A Circumstantial Casebyjake60©
The operator was mildly interested in what the old man had to say, and so she asked, "Was that at the parking lot on the east side of the Third Street Bridge? Did he throw them way out in the water?"
"Yup, that's the place, and no, he just sort of dropped them over the end of that little dock that's there. Them guys should have no trouble finding the gun." He hesitated before adding, "I can describe him too. He was big, and had light hair. Not blond, just kinda light. And his car. It was dark blue, and the license number started with AZSS, but I forgot the rest. Jimmie showed up with some juice, and he shared, so I forgot some of it. But the rest is right. I lived in Arizona, and one time I owned a Chevy Impala SS. That's how I remember."
The woman had written all of the information down, and was now ready to end the call. "Well sir, I have everything we need, I think. I'm going to give you a number that you need to remember. The number is 127. You call back in a few days and tell me that your calling about tip number 127, and I'll tell you if it has been a help to the police. We might even know how much the information is worth. If it's worth some money for you, we'll tell you where you can pick it up anonymously."
The call was quickly ended, and the Crimestoppers operator phoned the information in to the police liaison officer she reported to. He figured they would send a diver out very shortly, as keeping guns off the streets was one of the mayor's top priorities.
As it turned out, the police diver was on the scene in not much more than an hour, and it only took minutes to find the three items that had been thrown into the river. The proper reports were filled in, and then filed with the Crimestoppers report. By 2:30 the shovels were with the property clerk, and the gun had been dropped off at the forensics lab for eventual testing to see whether it matched any of the outstanding crimes in the city.
When the gun was checked in, it was quickly noted that the caliber and type of jacketed ammunition that was still in it matched perfectly with the recent crime scene in George Washington Park. Within minutes the gun was being checked over in detail, and a test bullet had been fired for comparison purposes. It was immediately shown to be a match for the slug removed from the block of firewood discovered at the Park. A report was immediately sent upstairs to the attention of the detectives in charge of the case, and a technician was dispatched to pick up the two shovels from the property clerk.
Just as different chains of events can run in parallel, they can also eventually intersect, and that is exactly what happened when the detectives and their commander walked out of the staff coffee room. They were met just outside the door by the clerk who was delivering the ballistics and Crimestoppers reports.
"Detectives! I was just bringing this information up to you. We've got the gun from the George Washington Park shooting. There is some information for you in the attached Crimestoppers report as well. It just might even lead you right to the perpetrator." The grinning clerk from the forensics lab handed the two reports to the surprised detectives, and headed back to his own department.
Detectives Klein and Nesbitt took turns looking over the two reports. Within seconds, they were seated side-by-side in front of a computer terminal, calling up records from the vehicle registration department. When they were finished doing that, the two of them held a quick conversation.
"Pete, I'm going to suggest we split up on us. If you'd like, I'll start the questioning of our guest in the interrogation room, and you can take a uniformed officer and go call on Mr. Moore. We should have him in here for questioning as well."
"That sounds like a plan, Dave. Things are coming together nicely, aren't they?"
New parallel lines of action were formed as Detective Klein picked up their accumulating stock of reports and information and headed for the interrogation room where Lisa Evans continued to wait. As he did that, his partner spoke to his commanding officer, asking for a uniformed officer's assistance on a surprise visit to Blake Moore. He was soon out the door with a patrol car scheduled to meet him at the Moore residence.
When Detective Klein entered the interrogation room, Lisa Evans was sitting quietly at the table, her face a mask displaying neither sadness nor fear. She seemed to be stoically awaiting her fate, whatever that might be. "I'm sorry we kept you waiting, Mrs. Evans. I'm ready to get started now. Please be aware that this room is under the surveillance of two video cameras, and everything we say and do is being recorded."
She looked at him with a bit of surprise evident, and said, "I don't mind if you tape us; I have nothing to hide."
As he shuffled papers, he replied, "That's good. We should be able to get started then." He sat back and looked at her briefly before taking her on directly. "I'll start where we ended it when we spoke at your home. Once again; are you having an affair with Blake Moore? Yes or no."
His decision to once again drive to the heart of the matter had a noticeable effect on her. Her shoulders slumped a bit and she turned her head so that she could no longer meet the eyes of the detective. After a few seconds she said in a soft voice, "Yes."
Detective Klein pulled a couple of pages from the pile of papers in front of him. "It's a good thing that you decided to be honest with me. We have proof of your affair right here, printed from your husband's laptop."
His statement seemed to shock her, as her head jerked up, and she once again stared directly into his eyes. "What do you mean, you have proof? Nobody knew about Blake and me."
"Your husband certainly knew, as you can see in these pages. Here's the email he sent to his lawyer almost a month ago, telling him that he wanted him to start preparing papers for a divorce on the grounds of adultery. Here's a map from two weeks ago, clearly showing the route you drove that day, complete with time stamps that show you spent two hours at Blake Moore's residence. Here's a copy of the email your husband sent his lawyer that day, telling him how you had lied when he called you that afternoon, when you told him you were at home."
The pieces of paper slid across the table one at a time, each coming to rest in front of the seated woman. She looked back and forth between the papers and the detective several times before picking up each of them and confirming that each appeared to show exactly what the detective had said they did. Finally she spoke, "How... how did Mark do this? How could he know where I was? This map..." She picked up the detailed map, and traced the route that was clearly marked upon it, showing the route she drove from her home to that of her lover.
"I don't know how your husband first found out, but something made him install this device in your car." He picked up a small black device, smaller than a package of cigarettes, and slid it across to her. On its side was embossed PT--200, and below that was Rocky Mountain Tracking. "He bought this off the Internet, along with an unlimited tracking option, and has been able to use his laptop to get a complete, real-time, location history for you, with full addresses, as well as date and time stamps. He could tell where your car has been every minute of every day since he installed that device under the dash."
She stared at the small, innocent looking electronic unit like it was a scorpion about to sting her. "You mean, Mark has known about us for weeks? Oh God...And he wanted a divorce!" She began to cry again, and the detective took a moment to reclaim the papers and tracking device, which he stacked in a separate pile beside him.
"He certainly did, along with the time and place for all four of your liaisons with his friend over the last month. The last map was created at just after midnight Saturday night, the night he went missing. That was the same approximate time that he sent an email to his lawyer, telling him how he was going to drive over to Moore's place and confront the two of you. He told his lawyer that he was concerned he would be arrested if he broke into the house, or ended up in a fight with your lover, his supposed friend."
She looked up again at the detective, and said, "But, but he never came over there. I... I spent the night there, but Mark never showed up. Something must have happened to him before he got to Blake's house."
The detective appeared to be well-prepared for that claim, as he quickly said, "I'm sure something happened to him, all right. Preliminary DNA results confirm that the blood in the park is his, and we've just found the gun that was used. We can tie the gun to your lover, and the only question now is how long you intend to cover for him."
"Blake... Blake never did anything to Mark! I was with him the whole time, and he never left that night." Her eyes once again broke contact with the detective as she continued, "We were together all night in his bed."
The detective pulled more pages from his stack and said, "We have more, you know. The blood in your car and on your shoe as well, I might add, is also your husband's. Right now my partner is on his way to pick up Mr. Moore, and we'll soon find out whether his story matches yours. There is also the little thing about prosecutorial discretion. Whichever of the two of you tell us what really happened, and where we can locate your husband's body, will be offered a better deal at sentencing." He slid the blood analysis reports across the table to her, but she barely glanced at these ones.
"Mark isn't dead! He can't be dead! I love him; I need him." She was sobbing again and clearly very upset. "Blake is going to tell you the same things that I have. If my husband was hurt in the park, we didn't have anything to do with it." She continued to hide her face with their hands as she cried, a wrinkled and very damp handkerchief in her left hand.
Detective Klein gave her a few minutes to compose herself, during which time he again reclaimed his reports from in front of her, and selected several more that he intended to shock her with when she regained her composure. As she seemed to recover a bit, he said, "There's no doubt your husband is dead. The medical examiner carefully went over the scene, and judges that from the blood loss that is evident, combined with the fact that your husband has not been given any medical attention at any facility in the area, it points to a greater than 95% chance that he is dead." He slid the associated report along with several 8 x 10 photos of the bloody scene across the table to her.
One of the photos slid into contact with her elbow, and she removed her hands from her face to look at it. It seemed to her that there was blood shown in every square inch of the photo, although in truth it was somewhat less than that. She immediately went back into her crying state, and the detective once again straightened out his documentation before putting everything together, picking it up, and heading for the door. "I'll leave you for a few minutes so that you can compose yourself. You really aren't doing yourself any favors by failing to accept your responsibility in this."
Detective Klein set the pile of evidentiary reports on his desk, shook his head as he passed his commanding officer, and walked to the break room for a fresh cup of coffee. His commanding officer continued to periodically glance at a monitor that displayed the interior of the interrogation room, making sure that the detained woman remained safe and secure.
When he left the station, Detective Nesbitt was deep in thought about the Mark Evans case. It appeared that they had received enough information from the forensics department to soon solve it. He was wondering as well whether Blake Moore would still be in town. If he had any inkling of how much evidence the department already had, he would probably have been tempted to flee their jurisdiction.
He arrived at the Moore residence at almost exactly the same time as the patrol car that was to provide his backup arrived. The two policemen knew each other, and exchanged pleasantries as they headed to the front door. Detective Nesbitt was almost surprised when their knock quickly resulted in the door being answered by Blake Moore. The man looked curiously at the two strangers at his front door, one obviously in a police uniform while the other was holding out a badge and identification. "Yes, officers. What can I do for you?"
The detective quickly responded, "I'm Detective Nesbitt, and I'm here regarding the disappearance of Mark Evans. We'd like you to join us back at the station for some questioning. We have Mrs. Evans there now, and questions have been raised that will require your participation."
The tall, well-built, and ruggedly handsome man quickly asked, "Am I under arrest, or something? I know Mark is missing, as I've spoken to his wife. I don't really know what you think I can tell you about it, though."
"We have a number of questions that we think you will be able to help us with. If you don't mind we'd like to have you accompany us now, although you aren't under arrest." Blake Moore seemed too shocked to put up any real resistance to their request, and quickly joined them on their way back to the unmarked car that Detective Nesbitt was driving. Once there, he quietly accepted their invitation to get into the back seat, and didn't seem at all surprised that both the detective and the uniformed officer got into the front seat. Department protocol required that when dealing with a potentially violent suspect, two members of the force had to be involved, for backup purposes.
The detective first turned his attention to his uniformed partner. "We'll get one of the squad cars to bring you back to your patrol car later." When that formality was over, Detective Nesbitt directed his attention to Blake Moore as he asked, "Tell me, Mr. Moore, how well do you know Mrs. Evans?"
Their passenger quickly replied, "She's just Mark's wife to me. I've known her since he met her. Why do you ask?"
"Just wondering, sir. What is it that you do, anyway, Mr. Moore?"
Blake Moore seemed to relax a bit when the question was asked, and replied, "I own a small landscaping company, Moore's Landscaping. We do a lot of commercial work. You've probably seen some of it, as we've even done work for the city."
Their conversation continued until they arrived at the police station, where Blake Moore was escorted to the interrogation room beside the one confining Lisa Evans. He too was asked to wait alone, while the detective collected the files that had been placed on his desk just moments before by Detective Klein.
In just a couple of minutes a conversation commenced between Blake Moore and Detective Nesbitt that closely paralleled the just completed questioning of Lisa Evans. At first he denied any affair with Lisa Evans, but the emails and tracking reports soon made him change his tune. He quickly conceded that they were having an affair, one that had been going on for almost four months. He adamantly denied that they had done anything to Mark Evans, and insisted that neither of them had left his home the night that Lisa's husband had disappeared.
As Detective Nesbitt continued to hammer at his suspect's emphatic denials of any involvement in Mark Evans' disappearance, a new theory was advanced about what had happened in the park.
"I had nothing to do with anything that happened in that park. If Mark knew about Lisa and me, he would have probably gone ballistic, and there's no telling what he might have done. He might have even hired his own killer, and paid him to make it look like Lisa and I were involved. He and I had a history about things like my relationship with Lisa."
"What do you mean by that, Mr. Moore? We have the gun that was used, and a witness described you, and your car, and states that you were responsible for dumping the gun in the river. He even gave a major portion of your license plate number. Don't try and introduce some fairytale about Mark Evans committing an elaborate suicide to frame you and his wife."
Blake Moore got greatly agitated as he responded, "You don't know Mark. He and I have been the best of friends, ever since grade school in fact, but I have known for years that I had better not get caught messing around with his girlfriends or now his wife. We were seniors in high school when I once did that. I took out one of his girlfriends behind his back, and when he found out later that I was screwing her while they were dating; he got so angry that he scared me. I'm a lot bigger than him, and I've always been stronger, but he scared me. He warned me then that he'd never put up with it again, and that I'd be a dead man."
The detective listened to the statement with faint amusement on his face. "You're telling me that you were actually scared of what he would do if he found out, but that you were screwing his wife anyway? Man, that doesn't make much sense."
Blake was more sedate now, as he said, "Stupid, isn't it. I just couldn't resist her; it's been slowly building up between us for years, and I finally put a serious move on her a few months ago. We've been getting together periodically ever since. I don't have a clue how he could've ever caught on. We've been so careful."
The detective sorted through his pile of reports before continuing, "Yeah, it was stupid. Sometimes I think half of our homicides and suicides involve stupidity like that. The old eternal triangle. The only thing is, in this case I think we have you and Lisa dead to rights as the perps. You may as well tell us what happened. Did he surprise you, and things got out of hand? Or maybe you two planned this all along so you could be together and wouldn't have to worry about whether he found out or not. I don't buy the idea that he arranged his own murder; that's just too bizarre. He already had his lawyer arranging his divorce, so why would he suddenly resort to that?"
"I don't know what happened. I just know that Lisa and I had nothing to do with it. As far as the two of us wanting to be together, that wasn't in the cards. She and I both knew it was just a fling, and it wouldn't have lasted much longer at all. The bloom was already off the rose, as they say."
Detective Nesbitt leaned forward before saying, "We've got enough probable cause to get a warrant to search your house, car and office. I wouldn't be surprised if that was already taking place. You had better come clean on this before we drive the last nail in your coffin. I'm going to make you the same offer that I'm sure your lover has been given by my partner. Be the first to tell us what happened, and you'll get a break at sentencing. There's no sense in both of you keeping your mouths shut and getting a maximum. Use your head, and do yourself a favor."
Blake Moore was indignant. "I never had anything to do with whatever happened to Mark. Maybe Lisa arranged something on her own, but if she did, I don't know a damn thing about it."
The detective picked up his papers without responding to the suspect's latest theory. As he left the room he said, "That figures. Whenever we have two perps working together, one always tries to blame the other. You may as well relax for a while, because I don't think you're going to be leaving anytime soon."
When he came out of the interrogation room, Detective Nesbitt found his partner waiting for him with another report in his hand. "It gets better and better. The two shovels found in the river are both stamped as belonging to Moore's Landscaping. What a maroon! Why do these guys always think that we're never going to figure out what happened."