Riverville Murder - Chapter 21

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Twenty One

Previously:

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 in 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.”

Simmons quickly entered the back seat of Scott’s car, seconds before Allan put the accelerator pedal half way to the floor and the powerful town car sped off.

Scott turned to Simmons and asked, “What is this all about, Sergeant Simmons?”

“Well sir, I might lose my job over this, but you have worked too hard and have treated me so well, I just can’t hold certain facts from you, so here goes.  Norman (Baldy) Riley has been murdered. Not an hour after he was transferred to the county jail, his throat was cut. This is being hushed-up by the department, although I doubt it will last, seeing it is a county facility, and the newspapers will be all over it. Thankfully, they have a way of knowing things and have no reservations about making them public. The interesting part of this is Captain Callan. Remember, he joined you immediately after you finished with Ryan. Anything you told him, he probably assumed came from Ryan. Also, I’ve been with the captain through most of his interviews with the prisoners. Not once did he ever ask about the leaking of your raid plans, or Goddard’s lieutenants. I understand he told you he couldn’t get anything out of the prisoners. Another odd thing; that first day he came with me, he told you he was just an observer. Now, he is into everything and is asking you for reports.”

“That’s right Sir. Allan interjected as he sped toward the Federal Courthouse, Mark and I briefly talked about Callan saying he was just an observer over coffee on Friday, and wondering how he became so involved.”

“Well, he did mention Judge Millstone’s office as a possibility, Scott replied. I’m on my way there now to discuss it with him. I’ll have to follow up, but I’ll also have to be very tactful. Just what are you trying to tell me Simmons? Do you suspect Callan might be attached to Goddard somehow?”

“Frankly, I’d bet on it. I guess I already have placed my bet by talking to you right now. When we were all cooped-up in Goddard’s bar, he made short, quiet visits to a few of the prisoners, and made several hushed phone calls – but only when you weren’t there. The visits were what got me thinking. I’ve been more interested in his activities since then. I think he is running the C Street gang, now that you have Goddard. His lying to you is what caused me to approach you with what I’ve observed. Hope I did the right thing.”

“I’d say so. If you are right – you’re a hero. If you are wrong – no harm done, and no one will know about it, other than we three. Frankly, I hope news of Ryan’s murder does get out. I can turn it around and use it as another tool against the incarcerated gang members. Then they will know that any one of them can be next, and only I can protect them.”

Scott grabbed his briefcase and exited the car in front of the court house. “I’ll make this as short as possible, so don’t go far.”

“No sir. There is a spot just ahead, Allan said, that is out of this restricted area. We’ll wait there.”

Allan and Mark, watching Scott ascend the steps to the court house, and suddenly saw chips of concrete fly up around his feet. Each chip was immediately followed by the report of a high-powered rifle. Allan and Mark jumped from the car with weapons drawn, and quickly scanned the rooftops across the street for the shooter. At the same time, Scott leapt from the right edge of the steps into a sheltered lower entrance, his Webley Mark VI in his hand. Soon, guards ran out of the court house entrance; a couple with machineguns.

Not seeing anyone, Allan and Mark ran across the street and up three floors to the roof. Nothing was found there other than an empty Coke bottle and three thirty-caliber shell casings, they quickly returned to the street.

Scott was on the car radio when Allan and Mark returned. Placing the microphone in its cradle, he said, “I’ve reported the shooting. This area will be full of cruisers soon. Did you find anything up there?”

“Three cartridges and a Coke bottle, Mark replied. Do you want them now?”

“No, later.” Scott said and started back up the stairs to the distant sound of sirens approaching.

“Good to see you Scott, Judge Millstone said. What was all the ruckus outside?”

“Someone took three shots at me with a rifle. I guess he didn’t want me to see you, judge.”

“I know you’ll find out who did the shooting – probably connected to this Goddard thing you have on your hands. You have plenty of resources and manpower, and you can call on this office any time you have a need.”

“Thank you, sir, and I want to get after him as soon as possible. So, I’ll get right to the point and be blunt. Is there anyone associated with you personally, or with this office, you suspect of leaking information regarding the recent raids?”

“In my mind, I have examined everyone having any knowledge of the warrants or the raids. There is one person, and I stress one because everyone else has been with me for eight-years or longer. I trust them completely. The one is Carlton Mason. Mason works for the Harbor Courier Service and has been assigned to the Federal Court for six years. He serves all judicial officers in the court, which, theoretically, puts him in a perfect position to have access to valuable information. Now, I’m not saying I have proof, or even that I suspect him of any wrongdoing. He is just in the perfect position to pass-on information.”

Scott absorbed the judge’s statement for a minute and replied. “Thank you. It’s about what I expected your answer to be, other than that pertaining to Mr. Mason. I’ll put one of my men on investigating him. If he is clean, we’ll know it soon. I’ll keep you informed. I want to get onto the evidence from the shooting you heard, so if you will excuse me, I’ll be on my way.”

“Off you go, Scott, and good luck with it all,” the judge said while dismissing Scott with a wave of his hand.

“Back to Charles Street, Allan,” Scott said as he entered the front seat of the car.

“Allan, get on the radio and get me a phone connection with Hancock-5535. That’s Harry Malison’s number. I’m going to see if he will put the cartridges and bottle through FBI forensics for me.”

Harry Malison, waiting in Scott’s inner office, turned from the window as Scott entered. “You beat me here, Harry! Good to see you.”

“Yes, I rushed right over after you called, because a minute later I heard the news report of the shooting. What is this about you being a target? Do you know who it was?”

“It made the news already, did it? I don’t know who did the shooting, but I have an idea who is behind the attempt. You will hear more later if you are called in on the trials, and at this stage of the case, I’m positive you will be called. This started out with us thinking we were dealing with a small bunch of gun dealers and one murder. It evolved into a problem for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, the towns of Riverville and Sommerville, Interpole, the ATF, FBI and the U.S. Coast Guard. We are right at the end, or were, until someone decided to kill me. Anyway, I have a couple of favors to ask of you that I don’t want run through normal channels, and no reports that will be given out until I give you the OK. One is forensic testing of these three casings and this coke bottle. The other is a complete run-through on Captain Claud Callan of the BPD. I would like a deep look into his personal life as far back as possible, as well as his police records.”

“That sounds like you think he’s dirty.”

“I just want to be sure before I move on him, Scott said emphatically. Oh, and while you are at it. Do a preliminary check on Carlton Mason. Mason works for the Harbor Courier Service here in town. He might be involved with some leaks we have discovered. If anything comes up, we can dig deeper into him later.

“You’ve got it, my friend, and it will be our secret until you say otherwise.”

Scott turned to Allan and Mark saying, “Harry and I go all the way back to high school, served in the Army at the same time during the first war, me in Army Intelligence in France, and Harry in Washington catching spies. He’s been a gumshoe ever since. Jointly, we have been involved in several interesting cases over these many years.”

“Don’t get me going about that stuff, Harry said laughingly, I’ve got work to do. See you all later.”

The phone started ringing just as Harry closed the door. “Nancy, calm down. There is no proof that the shots were meant for me. There were several other people on the steps,” Scott lied, in an effort to dispel Nancie’s fears.”

“I was about out of my mind trying to locate you. The radio commentator made it sound so grizzly. I imagined you crumpled up on the steps bleeding.”

“Believe me, I’m fine and in one piece. Now take a deep breath and try to relax. I’ll try to get home early today,” Scott said before hanging up.

Scott turned to Allan and Mark. “Mark, I think I would like a tail on Claud Callan for several days. Do you know anyone skilled enough to do that and not be detected?”

“Yes, but I don’t think anyone from the BPD can tail someone from his same force and not be found out. I think we should look elsewhere. From the short time I’ve known him, Detectives Lloyd Qualter could fill the bill. If you recall, he was one of the guards, along with Al Guatino, who controlled the prisoners at Goddard’s bar as they were brought in. I had time to talk to him at Goddard’s. He’s a Mass. State rookie detective by rank, but has several years of work in that capacity as a patrol sergeant, having been called on when the detective squad was thinned-out with too much work. He impressed me with his intelligence and knowledge of detective work. Under the circumstances, it is my opinion he will be anxious to help you.”

“Thanks Mark. How about you Allan? Any suggestions?”

“I wish I did, boss. I’m with you most of the time, so I have very little contact with other state policemen. For all intent and purpose, I might just as well be a civilian.”

“Thanks for being forthright with me. I appreciate it. I’ll get ahold of Qualter later and find out if he is interested. Now, let’s get out of here. I’m anxious to get home and show Nancy that I’m not injured.”

“Mark, do you want to be dropped off at your headquarters?”

“Yes, thanks. I have to get my car. I just stopped in at the BPD to get something out of my locker. It’s actually my day off, so I don’t have to explain where I have been – unless I’ve been mentioned on the news.”

Scott looked at him for several seconds before saying, “If you were on the news and are asked for an explanation, politely say it’s confidential and decline. Then, refer them to me. I’ll take care of an explanation.”

At home, Scott finally proved to Nancy that he was totally in one piece with no wounds.

After diner, Scott settled into his big leather chair and called the Cosmo Natali Boston, Police Chief, at his home, “Cosmo, sorry to bother you at home, but I’ll excuse myself in the name of friendship. I have a request you will not like, but believe me, it is critical to this South Boston effort. Please do not, under any circumstances, give Claud Callan his copies of my reports.”

“Are you going to tell me why I shouldn’t pass them on? What in the world is going on, Scott?” the chief asked.

“Some information came to me, just hours ago, that is causing me to suspect the captain is colluding with Goddard’s organization. The murder of Norman Riley and the attempt on my life today affirms the Goddard gang is very much alive and functioning. The information I have indicates Claud Callan is, more than likely, running the show. That is about all I feel comfortable divulging. I hope you understand.”

“Of course. I know you well enough to trust what you say, and believe you have more than a suspicion about Callan or you wouldn’t be telling as much as you have. I’ll have to pass this request by the Commissioner, you know. Other than that, you have my word. Please keep me in the loop, and call if I can help. Give my best to Nancy and the boys.”

As Scott cradled the phone, a loud thump emanates from the front door. Investigating, Scott finds a bottle with a smoldering rag fuse stuck in the neck. Removing the rag, gasoline fumes rising from the bottle assault his nose. He carries his findings to the front fence and empties the gas into the dirt by the fence, then places the bottle and rag near the gate thinking, “I’ll pick that up in the morning. One more thing for the FBI to look at.”

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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 20

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Twenty

Previously:

“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.”

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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