Publish Novellas 13 July 2022
EPISODE 5 – CASES
The detective is trying to solve at least two criminal cases that spiral around one victim.
Did you skip prior episode?
At Ryan Art Antiquities, Megan asks who is in charge. The receptionist summons Brian Miller.
“I’m Detective Megan Anthony. Here’s my card. Can we speak privately, Brian Miller”
“Of course. Please follow me into the conference room.”
“Thank you. By now you know about Mr. Ryan?”
“I heard from his wife that he is deceased, but no further details.”
“Yes, I’m sorry for your loss. Can you tell me the nature of Mr. Ryan’s trip?”
“He was traveling to Seattle to trade some diamonds for a painting. But he never confirmed arrival.”
“Is it common to trade high-value items in person? I thought everything was done with bank transfers.”
“Bank transfers are preferred. But sometimes physical trades are more expeditious. It keeps you from having to tie up capital if it’s an even exchange. The details are really the purview of a CPA.”
“I’m certainly not here for an accounting lesson. I need to know who he was meeting with and what exactly he was trading. Pictures, values, and related correspondence would be helpful.
“Where shall I send it?”
“Oh, I’ll be taking that with me,” Megan says.
“All right. I’ll have the receptionist bring you some refreshments while I compile the information.”
After some tea and croissants, Detective Anthony heads back to the police station with a folder of information to review.
“Fill up my board people to connect the dots. Give me some information on Dan’s coworkers.” She then pauses to follow the strings on her evidence board.
At her desk, Megan reads through the file from Ryan Art Antiquities. “Things keep getting more interesting. The person with whom Mr. Ryan was trading is in the same line of work as our suspect. Move Dan Wilson into an interrogation room.”
After 30 minutes by himself, Megan enters to ask Dan if he has any questions. “Still quiet? Well, we haven’t heard from your attorney yet. You can shed some light on the situation and perhaps go home today or we can give you a blanket so you can sleep in the cell tonight.”
Dan remains silent, though perspiring. Finally, his attorney enters. “I need time in private with my client—no cameras or two-way mirrors.”
“I will have an officer escort you to a private room. After 30 minutes, he will lead you back here for some questions. The clock is ticking.”
After closing the door, Perry Zamir asks, “How are you holding up?”
“I have been keeping my lips tight,” Dan replies.
“Perhaps a bit too tight. You blindsided me this morning. My staff and I have been working our fingers off to get up to speed.”
“I’m sorry. Something slipped out during an informal interview with a couple of officers yesterday. Before sunrise they returned with reinforcements and the warrant.”
“Two ears are wiser than one mouth. What did you say?” Zamir wants to know.
“I told them I was having dinner with a client at a restaurant—the Dignified Ladies.”
“That establishes an alibi. What’s the problem?”
“The detective knew it was near the road where a hit-and-run accident occurred.”
“Their search warrant authorized them to look for evidence of your tampering with a crime scene and causing vehicular homicide. I can only help you if I know what I’m working with. Do they have evidence beyond reasonable doubt or are they on a fishing expedition?”
“Since they impounded my car, removed my trash, and cut out pieces of carpet, I can only assume that they have evidence that I killed the man.”
“I’m going to be honest. The best time to phone me would have been right after the accident. At this stage, I’m bailing water out of boat that is quickly taking on water.
“If they find the victim’s blood in your home or car, there is little I can do to get you out of here. My petition to the court is on the grounds of your character and that this is a first offense. The district attorney will argue that you deliberately concealed evidence. I’m not here to scold you, but help me understand what you were thinking.”
“I had some drinks…”
“Rum and Coke. Maybe three glasses… over time, you know.”
“Okay, that’s a common drink. Go on.”
“On the way home, this man jumps out of nowhere. As I swerved to miss him, he kept jumping in the way. By the time I braked, it was too late.
“I pulled him off the main road so he would not get run over again. But then I tried to cover my footprints after stepping in the blood. It went downhill from there.”
“Our options range from optimistic to feasible. We could try to plead down to drunk driving with a suspended license. That is optimistic. We can plead temporary insanity. But if they suggest to the jury that you were intoxicated, the argument may not stand. We can plead guilty to vehicular homicide in exchange for reduced sentence.
“The final option is to plead not guilty and try to obfuscate all the evidence they mount against you. Based on what you told me, this might result in you receiving maximum sentencing. We could then appeal but you will remain in prison the whole time. Tell me how you wish to proceed.”
“I’m telling you what I know, not what they know. Maybe their evidence is thin. I’m leaning towards pleading not guilty with a poker face.”
“That is the costly method. I will need you to sign this lien against your property to proceed. Let me do the talking during the interrogation.”
The officer knocks on the door for them to exit. He leads them both to the interrogation room.
“I am going to turn on a recorder and advise you that others may be watching or listening. I am Detective Megan Anthony in the room with Dan Wilson and his attorney, Perry Zamir. May I begin my questions?”
“Yes, I’m ready,” replies Mr. Zamir.
“Your client mentioned that he was at the dining establishment called Dignified Ladies on the evening in question. This has been confirmed by personnel there. Do you concur?”
“He was there for a business meeting, yes.”
“Was he in the company of Fred Zimmerman at that time?”
Looking to his client, nodding affirmative, Mr. Zamir responds, “Yes, he was there.”
“Are you aware of a concurrent high-value business transaction between Mr. Zimmerman and Mr. Nicholas Ryan?”
Dan shakes his head ‘no’ before his attorney replies, “My client is not aware of any business dealings others may enter into apart from his own.”
“Did your client see Mr. Nicholas Ryan at any time on the night in question?”
“Since my client has not met Mr. Nicholas Ryan, he would not know whether he has seen him or not.”
“I have a photo of him that I presented at the home of Mr. Wilson earlier. Did you see this person on the night in question?”
“Considering the amount of people in the club and the darkness, my client can neither confirm nor deny seeing that face.”
“Did Mr. Wilson see any pedestrian on the road that night?”
“Pedestrians are frequently on roads. Your question is too ambiguous.”
“Here’s a map with the area in question. In fact it’s a screenshot of the coordinates Mr. Wilson searched on his phone the day after the accident. So I ask, did he see anything unusual in this location?”
“Under advice of legal counsel, he will not answer that question.”