tagLetters & TranscriptsCaught in the Crossfire Ch. 11: Final

Caught in the Crossfire Ch. 11: Final

bydresbach©

This represents the final installment of Crossfire. I hope the story was as entertaining to read as it was to write.

I would like to thank those of you who've been with it since the beginning for investing so much of your time reading my poor attempts at erotic literature, and I particularly want to thank you for your wonderful comments. It cannot be said forcefully enough how much your interest and comments helped me to see this story to its end.


**

Brittany regained consciousness right where Santos dropped her, squatting on the floor with her back pressed against the wall, gasping for air.

Santos' lifeless body was propped upright in front of her, slumped against the bed and facing in the direction of the entrance to the room. Blood still oozed from two entry wounds in his chest, but without a pumping heart, soon even the oozing would stop.

Brittany trained her eyes back in the direction Santos last looked, and saw a dark figure framed in the doorway. It took her a moment to bring everything into focus, and when she did, she saw Jack standing, strong and tall, his gun still trained on her husband's dead form.

Jack noticed her staring at him. Holstering his pistol, he looked down at her with concern, and said. "You okay, baby?"

Still retching, coughing, and gasping for breath, she nodded her head slowly.

Although it was a foregone conclusion, Jack was about to check whether Santos still had a pulse when Buster rushed into the room.

Seeing the carnage laid out in front of him, Buster hissed, "Jesus fucking Christ."

Turning toward him, Jack asked Buster, "Is Jerome with you?" Buster continued staring around the room as if he hadn't heard. Jack repeated, this time with a hard bite in his voice, "Buster, where's Jerome?"

Buster finally snapped out of his trance, and answered, "Outside."

"Tell him to keep any pain-in-the-ass bystanders back, and get my car keys and cell phone from him. Then call 911. Make sure you tell them to send an ambulance."

Looking around the room one last time, Buster commented, "You shaved that pretty fucking close, Jack."

Jack looked over at Brittany.

Still wide-eyed from fear and trembling ceaselessly, she continued to cough and gasp for breath as blood dripped profusely from her broken nose. Ugly, deep red contusions bloomed all along her throat where Santos had choked her.

"Almost too close," Jack responded with a heavy sigh of relief.

********

METRO SQUAD—ROBBERY/HOMICID DIVISION

Lieutenant Santos Medina homicide, case number R/H258009.

Subject: Jack Dorn (JD), Private Investigator, California license W99632B7110

Interviewer(s): Lead Detective Walter Craig (WC); attending, Detective Carl Oban (CO)

Subject interview transcript from video log; 3 of 3: Saturday, June 12, 2014.


##########

WC: This is a continuation of formal interviews into the Santos Medina homicide. In attendance are Detectives Walter Craig and Carl Oban, robbery-homicide division, Metro Squad. Okay, let's get started. For the record, state your full name, again.

JD: Jackson Michael Dorn.

WC: Are you still waving your right to counsel?

JD: I am.

WC: All right, Jack, let's go through this again, on or about...

JC: Jesus fucking Christ! Again? You two sure know how to flay a dead horse.

WC: Come on, Jack, you're an ex-cop, you know the drill. We're just making sure we have the facts straight. Now, on or about May seventh, Mrs. Medina hired your services. To do what, exactly?

JD: I'm not sure of the exact date. I'll have to check my billing records, but it was a little over four weeks ago that Mrs. Medina first came to my office. She suspected her husband of stepping out on her, and wanted proof of his infidelity before going to a lawyer.

WC: To be precise, we checked your bank records. You deposited ten-thousand dollars into your savings on the seventh, and made no major deposits or withdrawals thereafter, until the week of the homicide.

JD: Sounds about right. You guys looking to be my accountants? I could sure use one.

CO: Funny.

## sounds of paper rustling; paper sliding across a surface ##

WC: So, Mrs. Medina hires you to watch her husband, and during your investigation, you took these photos.

JD: That's correct. On six separate occasions, I witnessed Santos Medina soliciting prostitution, and took those photographs as proof. His usual routine was to pick them up, drive to a motel, and then spend anywhere from one to two hours with them. I was never able to get physical proof of the actual act, except on two separate occasions, when he broke routine and parked in the warehouse district. At which point, I was able to get photographs of the act.

CO: Anything significant about the warehouse district?

JD: You know there is.

WC: We'll get to that later. How did Mrs. Medina pay you?

JD: You looked at my bank records. Ten thousand dollars cash and up front, my usual fee for this type of job.

CO: We didn't ask you that. We asked, 'How did she pay you?' Where did she get the cash?

JD: I have no idea, and I didn't ask.

CO: It looks like she hocked her jewelry for the cash. Would that surprise you?

## long pause in the conversation ##

JD: Not really, and it makes sense. She probably wanted to keep her dealings with me below her husband's radar. You can't write a personal check from the family account and not risk the spouse checking the bank records. Most of my clients pay in cash.

WC: Did she know about your past with Santos?

JD: Prior to our meet? I don't know. Either way, out of professional ethics I had to tell her at our first meeting. None of the details, just that there was bad blood between her husband and me.

CO: Get him. Professional ethics.

JD: You got a problem with the way I do business?

CO: I got a problem with the way you fuck other cop's wives.

WC: All right, enough. So, you tell her about the bad blood between you and Santos, and she still hires you?

JD: Think about it. It makes sense she'd still hire me. Mrs. Medina was always paranoid about her husband's connections inside and outside Metro. With me, and my history with Santos, she could be sure I'd never go to him and tell him what she was up to. I was a safe bet for her.

CO: This bad blood, is that why she fucked you?"

## no response ##

CO: Is that why she entered into sexual relations with you?"

JD: You'd have to ask her about her motivations.

CO: What about your motivations? Why did you enter into sexual relations with a client?

JD: I would think the answer to that question obvious just by looking at her. The fact that you have to ask at all, leads me to believe you're either stupid or gay, maybe both.

## furniture sliding; loud, indistinguishable, angry voices ##

WC: All right, calm down. Let's get back to this bad blood between you and Santos. We heard your side of the story about the Ashante and Kellen Wilson cases. Were still checking it out, but for right now there's no reason to go over details on something tangential to this case...

JD: Tangential?

WC: Which means, just shut up about it for now. We are curious, though, why you started looking into them again after two years?

##long pause in the conversation##

JD: Because you assholes wouldn't. Because it stuck in my craw that the wrong person was fingered for her murder. Because I wanted to finally see them get some justice...

CO: Because you had a hard-on for Santos.

## long pause in the conversation ##

JD: Yeah. That too. That also stuck in my craw. That he got away with murder.

CO: So you say.

JD: So I know.

WC: All right, take me through your thought process. After two years of being off the force, Mrs. Medina enters into your life and it triggers past injuries with Santos. Then you start investigating Ashante's murder, again?

JD: Not again, I didn't really investigate it the first time except tangentially, as you say, to the Kellen Wilson case. However, about the same time Mrs. Median hires me, new evidence concerning the case came to light.

WC: That would be this Peter Fray, the retired forensic guy from Metro.

JD: Yeah, I found out he had some nasty hobbies concerning under-aged girls.

WC: How did you come by that information?

JD: Two associates of mine have knowledge of cons in the state pen doing time for similar activities. Fray's name came up in their dealings with the convicts.

WC: These associates would be Buster Franklin and Jerome Pettigrew.

JD: Yes.

WC: What was Fray's connection with Medina?

JD: Nine years ago, it was about to come out that Fray had sexual relations with an eight-year-old girl by the name of Cathy Bateman. Santos intervened. I don't know what kind of pressure he put on her or the parents, but word never came out—surprise, surprise. You two should probably talk to her if you don't believe me.

WC: We did, as well as Buster and Jerome. They corroborate part of your story. So, what you're saying is Santos plays good Samaritan at the risk of his own career, to save...what...a pederast?

JD: A very useful pederast. Now, Santos has the chief forensics investigator in his pocket, a real, 'get out of jail free' card. From time to time, Santos would have Fray clean up problems for his crew, or for anyone else, on or off Metro, with enough cash. The last problem Fray solved was for Santos himself, when he wiped the evidence clean from Ashante's murder. From what I understand, Santos paid him some major coin for that job, above and beyond the usual favors Fray owed him over the Bateman girl. After that, Fray retires, gets out of Dodge and away from Santos, and moves to Washington.

CO: If what you say is true, and Fray 'wiped the evidence clean,' why bother seeing him?

JD: I didn't know that at the time. I was hoping he just told Santos he destroyed the evidence, but kept it under personal lock and key in case Santos ever tried to come after him. No such luck, everything from the case was disposed of.

CO: So you wasted your time seeing him.

JD: There were other reasons I saw him. He would have specific details of the case; details I wasn't privy to when I was a cop, but maybe Santos knew about. I could then use those specifics to pressure Santos. That was my whole plan, anyway, to pressure him enough to resign.

CO: I really find this hard to believe. That you'd go to all that trouble just to get Santos to resign.

JD: Did IQs suddenly drop after I left the force? I wanted him in prison, but once I determined Fray had destroyed all the evidence related to Ashante's murder, I had to settle for something less. Santos' resignation was the next, best thing.

WC: So you go to Washington to see Fray.

JD: That's right.

WC: And?

JD: And for the first day and a half, I just staked out his home and got to know his routines. Then I waited until he left the house on an errand. At which point, I entered his home to check his computer. As I suspected, the thing is full of kiddie-porn. I pulled his hard drive, then set up a meeting with him at a local café.

CO: And that's where this tape is from, with his confession? Wow, just like that. After so many years staying quiet under Medina's thumb, he spills his guts to you at your first meeting?

JD: It wasn't hard to do. I made it clear to him I had his drive, that I had Cathy Bateman, and that I had convinced her to testify. I gave him enough details about what I knew of Ashante's murder that he literally pissed in his pants. Then, I made it clear it would be in his best interest to become a material witness against Medina for a possible, reduced sentence in child rape, endangerment, and trafficking in illegal pornography, not to mention destroying evidence in a capital crime. After that, it was pretty easy to get him to spill his guts, as you say. You've the taped confession and his hard drive, and if that doesn't do it for you, then talk to him yourself before he books.

WC: We already did, or tried, anyway. The local authorities found him hanging in his closet a couple of days ago.

CO: What do you think of that, smart guy? Pretty convenient, don't you think? Him offing himself, and allowing your story about him and Santos to stand alone, unimpeached.

JD: Now that you ask, I think it sounds like justice to me, because that's what the asshole got. And no, I find it pretty fucking inconvenient, given what he knew about Santos. I needed him as a witness, not as a corpse.

CO: Any chance you helped him make his decision? To become a corpse, that is.

## long pause in the conversation ##

JD: Carol Wignetti, she's the waitress you hear periodically on the tape, asking if we want more coffee. She'll verify Fray and I had a nice, quiet conversation in her café. She'll also verify I left Fray in perfect health in her café at around four-thirty. From there, I drove two hours to the Spokane airport, dropped off my rental while barely catching my return flight. I was back in town by eight that evening.

WC: That would be Wednesday, June second?

JD: Correct.

WC: All right, take us through the events of Saturday, June fifth.

JD: I met Santos Medina coming out of his country club.

WC: Why there?

JD: I wanted to make sure he was alone and unarmed. I told him to drive us to Braden's Café on Fremont, a place I knew that has lots of customers on Saturdays. Once we sat down, I let him listen to Fray's confession. I then told him that Fray didn't destroy the Ashante evidence, as he had said, but kept it as insurance. I told him I was now in possession of that evidence. I described the evidence for him, all of it, right down to the threaded lead pipe he used to kill her. I told him I'd give him the weekend to think it over, but if he didn't put in for early retirement on Monday, I'd kick the evidence up the chain of command.

WC: What happened next?

JD: I went home and waited.

WC: But you had Buster Franklin and Jerome Pettigrew follow him after he left the café.

JD: Yeah, I had them playing tag-team surveillance in case he tried something stupid. I would have done it myself, but I wasn't sure whether Santos knew what car I drove.

WC: Where did Santos go after your conversation?

JD: Buster informed me he was at home.

WC: Where was Mrs. Medina at that time?

JD: I had her stashed in a safe place until this shit with her husband blew over.

WC: The Blue Moon Motel, owned by your cousin.

JD: The safest place she could be, as far as I was concerned.

CO: Not safe enough, as it turned out. Tell me, what was your plan if Santos didn't do something stupid? What if he decided to call your bluff?

## no response ##

WC: It's a good question, Jack.

JD: You mean, what would I do if he didn't resign on Monday?

CO: That's right, smart guy. There was no real evidence. What were your plans if he told you to fuck off?

JD: I still had the tape with Fray's confession, detailing his involvement in covering up Santos' crime. I had statements from the whores that knew Santos, still in possession of the gifts they received from him; small trinkets with little blue stones. The same kind of trinkets Ashante had in her jewelry box. And, I still had the statement and known location of the whore who saw Ashante getting into his car the night she was murdered. I figured I had just enough credible shit on Santos that the upper echelon in the department would still force his resignation, at least for political reasons.

WC: But Santos did something stupid, didn't he?

JD: I guess. Around four-thirty I got a call from Buster that Medina was on the move, and driving like a bat out of hell. I figured he was coming for me, but Buster informed me Santos was going in another direction. He wasn't going to my apartment at all. Buster also informed me he was about to lose Medina because he was screaming through traffic, and he couldn't keep up. Since he wasn't coming my way, the only thing I could think of was that he found out where I had his wife hidden. That was when I headed over to the motel as fast as I could. Fortunately, my apartment is close to the motel, so even though he had a big head start, I arrived at the motel just about at the same time.

WC: How did you know he was going for his wife?

JD: I didn't. I just played a hunch. Better safe than sorry. Anyway, when I got to the motel, I saw his car. I heard the sounds of a struggle coming from her room, and I kicked the door in. I found him choking his wife. Hearing me at the door, he turned to face me, drawing his weapon. That was when I discharged mine, putting two rounds into his chest.

WC: Any idea how he knew where she was?

JD: I haven't a clue. The only thing I can think of is that during the time I left him at the café, and until he made his move, he had some of his thug buddies locate her. Maybe they circumvented the warrant process, and located her cell using GPS.

## sound of file folders shuffling and paper crinkling ##

WC: This look familiar?

## long pause in the conversation ##

JD: Where did you find this?

WC: It was in his pocket. I take it she gave it to you?

JD: Yeah, she slipped it into my coat pocket that morning. I didn't find it until later, when I was waiting for Medina to finish his golf game. I didn't think anything of it. Meaning I should have destroyed it, but I kept it in my pocket, instead.

CO: That's so sweet. You save her love notes. Next, you'll be taking up scrapbooking.

## long pause in the conversation ##

WC: Santos must have lifted it off you sometime during your talk at the café.

JD: Yeah, that makes sense.

## long pause in the conversation ##

CO: One thing I still don't get, is she really this clueless?

## no response ##

CO: So you're trying to tell me, you're running around reinvestigating this murder, and she didn't know anything about it, before or after. Didn't know what Santos supposedly had done? Didn't know you were looking into her husband's supposed crime? Didn't know anything about anything, even though you two were tight?

JD: All she knew was that her husband was fucking around on her.

CO: And in turn, she fucked around on him, with you.

JD: Welcome to the human race, Detective. Why don't you pass a law if you don't like the way things are.

## long pause in the conversation ##

WC: Pretty lucky of you, getting to the motel when you did. A minute earlier, Santos doesn't commit assault and battery with the intent to kill. You stop him, he stays alive, and who knows if he resigns. A minute later, the pretty lady is almost certainly dead.

## long pause in the conversation ##

JD: Yeah...well...I'd rather be lucky than good.

WC: Somehow, I think you're both. All right, you can go. Just hang around town for a couple of more weeks in case we have some more questions.

## sounds of interview room door opening and closing ##

CO: He's a real hard case. Cool.

WC: Jack's all that. Always has been. A good cop, too.

CO: What do you think?

WC: I wasn't sure until I saw the GPS records of his cell.

CO: And?

WC: It went down the way he said. He leaves his place at 4:32, rushes to the Blue Moon Motel and gets there right after Santos.

CO: Lucky fuck.

WC: Yeah, maybe.

CASE CLOSED

********

Jack never trusted to luck, good or bad, in executing a plan—except for the 'luck' he needed to goad Santos into making his move.

When he left Santos at the café, Jerome drove him back to the county club. There, they switched cars and Jack gave him his cell phone. When they parted, Jerome drove Jack's car to Jack's apartment and waited for a possible call from Buster, who was watching Santos, while Jack drove over to the Blue Moon, occupying the room next to Brittany.

When Buster called Jerome telling him Santos was on the move, Jerome took off for the Blue Moon as if he were Jack reacting to the call.

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