Tuesday, September 29, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Page 43

"I didn't go back! I can't even think for remembering seeing that old witch laying there in all that blood! She got what she deserved, but I didn't give it to her! Oh, please, please! Believe me!"

Tina jumped up so quickly that she overturned the kitchen chair and then ran from the room, leaving the two men looking after her.

"Well, Zeb! What do ya think? Did she do it or not?"

Zeb shook his head negatively. 

"No, I don't believe she did, but she does need help. Just a minute, Pix, and then we'll go."

Picking up the card containing his pastor's number, from the phone table, Zeb headed for the bedroom where Tina had fled.

He knocked on the door, head down, and waited.

Getting no response, he silently opened the door. 

Tina had opened a bottle of pills and was cramming some of them into her mouth.

Zeb rushed to her side. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 42

"Okay, Tina. We have a cigarette butt that tells us you were there at some time during the past twenty-four hours. We are quite sure that your mother-in-law would not be the kind to leave them lying around to clutter up her apartment.  

"I'm also sure that if we match the color of your lipstick with that on the cigarette that we found, it will be the same. By your own admission, you got back some time yesterday evening. You have a dress with more blood on it than you could have gotten from such a small scratch. Besides, the scratch looks older than a week's duration. Did you kill your mother - in - law?"

"No! No! I didn't. Okay, yes, I was there; in fact, I saw someone running out of the building when I got there. Ruth had called me after Fred left and told me that me and him had better get our act together; we weren't getting any more money from her. I went over to confront her.

"By the time I got there, she had been killed. I found her in a pool of blood. When I knelt down beside her, to check on her, I got blood all over my dress. I saw she was dead and there wasn't nothing I could do for her. I swear! I didn't do nothing to her. When I got up from the floor, I ran out and came home. I changed clothes and put the dress into that bag and carried it out to the garbage can. That's everything."

By the time Tina finished telling her story, she was shaking so bad, she couldn't hold the coffee cup that she gripped between two hands.

"Did you go back after you got home? Miss Iva Jean said she saw a woman running out of the apartment sometime this morning after sunrise."

"No! No! I didn't go back. I swear to you!"

Thursday, September 17, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job- Day 41

"Ms. Tina, we need to talk some more."

Zeb poured himself a cup of black coffee and sat at the table.

"You were at your mother- in- laws' apartment this morning, were you not? What were you doing there?"

Tina's face blanched.

"I don't know what you are talking about! Why would I want to go there? How could you accuse me of such a thing?"

"I believe that you showed up at her place some time after your husband left. Why don't you tell us about it?"

"I got nothing to say! You can't prove that I was! Can you?"

"I know that you were! Now, you want to tell us the truth, or do we just make up the answers for you?"

"Ha! Feel free! I dare you to!"

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 40

"We are holding him on suspicion; but are exploring other avenues of possibilities for the time being."

"Well, he didn't do it! The two of them may have argued a lot, but they always ganged up on me. He was a Mama's boy, through and through. You should have seen the way they blamed me for my sweet little boy's disappearance. To hear them talk, I took him to the big city and literally gave him to the nearest stranger that would take him."

All at once, Tina's face crumpled up  and she sat down at the kitchen table and lay her head on her arms, weeping uncontrollably. 

"Oh, my baby! My baby! I miss him so!"

Pix looked at Zeb and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "Whadda we do now?" 

Zeb went to the cabinet, picked up a cup and poured a cup of coffee, then added some milk to it, plus a healthy serving of sugar.

Walking over to Tina, he put his hand on her shoulder and patted it, tenderly.

"Please, won't you have some coffee and tell me if there is someone I can call to come over and sit with you for awhile? You don't need to be alone right now."

Tina sat up and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. Then picked up the paper napkin and blew her nose.

"I'll be okay.  You're awful nice to worry; but I ain't gonna bother nobody else with my problems."

"Can you explain how come this dress was not taken by the trash men, if you used it on your cut hand last week?" Pixley inquired of her.

"Sure, I had thrown it in the trash can in the kitchen and I guess Fred found it and threw it out yesterday morning. They don't come by here until tomorrow."

Saturday, September 12, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 39

Looking more closely, Zeb noticed an older scar, higher on her wrist. That scar looked more serious. He realized that at one time, she must have considered taking her own life.

"I see," he said. "Tina, do you have anyone you can talk to about things that bother you? A pastor, or a good friend? Let me give you my card. I can refer you to someone who can listen to you. I'm writing her number on the back of my card. Please call her. Okay?"

"I'll see. I ain't sure I want to be talking to any of these do-gooders. They're too judgmental. Always telling folks what they should do."

"This is my pastor's wife. She doesn't judge anybody; just listens. Okay?"

"Well, maybe. I guess I'll think about it." 

She tossed the card onto the end table where the phone sat.

"Do you happen to know where Fred is? You arrested him, maybe? I ain't heard from him since I talked on the phone to him day before yesterday." 

Friday, September 11, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 38

The two detectives walked around through the house as Tina Lyman made the coffee and heated the doughnuts in the small microwave on the kitchen counter.

Standing with her arms folded and leaning against the counter, she watched as they flipped articles over and did a cursory search through the rooms.

They returned empty handed and smiled at her. Then, PIxley went out the back door and within minutes came back in carrying a plastic bag, holding it open; a bloody dress hanging from the opening was evident.. 

Tina blanched and began to splutter. 

"Oh, I'd forgotten about that old dress. When I was getting ready to leave last week, I accidentally cut my hand and the blood got on it. That's not her blood. It's mine! I swear to you! Honest!"

"Could I see your hand, please?" asked Zeb, reaching out to examine it.

She held the hand behind her back momentarily, then produced it. He saw a mark on her wrist, one that could have happened anytime, he realized.

"Hmmm. That doesn't look very serious to have produced that much blood!"

"I happened to have hit a vein and nearly never got it stopped! Fred was gone to work and I was scared I would bleed to death."

Thursday, September 10, 2015

O'Hanlon on the Job - Day 37

Walking over to the couch, Tina sat down and leaning back into the pillow on it, folding her arms, she asked, "Okay, so tell me, how did she buy the farm? You know, how did he do it?"

"You really hated her, didn't you, Mrs. Lyman?" Zeb looked into her eyes.

"Please!!! Don't call me by her name! Call me Tina! Tina is my name! Yes, I hated her. She made my life miserable from the time she first laid eyes on me. Then when someone stole my sweet little boy, and I went into a depression, well... let's just say, it was horrible for me. She made Fred miserable, too. He could never do enough to please her."

Eyes glittering with tears and hatred, Tina leaned forward.

 "So, how did she bite the dust? How was she killed? Maybe hit over the head with one of those knick-knacks she keeps sitting around that fancy-schmancy apartment, or maybe choked with one of the silky scarves she's always wearing? Or maybe stabbed with one of the kitchen knives?"

"Let's just say she is dead by the hands of someone we've yet to determine, Tina." Zeb replied kindly. "Do you mind if we take a look around your home?"

"Ya got a search warrant on ya? If so, yeah, go ahead. Oh, heck, go on. I ain't got nothing to hide. Look all you want to. I'll even make us some coffee." 

Tina got to her feet and walking into the kitchen, proceeded to put water into the coffee pot to make the brew.

"Ya hungry? I got some doughnuts in here that I stopped and bought at the store this morning. I'd just got in with them when you got here. You cops like doughnuts, I reckon, leastwise, I've always heard you do."