Riverville Murder - Chapter 20
Case of the Riverville Murder
A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack
“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.
“To start with, where is the money for both the C Street and the Compton Hill gangs kept; cash, bonds, stocks, annuities – anything? And, I don’t want to hear any hedging. You have been too close to Goddard, for too long not to know some, if not all, of his hiding places. Secondly, just who does he hire to take care of his finances?”
“Maybe I can help you – maybe I can’t. I haven’t heard any offerings of a deal yet,” Riley said, mustering all the courage he had left.
“Well, to start with, there are murder charges, as well as attempted murder, vicious harassment, illegal gambling, arms smuggling, extorsion and another dozen, or so, related to immigration and gangsterism. With closer examination it is possible that you are not responsible for the murder and attempted murder acts. This would leave you to answer for only associating with a known criminal, and various illegal activities.”
“Is that a guarantee” Riley asked.
“Nothing is guaranteed. We just investigate crime and enforce the law. It’s the District Attorney’s place to set the charges for which you will be judged. Of course, I work closely and advise the D.A. on such things.”
Riley sat looking at Scott for several minutes, as if trying to see inside him, attempting to determine how much truth was there.
“I can only give you one answer, because Goddard was very secretive about everything; especially his money. Everyone got paid in cash, handed out in an envelope. That answer is, Global Mortgage and Loan Company, in New York city and a man named Connors. I was introduced to Connors a couple of years ago in New York. We, the boys and I, sat a table away from Goddard and Connors. Anything we heard was very muffled by restaurant noise. Envelopes were being passed back and forth between them when one was dropped and sailed over to my foot. I retrieved it and handed it back to Connors. I briefly noticed that, written on the envelope was “Gladstone Builders ---- Goddard”. If I were you, I would find out if Global Mortgage and Loan makes construction loans to Gladstone, or if it is a dummy company. You can be sure Goddard does some kind of business with Global. He made a lot of trips to New York and always to Global.”
“Another thing – if you catch his lieutenants, where ever they are, I think they will know particulars. One of them is next in line, in case Goddard meets a bad end, and will have all of his secrets. That’s all I can truthfully tell you.”
At the mention of Global, Allan jumped off his, corner of a table, seat and was about to make a comment,
when Scott gave him a hard look. He understood the message and sat on the corner of the table again.
Scott continued his questioning, “What is Mister Connors first name, and are there other financial firms who work with Goddard? I also want names and rank of Goddard’s lieutenants, and just where they might be hiding.”
“Give me a pencil and paper and I’ll write it all down, but I have no idea where they might be, or their rank. All I know is, they scattered early-on; a week before you started this. I never heard Connors’ first name and do not know of any other money people working with Goddard,” Riley said as he retrieved the writing material from Scott.
Scott studied the information Riley wrote, recognizing in the list of lieutenants, a couple of the four names. He grabbed another sheet of paper and wrote on it.
“Allan, please make three copies of this sheet, then fax it to all state police forces in the surrounding states, along with this cover letter. Bring back the original and the copies. On your way, drop Mister Riley off at his cell and then, after you have faxed everything, bring Captain Callan back with you.”
Scott sat back in his chair and relit his pipe, blew a mass of blue smoke to the ceiling and starts the mental task of putting information in order, and considering the next step.
“I couldn’t find out anything regarding who leaked the planned raids, Callan said as he entered the room with Allan. One guy hinted at the judge’s office. When I pushed him for more, he closed right up. You might want to talk to Judge Millstone about it. How is everything going with you, Scott,”
“Quite well, I’ve discovered that Global Mortgage and Loan Company might be deeper involved with Goddard than previously thought. Global is probably laundering money for Goddard. It wouldn’t surprise me if Goddard is the power behind Global. I’m beginning to think he is one smart cookie, and that his reach is much wider than Boston and Sommerville. I think it is time to conference with the ATF and Internal Revenue again, and perhaps the FBI. This whole thing, other than simple gangster activities, might just be taken away from us and put entirely into federal hands. I don’t know if I am disappointed at the prospect or relieved. I suppose we will have to see what the state attorney has to say.”
“With the sale of arms, the murder, and attempt on another FTA man, potential Internal Revenue violations, and interstate gambling, I can’t see how anything else can happen. For your sake, considering the work you have put in on this crazy case, I’d be sorry if you got bumped off of it,” Callan replied.
“Oh, that doesn’t bother me. I’ll be with the case for a while yet. I’ll be needed for consultation, at least, and there is my, somewhat secretive, relation to Inspector Frank Sullivan and his part in it for Interpole. In any event, I wanted to tell you that I’ll be working at my law office for the next several days. I want to use my secretary for dictation of my reports. Here is my phone number. Call any time if you need me. On that note, are you all set for help on your reports?”
“Yes, I have plenty of help to call on. I’ve completed questioning all those hoods and will get on it in the morning. I’ll courier the reports over to you in batches, as I complete them, Callan said.”
Scott entered his law office, a little after eight-o’clock Saturday morning, to find Annie already there, and coffee waiting. Scott had called her before leaving BPD headquarters yesterday, and asked her to help him out Saturday.
“Hey, Annie! I appreciate it, but you don’t have to come in before your normal time, “Scott told her.
“I don’t mind, and I know how important these reports are to you and the arraignments to follow. I wanted to be ready when you got here. And, I hope you don’t mind that I have a lunch date with Michael. We’ll keep it short.”
“Not at all. I’ll be glad to see him. As soon as you get settled, please get Judge Millstone on the phone.”
Scott made a mental note to add a bonus to her over-time pay and to think about giving her a raise, then opened his brief case to retrieve the vast number of sheets comprising his interrogation notes.
A short while into his notes, Annie buzzed him and announced, “Judge Millstone is on the line, sir.”
“Good morning, Judge. I sorry to call you at home, and this early, but I have a very touchy subject to discuss. Frankly, I don’t know where to start.”
“You’re a good man, Wadsworth and I trust you. So, whatever it is, just go ahead and blurt it out.”
“Yes, Sir. There was a leak in the Goddard camp regarding the warrants and the raids. It came to the gang via a stranger on the street who told one of Goddard’s numbers runners. It’s certain that the stranger is, or was, on Goddard’s parole – weekly or paid by the job. I’m sorry to say that I can’t think of a possible place the leak could come from other my driver, state policeman Sergeant Allan Rockford, or from your office. Sergeant Rockford is with me daily, for seven years now, and I trust him with my life. That leaves your office, sir.”
The phone went silent for, as it seemed to Scott, a couple of minutes before the judge replied, “I’ve been quickly going over those in my office, and there are a couple of my employees I’ll look into. If I consider one or both of them suspect, I’ll give you what information I have regarding them. You can investigate more thoroughly than I. What about Sommerville and The Compton Hill raid. Could the leak come from anyone associated with Chief Grant’s office. You said you two synchronized the time of your raids.”
“I Suppose that is possible, although I doubt it. To the best of my knowledge, his raids went very smoothly and all known gang members were arrested. Had they known; I doubt the raid results would be so complete. However, I’ll talk to Grant about it.” And, Judge Millstone, thank you for being so cooperative. Approaching you with this was not easy.”
“Don’t mention it,” and the click of the hang-up followed quickly.
Scott returned to his reports, called Annie into his office and started dictating. He stopped when someone knocked on his inner-office door. Annie opened the door to find Mic there, sporting a big smile.
“Is it lunch time already? Scott asked, not really expecting an answer.
He continued, “Mic! Come on in. I’m happy to see you. Now, don’t keep her too long. We have a lot to do today – can’t imagine where the time went; and without a break. Sorry. Annie, you should have stopped me.”
“OK, I will this afternoon. You were on a role, and this is important to you, Annie said in a motherly voice. If we finish up today, I’ll come in tomorrow and have everything ready for you Monday morning.”
“Be gone with ye,” Scott said, waving them out the door, and feeling somewhat embarrassed by her loyalty.
Returning to the hill of paper on his desk, Scott realizes he is three-quarters through his notes and will certainly finish dictating the reports today.
Fifteen minutes later, Scott is startled out of his deep concentration by a loud knocking on the outer office door.
“Henry Reichmann! come on in. This is a surprise, but I’m glad to see you; thought you might have returned to D.C.”
“No, John Guilford, you know, my boss, wants me to hang around to see if anything else develops around the illegal firearms part of this whole mess. I called your home and Nancy told me you were here, so I decided to pop-in -- surprised you’re in today. Hope my being here isn’t an imposition.”
“Not at all. There is one thing we learned that enlightened us. It seems that Connors, of Global Mortgage and Loan, has been tied in with Goddard more tightly than we knew. We thought James Hurley was working directly with Connors and Gus Malone, his Provo contact, in Ulster. However, in questioning one of his bodyguards about Goddard’s money, I was told to look at Connors. The bodyguard accidently saw an envelope with “Gladstone Builders” written on it, followed by “Goddard.” The thinking is that Gladstone Builders is a fictitious company and a holding place for the money. This probably associates Goddard more closely with the guns -- complicating the jurisdiction for prosecution even more.”
“You sure have that right. It might take years to figure this one out. Can I impose even more by asking you to send me, personally, copies of your reports?”
“No problem, Scott replied. I would like to talk to you later about the Dolphin and the case in Portland. I’m interested to know where the captain and crew came from and if there is any connection to Goddard. I’m just too busy to get into it right now.”
“Absolutely. I’ll keep that in mind. Call me any time if you have other questions. But right now, I’ll get out of here and you can get back to the task of the day,” Henry Reichmann said, as he moved toward the door.
Scott sorted out the rest of his notes, and had time to leisurely fill a pipe and get it working, before Annie returned from lunch. they got quickly to the final dictation and finished in time to leave by three-o’clock.
“I’ll leave the reports on your desk tomorrow and you can pick them up Monday, first thing,” Annie said as they reached the Street.
Not wanting to discourage Annie’s enthusiasm, Scott fought the urge to insist she take Sunday off and simply said, “Thanks, Annie. I’ll make it up to you.”
Monday morning, Scott decided to walk to work. “I need the exercise and a casual stroll through the Common might help get rid of the stress of the last week, or so,” he told Sergeant Allan Rockford on the phone.
“OK, boss, Allan replied. Hope it works for you. Shall I meet you somewhere?”
“Yes, I’ll be a BPD headquarters – should be through there about ten to ten-thirty, so you have some time to yourself.
The promised reports, in a large envelope, on Scott’s desk, were neatly sorted in labeled file folders. He took a couple of minutes to scan through them before dropping them in his briefcase, and leaving for police headquarters.
No sooner than he entered BPD Headquarters, than Captain Callan stepped up and shuffled him aside saying, “Do you have the reports? I’m kind of anxious to see them.”
“Yes, naturally, but the chief gets them first. I’ve tagged a set for you and the chief will pass them on if he wishes,” Scott replied, somewhat aggravated.
Before they passed through the double doors to the office area, Scott noticed Sergeant Mark Simmons had been watching through one of the door windows. As their eyes met, Simmons frowned deeply and gave a negative shake of his head that was almost imperceptible.
Upon leaving, Scott again found Simmons standing the hall, obviously waiting for him, and said, “Is there something you want, Sergeant?”
Yes, sir, I’ll walk you out – can’t talk here.”
“OK. My car is waiting. You walk down the block and turn the corner. We’ll pick you up.”
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
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