. Looked like just one. That could wait a couple minutes. Case file needed to come first.
The laptop slowly spun to life. Murray quickly keyed his password in and machine froze a moment. Don’t have time for this…He made a note to himself to talk to the Captain about new machine. But that thought was replaced when he saw the red web link on the department webpage:
“Could There Be A Serial Killer Targeting Immigrants?”
The link was from that witch at Channel 5 that he saw at the Graves earlier. What was her name? Tiffany? Heather? Those bimbos all look like they came out of a factory. Don Henley described them right, pretty faces that would sell their grandmothers’ into slavery for a story. And this one had a special knack for springing a story without having all the facts in place. He skimmed over the piece with a combination of interest and anger. Damn, the Dude he just left hadn’t even had a chance to get cold before the scare package comes out.
The piece described five cases, including the two at the Graves. The others were just over the county line in Doraville, in the area he first worked as a patrol officer. Back then, it was pretty respectable place. But like the area around the Graves a combination of poor management and some sweetheart Section 8 deals had turned them into slums.
The victims included three women and two men and they all had the distinctive tattoo on their necks. All had been found shot and dumped. The oldest case happened about a week before the hooker was found. He was identified as a Salvadoran national that was here illegally. The others still had not been officially named. Surprise. Surprise. Murray picked up the desk phone and hit the message button.
“Hey, Wally!” The basso voice of Artie Gomez, came over the line. “You need to buzz back to your old home. I got some info on your dead Hooker. New number. 404-555-9664. Later.”
Gomez was his former boss in Dekalb. He had retired a few years ago, only to be called back as a consultant when a Senior Brass was caught soliciting boys outside a bar in Atlanta. He pushed paper mostly, but every now and then a case would get too hot for the regulars and he would handle it. Bella Paloma was turning out to be one of those.
Captain Hudgens came rolling out of the elevator, with Jackson close behind. With a wave, he summoned Murray to the conference room. As soon as the door shut he began.
“I assume you saw the Channel5 piece.”
Murray snorted, “Yeah. Can I shoot her?”
“Not in public.”
A quick bit of laughter lightened up the room. After everyone settled down, Hudgens continued.
“So, what do you have so far?”
“Not much. I haven’t really started the case file. Our complainant is a Latin, 18-22, deceased from apparent gunshot wounds. He was found about 4:30AM by a Mr. Ma Ngyuen as he was returning home to his apartment from work. The body was dumped next to an old Buick that looked like it had been there a while.
Jackson chimed in. “The car came back stolen about week ago out of Cobb County. I found that out after you left the scene. I went ahead and impounded it just in case.”
“Really? Good.” Murray noted to follow that up. “Anyway, Ngyuen reported he had never seen him before then. Not much blood around, so there is another scene somewhere. When I left, we didn’t have an ID on him, but he’ll probably generate a print hit.”
Hudgens stroked his chin.
“Had either of your heard about the cases in Doraville?”
Jackson spoke first. “Not until I saw the web link, although it doesn’t really surprise me. One of the leads we had on the hooker was had been staying around there between street shifts. We could never generate an address, so, it there was nothing that could be followed up.”
Murray continued the thread. “I recognized one of the dumps from working patrol down there. The distance between the Graves and that place is only a couple of miles, so a connection could happen. Speaking of which, before I got I yanked n here, I got a message from Artie Gomez at Dekalb PD.”
“Good ol’ Artie, just like Yves the Butler, ready to assist.” Jackson scoffed in his normal braying tone.
“Hey, don’t talk bad about our former Slave driver. Gomez said he has some info that might be useful. I think we probably need to put our heads together and see if there really is any link.”
“Yeah. And I know what you mean about Artie. I worked with him on a couple of prostitution investigations. He can be rather...uh...trying.”
Hudgens, stopped a second. “Jackson said you saw someone from a prior case on scene?”
“Yeah. His name was Jeremy Allen. About ten years ago, he burned his house down with his Mother and disabled Cousin in it. Pretty gruesome case. Mama had blunt force trauma to her head when she was found. Jeremy sent to Central State Hospital and never was tried that I am aware of. If it was him, I wonder when he got out?”
“Probably worth checking.” Hudgens took a sip of his coffee. “Let’s go ahead and get a couple of hours in now and get organized. We probably won’t be able to do the meeting with Gomez until Monday, so don’t come in tomorrow. You can get out of here now.”
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