Chapter 14: A Message from Beyond
Rachel is walking across the busy street when her cell phone rings.
“Sergeant it’s Jerry, I have some news about Jeff’s phone records.”
“What is it, Jerry?”
“He’s talked to Mike, Larry, and George several times over the last few weeks. Each of these calls lasted over ten minutes.”
“What about the day of the fire?”
“He talked to Larry, George and to a guy by the name of Ed Jones.”
“I want you to look each one up, see what you can find.”
“Do you think they’re the ones who are forcing Jeff to confess?”
“I know the three have a part in all of it.”
“A waitress told me Jeff met up with Mr. Jones and Larry at the restaurant that day and Mike was mentioned in Jack’s note.”
“I’ll see what I can find.”
“Keep me posted.” Stepping in the bank Rachel walks over to the first teller she sees.
“Can I help you with something, Sergeant?”
“Yes, I want to know about your camera’s out front,” she begins.
“Jerry sees the suspect looking around when he walks in the room.
“We ran into a glitch in your story, Jeff.”
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“You said you were home all day, right?”
“Then why does a waitress put you at the dinner twice that day?”
“Maybe she has her days confused.”
“’You didn’t talk to Larry?”
“I didn’t talk to anyone. Ask my wife, she’ll tell you.”
“Then why does your cell phone show you talked to him and several others, Hmm?”
“I want a lawyer.”
“I won’t be able to help you once a lawyer gets involved.”
“I don’t need your help, detective, I need a lawyer.”
“Suit yourself,” Stepping out of the room, Jerry pulls the cell phone out of his pocket.
“Sergeant it’s Jerry. Jeff denies talking to anyone. When I told him his cell phone records proves different, he decides to lawyer up.”
“I have security footage from a bank across the street. I haven’t watched all of it but the part I’ve seen shows Jeff and Larry meeting with another guy three different times this week. I sent you a picture from the security footage. I want you to find out who the guy in the middle is.” Jerry checks his phone.
“The guy in the middle is George Plunkett.”
“Have patrol pick Larry and George up, I’ll grab Mike.”
“You might want to hold off on that.”
“The original plan is still a go.”
You wanted to see us, Larry?” Mike asks as he and George make their way over to the park bench.
“Yeah, I want you to take care of the Jenkins’s once and for all.”
“Abby is sleeping in the trailer behind the hospital, so I want you to go in and take care of her, while her guards are on another call.”
“Just take care of her, alright and guys, don’t screw up this time.”
“Do you want us to take care of Mr. Jenkins too?” Mike volunteers.
“My doctor friend is taking care of him.”
Running to the captain’s office, Jerry knocks on the door.
“Boss, patrol just called said there’s been a fatal accident on Bluebird mountain, they think it’s Abby and the kids.” Joe springs up from his desk.
“You and Kirk head on over, Rachel and I will meet you there.”
A full bright moon lightens their path as George and Mike cautiously make their way towards the trailer.
“It looks like she’s asleep,” George whispers, peeking in the bedroom window.
“It’ll be easier to take her out that way. Here, hold the flashlight just like that,” Mike whispers handing it over. Grabbing tools from his pocket, he starts working on the lock. A large barn owl hoots from somewhere above them causing George to jump.
“Hold the damn thing still!” Mike orders, moving the light back towards the lock.
“It’s kind of spooky out here,” George whines, nervously looking around.
“You’re such a titty baby, George.” Hearing the lock click, Mike looks back towards his friend.
“Are you ready for this?” he asks, slowly opening the door.”
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” George replies, anxiously glancing around. They’d just stepped through the door when a flood of bright lights shines in their face.
“Freeze Police!” Jerry yells. The two turns back towards the door.
“I don’t think so,” Joe says, as he steps onto the porch.
Rushing into the station, Rachel looks around. Not seeing anyone, she runs over to the dispatcher.
“Where is everyone?”
“They’re out on a sting.”
“Still?” Glancing at her watch, Rachel continues.
“Call me when they get back,” she says, stepping into the elevator.
“Hi, Sharon, how are you?”
“I’m fine, thanks.” Smiling the ME continues.
“I bet you’re here about the note.”
“Did you find anything?”
“The only fingerprints on the note belongs to Jack Abbot and the handwriting is his too.”
“I can’t believe it, we’re actually getting somewhere.”
“Glad I could be of assistance.”
“Thanks, Sharon. Seeing the hall was completely empty, Rachel runs to the dispatcher’s desk.
“Have you heard from anyone yet?”
“I think your wife wants to talk to you captain, he says, handing Rachel the phone.
“Are you alright Joe? I’ll have the rooms ready when you get here. Love you too, bye.”
Hearing a commotion at the front door, she quickly turns around. Rachel sees her partners, manhandling two large men through the door.
“Where do you want them, Sergeant?”
“Take Mike to one and George two. I’ll be right there. Oh and guys, Sharon confirmed the note.
“Here that George? We got you now.” Jerry says, pushing him down the hall.
“I..I didn’t do anything.” The large man-child stutters.
Stepping into the first interrogation room, Rachel walks over to the table.
“So George, we know all about you trying to get rid of the Jenkins and we know that you killed Jack too.”
“I didn’t have anything to do with that.”
“I found a note Jack left in the barn that says you did.”
“That can’t be his note, Jack’s dead. He’s been dead for years,” the hefty man nervously replies.
“He left it before he died. When you Larry and Mike were beating him to death.”
“I didn’t do anything to him. I swear I didn’t.”
“Really, because Mike says the whole kidnapping thing is your idea.”
“I have his statement right here,” she says, plopping a piece of paper on the table.
“According to Mike you locked Jack up in the barn and started beating him. When he wouldn’t tell you where Suzanne was you got angry and finished him off.”
“I didn’t do any of that.”
“I don’t believe you, George. No, I believe you got so mad thinking that he did something to your precious Suzanne, that you lost your temper and killed him. Then you hung him in the barn staging it look like he committed suicide.”
“I didn’t, I didn’t.”
“I also have a statement from your mom,” Rachel says, laying another piece of paper down on the table.
“She said that you told her if Jack hurt Suzanne or the girls again, you’d kill him.” Seeing his mom’s shaky handwriting scribbled across the paper George gasps.
“That’s right George I visited your mom in the nursing home today and she told me everything. How you helped Suzanne, gave her food, money, a place to stay. Then she met the heartthrob Jack Arnold, and you were kicked to the curb.”
“That’s not what happened; I dumped her for cheating on me.”
“Cheating on you with Jack, right?”
“I bet that hurt, after everything you’d done for her, all you gave her. Then Suzanne found out what Jack was like and ran back to you, didn’t she?” Remembering how happy he was when Suzanne came back he smiles.
“I bet you were happy that she came back to you, right? You’d probably do anything for her too.”
“I told her I’d help her leave.”
“That’s right you did. You loved Suzanne so much that you worked two jobs just so you could run away together. Then she disappeared. Everyone said Suzanne moved away, but you knew better, didn’t you George? You knew Jack did something to her.”
“Jack did do something to her I know he did!” George says, slamming his fists down on the table.
“So you went to the house to find her. When he wouldn’t tell you, you got angry and started hitting him over and over again.”
“No, that’s not what happened!” He screams, trying to stand up, the shackles pulled him back down.
“It felt so good letting out all of your frustrations on him, didn’t it, George? Didn’t it,” she yells in his face.
“Sure it did. It felt great to hit him over and over again.” Rachel says, putting a picture of the girls on the table. This was followed by a larger picture of Suzanne. Seeing their sweet faces staring up at him he starts to cry.
“Look at what you did to Jack just look!” she yells, placing Jack’s picture on top. George looks away. Picking up the picture, she shoves it in his face.
“See!” she yells.
“I didn’t do it, I didn’t,” he blubbers.
“Yes, you did. You pounded on him over and over again until he died.”
“That’s what happened, isn’t it? Admit it, George. Admit that you beat him to death,” she says, staring him in the eyes.
“No, I didn’t do it! I didn’t,” he bawls, quickly turning away.
“Did Jack tell you he killed your lover? Is that what set you off? Why you killed him!”
“I didn’t kill him, I didn’t!”
“Mike says you locked him up in the barn and beat him to a pulp!”
“I didn’t do it!”
“How does it feel to be a cold blooded killer, George? Tell me how?”
“I’m not a killer! I’m not, I’m not,” he sobs.
“Evidence says you are. Do you know what that means?”
“No,” he bawls.
“That means you’re going away for the rest of your life.”
“No!” He screams.
“You’ll never see your mama ever again,” she says, walking towards the door.
“Ok, ok, I locked him in the barn because Larry told me too, but that’s all I did, I swear is.” Rachel quickly turns around.
“He’s saying you locked him in the barn and a few days later you killed him.”
“Larry hung him from the rafters, not me!”
“He did, I swear he did!”
“Larry said you killed Jack, then you put the rope around his neck to make it look like he committed suicide.”
“I didn’t do that, Larry did. He’s the one that pushed him over the edge,” he says, sobbing harder.
“Bullshit,” the Sergeant says, walking out the door. Jerry walks towards the heaving suspect.
“I believe you, George,” Jerry says, sitting down next to him.
“You do?” he asks, wiping the tears off of his dirt smudged face.
“Yeah, and if you write down exactly what happened I’ll make sure you’re the one that gets a deal.”
“You have to do it now before the others take the deal.” Picking up the pen, George starts writing.
“That’s it George write it all down.” Hearing the door open, they both look up.
“Can I speak to you a minute, detective?”
“I’ll be right back,” he says, walking towards the captain.
“I’m afraid his confession won’t hold up in court.”
“I don’t think he’s mentally competent.”
“What do you want us to do?”
“Why don’t you two take a crack at Larry, see what happens?”
“This is how I want to play it, Jerry. When I glance towards the mirror, I want you to come in with this. Say it’s the note we found.” Rachel instructs, walking towards the second room.
“So Larry, George just told me the whole thing.”
“Whole thing about what?” He smirks, leaning back in his chair.
“What you did to Jack Arnold.”
“I didn’t do anything to that looser,” he says.
“That’s what you want everyone to believe, but George told us the truth.”
“I don’t know what he told you, but it’s lies, all lies.”
“I suppose the letter we found is full of lies too.”
“The one Jack wrote when you were holding him hostage in the barn.”
“He didn’t write a note.”
“Yes, he did and then he taped it to the back of the door.”
“Someone is trying to frame me,” he quickly blurts out.
“I’m having the lab check the handwriting.” Jerry opens the door.
“Sergeant, the lab confirmed that the letter you found in the bar was written by Jack Arnold.”
“Now what do you have to say for yourself.”
“I want a lawyer.”
“So Sergeant how does it feel to solve a forty-year-old case?”
“It feels wonderful, but I couldn’t have done it without these guys,” she says, pointing behind her. They quickly step up to the camera.
“How did you know where to find the note?” Another reporter asks.
“Let’s just say a little birdie told me.” Rachel laughs.
“How did you know?” Jerry whispers.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” Rachel says, stepping through the station doors.
“I message from beyond,” the Sergeant replies, waving her hands in the air.
“Now I know you’re messing with me.”
“I knew you wouldn’t believe me,” she laughs.
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