Case of the Riverville Murder
A Short Story by Ernie Whitenack
About halfway to Riverville, Scott phoned Carl Hendersen.
As soon as Carl heard Scotts voice, he interrupted. “Scott, are you OK? I heard, on the news last night, about Nunsay’s arrest and you being wounded.”
“It’s just a scratch, Carl. I’m fine and on my way to Riverville. I want to talk Hurley first and then to you and the chief, as well as Henry Reichmann regarding Somerville. I think it’s time to clean them out. Between The info Sullivan sent me, whatever we can get out of Hurley and anything Chief Grant has, we should be able to do a thorough job of it.”
“Looking forward to it, Scott. I’ll alert the chief and Reichmann that you are on your way. By the way, Hurley has been silent. I think he figures we don’t have much on him, but he is obviously scared to death – doesn’t eat much and paces around in his cell all the time.”
“Then we have a big surprise for him,” Scott said with a chuckle.
The rain and wind along the coast, that keeps the Dolphin tied to its dock in Portland, slowed traffic on Rt. One. The monotonous rhythm of the windshield wipers distracts Scott as he tries to concentrate, once again, on the information provided by Inspector Frank Sullivan.
“When in hell is this rain going to stop?” Scott asks angrily as he shoves the papers back in to his briefcase. “I want to refresh my memory on the stuff Sullivan sent me. I really want to shake-up Hurley and get him talking.”
“Well, let’s see what the radio has to say about the weather,” Allan said as he switched on the car’s civilian radio.
“And now for some good news. The tropical depression, that has been plaguing the East coast, from the Carolinas to Nova Scotia, for more than a week, looks like it is about to end. A strong high-pressure system is sweeping down from Canada, and the upper Mid-West. If it maintains its intensity, it will weaken the existing depression and it will dissipate in three or four days. Welcome the sun! Be sure to stay tuned for further news and weather from coast to coast. This is WBZ and WBZA – Boston and Springfield. At the tone, the time will be eight-thirty-seven.” Bing-Bong-Bing.
“Thanks Allan. That’s good to hear and I’m sure the FTA and Coast Guard will be happy to tie this up. I wish this traffic could loosen up.”
As Scotts car turned into the Riverville PD parking lot, and found a parking spot, Scott noticed Henry Reichmann a short distance away exiting his car and waited for him at the door.
“Henry, have you talked to Hurley?”
“I tried, but he isn’t saying a word – just sits there with a smug look on his face as if we didn’t have a thing on him. Watching him in his cell, he is like a different man. He appears to be very nervous and paces a lot.”
“And well he should be, Scott replied. If he really thinks we have nothing to bring him to trial, he is in for a big surprise.”
Chief Hendersen and Detective Carl Hendersen welcomed Scott and Allan warmly. “Scott we’re so happy you got Albert Nunsay and your wound was not serious. That was quite a bag and will more than likely lead to the clean-up of that Southie crowd.” The chief said.
“It’s not going to hurt the interrogation of Hurley either. Once he hears of it, and I intend to tell him, he’ll start wondering how much Nunsay is talking. It gives us the upper hand. That, and the material Sullivan gave us
should soften him up considerably.”
Carl Hendersen said, “Well, shall we get on with it. I have had Hurley steaming in interrogation room “A” since early this morning.”
“Yes, let’s do it then. I would like just Carl and Henry with me, at least in the beginning. The rest can observe from the viewing room. If I think your presence will be helpful, I’ll signal and you can come in,” Scott instructed.
At the harbor, things are buzzing around the trawler Dolphin. The report of better weather raises hopes of getting to sea. However, the plans have changed. Instead of heading directly for the three-mile point, the skipper plans to hug the coast and go north, then reverse course a short distance in hopes of fooling the Coast Guard. Then, make an all-out run to the open sea. Disguised as dock workers, ATF agents are watching the Dolphin closely from several strategic spots. The Maine State Police are nearby, and the Coast Guard is already in the harbor awaiting the departure of the Dolphin.
“OK, Mr. Hurley, it’s time to cooperate. We, the state police, Somerville police and the ATF, intend to break-up and arrest, the Compton Hill gang. And, you are going to help us.”
“Now, why would I be doin’ a thing like that?” Hurley asked smugly.
“To start with, we have Albert Nunsay – you know him. We also have photos of you tailing Kelly Adams and waiting around to tail her home and planning her murder because she overheard a conversation you had with Frank Sullivan. One of the pictures shows an unlicensed revolver tucked into your waistband. We also have affidavits outlining your activity in illegal arms purchase and shipment overseas. We have verification of your association with a Mr. Connors of Global Mortgage and Loan Company, who is currently being investigated by the ATF and IRS. Then, there is this large envelope full of information from Inspector Frank Sullivan of Interpol’s National Central Bureau in Dublin”
At that Hurley, sweating and red-faced yells, “Inspector Frank Sullivan! The blighter! I’ll kill him if I ever see him again. So that’s where he went.”
“To continue, Mr. Hurley, The state has enough on you to put you away for about fifty years. And then another fifty on federal charges. Because you have offended the United States of America., the sentences will run consecutively. To top it all off, you just threatened an international police officer in front of witnesses. You will spend the rest of your life behind bars. There will be no paroles.”
Hurley says nothing but throws his head back and stares at the ceiling, as if counting the perforations in the acoustic tiles.
Henry Reichmann clears his throat and interjects, “However, there is an option. We could deport you. You entered this country fraudulently on a temporary visitor’s visa from the port of Dublin. Should you cooperate and give us what we want, the USA has the choice of returning you to that port, and you take your chances. Perhaps you can get help from Gus Malone, your Provo contact in Ulster.”
Hurley bangs both fists on the table, looks viciously at the two men confronting him, and with anger in his voice yells out, “Holy Mother, is there anything you don’t know?”
Burying his face in his hands, and his shoulders slumped in defeat, Hurley says softly, “Ask away.”
Behind the viewing glass, the chief’s secretary opens her shorthand pad and lays out three pencils.
“Do we have a stenographer handy?” Scott askes the viewing window.
“Yes, ready and waiting,” the chief’s voice answers from a small speaker barely visible in the ceiling of the interrogation room.
Scott, sitting across the table from Hurley, spreads out the material Sullivan supplied and starts questioning Hurley based on that material. Hurley freely answers each question, and occasionally amplifies his answer with additional information.
About an hour and a half later Scott says, “Were about done here, Mr. Hurley. Who heads up the Compton Hill gang and where does he live?”
“I don’t dare answer that, Mr. Wadsworth. The boss has connections all over New England. I’ll be dead within twenty-four hours of you collaring him if I do.”
“No, you will not. With the number of charges against you, and some of them being federal charges, you will be held with extreme security in place. We will attempt to institute a press black-out on this whole case until we are through in Somerville, South Boston and have stopped the trawler Dolphin from delivering any armament. Now, I suggest you answer if you expect anything at your trial to go your way. Remember, you are looking at one-hundred years in jail, or simply deportation.”
“Ok, Ok. His name is Nathan Goddard. I think he has charges against him somewhere for assault, but I don’t know where. He lives several places. As I remember, it’s 258 Clark Street, here in Somerville, but I could be wrong about the number. In Southie, he lives on C Street. I don’t know the number. He owns a bar opposite Carson Beach, but off a street under the Expressway. He also has a place on Cape Cod somewhere.”
Scotts attention peaked when Hurley mentioned C Street. “Does Goddard have family or strong connections in South Boston?”
“Just the strongest! He runs the gang that took out the FTA agent.” Hurley answers. “And, about all the gambling on the East coast. He’s a big man here in Massachusetts, and beyond.”
“Last question. Do you know who actually killed ATF agent Clarence Anderson?”
“Nunsay, I’ve heard. Sure, and I do believe it. I don’t know him personally – it’s just that I hear he is a mean and blood-thirsty bastard.”
“That’s it Mr. Hurley. Thanks for your cooperation. It will be noted at your arraignment. Would you like some coffee?”
Hurley nodded and Scott looked at the viewing window. “Can we have some coffee in here, please?”
As the three men enjoy the coffee and pastry, Scott fills an Ehrlich large Pot pipe from his suede pouch and lights it, then says, “Mr. Hurley, you will be transferred to a secure, and little known, Mass. State penial facility, usually used to house felons convicted of business and financial crimes. You will be well cared for there.”
Henry Reichmann finishes a Cheese Danish, washes it down with the last of his coffee, and turns to Hurley. “You might be remanded to federal custody. It depends which trial takes precedence. If, and when, that is the case, you will be in a similar facility and guarded by Federal Marshals. At either facility, I suggest you be on your very best behavior or that also will be noted at your arraignment and will be very detrimental to your future.”
Scott turns to the viewing window and signals that they are through, whereupon two patrolmen enter to escort Hurley to his cell.
“Mr. Wadsworth. They have taken everything from me. Do ‘ya think it possible I can have me pipe, pouch and Zippo?”
“I’ll see to it,” Scott replies.
As they leave the interrogation room, the intercom speaker announces, “Chief Hendersen, Chief Grant is waiting in your conference room.
“Winston, good to see you again. I think the last time was the Chiefs Association meeting a couple of years ago,” Chief Hendersen exclaims enthusiastically upon entering the conference room.
“I think you are right -- how time flies. How are you anyway, Michael?”
“I’m doing very well; especially since we have Hurley under wraps. We just finished questioning him and he “sang like a Canary” to quote the movies. Please, have a seat, Wadsworth will be along directly. He is – no we are all anxious to help you clean up Somerville. Anyway, he will bring you up to the minute when he gets here. It has been a grueling three hours for him, so, I think he is probably refreshing himself.
Scott and Allan enter the conference room ten minutes later. Scott, while shaking hands with Chief Grant, introduces Allan and then says, “I think that went very well, thanks to Frank Sullivan. Being able to confront Hurley, with the surprise of information he had no idea we have, certainly made my job easier. And, we might have saved a couple of days interrogating him.
Chief Grant responds, “And we had Sullivan down as a real hard case; mainly because of his closeness to Hurley. Are we ready to construct an operation to take down the Compton Hill gang?”
“I really want to grab Nathan Goddard first, and then coordinate, as closely as possible, the arrests in South Boston and Somerville. We have confirmed, Chief Grant, that Goddard also heads up the C Street gang, as it is suddenly being called. We have a home address for him in Southie, and a bar he owns there. Also, for a residence on the Cape.”
“You’re biting off a big mouthful there, Scott. That is a massive undertaking involving a lot of cops” Grant replied.
“You are so right. However, it will take a couple or three days to accomplish. The way I see it is: First, Goddard. We will hit all addresses, including his bar, simultaneously. If Successful, we will, as quietly as possible, start to pick-up gang members in both cities. The hope being, that we can complete the job before word gets out that we are making arrests. Who knows, we might even bag a few at Goddard’s bar when we are there. I have state detectives and troopers cruising South Boston around the clock. According to the captain, the gang is a habitual bunch, following the same daily routines with few exceptions. I’m convinced it will go quickly.”
Ernie Whitenack was born in 1928 in Springfield, Illinois and moved to Massachusetts in the mid 1930's. He is a Korean War veteran, worked as a photographic illustrator for 43 years and is now retired. Oh, and in case you didn't notice.... he's a pipe smoker too.
Copyright © Ernest N. Whitenack 2020
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