Another Day in the Life Ch. 03

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This story is part of an ongoing series. The chronological order of my stories is now listed in WifeWatchman’s biography.

Feedback and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, and I encourage feedback for ideas.

This story contains graphic scenes, language and actions that might be extremely offensive to some people. These scenes, words and actions are used only for the literary purposes of this story. The author does not condone murder, racial language, violence, rape or violence against women, and any depictions of any of these in this story should not be construed as acceptance of the above.

Part 15 – Getting To The Truth

“This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Fox Two News!” shouted the lovely redheaded MILF reporterette at 7:00am, Wednesday, April 18th. “Fox Two News has learned that the Town & County Council approved major changes to the Police Force structure last night!”

Bettina started: “Although some of the changes approved in the executive session of the Council were not disclosed, Fox Two News has learned Precinct Captain Damien Thompson will be promoted to Captain, and he will become the Public Relations Officer, replacing Captain ‘Brick’ Briscoe, who has taken over as Campus Police Commissioner and Provost Marshal. Captain Thompson is the first Person of Color to become a full Captain in the Town or County Police Departments, before or after the merger!”

“Other promotions will be a chain reaction in the wake of the promotion of Captain Thompson.” continued Bettina. “Lieutenant Carswell will be moved up to 2d Precinct Captain, while Internal Affairs chief Lt. James ‘Curly’ Goodwin will become 1st Precinct Captain.”

“And Mary Milton,” said Bettina, “who was in the Midtown P.D. with Chief Moynahan when he was a Captain with the Midtown Force, has been nominated to be Vice Lieutenant. Though young, her experience in Midtown as well as graduating first in her class at the Police Academy Advanced Course, make her an ideal candidate for the role.”

“And in State news,” said Bettina, “everyone is on watch to see if Governor Val Jared will object to the naming of an Independent State Counsel. He has until noon tomorrow to make that objection. Experts say that an objection would show that Governor Jared is guilty of something, and would be devastating to the State Republican Party in November. The Republicans could lose majority control of the State House…”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Wow.” said Joanne. “They’ve never had a black Police Captain before?”

“Nope.” I said. “It shocked me, too, when I found out. But the Town and County Police Forces used to be separate and smaller, and there weren’t many Captains at all.”

“Next thing you know,” said Theo Washington, who was himself black, “they’ll be complaining that there has never been a black Police Commander.”

“I’m just keeping the chair warm for you, Detective Washington.” I said with a smile. “Or maybe Detective Davis will beat you to it. In any case, they can complain all they want, but if they want a black Police Boxing Matches champion, they’ll have to get through me.”

“I got that covered.” said Jerome Davis.

“You’ve been drinking the kool-aid.” said Joanne Warner. “I’m not black, and I’m going to be winning that title.”

“You’re all smoking something.” said Teresa Croyle, as jovial as I’ve ever seen her. “The important color is not black nor white, but red or orange… depending on what I use. And green… just go on back to Ireland, honey.” It is possible that that was directed at one Cindy Ross.

“Or Canada.” I said, earning a ‘look’ from Cindy as I continued: “I do agree, the color of red is the color of Police Boxing Matches champions… and will be again this year. Though this time it will be the red-head hoisting the trophy.” Banter abounded.

“Changing the subject,” said Teddy Parker, “if Lt. Carswell is going to be promoted, who is replacing him as Precinct Lieutenant?”

“Oh, we’ll let that be a surprise.” I said. “And there may be a few other surprises, as well.”

“I heard a rumor,” said Sergeant Rudistan, “that we’re going to get a new Deputy Chief… maybe someone from the outside.”

“And who would that be?” I asked, genuinely wondering if Rudistan had heard something, or was making this shit up.

“Well, sir,” said Rudistan, “Claire Michaels and Lorena Rose were visiting recently from LA. Maybe one of them moves back here and becomes Deputy Chief… or, say… Captain of Detectives… leaving an Irish Canadian with a green crowbar to be Deputy Chief?”

“Ooooooooooooooh!” came a chorus. Meanwhile, Cindy was giving Rudistan a ‘look’ that would kill ordinary mortals.

“You are too good for your own good, Mr. Rudistan.” I replied. “And just who is going to be MCD Lieutenant in all this?”

“They’re going to demote you, Commander.” said Cindy, with alacrity. “You are too good for your own good.” Everyone laughed out loud at that.

“What did you put in this coffee, Jerome?” I asked, güvenilir bahis shaking my head.

“Oh, darn.” said Jerome. “That was the stuff meant for the Council Members…” Laughter erupted at that one…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

After watching Priya’s broadcast at 8:00am, we settled in for the Angels meeting. As we came into my office, Teresa came up to Cindy and gave her a hug.

“I have to hug you before you outrank me.” Teresa said. “Congratulations!”

“Aw, thanks.” said Cindy, hugging her BFF back. “How did you find out?”

“I told her.” I said. “And I told her to keep her big. mouth. shut. about it. But she needs to know.”

“So is Rudistan right?” asked Teresa. “Claire or Lorena coming back to the TCPD?”

I gave an enigmatic smile. “Either one would be great. Especially Claire. But I am surprised that Rudistan knew as much as he did.”

“I thought he was just fishing, casting a line and seeing what he reeled in.” said Cindy. “Or did the word get out?”

“The Press didn’t have it.” I replied. “Not one word from Bettina nor Priya. They had just about everything else, but not your promotion nor the Captain of Detectives slot.”

“They still have to have the second reading of the bill.” said Cindy. “Maybe someone on the Council is going to try to shut down my nomination, so the Press didn’t mention it.”

“Nope.” I said. “The Council approved it. 8-2, I might add.”

“Was that one blanket vote?” Teresa asked.

“No.” I said. “They broke it into four chunks. One for the lower ranks, like to Lieutenant and Precinct Captain. Then one for Damien Thompson, which was 10-0… they all wanted to be on record as voting for the first black Captain in Town or County Police history. Then they had Cindy’s vote. Carnes and Weston were against; no surprise with Carnes’s hatred of Police and Weston’s past history with us.”

“And the fourth?” asked Cindy.

“Ah, that was the one for Captain of Detectives.” I said. “Passed 7-3. And don’t ask; you’ll find out when I am good and ready to tell you.”

“You are just begging for a massive crowbar beatdown in the Boxing Matches.” said Cindy.

“For administering a few, for sure.” I replied with a smile. “Okay, what’s on the agenda for today?”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The MCD Detectives were once again sitting in front of the whiteboards.

“Wow.” said Theo. “If Zack is not Dennis Ridley’s biological son, that changes everything.”

“Not legally.” said Teddy Parker. “He’s still legally responsible for Zack. He’d get custody of Zack if Patricia had died, and he’s still going to be responsible for child payments if he and Patricia divorce.”

“Even if he brings it up in the divorce that he’s not the father?” asked Theo.

“Yep.” said Joanne. “One of the many double standards in divorce law… and other things, too. A woman can demand an abortion, and the father of the child can do nothing. He could say ‘have the baby and I’ll take it and raise it’, and the woman can tell him to go to hell and she can the abortion. But if the guy wants the girl to have the abortion and she has the baby, the Court will force the father to make child support payments. The father has no rights and no say when he wants custody, but gets ripped on responsibility when he doesn’t… and if the couple is married, he’s screwed even if its not his biological child at times.”

“That sucks.” said Theo. “Anyway, back to the case… so if Ridley knows Zack is not his son, then does trying to poison Patricia make sense?”

“It makes it a lot more certain that Patricia would get custody of Zack.” said Jerome Davis. “Dennis still might have to pay child support, but it might be less than it otherwise would be. And to that point, Patricia makes money, so it’s not like Dennis is going to be paying as much as some men have to.”

“In one way,” Theo said, “this helps Dennis Ridley. Our original thought was that he was trying to get custody of Zack, and was hoping we’d accept the story of her doing this to set him up. But why go through these hoops if Zack’s not even his biological child?”

“Wait…” said Joanne, her eyes lighting up with an idea. She went into what some would call a ‘reverie’. Then she came out of it. “If Patricia loses custody, either through divorce or death… who else besides Dennis Ridley would be getting custody?”

“Nobody else.” said Parker.

“What about Susan Carrera?” asked Joanne. “If Dennis Ridley marries her… or if they’re just living together… she gets the child she always wanted…”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

8:50am. I noticed that MCD had become a beehive of activity. People were working furiously at their desks, mostly on their computers.

“Got it!” Joanne all but squealed. “Susan Carrera’s hospitalization all those years ago… she miscarried a baby. She never conceived again, apparently… and may can’t, though this report doesn’t say that.”

“There’s motive.” said Theo. “And she could türkçe bahis hide the purchase of oxycodone in her cash flow, so she has means. But opportunity? She wasn’t exactly welcome in the Ridley home.”

“That we know of.” said Joanne. “But… ohhhhhhh.”

“What?” asked Theo. But Joanne was off to reverie land.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

9:15am. Captain Cindy Ross and I were in MCD, joining the Detectives at the whiteboards. Joanne was standing before the whiteboards, ready to give her ‘presentation’.

“Sir, ma’am,” she said. “I believe we have the understanding of what happened, even though we don’t have proof yet. I believe that Dennis Ridley and Susan Carrera were the ones that put the oxycodone and cyanate compounds in the capsules.”

“An excellent conclusion.” I said. “Convince Captain Ross.”

“First,” said Joanne, “we have to consider the motive. I believe the ultimate motive was to get custody of Zack from his mother. Susan got the oxycodone, Dennis the cyanate from some old fertilizer, and Dennis spiked the bottle. They didn’t want Patricia to die, though if she did that wouldn’t have bothered them too much. If Patricia detected the drugs and went to the Police, which is what happened, then Dennis says that Patricia planted the drugs. Definitely gives reasonable doubt for him, and maybe they get lucky and we blame her. And that’s why the cyanate was put into the mixture… so that Patricia would smell it.”

“Second,” said Joanne, “is the means. I believe either Susan or Dennis, both of whom go to the City often for their sales work, somehow found out about Paul Escandes, and they blackmailed him into getting oxycodone for them. He procured it, then called the Marshals and said he was compromised, which was very true. The Marshals got him out of there just in time, as either Dennis or Susan tipped off the Eastern Euro Mob in the City to Escandes’s whereabouts… if he were found and murdered, he could tell no tales.”

“Very true.” I said, impressed that Joanne had made that connection. “Keep going.”

“Third is the opportunity.” said Joanne. “Susan didn’t have it, but Dennis did. So I think it’s likely they were working together. Susan had the strong motive to get custody of Zack… she’d lost a child and couldn’t have another. Dennis probably did not care about the custody, but went through with it, as it would help his divorce situation.”

“I like everything, so far.” I said. “The one bugaboo I’m seeing, and it’s a small one… if Patricia dies, then Dennis may go to jail and Zack to DFACS… no custody for Susan.”

“Well, sir,” said Joanne, “that’s a Catch-22… he can’t marry Susan until he divorces Patricia, but he has to do this to get a favorable divorce, and custody. So he had to risk it when he did.”

“True.” I said. “But a formal separation, and engagement to Susan, would’ve helped her get and keep custody of Zack. But he didn’t do that, either. What does that tell you?”

“Oh!” Joanne said brightly. “He never intended to marry Susan!”

“Ah, so desu ka?” I said. “Very good. And how can we exploit that?”

They all thought about it, then Joanne said “Oh, I see how. With your permission, Commander, let’s try this…”

Part 16 – The Trap

10:00am, Wednesday, April 18th.

Patricia Ridley and her lawyer Bernadette Gillem were brought into the Pastor’s Room. To their shock, Susan Carrera and her new attorney, Gwen Munson of Prodder, Ryder & Reems, P.C., who I’d dealt with before as Hillary Braselton’s attorney, were there also. The look Patricia gave Susan was just about as deadly as the oxycodone in the Tylenol bottle capsules.

Moments later, Dennis Ridley and his attorney Gibson Stelling were ushered in, and they were followed into the room by Your Iron Crowbar.

“Thank you all for coming.” I said. “What——-“

“What’s this about?” asked Gwen Munson harshly.

“If you’ll stop interrupting me, I’ll explain.” I said, my eyes boring into Munson’s “What this is about, is a little problem we have. On the one hand, there’s an accusation and a possibility that Dennis Ridley poisoned his wife’s Tylenol bottle with capsules laced with oxycodone and cyanate compounds. On the other hand, there’s an accusation and a possibility that Patricia Ridley put the oxycodone in the bottle, then called the Police and accused her husband of doing it.”

“That’s ridiculous!” Patricia Ridley practically yelled.

“Is it?” I asked. “I can make a case for or against either of you. And because there is considerable suspicion here, my hands are tied. We have to put the welfare of the child Zack Ridley ahead of everything else. And to that end, I have no choice but to call in the Department of Family and Children’s Services, DFACS, to take custody of Zack.”

“What?!” yelled two people in the room. Patricia… and Susan.

“We cannot allow Zack to stay in the Ridley home.” I said.

“I’ll keep him!” said Susan. It was almost a wail.

“Like hell you will!” yelled Patricia güvenilir bahis siteleri venomously. “He’s my son! You keep your filthy hands off of him!”

“I’m sorry, Ms. Carrera,” I said, “but you’re involved in this also, as Mr. Ridley’s… what was your term?… ‘unofficial fiancée’, or something like that?”

Dennis Ridley had been silent to this point. Now he looked over at Susan a bit quizzically, but said nothing.

“Dennis!” yelled Susan. “You’ve got to stop them from taking Zack! There’s no telling what child molester DFACS might put him with!”

“Susan,” said Dennis quietly, “There’s nothing I can do. Zack is not even my biological son.” Susan looked totally shocked… and she was about the only one in the room who was.

“Commander,” said Bernadette, “you’ll have to arrest Patricia to separate her from her child.” I barely heard her; I was noticing Susan’s face as the gears turned in her head.

“And we intend to do that.” I said. “Both Ridley’s will be arrested on suspicion of spiking the Tylenol bottle. We’ll let the Grand Jury decide which one to prosecute, if they don’t prosecute both of them by the time I’m finished——–“

“Commander Troy!” Susan Carrera said loudly, standing up. “I need to talk to you. In the Interrogation Room!”

“Susan, what are you doing?” Dennis said, looking up at her with a mix of shock and skepticism on his face.

“Please, Commander!” said Susan. “Before you call DFACS, please hear what I have to say.”

“Captain Ross!” I called out. Cindy came to the doorway of the Pastor’s Room. “Take Susan and her lawyer to I-A. Mirandize her.” I turned to the others. “Stay here. If either of you Ridley’s try to leave, you’ll be placed under arrest and taken through booking. And after that, there’s nothing I can do to stop the process.” With that, I turned and left the Pastor’s Room.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Gwen Munson was a capable enough attorney to talk privately with her client before allowing us to speak to her. I used the time to call ADA Franklin Washington down to the Station.

“You’ve both done outstanding work on this, but we’re now at the phase where the D.A.’s Office has to get involved.” I told Joanne and Theo. “And I think I can call in Franklin and not deal with that lackey Mason, since oxycodone is involved.”

“You think Susan is going to confess?” asked Theo.

“No.” I said with a smile. “Joanne was right… Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Susan is going to throw Dennis under the bus…”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

10:40am, Wednesday, April 18th. Gwen Munson called us into I-A. I went in with ADA Franklin Washington, followed by Joanne Warner, who sat in the chair by the wall.

Munson said “My client wants to make a full statement, in exchange for immunity from prosecution of any crimes she may have committed in all of this.”

“May have committed?” I asked skeptically. “Purchasing oxycodone is a pretty serious offense, Ms. Carrera. And yes, I can prove it. I’m not talking idly here. So you better have a bombshell for me, if you want ADA Washington here to give you any kind of deal at all.”

“Give her immunity,” said Munson, “and she’ll give you what you need to convict Dennis Ridley. I know how good you are, Commander Troy, and you may be able to prove the case without my client’s testimony and corroboration, but my client can save you time and give you this one wrapped in a bow.” I looked over at Franklin.

“Tell you what.” said Franklin, right on cue: “I know the Commander is not a fan of hypotheticals, but give me your ‘hypothetical’ story now, and I’ll make an offer based on what I hear.”

“We need more.” said Gwen. “Immunity or nothing. I could tell you it’s worth it, I could tell you it’s only fair to my client. But it’s all or none.” Franklin looked back at me.

“No.” I said. “Look, Susan, see that little camera up there? This is being recorded, for your protection as well as ours. If the ADA says he’ll make an offer based upon what you tell him, then that’s what will happen. It’s on tape. But we’re not just going to give you full immunity without knowing what you have, and knowing that it’ll also hold up when you testify in Court.”

“At the very least, you’ll get seriously reduced charges.” said Franklin. “No felonies… provided your statement is truthful and you testify against Dennis.”

Gwen whispered something to Susan, who nodded. Susan Carrera began her narrative:

“I knew that Patricia was banging a guy named Paul Escandes.” she said. “I had a P.I. look into him, to get all we could to hurt Patricia in the divorce so we could get custody of Zack. We found out he’d been in a gang and was in Witness Protection. Dennis got the idea of blackmailing the guy to get us some oxycodone, and Dennis had the idea to put some old fertilizer in with it so Patricia would smell it. His idea was that he’d say she did it to set him up, and then we’d win the divorce case.”

“So the goal,” I said, “was to get custody of Zack, yes?”

“Yes.” said Susan. “Well, for me it was. Now I’m wondering if Dennis really wanted custody of Zack, especially if Zack was not his child. And Dennis might have wanted to kill Patricia, for all I know.”

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