Midnight Owl (A Joe Leverette Mystery, Book 1)

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Ken Denton was scheduled next. He called to say that he would be a little late so that had given Leverette and Marsden enough time to talk to Carole Sage.

Leverette couldn’t get her off his mind. He hoped they’d end this case soon so he could ask her out. If they hadn’t interviewed her and he’d just met her he could have. Damn!

The desk sergeant called Marsden to let him know Denton was here. He went out to get him while Leverette sat and waited.

When Denton and Marsden walked in Leverette watched as Marsden pointed to the chair for him to sit. Then Marsden sat in his own chair.

“I don’t know what else I can tell you that I didn’t tell you yesterday,” Denton said.

“Sometimes when people get a chance to sleep on it they remember things,” Leverette said with an ‘I mean business’ attitude.

“Sleep on it? You think I was able to sleep on it?” Denton yelled. “I didn’t get any sleep last night. I don’t think I’ll ever sleep again!”

Marsden and Leverette looked at each other. Ms. Lang had said the same thing.

“We understand finding the leg like you did is a bit traumatic,” Marsden started to say.

“A bit traumatic? You think it was just a bit traumatic?” Denton yelled again. “It’s not something you come across on a normal day.”

“Calm down Mr. Denton. We don’t want you to have another heart attack,” Marsden said in his soothing voice.

Denton looked down at the table top and took a breath.

“You’re probably going to think I’m crazy,” he started then looked up at each of the detectives. “I dreamt about that leg.”

“What did you dream?” Leverette asked.

Denton looked at Leverette to see if he was mocking him. He wasn’t.

“I saw this man, I think it was a man anyway, dressed like a surgeon. I’ve seen my share of them over the years. There was a woman lying on a table cut into pieces. He picked up her right leg and put it into a black garbage bag, looked me right in the eyes and shushed me.”

Marsden was making notes as Denton spoke.

“Did you recognize anything?”

Denton thought for a bit and said “No. Couldn’t see the lady’s face or his. Just his eyes.”

“What about the room?” Marsden asked.

“Just a room. Didn’t look too big and only had one light hanging.”

Marsden and Leverette exchanged glances.

“Why what’s up?” he said noticing them look at each other.

“Nothing,” Marsden said.

“You think I’m nuts, then.”

“No,” Leverette said. “We have open minds when it comes to insight.”

“Oh,” Denton said. “Can I go now? I don’t have anything more to tell you. Oh, I just remembered; after he looked at me I heard an owl hoot three times.”

“Okay, you can leave just stay close to home,” Marsden said, “In case we need to talk to you again.”

“Not a problem,” Denton said and stood up.

The detectives stood and Leverette opened the door.

“Have a nice day,” Leverette said.

“Yeah, right,” Denton said and left.

They sat at the table and slightly faced each other.

“That makes two who had dreams,” Marsden said looking at his notes. “You believe in this crap what do you think?”

“Hard to say,” Leverette said and sat back in his chair thinking a minute.

The rest of the interviews went the same with only one who didn’t say anything about a dream. Shin Yoo. He seemed a little nervous and this sent up red flags for the two detectives.

“I told you,” he said to the detectives, “I haven’t been to the house since my father’s death.”

“Your sister was, though,” Leverette said, “And she could have placed the left arm there for you to find.”

“My sister could never do such a thing,” Yoo said.

“What makes you think so,” Marsden asked.

“She is just not the type of person to do this,” Yoo argued.

“We might have to call her in for an interview,” Leverette said, “Unless you have a good reason for us not to.”

Yoo sat back in his chair and shook his head. “She’s in a wheelchair from a car accident three years ago. She is paralyzed from the waist down.”

“So she needs someone to drive her around?” Marsden asked.

“No. She has a modified van that she learned to drive,” Yoo said. “But if she has to drive a long distance her husband drives.”

“Okay, Mr. Yoo,” Marsden said, “Don’t leave town.” He hands his card to Yoo. “If you think of anything please feel free to call.”

“Yeah,” was all he said.

The detectives got out and let Yoo precede them on the way out.

Once he was out of ear shot Marsden said “Have you heard back from Gordon yet?”

“Gordon said there was no connection with any of the people who found a body part. Did he find anything out about Ms. Sage?”

“I haven’t heard yet,” Leverette said and took his phone out. “I’ll give him a call.”

He dialed as the two walked over to their desks.

“Gordon, Leverette here. Did you find out anything about Heather North or Carole Sage?” (How did they get her name? They didn’t tell us anything about figuring out who the victim is.)

“Let me see here,” Gordon said and Leverette could hear him shuffling some papers. “Looks like Ms. North went through a nasty divorce last year. Ms. Sage is clean. Nothing. Not even a parking ticket.”

“Do you have Ms. North’s husband’s name and info?”

“Yeah, Arthur North, 670 Gratiot, Marysville, phone is 810-364-9878. Three sons and is remarried. That’s it. He’s a vet.”

“A veterinarian?”

“No, Iraq. He works for a local building company now. Nimitz Brothers is the name; it’s on Wadhams Rd.”

“Okay, thanks,” Leverette said as he wrote everything down then hung up the phone.

“What’s that all about?” Marsden asked noticing the look on Leverette’s face.

“Gordon said she was in a nasty divorce,” he said and looked at Marsden. “His name is Arthur North.”

“He must not be in contact with her. Never called in a missing person,” Marsden said.

“Gordon said they had three kids. Two with Heather and one with his new wife Charlene,” Leverette said. “I’ll call and set up a time for him to come in.”

Arthur North got off work at 4 p.m. and headed directly to the police station.

Leverette showed him into the interrogation room and Marsden came in shortly after.

“All right,” North began, “What’s she saying I did this time?”

“What makes you think she said anything?” Marsden asked.

“Why else am I here then? She’s always complaining about something and reporting me to you guys or her attorney or the counselor we see.”

Marsden looked at North and studied him for a bit. North was on edge and looked really pissed.

“Are the boys with you?” Marsden asked.

“Yeah, I get them for one month in the summer. Why?”

“When was the last time you spoke to Heather?” Leverette asked and carefully watched North’s reaction.

North’s face went from angry to puzzled. “When I picked up the boys two weeks ago. Why?” He looked from Leverette to Marsden. “Is something wrong?”

“We’re sorry to inform you but your ex-wife has been murdered,” Marsden said in a soft voice yet still keeping an eye on North’s reaction.

“What? I don’t believe you,” North said. He wasn’t remorseful at all.

Leverette and Marsden had decided not to tell him what had happened to her.

“Do you know of anyone who would want to harm her?” Marsden asked.

“Besides me, no,” North said. “But I didn’t kill her. So you guys are homicide?”

“Yes,” Leverette said.

“Have the boys spoken to her since they were here with you?” Marsden asked.

“Sometimes. She’s a real bitch when it comes to visitation.”

“How’s that?” Leverette asked this time.

North adjusted his posture in the seat. “When they finally get to see me she talks to them on the phone for hours. That takes my time away from them. Or if one or both of the boys call her she doesn’t answer.”

“Why wouldn’t she answer? Doesn’t she want to talk to them?” Leverette asked again.

“They aren’t old enough to have their own phone so they call on mine. She won’t answer. And if they call on Charlene’s phone same thing.”

Leverette didn’t like his smart-ass attitude and it was starting to eat at him. Marsden noticed and took over the interview.

“When was the last time the boys spoke to her?”

“Let’s see, today’s Thursday, so I’d have to say Sunday.”

“So she doesn’t call every day?” Marsden asked.


“So she’ll go days without speaking to them?” Marsden asked.

“Yup. And has everyone believe I’m stopping them from talking to each other.”

“You did hear us say she’s been murdered?” Leverette was trying to figure this guy out.

“Yes, I heard you. If you’re waiting for me to cry, you’re in for a long wait.”

Leverette and Marsden looked at each other then back to him.

“Where were you Wednesday?” Leverette asked.

“I was with my boys all day,” North said sounding defensive.

“Anyone, other than the boys, able to corroborate this?” Marsden asked.

“My wife, my neighbors, and the people at the pizza place I took them to for dinner.”

“What about that evening?” Marsden asked.

“I was sleeping. My wife was with us all day and night.” North was starting to get pissed. “I didn’t kill her.”

“Aren’t you even curious as to how she died?” Marsden asked.

“Nope,” North said.

His demeanor had the detectives stumped. He didn’t care and had nothing much to say about his ex-wife’s murder. Other than that he didn’t care.

The detectives thought for a minute then Marsden spoke.

“We’ll notify her next of kin about this,” he said still watching North’s reaction.

“Have at it,” North said. “Are we done?”

“Yeah,” Marsden said and started to get up.

“Don’t bother, I know my way around here,” North said as he got up. He walked to the door, opened it and left.

Leverette and Marsden sat there looking at each other trying to understand what just happened.

“All my years and I’ve never interviewed anyone like him,” Leverette said.

“Well, we’ll need to watch Yoo and North closely,” Marsden said.

The two detectives left the interrogation room and headed to their desks.

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