Sleepless

December 6, 1954, Boston, Massachusetts. I’m investigating a double homicide. I’ve collected all of the evidence. The victims are the city bum known as Hop and Vincent Maricello, a career criminal.
I’ve been on the case three weeks, and despite all the evidence, something doesn’t add up. The bodies were discovered by two teenagers as they hunted in the forest behind the old abandoned hospital. Both victims were tied up, and by the looks of the bruises and gashes on their foreheads, they appear to have died as the result of blows from a blunt object.
After about a week, our team dug up a meat tenderizer buried about 300 yards from the crime scene. Forensic tests confirmed that this was the weapon. This makes sense, “their heads looked like meat that was ready to be made into meatballs and serve over spaghetti for Sunday dinner.” We couldn’t lift any fingerprints from the weapon, indicating that this guy was a pro at covering his tracks.
What was it that brought these two victims together, and why were they murdered? I was never really fond of Vincent myself, but I don’t know why someone would kill him. I had to look into his past to find some answers.
I started at the neighborhood tavern known to be a hangout for Vincent and his cronies. I immediately saw his right hand man, Joey Picarelli. I’ve known Joey for a long time.
We used to run together when I was a member of the mob. Since leaving the mob, we have kept our distance, but remained civil towards each other. Today seems different. His devilish stare was getting under my skin. What’s up with him?
I sit down at the bar for a drink. I ordered the usual: a straight Jack on the rocks.
I continue to survey the room. As I am about to approach Joey, he walks over to me and sits down. I act like it doesn’t phase me and pretend to brush it off. He turns and asks, “They got you working the Marcello case, right?”
“You already know that. Everyone in Boston does. Vincent was a popular man.” I told him.
“You got any leads?”
“You know I can’t discuss cases with you. We shouldn’t even be seen together.”
“C’mon man. Back in the day we shared everything. What’s it going to hurt?”
“What’s it to you anyway? As far as I’m concerned, everyone is a suspect at this point. You don’t know anything about this do you? Did Vincent have any enemies? Who would want to get rid of him?”
“You know everyone has their enemies in this game. You weren’t too fond of him yourself.”
“Are you implying that I did this! I’d watch what I said if I were you. I have enough dirt on you to put you in the slammer for a long time.”
“Woah, calm down. We all came from the same place and we all have skeletons in the closet. Let’s be clear: I had my problems with Vincent, but he was one of us, and I would never turn on one of my own.”
“You know anyone who would?”
“I don’t know, man. Vincent has been a little off lately. It seems that he has been doing some deals with someone on the side.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, last week I saw him leaving the bank downtown with a black duffle bag. I followed him to his car, and he parked next to the empty lot on Myrtle Street. He carried the bag with him behind the laundromat. When he reappeared, the bag was gone and I saw a navy blue Lincoln Coupe speed off.”
That’s weird, I drive a Lincoln Coupe. How many of those are there in this town?
“Thanks for the information, Joey; stay in touch.”
I headed back to the precinct.
I walk into the chief’s office and brief him on the recent development. He suggests that I run a trace on all navy-Blue Lincoln Coupe’s in the area. I precede to Sergeant Vedder’s office and ask him to look into it.
After this, I call it a day and go home for the evening. Sleeping was not an option. The events of the day kept running through my head.
I can’t recall seeing another car like mine around town. There has to be another one somewhere.
I must have dozed off, because before I knew it, I woke up in a pool of sweat. I received a phone call. Nobody calls this early in the morning. It must be the office. A call from the office is never good.
“Hello?”
“ Tony! You need to head to the office now, Joey Pecarelli’s body was just recovered from Lake Bullock. It appears he was stabbed to death.”
Not Joey, too. I just saw him yesterday. My heart sank like a rock thrown in a deep pond. What is happening? I rushed into the office.
“Boss, what’s going on?”
“We need you at the scene as soon as possible,” he said.
“Where do I go?”
“Lake Bullock at the end of Ranco Street.”
“Got it.”
Officer Andrews and I headed to the scene.
While searching the scene, I find a blood covered knife. I instructed Officer Andrews to collect it for evidence. I was trying to mentally remove myself from the scene. I couldn’t bare seeing Joey down like this. We return to the office and submit the knife to forensics for processing.
I grab a cup of coffee, head to my office, and close the door behind me. I need a break from this chaos. I take some time to regroup.
Suddenly, I hear Sergeant Vedder say, “Tony, I have the forensics report for you.”
“Thanks, Vedder.” I said half heartedly.
I open the envelope and the results hit me like a bulldozer. The test must have gone wrong. The prints on the knife were mine. These prints must have gotten on the knife when I was collecting it for evidence. No, Officer Andrews did that. How can this be? I asked to see the weapon. The knife looks familiar.
I decided I had to get as far away from the police station as I possibly could. I hop in my car and rush home as fast as my car will let me. I run into the kitchen to discover that a knife is missing from the cupboard. The knife was mine. Suspicious, I check to see if my meat tenderizer is there--it’s missing too.

Then it hit me. The car, the meat tenderizer, and the knife were all mine. Maybe I didn’t wake up in a pool of sweat. I never really went to sleep. It was me. I remember that the forensics report is still on my desk. If I don't get back to the office soon i'm done for.
As I'm rushing out the door, a call comes in. It’s the office. A call from the office is never good. I ignore it and run to my car as fast as I can. Before I get off the front porch, I'm in handcuffs. They’ve got every cop in the force surrounding me. There’s no fighting it now, I'm done for.





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