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The Unknown Suspect
As I enter the crime scene, a strong smell of chemicals and burnt substances flow into my nostrils and I immediately crinkle my nose. Policemen are all around, getting samples of hair, prints, anything they find, that might help us solve this case.
“What happened here?” I ask Al Champlain, the chief of police.
“Well, it looks like 27-year-old Cameron Flatpery was murdered. Reasons are unknown at the moment; however, he was shot in the shin. There are traces of selenium oxychloride on his skin and a small trace of gasoline, so we’re assuming that he was also lit on fire after the chemical ate away at his skin,” Al tells me.
“How do you know that it is Cameron,” I ask him, confused at his knowledge when I can barely make out a distinct face.
“Dental records,” Al replies, not even able to make his brown eyes look at the ashy body on the ground.
Walking around the ruins of the basement, all I can smell is the selenium oxychloride. It is damp and chilly as I walk around looking for some type of evidence that might have been left behind. As I turn a corner, a man jumps out in front of me, and I scream. As soon as the noise exits my mouth, a bunch of policemen come running to make sure I’m ok. I wave them back.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, miss,” the man with high cheekbones, whose name I don’t know tells me, “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Who are you?” I ask him.
“My name is Lu Dartony,” he reaches his hand out to shake mine, but I just eyeball him, “I own the casino right down the alley.” I still give him a suspicious look. I’m not so sure about this man from the shadows. He continues, “I heard there was a murder here last night and was wondering if I might be of any assistance.”
“No,” is all I say to him, and then I walk off. Why would I need his help? He is just a casino owner. Besides, I know who did this; it was the mafia. They are into murders like this: painful and unexplained; just like they did to my father, cutting off his fingers and feeding him to piranhas. However, they will not get away this time, not with this murder.
Later that day, as I interview Tina, Cameron’s fiancé, I can’t focus. All I can think about is how I am going to pin point the people that did this. There is no useable evidence at this point in time.
“Camille? Camille,” Tina says to me, “are you ok?”
“Sorry,” I tell her, “I guess I was just thinking about the case.”
“Yeah” she says, “that’s the only thing on everyones mind.”
As we walk down the street, I ask her if Cameron owed anyone money, perhaps to the mafia. However, she tells me no; Cameron thought that gambling and borrowing money was stupid. As we turn the corner to walk around the block, I notice Lu behind me. It makes me a bit curious as to why he is in this part of town, and then it hits me, the rival casino to his is just a block away. He is probably just spying on his competitors, nothing to worry about.
I’m so confused at this case; it has me blocked off at all entrances. Usually the mafia leaves some type of trademark symbol, item, anything. However, neither the police nor I can find anything, not even one hair. So I guess my only option in getting this case brought to court is to interview people that are assumed to be a part of the mafia. It is going to be a challenge, but I’ll get through it.
As I sit behind the one-way glass, I try to take notes on the questioning; answers that might lead us to further answers, yet, there is nothing to write down. Joey, the man we assume is the mob boss is saying nothing. He is only shaking his head from side to side, or up and down; absolutely no help.
My mind is starting to spin. A huge migraine is coming on, I can feel it. I rub my temples to try to make all of this confusion go away, but it only makes it worse. More and more questions pop into my head. Why Cameron? What did he do? Why in that ruined building? However, my migraine is only worsened by the fact that all of these questions are left blank. No answers. I suggest to Al that we bring Fat Tony into the room and question him. He is Joey’s head honcho. He just has to break.
As the police escort him into the questioning room, I wonder why they call him Fat Tony when in fact he is far from fat. His face is like a skeleton, showing every bone in his face and every vein in his neck. It makes me sick. We ask him what he and his gang were doing last night.
He replies, “Well, most of us went to the movies, what‘s it to ya?”
I start to laugh. The mafia go to the movies? HA! No way. They were in that old building torturing Cameron Flatpery and then killing him once they were done with him, kind of like a cat playing with a mouse, killing it and then leaving it behind. Al gives me a dirty look. I know that I’m not supposed to laugh at peoples’ alibis, but seriously? It’s the mafia, and we all know that they don’t go to the movies. But, I guess we have to prove that first before I can laugh, so Al sends some men to the theater Fat Tony said that they were at in order to check his story.
In the meantime, we hold Fat Tony in custody until the men get back from the theater and bring Joey back in to ask him about the movies.
As soon as we ask Joey about going to the movies last night, the only sound that comes out of his mouth is, “How did you find out about that?” He is in utter shock.
Maybe the mafia really did go to the movies last night. Wow, I would have never guessed.
“Joey, why didn’t you just tell us that in the first place?” Al asks him.
“Because, we, as the mafia, have a reputation to uphold. People can’t know that we go to the movies. They won’t be scared anymore,” Joey tells us with a heavy sigh.
What will I do now? This case is ruined. But I must find Cameron’s killer, even if it isn’t the mafia. Who would kill Cameron? Who would have any reason to? According to Tina, Cameron had no enemies, so why would someone just mutilate him? There has to be a reason, and I am going to find it.
As I walk out of the police station dumbfounded, I notice Lu across the street. How weird. This is the third time I’ve seen him in only one day. So, I decide to run across and talk to him, but as I start to wave, he runs away. “Huh,” I wonder. Oh well, there is no point in chasing after him.
As I sit at my desk looking over the file with no evidence, I notice the clock. It’s 1:30 A.M. “Why am I still here looking over this?” I wonder. There is nothing in this file but pictures of the dead Cameron Flatpery, the traces of selenium oxychloride, the bullet that went through Cameron’s shin, and some traces of gasoline. I am going virtually nowhere as I flip through the small file. I then decide that, tomorrow, I will go to the scene and see if any clue was perhaps left behind.
While I walk through the damp and eerie place that seems haunted now that Cameron Flatpery’s soul rests here forever, the sun begins to rise, marking a new day. I search the room where Cameron’s body was found with no luck. As I begin my way to the exit, I see something shiny on the floor near a puddle. I immediately recognize the symbol on the item as I pick it up. It is from Lu’s casino, lying right where he jumped out in front of me. “Oh my God! This is it,” I think. I found out who killed Cameron. It wasn’t the mafia but Lu! Lu Dartony killed Cameron! It all makes sense now. This is why he was here yesterday to see if he could “help,” this is why he was following me and Tina. It wasn’t to check out his competitors but to follow us. And this is why he ran from me yesterday! But why did he kill Cameron? Why was Cameron his target? I put the coin in a plastic bag and run back to the station.
“Al,” I yell as soon as I open the station’s door, “Al, come here! I solved the case! I know who killed Cameron Flatpery!” I am out of breath from running the seven blocks from the scene.
“Camille,” Al scolds me, “you don’t just yell that out in public. What if the murderer is here, then they will take off knowing that we found them.”
“Sorry,” I whisper to him, still trying to catch my breath. He’s pulling me by my arm into a secure room.
“Ok, Camille, tell me what you found,” he is very serious at this point.
“It is Lu Dartony! He is the casino owner from down the alley!” I exclaim.
“What? How? Why?” Al is in just about as much shock as I was now.
“He dropped a coin from his casino. It was where he jumped out in from of me. All we have to do is check the finger prints on it to verify,” I tell him with a smile peaking out.
Two days later as I sit in the questioning room with Lu, I find out why he killed Cameron. Nevertheless, the reason blows my mind. It is contrary to all answers I got from Tina. It turns out that Cameron was very much into gambling, and he owed Lu 2.5 million dollars. However, when Cameron threatened to tell the press about Lu’s scams he pulled to get even more money out of people, Lu flew off the handle and killed him, assuming it would shut everything up forever.
Yet, all of Lu’s guesses were quite wrong. He is now in jail, his casino is shut down, and all IOU’s people had from Lu were ripped up on the record.