The order of my stories to read is:
Todd & Melina series, Interludes 1-5, Sperm Wars series, Russian Roulette series, Case of the Murdered Lovers series, Case of the Murdered Chessplayer series, Case of the Executed Evangelist series, The Swap series, Interludes 6-10, The Murdered Football Player series.
The Black Widow, Ch. 01-02
Feedback and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, and I encourage feedback for ideas.
This story contains graphic scenes, language and actions that might be extremely offensive to some people. These scenes, words and actions are used only for the literary purposes of this story. The author does not condone murder, racial language, violence, rape or violence against women, and any depictions of any of these in this story should not be construed as acceptance of the above.
Part 8 – Last Will And Testament
After getting back to Headquarters from lunch with Jack Muscone Thursday afternoon, Paulina Patterson called me into the Chief’s conference room. Inside were Paulina, Jeanine Olivet Burke, Esq., of the Women’s Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe, and her partner Virginia Madison, Esq.
Jeanine, now my niece-in-law, was very heavily pregnant, and she was due to deliver Jack Burke’s baby at any time now. But I was observing her lovely partner.
Virginia was a short, lithe redhead. Her hair was cut fairly short and combed straight out. Her magnificent body was incredibly toned to the point of muscular. She might have been a gymnast in her younger years. She was definitely a hottie.
When Cindy Ross came in at my request, Virginia almost squealed “Are you the one from the Miss Physical America competitions?”
“That’s right.” Cindy said.
“Oh, I’m so glad to meet you!” Virginia gushed, shaking Cindy’s hand vigorously. “I was such a big fan of yours… still am, of course. Oh wow, I can hardly believe it!… you’re such an inspiration to me!”
“That’s very kind of you.” Cindy said, blushing, her face turning almost as red as Virginia’s hair.
“Ladies, what can we do for you?” I asked.
“Several months ago, Tom Burleson came to me and wanted me to write up his will. I did so, and probated it yesterday-” Virginia said.
“I thought you ladies were divorce attorneys.” I said, interrupting.
“We are.” said Jeanine Olivet. “But we’ve begun branching into other things, slowly and usually for people we know well. Go ahead, Virginia.”
“Tom Burleson came to me and said he didn’t want to use other law firms because they were part of what he called the ‘good ole boy’ network. And he’s right about that.” Virginia Madison said. “As to the will itself, there were some peculiar instructions in it. Among them was that if Burleson met a fate other than natural causes within five years, I was to give the police this.” Virginia handed me a key. It was to a safety deposit box.
“The box is at Second National Bank.” Virginia said. Second National was the second largest bank in the County and region, behind the J.P. Goldman Bank.
“Which was not Burleson’s normal bank, if memory serves me correctly.” I said. “Paulina, just to keep things very straight, we need to get a warrant before opening the box.” I said.
“Already taken care of.” Virginia said. “I took the liberty this morning, using the will as the reason. Judge Watts signed off on it. Of course I need to be present with you when the box is opened.”
“Who was the beneficiary of the will?” I asked.
“Tom’s brother and his family received some of the inheritance, but a big chunk of it went to a Wildlife Charity devoted to the cause of preserving fishing.” Virginia replied.
Inside the Second National Bank’s safe deposit box vault, I opened the box with Cindy, Virginia and Paulina looking on. Inside were some old coins, exactly $20,000 in cash, a fake passport and fake New York State drivers license, and a sheaf of papers.
“Oh wow… gold mine.” I said to Cindy a few moments later as we looked at the papers. They were production forms from Ward Harvester, showing the amounts of ingredients to form lots of batches of ammonium nitrate as well as explosive compounds and base chemicals for other explosive compounds. “Paulina, we have probable cause.”
“What do you mean?” the lovely black ADA asked.
“My degree is in chemistry.” I said. “I can tell that these work orders are to make lots of compounds. Everything is typed, but you can see here that the amounts are upped by either 10% or 20%, and those are written in hand on the side of the typed numbers. I’m thinking that these are the extra amounts of these products Ward was making on the side.”
“Wouldn’t they have shown up in the FBI’s evidence?” Paulina asked.
“No.” I said. “I imagine the typed orders are what are on file. Burleson or someone else substituted the extra amounts, then those papers with the handwritten amounts were supposed to disappear. My guess is that Burleson, and possibly the casino siteleri other shift managers, would make the extra amounts then destroy the paperwork… but Burleson decided to keep a copy of some of the papers, either as protection for himself, or perhaps he was blackmailing Ward. Probably the former: if Ward were being blackmailed, he would not have allowed Burleson to keep it up very long, and Burleson would’ve died a long time ago. As it is, there are at least 30 work orders and pallet bagging records for various compounds here.”
Cindy said “So Burleson was being paid extra by Ward to make these batches on the sly, and he kept these sheets for protection along with this cash so he could disappear quickly if he needed to. Perhaps Ward found out he was keeping this and had him killed for it?”
“Good thought.” I said. “But I’m not sure Burleson personally committed any serious crime. So why someone felt the need to kill him is still up in the air. And Martin’s objection still holds: why would Ward have Burleson killed at the Ward plant?”
“Got me stumped there.” Cindy admitted.
“Me, too.” I said, then continued: “Cindy, call Tanya Perlman and have her take a team and go through Burleson’s apartment again, but this time use sonar on the walls, tear out the heating vents, look for cracks in the flooring, and otherwise look very hard everywhere for more cash and more papers.”
“Paulina, go ahead and secure these papers, and use them as you see fit to get warrants. In fact… call Jack Muscone, and together with him get a Federal warrant to get everything, and I mean everything on Ward Harvester. Whatever y’all need to do, get those warrants. I want that information, especially on the production work orders.”
Cindy and Paulina were already scattering as I put the box back into it’s place in the vault and bagged the money and coins, giving Virginia an evidence receipt for them. “Virginia, thank you very much.”
“Mmm, I can see that you are a man that takes charge.” Virginia said. “I like that in a man.”
Later that day, Tanya Perlman called me. “We found $20,000 in two bundles hidden inside hidden holes in the walls of Burleson’s apartment, as well as a fake passport and fake California drivers license with Burleson’s picture on them. He was ready to make a hasty exit if he needed to.”
“Any packed bags or indications that he was about to make that hasty exit?” I asked.
“No, nothing like that.” Tanya said. “Looks like whoever killed him got him by surprise.”
Part 9 – All The University’s Men
It was Friday morning and the large gathering of Media at the luxury Singletree Inn and Suites in the City showed that an important event was happening there. Security tried to keep the reporters off the officials as they came out of their morning meetings to go to another room for a sumptuous lunch.
Tim Dawdle and his cameraman tried hard to get into the throng to an official that Dawdle knew. “Sir, can you tell us if the NCAA is going to investigate the University for PED use? Sir, why is the NCAA not investigating this issue?”
“Tim,” the man said, “you already know that we’ve already investigated those rumors and have closed our investigation. We’re satisfied with the University’s cooperation and response.”
“Sir, that’s not a denial, and I can provide the proof you need to open an investigation. So what can you tell- Uhk!” Dawdle said as a security guard roughly shoved him back, striking the pajama-boy punk in the neck, and obviously enjoying using physical force on such a puny little twerp. The official took the opportunity to hurry along.
It was a similar story with the Conference officials that he tried to interview, and it appeared that Dawdle was at a total dead end. But finally, as the afternoon meetings were in progress, the Deputy Commissioner of the Conference texted Dawdle and granted an off-camera interview in the Deputy Commissioner’s suite at 5:45pm… and told Dawdle to bring any information that he had. Finally, a break! Dawdle thought to himself.
“Okay, Dawdle, this interview is either off the record or deep background.” the Deputy Commissioner said.
“Deep background, and thank you for seeing me.” Dawdle said. “I want to ask why there’s no investigation of the University’s athletic program despite widespread PED use.”
“Well, the NCAA tells me they looked into it and have found nothing worth a full investigation.” the DC said.
“But sir,” Dawdle persisted, “isn’t Coach Gonzales’s leaving under suspicious circumstances worth looking into?”
“I’d have to say that we did contact the school about it.” the DC said. “We also contacted the local police there after that player died. There’s nothing we can pin on the University concerning the coach’s decision to leave nor the death of that unfortunate player.”
“You also have to understand this, Dawdle,” the DC said, getting tired of having to look at the pajama-boy punk’s face, canlı casino “we can’t just waltz into a school and start throwing our weight around, nor can the NCAA. We don’t have subpoena power, we’re not the police. We can investigate to some extent, and the University was very cooperative with us and with the NCAA. There’s just nothing there.”
“But sir, there is a lot there, and I have proof of it.” Dawdle said.
“Proof?” the other man said.
“Yes, sir.” Dawdle said. “At least enough for me to go with a full story when I’ve finished developing it, fully sourced and confirmed. That should be enough for the NCAA to at least look into the University. Look, here’s a copy of what I have, at least enough names and events that should be enough for you to get started looking.” Dawdle handed the official a sheaf of papers.
“Okay, Tim, I’ll tell you what.” the DC said, taking the papers. “I’ll start an informal look into it and see if your info holds up. If it does, and it’s enough to investigate further, I will.”
“It’s more than enough, sir.” Dawdle said. Just two things: First, will you let me know first of anything you find out?”
“Of course, Tim.” the man said.
“And second, do you know how long your investigation will be? Do you think you’ll have something by the end of November?”
“Tim, you know these things take time.” the DC said. “It’ll take me a month at least to get a preliminary report, and then we’d have to go to the NCAA to even start a bigger investigation if something illegal or improper is found. We’re probably talking next Spring or even summer camp for the full investigation to produce results. I know you Media guys need your stories and need them yesterday, but these things go at a slower pace than some of us would like.”
“I understand, sir. Please let me know what you find.” Dawdle said, knowing that he’d have to run with his story without the help of the Conference official. All the better, he thought, Ms. Woodburn would love to run a story of the Conference sitting on this explosive information…
“You did what?” Katherine Woodburn exploded, a look of disgust and disbelief on her attractive face.
“Ma’am, I didn’t know what else to do.” whined Dawdle. “There’s no way they’d start an investigation if I didn’t give them some proof of the need for one.”
“Tim…” Woodburn said, but then caught herself, reminding herself to calm down and get control before she went off on this stupid punk of a pajama-boy cub reporter.
“Tim, do you realize that you’ve given them what we have? That they now know what we know?” Katherine asked, keeping her voice fairly calm. “Please, please tell them that you didn’t give them everything you have.”
“No ma’am.” Tim said, untruthfully. “And I’m still developing a couple of new leads, if I can find Coach Gonzales.”
“Tim,” said Katherine Woodburn, “the problem is that the Conference official tricked you into revealing your information, and I sincerely hope that you were not stupid enough to actually expect that the Conference official would really investigate your leads. What he probably did was give Dr. Wellman, the University president, the information at the ballgame, or at least told Wellman what was going on. And by now Wellman has told Coach Harlan, who can make preparations against your information.”
Tim’s face fell as he realized how badly he had been duped, and it was Bettina Wurtzburg, sitting in on the meeting, who tried to rescue the pajama boy.
“Ms. Woodburn,” said Bettina, making her voice as smooth and persuasive as she could, “there is a silver lining to this: the Conference now cannot say that they didn’t know, because Tim will say he gave them leads. Now if they don’t do anything, we’ve got a huge story based on that.”
“That’s true, but it’s really nothing compared to the damage done.” said Katherine Woodburn. “Well, one thing is for sure, we’re going to have to go with this sooner rather than later. Get the hell out of here and get this story wrapped up.”
As the reporters scurried out, Tim Dawdle tried hard to hide his enthusiasm by pretending shame and humiliation. It was going exactly as the Goth Girl had said it would, that the actions that ‘her man’ had devised for him to take were working: he had given the Conference man the information, told Woodburn what he’d done, and Woodburn was now having to move up the schedule to get the story out. Just what was required of Dawdle by the Goth Girl’s man.
Also, the Conference and University were working together to cover up the mess, which Dawdle would now expose…
It was Monday afternoon, and the University’s stunning upset win had the Town and County buzzing. At 5-0, people were actually getting excited about a run at a title. But not everyone was celebrating nor happy, including at the University President’s office.
“I had a disturbing visit while at the game.” University President Sidney Wellman said to his two guests as he poured them drinks. kaçak casino “The Conference Commissioner brought his Deputy to see me. Seems the Deputy had a visit from a sports reporter here at KXTC during the NCAA and Conference seminars last week. The reporter is that punk Dawdle, and it’s about PEDs.”
“Him again?” Coach Harlan replied. “I thought we were done with that punk and those issues.”
“No, Coach, we’re not. And it’s serious.” Wellman replied.
“How serious, Sidney?” asked the other guest in the room.
“Very.” Wellman said. “The Deputy Commissioner was given some papers amassed by Dawdle. Names of players that might have taken PEDs, information on Coach Speedy Gonzales before he left, including his arrest, release and immunity agreement; and what public information the Police had about that killer, that student Ned, possibly selling PEDs to some of the University athletes. Fortunately, that information is scant, but the Deputy Commissioner said it might be enough for Dawdle to go public with a big story if he adds just a few more pieces.”
“Jesus.” said Coach Harlan, looking visibly distressed.
“Calm yourself, Coach.” the other man said. “Sidney, did the Commissioner share with you what Dawdle has?”
“Yes, Hank, and here’s a copy of it.” Wellman replied, handing a folder with papers to the other man: billionaire alumnus Henry R. Wargrave. Wargrave looked over the material, then handed it to Coach Harlan.
“It does look serious.” Wargrave said. “Coach, you need to jump on this and isolate those named players. If any reporters come around, they should shove them away. If police, the Conference or the NCAA come around, they need to not answer questions without legal representation and you being informed first. I don’t need to tell you to make sure their drug tests are as current as they need to be.”
“We’ve got their clean tests on record.” Coach Harlan said.
“Coach, thank you for coming by.” President Wellman said, attempting to dismiss the coach from the office. “I know you need to get back to preparing your team for the next game. But I know the one after that is going to be the big one, against Coach Richmond’s team. Great victory last Saturday, as well.”
“Yes, it was a great win.” Wargrave said, shaking the coach’s hand as they all stood up. “And I’ll give you some incentive… after this next game, your opponent is that police Lieutenant’s alma mater, and I know you’d like to beat his school down.”
“Yes sir, Mr. Wargrave.” Coach Harlan said. “And it’s where Coach Marshall came from and went back to. I’d really like to spank ’em, but they’re a good team, too. This week we should win easily enough, but against the Wildcats we’re going to have to have our best game if we’re going to win.” The coach said his goodbyes and left.
“So, Hank, what do we need to do?” Wellman asked. “The Commissioner said they could stall an investigation for months, well into next year if need be… but if that little faggot Dawdle comes out with a big story and it generates interest, they might have to act sooner just to cover their asses.”
“I understand.” said Wargrave. “I’ll contact some friends and make sure everything stays nice and calm, and I’ll see what I can do about that out-of-control reporter.”
“We need to be careful about that.” Wellman said, not fearing to call down his extremely wealthy and powerful friend. “That Bettina Wurtzburg rape did us no real favors. We were damned lucky that the Iron Crowbar got to Arruzio before that got worse.”
“Yes, I remember that.” said Wargrave, a bit of anger flashing in his blue eyes under his ash-blonde hair. “Don’t worry, Sidney, I’ll make sure the University’s prestigious reputation remains unsullied.”
“You always do, my friend.” Wellman replied, his smile firm and set. “You always do.”
“That bad, huh?” Angela Harlan said.
“Yeah, that’s what Wellman said.” Coach Brian Harlan said. The cousins were at his apartment, sharing a carafe of wine as he told her about the seriousness of the Dawdle situation.
“What are you planning to do?”
“The other guy in the room, the big alumnus whose name I dare not mention,” said Brian Harlan, “he said he was going to take care of things. Of course he said that the last time this came up… but it was your Lieutenant who actually took care of things, though in a way that seriously compromised me.”
“So it’s this pantywaist reporter Dawdle that’s the problem?” Angela said. “I never did like that little twit on TV.”
“Yeah. Anything you can do about it?”
“Well, I’m relatively new to the Police Force, but I might can have some officers pull him over every hour for going one mile over the speed limit.” Angela said. “But obviously I can’t do anything that comes back to me… then we’re both in trouble.”
“Yeah. We’ve got to find a way to make that little faggot drop the whole thing and leave us the hell alone.” Coach Harlan said, his voice low but anger whipping through every word. “Let me know if you come up with any ideas.”
“Don’t worry, cousin.” Angela said, her voice soft, husky and soothing as she laid back on the sofa and stretched. “If your big-time alumnus doesn’t come through, we’ll get something done.”