Good Afternoon Ted and Jody:
The marine layer that creeps up the river basins from the coast stays longer each day. I am beginning to think it wants residency. Nonetheless, the sun burns it off by 11 or so. I decided to take advantage of it and water the pots early this morning before the sun could contest my presence in the yard. Wouldn’t you know the pocket hose I was using to water the pots on the front gravel burst. Fortunately, it broke mid hose so I escaped most of the H2O discharge. I also had a spare on hand for this has happened several times before. I take considerable care in keeping the pocket hoses out of direct sunlight too, theoretically, make them last longer. The hose that broke this morning was the newest and had only been in service for less than two months. I kept it under the front deck and covered so the sunlight did not get to it. I am coming to the conclusion that I might as well lay it out for the sun to enjoy as it broke anyway. Now you may ask, ‘Why do you buy them, Ed, if they are going to break and soak you with water?’ All I can say in my self-defense is my middle name is Danger (but not too much). I also, play the lottery and go outside in the winter with wet hair. What can I say, it is in my very nature. Besides, they may one day make a pocket hose that actually works for an entire season (and they are a lot easier to drag around than the heavy ones that I can’t get to break to save my soul).
I had my Saturday massage this morning. Next week I get my Saturday massage on Friday. Massages apparently cause calendar changes (Juli’s husband’s company picnic was yesterday; and, she has a fishing trip to Alaska next weekend). Regardless of the day of the week, I really need these Saturday massages. I feel almost human after having one.
Yesterday, on the way to lunch, I told Nancy that it was the first day of the second half of the year. She quickly pointed out that since there are more 31 day months in the 2nd half of the year and February comes up short, that technically that was not true until half way trough tomorrow. I swear sometimes she can open the drain hole on fun and let it all leak out on the floor of the car.
Warmest regards, Ed
014 27 Years Before the Present – Part II – A Double Murder
Fiction in 1352 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Detective Clements was finishing up the Official Crime Report of the murder of the Club Royal valet from the evening before when his Lieutenant walked up to his desk and handed him a copy of a Preliminary Crime Report of a double murder of a man and woman in room 301 of The Jersey Shore Hotel. “Holy cow!” Exclaimed Detective Clements. “This can’t be a coincidence.”
“I didn’t think so either,” replied his Lieutenant. “I suggest you scrub Mr. A’s name and address from all reports. And. Let him remain ‘A’ or ‘The Witness’ in all the files and reports. Only you and I will know his name, and, only you, his whereabouts. When I read this,” he said pointing to the Preliminary Crime Report of the double murder in room 301 of The Jersey Shore Hotel, “I called the U.S. Marshall’s Office and arranged to have someone meet you at Chicago O’Hara when your flight arrives tomorrow morning.” He then handed Detective Clements a boarding pass.
“I don’t believe I have ever seen the Department authorize a trip out of town so fast,” said Detective Clements.
“The District Attorney’s Office weighed in on this one,” replied his Lieutenant. “We have a leak. The DA doesn’t even want to know the witness’ name. He thinks Salvatore Pisciso may even be able to reach into his office files. Besides, if he knows. He will have to tell the Fed’s and they will want him to plea bargain the Don to get him to roll on more wiseguys.”
“Won’t the Marshals tell the FBI?” Asked Detective Clements.
“Never in the case of witness protection,” said his Lieutenant.
A man approached Detective Clements as he exited the gangway from his flight. “I’m Deputy Marshal Moran, Detective.”
“How did you pick me out?” asked Detective Clements.
Deputy Marshal Moran pointed to the Detective’s belt where his shield was prominently displayed by his open coat. Detective Clements said, “And I’m supposed to be the detective. You have credentials?”
Deputy Marshal Moran reached inside his jacket pocket and pulled out a credentials wallet. He opened it and handed it to the Detective. As Detective Clements examined his credentials, the Deputy Marshal said, “I think it best if we go to our Regional Office downtown. In fact, I would like you to tell the cab driver where we are going so there is no doubt.”
“Why the extra security?” asked Detective Clements handing back the Deputy Marshal’s credentials.
“The Marshal just saw The Sting for the first time; and, there is the concern of the Five Families having connections here in Chicago,” replied Deputy Marshal Moran.
The cab pulled up to 219 S Dearborn, Deputy Marshal Moran handed the cab driver a chit and the two men exited the cab and entered the building. After going through security screening on the ground floor of the courthouse, they took the elevator to the 24th Floor. Once there, Deputy Marshal bypassed security screening, but the uniformed officer insisted that Detective Clements go through the metal detector. Once through, Detective Clements said, “I guess you are legit; or, this is one hell of an elaborate scam.”
Deputy Marshal Moran held his palms forward in protestation and said, “You gave the cabby the address, you pushed the button for the 24th floor. If it is a scam I would love to know how I managed to pull it off.”
“If we had had coffee or a drink I would say you drugged me, but we didn’t,” said, Detective Clements. Looking around he said, “Say where is the coffee, anyway?”
Mindy Blanchard opened the door and said, “My goodness, Detective Clements, what are you doing in Chicago?”
“It is probably best if you invite us in so I can explain to you and your husband,” Detective Clements said. Waving his hand toward the man standing next to him he said, “This is Deputy Marshal Moran of the Chicago field office of the U.S. Marshall Service.”
“By all means please come in,” said Mindy Blanchard. Alfred isn’t home yet. He called and said he will be a few minutes late.” She looked at her watch and said, “That should be about now. Can I make you come coffee or tea while we wait for Al?
Deputy Marshal Moran nodded his head and said, “Coffee would be nice. Thank you.
Detective Clements nodded agreement, “Yes, coffee, please.”
Mindy Blanchard gestured toward her living room and said, “Make yourselves comfortable, I’ll go put the pot on.
Just as the two men sat down the front door opened and Alfred Blanchard entered. He set his briefcase down by the table in the entry way. He put his keys on the table and dropped his Fedora over them. He then stepped in the living room. His face turned into a mask of massive confusion when he saw Detective Clements and immediately asked, “What are you doing here Detective?”
Mindy returning to the living room said, “Oh Good, you are home. The Detective and the Marshal are here to tell us something.”
Deputy Marshal Moran stood, offered his hand and smiled and said, “Deputy Marshal Moran, they frown on us deputies being called Marshall in my line of work.”
“So what is so important that you had to come all the way to Chicago to tell us rather than calling?” asked Alfred Blanchard.
Detective Clemens sighed and said, “When I explained who Salvatore Pisciso was you seemed to understand but were not overly impressed. He is the head of one of the major crime families in New York City. They call them the five families. When he is unhappy with someone, they die. In the report I filed on your account of what happened, I did not use your name and I used a false local address in New York. I kept your names and address from anyone. My Lieutenant knows your name and that you live in Chicago and other than the Deputy Marshal here, no one else knows. Last night the couple that was at the false address I used on my Preliminary Crime Report was murdered. While their murders are being investigated and there is nothing to connect their murders to this case other than my reporting that the witness to Salvatore Pisciso murdering the valet at the Club Royal was staying at that address, I’m not sure we want to chance it being a coincidence.”
Mindy and Alfred Blanchard seated next to each other on the couch drew even closer as Detective Clemens explained the reason he and the Deputy Marshal were there. When Detective Clements said a couple at that address had been murdered, Mindy Blanchard’s left hand went to her mouth and Alfred looked up and tightened his grip on his wife’s right-hand tighten and asked, “That’s why you brought the Deputy Marshal here, isn’t it? You are going to ask us if we want to go into witness protection?”
“Yes, quite frankly, that is exactly why we are here,” said Detective Clements. “The FBI, the DEA, the ATF and we along with police in New Jersey and Connecticut have been trying to put this guy behind bars for 15 years. Every time we think we have him a witness ends up murdered, evidence disappears, we even had an evidence locker firebombed. So, yes, we recommend . . .”
Detective Clements was interrupted by the sound of the Blanchard’s car alarm going off. Alfred started to get up, but Deputy Marshal Moran held his hand up and said, “I’ll tend to it. Where are your keys?”
“On the table by the front door,” said Alfred pointing. As Deputy Marshal Moran left the room, Alfred called out, “They may be under my Fedora.”
“Got them,” came the Deputy Marshal’s voice from the hall. They could hear the sound of the dead bolt clinking when the Deputy Marshal disengaged it and the sounds of traffic on the street wafting into the room as the front door opened, then BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM.