Saturday, December 13, 2014

Facing Ghosts (Blogophilia 42.7)

“Damn. I need some coffee.”

The meeting had left his head spinning. Anal Artie had left no detail unturned; kidnapping, rape, murder, even infanticide if a girl got pregnant. It was a never ending tragedy. A loan shark for La Paloma would front some money to a father, with the collateral being his kids. When the loan got behind, the enforcers would then take the women, killing the fathers and brothers who resisted. Police down there were completely owned by the group, so it did no good to complain. It really was too much information to digest all at once. El Potro and his minions were quite evil. 

The half empty pot smiled at him. Black slightly burnt liquid poured into the empty Starbucks cup. The aroma slowly cleared his brain and something very important came to his mind.

In all of the slides of desperation and depravity, there was nothing that pointed to why there were four dead bodies. Murray pondered. If it had been a theft, one or more of the victims would have had their hands damaged or cut off. Faces would have been disfigured if they had snitched.  There was not of the usual signs of gang trouble. 

The tip lines and informants were crickets so far on rivals.And the little bit on information gotten from the girls he talked to didn’t indicate any problems with his victims. He took a slow sip of the coffee and thought. 

Was someone suspected of snitching? Yes, that was always a possibility, even with the no damage. And if one was suspected, anyone attached to the Snitch would also go.  What they didn’t know yet is if the four victims knew each other. Given they were all from the same village, it was likely they were related somehow. 

It could also be a matter of disrespect, something said taken the wrong way, with disastrous consequences.  

According to Artie and the Gang Unit in Cobb, there had been no interviews with any of the victims. Rights were always invoked and everybody bonded out. There was an ICE detain on the girl in Cobb, but a lawyer made bond happen and she was in the wind until her body was found. 

Slumping into his chair, he turned on his computer and groaned. Some bozo had changed his screen saver to a simulation of a zoopraxiscope. The naked man’s flickering jumping jacks was NOT his cup of tea. If someone else wanted to look at that, they were more than welcome to do so. And anyway, it was a violation of department policy. Quickly turning it off, he went into the department database, but not before he heard Jackson’s braying voice.

“HA! Knew you liked yours kinky.”

“Oh, shut up.” he said not bothering to turn around.  “I’ll get somebody to get rid of that later.  Do we have the autopsy back?”

“Yep.  It is pending toxicology, but nothing expected. SeƱor Aguirre had a total of five defects in the upper torso, three entries and two exits, and one entry behind the right ear. M.E. is guessing, but it appears the headshot was post mortem.”

“Just to make sure?”  Murray turned around, looking intently at Jackson. 

“Probably.”  Flipping a page, the Black man continued. “Fragments from two projectiles were recovered, consistent with a medium caliber weapon, like a .380 or 9mm. Report goes on to say the deceased had trauma around the face that occurred shortly before death consistent with being hit with a blunt object.”
“Like the gun they shot him with?”

“That would be my guess.”

“Are there enough fragments to test if we were to recover a gun?”

“Don’t know. Ballistics will tell us.”

“Something else to follow up. Anything else?”

“Not really.A couple of old fractures, one old gunshot scar in the leg, another scar consistent with a knife wound, all more than a year old.” Jackson set the report down. “Someone was pissed someone off.”


Tapping a few keys and brought up the victim’s record. Murray spent a couple of minutes making notes of where the arrest were and whether he had shown up for court.  Two charges were dismissed for lack of evidence or witnesses. No surprise. Nobody would consider talking against this group. A third charge of pimping had been plead down to loitering with intent, fine paid that day. Need to talk to vice about that one. The case must have been stronger. Gomez did say he had a couple of arrests in Dekalb and he would forward the results. He wasn’t hopeful they would help, but it was information.  

Clicking over a page, he then looked at Aguirre’s emergency contacts. Maria Aguirre Torres, Sister, 4026 Pleasantdale, Doraville.Violent images of a vice raid gone wrong flashed across his eyes. Must have been fifteen, twenty years ago, the tip had come by way of the clouds.  Four kilos of coke and a couple of underage girls, and then…gunfire. Like lightning offshore, chaos and smoke were the primary memories. The very apartment the raid happened. The C.I. tip said there would only be a dealer…maybe the supplier…not half the fucking drug gang. The bodies lay all over the floor. Four in total, with four wounded cops.  It was like rubbing your eyes and suddenly finding you are awake and not asleep, as you suspected you were. 

Would it have not happened if he had reconnoitered the place?  Too late to ask those questions. All he knew was he made it out uninjured. Artie Gomez had taken one to the arm, but he wasn’t angry about it. All he cared about was there were two less dealers on the street. No remorse on the girls, it was just collateral damage in the ongoing battle against the evil.   

The bitch on channel five, that Heather Hardon, tried to make it a personal vendetta against him. She was at every court hearing and hanging around internal affairs when it was all going down, putting out the most slanted coverage she could, smugness in the blond face. Yeah. Don Henley described her well. While Internal Affairs cleared everyone, Murray knew he couldn’t stay on. He resigned and took a year off to rebuild. The nightmares did slowly subside.  Only once in a while did they get triggered,like now. 

As far as he knew, the sister hadn’t been contacted yet. 

It was time to face the ghosts. 

He locked his computer, grabbed his tablet and left the office.  


Topic-Heather Blomquist


Pic-Guesses:Offshore (in blog), Lightning (in blog), Flash, Foreboding, Heavy weather, Stormfront, Trouble, 


  1. oh........... this just gets better and better

  2. YIKES!! This was intense! 8 mysterious points, Earthling!! :D

    Marvin Martian

  3. Been following your story intently, haven't been commenting because it is so intense and gripping. Interviewing the relatives of the victim must be one of the hardest tasks an investigator has to do. Keep this coming!

    Blue dude

    1. Yes, it is. I have never met a cop that didn't hate that part.

      This project really has been fun.

  4. Wow! Time to face the ghost in the machine? You have managed to keep this Jeremy story flowing and riveting, despite all the challenges of Blogophilia. You'd never know. Clever way to integrate the zoopraxiscope! :)

    1. As I said earlier, this project has been more fun than if I had tried to write it as a real novel. The prompts have forced me to think about the characters and how they interact.