Murders in Progress by Eldon Cene

Rape Kit

(Episode 15)

After Leland had dealt with the last of the reporters, he returned to the booth where he sat, eating his pie across from Agent Hailey.  “You want to come with me to visit a suspect?”  He asked.

“Why all the favors?”  Agent Hailey replied.

“As long as you’re going to get pimped, you might as well get paid.” Leland said.  “Besides you may come in handy.”

“Handy?  How so?”  Agent Hailey put down her fork.  She hadn’t eaten much of the pie.  Which was too bad, Leland thought, because the pie was good.  “You want the rest of it?”

Leland rose.  “C’mon, let’s go.”

As they left the café Leland shouted back to Carmella, “Department billing.”

Carmella flipped her receipt book and wrote this on the back of the check.

“Regular tip,” Leland added.

Carmella nodded and scribbled a quick calculation on the front of the check.  “What do you want me to call it?!”  Carmella called after him.   “A date?!”  She flipped the receipt book over again and looked real interested as she smiled at Leland.

“Community rela  …PRESS relations,” Leland corrected himself, and slammed the door behind them.

Out by the Kimmel County Sheriff’s SUV, Leland paused before unlocking the vehicle.  “If you come, you’ve got to promise me this is just between you and us.  The FBI proper needn’t know any of this yet.”

Agent Hailey didn’t hop in.

“Hey.  They ‘pimp’ you out.  They’re assuming you’ll do what’s needed to please the customer.”

Agent Hailey looked up and down the street, perhaps looking for her vanished partner, as she considered this.

“Why don’t you want me to share any of this with the Agency?”  Agent Hailey asked, after she’d settled in and fastened her seat belt.

“Because this town only has one dentist.  And if the FBI were to interrogate him presently, like as not, he’d be whisked off to a black project somewhere and we’d never see hide nor hair of him again.”  He pulled down his lower lip.   “And I’ve got receding gums.”

“Sorry to hear it.”  Agent Hailey replied.

Leland nodded.

Heading out of town by way of a network of back alleys and crossing a dirt lot or two, Leland shook the remnants of the press corps which had stuck to his tail like burrs.  Agent Hailey raised her brows at the irregularity, and gripped the door handle, initially thinking that perhaps this Sheriff was the town lunatic.  But when Leland indicated the rear view mirror with a nod of his head, Agent Hailey looked behind and caught the method behind this madness.  The last of the press vehicles was bottomed out on a log hidden in a field of weeds and the fellow was getting slowly out to inspect the damage.

“So…” Leland began as they hit the paved road leading north out of town with a brief chirp of the tires, “…Ramey, our local dentist / psychic.”  And he began filling Agent Hailey in on the details to date as he drove swiftly north.

By the time they had reached Ramey’s, Agent Hailey was pretty well up to speed on all that Leland presently knew about the case – as it applied to Ramey.

“It sounds to me like we have already located the killer,” Agent Hailey said as they pulled into Ramey’s gravel drive.  There was another car there, which Leland knew to be Doctor Chatham’s.  “Unless you believe this man can truly predict events?” Agent Hailey adjusted her hip holster to cant her duty weapon a bit more comfortably. The Glock 23 functioned flawlessly, in sand, rain, and mud, but carried like a plastic brick.

“Were it so simple,” Leland sighed, remained seated in the car and indicated Agent Hailey should do likewise.  “But there are ways any normal person, and especially a hypersensitive Dentist/Psychic like Ramey could have come across a snippet of this information around here.  And then there are some other discrepancies.  Ramey doesn’t have any buddies to speak of, and all indications are that these crimes involve two perps.  Second, I know that Ramey is nervous around any kind of weapon.  And third, I just have a real hard time imagining Ramey as any kind of sadistic murderer.”  Leland indicated Agent Hailey’s revolver.  “So let’s not shoot him, just yet.”

“Fine,”  Agent Hailey said, holstering her revolver.  “Do I take the front or the back?”

“You take the side,” Leland indicated with a toss of his head.  “That way you’ll be able to see both exits.  I’ll go in.  Give me five minutes.  And I’ll either step back out and wave you in,  or you can break down the door and come in shooting.”

“Gee.  Sounds like fun.”

So that’s what they did.  Agent Hailey stationed herself twenty yards south of the house, where she could see both entrances to the home with revolver raised and locked in both hands.  And Leland rang the buzzer.

Doctor Chatham answered it, peering out the cracked door.  Leland had to bend down to hear him.

“He wants a rape kit,” were the first words Doctor Chatham uttered.

“You’re kidding,” Leland replied.

“Noooope!”

Photo by Carl Nelson

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One Response to “Murders in Progress by Eldon Cene”

  1. schn00dles Says:

    Eldon would like to thank one of our readers, Donn Trenton, whose technical and writerly prowess was of help in writing this particular episode. 🙂

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