Riverville Murder - Chapter 35

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Thirty Five

Previously:

Time went slowly until someone found the coffee machine that Qualter found when the bar was used on the previous raid. Bottled water and coffee were still in the storeroom. Playing cards were found under the serving bar.

The four-hour wait ended when the Salinger Radio squealed, and Qualter said, “Everyone is in the building, Boss. The two FBI agents following Hofstadter have taken positions on the left side of the building. I waited ten minutes before contacting you to see if anyone else came. None did. You can come ahead.”

Scott shouted for attention, then said, “We have the go-ahead, men. Get to your vehicles and proceed to the Italian Club. Do not park in the lot. Find spots on the street and go directly to your assigned positions. When you hear the car horn signal, Move quickly through the front door in the given order – FBI first.”

Guatino, agents Bud Strome and Newt Gates moved quickly from the checkroom and separated inside the club. Callan jumped from his chair, knocking it over, turned, and reached for his revolver.

“Not a good idea, Mister Callan,” Newt Gates shouted as he lifted an Uzi machine gun, under evaluation by the FBI, with a twenty-five round magazine in Callan’s direction. “This weapon will cut you in half before you can disable the safety.”

Callan froze, then quickly raised his hands over his head. “OK, OK, take it easy, will ya!”

When Harry Malison and his men rushed through the front door, He saw the subjects all standing with hands on their heads. Sergeant Guatino and the two FBI agents were out of the coatroom and standing in the main room. They had taken positions at nine, twelve, and three o’clock with weapons drawn.

Malison is in the process of handcuffing the arrestees when Scott applauded by saying, “Great job, you three. Sorry, I don’t know your names, FBI agents, but you and Al Guatino are positively instrumental in this operation’s safe conclusion. Had we known it would go as it did, we would not tie up all of this manpower.”

Charging and booking the four men took the rest of the day and into the evening because of the combination of authorities involved, Massachusetts, FBI, and Boston, charges overlapping in many cases.

Later that evening, Scott, Allan, Harry, Frank, and John Guilford sat in a large booth at Jake Wirth’s Restaurant. “To bad Commissioner Taranto was too busy at BPD headquarters to be with us,” Allan said.

Frank Gray sipped his beer before saying, “Boy! This is like old times, being here with my longtime friends. Too bad Abe Müller isn’t here – he enjoyed these get-togethers so much.”

Scott, blowing bluish pipe smoke at the ceiling, remarked,” Yes, it was unfortunate for Abe to get out of Germany only to be accosted by Nazi spies in this country. And almost losing his life. After that, he extracted every bit of joy he could get from life. His friends were one of those joys. My boys, as young as they were then, still talk of Abe.”

As they relaxed after dinner, Harry Malison said, “Nice compliment you gave the inside men at the club, Scott, and I agree. But I believe in being safe rather than sorry and would have insisted on heavy manpower. And, I don’t mind bumping heads with you, old friend.

In the morning, and before Allan came, Scott called Mark Simmons at Carl Hendersen’s home in Riverville. “Mark, it’s over. We made the last raid on Callan and what was left of Goddard’s gang. They are all behind bars awaiting trial. You can come home.”

The telephone was silent for a while before Mark spoke. “I don’t know what to say. I’m undoubtedly happy at the thought of returning home, but sorry to leave my new friends.”

“I can understand that, having known the Hendersen clan for many years. I’m sure you will be welcome to visit at any time. What do you say I pick-up your Mom and Dad tomorrow and come for you? That will give you time to pack and say goodbye.”

“Great,” Mark said with a smile in his voice. I have missed my family deeply. I’ll be ready whenever you get here, Mister Wadsworth – guess we’ll finally have our meeting without gunfire.”

Scott laughed, then replied, “See you tomorrow – late morning, I estimate.”

“Where to this morning?” Allan asked as Scott entered the car.

“Let’s go see Judge Millstone. I promised him I would keep him current, and he has some time set aside for me this morning.”

The judge got right to business, telling Scott the latest recordings clinched the case for him, that he can unequivocally say the arrests were made on concrete evidence. He would see that the proper warrants are written and delivered to the court officer in charge and again asked Scott about Alice Nadeau. Scott went into as much detail about Nadeau as he felt necessary and explained her association with the Boston Police and Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

After Judge Millstone’s prodding, Scott then related Mark Simmons’s story and the charade he and Allan pulled off to protect Mark.

“A feat of pure ingenuity,” the judge said. “I’m happy to know the boy is well. Will you hire him now?”

“If that’s what he wants. I can sure use him.” Scott replied.

“Scott, the arrest of Callan will undoubtedly cause an upheaval in the Boston Police department. Do you think, considering your friendship with Taranto, the commissioner’s office can handle it?”

“Dick Taranto is already on it, vowing to clean out the crooked cops and the deadwood. In six months to a year, he plans to have a highly efficient and honest department working for the Boston people.”

“I hope you’re correct. When the newspapers start talking about the case, and it comes out that Callan ordered the shooting of Simmons and the two attempts on your life, the public will be up in arms and demanding reform. And, there is the chance of them losing trust in the police. We don’t need anarchy in our streets,” the judge asserted.

On his way to the door, Scott said, “Thanks very much for your help and support, Judge Millstone. As for the  Boston people, I hope they are more trusting of authority than that and look to the police department to clean its own house. Time will tell.”

Later, at the statehouse, Scott is in Matthew Hart’s office discussing the charges and who is to be charged with what. “Scott, this is mighty complicated. Can you think of an easier way than trying to remember who did what crime.?”

Scott replied, “I think it should be to find a crime in the transcriptions and tie it to a name. Get a couple of workers from the steno pool, have them put down the four names, then go through the transcripts and when a crime is associated with a name, write it in next to that name. In the process, they can also mark any crimes or activities they can’t associate with a person or have a question about. It will then be up to my people and me to answer those questions and associate crimes with people. Once in a rough stage, it can all be typed up and given to the proper prosecuting authority. It might take a couple of days, but will not be guesswork, and perhaps faster.”

“You were closer to this than anyone else, so I’ll accept your theory and give the steno pool a call right now. You hang around and explain it to the people from the pool, Please. Maybe Allan can help.” Matt said with relief.

“I’ll get Qualter and Guatino on it if needed..” Scott said. “They’ll want to see the results of their hard work in an orderly and useful form. I need Allan all day tomorrow.”

Things quieted down for a while until three people, two young ladies and a gentleman, showed up from the steno pool. They bucked at the idea of doing work outside of their job description, stenographers.

Allan stepped in and talked to them. He stressed the importance of the work and the contribution they will be giving to the state and nation. Allan poured on the charm. Being closer in age than Scott, he used all the day’s buzz words and social attitude. He won them over, and the stenographers happily started to work.

“I can have the two detectives who did the recording come in and help you out,” Scott offered.

“No thanks, We’ll figure it out and devise a system of working. I estimate twelve hours to complete. If we hit a block, I’ll be in touch for help. I suppose Mister Hart will know where to reach you,” said one of the stenographers – obviously, the leader as she packed up all the material and moved to the door.

Allan made his usual mid-afternoon trip to the coffee room, sat the cup on Scott’s desk, and asked, “What’s on for the morning, Boss? Do we go directly to the Simmons home or elsewhere?”

“As of this moment, we’ll be going to Charles Street South. That could change, though, depending upon what the rest of today brings. I’ve been neglecting my practice -- must call Annie and see what’s happening.

“You do have a couple of things that need your attention,” Annie said, “The Cleaver Candy contract with International Sugar needs a final going-over, and you need to set a date to deliver it. Two other items should be in their final stage and aren’t. I also have a stack of calls. A couple of them need return calls, but the rest of them may or may not be important, but I’ll leave that up to you.”

“Thanks, Annie. I’ll see you at nine tomorrow, and we’ll sort it all out. I’m due in Riverville early tomorrow afternoon. Mark is coming home, and I am going to pick up his parents to go with me. I’ll want to leave the office by eleven-thirty.”

“So, it’s to the office,” Allan said. Are you going to walk, or shall I pick you up?”

“Better pick me up. I tend to dilly-dally otherwise, and I don’t want to be late. Now I need to talk to Matt for a few minutes about checking on the stenographers’ progress. Then we can leave.”

Scott stands to leave when the leader of the stenographers comes in. “Do you have a minute, Mister Wadsworth?”

Scott motions her to a chair, and she says, “Here is a preliminary example of how we will organize your information. You will see on this graph paper that we have not put violations after the names. Crimes are listed across the top—the offender’s names down the left. Checkmarks are placed in the violation columns to the right of individual names. Each mark associates that crime to that offender. This is the fastest way to complete the project. We have done a time test on both methods. This one is twenty-five percent faster.”

“My goodness, you sure work quickly. It’s only been a couple of hours. How did you do it?”

“I must confess, I put the whole pool, those that weren’t busy, on it. If you approve, I’ll go back to only the three of us and get it done. Actually, the other two are working on it right now. That’s how confident I am that this is the best way, from the standpoint of compiling and using the information.”

“How can I dispute that?” Scott asked. “Great job, and I’m delighted. Convey my thanks to your people, please.”

The next morning, Scott went over his unattended contracts and letters with Annie, then met with the rest of his staff to answer questions and thank them for performing so well in his absence. As he returned to his own office, Annie stopped him to say, ”Frank Gray is on the phone.”

Scott lit a pipe, picked up his phone, and said, “Frank, what can I do for you this morning.”

“I have some disturbing information. Apparently, one of the Providence papers got wind of the raid at the Italian Club and called me to ask if it was true. I danced all around the question until he realized I wasn’t going to give him a straight answer. He then told me if the rumor is true, the authorities will have to look higher than Callan before they end corruption. I tried to get more from him, but he refused to elaborate.”

“That is disturbing. I thought we were finished with a case that was too extensive in the first place. Now I’ll have to start a whole new sub-section of the case. I’m wondering if Mark Simmons should come home. It’s a little late to change plans, so I’ll talk to his folks when I pick them up, and we will decide when we get to Riverville.”

“From what I know, I wouldn’t make a hasty call on that,” Frank said. “Your investigation was extraordinarily complete and didn’t pick up anything beyond Callan. The guy I talked to could just be blowing smoke out of his ear.”

“You’re right, Frank. I’ll talk it over with the family but underplay any danger to Mark. If I were a crooked cop allied with Callan, and considering all the arrests, I wouldn’t make any moves to disclose myself.”

Riverville:

Mark Simmons and his family agreed to Mark returning home. Mark had let his hair grow and was sporting a neat Van Dyke beard and put on some weight. The beard was a little hard for his mother to accept.

“Keep that look for a while,” Scott said. “You won’t be easily recognized, although, at this time, it is doubtful if anyone is out to harm you. There is no one left to pay them for the job, and it appears all of the attempts at you and me were hired out by Callan.”

As Allan loaded Mark’s belongings into the car’s trunk, Mark was saying his goodbyes to the Hendersens. There were hugs, tears, and kisses until Carl loudly said, “OK, that’s enough. Let the poor guy go home. Mark, get in the car with my sincere hope that you return soon. You are family now, and please consider this your second home. You and your family are always welcome.”

Chief of Police Hendersen stepped up to Scott, car window and said, “ I’d like to have that young man on the force here, Scott. I might just steal him one of these days when you’re not looking.”

Scott laughed while Allan pulled away from the curb, leaving the Hendersen and Adams folks standing on the sidewalk waving.

In the distance ahead, a darkening sky and increasing winds caused Allan to say, “Rain ahead,” as he directed the car toward Boston. “At this hour in the afternoon, it’s bound to slow us down. I hope no one has anything important to do this evening.”

It wasn’t long before pounding raid made a drum-like staccato on the car’s roof, and the windshield wipers struggled to do their job. “The road is really slick,” Allan said, “I think we should pull in somewhere and wait. This is a passing squall that should be over soon.”

“There is a steak house at the top of this hill. Pull in there, Allan,” Scott ordered.

Marked watched as two cares followed them into the parking lot. “Those two cars that came in after us haven’t been far away since we left Riverville. I don’t like the look of it,” Mark said. “They have been taking turns at being ahead and behind us all the way.”

Scott turned in his seat, smiled at Mark, saying, “They are my protection – state police provided by the Mass. State’s Attorney. With me twenty-four hours a day, everywhere I go, they go – even patrol my neighborhood all night. I have to find out just how many troopers are assigned to this duty and their names. I need to thank them personally. And, Mark, I’m glad your senses haven’t dulled from leading the soft life.”

After delivering Mark and his parents’ home, Allan went directly to Charles Street South, where Annie sat in her raincoat waiting for them in the outer office.

“Annie! It’s six-thirty. Why are you still here?” Scott asked.

“I waited to give you an important message – thought it the best way to make sure you receive it. Commissioner Taranto called just before five. He stressed how important it is to talk to you the second you return. He said to hunt him down no matter what time it is. Now, do you need me anymore?” Annie asked.

“No, please go home, and many thanks.”

Dick Taranto was at his home when Scott called. “I have some terrible news, Scott. BPD Chief Cosmo Natali was found dead in his office lavatory, sitting on the toilet. His service revolver was on the floor, and half of his head is blown away. Pinned to his shirt was an envelope with your name on it. Naturally, we had to take it for fingerprints. Cosmo’s prints are the only ones on the envelope or its contents.”

Scott, trying to absorb it all, finally asked, “Do you have the note?”

“Yes, I walked it through the forensic process to make sure it didn’t get lost. You will need it to conclude your investigation. Do you want me to read it?”

“No,” Scott replied emphatically. “I first have to accept that a good guy is dead. I liked him despite what the note might say. And I’d bet a week’s pay that I know exactly what it says. Please messenger it to my statehouse office in the morning, and thanks for your consideration.”

“You OK, Boss?” Allan asked. “You’re as white as a sheet. Do you want some water? What’s happened?”

“We just had this case concluded for us. Chief of Police Cosmo Natali has killed himself and left a note for me. We’ll get it in the morning. I’m exhausted, so let’s go home, my friend. I’ll walk to the statehouse tomorrow. You take your time coming in. You’ve earned a late morning.”

Dear friend, Scott:

I just couldn’t stand the guilt any longer. I’m the last of Nathan Goddard’s associates. You have cleaned out the two organizations he headed. In a few minutes, there will be no more.

For years, Captain Callan and I have been covering up, alerting, and aiding the C Street gang’s propagation. We were well paid. It is only a matter of time before you discover my traitorous activity.

Now, in retrospect, I look at my early days as a patrolman, proud to serve the residents of Boston, and wonder what got me to this point. Geed is my only answer -- The greed for money and faster promotions. Suddenly I realize that none of it was worth the harm I have inflicted or the overpowering shame I feel at this minute. I thought of surrendering myself, but I cannot face the humiliation or the incarceration I face.

Goodbye,

Cosmo Natali, Chief of Police

Allan came in with two cups of coffee and immediately noticed the grim expression on Scott’s face.

“I guess you already have the note, Boss,” as Scott pushed the letter across his desk for Allan to read.

Allan read Natali’s message, folded it, and handed it back to Scott. “That’s a tragic story, Boss. Was he a good friend?”

“I respected him,” Scott replied. “He was a good cop when he walked a beat – friendly and helpful to everyone. His climb to Chief of Police was comparatively fast – nothing to complain about. I would never suspect him of being in league with Goddard. Of course, it would eventually come to light. Someone would give him up in an attempt to help themselves. I’m really shocked, though.”

Scott continued, as he rose from his desk, “I have to show this to the State’s Attorney. While I’m out, Allan, please get ahold of Qualter or Guatino and get them here. Make sure they bring the Salinger Radio equipment and all the recording wire. Oh yes, the radio as well. Try to find out who in the state police has the radio now, and instruct them to get it to this office. We’ll take them back to Salinger later.”

“Chief Cosmo Natali. In a hundred years, who would suspect him of being dirty! A sad ending to an illustrious career,” Matt said. “Time for this department to move on and concentrate on getting all of those crooks in jail. The DA and his crew have a huge task ahead of them.”

“I just started to wonder what is happening in that regard. I’ve been so busy rounding up offenders, I haven’t been able to keep 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 27

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Twenty Seven

Previously:

“Am I happy to see you two!” Simmons said when he saw Scott and Allan. He was seated near the ICU nurses’ station, wearing a white knee-length medical coat, a stethoscope in the side pocket, and a name tag on his chest. His complexion was much darker, thanks to an astute nurse with pancake makeup.

The three men walked to the ambulance entrance where Mister Gregg and the backed-up hearse awaited six-feet away. Mark removed his disguise and hopped on the gurney, where Gregg covered him with a large blanket. Scott and Allan pushed the gurney into the hearse, then moved to the front seat.

The drive to the Funeral Home proved uneventful.

They shed their suit jackets and ties at the statehouse and donned the blue overhauls and caps found in the panel truck. Allan went to Scott’s to pick up the funeral wreath.

Lloyd Qualter showed up in a different car, and as they waited for Allan’s return, they talked about the morning’s adventure.

Qualter told Scott, “I didn’t spot anything out of the ordinary on the way to, or from, the funeral home. And I weaved in and out of traffic – pulled close to you and dropped way back. I doubt you were being followed. None of the vehicles stayed with you all the way.”

“I’ve been thinking about your assignment, hunting Goddard, and the three lieutenants. I’m wondering if you need a partner or not. Four to one aren’t outstanding odds. What do you think?”

Qualter thought for a minute or two and replied, “I’ll have to admit, I’ve thought about what I should do if I have all four in one place, other than push that button on the radio and hope the back-up isn’t far away. A partner might be good. I’d have company, at least.”

Scott offered, “Al Guatino came to mind. Any thoughts on him?”

“Perfect! We did well at Goddard’s bar that first day. When Jerry Mc Dougal and John Byrne walked in unexpectedly, it was as if we could read each other’s minds, and arrested them without incident. More than that, we get along,” Qualter, with a note of excitement, answers.

“First, I’ll determine if I’m allowed to take on another person and then check if Guatino is interested. As soon as we return from Riverville, I’ll see my boss about taking on another temporary assistant.”

As soon as Allan returned with the flowers, they set off for the funeral home --  and Simmons. Delivery at the funeral home is made private by using a closed-in carport attached to the building. Scott and Allan opened the truck’s rear door, retrieved the flours, and went into the building.

Mister Gregg asked. What’s with the flower truck? I’ve been expecting a laundry van.”

Scott replied, “We couldn’t obtain one, so took a flower delivery truck found in the vehicle impound lot.”

Simmons, relaxing in the office with a cup of coffee, said, “That didn’t take long! How do you think this move is going. Anyone on your tail?”

“Not so far,” Scott replied. “Lloyd Qualter is the rear echelon and doing an excellent job of it. If we hand no tail earlier, I doubt we’ll have one now.”

Scott, Allan, and Mark returned to the van, followed by Mister Gregg. “Here, give these to some family short on flowers,” Allan said while handing the wreath of flowers to Gregg.

The silver and blue diner on Route One invited them, by a large sign proclaiming, “The Best Roast Beef on the North Shore.”

Ten minutes after they were led to a booth, Qualter joined them, saying, “No tails! Only trailer trucks with a single driver entered this parking lot. I also watch for any strange action from passing vehicles. No one is following you.”

As the men left the diner, praising the roast beef, Scott dismissed Qualter to return to his regular duties.                

Riverville:

After an uneventful continuing trip, Allan drove into the Riverville Police Department’s back lot at quarter-to-two. Scott, Allan, and Mark proceeded to Chief Hendersen’s office, where they found Sergeant Carl Hendersen and Patrolman Frances J. Hendersen with the chief. Scott introduced everyone.

The atmosphere in the office is jovial; on par with a birthday or Christmas. “We are so happy to have you with us, Mark, the chief said, clasping Mark’s hand. I speak for the entire family and want you to be part of it for as long as a sanctuary is needed.”

“Welcome, Mark,” Carl said. “You will be staying with my brood. I’m sure you will find it exciting and entertaining. I hope they don’t overwhelm you. Let me introduce you to my son, Frances.”

“Thank you all very much. I have two brothers and a sister. I don’t think I’ll be overwhelmed,” Mark replied. “I am a little dazed from the stress of the shooting. The unselfish effort and care I’ve received, from Scott and his people, to keep me safe have me in awe. Lying in that alley leaking blood, I had little hope of surviving.“

“You can tell us all about it later,” Chief Hendersen told Mark. “Now, Carl and Frances will take you home to meet the rest.”

Turning to Scott and Allan, Mark askes, “I don’t suppose, in all the other arrangements, you thought about clothing for me?”

While giving himself a slap on the head, Scott winks at Mark, keeping within the mood of the moment, and then turns to Allan. “Allan, how come you didn’t think of that?”

“Me, Boss. Heck, I’m just a lowly driver. You’re the thinker in this crew,” Allan said, playing along and looking entirely innocent.

After several minutes of revelry and back-slapping, Scott said, “You make a list, Mark, and we’ll drop it by the house. When your mother calls me, someone will pick up the items and bring them here. You have to get along now.”

“Guess I can’t ask for more. There must be a general store or something out here in the wilderness,” Mark said as he finished his list and gave it to Scott.

Frances grabbed Mark by the back of the collar. “Wilderness indeed? I’ll have you know we even have a sub shop. How’s that?” 

Carl, moving behind the two and giving a gentle shove, says, “OK, enough fooling around. Take Mark home. Your mother is probably pacing the floor in anticipation of meeting him.” They left the office gibbering and laughing.

“Great kids, wouldn’t you say, Scott,” the chief commented.

“No doubt, Chief. Now we must get going. Always something else to do, you know.”

Allan ran up the walkway to the Simmons family home. As he stepped onto the porch, the door opened, and Misses Simmons appeared. Rather than answer a lot of questions, Allan held up both hands to stop her and said, “Mark is his old self again and is safely in Riverville. He received a fabulous greeting from the Hendersens. A good friendship seems to be building between Mark and Frances Hendersen, a patrolman in the Riverville Police Force. I have a list of things he wants, mostly clothing. Please call when you have it assembled, and I’ll take it to him. It’s nice to see you again, Misses Simmons. Give my best to your family.”

Allan immediately turns and trots back to the blue van, where Scott is waving to Missus Simmons from the passenger’s seat.

At the statehouse, with Allan doing a coffee run, Scott phones Frank Gray.

“Frank Gray, may I help you?”

“Scott, on this end, Frank. Simmons is safely on the North Shore. Can you arrange for the article to run in the evening papers? I’m sitting at my desk reading it right now. Good job, my friend. That should stir-up the enemy.”

“Yes. I think there is enough time for the late editions. Morning edition too? Did you have any problems getting Simmons out of the area? I might like to do a follow-up on this whole capper, maybe even a short story.”

“Sure, the morning editions too if you can make it happen. Everything went smoothly and on time, thanks. About the follow-up, an article will be OK. However, Mark and his family will have to agree to a short story.”

“I get you. Well, talk to me later about it. I have to call in some favors if we want to get this going,” Frank said.

Allan, returning with two cups of coffee, meets Matt Hart at Scott’s door. “How come only two, Allan?”

“Here, you take them in Mister Hart. I’ll get another cup.” Alan reluctantly said.

“No, no, no. I’m pulling your leg, Allan. I just finished my coffee. Here, Let me get the door for you.”

“Hi, Matt. Have a seat. I have one more call to make to Reverend Carlton Mac Elroy, and then we can move back to arresting Callan.”

“Reverend Mac Elroy, happy to hear the charade is at its end, quickly agreed upon Saturday for the mock funeral. “These usually take an hour or so. I have arranged for recorded music. There will be no one in the church: only the Simmons family, the undertaker, his men, and me. You have set-up security. And the coffin will be returned to the funeral home. Correct?”

“Yes, Sir. Scott replied. If you need me between now and then, just call. Until Saturday, then.”

“I really do not think Mac Elroy likes doing this fake funeral, but because of the influence of the large Simmons family at his church, he will. Sorry, Matt, what can I tell you?”

“Did the run to Riverdale go smoothly?”

“Like a clock,” Scott responded. “Qualter followed in another vehicle to be sure we were not followed. He did the job splendidly.”

“Thinking of Qualter, It occurred to me that should he coral Callan and the lieutenants by himself, and it takes too long for back-up to reach him, he could be in deep trouble. I’d like to get him a partner until the case is over.”

“I suppose you are right, and I have no doubt you have someone in mind,” Hart said sarcastically.

“Yes, Sir. Al Guatino. Together they arrested, in magnificent fashion, Jerry Mc Dougal and John Byrne on the first day of the raids. They think the same and get along well.”

“OK, Scott, I’ll make the arrangements. You have a reasonable justification, as always.”

As the day wained, Scott’s thoughts again turned to Lloyd Qualter. He said to Allan, “I was amiss in not giving Lloyd the rest of the day off. I hope he wasn’t futilely trying to find Callan the rest of the day.”

“He likes his work. Futile or not, I wouldn’t worry about Buck Qualter if I were you.”

“Perhaps,” Scott returned as he lifted the phone and dialed his law office.

“Anything you need me for today, Annie?”

“No, Sir, your slate is clear today.”

“Good, it’s been tiring. If Lloyd Qualter calls, ask him to phone me at my home, please.”

He hung up and said to Allan, “Let’s lock-up for today – it’s been a long one. I’ll walk home. Maybe the walk will invigorate me a little. Please pick me up in the morning at about nine. We’re going to see the Simmons family.”

The Simmons family listened intently the next morning as Scott explained the funeral. “I want you to invite some of your friends and/or relatives, those who will not reveal to anyone that the service is fake and that Mark is safe.  Please impress upon them that Mark’s life might depend on their secrecy. Limousines are set aside for the procession, the hearse, an immediate family car, and the guest cars. To bring the coffin into the church, a side door will be used. You and the guests will remain in the vehicles until Mister Gregg appears at the front door. There will most likely be several police groups standing at attention when you move from the cars to the church. You have the choice of remaining in the sanctuary or moving to one of the parlors. I suggest you choose a parlor to reduce any emotional reaction. Keep in mind that Mark is safe and happy. Don’t even think of what might have been, and you’ll be fine. Several organ interludes will be played during the half-hour service. After the service, perhaps bagpipe music from a police contingent as the coffin is returned to the herse. Any questions?”

“Just one,” Mister Simmond replied. “Will we be picked up at the house, or do we go to the funeral home?”

“It is customary to pick up the immediate family. Guests make their own way to the funeral home before the procession to the church. I’ll be in one of the guest cars.”

The family thanked Scott and saw him to the door. “Oh yes,” Scott said as he hesitated at the door, “In today’s newspapers, you’ll see a headline and short notice of Mark’s death. I had this placed as a notification to our enemies.”

“You will receive calls from your family, friends, and strangers.” Scott continued. “To sidestep suspicions about Mark’s alleged passing, do not trust the strangers, and avoid lengthy conversations with anyone. The enemy will try to catch you in conflicting facts and will be analyzing your emotional state so, try to sound sad.”

After lunch at a mid-eastern restaurant, Allan headed the car back to Boston and Scott’s law office. Walking down the hall, Scott hears his phone ringing, and, upon opening the door, Annie is heard saying, “Hold on, please. He just came in. It’s Lloyd Qualter,” Annie whispered to Scott.

“Buck! How’s it going?”

“Slowly, I’m sorry to say. Callan isn’t doing much of anything except eating and putting in five or six hours at headquarters. At least he gets to work on time. Each night he goes out to a nearby bar and is home by ten. I’m keeping a log if you ever need a detailed report.”

“That must be very monotonous, to say nothing of lonely. How would you like a partner?”

“Boss, that would be great, but your kidding, right?”

“Not at all. I’ve cleared it with my boss. How about Al Guatino?”

Scott heard nothing but breathing on the phone for several seconds, then, “Great choice, Boss. At Goddard’s bar, we worked like old partners, although, before that day, we only had a nodding acquaintance. I believe we can be an effective team.”

“So do I, Buck. You call Guatino and see if he is interested. Remember to mention that it is a temporary assignment. Get back to me, and I’ll set a meeting time for the three of us.”

The next day, Scott walked to the statehouse. When Allan showed up, Scott told him, “Al Guatino jumped at the proposition. He and Buck will be here at ten-thirty to fill Guatino in on the operation.”

As it turned out, Buck Qualter, in his conversation with Al Guatino, had filled him in on the job he was about to undertake. There was little left for Scott to say. He impressed upon him the dangers and importance of eradicating the South Boston crime activities and those who perpetrated them.

“We’re happy to have you with us and partnering with Buck, I can’t promise anything, but your work here might lead both of you to something better. Buck, did you go over the hand radio with Al?

“Yes, Boss. He’s a fast learner.”

“On your way then and pick up Callan if you can. I have high hopes of nailing him with Goddard’s lieutenants.”

Scott’s phone jingled just as Allan returned with coffee. “Really,” Scott said into the phone. “What time, or did he specify?” “OK, thanks, Annie. See you later today.”

“Judge Millstone wants to see me before noon, Allan. Finish your coffee, and let’s get going.”

Allan set the red light on the car’s roof, allowing him to maneuver skillfully and unimpeded through traffic. Scott and Allan entered the judge’s chambers at eleven-fifteen.

“Chief Investigator, I need a brief update regarding the South Boston case. Both federal and state prosecutors are winding up their presentations. I’ve been appointed to oversee the whole thing and need to know what is left for you to do.”

“We are in the closing stages,” Judge Millstone.

Scott explained Captain Callan’s association with Goddard and how he came to know the connection..” To finalize, Scott explained Alice Nadeau, the lieutenants, and why he obtained Qualter and Guatino.

“Thank you -- very informative.” Judge Millstone said. “I read in the paper, the young officer Simmons passed away. I understand he was shot outside your office. Tell me more about that.”

“Respectively, Sir, I cannot. All I can tell you is that he is not dead. It’s all tied into the attempts on my life and this case. To tell you more will jeopardize Simmons’ life.”

“All right, Chief Investigator. I’ll accept that. But, when this is over, I want the full story.”

On the way out, Allan said, “That wasn’t bad. I thought you might get a good chewing-out for something, Boss.”

“No. Despite the judge’s abruptness, likely caused by being so busy, he is a good and reasonable man. Now, how about Angelo’s for lunch?”

The car headed out, traveled to Hanover Street, turned left onto Prince, and stopped at Angelo’s, Allan’s favorite restaurant.

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

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 29

riverville cover lg

Case of the Riverville Murder

A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack

Chapter Twenty Nine

Previously:

Annie handed the contents to Scott, saying, “It’s a Cablegram -- glad I noticed it in your pocket.”

“It’s from Karl von Ropp at Interpol.  He says that Gerald Smyth has been recaptured in Nice, France. He was masquerading as a seaman and trying to get a job on a ship heading for the U.S.A. It seems he had poorly forged papers. A port official alerted the police, who, in turn, called Interpol.”

“Isn’t that good news! Mic will be so happy to know, Annie exclaimed. “He has been really uptight about it, thinking he might have to use his new gun if Smyth isn’t caught.”

“I’ll call him immediately, or would you rather call?” Scott asked.

“Oh, yes, let me call. I want to hear the joy in his voice, Annie replied. You can listen in.”

Scott lifted the phone in time to hear, “I have news for you, Michael. Gerald Smyth is back in jail.”

“Oh, come on, don’t kid me about that,” Mic responded.

“I’m not, Mic, honestly. A cable from Interpol came this morning. Mister Wadsworth is listening. I’ll let him tell you.”

“Hi, Mic, it’s true. Von Ropp sent the cable. It was slipped under the door before I came in. I put it in my pocket and forgot about it. Annie saw the envelope and asked me about it, so I opened it. In Nice, France, Smyth was playing at being a seaman, with a disguise and poorly forged papers -- was trying to ship out on a boat to the U.S. as a crewman. The cops grabbed him and turned him over to Interpol

The phone went silent for several seconds before Scott and Annie heard, “WHOOPIE, Scott, I haven’t heard such good news since you told me you were taking me to Boston.”

“Annie, we must celebrate tonight. Scott, Can you and Nancy join us? It’s on me.”

“I’ll let you know later today. I first have to ask her, you know,” Scott said.

After the call, Allan said, “Boss, you never did finish telling me the story of Mic.”

“Here it is briefly. Mic had a lousy family life due to a brutal father and left at an early age. Before Mic came to the U.S., he was, for years, a finagler and a hustler. He ran errands for Smyth for a fee, which often got him in trouble with the police. Whenever Smyth was a suspect in a crime, Mic would be questioned as well. After Mic came here, mostly to get out of Smyth’s clutches, He worked as a plumber part-time, a trade he started learning in England, and hustled dart games for money. He is highly skilled at the game.

“Enter Smyth. He was under suspicion of murdering Baron Alfred Kunz in Austria and stealing the gourd pipe. And here is where it gets complicated. It is believed that under a contract, Smyth lifted the very same pipe years before, from an Indian museum for Baron Alfred Kunz. The same man he is suspected of killing. Smyth evaded the police and Interpol and came to New York looking for a pipe collector wealthy enough to buy the pipe. He looked up Mic, and it started over again, wanting Mic to find the pipe collectors, offering him a cut of the sale, which he refused. Mic turned to one Lucky Ryan, a pipe smoker and collector. Also, an antique importer of questionable reputation with underworld connections. Ryan became obsessed with having the artifact and was heavy-handedly pressuring Mic.

How I came into the picture isn’t essential and quite complicated involving the FBI’s Boston office. Suffice it to say, Mic was important to Smyth’s apprehension, so I brought him to Boston for protection from Ryan’s thugs. Later, I recommended him to Swenson’s Plumbing. You know the rest.

“Wow, Boss. I’d never suspect a background like that, considering what Mitchell is today. Thanks, you’ve elevated my perception and respect for Mic.”

Later in the day, Annie brought mail and the newspaper to Scott, “I see there is a feature story on the Simmon,s Funeral. How did your theatrical production come off?” Annie asked with a touch of disdain in her voice.

“The funeral went exceptionally well. The music was beautiful, other than the bagpipes. They are, as bagpipes are, you like them, or you don’t. If nothing else, their music is stirring. The Simmons family handed the whole thing well, knowing Mark is safe in Riverville. I estimate a hundred or so police officers from all over New England were in military formation on the street. Callan was there at the front of the BPD group, not out of any compassion, I’m sure – probably wanted to see who went in.  I’ll bet he got to thinking when Allan and I walked into the church. Now I know you don't like the idea of a mock funeral – a religious thing, I guess. Please remember, Mark,s life is in danger until this case is over. Superficially ending that life with a funeral takes the threat away, or if doubts remain, to a minimum.”

Sheepishly, Annie said, “I know that in the back of my mind, but it still feels a bit uncivilized to me. I apologize for being sarcastic.”

Allan, sitting by the window drinking coffee, can feel the tension rising and hopes it doesn’t go further. He relaxes when Scott says with a smile, “It’s OK, Annie, we love you anyway.”

South Boston:

Outside the Italian Club, a block away and almost obscured by a hedge, Qualter, and Guatino sit in their car. Both wondering what Callan can be doing in there all this time.

“This is getting monotonous,” Guatino said. “He’s been there, apparently alone, for five and one-half hours.”

“This is what we get paid for. I wish we could get inside and find out or even look in some windows, but we have orders to just follow and keep a log.”

“Well, a couple of more days like this, and I think we should talk to Wadsworth.”

Callan finally left the club an hour later, and the two detectives followed him to his regular bar.

“Holy smoke!” Qualter complained. “I could do this with my eyes closed, from the club to the bar, and then to the restaurant and home. Doesn’t Callan have a life? Wait and see, I bet you lunch it’s the same tomorrow, only he’ll go to police headquarters instead of the club.”

“Don’t like the odds, Guatino replied.”

Another day at police headquarters and the next at the Italian Club, Callan held true to form. They decided to go to see Scott in the morning after Callan gets settled somewhere.

“What’s bothering you, Buck? You seemed upset when you called last night.”

“Like I mentioned, Callan is in a rut. He spends hours at the Italian Club, alone, it appears. Or at BPD headquarters. His routine never falters, and he has no social life.” Qualter stated. “ I was telling Al, I wish we could go in and find out what he is up to. It’s monotonous.”

“Detective work can be that way,” Scott replied, “but you have given me an idea.”

“Think about it,” Scott said after a little thought. “What does Callan get at the club – solitude. Why does he need privacy – to do paperwork or make calls pertaining to the gang.

“He does carry a briefcase, always,” Al Guatino said.

“Here’s what we’ll do. I’ll talk to Judge Millstone about a phone tap on the club’s phones. I feel confident he will give us a go. We might get some useful info. It’s also an opportunity to try out a new gadget from Salinger Radio Company – a tiny transmitter on the phone bug that works for a half-mile. No one needs to be in the building; just sit in your car with the receiver and listen while recording at the same time. The bug has a battery life of a week, and the receiver is rechargeable over-night. It is a slow-moving wire recorder good for twenty hours.”

“Where do you come up with this stuff, Boss?” Buck Qualter asked.

“Salinger is local and contributes to the state’s economy. They are very innovative and make top-quality radio equipment. After internal testing, Salinger does extensive field testing. We, bring a state agency, cooperate when possible.”

Arrangements were made with Salinger for the phone tap kit and training for Qualter and Guatino. The training took them away from Callan for three days, but everyone thought it worth it and would pay off in the long run.

After Salinger company training, Qualter and Guatino resumed tailing Callan with renewed enthusiasm and as boys with a new toy. On the third day of Callan’s habitual movements, he went to the Italian Club immediately after breakfast. An hour or so later, the light on the receiver started blinking, telling the detectives that a call is in progress. The detectives listened intently to a conversation between Callan and Alice Nadeau.

When the conversation ended, Qualter asked, “Did you understand any of that?”

“Only that they were talking about money, Guatino answered. Nadeau didn’t want to go that far out on a limb. Did they discuss the purpose of the money?”

“Not that I heard, but I didn’t understand much beyond the money. Later, after we get Callan to his favorite bar, we’ll take it to the Chief  Investigator, Wadsworth.” Qualter said. “Call him and let him know when we are coming.”

At the office, it didn’t take long for Al Guatino to acquaint Annie with the play-back features of the Salinger wire recorder and explaining its relationship to the telephone bug. Annie plugged in the earphones, started transcribing the words in shorthand. Then, typed six pages and took them to Scott in a titled folder.

“Thank you, Annie; quick job!”

“It could have been faster if I typed directly from the recording, but wanted to be sure I had it all as it was spoken..”

“Laudable, Annie. I just might start using that Dictaphone you’ve been after me to use for months.

Annie threw up her arms in resignation and swiftly returned to the outer office.

“Buck, you men come to the statehouse in the morning. I’ll take the evening to analyze these, and tomorrow we can decide to change our plan or continue on for more captured phone conversations.

That evening, Scott studied the transcript, reading it over several times, and had Nancy look at it. Conferring, both arrived at the same conclusion. Scott returned the papers to his briefcase and tried to get Alice Nadeau off his mind for the rest of the evening.

In the morning, at the statehouse, Scott reread the transcript, coming to the same conclusion.

Qualter and Guatino arrived at nine-thirty and quietly sat opposite Scott.

Scot told them, “I’m quite anxious to see what Alice Nadeau will tell us. I thought about approaching her with this transcription. But there isn’t anything in it other than a discussion concerning the amount of money Callan wants, not one word referring to the money’s use. I don’t want to put her off. She is a strong, self-minded woman who might tell me to go to hell and walk away.”

“So, what’s next, Boss?”, Qualter asked.

“Continue your surveillance of Callan and recording phone calls. Keep a log of all who meet with him. I gave you the names associated with the license numbers, didn’t I?”

“Yes, Sir, we have them,”  Guatino offered.” We’ll be off then. I think we can pick up Callan at his breakfast place.”

Matt Hart, after discussing the transcript with Scott, commented. “You did right. Nothing is incriminating here. Best to continue on. Either the phone calls will divulge something of what Callan and Nadeau are up to, or we will have to wait until she tells us. In the meantime, let’s concentrate on bagging the lieutenants. At least that will retard efforts to rebuild the “C” Street gang. To arrest Callan, we will need solid evidence of his association with Goddard and the gang.”

“You are absolutely correct,” Scott agreed.  “I suppose the trials for the gang members are well underway by now. I’ve been watching the newspapers but haven’t seen a word about them. Have you heard anything?” 

“Not a peep, Matt replied. “That doesn’t surprise me one bit, however. Considering the international flavor of the case and the ramifications it can have overseas, The federal court, more than likely, put a news blackout on the trials.”

“That seems logical. The entire thing, starting with the murder of Clarence Anderson, an ATF agent, and the assault on Kelly Adams, has been intertwined with IRA support and illegal arms sales to a foreign customer. Since Frank Sullivan told me what he is and what he found out as an undercover Interpol Inspector, I’ve concentrated on Massachusetts state matter. With the arrest of Albert Nunsay for that murder, federal issues are just a curiosity. Court results and how our state efforts helped will be interesting to know,” Scott recounted.

That afternoon, Frank Sullivan, his testifying duties in federal court over, deplanes in Boston at two o’clock and takes a taxi to Charles Street South. Approaching Scott’s Building, Sullivan spots Scott and Allan entering and shouts, You, Scott Wadsworth, wait-up.”

Scott turns and is surprised to see Sullivan moving quickly toward him, his hand extended in greeting.

“Inspector! It’s good to see you again. Are you through at New York Federal Court? Sorry, excuse my rudeness. Please come with me to my office.”

“No apology necessary, Sullivan said as he throws an arm over Allan’s shoulder. “And how about this young man? How are you doing, Boy? Is your boss treating you well?

“The best, Inspector. How about you? How is it to be back in the states?”

“OK, plenty of time for talk,” Scott interrupts as he pushes the elevator’s call button. “Let’s get upstairs. It hasn’t been healthy for me to dally in public.”

So, Inspector, How did the trials go,” Scott asked when they were all settled in Scott’s office.

“It’s Frank, please. I can’t speak for all of them, although I did sit in on James Hurley’s and Albert Nunsay’s trials. And those for which I was called, namely, Alfred J. Connors and the Global Mortgage and Loan Company and Nathan Goddard. Naturally, this being an on-going case, I was admonished not to talk to the press. But then, you are not the press, and I’m sure you will not repeat what I say, Sullivan explained.

“Hurley was convicted on the gun-running charge and money laundering, but rather than sentencing him, he was ordered deported to Ireland. Racketeering charges are at the discretion of this state, but I think they will want to save the cost of a trial and get rid of him. I’m only sorry I won’t be there to meet him as he gets off the plane and present him with charges against Ireland.”

“Nunsay was convicted on the murder of Clarence Anderson, the ATF Agent. And attempted murder of Martin Wolfe, undercover ATF Agent. Alfred J. Connors and the Global Mortgage and Loan Company were jointly convicted on international money laundering and aiding and abetting the selling of firearms to a foreign entity. He’ll be sentenced in a week or so. Other charges brought by the IRS and the Treasury Department are pending. It looks as if he will be away for life. All of his crimes require long sentences. New York state has withdrawn pending litigation against him.

“Nathan Goddard, now there is a character for you. All through the trial, he vehemently denied any knowledge of the murder of Clarence Anderson and the attempt on Martin Wolfe. The jury didn’t buy it for a minute. Being the master of two gangs, Goddard was also charged with complicity in federal crimes committed by those under his control – he even had to testify at Nunsay and Hurley's trials. He, too, is in for life. What the state of Massachusetts does, at this time anyway, is anyone’s guess. You would know better than I what will happen here with the case still open.”

“I really don’t know. I submit reports and talk to the State’s Attorney, but I’m not in on what he and the D.A. discuss. Things will get much clearer when Callan and the remaining gang lieutenants are brought in. We are rigorously attempting to gather enough evidence for solid arrests.”

Sullivan followed up with, “There is little doubt you are doing a splendid job. A lot has transpired to aid your country and mine since I left the envelope at your home. Although I work for Interpol, The work is primarily for the Republic of Ireland, maintaining international law.”

“What are you working on presently?” Scott asked.

“When I get home, I’ll concentrate on bringing to justice Gus Malone, the top Provo. A considerable amount of documented evidence against him came out at the New York trials. I’ll use what I can to get him – might need some help from the Brits up there in the North. In the meantime, with the cooperation of the Homeland Police, I’ll work at getting Hurley sent down.”

Good luck with whatever you do, Frank. There is no describing the value of the information you gave me. Without it, we could not possibly be where we are in this case. The one thing slowing us down is confirming that Captain Claud Callan, BPD, is, in fact, an advisor/informant to Goddard. At this time, we are gathering information concerning him and three top men recruiting new thugs to bring the C Street Gang back to full power. At which time, we would expect Callan to replace Goddard. The Commonwealth can not allow that to happen.”

Sullivan turned to Allan, “And I suppose you are a big part of this, young man.”

“As Much as possible,” Allan proclaimed. During the years I have been the Chief Investigator’s driver, I have learned an immeasurable amount about police work, things never explained at the academy.”

“He’s modest, Frank. Sergeant Allan Rockford is a fine officer. One doesn't attain that rank easily, and I’m happy I selected him for the job. Recently I was shot at in front of the Federal Court. Allan and another officer immediately left the vehicle, weapons at the ready, to protect me – rushed to a building across the street and collected evidence the shooter left behind. Unfortunately, the shooter was no longer there. He is a valuable, easy-going, and pleasant companion and often realizes things about people or a case that I fail to see.”

“With those virtues, Allan, What are your ambitions as a police officer?” Sullivan asked.

Laughing, Allan replied, “State Police Commissioner, Mister Sullivan, what else?. Actually, I’ll let time, and Mister Wadsworth, decide my future. Until then, I’ll happily do this job.”

Sullivan smiled broadly while removing a pipe from his suit pocket. Scott slid his glass humidor across the desk, gesturing for Frank to help himself. “How long will you be in Boston, Frank?”

“Sorry to say, I have a flight booked for London at eleven tonight. I would like to stay on as a tourist. Boston is a historic and fascinating city. However, too much is waiting for me in Dublin. Perhaps another time.”

“Then let me show you at least one of  Boston’s splendors. It’s close to closing, so let’s head for the Parker House for a couple of drinks, some dinner, good conversation, and then we’ll take you to the airport. Where is your luggage?”

“In a locker at British Airways terminal,” Sullivan answered. “I took the time to take it there before looking you up.”

Qualter called before the three left for the Parker House. “Where will you be in the morning, Boss? There are conversations on the recorder you will want to hear. Things are popping, and I think you will soon be hearing from Alice Nadeau. These conversations will give you a jump on her. We’ll be there at eight o’clock if you like.”

“At my law office,” Scott answered. “Eight o’clock is fine.”

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

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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