Riverville Murder - Chapter 17

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Seventeen

Previously:

The three men finished breakfast and are relaxing with coffee. Scott is about to light an Ehrlich Rhodesian pipe, when the telephone interrupts the quietness of the room.

 “Do you have him, Mr. Wadsworth?” the voice loudly asked.

“If this is Chief Grant and you are referring to Nathan Goddard, I do indeed. He is presently in a holding cell, all by himself, thinking over his plight. We got him at his bar, sound asleep beside a lovely young woman. As yet, we know nothing about her. In addition, four men were also arrested while sleeping in another room. We are assuming they are all gang members – bodyguard, perhaps. Almost forgot that we found a steel safe that, when they get it open, might turn out to be a treasure cove of insight into the two gangs,” Scott answered.

“Fabulous catch! Grant exclaimed. I have men in good position to nab several of the “Hill” gang when we start part two at seven. From there on, it will be patrolling and spotting to get others. My men are highly motivated to clean this up, so I expect great results. I’ll call you tonight and let you know how it went.”

At precisely 0700, Scott entered the BPD parking area and found the men standing at their cars waiting to go. “OK, let’s make the best of the day and aggressively make some arrests. It is doubtful if we can get them all today, and maybe never. You have been cruising this area for a couple of weeks and should be fairly knowledgeable about who is regularly on the streets. Sergeant Simmons, please assign a couple of men to Goddard’s bar. If needed, we will use it as a holding area for prisoners today and call a “Wagon” to haul them in. That’s it, good luck and be careful.”

The cars, head out in various directions to their assigned neighborhoods, as radios crackle and checks are made to assure all are in communication.

Streets of Southie:
As the cars take up positions, there isn’t much stirring on the streets of Southie, other than, determined by their uniforms, waitresses and nurses, on their way to work. A few cabs are cruising or just sitting near corners, and some men with lunch pails, and wearing overalls, heading out to work.

The officers sit patiently, comparing faces to photos as men walk by when the radios come to life with; “Wadsworth here. I guess these guys aren’t early risers. I know this is tedious work at the moment, but don’t lose concentration.”

The round-up started slowly until 10:00 when the radio announced, “Attention, attention! This is car four parked near the “Butter & Egg” restaurant on C Street, about a block west of Goddard’s building. We have spotted five or six matches to our photos go into the restaurant. Back-up requested. Over.”

“This is Wadsworth, car one. We will be right there. Car two, respond as well. No one move in until we can do so together.”

The cars quietly approached the position from two directions. When in place, Scott instructed, “Car two, cover the rear and be ready to enter if things get hot. The rest will move into the restaurant individually or by twos, beginning with car four. Car one will follow immediately. Try to spot the suspected people and position near them. Do not use deadly force unless absolutely necessary. We don’t know how many uninvolved folks are in there, and there is no time to sort them out. I’ll make an announcement and you all move in. Be careful.”

As Scott entered the restaurant, he quickly determines where his people are before standing and loudly saying, “Attention please. There are several police officers in here to make arrests. Everyone else please remain seated until we are finished with the task.”

At that, all officers stood and took charge of suspects seated nearby, retrieving several handguns and identification before securing them with handcuffs. One man working behind the counter, eases his way to the kitchen to escape out the rear, but is abruptly stopped by the men from car two. As discovered later, he had no affiliation with Goddard, but had warrants against him for home burglary.

Goddard’s Bar:
The two men assigned to Godard’s place, Detectives Lloyd Qualter and Al Guatino, pull car three in behind the building and enter through the rear door, turn on the lights and hang their jackets in a small check-room.

“Think we should bring in the shotgun?” Guatino asks.

“Plenty of time if we need it. Let’s see how many prisoners they bring us. First, we need to find a place to hold the prisoners. I remember seeing a fair-sized storage room at the right of the bar when we were here earlier. We better have a look. I don’t want anything in there that will prompt someone to try an escape.”

The room is about one-eighth full with paper goods, bar supplies and light bulbs, all packed neatly in one corner. The one window is securely covered with heavy steel mesh imbedded in the framing. Nothing usable as a weapon is discovered. A pad lock with key is found hanging on the inside wall next to the door.

Qualter pockets the lock saying, “I hope there is a hasp on the outside of this door.”

The two detectives sit at one of the tables and check their weapons. Shortly, Lloyd Qualter gets from his chair and walks to the door, takes a quick look around and returns saying, “I sure wish there was an eatery close by. It’s my coffee time.”

“There is a double coffeepot setup on the back of the bar, Guatino noted. I’ll see if there is any coffee back there. I’m sure Mr. Goddard won’t mind donating some to two of Boston’s finest.”

Qualter, sitting at the bar, and Guatino, now in a bar apron standing behind the bar, are enjoying coffee as the sound of a car on the gravel parking lot grabs their attention.  Soon, two men come in and sit at a table near the rear. Detectives Qualter and Guatino continue in conversation until one of the men yells, “How’s about a couple of Guinness over here, mate?”

“Comin’ right up,” Guatino says as he removes his clip holsters and sticks his revolver in his belt under the apron.

Qualter slides from the barstool saying, “You’re busy, Al. I’m off to the men’s room and then home. I’ll see you later.” He folds his jacket over his arm to hide his weapon and walks to the men’s restroom in the rear. Guatino pulls the tap handle, fills two glasses, then starts toward the two men at the table. About half way there he realizes the two men are Jerry Mc Dougal and John Byrne, both high on the state’s wanted list.

“Who in hell are you, Mc Dougal asks. And where is Jake?”

“Jake’s brother-in-law. He’s down with the flu,” Guatino replies.

Reaching for his wallet, Mc Dougal asks, “What’s the tab, pal?”

“I’ll run one for you. You are going to have more, aren’t you?”

At that time, Qualter realizes Guatino is up to something and quietly heads back toward the table; his weapon now in-hand. Guatino, in his peripheral vision, is aware of Qualter approaching and quickly brings his revolver from beneath his apron.

“Hands on the table, gents, and drink your Guinness. I doubt you will have another for quite some time. Oh yes, it’s on Mr. Goddard who, not so incidentally, is currently in a holding cell at BPD Central Division.”

Suddenly, Mc Dougal up-ends the table, turns to make for the rear door, and runs smack into Qualter with his ’38 aimed at Mc Dougal nose. Mc Dougal raises his hands and returns to where John Byrne is up righting the table. Both men are pushed into chairs and have one hand secured to a table leg by handcuffs.

“Now, get you other hand on the table, please. I’ll get you another beer. Seems Mr. Mc Dougal spilled them. Detective Qualter will tell you that you are under arrest and inform you of your rights.”

“Are you blokes Feds, and how do you know us? Byrne askes.”

“No, I’m a Mass. State Detective and Detective Guatino is with the BPD. And, we know all about you and Albert Nunsay, your association with Nathan Goddard and the murder of Clarence Anderson, ATF agent. Also, the attempt at Martin Wolfe, who you know as Sean Keogh, and your plans for a young lass, Kelly Adams. Now shut-up and enjoy your final beers.”

Turning to Guatino, Qualter says, “We should let Wadsworth know who we have here. Radio it in, and bring the shotgun back with you. Also, let him know about the storage room, and that we are ready for prisoners.”

On the radio, Scott replied to Guatino, “That’s great. I was wondering when, or if, we might get those two. We’re on our way to you with a bunch we picked up at the “Butter & Egg”. See you soon.”

Returning to the bar, Guatino, shotgun in the crook of his arm, tells Qualter, “They’re on the way with prisoners.”

“Get up, you two, Qualter tells Jerry Mc Dougal and John Byrne. Pick up your chairs and head for that door,” indicating the storage room.

He releases them from the handcuffs, leaves the storage room and slips the padlock through the hasp loop just in time to hear the cars enter the gravel parking lot. The prisoners, being ushered into the bar in single file, are met by Guatino and his shotgun, who tells them, “Over against that wall and face it,” directing them with a wave of the shotgun.

Scott walked over next to Guatino and addresses the six men against the wall. “All of you are associates of Nathan Goddard. As such, you are under arrest for racketeering and miscellaneous other crimes. This will all be explained formally in greater detail later today. Now, one by one walk to a table, select a chair, and carry it to that door. You are only six and we are many, and I advise you not to try an escape or anything else foolish.

Immediately, Qualter opens the storage room door and directs each prisoner in, and then secures the hasp behind them with the found padlock.

“Good job, men. Now if we can convince one of these esteemed jailers to get those two pots behind the bar brewing, we’ll take a break before heading out again”

At Sea:
The dolphin, at full speed, is skirting the North American coast five miles out. The Captain, in the wheel house, is elated and congratulates himself on having the foresight to fill the tanks to the brim.

As they clear Montauk Point, with no sight of a Coast Guard vessel, the crewmen begin to consider the chance of getting away without being discovered, and expect an eventless journey to Virginia. The captain cuts to two-thirds speed, sets the automatic steering and turns the wheel-house over to the First Mate. “I’m, going below for some chow and a drink. Call me only in an emergency.”

The men, sprawled around the deck and hatch, are relaxing or playing cards on this sunny and hopeful day.

A couples of miles South-West of the Dolphin’s position, an HC-144A patrol plane is returning to its Coast Guard Air Station from a routine coastal patrol. “There’s something ahead, the spotter tells the pilot as he reaches for his binoculars. By God, I think it’s the Dolphin, but I can’t read it clearly. Move in. Whatever it is, it shouldn’t be at that traffic lane.”

The pilot drops the plane a hundred feet and heads for the sighting.

“Try to get parallel to it so I get a direct look at her.”

Seconds later, the spotter excitedly proclaims, “It is. It’s the Dolphin, just cruising along with the crew relaxing on deck, like the fools didn’t have a care in the world.”

“Good sighting, Chief. We’ll get behind them and call it in to all stations.”

Within minutes, two, 270-foot Famous class, Medium Endurance Cutters are dispatched; The Spencer from Boston and the Northland from Portsmouth, Virginia. The Spencer arrives first, with all guns trained on the Dolphin. The captain stepped on deck from his nap, just in time to see the crew of the Spencer boarding the Dolphin.

The patrol plane continued to make a wide circle over the dolphin as support surveillance. “Here comes another cutter from the south. Looks like the same class, the chief said as he lowered his binoculars, should be here in about an hour and a half, at the speed its going.”

“In case they aren’t watching their radar, we’ll notify the Spencer. Perhaps they don’t need the back-up,” The pilot replied.

The radioman, on the inter-comm, tells the Pilot “Sir, they will wait for the other Cutter, and told us that we can go on home. A good day wouldn’t you say, Lieutenant?”

The Dolphin’s crew is transferred to the Spencer and locked up, An officer and several seamen man the Dolphin for the trip back to Boston. The Dolphin is confiscated by the Coast Guard and the crew is turned over to ATF agents for transport to Portland, where they will be interrogated and arraigned. Several men from the Northland, who assisted the Spencer crew, returned to their cutter, which turned about and set out for Portsmouth.

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Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired. Oh, and in case you didn't notice.... he's a pipe smoker too.

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2020
All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

Riverville Murder - Chapter 18

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Eighteen

Previously:

The patrol plane continues to make a wide circle over the Dolphin as support surveillance. “Here comes another cutter from the south. Looks like the same class, the chief said as he lowered his binoculars, should be here in about an hour and a half, at the speed its going.”

“In case they aren’t watching their radar, we’ll notify the Spencer. Perhaps they don’t need the back-up,” The pilot replied.

The radioman, on the inter-comm, tells the Pilot, “Sir, they will wait for the other Cutter, and told us that we can go on home. A good day wouldn’t you say, Lieutenant?”

The Dolphin’s crew is transferred to the Spencer and locked up, An officer, and several seamen, man the Dolphin for the trip back to Boston.

Men from the Northland, who assisted the Spencer crew, returned to the Northland, which turned about and set out for home; Portsmouth Virginia.

The Dolphin is confiscated by the Coast Guard at Boston and the crew is turned over to ATF agents for transport to Portland, where they will be interrogated and arraigned.

Somerville:

Chief Grant and his crew are making good progress as they stealthily approach suspects on the street, in restaurants and in homes.

One SPD detective is following two suspects walking, as his partner follows in a car. Suddenly, the suspects begin arguing loud enough for the detective to hear one say, “Geeze, Gus. There’s a meeting at the Carter Street warehouse this afternoon. We can’t possibly go to the track. What are you, crazy?”

“Oh yea, I forgot about that. Guess our ass would be in a sling, or worse, if we missed it.”

The detective following, signals his partner to pull over, as he speeds up to get close to the suspects. The car pulls to the curb, and the detective gets out about six feet in front of the suspects, weapon pressed flat to his leg. As the following officer grabs their shoulders, the other brings his weapon into view and proclaims, “You two are under arrest for gang related activities. Hands behind your back, please.”

The two are transported to the station and booked. Then, the detectives go to the communications room and call Chief Grant about the warehouse meeting.

“We might just clean up this operation with a raid on that warehouse. What do you think, Sergeant?” Chief Grant asks his state police partner.

“Yes Sir, I would say you’re right on with that; at least all the top men will be there. Minus Goddard, of course. I feel safe in saying, anyone who isn’t at this meeting is at the bottom of the pile in this gang. Furthermore, whoever is left over will, more than likely, be heading for parts unknown when the news gets out.”

Grant, being relieved at the prospect or a big haul, laughs as he says, “I sure hope you are right, Sarge. I’ve been trying to get a rope around this bunch of bastards for too long now.”

South Boston:

The rest of the morning things are slow for Scott and his crew. His men are getting anxious just sitting and looking at faces as the pass by. It’s beginning to appear that the word might be out, and people are in hiding.

Scott, noticing the men in his car fidgeting, gets on the radio. “We are getting nowhere this way. Car two, take the street to the north and car four, the street to the south. I’ll take this street. Let’s get out and walk, checking any bars, pubs, restaurants, pool halls, gyms, or any establishment you find that can be a place to hang out. Don’t bunch up and be careful and as inconspicuous as possible. You have all been issued the limited range radios. Make sure they are all on the corrected channel. Don’t hesitate to use them should the need arise.”

Two hours later, the results of the tactic are less than gratifying, having bagged only two suspects in a pool hall.

Scott retrieves his short-range radio. “OK, let’s bring it in. We only have two, so meet at Goddard’s bar. We’ll put two more away and see if we can extract any information from the prisoners.”

Shortly after arriving at the bar, Scott directs Detective Qualter to bring John Byrne from the storage room.

“Over here Byrne, and sit down,” Scott demands.

While Qualter cuffs Byrne to the table leg, Scotts says, “Do you have any idea how much trouble you are in, Mister Byrne? You will be arraigned on one count of accessory to murder, one of attempted murder and conspiracy to comment another murder of a young lady. Oh yes, illegal arms trafficking and racketeering too.”

“Yea, yea, your stooge here already told me. But I’m telling you, I had nothing to do with murders. That was a guy named Albert Nunsay, on Mister Goddard’s orders.”

“So, you say, however we have proof that you set up the whole thing, Scott replied. Now, I believe the word is out and people are in hiding, and I want you to tell me where. Cooperation with the authorities is in your best interest.”

Leaning back in his chair, Byrne smiles smugly at Scott, “I don’t think so. Sure and, you’re bluffing, and I can’t see how you can possibly have any proof of anything about me. I’m too smart for you guys.”

“Oh really, I’m glad you think so. You have a big mouth, Scott replies. I have a witness who will testify regarding conversations you’ve had with Nunsay, and between you and Mister Mc Dougal, mentioning Kelly Adams and two ATF agents. You know, one of your big mistakes was not knowing the Miss Adams grandfather is the Riverville Chief of Police and her uncle is a Detective Sergeant. We’ve been on Goddard and his bunch since a couple of days after Miss Adams overheard the conversation between Hurley and Sullivan at the All Erin Pub, and the body of Clarence Anderson was discovered in Riverville by Patrolman Francis Hendersen, who, by the way is Kelly’s cousin.”

The front legs of John Byrne’s chair thump loudly on the floor, as he returns to an upright position. His face is pale and his mouth hangs open in surprise. As hard as he tries, he cannot muster-up a rebuke, or even a faint comment. John Byrne sits, shoulders hunched and head down, in realization that he is in a very bad spot.

“OK, Byrne, that’s it for now, but you better think heavily about cooperation, and what the lack of it can mean to your future. Take him back to his friends, Sergeant Qualter.”

“Hold on there, Byrne pleads. It’s not that I think you have anything on us; and I certainly wouldn’t want it know that I’m tellin’ you, but there is a private social club over near the beach. It has some sort of Italian name out front, but isn’t. Goddard owns it. You might take a look there. And, it’s hopein’ I am, you’ll remember, when the trial comes ‘round, it was I who told you.”

As Qualter returns Byrne to the storage room. Scott beckons to Sgt. Allan Rockford.

“Allan, take a ride along the beach. See if you can find a building with a sign indicating an Italian Social Club. Look around and determine if there is any activity there. Be as inconspicuous as possible.”

As Rockford leaves the building, Scott has Jerry McDougal brought out of the storage room, and follows the same line with him as with Byrne. McDougal wasn’t near as flippant, and revealed information about Goddard’s gambling empire and minor prostitution activity. He obviously had little knowledge of gun running, and put the murders on Nunsay’s head.

From then on, it was a steady procession from the storage, room and back. Most of the questioned are errand boys and bag men for Goddard’s protection racket. One is allotted to keeping the “girls” in line and two men, suspected of being bodyguards, kept silent. Thinking of bodyguards, Scott made a mental note to talk to the four men captured with Goddard at the bar.

Scott is drinking more coffee and conversing with Henry Reichmann when Allan Rockford returns from reconnoitering the Italian Club.

“I found the club right on the beach road, a mile from here, but saw no activity. A few lights are on in the building, but the place isn’t fully lit, like it would be if open. Looks like you’ll need a specific warrant if you want to look inside.”

“You’re right, Allan. Find Captain Callan, please.”

“Captain, I’d like you to take charge of these prisoners, please. I have to get a warrant in a hurry. If you can call for a wagon and haul these guys to the BPD Central Division for holding, we might be able to wind this up today. Have everyone else remain here until I get back.”

“Doesn’t sound like a problem, if I can take Sergeant Simmons away from you?”

“Sure, he’s yours anyway. We will double up where needed.” Scott replies, and heads for the pay phone on the wall next to the hat-check room. He digs into his pockets for change and call Judge Millstone.

After several minutes, the judge’s receptionist comes back on the line and announces, “The judge will speak to you now. I’ll connect you.

“Wadsworth, how is it coming?” the judge’s voice booms over the phone.

“Very well, sir. I’m afraid I have to bother you for one more warrant. There is a social club called simply, “Italian Club”. One of the gang members tells us, after considerable persuasion, it is no such thing. In fact, it is owned by Nathan Goddard and a probable hiding place for his lieutenants. An immediate search warrant seems in order, sir. It is becoming apparent that the word of the roundup has somehow leaked.”

“Your request is quite out of the ordinary, Wadsworth. Yet, under the extraordinary circumstances, I will comply with your request. You can pick up the warrant in an hour or so. Good job, and good luck.”

As Sergeant Allan Rockford stood with him, Scott informed Captain Callan, Sergeant Simmons and Henry Reichmann of the new warrant.

“Captain Callan, forget about hauling the prisoners away. Give the job to a couple of the BPD officers. You and Simmons still take command here. You’ve heard Allan describe the Italian Club building and surroundings. Form a plan for invading the building. We don’t know who, if anyone, is in there, so stress being ready for resistance. Use as many access points as possible and coordinate your entrance. Allan and I are leaving to pick up the warrant. Do not move on the building until we return, However, send a couple of men to keep an eye on it. I can call them back on the limited distance radio when I get here.”

“You’ve got it, Chief Investigator,” Callan said, as he feigned a salute.

On the way to pick up the warrants, the portable bag phone Allan keeps in the car rang loudly. “This is Wadsworth. Who’s calling?”

It’s Mic, Scott. Boy, am I glad I got you – thought you would be near that funny bag phone. The town is buzzing. Everyone knows about all the cop activity. Even here in the shop, people are commenting on it; some for and some against it. If you are having trouble finding people, this is why.”

“I also overheard comments about a social club on the beach and a Rugby Club facility near the end of Telegraph Street. Guess they play at Thompson Park. The consensus is, gang members are probably hiding at one or both places.”

“Thanks for thinking of us, Mic. We know about the Italian Club, but haven’t heard anything about the Rugby facility. Your call is very timely. We are on our way to get a search warrant for the Italian club; maybe I can get one for the Rugby Club spot. Don’t suppose you know the number on Telegraph Street.”

“No, sorry. Good luck, Scott. Call me when this is over. I’ll be interested in how it all turns out.”

Scott immediately got the mobile operator and gave her Judge Millstone’s number.

“Judge Millstone, I’m very sorry to bother you again, but I have received a tip that there are another place Goddard’s gang members are possibly hiding. I’m hoping you can add it to the Italian Club warrant, or issue a second one for the Rugby Club building on Telegraph Street, South Boston.”

“Wadsworth, I’m not going to say it not a bother. I’m so deeply into this action, that bother can no longer be considered. The cause is good, and I have a lot of respect for you and the man who raised you. I want you to remember just how busy I am and make this the end. If necessary, use your initiative and hope you can dig up enough, on whom ever it is, to make an arrest stick. You lawyers sometime carry the word of the law too far. I’ll add it to the Italian Club Warrant. Good bye.”

“We have it, Allan. And I just received the nicest dressing-down of my life. I think the judge is really behind us on this one.”

“I’m not sure getting that last warrant and executing it was worthwhile. Scott says, as he sits at a table drinking coffee with Henry Reichmann, Captain Callan, Detective Sgt. Mark Simmons and Detective Sgt. Allan Rockford. What did we net? Sixteen bottom rung gang members; numbers runners, extortion collectors and hard-fisted bullies. Not a lieutenant in the bunch.”

“At the least, we cleaned up the streets, Captain Callan added. Goddard can’t function without them, even if he were free.”

“You are absolutely correct, but we don’t have a single lieutenant. The bums we grabbed are a dime a dozen. Goddard’s next in command can be back in action in a couple of days. We’ll have to exert some real pressure on the people we have in custody and find out just who they are and where they might be holed-up; even if we have to take some extreme measures.”

All at the table grew quiet, as if contemplating the situation.

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Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired. Oh, and in case you didn't notice.... he's a pipe smoker too.

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2020
All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

Riverville Murder - Chapter 19

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Nineteen

Previously:

“I’m not sure getting that last warrant and executing it was worthwhile. Scott says, as he sits at a table drinking coffee with Henry Reichmann, Captain Callan, Detective Sgt. Mark Simmons and Detective Sgt. Allan Rockford. What did we net? Sixteen bottom rung gang members; numbers runners, extortion collectors and hard-fisted bullies. Not a lieutenant in the bunch.”

“At the least, we cleaned up the streets, Captain Callan added. Goddard can’t function without them, even if he were free.”

“You are absolutely correct, but we don’t have a single lieutenant. The bums we grabbed are a dime a dozen. Goddard’s next in command can be back in action in a couple of days. We’ll have to exert some real pressure on the people we have in custody and find out just who they are and where they might be holed-up; even if we have to take some extreme measures.”

All at the table grew quiet, as if contemplating the situation.

“In the morning, Scott continues, we must sort these guys out as to level of importance. This way, they will be interrogated from the top down, whatever the top might be. I already know who will be first – the four we found upstairs sleeping, and the woman found in Goddard’s bed. She might be just a one-nighter knowing nothing, or his steady lady and have info we can use. I felt a little sorry for her at first, thinking she just happened to be at the wrong place at a bad time. That was an assumption I had no right making. We can all learn from it. OK, good job men. Enjoy what’s left of the day. I’ll see Captain Callan and Detective Sgt. Mark Simmons at Central Division tomorrow at ten A.M. to help with the interrogation. Any problems with that, speak now. Good, see you in the morning.”

By ten A.M. all prisoners were informed of the interrogation procedure and that they will be escorted, in handcuffs, to a room for the process. Scott made arrangements to have the woman brought to him first. Captain Callan and Sergeant Simmons started with the other prisoners.

Scott started a file on Alice Nadeau just as she entered the room, escorted by a guard.

“Make yourself comfortable, Alice, if that’s possible in these chairs. I see you have no Boston police record, just a couple of traffic warrants. That surprises me in light of your association with Mister Goddard. What is your job in his organization?”

“I am not employed by Nathan Goddard. I am self-employed -- DBA Financials - Plus, as a C.P.A. and consultant, I have offices on Commonwealth Avenue and employ thirteen people.”

“Then tell me about your association with him; how long you’ve known him and the nature of your relationship.”

“Nathan and I are friends and sometime lovers. I’ve known him for twenty-some years – since we were just kids. He has some strange opinions about relationships. He is terrified of marriage, but as loyal as a puppy to me, and I to him. I’ve been in love with him, for what seems like forever. I can’t imagine a better relationship – even if married.”

“I’ll have to check on your business, although I tend to believe you. This is a gun running case with murder and money laundering, so I trust you can understand why.”

“Yes, I do. You will not find one irregularity. I have no business affiliation with Mister Goddard or any of his associates. Oh, I’ve been offered business by some and flatly refused.”

“Well, if you have overheard anything or want to talk about Goddard’s activities you might know about, please give me a call. My department will check you out today. If everything is as you say, you can probably leave

here later today. I’ll call your office and tell them someone from the State’s Attorney’s office will be by to ask some questions.” Scott finished, as an officer took Alice Nadeau back to a holding cell.

Almost immediately, the door opens to admit the four men found upstairs at the pub, escorted by two officers.

“Sit down, please and state your names,” Scott said in an imposing voice.

One of the men continued standing after he directed the other three to chairs, and belligerently said, “We refuse to do that, sir. It’s your place to find that out,” and quickly sat.

“Really! Scott replied. I was hopping, for your sake, you all would be helpful. This gang is through. You must realize that, and there is nothing to gain by four flunkies being uncooperative. You will be going to jail on one count or another. For how long is up to you. You, the leader, if you change your mind, tell an officer and he will bring you all back. Officer, get these guys out of here and back to a cell, please.”

Scott sat at the table writing notations about the questioning of Alice Nadeau and the four thugs. Finished, he picked up the phone and pressed the inter-com button. He heard his own voice boom out of the speaker behind him as he said, “Sergeant Rockford, please report to Interrogation Room One.”

“What can I do for you, boss?” Allan Rockford said as he burst into the room; startling Scott, deep in thought.

“I would like you to please look-up the address and phone numbers of Financials-Plus on Commonwealth Avenue. And while you are at it, try finding a home address and number for Alice Nadeau, the owner of Financials -Plus. Oh yes, run her through State records. I need to know if she has ever been in trouble.”

“Will do. What do you want first?”

“The Business address and phone. Tomorrow is soon enough for the rest. Now get going, and bring a couple of coffees when you come back!” Scott said and immediately returned to his notes.

Allan returned in twenty minutes bearing coffee, followed closely by Captain Callan.

“Sorry captain, I didn’t know you would be here. Can I get you a coffee?” Allan asked.

“No thanks, Allan. I’ll only be here a minute or two.” Callan replied and turned to Scott.

“I’ve been talking to the guys we picked up in that last raid. A couple of them, both numbers, runners said that Goddard’s top men all skipped the state a week ago. There was a leak about this clean-up and one of the runners was given a message to pass on to Goddard. The messenger was a stranger to this runner, but had a strong Boston accent, so probably a local.”

“Well, at least we know. The best we can do is try to get the names of the lieutenants, get individual warrants and notify the surrounding states to keep an eye out,” Scott said as he gingerly removed the cover from the hot paper cup.

Callan waited for Scott to take a sip and said, “We, Simmons and I, will put some pressure on those two and see if we can get these top men’s names. I’ll get back to you in an hour or so

“I wonder who leaked about the raids. I’ll see if I can get that info as well,” Callan added as he closed the door behind him.

Using the information Allan brought back, Scott called his state house office and requested the State’s Attorney do an immediate audit of Financials-Plus and send him a report on any irregularities and suspicious entries.

He sat back in his chair, fished a pipe from his jacket pocket, filled and lit-up before turning to Allan. “How’s it going in the other interrogation rooms? They must be getting near the end.”

“I haven’t been in all the rooms, but in moving around, I haven’t heard or seen any problems – seems to be going smoothly enough. I do know there wasn’t much gained from the four sleeping at the bar. It was like they had rehearsed answers and stories.”

“More than likely, Scott responded. Not much we can do about that. It’s next to impossible to have isolated each prisoner when a haul like that is made. However, I have an idea. The four supposed body guards are together in a cell, and apparently have a boss among them. I’d like you to get the other three back here. The boss is the bald guy in the Glen Plaid suit. You probably won’t have to speak to him, just pick out the others and he will make himself known. I doubt they are much without Baldy and might talk if pushed.”

The three sat automatically upon entering the room, and Scott ignored them. He continued to work on his notes, stopped and lit his pipe, but didn’t look at the three men. After ten minutes Scott looked up to see them nervously fidgeting and said, “You are going to be put away for a long time, if not executed, for the murder of that ATF agent.”

One of the men jumped up and said loudly, “Your crazy. We had nothing to do with that – didn’t even know about it ‘till it was over.”

“That’s not what Baldy says in this note,” Scott said as he retrieved a blank folded piece of paper from his shirt pocket.

“He’s a liar. Looking for a break, he is, the bastard. Well, it won’t work. We have plenty on him.”

“And I want to know just what that is. But first, I need to know where Goddard’s lieutenants are and who leaked information about this raid to Goddard.”

“Come on, man! Giving you that is a death sentence; even in jail,” another man said loudly.

“Look, you help me and I can help you. If you come straight with me, and you don’t have any serious outstanding warrants, you might just be free to split this state while Baldy goes to the lock-up. Now, to start, I want your names and addresses– Baldy’s too.”

Allan stood leaning against the wall, enthralled with Scotts tactics. He never saw him be so forceful before; to the extent of lying about the murder and the note. He had the three men literally frightened and of the edge of their seats.

Scott called for a stenographer, and it only took forty-five minutes of constant talking for the three men to answer every question Scott put to them.

Satisfied, Scott nodded to Allan saying, “Please take these men back and put them in a cell away from Baldy, and bring Allice Nadeau back with you.”

“Alice, I’ve been over your state and Boston police records, and you are free to go. Sign out at the front desk. I’ve OK’d your release. Please do not leave Massachusetts. You might be needed in court.”

As soon as Allice Nadeau closed the door, Scott stood and said, “OK, Allan, let’s call it a day. We’ll stop by and see how Callan and Simmons are doing; then to my place for a needed Scotch. How does that sound?”

“Sounds good to me, sir.”

Their visit with Callan and Simmons was short. “I honestly don’t believe those two numbers guys know a thing about the lieutenants or the snitch who leaked info about the raid, Callan told Scott. They did, however give us a good understanding of the workings of the numbers racket and those in charge in Eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. I have several pages of notes, and will get a full report to you in a day or two. The whole thing is brilliantly complicated. Guess it’s that way purposely to confuse and deter detection.”

“Good. Cleaning up the numbers rackets will take millions a month out of the gangs’ coffers. And, that reminds me, we have to find out just where the two gangs keep their money and who has charge of it. But, that’s for another day. We’ll have a try at Baldy again tomorrow.”

Walnut Street, Boston:

Allan brought the car to a stop in front of Scott’s converted carriage house. Suddenly, the front gate in the high fence burst open, and Scotts two sons ran to greet the men. Allan likes the boys and immediately tucked one under each arm and went up the cobbled walkway to the front door; the boys yelling and squealing with pure delight.

“Mom, Dad’s home and Allan is with him,” the boys yelled; summoning Nancy from the kitchen.

“Well, Allan! it’s been too, too long,” Nancy said and gave Allan a hug, after setting a full ice bucket on the sideboard. “I hope you like beef stew.”

“Anything you cook is just fine with me, Nancy.”

“OK. Enough buttering-up you two. Time for refreshment.” Scott laughingly said, as he poured Dewar’s White Label over the ice in three glasses.

The evening went smoothly and pleasantly, being a restful time from the hectic activities of the day. As the evening passed, the conversation eventually came back to the case.

“I sure hope we can break Baldy tomorrow, Scott said. I would like to get this done and out of the way. I’m hoping the Feds. will take over the prosecution stage. They have plenty of jurisdiction and good reason, especially concerning gun running and money; to say nothing of the murder of a federal agent.

“I think you’re right, Allan replied. I’ve learned a lot working with you on this case. I’m sure a lot of it will help me in the future sometime. I thank you for that.”

“My pleasure, Scott replied. I enjoy it too, and it’s good of the state to have an assigned a full-time driver, but I do have a private practice, and I’m neglecting it. I have a great staff of very competent people, but it’s not good for anyone to have an absentee boss. Most of my work for the commonwealth doesn’t take this much concentrated and uninterrupted time.”

The next morning, Baldy, otherwise known as Norman Riley, was already sweating when Allan ushered him into the interrogation room. Scott stood looking out the window for several minutes while Riley sat in the silence sweating and wringing his hands.

“How are you this morning, Mister Riley?” Scott asked as he slowly turned from the window.

“Never mind my health. Why did you separate me from my friends?”

“It’s very simple, Scott said as he smiled broadly at Riley. We think you are more important than your buddies, actually their boss. So, we figure, in accordance with an important person, who knows a lot that we want to know. you warrant special and vigorous treatment."

Ryan’s face turned ashen as his mind tried to interpret what Scott just said. Visions of what “special and vigorous treatment” might mean, caused his adrenaline to serge, and he felt his heart pounding in his chest.

“OK, what do you want and what kind of a deal can we make?” Ryan asked, while trying to stop his voice from trembling.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired. Oh, and in case you didn't notice.... he's a pipe smoker too.

Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2020
All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, printing, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

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Keeping the smoking lamp lit since 1989