Gloria wasn’t out of her depth navigating political waters, it simply annoyed her since it slowed up proceedings. She was a straight shooter; her goal finding the perp. She looked at the facts and followed where they led whether that ruffled feathers or not, it wasn’t a major concern of hers. Finding the perp and obtaining justice for the VIC. was!
This case included high rollers, the political establishment and entertainers galore. No one wanted to speak ill of the dead it seemed and therefore the case was dragging on. With the leads, facts, forensic science on her side, she’d find the perp, that was a given.
Thankfully, Greg was of the same mind and it was always a pleasure to work with him. Although in this instance, he was more frustrated than she. He had a way with words however and didn’t brook any nonsense and when he used that sharp-edged tongue of his, he set people back on their heels. Watching him interview the suspect was the ultimate!
Fortunately, he was on good standing with the mayor and the mayor was an honest man who also although a straight shooter was eloquent with his words and managed to unruffle the most ruffled of feathers. People listened to him because they knew he cared, stood for what was right, and did the best he could for his town.
He took up the mic and captured their attention. “Folks, this isn’t the ending we’d all hoped for tonight. I’m sure you’ll agree we need to find out who’s responsible for this heinous crime. Please bear with the detectives who are doing a fine job of this investigation. It won’t be much longer and you will be able to leave. However, for the time being, we request your indulgence, your consideration and respect for the unfortunate victim of a truly horrific crime.” He stepped away from the microphone and was besieged immediately by dozens of annoy and downright angry people.
As she watched from the sidelines, she couldn’t help but smile at the elegance with which he handled the ongoing onslaught. They continued collecting evidence while uniformed cops took statements and obtained phone numbers and addresses.
Two hours later, the roped-off scene was cleared, the photos were taken, the body removed, and the ME estimated the time of death as within two hours given the body temp of the victim. Jerome Clarkson had not seen it coming. He’d been caught off guard. As he rose to leave, he indicated the mayor had already spoken with him and this case was the top priority, so they’d have autopsy results forthwith! He suggested as he turned back to look at the man, he’d been pistol-whipped and shot with a small-calibre weapon with a silencer.
Greg and Gloria exchanged knowing glances. Since it wasn’t a spur of the moment killing (a silencer suggested a preplanned orchestrated death, done at a public venue for maximum effect, it suggested someone was sending a message. The question was, to whom?
An interview with family was next on the agenda followed by friends of the deceased. Somewhere they’d find a clue as to why Jerome Clarkson lay dead on a stone pathway minutes from the house and why was he there? Had he been lured there or was he meeting someone?
Her father (a long-time detective with the force) had often said love or money. Follow both, you’ll usually find your killer. So, what was the motive, love (jealousy anger betrayal) or was it for money? He was wealthy by all accounts. It was going to be a long night!