Chapter 66 – Basingstoke Police Station
As the news of the arrests broke, the media moved from Blackbushe to Basingstoke Police Station.
The small regional Police station was located in a side street near the town centre and had no facilities to host such a large gathering. So in the interests of public safety the Hampshire Chief Constable asked the Chief Constable of the Metropolitan Police for help once more. The Hampshire Chief Constable also had an ulterior motive to speak to the most senior ranking Police officer in Britain, he wanted some praise and recognition for the successful arrests.
The Metropolitan Police Chief did indeed congratulate his colleague, but before the Hampshire Chief Constable could request assistance to deal with the overwhelming press interest in Basingstoke, the Metropolitan Police Chief requested that the prisoners were transferred to the high security Paddington Green Police Station in central London. The Metropolitan Police Chief didn’t say that he had already had the staccato Charles on the phone from MI6 suggesting such a move.
The Chief Constable issued a statement at 5 PM that the prisoners would be moved to Paddington Green the following day, and a press conference would be held there the next morning at 10 AM. The Police hoped this would send the hordes of press away from Basingstoke back to London. Instead it had the opposite effect. Since Paddington Green is where the UK detains terrorist suspects, the media put two and two together and made five, and it led to speculation that the murders may be linked to terrorist activity.
On arrival at Basingstoke Police Station, Keith had a hot shower and some beans on toast. The humble meal had never tasted so good, and he asked for another portion.
His mother had sent some clean clothes with a note written in her characteristic hand. The envelope had been opened before he received it. In the note she had said he had been on the BBC News and she was very proud of him. She also said that the nice lady Police officer who had stayed with her, said he could phone her from the Police station. He did so at the first opportunity.
‘Oh Keith, thank goodness, I have been so worried, are you alright?’
Keith almost wept at the joy of hearing her familiar voice, but to keep his emotions in check he resorted to his scientific thought process, ‘Yes I’m fine, it is good to hear your voice, I am at Basingstoke Police station and they have given me something to eat and I have had a hot shower.’
‘That’s nice dear.’
‘I have explained that I didn’t kill those women, and I hope they will release me soon.’
‘That’s nice dear.’ She carried on speaking to him as if he were still nine years old. ‘Now Keith dear, you tell the Police the whole truth and I’m sure it will be alright.’
‘I will.’ He replied.
There was an awkward silence. Neither could bring themselves to discuss the death of Patch, which was just too upsetting.
His mothers’ voice on the line broke the silence, ‘I have a nice surprise waiting when you get got home’. But she didn’t say what.
The Police officer sitting next to Keith in the telephone cubicle tapped his watch indicating that Keith’s should end his call.
He said, ‘Sorry mother, I must go now, I’ll call you again when I can.’
She ended with ‘take care my son’ which was the closest she would ever get to saying she loved him.
As Keith’s mother put down the phone she patted the sleeping puppy on her lap. She had found the breeder on the internet. Keith was going to be delighted.
Keith’s interrogation took place in a cell with a solicitor present. Detective Inspector Amit Chakrabarti took his statement. Since the event at the car boot sale, it was quite clear that the likely murderer of the horsewoman with the bow and arrow was the now the deceased Henry of Gloucester, and the most likely assailant of the decapitated horsewoman was Eustace.
There was a string of minor charges that could have been thrown at Keith such as aiding and abetting a petty theft when they stole the Kebab, but as this had never been reported as a crime in the first place it was not really worth the paperwork.
Keith confessed to it all, and Amit was getting fed up with Keith’s incredible attention to detail by the time he finished.
He was minded to release Keith on bail providing he surrendered his passport, but then there was the matter of the rape. Keith clearly wasn’t party to it, but had witnessed the rape.
Amit took the statement to the Chief Constable who was just on route to another media interview, and so was not best pleased to be delayed. The Chief Constable decided to allow Keith’s bail; he didn’t want details of a rape tarnishing his moment of glory and he justified it on the basis that that crime had also gone unreported. He didn’t tell Amit, but another reason for allowing the bail was he had also been told in a further call from the Chief Constable’s office of the Metropolitan Police, that the Security Services no longer had an interest in Keith Maxwell. This was code for MI6 weren’t interested in him anymore on national security grounds.
Keith went home to his mother, and named his new puppy Strudel. It was a German shepherd, and Strudel was his mother’s favourite desert. After Keith had a long soak in the bath they had Chicken Chasseur for dinner with Apple Strudel and custard for pudding. Keith let Strudel lick the custard in his bowl. His mother chastised him, and then let Strudel lick her own bowl clean.
Keith went to bed at 9 PM and slept to 10 AM the next morning. When he awoke his first thought was to search for Patch on his bed, but then it all came back to him.
Strudel was too young to go out for walks, she hadn’t yet had all her injections. So next morning Keith played with her in the garden and then read all the newspaper cuttings about the murders that his mother had diligently kept in date order. He also watched some of the TV News coverage which his mother had recorded.
His mother had gone to get her hair done, and then she said she was going shopping at the local supermarket. So he was able to spread the cuttings out on the dining room table and compare them.
He couldn’t believe how wide of the mark some of the journalism was. Some of it was just fiction, total fabrication.
He watched the recording of the press conference fiasco at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory where his boss Professor Helen Collins and that PR dork he never liked David Thomas, had been torn to shreds. He also remembered he should email his boss.
Keith was fascinated by the story about the three Witches. He watched the TV footage of them over and over again, and stared at the pictures of them in the paper. He could not deny it to himself that he was especially attracted to the tall red haired woman whose name was Ellen. He was sure it was her who had mysteriously driven up in a 4x4 vehicle just before the Police had arrested them at Fleet Pond. But she had not been dressed like she was on the TV. Wow!
As he let the recording of the BBC News bulletin of the SAS helicopter landing at Blackbushe play in the background, he found his laptop and booted it up. He noted he had 317 unread emails in his Inbox. He ignored them, and emailed his boss Helen to say his was back at home and would be returning to work next week. He got an instant ‘Out of Office’ reply, apparently she was on long term sick leave. He found out later this was due to the stress that had started at the press conference fiasco.
He was about to close the lid on his laptop when the news story on the television showed an extraordinary clip of an interview with the small yellow eyed Witch on the American chat show Spiers Morgan. He had the TV volume turned down, but he vaguely remembered a story about Spiers Morgan leaving his job at the Daily Chronicle under a cloud. Anyway it hadn’t done him any harm, he was doing well now.
The TV footage cut to a clip of the three Witches stepping out of a Rolls Royce and attending a West End show. There was close up of Ellen. He grabbed the remote control and froze her picture on the screen, she was extraordinary. Her eyes seemed to reach out of the television and stare through him. It made him shiver, and goose bumps rise on his forearms. He had never experienced such an emotion.