Riverville Murder - Chapter 11

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Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Eleven


Scott returning to his chair, recognized the hurried footsteps of high heels behind him, and turned as the Judge’s secretary approached.

“Judge Millstone is ready for you, gentlemen. Please follow me.”

Passing the office entrance, and stopping several yards beyond, the secretary opens a door to reveal a large conference room with the judge sitting at one end of a large table.

“Sit down please,” the judge said somewhat sternly. “I have the proverbial good news and bad news.”

“Unfortunately, Your John Doe warrant has no credence, so I can’t issue it.  It is too vague. Had you associated it, in some way, to any of the other requests, it could have been issued. I realize this is important to you so I’ll give you an out. Make your arrest “on grounds of suspicion.” Considering the importance of this case, I doubt any judge will dismiss the arrest without very solid evidence of it not being relevant.”

“As far as the rest of the warrants go, excellent work. Your Dad would be proud of you; the way you have progressed over the years.

“My clerk is already working on the warrants, the judge continued, and you will have them by early afternoon tomorrow. They will be delivered by courier to your state house office. Scott, I’ll be watching the conclusion of this case closely. If you hit any snags, give me a call and I’ll do what I legally can for you. I fear, all of this illicit aid to foreign factions is becoming a blot on our great country and will eventually be politically harmful. I’m for stomping it all out.”

“Thank you, Your Honor. I certainly hope this will enable us to end it, at least in this situation, quickly and efficiently. Good day, sir.”

“Good day, Scott. Please convey my best to your family.”

As Scott and Henry Reichmann descend the front steps of Boston Federal Court, Reichmann’s driver brought the car to a stop at the curb.

“Do you have a phone or radio in this car?” Scott asks.

“Yes, Sir, both.” the driver replied.

“Good, get me Sergeant Hendersen on either,” Scott demands.

“Carl, Scott here. I have the federal warrants. Assuming James Hurley is still looking around Riverville for Kelly, I want you to pick him up on suspicion of something. You will have the warrant tomorrow afternoon. If he isn’t there, make arrangements with Somerville police, along with you and Agent Reichman, to grab him in Somerville. I think it is time to bring Somerville into this case. Let me know if you want state police help, and make sure he is jailed in Riverville. I’m hoping to sweat enough information out of Hurley to clean up the Compton Hill Gang, and get a line on the murder of ATF agent Anderson, who unfortunately showed up in a sea bag on your back door.”

“OK, we’ll work it out, Hendersen replied. I think bringing in Somerville is a good move, but doubt we will need the state police with the ATF involved and Federal warrants in hand.”

“I agree. However, I will call Somerville and tell them to cooperate with you and that they are ATF federal warrants and ATF arrests. Coming from the State Attorney’s office will carry considerable weight.”

Later that day, Sergeant Carl Hendersen replies to a telephone page and is informed that the Somerville chief is calling. Hendersen hurries to his office and picks up the phone.

“Sergeant Hendersen here. May I help you?”

“Chief Grant, Somerville Municipal Police. I received a call from Scott Wadsworth, State Attorney’s office, telling me of your situation and asking me to cooperate with your department and the ATF. I’m confirming that we will be proud to do so. We have been watching Hurley and Sullivan for some time, attempting to find out what they are up to. We know their affiliation here in Somerville and have also been keeping an eye on other known members of that Compton Hill bunch; a real bad collection of thugs there, I’ll tell you, and very secretive.”

“At the moment we are interested in Hurley and confirmation, regarding the Compton Hill leaders,” Hendersen replied. “Sullivan is no longer in this country. He returned to Dublin, and here’s one for you, also returned to his office as Inspector Sullivan, of the Interpol National Central Bureau, and work with the National Police on illegal fire arms entering both North Ireland and the Republic. Sullivan has filled us in on a lot of the activities of Hurley and fire arms, but we need information from Hurley to confirm what Sullivan told us about the Compton Hill gang and its leaders. It is they who orchestrated the murder of ATF agent Anderson who washed ashore in our town. Please keep track of Hurley. He has been around Riverville and I think we can grab him here. He and Sullivan have been tailing a young woman who overheard a conversation regarding an arms shipment. The subject of the tail is secreted away and out of danger, so when Hurley doesn’t see her, he might give up looking. If that is the case, I’ll let you know and you can pick him up and we will collect him from you.”

“Agreed,” Grant replied. “In any case we need to discuss the rest of the gang and figure out where to go from here. But that depends on what you get out of Hurley. Please keep me informed.”

“Absolutely,” Hendersen promised and hung up.

Late that evening, along the coast from Maine to Rhode Island, a stiff wind from the West pushed the clouds and rain out to sea and the crew of the Dolphin set about checking the secureness of the cargo of arms, and readying the boat for sea. At the same time, the Coast Guard moved a chase-boat to the mouth of Portland Harbor and slowly traversed the area. This went on until dawn, when a shift in the wind brought the rain back to shore with increased intensity. As the wind increased, the crew of the Dolphin gave up hope of heading to sea. The Coast Guard, about seven A.M., figured the small boat didn’t stand a chance and returned to port.

About the same time, Hurley donned a raincoat and hat, and grabbed an umbrella as he left the apartment and made his way to Riverville, He hid in the park across from the Adams home. He watched the Adams folks all leave for work, but no sign of Kelly.

“What’s going on?” he asked himself in frustration.  “Is she ill? Is she going in later? Is she even home?”

After waiting twenty minutes, Hurley left the park and walked across and down the street to a phone booth. Reading from a small book, he dialed the Adams’s phone.

“Hello. This is Misses Adams. Whose calling, please.”

“It’s Mr. Smith from Kelly’s work. I noticed she isn’t in today and we are concerned. Will she be in at all, or is she Ill?” Hurley lied.

“I was just about to call and let you know she has a slight cold and thought it best not to go out on such a damp day. Sorry I didn’t call earlier.”

“OK” Hurley replied trying to hold his temper.

Immediately upon Hurley disconnecting, Agnes Adams called the Riverville police and was immediately put through to Sergeant Hendersen.

“Carl a man just called asking why Kelly wasn’t at work today; said they were concerned. I told him she has a cold. I think you had better get over to this neighborhood quickly.”

“Thanks Agnes, good thinking. I’ll dispatch men there immediately.”

On the intercom, Hendersen announced he wanted six armed men, no uniforms, in two unmarked cars to meet him immediately at the front of the building. He quickly explained the situation and they left for the seven-minute ride to the Adams’ neighborhood. On the way he communicated over the radio.

“Keep this frequency open and follow my lead. This car will cruise the street to the building where Kelly works and a bit beyond and start back. Car two, commence cruising in three minutes. You all know what Hurley looks like. It’s him we are after.  Report any siting immediately.”

The radio in car two suddenly came alive. “We have him. He just went into the coffee shop across from Kelly’s work. We are on the opposite side of the street heading back. I’m sending two men in the shop. Two from your car, station yourselves on either side of the door. When he gets out of the shop, apprehend him. I’ll be crossing the street and make the formal arrest.”

By chance, it was Corporal Anthony Marzano and Patrolman Frances Hendersen who entered the coffee shop and first put hands on Hurley as he walked out the door. The two friends had just entered the station from the rear parking lot, when Sergeant Hendersen made the announcement on the intercom. They, and another patrolman made their way, in car one, to the front of the station just as Carl came down the stairs.

In the car, Hurley in handcuffs, and sitting in the back seat between Marzano and Frances Hendersen, heard Carl radio the state police asking them to relay a message to Chief Investigator Wadsworth that Hurley is in custode in Riverville.

Scott, in his State Street South office to check up on things in his private practice, received the call informing him of the apprehension of James Hurley and immediately called Riverville P.D.

“Chief, this is Wadsworth. I just got the news about Hurley. I’m at my State Street office to take care of a few things. However, I’ll get to Riverville as soon as I can. Is Henry Reichmann there?”

“Yes, but he hasn’t talked to Hurley yet. Hurley is locked in an interrogation room, and Henry wants him to think about being arrested on a federal charge for a while. Hurley, still in cuffs, is already pacing the floor and fidgeting.”

“Good, I’ll be there as soon as I can; perhaps in a couple of hours.”

An hour later, Scott, about to leave for Riverville, opened the outer office door just as Annie answered the phone. “Hold on Mr. Wadsworth. I have Mic Mitchell on the phone. He has vital information for you.”

“Mic, what do you have.? I’m just on my way to Riverville.”

“Sorry to interrupt, but this is important. I visited the Commercial Street work site yesterday, to check a couple of things, and happened to see Jerry Mc Dougal and John Byrne in a corner talking to Albert Nunsay. If you remember, Nunsay has a police record. They talked for several minutes and then separated, Mc Dougal and Byrne heading my way. I turned to the wall and pretended to take measurements.”

“As they passed, I heard Mc Dougal say: “Old Nunsay will be an expert at knocking off ATF agents once he does away with Sean Keogh, if that’s really the bugger’s name.” They both laughed and kept walking.  Hearing the voices without seeing them, makes me think they are the two I overheard talking in the men’s room. I don’t know why they are around so much. This is the second time I have found them on a job site, and they have no business being at the Swenson’s Plumbing Service building either.”

Scott, lighting a large Billiard as Mic talked, removed the pipe and said, “What a lucky break. Mic! I’ll up the surveillance of the ATF man, his name is really Martin Wolfe, and hope we can get him out of this in time. Then we’ll grab the other three on conspiracy to commit murder, and a few other charges I can think of. We might even learn why Jerry Mc Dougal and John Byrne are around your building and job sites so much.”

Just before Scott left his office, he calls the phone in his car and quickly heard the voice of Sgt. Allan Rockford answering.

“Where are you Allan. We have to get to South Boston quickly.”

“I’m just turning onto Beacon Street. If you are at your business, I can be there in five minutes. If you are at the State House, I estimate ten to fifteen.”

“Great, I’m at the State Street office” Scott responded, I’ll be waiting down stairs.”

While strapping on his shoulder holster housing his Colt 1911, Scott pressed the intercom button of the phone and instructed Annie to call Riverville P.D. and tell them not to expect him today. He grabbed a couple of pipes, from rack that sits on the credenza behind his desk, and left to meet Sgt. Allan Rockford.

On the way to South Boston, Scott radioed the state police asking to be put through to Detective Cpl. Mark Simmons.

“This is detective Simmons – over.”

“Scott Wadsworth here. Where are you, Simmons? – over.”

“I’m parked on D Street, about a mile up from Dorchester Avenue, waiting for Martin Wolfe to come out. – over.”

“Ok, there is an independent gas station near there. I forgot the name, but they have large oil tanks on the property. Do you know it? – over.”

“Yes, I’m only a block from the gas station. Do you want me to go there? – over.”

“Yes. We need to talk. I’ll be there in about 10 minutes. Get one of your back-ups to fill in for you at Wolfe’s apartment. — out.”

Scott sees Simmons standing beside the black Ford, common to all unmarked state cruisers, and directs his driver to pull in close. As Simmons climbs into the back of Scott’s car, Scott relates the news about Alfred Nunsay and Mic’s discovery regarding Jerry Mc Dougal and John Byrne.

Scott continues, “Our prime objective is to get Martin Wolfe out of harm’s way today, then grab Mc Dougal and Byrne, at leisure, and get them out of circulation,”

“OK. Take a left out of the station and proceed a mile-and a-quarter. He lives in the yellow brick building on the right, number 243.”

The radio crackles as they turn onto D Street from the gas station. “Wolfe is on the move; North on D Street – over.”

Retrieving the microphone, Scott instructs, “Stay with him on foot while we get ahead of him. Closing in on him from two directions, and making a fake arrest, will look ligimete if anyone is watching – over.”

“Will do – out.”

The three from Scatt’s car, and the two from the back-up car, are all about fifteen feet from Wolfe as a green van stops on the other side of the street and Albert Nunsay, and another man, jump out and run across the street to grab Martin Wolfe. The police move in, weapons drawn, and Nunsay retreats back to the van.

Scott and the others run after Nunsay. Scott shouts, “You two, stop. You are under arrest.”

Nunsay stops running as he reaches the waiting van, pulls a revolver and fires at Scott. Scott winces as the round grazes his ribs, but gets off two shots at Nunsay’s legs. Nunsay goes down writhing in pain from the sting of the 45 Caliber Slug buried deep in his right thigh. Nunsay’s partner, unknown to this point, stands shaking beside the van. The driver sits silently with his hands on top of his head.


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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