Saturday, 3 August 2019

Episode 100 – A very informative interview


Sykes sat back in his chair and looked at a visibly frightened young woman.  He was half inclined to throw the book at her, but instead, decided on a softer approach.

She was in enough troubleshooting a man that might arguably be labelled as unarmed.  That was contentious because a man like Blines would always have a weapon at his disposal, even though one was not found at the crime scene.

He was having the CSI people check Blines clothing for traces of gun oil to establish whether or not he had been carrying a gun.

But the biggest revelation from this girl was the dock location that Harry had gone to and quite possibly led to his brush with death.  He’d been to the scene, and on the first inspection, there was nothing to excite anyone’s attention, and especially his.

There were CCTV camera’s but three out of the four were not working, and the fourth was too far away and on the wrong angle to pick up any of the shooting, only the exit of the two girls and another shadowy figure which, for all intents and purposes could have been one of a few homeless people who lived in the area.  That was what the first assumption was, but once it was determined that there were two shooters, he had the likely suspect checked out.

Not that it was of much use because the shot was too far away, and the photo grainy beyond recognition.  A lead, but not a lead.

“Take me through the sequence events from the top.”

“I followed Corrine from her residence to the address.”

“What time was this?”

“We left about 10 and got there a little after 11pm.  She drives slowly.”

“Then?”

“I watched her go to the block which I assumed was the address, and she looked through the fence.  From where I was it looked like there was a small building, with two larger warehouses either side, all of which were in a poor state of repair.  She checked to see if the gate was open, it was locked.

She was there about ten minutes before she left, went back to her car, and drove off.  That’s when I caught a glimpse of a shadow retreating into a doorway on the other side of the street.”

“He was watching what she was doing?”

“Yes.”

“And that’s all he was doing?”

“Yes.”

“And after Corinne drove off?”

“I got out of my car and walked towards the place where I saw the shadow.  It was a recessed doorway, and the man was there talking on his phone.”

“What did he say?”

“I only heard the last few words.  I think he was reporting Corinne’s visit to someone.  I had my gun ready but not aimed, when I asked him to tell me who he had been speaking to.  He didn’t say anything and when he looked like he was going to come towards me, I aimed my gun at him.  He backed off a little but didn’t tell me.  Then, all of a sudden, he came at me, and the gun went off.  I was shaking before that, and perhaps he had taken that as a sign that he could disarm me.  I swear I had no intention of shooting him, and, if he hadn’t startled me, nothing would have happened.”

Sykes was not going to necessarily agree with that because aiming a gun meant that you were going to use it and was enough provocation for an attack.

“So you are saying that it was in self-defence?”

“I certainly felt afraid at that moment, but given the circumstances, yes, it was.”

Sykes sat back in his chair and gave himself a few seconds to consider the situation.  Blines dead was of no use to him, and it was clear someone else had realised that Blines might be a liability, especially if he made it to the hospital alive and told his story.  A few painkillers and he might say anything, like why he was there watching an all but empty block, and who he was working for.

He’d have someone try and find out who Blines was working for currently.  That might give a clue as to who was so interested in that block.

“Have you told Walthenson about this little escapade of yours?”

“No, not yet.”

“Good.  Don’t.  The last thing I wasn’t if for him to be going back there and getting into more trouble.  And as for you, you are in a great deal of trouble.  You are very fortunate that the bullet from your gun was not the one that killed him, and that in normal circumstances, would not have been fatal.”

“How did he die, then?”

“A close-range shot to the head.  Different gun.  I suspect he had an accomplice there, and when he learned what happened to Blines, he was under orders to contain the problem.  But, the downside is, if there was an accomplice, the chances are they know it was you who shot him first, and these are not the sort of people you want to cross.”

Which meant, he thought, that she was going to need protective custody, a safe house, or disappear for a while until he could find Blines and this accomplice’s boss.

And that wasn’t going to be easy.

As for the girl, she should be charged, but his report would reflect the fact she had been forced to defend herself, the victim in question was a known felon, also known to be armed and dangerous, and they’d be hard-pressed to get a conviction on current testimony and evidence.

“I want everything you just told me, and anything else you can think of, down on paper in your statement.  Did you see anyone else, any other vehicles, anything, in those few minutes before during and after Corinne’s visit?”

“Sadly no.  I was fixated on keeping Corinne safe and looking into the shadow I’d seen.  I was not looking for anything else, which now I think about it, I should have.  Things could have turned out a lot worse than they did.”

“Yes.  At least, hopefully, you will learn from these mistakes.”  He stood.  “I’ll get a pad for you to use, then when you’ve finished, you will be free to go, but don’t go anywhere without telling me first.  I’m sure I’ll have more questions.  And remember, very important, don’t tell Walthenson about any of this.  Is that clear?”

“Yes.  Very clear.”

“And I’ll take care of Corinne’s safety.  You’re not to speak to her about this either.”

Sykes looked at her father.  “I’m relying on you to get her to somewhere safe, and then report to me when she is.  I’ll let you know what progress we’re making in the case, and when it’s safe for her to go back to her job.  In the meantime, I’d keep her away from the gun cabinet.  I’ll keep this one,” he nodded towards the gun on the desk, “and have ballistics check it.”

Two things Sykes was sure of when he left the room.

The first, Walthenson’s treatment was not caused by the Jones brothers.  The second, he finally had a break in the Walthenson case, a break he could have had a lot sooner if Walthenson had told him everything.  There was no doubt going to be some harsh words spoken the next time he saw Harry.




© Charles Heath 2019

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