Thursday, July 2, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job- Day 16

Fred sat wiping his eyes, then picked up the pen and began to write. By the time he had completed the task, Morton had returned with the coffee and sandwiches. 

"We're going to hold you for at least Twenty four hours, until we can check out your story,"Zeb informed Fred. "We can do that without charging you. It is to your own benefit. If we can verify your whereabouts, then we can turn you loose and you can have your freedom. In the meantime, you can have the solitude to consider where you might have stopped after leaving your mom's home. One more thing, what was this partner of your father's name?"

"Whitaker, Harry Whitaker. They had their own investment business. Then when my father was killed in a single car accident, the business became Harry's, but my dad had put back enough for my mother to live in comfort."

They gave him time to finish his breakfast, then took him to be fingerprinted and photographed.  Fred was given the chance to notify a lawyer, but he had changed his mind. 

He had to remove his tie, his belt, and his shoe laces, then he was taken to a cell. 

They left him sitting on the cot, head pillowed in his hands.

"Say, Zee, what do you think? Did he do it? Did he off his mother? His story is a little flimsy, ain't it?"

"Hmmm, I don't know, Pix! He may just be a victim of circumstance! We're going to be busy checking out his story. We need to begin with the fancy restaurant and see if that part of his story has merit, then back to the mother's home. Haven't talked to Flint, the coroner, yet. He's probably barely started on the autopsy, so let's get going. We need to talk to this Harry fellow, who was trying to get the mother to invest."

"We've sure got our work cut out for us, Zee."

"Hmmm, yeah..." Zeb was already lost in thought, rethinking all that he had heard and observed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 15

Fred was crying unashamedly as the trio walked back upstairs to the small interrogation room. 

Once they arrived and were seated, Zeb handed a box of tissues to Fred, and asked Pixley to send Morton out for some egg sandwiches and more coffee.

Zeb stretched out his long frame and then, turning to his prisoner, removed the cuffs once again.

"Now, Fred, why don't we continue, and you tell me what you did after leaving your mom's apartment. Did you stop anywhere?"

"I don't remember much of anything except how mad I was at my mother's stupidity. I slammed out of there, went down the steps to the ground floor, went out the front door,got into my car and just drove aimlessly around town, then headed towards home. I think maybe I stopped somewhere and had a drink. I don't know where it was. I don't know what time it was. I'm sorry."

Zeb looked at Pix above Fred's head. Pix lifted eyebrows with a question in his eyes. Zeb shrugged. 

"I think maybe I should have a lawyer, now," Fred announced, realizing he could be on shaky ground. 

"Okay, Mr. Lyman, we're going to let you call, but right now, you're our best suspect. We need you to write out your statement, as you've related it to us. We also have it recorded in your own voice. Then you must sign the statement. 

To be continued.  


Monday, June 29, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 14

It was a short trip to the Coroner's place of work. Detective Sergeant Zebulon O'Hanlon and his partner, Detective James R. Pixley, accompanied the suspect to view the remains of the suspect's mother, Rene Lyman. 

Zeb rapped on the viewing window, and the curtain was pulled to one side, allowing the on-lookers to see the body as the sheet was pulled from over the face, revealing her features.

"Please, if you would, tell us if that was your mother, Mr. Lyton," urged Zeb, when he saw Fred was refusing to look.

Fred, who had turned pale, slowly lifted his gaze. He nodded, then placed his forehead and palms against the window, as though he could be closer to her that way, much as a child looks out of a window, desiring to go outside. 

The tears flowed from his eyes, blurring his vision.

"Can I go in and see her, please ?" He looked imploringly to Zeb.

"I'm sorry, Fred, but you'll get to see her before too long, I'm sure. Right now, we have to go finish getting your statement."

After one more look through the window, Fred Lyman turned and walked between the two detectives.

Zeb was beginning to feel the strain of the long night, after being called at home shortly after midnight to the crime scene. It was now around six a.m., and he knew his wife of several years was just arising to begin her day. 

Angela O'Hanlon was the soulmate who,along with his faith, helped him to stay on an even keel in this underbelly of humanity.

Friday, June 26, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 13

A knock on the door, interrupted the questioning. Fred's partner answered the knock. 

"Um. okay. I'll tell him. Thanks."

Pix came over, carrying an evidence bag, and whispered an aside to Zeb. 

Zeb nodded.

"Mr. Lyton...Fred... We need you to identify these objects for us."

Zeb opened the evidence bag and poured the objects onto the table. 

"Please don't touch them, sir. Just identify them verbally."

"Okay, that's my wallet, my fountain pen, my pocket watch, and my pocket knife. I left them on the night stand next to my bed. I told you that, earlier. What's going on?"

Fred started to stand up.
"Just have a seat, please. Please calm yourself, Fred! You're in serious trouble here! Do you think we brought you in on a whim? I'm sorry to have to inform you, sir, your mother is no longer with us."

Fred's face turned an ashen color and he stopped his loud shouting. 

"What do you mean, 'she's no longer with us'? You mean, she's dead? What?!? How? When? Why didn't you tell me?"

"Her neighbors called us some time ago, they heard shouting, then some kind of scuffling around. One of them went to her apartment and found the door standing open. She was lying on the floor, bleeding. A pocket knife, this one,  was lying nearby. They called us, and we dispatched an ambulance. You should have heard it if you were anywhere in the vicinity."

"No, I...uh...I don't remember hearing one. I can't believe it. My mother...dead...You're sure? If they took her to the hospital maybe she's okay."

Fred looked up into Zeb's face, as if expectantly hoping to see denial of the facts he had just heard.

"I'm sorry, but we are going to have to ask you, as the next of kin, to identify the body, . Please, you need to come with me now. I'm going to have to replace the handcuffs."

"I can't believe this! It's like some nightmare! First, my baby, then my wife, now my mother! Why me, God? Why me?" 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 12

"I don't know, it looks like maybe coffee stain. I had some coffee at supper with Mother, and when the waiter spilled the soup, I must have accidentally splashed some coffee. I believe Mother slammed her hand on the table."

"Do you mind if we check it out?"

"Why? What do you think it is?"

"Tell me what happened after you got up after sleeping for a while? "

"Mother was on the phone with Harry, and I warned her again. I heard her tell him she was going to meet with him on the next day, today, in fact. I raised my voice to her, and shouted about how he was planning to rob her. She told me to just get out, and leave her alone. I grabbed my shirt and threw it on, buttoning it in a hurry.i put on my shoes;  I grabbed my car keys,  I heard her planning  to meet in a few hours from now. Listen, how is my mother? They said she had been hurt! When can I see her? Where is she?"

"Fred, she is being taken care of. Tell me, what time did you leave the apartment?"

"About midnight."

"What did you do after you left, before you were stopped? Did you go anywhere, or stop anywhere? Can you account for those three hours between midnight and when you were taken into custody?"

"I want to see my mother! Now! I've answered your questions!"

"Just a few more answers, please! Do you want some more coffee? I know you've been up most of the night, just as we have. Do you need to use the restroom? We'll take you, if you need to go."

Fred hit the table with his fist. 

"I've had enough of this! I haven't done anything to be questioned this way! Where is my mother? Why did that other cop ask if I had hurt her with a knife? Is she in the hospital?"

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - day 11

"Then what, Fred?"

"She told me to shut up; it was none of my business, and proceeded to pour herself a nightcap. Lighting a cigarette to go with her nightcap, she began pacing around the apartment. I knew there was no need to talk any further and decided to spend the night there. I went to bed with her still pacing."

"Hmmm. I see. How did you come to leave and be on the road where one of our patrolmen found you?"

"I couldn't get it out of my mind how Harry was trying to cheat my mother, so sometime later, I woke up and saw the hall light shining under my door. I looked at my nightstand clock and saw it was about one a.m. Getting up out of bed, I pulled on my pants and went out into the hallway."

By this time Fred was picking at the imaginary lint on his shirt sleeve. That was when he noticed the tiny specks of dark brown on the sleeve. He looked over at Zeb, who quickly noticed the action. 

Getting up in a single motion, Zeb walked around the table. 

"What is it, Fred? Let me see what is on your sleeve!"


Monday, June 22, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 10

"Right now, I'm between jobs. I do odd jobs like repair work, changing locks, carpenter work, a bit of simple plumbing. That kind of work. I have my own business, sometimes it is slow, other times, I don't get a lot of rest between jobs."

"Hmmmm. I see. Are you married, Fred?"

"Well, yes.  She's at her mother's right now, taking care of her."


Fred looked stricken and mumbled something unintelligible, causing Zeb to lean forward.

"You've lost a child? I'm sorry, Fred. I didn't mean to cause pain with my questions. Would you share with us how that happened?"

"My wife, Tina, had our little boy, Jimmy, out shopping one day, a couple of years ago, in a different city,. He was only three and a half. He was standing next to her one minute, and gone the next. He was never found."

By this time, Fred's shoulders were shaking, and Zeb said a silent prayer for the man.

"I'm sorry, Fred. So matters are not the best between you and Tina?"

"Well, yeah, you could say that. I can't help blaming her, even though I keep telling myself I shouldn't."

"I see. Let's get back to last night at your mother's home. Tell us what happened after the two of you were arguing. How did the argument end?"

"After Mother threw the vase and cracked the TV set, she was blaming me for making her so angry. I told her that she was being foolish to let Harry Sanders take advantage of her loneliness and bilk her out of all the savings Dad had left when he died in the car accident. Those investments are like solid gold. God knows I don't need to have her living with me and Tina, and causing more trouble!"