Murder Mystery Cold Case
| Chapter Two
Detective Sergeant Don Wilson laid the file on his shop-worn desk. The squadrooms' drab colored walls seemed to be closing in today.
" What did you think of Masterson ?"
" Oh, he's still pretty sharp for an eighty year old." Detective Ron Talbert answered over the brim of his coffee cup before taking a sip. " He was a workhorse back in his day. I checked his record. He was awarded several commendations over the years, and cracked that big double murder case back in 1979. You know the one."
" Oh, yeah. The Nelson-Temple murders. That was a nasty one " Talbert nodded.
" It brought alot of heat down on the department."
" I'll say it did." Talbert said." It sent two cops, and a deputy commissioner to State Prison. They don't get any hotter than that. Masterson had alot of guts to pull it off.
Maybe that's why he retired around then. Chances are he was about as popular as a skunk on a picnic after rocking their boat." Talbert got up and refilled his cup from the squad's coffee maker.
My mental rating for Masterson just went up three stars. Anyone brave enough to take on the commissioners was A-Okay in my book.
" What have you got so far? I have to report to Captain Wainwright this afternoon."
" Not many witnesses left. We'll probably have to rely on Masterson's memories; people he talked to. I've put a list together."
" Good. Make a copy and I'll include it in my report."
Talbert set his cup down and looked at me." How are you and Wainwright
getting along these days? "
" We're on speaking terms, if that's what you mean. Why? Is locker room gossip running low on topics ? " I gave Talbert a thin, wry grin; waiting for an answer.
" Now, don't get all het up, Don. You know what goes on between us stays between us. We've been partners for six years, and have I ever leaked anything you told me to keep under wraps? " There was a tinge of pain in Talberts' eyes.
He was right. Talbert never talked out of school. But, he liked listening to inside gossip. He was addicted to it as much as he was his coffee, and it always made me a little edgy. If Talbert ever yielded to temptation, what stories he could tell. Still, it wasn't any dark secret Mark Wainwright and I were at odds with each other.
It happened last year when I met Karen Davis, Wainwrights' former girlfriend. They were together for three months when she found out Mark was married, had two kids, and then quickly became his former girlfriend. When their relationship ended she told Mrs.Wainwright. Karen went to their house and caught Abigail Wainwright as she was going out to have her hair done. She introduced herself, told Abby the sordid truth, and apologized for the whole thing.
Mark moved into a cheap motel until after the divorce was final. Abby got the house, the kids, the car, and a whole lot of satisfaction heaping guilt and misery on her ex-husband.
Karen didn't like talking about it. The entire episode was a chapter in her life she rarely visited. She didn't have to testify, but Abbys' lawyer contacted her during the divorce proceedings, and told her he might have to call her if he put up a fight. She lived on nervous energy during the hearings, and breathed a sigh of relief when it was over.
Meeting Karen was the brightest point in my life. She was self assured, well focused, and goal orientated, but most of all honest. That was what attracted me to her. She was nobodys' fool, but, I was hers. I admire her forthrightness.
When Wainwright found out I was dating her he had the nerve to call me into his office and broach the subject.
" I understand you're seeing Karen Davis." He said matter-of-factly.
" Is that why you called me in here ? " I demanded. " My private life has nothing to do with you, or my job. " It was an outrage. I got up to leave.
" Just be careful what you say around her. I don't want her meddling into my affairs again." His tone dripped venom.
" Is that right ? " Don retorted." Well, for your information, Captain, we don't talk about you. I'm sure that comes as a shock, but, there's a whole world of topics we discuss; none of which are Mark Wainwright, and his misadventures. You've got your nerve talking to me about her. If you ever call me in here again or even mention her name to me I'll be in Internal Affairs filing a complaint so fast you won't have time to clear out your desk. " I walked to the door, opened it, and turned to look back one last time. " One more thing, Captain. The subject is closed for good. If you're having trouble dealing with it try sucking your thumb." I exited the office and shut the door quietly.
After that incident, Wainwright kept his distance. The gossip mills roiled with rumors about our mutual hatred. I kept Talbert informed since he was my partner. It was about then that our assignments took a different turn. We got the rotten cases nobody wanted. Talbert never complained, a clue to his good character. We toughed it out for several months before we were assigned to cold cases.
When We were told of our new assignments we promptly went out to our favorite bar and got drunk. Cold cases was a dead end for cops, like us. Detectives on the backside of their careers, easing toward retirement welcomed the less than hectic workload. It was presented in the guise that fresh minds with new ideas were needed to solve old cases. That may be true, but, even if old cases got solved, there's very little recognition in it. Wainwright had a hand in our assignment,( as I suspected ).
A local TV station ran a special report about the large number of unsolved murders gathering dust in our file room. The Mayors' office was flooded with calls. Even though we already had four veteran investigators trudging through the cases the Mayor wanted something done. The Police Commissioner sent his aide to our office, and cornered Wainwright who promptly offered us up as sacrificial lambs.
It must have brought joy to his twisted soul knowing he had put me in a no win situation. If I didn't come up with results my career was over. If I did solve a considerable number of cases the most recognition would be a short storyline on the second or third page of the Indianapolis newspaper. I was in deep water and a long way from shore.
Talbert and I went through the " Bone Pile " . all the other cases that had even a whisper of hope in getting cleared were assigned to the detectives working Cold Cases before us. The Withers case was one of the oldest, and nobody wanted it. The grass was always greener on the other side, but, in this instance we were on bare ground.
" How many names are on your list ?"
" Four, including the widow."
" Did Withers have any children ?"
Talbert riffled through a stack of papers." Yes," He said glancing down a page. " Candice Withers: married and had two kids. I ran her through BMV,( Bureau of Motor Vehicles), and traced her married name, Greenwald She's in her sixties now, and lives in Noblesville."
" That would make her around ten to thirteen at the time." I said as I took my jacket off the halltree and slipped it on. " Let's pay Mrs. Greenwald a visit "