Title: Who did it?
By Author: Richard Ciciarelli
NO STARS. NOT AN ERROR.
Tag line: The detective knew that one of the big shots was responsible for the body in the trunk. But which one?
Police characters: Detective Anne Caves and Sgt. Bascomb
The gist: A patrolman noticed a car parked illegally and he ticketed it. The next day, it was still there…another ticket. Day 3 he finally calls for a tow. At the compound somebody ran the plate and found it belonged to Joe Quinn, a suspected drug dealer. At that point they searched the car and found Quinn’s body in the trunk. He had been beaten with a tire iron, which was also found in the trunk. Word on the street was Quinn had been looking to expand his territory into his competitor’s area. Quinn had control over the north side of town, yet he was found on the south side, Mac’s territory. The police speculated that one of the other drug kingpins might have done it and left the body in Mac’s territory to frame him. Sgt. Bascomb ordered that the three (?) men be brought in for questioning tomorrow.
The first man, Sam, told Det. Caves that the police have tried to finger him before and they had never been successful. When Det. Caves announced to the three men that it wasn’t drugs that they were investigating, it was murder, and that Quinn’s body had been found on the south side of town, all eyes turned to Mac. Mac denied he had killed Quinn and told police that Quinn had been trying to muscle in on all three of their territories, not just his. He said, “Maybe one of them killed him and left the body on the south side just to make me look guilty.” Man #2, Lou, asked when Quinn died. The answer was 3-4 days ago. Mac said he was out of town in Atlantic City at that time. Sam accused Mac of having ‘one of his boys’ do it and stuff him in the trunk. Mac said he was an honest man who owned car dealerships. Lou owned a construction company and said he was an honest man. Sam told the police he was leaving and if they had anything else to say they could talk to his attorney. The other two men soon followed him out the door.
Forensics called and said they had found fingerprints on the tire iron. Sgt. Bascomb said “If we can match them to one of those three men or to one of their associates we’ll have a case. “
Crime scene: The trunk of a car on the south side of town.
Clues: The police never told anyone where the body was found.
Suspects: The three drug kings.
Red herrings: None.
Solution: Sam gave himself away when he accused Mac of having one of his boys do it and stuffing the body in a trunk. The police had never let that piece of info out. (Kind of a miracle really.)
My two cents: What a lot of hooey. There are so many wrong police procedures here, I don’t think the author has ever – ever – spoken with a real cop.
Let’s start with the title. Boring and unimaginative. Ditto with the tag line. You got a body in a trunk, you got big drug dealers for gawd’s sake, and that’s all you can come up with?? Please tell me that Johnene and all her staff were on vacation and that the janitor wrote that.
First of all when a patrolman sees a car and leaves a ticket, he looks up the plate at that very moment to be able to write the info on the ticket. The cops knew from day one whose car that was. “Somebody” at the compound ran the plates? No, no, no. No. As soon as they found out it belonged to a notorious drug dealer, half the squad would have been out there poking around.
They don’t wait three days when a car has apparently been abandoned. They contact the owner and get the story, and they give him a small window of time to get it off the road.
Would you kill somebody, put them in the trunk, and then park it in an illegal spot if you don’t want it to be found? Duh.
The tow company gets called. The tow guy can’t even take the car until it is inventoried by the police. What if it was your car and you had some expensive stuff in there? The cops, the city, and the tow company have to be protected against lawsuits. So the car is inventoried, everything in it is written down before it is handed over to the tow company. Everything, one would imagine, would include a body in the trunk.
Sgt. Bascomb had the ‘three men’ called in for questioning. What three men? I think something got cut here. All of a sudden we have three men.
The police don’t wait politely for the next day to ask suspects to come in for questioning. Yes, come in, we’ll talk, I’ll make coffee, you bring the donuts. So here they let them have their breakfast, read the paper, go potty, then they ring them up. ((banging head on desk)) Police go out right then and find them. Before they have a chance to flee. Or make up an alibi. Doesn’t matter if it’s 3:00 AM, the police station never sleeps. And if you’re a suspect, neither do you.
The police would never, never, never put all three men on one room and start questioning them. Police Academy, Interrogation 101. Never.
Three known drug kingpins would never show up at the police station without their lawyers. These guys have been in the system before. They don’t open their mouths freely. Unless maybe there’s cake and coffee.
Lou asked the cops when the guy died. Suspects don’t get to ask questions. Police don’t give out information that maybe only the real killer knows. Yet these cops are spilling it like a whore in confession.
Sgt. Bascomb said “If we can match them to one of those three men or to one of their associates we’ll have a case. “ No shit, Sherlock. How dumb do you have to be to be on that police force? Bascomb, is your father the Mayor?This was terrible. I mean it. No stars. Not even one.