Secrets And Lies
Albert Camus: You see, a person of my acquaintance used to divide people into three categories: those who would prefer to have nothing to hide than have to lie, those who would rather lie than have nothing to hide, and finally those who love both lies and secrets.
A case file smacked down on the table in the interrogation room, making the contents spill, revealing crime scene photos of Allison Dale in her kitchen. Henry stood behind the one sided mirror, never allowed to be in the room, only authorized to listen. Of course, he did like to call Jo during her interrogation telling her things he needed to know about the suspect, even if it annoyed her quite a lot. He watched Jo, who had her intimidation mask on. Which always showed that she took her job seriously.
The quaint room was quiet, still enough to hear a pin drop to the floor. Not that pins were actually falling, but there was a fly buzzing around. Jo walked around the table―where Antony Dale sat―many times. She knew giving the suspect the cold shoulder would put enough doubt and fear in the man to tell her the absolute truth. He was a huge suspect in a homicide investigation for crying out loud, lying even more would only make him guiltier.
Henry picked up on Jo's unique method of getting the truth out in the open, and found that it was working like a charm; Anthony's palms were sweating, nervousness creeping up on him since jail wasn't a safe peaceful place.
At that moment, that's when the detective struck hard. It was all about timing. She slammed her hands on the table, palms resting upon on the crime scene photos, looking right at the nervous man. "You lied to me Mr. Dale." She said nothing else, waiting for the suspect to take the bait, still keeping her tantalizing stare. Cops always needed to have a tough look, if not no one would respect them. Fear was something they sometimes needed to use against criminals. Without it, the world would be much more messed up.
Right on time, the Italian broke down. "Do you know how bad it would have looked? The husband having a fight with his wife and then a few hours later she is murdered!" He yelled, fists clenching up in anger.
"That was a wrong move Mr. Dale. You lied and now you look even more culpable." Jo answered, sounding stern and playing the bad cop.
"I did not murder my wife! Why would I? I love―I loved her!" He contested, starting to stand up.
"I suggest you sit down." Detective Martinez warned, sitting down herself. The man sighed following her lead. "If you are innocent, tell me why you were fighting." Jo commanded, tilting her head and crossing her arms around her bust.
Tony looked down at his shaking hands, fiddling with his wedding ring. Instead of doing the logical thing and answering the detective's simple question, he took the hard route. A more difficult route for Jo that is. "I want my lawyer. I am not answering any more questions without him." He said stubbornly. Some people did not have any common sense. If they were not guilty, why did they always have to make the bothersome lawyer move? It made closing the case longer for nothing.
Henry could see Jo getting impatient, but she camouflaged it easily. "That is not a good idea Mr. Dale. The evidence is pilling against you." She leaned forward menacingly, in a rather low voice.
The man tried to build up his composure, smirking. "And what is this evidence you have obtained?"
"There are your skin particles under the nails of your deceased wife, showing that your fight was either physical or she scratched you when figuring out you had poisoned her. Also, lying to a cop is always looked upon while on trial. And we shouldn't forget not having an alibi for her time of death and being rather defensive while being questioned. Do you think this can be called evidence pilling up? Well, I can." She showed a light smirk, but kept her intimidating visage.
Henry let out a stifling laugh, knowing she had just won this fight. He was going to sing like a bird after that speech, and without his lawyer.
"She had an affair." Anthony said quickly, sighing and rubbing his face, quite depressed. "I had found out a few days ago and decided to confront her."
"Well, there's your motive." Hanson came up next to Henry, watching the suspect.
"I don't think he killed her." Henry responded, not explaining his opinion.
"Why not Sherlock?" Hanson cocked his head toward the Englishman, not convinced. "He just found out his wife was sleeping with another man. What husband wouldn't get angry?"
"If it was a spontaneous murder full of anger, why would he kill her with cyanide? Nobody carries cyanide around with them just in case someday they would want to poison a person." Henry stated, making Hanson feel quite inferior. "Now if you excuse me. I really want to listen to the rest of the inquiry." The immortal went back to focus on the scene in the other room.
"How did you find out? Did you see them together?" Jo inquired. This case was getting interesting. Murder cases usually always had some adultery stuffed in there someplace or another.
"No I found a photo of her...with him." He growled, depositing the discriminating evidence from his trouser pocket onto the table and placing his index finger on the face of the smiling man holding Allison in his arms affectionately.
"You never even saw her talk to him? Perhaps via the phone?" Jo suggested.
"There would have been no chance seeing them together again."
"Why? Because you threatened her not to get close to him?" The detective asked, firm voice.
"Of course not! It's because they severed the affair six years ago!" The man's fists punched the table, losing grasp on his emotions. He then sighed. "She had the affair a long time ago. Why would I kill her? The past is the past." He stared right at her with his pleading eyes, like he wanted her to believe him.
"Fine. Do you know the name of this man?" Jo leaned back into the chair, pointing to the picture laid on the table.
"I didn't see any opportunity to ask."
Jo studied him, continuing. "Before you are free to go, tell me more about the fight you had with your wife." She crossed her arms.
"I was angry with her. Even if it happened six years ago, we still had a big fight. I decided to cool off and leave for a while, but she grabbed onto my arm. That's how my skin went under her nails. Then I left, as I told you before, around eight." He explained.
"Ok. Now explain to me why you took so long to call Johnny. What did you do between then? You were out for an hour and twenty minutes before arriving at his house." She commented, waiting for a response, relieved the man changed his mind about gaining a lawyer. She hated them, all cops did.
Anthony seemed to get impatient. Being interrogated for over an hour and staying in the police station for over two was enough to put a man over the edge. It didn't help that he found himself repeating the same things quite a lot. "I ran till eight-thirty in Central Park, then sat on a bench for twenty minutes, wondering how I was supposed to calm the waters between me and my wife. At nine I phoned Johnny and then walked to his house since I forgot my wallet at home and didn't have any money for a taxi. It took twenty minutes, and voilà! I arrived at nine twenty." He threw his hands into the air, signaling he was finished.
Jo looked over at the one-way glass, somehow waiting to be done. It seemed she needed to make sure that her phone was not about to ring; from a certain immortal. No taps on the glass or ringing in her ears meant the liberty to end. So she did.
"Thank you for your time Mr. Dale." She said, as the man got up.
She then stopped him. "And next time, don't lie during a murder investigation."
"After this experience, I won't. Please find justice for my wife, and put the psychotic person who killed her in jail."
"I assure you Mr. Dale, I always find the truth." She then picked up the photo. "I'll be holding on to this." And she left, leaving the door open behind her. She entered the listening room next door, walking next to the detective and the medical examiner, crossing her arms in deep thought. "I don't think he killed her."
Hanson let out a groan. "You too? Come on, people have killed for less."
"But not this guy." Henry butted into the conversation.
"Wasn't it you, Detective Martinez, who believed that murder is usually never complicated and is normally the first guy to be suspected?" Hanson asked, seeing some change brewing inside his co-worker that started when Henry came into their lives.
"Yes, and I still do. But, killers who don't want to get caught never make it simple for us to solve. And my intuition tells me the husband is not the culprit. Anyway, we now have another suspect that can go on our list. Hanson, could you give me a name to go along with this face?" She handed him the photo.
"I'll get right on it." He walked out of the room, starting his search for the John Doe’s identity.
"We should have lunch." Henry spoke up, saying something off topic. Facing her.
"What? I don't have time right now. We need to catch a cyanide poisoner and we have to go to Allison's work. We might find something useful." Jo argued, too preoccupied with her work, thinking she should never take a break during her police investigations.
"As your friend, I command you since it's after twelve and you didn't even eat breakfast." He commented, looking out for her. Jo was about to object, but Henry didn't let her. "Let's go, we have to wait for Hanson to ID the man anyway and the fingerprints from the crime scene are still being processed. I know this really good traditional Chinese place not far from here. The fortune cookies are never true, but the food is exquisite."
Jo bit her lip, contemplating whether to accept this endearing proposal. She gave in when her partner told her that he would pay for the both of them. She did need to eat, and Chinese was her favorite cuisine. "Fine, but if Hanson or the forensics lab calls―"
"We will leave in a hurry to investigate." He finished her sentence, pushing her out of the premises.
The restaurant was a quaint little place, but still had a family orientated atmosphere. It was strangely situated under a brick house in the basement. It was not very pleasing to the eyes, but the food was traditionally great and they had many regulars to prove it. Right after entering, the two customers were showered with kindness and hospitality from the cheery owner who only spoke a bit of English and was hard to understand. However, Henry soon solved that. He conversed with the old woman in her language, making the woman look pleased, showing both her rows of yellow teeth. It seemed―for her―a toothbrush was overrated.
"You look lovely today Miss Cho, my usual place." Henry transferred back to English, so that Jo could comprehend once again.
"Mr. Morgan, of course! This way." Mrs. Cho spoke with a strong accent, directing the duo to a table for two. "No Abe?" She then asked.
"Not today, I brought someone else." He glanced at Jo who started to sit on one of the wooden chairs.
"Ohhhh! Beautiful girl! Nice face!" The old lady in the red kimono cried, clapping her hands together. "Get food now." She simply implied, hurrying away to a young Chinese man, screaming and giving orders in her dialect. It seemed she had completely altered her personality. Warm kind old lady to a commanding tuff one. Jo enjoyed her second persona, probably her real one.
"Well, she was nice. It looks like Mrs. Cho really enjoys your company." She joked, glancing at the old lady who was keep staring at her partner. "It must be the British accent." She smirked.
Henry also glanced at the waving lady, then looked back at Jo. "She only likes me because I usually bring Abe with me. Didn't you notice how her face fell when I said that Abe was not with me today?" Henry had observed.
"Nice observation. So, how long have you been coming here...with your son?" She asked, fiddling with her phone.
"Around two years." He responded, noticing how she kept her phone on the table and really close to her too, like it was her gun. She really couldn't take her mind off her job for one minute. Even being immortal could not do that. "The case will not fall apart just because the famous Jo Martinez is having lunch with a friend for half an hour." He reassured her.
"Well, it's better being safe than sorry." She put away her phone in her pocket since Henry seemed annoyed by her constant peering at the cellular device. "Aren't we suppose to order?" She asked, picking up a menu.
"This is why I love eating here. Mrs. Cho has a gift. Just by looking at you, she can guess the best dish for you, and she hasn't been wrong yet." Henry smirked, enjoying their little small talk. It was different; not chatting about murder nor immortality.
"I wonder what she will bring me then." She said, sounding intrigued.
"You'll know now, our food is coming." He saw a waiter placing two platters in front of them. One for him and the other for Jo. He watched her take the first bite, smirking as he saw her face soften as she took another bite.
"Mmm…This is good. Kung Pao chicken, my favorite. You're right, she does have a gift. What did you get?" She asked, stuffing more food in her mouth (as much as she could pick up with chopsticks).
"I have Chow Mein, but it varies every time I come here. She says my pallet is always changing." He shrugged, using his chopsticks with ease, which peaked some interest in Jo.
"I guess you've been to China? The way you're using those chopsticks and how you spoke Chinese seems to show it." She pointed out, swallowing her food.
"Yes, many times. Beautiful place. If you ever go, I'll gladly be your tour guide." He offered.
"I guess I'll go one day. I mean I have a lot of time on my hands." She remarked, knowing only Henry would understand her half serious half witty comment.
"Do you feel scared, being in this situation so suddenly?" Henry asked, knowing she understood what he was asking, changing the mood drastically. His face full of sincerity.
"Did you?" She responded with a question, placing her utensils on the table mat. Their conversation was more important than food.
"In the beginning, I was terrified. Looking for answers where there was none. Even now, I get scared. Not knowing what could happen in the near future. But, you know what I have realised, living all these years? I am not scared about what the future might hold for me, but for humanity. I have seen wars, famine, murders and terrible disasters. I just never know what might happen next. That my friend, is not what I want you to feel...alone. You are lucky to have as many answers, because when I was reborn, I didn't have a single one." He patted her hand, as a sign of comfort. Not exactly sure if it was helping more her than him.
"After that speech, I don't think I have the right to be scared." She laughed. "I do worry sometimes, but I can't change what happened. When Sean died, I always thought what if. What if I saved him? What if he survived? But, working with you all this time made me realise that the past is the past, it's the present we have to live in and the future we have to look out for." She smiled, enjoying this heart to heart talk, and went back to eating.
"Well said detective. Couldn't have explained it better myself." He told her. "Now, about this murder..."
"HA! I thought you didn't want to talk about it while we were here." Jo realised.
"Now, now. We both know you are dying to talk about it too. If I hadn't said anything, you certainly would have." Henry commented, making a point. She did want to go over everything. Get the evidence right and place everything so it would fit perfectly, and the thing that wouldn't fit would be the anomaly. The anomaly defining the error that the killer made. In every murder investigation, the murderer always slips up some way or another. Humans can never perform tasks perfectly. She only had to find the imperfection, and then everything would fall into place.
"If the husband didn't do it, then who did?" Henry mumbled, in deep thought.
"There could be a chance our mystery guy killed her. Or what about the pizzeria owner, Johnny Milano?" Jo recommended, also pondering hard.
"What's her job again?" Henry asked, slowly masticating his food.
"Wedding planner. She works in a little bridal shop close to Times Square." She answered.
"Maybe one of her co-workers killed her." The Englishman mused, posing his hand on his chin.
"We can go and ask some questions before closing time. Maybe the killer will hand him or herself over on a silver platter." Jo spoke, rather liking that idea of less work to do. Certainly less paperwork. She liked working in the field, at a desk was another story to say the least.
"That's a rather strange way of putting it―" The man was cut short when he heard a phone ring; Jo's phone. He listened as Jo responded, only saying a few casual words. When she put it back in her pocket, she stood up, ready to leave.
"Was it Hanson?" He asked, placing some money on the table, not forgetting to tip generously. "That was fast."
"No, it was Lucas. He analysed the fingerprint evidence found in the victim's house. Listen to this, he found four different people. The husband and wife, an unidentified print and the results of one Angelica Roswell." She said, satisfied of what the lab had found.
"Do you mean the daughter of Mike Roswell, founder and billionaire of Roswell Oil Incorporated?" Henry asked, shocked but intrigued. He had heard many stories about that company. Some said Mr. Roswell was corrupt, but others were willing to swear that he was a kind middle aged man, who donated millions to charities.
"Yeah, we had her prints because she was arrested at sixteen for drinking while driving." She explained. "But, I don't understand how she is connected to the victim."
"I may be able to shine a light on that matter. Abe reads the newspaper a lot you see, and he sometimes reads out loud. I remember him clearly reading that Miss Roswell is engaged, soon to be married." He said, waving farewell to the owner and opening the front door like a gentleman.
"Now there is the connection. Why don't we go and see how the plans for the wedding is going? She might have to postpone her big day, since murder had entered the picture..."