Thursday, 1 August 2019

Episode 99 – Sykes interviews Felicity


It was not as if Sykes hadn’t enough on his plate with a bunch of new cases handed to him by the chief, but in the stack, one stood out.

A low-level criminal by the name of Theo Blines getting shot down at the docks.  There’s been a few too many over the last few months and to Sykes, it had a more sinister feel to it, like warring factions, were using the remote and run-down location as a dumping ground.

But the Blines case seemed different.

As soon as he read the first responders report, and that of the night duty detective, both of who were taken in by the lack of any tangible evidence, and witnesses, had called it a random mugging.

Even with two shots, one to the stomach and one to the head, the headshot the cause of his death.

The ballistics report just hit his desk when a call came from the father of Felicity, a young woman who he had seen with Walthenson, and who was requesting a meeting in his office.  A rather odd request, he thought.

The ballistics report said there were two bullets, different calibres, and when he looked for the coroner’s report and couldn’t find it, made a call and discovered that it would be another day before the coroner’s report would be available.  The crime scene investigators had not come up with anything significant.

A call to the coroner’s department, and by chance getting a word with the coroner doing the autopsy, told him that it was the bullet in the head that killed him, and it was likely he’d survive the shot to the stomach. The headshot was at very close range given the gunshot residue on the surrounding skin, the other, from a distance.  It sounded like there were two shooters, one of whom had not intended to kill Blines.

This was not like the other shootings, which appeared to be executions, victims kneeling and shot through the back of the head.  Blines was done in haste.

And it was anything but a mugging, even if the wallet and mobile phone were missing.

That was as far as he got when he was told Felicity and father had arrived.  He collected them and brought them back to an interview room, asked either if they wanted coffee, a no on both counts, but he went to get one for himself.

When he returned, he gave them a minute to settle and then asked Felicity’s father, “I’m sure I’ve seen you before.”

“You have, though we haven’t personally met.  I work with another detective, Wallance, out of a different precinct.”

“Yes.  I know him.  Now, what can I do for you.”

Felicity’s father glanced at his daughter, the cue to speak.

It was not going to be easy, she thought, and wondered, briefly, once she said her piece if she would get to leave the station or be locked up.  On the face of her actions, there was every reason to charge her with an offence, and she was expecting some sort of repercussion.

Another few seconds, and then she said, quietly, “I know who shot Blines, that chap down at the docks.”

She saw an instant change in Sykes demeanour, and a look that told her he was formulating questions, so many, he was having trouble which one to ask first.

“How is this possible.  I suspect it’s not your usual haunt late at night.”

“It isn’t.  I was following a friend.  I work with my father from time to time, and lately with Harry Walthenson, as you know.”

“And this visit was connected with which investigation?”

“Harry’s.  It was a connection to what had happened to him.  You are no doubt aware he had been kidnapped and taken somewhere and nearly killed?”

“I am aware of what happened to him, yes.  What was this connection.”

“When Corinne and I were cleaning up the mess in Harry’s office, we came across a sliver of paper taped to the bottom of a drawer.  The paper had nothing on it, but it looked like it had been torn from a notepad, so we looked for a notepad, and when we found one, did the pencil scraping trick to see what had been written.  It gave an address.”

“Down by the docks, near where the unfortunate Blines was?”

“Yes.”

“And you didn’t think to come to me and let me do the investigating?  I assume you ran into Blines?”

“I was going to come to you, and I told Corinne bot to do anything stupid, like go there, but I had a suspicion she was not going to listen to reason, so I followed her.”

“To this address at the docks?”

“Yes.”

“Then what happened?”

“Nothing to Corinne.  She came, parked, walked to the address and looked through the fence, saw nothing, and then left.”

“But…”

“But in the shadows, I saw a man and went to investigate.  Probably not the wisest thing to do, but if he was reporting on her visit, then I was going to ask him to tell me who it was.”

“How?”

“I had a gun.  It’s licenced, and I know how to use it.”  She reached into her bad and pulled it out, wrapped in a cloth and then in a sealed plastic bag.  “He came at me and it went off, he startled me.  It looked bad.”

“Where did you shoot him?”

“In the stomach.”

“And the second shot?”

“There was only one.  I swear.  You can check the gun, there is only one round missing, the one I shot him with.  I called an ambulance and then left.  He was alive when I left, I know because he was cursing me.”


© Charles Heath 2019

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