2400 Martin Luther King Boulevard
For two weeks, the detective had worked on the Eric Boyd case. Learning that on the night of his murder he was picking up money from a stable of young street dealers who sold his drugs along Fairfield Avenue. The drugs were one motive, but the detective couldn’t discount a straight up robbery. Boyd often carried a shit load of money on him. He was a cash-cow target.
The detective was doing his job of solving crimes. Eric Boyd wasn’t the pillar of society, but he had to have a voice. After all he couldn’t speak for himself. The squad sergeant couldn’t understand why the detective took the case to heart. In fact, he took all murder cases to heart and his solve rate was very high.
“You’re a fucking riot, trying to solve this case,” said the squad sergeant. “One drug dealer killing another. Let them wash each other away. It’ll save the tax payers a lot of money.”
“Still don’t make it right,” replied the detective as he walked out of the office and into his investigation at full speed.
He was a good detective and had a very big heart. He wanted closure for everyone who lost someone to murder. No matter the walk of life, everyone needed closure.
He solved the first murder of the year for his squad. It was a vicious stabbing on the Westside of Wentfield Park. There was no sign that the case was going to be solved easily, but he did it. His workload remained a sore point with his colleagues, but they could never accuse him of slumming. He was a very dedicated police officer and took any case with little complaint.
The only case he hadn’t solved before the Boyd case was Marlene Davison. She was an overweight, sad-faced, welfare lifer who finished up forty-eight years in a closet with a plastic bag over her head. Her shirt and bra hiked up to display a chest and stomach marked by several stab wounds. The murder weapon was a Craftsmen flat head screw driver.
The detective followed every thin lead, but it always came up empty. Now he had tacked on the Boyd case, but it didn’t matter. Eric Boyd and Marlene Davison needed a voice from the land of the living.
2400 Martin Luther King Boulevard shook the entire police squad. The crime scene was a back alley of an old Caldor Department store. The victim was slumped over the steering wheel with three gunshots to the side of his head. The first shot was clean and crisp, but the other two were sloppy as if the gunman fired them as the body was falling forward.
The squad sergeant leaned his head forward and for a moment he thought that he was just looking at the illusion of death and nothing more. He slowly pushed the victim’s head back and it appeared as if the victim was looking across the alley. His dark brown eyes were fixed wide, his lips parted and curled in a slight, vague frown. His fingers were still gripping the steering wheel as if he was trying to avoid running someone over. His coat and pants covered in blood as he completely bled out. There was brain matter on the passenger side window. The squad sergeant had first crack at the call, which came in from communications as nothing more specific than a body in the alley behind 2400 Martin Luther King Boulevard. He took the call because the other detectives were still assembling for the 8:40 roll call. But what he didn’t understand was why the squad’s hotshot didn’t take the call. He was always looking to help and solve crimes. He was always the first on the crime scene.
This day was no different. The squad sergeant lit a cigarette, located the medical examiner, then grabbed the keys from the ignition of the hotshot detective’s Ford Explorer.
A soft rain gently fell as the lifeless body of the detective was moved gently by the medical examiner’s team. They carried his body slowly through the trash filled alley and right into the meat wagon.
From the moment of the discovery, the detective was never regarded as a dead body, but a fallen friend instead. Among the detectives and patrol officers crowded at the crime scene, there was no easy banter, no coarse exchange of cop humor or scenarios being played out. There was simply respect for the fallen detective.
The squad sergeant stood mute in the light rain, sketching the crime scene in his head.
“2400 Martin Luther King Boulevard,” he whispered.
Other Quick Flash Crime fictions by Frank F. Atanacio:
© 2012 Frank Atanacio