Cupid's Revenge Pt. 02byDG Hear©
by DG Hear and Jake Rivers
This is a continuation from part 1. It should be read before reading this part. Again, we want to thank Lady Cibelle and Techsan for editing our story.
When I got back to the station, Charlie said she found something interesting. The pimp that was killed the second year was also a drug runner. He didn't sell drugs per se, but he did pick up money for one of the mob bosses.
I asked her where she got the information and she told me she went out and located the hooker who was with DQ at the time he was killed by Cupid.
"What? You went out in that area by yourself? What the hell is the matter with you?" I asked.
"Easy, Jim, don't blow a head gasket. I took a uniformed officer with me," she smiled. "Were you worried about me or just think I'm not capable of thinking for myself?"
"Damn, Charlie, I'm sorry. Seems like I'm always apologizing to you. I know you're more than capable of making decisions. It's just that... that... Oh, hell, yes, I worry about you. I've never had a woman partner before. I would hate for anything to happen to you," I said.
"If that was an apology, I accept it," replied Charlie.
"What does DQ stand for? I thought his name was Jerome?"
"His name is Jerome. His street name was DQ, for Damn Quick," laughed Charlie. "I didn't make it up; it's what Chantill called him."
"What did she have to say about DQ ... I mean Jerome?"
"A couple of weeks after he was killed someone broke into her apartment. He was looking for money that DQ never turned in. Some fifty-grand that he told them was stolen from him. She said she never had any money that belonged to DQ.
"I found out looking through the police reports that the landlord reported the break-in. Chantill was beat-up during the break-in and was taken to the hospital. When I asked her how come she didn't report it to the police, she told me they told her they would kill her if she did. I asked her who her pimp was now and she said she no longer did that kind of work.
"When I asked her what kind of work she did, she told me she worked in an office for her boyfriend. His name was Dan Hughes. He owns a check cashing business on Fifth Avenue.
"I showed her pictures and asked if she recognized any of the men. I watched as she quickly went by Moe and John's photos from a stack I showed her. I knew from her facial expression that she recognized them but didn't say so. She actually looked scared. 'Sorry, I don't recognize anyone,' she told me.
"I checked the records and Mr. Dan Hughes does own a check cashing business but is also a runner for ... you guessed it ... Moe and John," remarked Charlie.
I told Charlie what a fantastic job she had done. I also explained all the information I got from Murphy. When I showed her the list he gave me, she told me that the son-of-a bitch put her name on the list. She did say that his list was pretty good. Everyone on the list was a professional archer, but none of them fit the mode of the cupid killer.
There was one other woman's name on the list. I asked Charlie about her and she said it was her older sister, Doris. At one time, she ranked in the top five in the state, but she was now married and had a family. She very rarely shoots anymore. She's too busy being a wife and mother
As we walked out to the parking lot Charlie turned to me, "Jim, I'm too worn out to go home and fix dinner. You want to go get something?"
"Sure, there's a great steak house just a few blocks from here."
After I drove us over, I noticed she waited for me to open the door for her. I was going to do it anyway, but I'm glad she waited. Too many women anymore don't give you a chance to be a gentleman.
We didn't talk about the case at all -- just more getting to be friends ... or hopefully something more. We had a great time and the food was worth coming back again for. When I took her back to her car, she stood by my door -- I'd rolled the window down -- and we chatted for a minute. She leaned down to kiss my cheek again but I turned and she found my lips. It was kind of a sisterly peck for a second, and then she kissed me again and it was hot. When she broke free, her face was red and she stared at me for a long moment.
Life was looking good.
During the following week, we did talk to everyone on the list. We even visited Charlie's sister. We did it more as a family visit rather than as an interrogation. Charlie was right; no one on the list seemed like good suspects for the cupid murders.
We kept coming back to Lee Murphy. Something kept telling me he was our best suspect. We needed to tie him to the mob somehow. Why would a businessman and professional archer deal with the mob? If we could only figure that out, we might have our man.
We needed more information on Moe and John. We knew that they bought guns from Murphy. We also knew that they broke into Chantill's apartment looking for the money that DQ said he lost. We figured there must be a connection between Murphy and the two mobsters, Moe and John. We decided to rattle Chantill for more information. We stopped by the check-cashing store the next day.
"What do you want? I told you everything I knew yesterday? I didn't do anything wrong. I'm sorry I can't help you. Now please leave," said Chantill.
I let Charlie talk seeing she was able to talk with Chantill earlier.
"Mind if we look around a little? Where's Dan? We wanted to talk with him," Charlie asked.
"Don't you need a warrant or something?" ask Chantill.
"Not if you tell us it's alright to look around. Do you have something to hide, Chantill?"
"No, go ahead, look around; it's just an office. We give loans and cash checks, that's all."
We walked around the office behind the counter. I spotted a large safe near the back wall.
"What's in the safe?" I asked.
"I don't know. This building used to be a credit union and the safe was here then."
There was a door to an adjoining office. I checked it and it was locked.
"So who has the key to the safe and the office?" I asked.
"Dan has a key. He went to Youngstown on business. He'll be back tomorrow. I don't have a key to the safe or Dan's office," replied Chantill
We looked around and I spotted a handgun under the counter. I asked Chantill if it belonged to her. I picked it up and wrote down the serial number. She told me that Dan gave it to her for her protection. I asked her if it was registered and she said she didn't know.
"Do you have any other guns, Chantill?" I asked.
She didn't answer but I saw her look over at her purse. "Would you mind emptying your purse on the counter? If I need to I will get a warrant and we'll wait here till it comes."
She dumped her purse and out came another handgun. "It's for my personal protection. Dan gave it to me."
"I take it that you don't have it registered or a permit to carry it," replied Charlie.
"No, I don't," replied Chantill.
We took the serial number off the second gun also. I used the phone and called in the serial numbers. We'd pick up the report when we got back to the office.
"Are you going to arrest me?"
"Chantill, we didn't come here to arrest you; we're here to protect you."
"Protect me from what? I don't need protecting. I didn't hurt anyone."
"From the Cupid killer," replied Charlie. "We heard through the grape vine that Cupid is after a woman this year: someone who knows too much and must be eliminated. We think that female might be you," said Charlie.
Of course, we made up the whole story. We needed to shake up Chantill. We figured, if she thought her life was in danger, that she might give us some names. It was nothing but made-up stuff we threw at her.
I spoke, "Chantill, we think we know who had your boyfriend, DQ, killed. We need for you to tell us everything you know so we can protect you. We'll give you a new life, in a new town if needed, and you can start over fresh."
"What if I just get my lawyer? I don't have to tell you anything."
"You're right! In that case, we will let the mob think that you helped us. I'm sure they won't believe you when you tell them differently. You'll probably get a visit from Cupid on Valentines Day. So, Chantill, it's your call."
She was crying and said she really didn't know anything. When we asked her who Cupid was, she said she honestly didn't know.
"What do you know or what did you overhear? I know you're hiding something. We can't help you if you don't help us," I said.
"Will you promise to help me if I tell you what little I know? I never told you guys before but I have a two-year-old daughter. I'm really not sure who the father is, but that's why I got out of the other business. I want my little girl to have a chance at a good life. She means everything to me. She stays with my mother. I try to see her as often as I can."
"We'll do all we can to protect you and your daughter but we need something to go on," said Charlie.
"Last year Dan came by the apartment one night and we got high together. He told me he heard Cupid was going to make a big hit. When I asked him what he meant he said, 'Two bigwigs are going down.' I asked him who and he just laughed. He didn't tell me anymore.
"The day after Valentine's Day I heard that Bowery and Fieaty were killed. I was scared shitless. I always thought it might have been them that had DQ killed, and now they were dead. I never said a word to Dan. I don't think he remembered telling me anything; he was so drugged out. I've kept it to myself ever since," said Chantill.
"Are you going to protect me? I can't go back to my apartment now. I have to hide somewhere until after Valentine's Day."
"We'll see what we can do, Chantill. We'll do all we can to protect you. You're safe for now. Nothing is going to happen till Valentine's Day. Don't tell anyone about this conversation and you'll be okay. Whatever you do, don't even tell Dan till we get back to you. Your life could be at stake."
Later that day, as we returned to the office, we found out that both guns that we found at Chantill's office were registered to men that were dead. The odd thing was that they were originally sold by Lee Murphy. We figured that Dan might have been a go-between, between Lee Murphy and the two mob bosses Moe Headly and John Taylor.
We needed a search warrant to have a look in that safe. We asked Chantill to let us know when Dan came back. We knew that Murphy had another outdoor store outside of Youngstown. He also owned some real estate in that area. At one time, it was known to be a pretty rough city.
Chantill did say that Dan was her boyfriend but it wasn't a loving relationship. He gave her a job and she was his quick piece of ass, as she put it. She told us at least she was working a somewhat normal job and was able to see her daughter a few times a week. She still had her own apartment and kept to herself most of the time. She visited family but had no other relationships other than Dan that we knew of. Apparently, she had grown a great distaste for men. Judging from her background Charlie said she could see why.
At the office, we pulled all the information we could on Dan Hughes. Up until now, he kind of stayed under the radar. His name wasn't really flagged for any type of mob activity. I asked Charlie if there was anything in his records where he might know archery. We didn't want to leave any stones unturned.
"All he had was a few small run-ins with the law as a teenager. His worst arrest was having been caught smoking marijuana. Nothing connected him in his early years to Moe or John. There must be a later connection. The cash checking building is owned by a real estate company that Moe Headly and John Taylor started.
It was getting late. I asked Charlie out for dinner. She said it was becoming a pretty regular thing, but she accepted. We both drove over to her house that turned out to be an attractive bungalow in a nice neighborhood. We didn't go in, just dropped out of her car and went to the restaurant.
We went to a small Italian place I liked. I went there often enough that I'd gotten to know the owners. We both had Osso Buco with a bottle of first-rate Barolo. I think the wine loosened us up and made us appreciate the ambiance ... the pleasantly low light, the cozy setting, and the romantic music.
We seemed to sit slightly closer than we had before and both of us smiled a lot. I decided to push a little bit. I got the feeling she liked me but whether it was as a friend or possibly with some level of romantic interest I wasn't sure.
I looked at her for a long moment until she looked up from her food, "Charlie, is this like a date ... or what?"
She gave me one of those Mona Lisa smiles - one that doesn't give away the feelings behind the smile, "or what."
I felt like I had missed something. She gave me a small laugh and continued; "You didn't ask me for a date so this is or what. Before we can have a date you have to ask me. Unless, that is, you are one of those insecure men that don't ask a woman they are interested in for a date, because they are afraid she will say no. I don't really think you are insecure so I have to wonder, are you interested in me?"
How did this all come back to me? "Uh, yeah, sure. I can definitely say I am interested in you. Hey, how would you like to go to dinner Saturday at that new French restaurant, Cote Sud?"
"I would love to go there. I thought you would never ask. You can make the reservation for eight and pick me up at seven-thirty. You can see my place and we can chat for a bit before we go."
How 'bout that! Am I lucky, or what? I thought.
The rest of the dinner was nice and she took my arm as we left the restaurant. It felt right. It felt good. On the drive home, I took her hand and held it for a while with no objections. To cap the evening off, I got a real kiss when I dropped her off at her small house.
The next day was a busy one. We were going to meet Dan Hughes and were able to get a warrant to check his office and the safe. The judge issuing the search warrant agreed that it was quite odd that this man was in possession of two handguns registered by dead men.
We entered his business. Chantill wasn't there yet. We wanted to be there as early as possible. We also had a uniformed officer with us. We wanted to do this by the book.
"Mr. Dan Hughes, I'm Detective Jim Hartly and this is Detective Charlie Weaver. We have a warrant to search your premises, office and safe."
"What the hell is this? What do you people want? I'm trying to run a business here. You have no right barging here in like this."
"First, Mr. Hughes, we didn't barge in. We walked through an open door and told you who we are. Secondly, and most important, we have every right to search your premises. This legal warrant gives us that right. Would you please open the office and safe?"
"I don't have the keys with me. I must have forgotten them."
"Mr. Hughes, we're not playing games here. You either open the door or we'll bust it in. As far as the safe goes, we'll call in our demolition people and I'll assure you they will open it. Then we'll file obstruction of justice charges against you. Your choice!"
He took his keys out of his pocket and opened the office door. He was very leery about opening the safe but unlocked it. We could see he was extremely nervous.
Charlie was looking around the office while I was waiting for the safe to be opened. She came out and said that the office looked like it was set up as a money laundering operation. She said she saw scales, counters, sorters and other equipment had been in there.
After the safe was unlocked I opened it up and couldn't believe my eyes. "Charlie! Please come over here and take a gander.
We found a cache of weapons that were enough to start a small war. There were AR-15s, AK-47s, TEC-9s, also MACs and Glock 17 handguns. Assault weapons had also become the weapon of choice for the newest category of criminal.
Because many assault weapons -- such as the AR-15A2, M100P carbine, Ruger Mini-14, Street Sweeper, and UZI carbine -- can be purchased as standard long guns by virtually anyone who is willing to lie on the form, they are a boon to criminals. Assault pistols can be purchased easily by criminals in states with lax handgun laws such as Texas, Virginia, and Florida. From there, these weapons can then be sold to criminals in cities and states with more restrictive laws.
Charlie looked at the cache of weapons and told the officer to cuff Mr. Hughes. "We may have not caught the serial killer as yet, but we might have found something a whole lot worse," said Charlie.
"They're not mine!" screamed out a very scared Dan. "They belong to the guys I work for."
"Dan, you see, we have a big problem here. You have a huge cache of illegal weapons in your possession. They are located in your place of business, your office, your safe, and of course in your possession. If they are not yours, then who do they belong to?"
"I can't tell you! They'd kill me."
"That's too bad, Dan. You will have a lifetime in prison to think about it. These aren't just illegal weapons but also terrorist type weapons. We'll be turning this case over to Homeland Security. All we need is someone to blame it all on and that body is yours." I turned to the officer, "Take him away."
"Wait, wait, they aren't mine. I was just told to go to a warehouse in Youngstown and pick them up and store them for a few days in my safe. You have to believe me. They're not mine."
"Dan, we believe you but we need names. Someone is going to be holding the ball on this one and will be put away for a very long time. Right now, that person is you. If you're willing to talk, then we're willing to listen."
Right then Chantill walked in. We knew she would be here. We didn't want Dan know that she had talked to us.
"What's going on here?" asked Chantill.
"Are you Chantill Savoy?" asked Charlie.
"Yes. What's going on? Dan, who are these people?"
"We'll ask the questions. What do you do here?"
"I ... I cash checks and do tax refunds. I work the counter. Why? What's going on?"
"Miss Savoy, we want you to come down to the station and answer some questions. You're not under arrest right now but we do need to ask you a few questions. Everything will be explained to you later."
We had another unit dispatched to the scene to take Chantill away. We wanted to make sure she would be safe. We were quite sure she wasn't involved in the arms transfer.
The phone rang and I answered it. The voice at the other end demanded, "Who is this? I want to speak to Dan."
"This is Detective Jim Hartly. To whom am I speaking?"
The caller immediately hung up. I looked at the caller ID and it read 'cell phone call' and listed the number. I repeated the number back to Dan and asked him if he recognized the number?
"Yes, sir, it was Moe, Moe Headly. He is one of the owners of the firearms."
We now had our connection. We took Dan to the station for interrogation. He squealed like a pig in heat. When he got done talking, we had all the information on the connections between Moe, John and the man we were after, Lee Murphy. Our only problem was all we had was Dan's word. There was no paper trail whatsoever, nor any tape recordings, or anything else that wasn't circumstantial. The way it stood right now Dan would be taking the heat.
We believed Dan and we felt we could make a case against the other three only if we had enough evidence to make it stick.
Dan explained how he got mixed up with Moe and John. He got drunk and gambled till he owed thousands of dollars. He was afraid he would be going to jail or even worse, get beaten up since he didn't have the money, so he looked for someone to loan him the money he needed. It's how he met Moe and John. They offered to pay off his debt, but he would then be indebted to them.