Private Voices: Part 24
A Note From Me, A Name I Call Myself
Chapter 6, Parts 21, 22, 23, and 24 are set three years before the stories beginning and two weeks after the death of Brandon on that soccer field.
The Story So Far
Janice James is a Private Detective haunted by her troubled past and the death of her son and a fractured psyche, forcing her to see her son Brandon as well as others. With the help of her late son and her mentor, a former police officer named Sean, she runs her service, helping people in trouble.
After a ceremony to honor their late son, Janice and her ex-husband Bill prepare to live together again. Janice's assistant, a young woman, named Jennifer Gordon, known as JG, while happy to see them together now must find a way to work around the new awkwardness. Janice's brother-in-law Mike and his son Scott come for a quick visit before taking a long trip. Janice's estranged father sent a letter hoping to put their past behind them before he died.
Three years ago, weeks after the death of her son Brandon, Janice was on the brink of a breakdown when she starts to see visions of her dead son. The visions begin to terrorize her as Brandon changes from a screaming toddler to the twelve-year-old just before he died. A new client with a stalker hires Janice to help her while keeping her private life away from the police. A run-in with a suspicious professor sends the stalker and his accomplices to some drastic actions.
- Private Voices: Part 23
A Run-in with a professor and two officers changes the investigation. Bandon starts to become more involved with Janice's work.
Sean put down the files and said, “We should take this to the detectives, or the feds.”
He looked at the door then back to the files. “If they are killing people, maybe they’re cleaning house? Getting ready to run.”
JG picked up the files and asked, “Could they have anyone already kidnapped?”
Sean picked up his phone, muttering to himself, “Why didn’t I think about that.”
He called a detective he knew with the Akron Police and told him what they had. An hour and twenty minutes later, Detective Gaspar Price showed up at the office. A first-generation Chinese/Vietnamese American, and the least imposing person on the force.
Sean said he was essentially a Chinese Columbo, “He walks into a room and leaves with a confession before the criminal knows what happened.”
Brandon asked, “A Chinese Columbo, an Irish Kojak; are there any cops that aren’t television shows from the seventies?”
Price told them, “I took a chance and put out an alert for those two, and I have someone I trust filing a material witness warrant so we can take them in without having charges. It will also allow us to do a little in plain sight searching.”
Two days later, the body of Aaron Lewis was found in a warehouse near the bodies of five young women. All of them were shot. The ballistics reports came back saying they were all shot with the same 40-caliber. The five women were students from Kent State, the University of Akron, and one was a seventeen-year-old from Hoban high school.
Price said, “Look, I can see why you are so involved with this case, but I need to tell you what the feds said to me about ten minutes ago. They said back off. My captain called, saying how the feds were on their way to our office for all my files.”
Sean looked at the text message, then said, “Yeah, I remember this guy. He was pushing for a predator or stalker registry at the time they were starting the sex crimes registry.”
After two days of calls and emails, the special agent in charge Stephen White finally called Janice.
He said, “Listen, Ms. James, while I can appreciate your small role in this, I have to ask you to stay out of my investigation.”
Before she could ask him a question, he hung up. Violet was staying with her while the feds looked for Harris. They were both surprised when they didn’t offer her any kind of security. An agent interviewed Violet for about an hour, but then she was escorted out and left to fend for herself. During the day, she was in the bar surrounded by off-duty police. Violet decided to use this to help her character study by putting on the waitress uniform and waiting tables. Sean had his waitresses dress in short, plaid skirts and baggie shirts emulating a traditional kilt. On her third day, Violet came into the bar in a pair of short shorts and a tank top that was just a little too tight.
Sean said, “Were not a Hooters.”
Violet replied, “Let me wear this for one day, and at the end of that day, we will count my tips.”
Sean said, “I’m probably going to hell for this.”
Across the street from the bar, Harris sat in an old Ford Focus, watching the bar thinking about his last interaction with Lewis.
He had told Lewis, “No, she’s mine, and I want her.”
Two of the girls were already dead, and Lewis was teasing the others with the gun.
Lewis told the girls, “Only one of you gets to go.”
He then dropped a knife at their feet and made a stabbing motion with his hand. One of the girls picked up the knife and looked at Lewis as the other girls watched her.
Lewis said, “This should be fun.”
Harris smiled, then said, “Maybe for me.”
He picked up the Glock 22 from the table and shot Lewis in the head. His head whipped back and shot blood across the floor at the girls. The one with the knife dropped it and stepped back. Two of the girls hugged each other while the third one knew that this man wasn’t their savior. Harris didn’t want them; he wanted his Violet.
Harris said, “The pigs are looking for me, but you two could go in and get her.”
In the back of the car were the two fake campus police. The one Janice knocked to the ground after breaking his wrist asked, “What if the bitch is there?”
Harris said, “If you want to get paid, then get me my girl, and anything else is your problem.”
The bar was slowing down, with only the regulars still in their regular spots. All the working staff was in the cosplay Hooters uniforms. One of them didn’t like the new uniform. While it hugged the curves of the women, it didn’t do the two men any favors. Violet was in a corner, talking to a man. Two men in Cuyahoga Falls Police uniforms walked into the bar; Sean pointed to the two men. Not being real police, they didn’t know that Cuyahoga Falls police and Akron Police didn’t mix.
The two men approached Violet, and the one with the cast on his hand said, “Miss, we need to take you downtown to talk to agent White.”
Violet-backed away saying, “I don’t go anywhere without Ms. James.”
The first fake officer said, “No, that’s not true because you are coming with us.”
He muttered the word “bitch” under his breath. The man at the table sat there looking at the two fake cops realizing just who they were. After all, Janice told Bill about breaking the man’s wrist.
Bill pointed past the two men and said, “I think you two made a mistake.”
The two fake cops turned to see all the real police standing there.
A sergeant with the Stow police department stepped forward and said, “OK, boys, let’s not let this get out of hand.”
He turned to the two fake cops and said, “Just give us your IDs, and we can call and confirm that you are who you say you are with Akron.”
The two men just started to put up their arms.
The sergeant turned to Bill and said, “Maybe you should take Violet up to the office, I don’t think we want her to see what’s about to happen.”
One of the officers started to pull out an old-style baton.
Bill said, “OK, then why don’t you come with me.”
Violet replied, “No, I want to see this.”
An officer in the back had a hammer. Violet saw the hammer, then she said as she went to the door, “Never mind.”
When Bill and Violet left, Sean came from around the bar with a sawed-off baseball bat.
He asked, “Now before we begin, do you two want to save yourselves some pain and just tell us where your boss is?”
The door opened, and two men dressed in the black uniform of the Akron Police department came out with a girl that had white hair with a purple tint. Harris saw Violet. Over the years, he had taken and disposed of many different girls to find the one he could keep forever. He didn’t notice the Jeep that was pushed behind him. They got halfway across the street when Harris saw that neither of the men had a cast on their wrists. He looked at Violet, who wasn’t looking up. She was just too tall to be her, and the outfit wasn’t right. Harris started the car and slipped it into gear flooring the petal. He made it about twenty feet when the cable went taught against the wench. The Jeep Jumped, and the Ford Focus bucked as the axle pulled away. In his attempt to get away, Harris didn’t put on his seatbelt. He went forward, and the steering wheel caught his throat. He would never be able to speak again.
An hour later, in a press conference in front of the Akron Federal building, the FBI claimed they found Professor Robert Harris while he was trying to escape.
Sean said, “Typical.”
Doctor Tayeb Ali was charged with the murder of his assistant and longtime victim, Candice Stack. He kidnapped her when she was twelve and used her for sex and as an assistant when she got older. A few days after he was charged, he committed suicide by hanging. In his note, he said he killed Candice because she couldn’t live without him. The FBI told Janice that it had nothing to do with human trafficking.
As it turned out, it was why the FBI was involved with connected cases going across state lines from Ohio to North Carolina.
Agent White said, “I am trying to get my bosses interested in pushing for either a predator or stalker registry. Something where we can regulate where they live and let people know when someone like this is in their neighborhood.”
He went on to talk about the up incoming trial and what he expected to happen.
He said, “We will try and structure the trial, so Miss Cox won’t have to appear in court. We have enough on him to stick the needle in his arm about a dozen times.”
He finished by paying Violet’s bill. He also took a card saying if he sees someone who could use a good PI, he would call.
Janice sat down at her desk with the mail. Inside an envelope was a letter and a series of pictures. It was nearly three years since she took Violet on as a client. About a year ago, Robert Harris was convicted for the murders of twenty-three people and was facing the death penalty. The pictures were of Violet dressed like a mime but in shades of purple rather than black and white. The photos were from New York City, London, and Paris. After the incident, Violet spent some time in therapy. Then she went on a tour of the world. Her one month in New York became a lifestyle of touring the world with a troop of street performers. Janice looked over at the chair. Brandon was standing next to it with a goofy grin on his face. He then put his hands up and pretended to be stuck in a box. Janice put up one picture on her wall, she gave one of them to JG and another photo to Sean. Violet sent a particular photo for Sean of her in the cosplay Hooters uniform, except she was only wearing body paint.
The Next Part
- Private Voices: Part 25
A new client takes a simple case of infidelity into new territory.
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron