Category Archives: Writer

Still Life in Scarlet (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

A woman looks at Bosch's painting "Tryptich of the Last Judgement" in Vienna

Foto: Reuters/HERWIG PRAMMER Hieronymus Boschs “Weltgerichtstryptichon” in der Wiener Akademie der Bildenden

“Still Life in Scarlet”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros met Rovas at a diner they liked, The Blue Line. It was far enough from the Rovas household for Khazarian to relax a bit. The tension in the booth they shared was palpable. Claire, their usual waitress, didn’t linger at the table; she dropped their dishes off and scooted away.

“…I know, Gil. I know,” Rovas continued after she left. “I wasn’t thinking, and that upsets me to no ends. What upsets me more is the what Berrak will think if…when she knows the whole story.”

Gil did not wonder at all if Berrak would find out. He was impressed with Berrak’s line of reasoning; he doubted they would have had the closures they pulled off if not for her help. So, he didn’t answer, only taking a bite out of his apple pie, following it with his coffee.

Rovas sat looking out the diner window at the cars passing by. He took a sip from his coffee and made a grimace. “I wish Berrak could teach people how to make a proper cup of coffee. Lord knows, she’s tried with me.”

They both smiled; Rovas’ own attempts at coffee making fell far below the standards of Berrak’s brewing skills.

“Come over after you get off work. We’ll plug in all the details. Berrak and I already have a beginning plan.”

Gil nodded his head. Rovas turned his attention to his slice of pie. They cleaned their plates in silence, paid their bill, and left. When Claire went to bus the table she saw that both cups of coffee were barely touched.

*****

Hours after Gil arrived at the Rovas house, the three were huddled in the study, examining the details on the whiteboard and bulletin boards. Berrak and Gil were still making notes with followup questioning, routes they felt they should follow. Rovas was mentally making his own notes.

“Here’s what we know. Three years ago, on May 4th, a 911 call was received. The caller, who was later identified as Lilly Landers, a known madame with a record, stated that a murder had been committed and that she felt she was next. Just as she gave out the address the call abruptly ended, with her calls of help. Three of them, and then the line went…I hate to say it, but it went dead.

Gil and I were not the first to respond; a squad car was closer to the house. When we arrived, the coppery smell of blood was prevalent. All the windows had been closed. It was a cool night for May. The officer who got there directed us inside and upstairs. He stressed he did not touch anything. Rovas told the officer to stay outside and  to secure the perimeter.

At the top of the landing we found the body of Ms. Landers. Blood had dripped down onto the steps. She had been stabbed in the back three times. Beyond the body were three rooms, all the doors closed. We checked all three bedrooms, and in two were the corpses of two other women, who also had priors for prostitution, tied up on the beds. Except for a tube running down the arm of one of the women, there were no other visible signs of cause of death. No strangulation marks. No knife wounds.

The ME arrived, muttering out loud…”

“A lot,” Gil added.

“Yes, a lot. He didn’t want to commit to anything definite then and there. After he got them back to the lab and examined them, he was bursting for us to come down so he could deliver the results.”

Gil broke in: “He said they were bleed almost completely dry. Exsangal….”

“Exsanguination, Gil,” she patted his hand. “Not a pretty way to go. Two young girls drained of blood. I remember the headlines of the ‘Vampire Killer’, but I know you had more details that weren’t discussed with the press.”

“We couldn’t give it all away, in the hopes of catching the person who did this. We didn’t want false leads, so we held a few things back.”

“SOP, Zarian?” She smiled.

He nodded.

“And you’re sure this was a brothel?”

Gil nodded. “There were the usual items. Tons of condoms, lingerie, leather, sex toys, lubricants. It was obvious at first, and the rest came when we found Landers’ books. No names of clients or the girls. Just initials.”

They were all quiet for a moment, looking at the wall of information of their private notes. Berrak broke the silence.

“There was a fourth bedroom made up in the attic?” She didn’t look at her husband or Gil, concentrating on the the photos and captions on the white board. Rovas seemed to lose a little color. “It looks lived in, done up like the other rooms.” She looked from the pictures to the notes to her husband and Gil. She thought she had never seen more guilt on two men’s faces. Rovas asked her to sit down.

“What aren’t you telling me Zarian? Gil?”Berrak said as she sat.

They both looked at each other. Gil raised his hands, palms up, and shrugged both shoulders. He and Rovas sighed at the same time.

“Berrak…there was a fourth girl.”

“But, there’s been no mention in any of these papers. Nothing in the news. What? How? I…I don’t understand. A fourth. That room has been bothering me all day.”

Rovas sighed once again. He knelt down and took both of her hands.

“I have to tell you about Kristina…”

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1600 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Red Canvas (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Red

“Red Canvas”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Chief Inspector Oliver Dole glared at ex-Inspector Rovas. Rovas was used to this look from Dole; he crossed his right leg over his left, folded his hands, leaned back in the chair and waited. “Oliver, I understand that you are…”

“Do. Not. Oliver. Me, Khazarian. Think, man, think. You voluntarily retired. You said it was time, that you and Berrak deserved…dammit. Stop smiling at me.”

“Sorry. The funny thing is, I did retire for Berrak. But,” he leaned forward, “I’m enjoying all this more because of Berrak. She is really remarkable. Always thought so, but now…” Rovas shrugged his shoulders. “This faux detective work suits her quite well.” His eyes narrowed. “It suits me perfectly.

Look. I’m not getting involved in any ongoing case. We are strictly looking at cold cases of mine.”

“John Peters?”

Rovas ignored that and continued: “Cases that you said, repeatedly, I needed to let go of. That were closed and forgotten. But not me, never me. I feel we’ve done an amazing job, and the unit’s solve rate has benefited from this. Berrak, Gil, and I…”

“Sargent Detective Katsaros is one of my concerns. He is still under my command. What right do you have in involving him in all this?”

“Has the Sargent Detective shirked any of his duties? Has he not been instrumental, integral, in not only helping solve three “unsolvable” crimes-on his own time-and still do his job for you? Admirably so?”

The glare was back. Dole harrumphed. “And Officer Trabold and Pearl?”

“Again, she did this on her own time.” Rovas put up his right hand, stopping Dole from continuing. “She owed the Sargent Detective a favor, one he never intended to collect. I…persuaded him to call the favor in. Without Pearl, two murders would still have remained unsolved.”

Dole was thumping the desk with his fingers. Rovas sighed.

“Oliver, I am not doing any of this to get you angry or undermine your authority. I just know, as well as you, that these cases are not a priority for anyone here. You don’t have the budget or manpower to probe these…black holes. I have the time. I don’t need the money: the pension is generous enough, and Berrak has been a wizard with our savings and investments.

I promise you this: Berrak and I will not cross any legal line. Gil has, and will, take point as a legal representative of the law. That we can help with research, new point of views that time allows us, and a keen eye for details…Berrak and I can do a lot of good. There is a blood soaked landscape of the dead; they need the closure that we can help give. This is for the living. Their loved ones, and for you, Oliver.”

“Me?”

“Cases closed; no money spent. A gold star for your…turning an eye to the side.”

“Not a blind eye, as you would want me to do with your having…copies…of these files?”

“Oh Oliver,” he said with a slight grin, “never a blind eye, in your case.”

*****

“…and so he approves, but unofficially, of course,” Rovas finished reporting on his meeting.

“Of course.” Berrak sipped her coffee, her eyes going to the folder in front of her.

“What is piquing your interest? You’ve been eying that case file. Which one is it, ” he asked, sliding it to his side of the desk. “Oh. Berrak, I don’t think…”

“Zarian. This one. Here,” she pushed her notes over to him. He had noticed there were already sheets of paper up on the bulletin boards, but hadn’t paid them the importance that they demanded. “I feel we need to work on this one, no matter the outcome.”

He mulled that over in his mind: “…no matter the outcome.”

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1600 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Queen’s Gambit (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

** To read the first parts of this story line: Offending Elm and  Perhaps the Dog

Queen

“Queen’s Gambit”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian

The next few days were a whirlwind of activity. The skeletal body of David Sosenko was thoroughly examined. It was determined, by the damage done to a few of his ribs, that he had been shot three times, close up. The dog tags led them to his life: his mother had looked for him when he disappeared, as did the army. The report filed listed him missing almost exactly twenty-one years ago. If this was related to the woman in the tree, and Rovas felt the two were connected, they finally had a time frame. It was time to connect the dots.

Mrs. Sosenko died ten years before. “A weakened heart that finally gave out,” said her long time neighbor. “She never stopped hoping David would come back. He was the light of her life.” Gil brought Rovas and Berrak up to speed, stopping in for coffee and debriefing. There were no other relatives that mattered. Second or third cousins, so far removed from the family. They checked, but came back with nothing notable.

“Gil, what are you not telling me, um, us?” Rovas asked, watching Gil play with his cup but not drinking.

“Dole,” he said. “Chief Inspector Dole is a little…irritated that you’ve been…involved in these things.”

“Involved, or did he say ‘sticking his damn nose into things that he shouldn’t?'”

Gil held back a laugh, but smiled. “Close enough. He’d like to have a word with you, and soon.” He turned to Berrak. “I’m sorry, but he was very specific that he spoke only with Inspector Rovas.”

Berrak nodded in understanding. She still took Zarian’s hand in hers, squeezing gently to ground him and hope he would not get too angry.

“Gil, we have some information ourselves. We were just going to call you with it just as you drove into our driveway. Zarian?”

“Since we found out that Sosenko was listed as AWOL, Berrak tracked down some members from his unit, as well as his C.O. We,” he nodded towards his wife, “may have a lead on the girl. David had a few close friends and with the help of the CO, who is still serving, we tracked them down and spoke to them on the phone. No one had believed David Sosenko would have ever disappeared on his own. He had been well respected by leader and peer.”

“Yes, we found that out as well.”

“Ah, but Berrak went a different route with his best friend Phillip. He was reluctant at first-we had him on speaker phone-he gave up one secret that he had held back all these years: David was in love with a non-Jewish girl. Her name was Merry, or Meredith. Her parents, especially her mother, was vehemently against their seeing each other. When Merry could they met privately, away from where she lived.

Phillip did not know her last name nor where they met. Sosenko never volunteered the information, and Philip never asked. The only thing he mentioned was he was in love with Merry from Magic County. Called her Merry Magic. He was just happy for his friend, and worried at the same time.”

“Worried?”

“The mother threatened him one time with a gun, aimed at his head.”

Gil called the station to check with police in Magic County; small as it was, he didn’t think he’d have to do a wide search for a missing Meredith, as long as their data was up to date. While they were looking, Berrak was on the home computer looking up town records and their local newspaper morgue. Rovas paced back and forth between the kitchen and his study, listening in on one end, looking over a shoulder on the other.

Gil yelled out “Got it!” at just about the same time Berrak found a likely Meredith.

“Müller; Meredith Müller. She was never reported missing by her parents. Last known records for her had her as a graduate of Magic High School,” he beamed at that name.

“She had a job at the newspaper right out of college, a receptionist,” Berrak added. “She was only there a short time before she just never appeared again. The editor I spoke to had known her from school. He never thought she’d just leave like that.”

Rovas got on the phone with the Magic police. He got answers almost immediately to his questions and wrote them down. “Small communities,” he said as he clicked off on his cell. “The parents are still alive. Let’s go-now.”

“Zarian, why the rush?” she asked, grabbing a light jacket on the way out.

“Mrs. Müller is in the hospital. Terminal ward.”

******

Gil had to use his badge to get him past the nurses desk. It took a little bit more persuasion for the nurse to allow  his “consultants” to join them. Upon entering the slightly darkened room, they noticed an older man sleeping in a chair next to a wizened looking woman. Rovas noticed that she was hooked up to the monitors and had two IV lines going in. He was sure the pain medication dose was high, but the woman in the bed still looked drawn out.

Mrs. Müller looked in their direction. “What the hell do you want? Who are you?” Her voice was a harsh rasp, and Berrak took a step closer to Rovas.

Rovas explained who they were, and why they came.

“Get out! Get OUT!” she screamed, waking up the man, who tried to calm her down without much success. He was asking what this was all about when the nurse came in, fussing at the trio for upsetting her patient. Just before she got them 100% out of the room, and as she was closing the door, Rovas said: “Mr. Müller…we have news about your daughter.”

He walked over and opened the door, letting them all back in. He inclined his head to Rovas, who began to tell him what they had found: the body in the tree, the yellow fabric and gold ring, and then the body of David Sosenko.

“That Jew bastard,” came a weakened voice from the bed. Mrs. Müller was glaring at them all, but especially at Rovas. “I warned him-and her-that I was not going to allow my daughter to marry a kike! I warned them, both of them.”

Mr. Müller went over to his wife. “Katie, what did you do? What did…”

“I did what you wouldn’t have. I put an end to it. I followed her to those woods. She had on her Sunday best dress, that yellow taffeta that you both liked so much on her. She and that hebe were kissing by a tree…hell, I warned them. I snuck up on them…” she went into a coughing fit for a few moments. Her husband gave her the drink of water she demanded.

“I snuck up on them, yanked her out of his dirty hands, raised the gun and fired into his Jew heart. Bam! Down he went.”

“What about Merry?”

“She was wailing and screaming like a banshee. I turned around and hit her in the mouth with the gun to shut her up. She fell, but still moaning and bitching away. I told her to stop making noise. She didn’t listen, like she never listened to me. I hit her a few more times with the gun grip. I stopped when she stopped.”

Gil broke the silence that followed. “Her teeth?”

“Picked ’em up and put them in my pocket.”

“And…?”

“Buried that bastard. Got the shovel from the truck and dug as deep as I could. Tired me out. I wasn’t gonna toss my girl into any grave with a hebe. That’d be just what they would have wanted. I put her over my shoulder, but I couldn’t carry her no more. Dragged her to that Elm you found her in. I was resting against it, put my hand to the trunk buy my hand plunged in a ways. I checked and saw there was enough room for her…and it was far enough away from him.

Her dress tore as I grunted her into the tore. Before I was finished, I noticed that there was something on her ring finger. A gold band. A Goddamned gold band. That little bitch had married that Jew!! I tore up her dress and shoved it and the ring in her toothless mouth!”

No one asked her why she was telling them now. It was plain the woman had little time left.

Mr. Müller asked if he could have a word with his wife, alone. They left the room, Berrak closing the door behind her. She went over to Rovas, needing him to hold her. Gil was on his phone with the local police, asking for someone to come over and take Mrs. Müller’s statement, when the nurse rushed out of her station to the Müller room.

Rovas and Berrak arrived right after the nurse, Gil on their heels. What they saw stayed with Berrak for a very long time.

Mr. Müller was standing over his wife, tears streaming down his face. He held the pillow that had been under his wife’s head. The monitor above her bed recorded her death.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1600 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Perhaps the Dog (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

** To read the first part of this story line: Offending Elm

Perhaps

“Perhaps the Dog”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Pearl, the yellow Labrador cadaver dog, was brought in. A fairly new addition to the police force, Pearl was acquired in the last months of Inspector Rovas’ service. He and Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros had worked with Pearl and her K-9 handler, Officer Maggie Trabold, previously. They were rewarded with good results  from each interaction. It was Berrak who had brought up the idea, remembering Zarian remarking on the dog’s prowess. Officer Maggie allowed Pearl to get to know Berrak on the drive over to Haley’s Woods, but once on the scene of the crime, Pearl was all business.

Along with her missing teeth there was little to no soft tissue left for any identifier of the victim. The ME at the time postulated that she would have been in the tree approximately for a month before discovery. Rovas wished, as so many times in the last few years, that the advancements in crime detection today were available decades ago. How many more cases would have been closed quicker. If only.

They had used some of their K-9 troops when the body was first discovered nineteen years ago. Rovas had hoped to find any scent of the person or persons who shoved the body into the tree cavity. The search dogs followed a trail that led a little bit away from the Elm, due north.  The dogs stopped just about ten feet away from the tree. The scent went no further in any direction.

Rovas, Berrak, and Gil followed Officer Maggie and Pearl into the grove of trees. Rovas gave the yellow taffeta to Pearl’s handler. Gil had signed it out of police storage in the hopes there would be something the dog could work with.  Officer Maggie got down on one knee and offered the material to Pearl. She sniffed it, picked her head up, then sniffed some more. The officer got up in time as Pearl started to drag her towards an Elm tree.

Pearl had an extremely sensitive nose, which had been noted early on in her training. She honed in on the Elm tree as she pulled Officer Maggie to it. “This is the tree where the body was found?”

“Yes,” Rovas answered. He was pleasantly surprised at this turn, skeptical at first due to the length of time involved. Berrak had done her research before presenting the idea to him. Some cadaver dogs could find a scent even up to thirty years old. Gil was harder to convince, but he went along the day after he had dinner with EMT Jill.

Maggie helped Pearl up a bit towards the space in the tree trunk. Pearl dove her head in as best as she could, came up with her head swiveling, and then again she thrust her snout into the tree opening. Officer Maggie eased her down and took off Pearl’s leash.

She started at the tree, walking around it a few times, but then veering off towards the north. Rovas, Gil, and Berrak were various degrees of pleased at this. Berrak hoped Pearl could lead them further along, and she was clutching her husband’s hand when Pearl led off in another direction, this time to the east of the copse. She wound up at another grouping of trees and snuffled along the ground. She came back to one spot again and again until she just stopped and looked at Officer Maggie.

Both Rovas and Gil muttered “Damn!” It took a few seconds for Berrak to also utter “Damn.”

Gil went back to the vehicles and retrieved spades and electric lanterns from his and Officer Maggie’s car trunk. The four of them took turns digging where Pearl “told” them to dig. Rovas was livid while he dug. The previous search turned up blank, no hint there could be another body in the vicinity. Pearl was bred to find the dead, human dead, and of that he was sure that was what they were going to find. “Damn!” he said a few times more with each shovel full of the disturbed earth.

Berrak was the one who found the human skull. In unison, with spades and hands, they brought up the skeletal remains of a body. Gil went back to his car to call for transport. The sun was setting, so Rovas and the officer turned on the lanterns. Berrak had been gently cleaning away dirt clumps on the body, careful not to cause any damage. She looked up at Rovas and held up some metal on a chain.

“Zarian, look. Dog tags.”

She got up as he brought a lantern over, with Officer Maggie and Pearl following. He turned it over, cleaning the dirt out of the grooves as best he could.

“Hmmm….there’s his social security number, blood type B, name…,” he wiped away more, “David…Sosenko. And…huh.”

“What, Zarian?”

“Berrak, what does that look like to you?”

She examined it closely. “An H. I’m pretty sure, in this light, it’s an H.”

Gil had arrived back while they were examining the tags. “H is for his religion. H for Hebrew.”

“He’s Jewish, um, was Jewish,” she said.

“Yes, it appears so,” Rovas responded. Turning the tags over in his hands, Rovas felt they finally had an important piece to this puzzle.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1700 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Offending Elm (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Offensive Elm

“Offending Elm”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

 

The gunshot wound to Gil’s left shoulder was more serious than first perceived. On the way to the hospital the EMT grokked the swelling and immediately splinted Gil’s upper arm. Upon arrival, Gil was rushed into the ER. He underwent surgical debridement, the wound cleaned out but some bleeding continued. He was hours undergoing treatment before he was brought to recovery. The doctor wanted to keep Gil overnight for observation. The prognosis was overall good, but there was concern about nerve damage.

Rovas and Berrak got all this information from Jill, the EMT who brought Gil in. She had access to the surgical team that they did not. She had left with her team but returned when her shift was over.

“We get a lot more hunters accidentally shooting themselves or a friend. Dumb asses.” Jill shook her head, sitting back in the waiting room chair opposite Rovas and Berrak. “Things like this…I feel I have more at stake, y’know?”

Berrak nodded to her. Rovas was distracted. She nudged him slightly, and he, too, nodded at the EMT.

Rovas had called Chief Inspector Dole, filling him in with all the details as he knew, when they arrived at the hospital. After their conversation-which did not go all too well, for either of them-Rovas made another call. He was waiting for answers to his inquiries.

When Gil was finally out of recovery, all three went up for a quick visit. He woke up briefly, insisting he should still be released so they could go after Peters, and dropped back to sleep just as quickly. “Pain meds and trauma to the body,” Jill said.

Berrak and Rovas stayed for a little bit longer, getting one more audience with the Sargent Detective before he drifted off again. They left the hospital soon afterwards, leaving Gil’s EMT in the room, getting a recommendation and directions to a nearby motel from her. Rovas checked at the desk about the conditions of the other police from the explosion. Both were doing better than expected: they were alive.

“Stake in her duties,” Berrak mentioned on their way to their car. “Jill and Gil, hmm?” She held Rovas’ hand through the hospital lobby.

Rovas got a text after they had settled into their room: no trace of Peters. Whatever trace he left up the hill and with his bike ended once the motorcycle hit the main road. The note Peters’ left stabbed into the tree went straight to the point: “Inspector, if you are reading this, you are alive. I’ll make sure that changes, and soon. If I got you, good. You took my boy!”

The next day, Berrak and Rovas went back to the hospital, hoping Gil would be released in short order. They could hear him laughing as they came to his room. Jill was sitting in a chair, a big grin on her face. Berrak nudged Rovas and smiled.

It took a few hours more for the hospital to discharge him, with strict notes for Gil to follow up with his own doctor as soon as possible. Berrak said “I’ll make sure of it” at the same time Jill said “He will.” Rovas finally smiled at this. Berrak’s observation were on the nose, again.

*******

A month passed. Gil was doing PT, getting his arm back into shape. They all were happy there was no deep damage to any muscle or nerves. Over dinner Gil told Berrak and Rovas that he had a “lovely” scar to show for all this. He blushed deeply when he realized he said “lovely.”

“And how is Jill, Gil?” Berrak asked. No one thought it was possible for Gil to redden any more, but he did.

Cups of Berrak’s coffee in hand, they made their way into Rovas’ study. They had pulled all they could on Peters and were at a standstill at this point until the active investigation turned up anything, or Peters made an appearance. Rovas had been reading over his files sporadically with Berrak-sometimes with Gil present-compiling further questions on many of the cold cases.

Rovas lifted up one of the folders. “I suggest we try and shake ourselves out of our waiting for Peters to make a move. This one,’ he passed the file to Gil,  “has nagged at me for way too long. Berrak, it’s what we were looking at the other night: the woman’s body that was found in the Elm tree by those four boys.”

“Certainly not boys anymore. They’d have to be in their early thirties by now,” Berrak said, looking over Gil’s shoulder at the files’ contents.

“The…boys…were poaching in Haley’s Woods, they admitted, when one of the group climbed up the Elm for a ‘look see’ around. His foot dropped down into an opening where the branches parted. When he looked, he found the remains of the body.”

“Says here it was a woman, aged between twenty and thirty. No one reported any sister or daughter missing in the area that fit that?”

“None. Dental records were no use: her teeth were missing.” Rovas paused, remember the sight that greeted him. “The boys didn’t look too closely. They reported what they found to the police, and I was called in soon after that.”

“Gil,” Berrak pointed, drawing his attention to the photograph under the report he was going over. He took out the folder and laid it on the desk so all of them could see it.

Putting his finger on it, Rovas said “We found a piece of yellow taffeta shoved into her mouth. A gold ring, no inscription, was placed in the middle of the material.

We’ve had luck with these cases, coming at them with time and new eyes,” he nodded to Berrak. “I think it’s time we revisited this and do our best to find out what happened, and who the young lady was.”

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1700 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Nerves Like Daggers (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To read the first part of this story line: Mental Challenges
**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Nerves

“Nerves Like Daggers”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

The house had been booby trapped.

Luckily for those under his command, Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros held back his men in respect to the local police force. Rovas and Berrak were behind them when the explosion forced them all to hit the ground. Shrapnel flew by Rovas and Berrak, but wood slivers and other debris pierced some who were closer to the house. The five members of the local force were scattered around the burning mess of a vacation home.

Berrak helped tend to the wounded with some of the other officers, after making sure Rovas was OK. He, after checking she was all right, went with the Sargent Detective to examine the scene after they called the local authorities.

“EMTs and fire trucks are on their way,” Gil told Rovas as they went to check on the status of the downed police. Three of them were dead; the other two, one a female cop, were still hanging on. Both were unconscious, which Rovas thought was a blessing for them, seeing how badly they were injured. While the others did what they could until medical help could arrive, Rovas and Gil continued searching the perimeter. The house was still ablaze and too hot to get too close to.

Gil drew his gun, offering Rovas his back up piece. He shook his head and produced his own gun from under his coat. Gil’s eyebrow went up in a bit of surprise, but he let it go immediately.

“I’ll take that, Gil, if you don’t mind.” Berrak had come quietly behind them, aware of her presence when she arrived.

Gil’s face twitched, ready to say no, but Rovas turned and gave his wife his gun. He took Gil’s back up. “I feel better if Berrak has a gun that she’s practice on already. Home protection, after…” he trailed off.

“Right. There’s not much we can do here while the fire burns so hot.” Gil walked over to his second in command and spoke to him out of earshot of Rovas and Berrak. “They’ll stay her for the medical team and back up, and will call me when this area is secure. I’d like to go check out the surrounding area, but…” Gil said, kicking himself as he was saying it, “…stay close to me.”

Rovas only gave him the look. He nodded. Berrak fell to her husbands’ side as they made their way into the trees that surrounded the property. To the west was a small beach area; the east, behind the remains of the house, was forest, a small hill in the near distance led to the south. Open land and the main road were due north. If John Peters was still in the vicinity, Rovas agreed with Gil: the forest would be the first choice to hide or escape through. Everything else appeared too wide open.

They scoured through the copse of trees, searching the tops of the sturdiest trees as well as any large groupings of shrubbery. They heard the sirens in the distance. Rovas remained intent in his hunt for Peters; Gil was glad to hear the sound, knowing reinforcements would soon be freed up to join them. Berrak was unsuccessfully looking for any markings of Peters passing this way. There were none.

She turned around, looking back along the way they came. The land had risen slightly as they walked, which now gave them more of a panoramic view of the burning house and more of its surroundings. Around a bend in their search, she spotted something: a bright glint of light to their left. She prodded Rovas, who tapped Gil. They began to crouch just as they heard the sound of a rifle firing.

Gil went down in a spray of blood from his shoulder. Two more shots rang out, missing them.

“Berrak, stay with Gil. Call for help.” She began to shake her head, but Rovas was already off. As he ran, he flicked the gun safety switch. He heard Peters cutting through the brush more than saw him. There were glimpses, but not enough for a clear shot as he ran. There was more than a twenty years difference in their ages, but Rovas was spurred on by adrenaline and anger.

Rovas followed Peters as the hill rose steeply. Peters fired off another shot, turned and ran again.  He missed, but this allowed Rovas to lesson the distance between the two. The killer crested the hill and disappeared completely from sight. Wary, Rovas made his way to the top, expecting another bullet.

He crept to the top and peered over. The hill sloped down with a radical drop. He saw Peters sling his rifle over his shoulder. From the distance, Rovas saw Peters take out a piece of paper, a knife, and watched him drive it into the trunk of the tree closest to him. He climbed onto a waiting motorcycle and put a helmet on. As he revved the engine, Peters turned and looked up.

Rovas and Peters locked eyes for an instant.  Peters reached up and closed the helmets’ shield and kicked up the stand. Rovas took aim with his gun and fired off four shots. Peters drove off at high speed and was gone in a flash.

A medic was tending to Gil as Rovas came to where he left them. Berrak was by him before he could say anything. She checked him over to make sure he wasn’t shot. She found nothing more than scrapes. “I’m ok, I’m ok,” he said to her as she dabbed at the blood on his hands and then face. “It’s only a flesh wound.”

“This is not a time for joking around, Zarian.”

The half smile faded from his face. “I know. He got away, Gil. Had a blasted bike hidden away. He left us a present where he stashed his motorcycle. We’ll pick it up soon.”

“Military planning all the way around. Take the enemy out, stake out the high grou…ouch!…high ground. Plan your retreat.” Gil grumbled. “Bastard.”

“Your shoulder?”

“Through and through,” said the EMT, Jill. “We’ll take him to the hospital for a full check up. Yes, you are going to the hospital,” she said, before Gil could say anything.

“I assume you’ve already had this argument while I was gone.”

She turned to him, tight-lipped but smiling nonetheless.

“Gil, go. We’ll be right behind you.”

Rovas put his arm around Berrak’s shoulder, pulling her into a hug as the others made their way back to the house.

“I was worried,” she said.

He just nodded his head, which she felt alongside hers in the embrace. They stood like that for a little bit, then made their way to the car.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1700 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Mental Challenges (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Mental

“Mental Challenges”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Weeks after the fact, John Peters’ escape, en route from mental ward to jail, was still making news. Details kept leaking out, and the press were merciless with the police force by this point. They were too lax, inept. Criminally inept. His break out left one guard dead, shot with his own gun. Another guard was still in critical condition. The search for John Peters was growing cold, and the news was starting to focus in other directions, until something horrible was discovered: other bodies had been found, buried in the back yard of a home where Peters had previously lived.

The Palmont children also became news again. Janice, the oldest child, had tried to kill herself after the grisly discovery of other victims. Her parents had done their best to restrict any news filtering into their home, but…it happened. She had been sneaking  onto the internet, well after everyone went to bed, ever since Peters escaped. Police presence around their house now doubled, spilling over to the hospital while she was in recovery.

Chief Inspector Dole, Rovas’ old boss, insisted on keeping the Rovas house, and especially Berrak, under surveillance. After rebuffing Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros entreaties for the third time in as many weeks, the Chief Inspector made an unprecedented official appearance at their home. With Berrak present, Dole got Rovas to reconsider, after an hour of persuasion. It came down to, in Rovas’ mind, keeping Berrak as safe as possible. Hours after the Chief Inspector left, Gil showed up.

“You didn’t have to sic Dole on me, you know.” Rovas scowl at Gil had little effect. He drank the coffee Berrak laid out before him quietly.

“Yes, I did. You were being stubborn. Sadly, you are not an Inspector anymore, Inspector, Sir.” His smile was grim. “How many others have you insisted that surveillance was for their safety?”

Rovas was silent. Berrak patted his shoulder and sat down with them.

“You should have taken the Chief Inspector position when it was offered to you,” Gil said, pointing with his cup.

“Not that again, Gil. I wanted to solve cases, not send others out to do that for me. I’m not the political animal Dole is.”

Berrak broke in: “Gil, what about the other bodies that were found?”

“Initial reports indicate all three were girls. The ME estimates that they were all in their early teens, maybe younger. She had to do more tests for further determination. No infants, thank god. A search for any place Peters lived previously is undergoing. The ME knows that filing her report is her first priority.”

“Any luck with getting his military file opened?,” Rovas asked. “We know he was dishonorably discharged, but not the why. Although, I’m afraid we all can think of what he might have done, given this…pattern of his.”

“The military has been fighting us, but adding in the new bodies, even not confirmed they were his kills…I think we won’t have as much trouble getting his file unsealed.”

Through the evening the three went over every bit of information they had. Gil left close to midnight. Rovas sat in his chair, looking out his window, lights out in the room.

“You should come to bed, Zarian. Nothing we can do at this moment.”

“I’ll be up soon. Promise.”

She gave him a kiss and went upstairs. Rovas stayed in his study, falling asleep in his chair.

He was awakened at 7:14 in the morning by a call from Gil.

“John Peters father finally opened up. I was almost at my house when the station alerted me. I rushed over, called Mr. Peters back…I don’t think we will need the military files opened, except for trial when we catch him. I was on the phone with him for quite awhile. I know you wish I called you sooner, but…well, there was nothing we could do at that point. We gathered our information and set our plans.”

“He most likely molested other children on a tour of duty,” Rovas offered. “It probably would have been a political nightmare if they outright arrested him. That assumes there was no murder involved.”

Gil was quiet for only a second. “Pretty much right on the nose. It was a case of She said/He said, but in this case it was underage girls, two of them, according to the father. He said his son took the discharge since neither side could bring it to court, and he was getting hassled by members of his troop. Of course, he lied. Mr. Peters said he didn’t want to believe any of this about his son, but with the other bodies…”

“He had no choice. Hard to admit your child is a monster.”

“One more thing: we may have a lead to where Peters could be. There is a family vacation house under the mother’s maiden name. She inherited it before they were married and never changed the title. He was hesitant about mentioning it.”

“Where?”

“A few hours drive, up the coast line,” Gil was rustling paper in the background. “We’ve been coordinating with the law in that jurisdiction. They’re waiting until we get there to move in on the house. I have room in my car. Coming along?”

“I wouldn’t miss it, as long as Dole doesn’t interfere.”

“Good.  I’ll be right over.”

Rovas hung up the phone. He started to get Berrak, but briefly hesitated. He wanted to keep her safe, yet he knew she would not stand being left behind. With a sigh, he went upstairs to their bedroom. She was already awake.

“News?”

“Yes. Let’s get dressed. We may have a lead on Peters.”

She hustled out of bed, gave him a hug, and went to wash up.

Rovas thought this was too easy, but it was all they had to go on…for the moment.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Love Her Madly (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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Author’s Note: I must apologize. If you read the previous entry, Kaleidoscope Eyes, I made an error in regards to confidentiality issues with women’s health. No one brought it to my attention; it was just a realization later in the day. It has been edited and, I hope, makes more sense. Most importantly, that it does not trivialize a very sensitive issue.

**To start from the very beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**To read the first and second part of this story line, click on: Jane’s Addictive and then Kaleidoscope Eyes

 

Love

“Love Her Madly”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Seven years ago, five people in their 20’s died of a drug overdose. The deaths were cut and dried, but who called it into 911 remained a mystery until now. Aimee confessed her part in that night, but Rovas felt there was still something more. While SD Katsaros took Ms. Andersson to the station for her to write out her part in that evening, Rovas and Berrak went home to dig deeper into Edward White, the one who, Aimee claimed, brought the lethal drug to the “meditation” party.

At first glance, little was to be gleamed from what was online. Berrak went online searching. When she found something of interest, she’d pass that information to Zarian. He would follow it up with phone calls when he could. For the next few hours this continued. They felt they were getting somewhere when Gil called them, asking them both to come down to the station.

When they arrived, Gil led them to his office and closed the door.

“What couldn’t you tell us on the phone, Gil?,” Berrak asked. “We have an idea, but…what did Aimee say now?”

Gil brushed his hand through his hair and sat back in his chair. “Aimee is the queen of omissions. Yes, she was involved with Robert Larsen, was best friends with his sister, called 911 and left. Yet, she neglected to tell us that she knew Edward White a lot more than just as one of Robert’s grad school friends.”

“Were they…,” Berrak asked.

“No, although according to her, he wanted it to be.”

Rovas interjected: “That seems to mesh with the few things we were able to find out. I made some calls to his parents, his sister, and though reluctant to bring it up after so long, they shared little tidbits. I was able to get his parents to speak to me on speaker. They were closed about his drug use, especially the father. Mrs. White  started to talk about it. ‘We thought all that was behind him’ she began, before her husband shushed her. They ended the call soon after that.

I finally reached his sister. She confirmed that her brother was a heavy drug user in his teens, but he got clean. She thought he had stayed that way. She did give us something new: “Eddy was really upset. He really liked this girl, but he said she really didn’t like him. She told him so, that bitch.” Rovas closed his notepad. “I asked her if she knew who that girl was, but she said no.”

“Aimee,” both Berrak and Gil said at the same time.

“Yes, Aimee. She initially “forgot” to mention that to us. She finally filled in many of the blanks that were missing once we got her here. Robert Larsen ‘pushed’ White on her. She felt this was a way ‘Bobby’ was trying to distance himself from her. He asked her out a number of times; she said no every time. Aimee said that just a few days before the incident, she…told him off in an unflattering way. She loved ‘Bobby’ and only wanted him. She told him to get lost, in much harsher terms.”

“Damn!,” muttered Rovas. “White brought the drugs, which she said was not the norm. Gil, Berrak, this was a murder/suicide. It had to be. Edward White wanted revenge against both Robert and Aimee, and to hell with whoever else fell by the wayside. Gil, he may have a a sealed record as a juvenile drug offender.”

Gil nodded, making a note to look into this.

“But, there were five bodies, and each one seemed to have their own roach,” Berrak queried.

“Aimee admitted that Edward gave her one and kept insisting that she light up, but she hesitated simply because of the way he was acting. He and the others were already on their way. She just put the…ahem…roach in her pocket and forgot all about it when the others started reacting to the pure heroin that White mixed in.”

Rovas looked at his wife. “Roach?” He had a smile, and shook his head.

“I am hipper than you know, Mr. Rovas.” She sat there with a Mona Lisa smile while the men chuckled.

“He meant to kill her along with the others, but Aimee’s refusal squashed that.” Rovas sighed. He turned to Berrak as Gil left to get them some coffee.

“What will happen to Aimee?,” Berrak asked her husband.

“It’ll be up to the courts to decide.”

They left soon after they sipped at the coffee.

It was almost a week later when Gil called them. Rovas spoke to him. Berrak noticed he tensed up, his hand going white gripping the receiver. He hung up with a curse.

“I don’t believe this. You won’t believe this.”

“What? Zarian, what has you so upset?”

He sat down and took her hands in his. “John Peters escaped from the mental ward on his way to jail.”

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Kaleidoscope Eyes (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

**To read the first part of this story line: Jane’s Addictive

kaleidoscope7

“Kaleidoscope Eyes”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Time, again, was on their side. People’s guards are up after an incident, those who have committed a crime in whatever fashion, with whatever results. Complacency sets in the more time moves along, creating a security gap that widens each day that they feel they’ve gotten away with it. Guilt plagues many. Many, but not all.

Sargent Detective Gil Katsaros sat in front of the woman he was sure had called into 911 seven years ago. Aimee Andersson, 31, had been chewing her thumb nail until she noticed him focusing on that. “Nervous, Ms. Andersson? Please relax. We’re just revisiting in the deaths of your five friends.”

Aimee had looked down at her lap. “They weren’t all my friends. Becka and Bobby, yes, but the others…I just knew them because they were part of Bobby’s circle. Outside. Other grad student friends of his.” She looked up, taking in the other two in her living room.

Ex-Inspector Rovas and his wife, Berrak, sat to the side, on the loveseat. Rovas had interviewed her, along with all the others, all those years ago. He studied her reactions, vocally and physicality. She was hiding something; he thought so then, and even more so now. Fact finding had advanced so much in such a short time. Berrak proved to be an excellent online researcher, which finally led them back to Ms. Andersson.

Berrak had delved with precision into the four women who had no alibis that that night. Besides knowing the five who died in various degrees, none of them, besides Aimee, had any motive for such secrecy. Rovas and Gil both agreed there was more to look into with Aimee Andersson after the three of them reviewed what Berrak had discovered.

The Sargent Detective took the lead, again, as the only official representative here. “So, Becka and Bobby-Rebecka and Robert Larsen, yes?” She nodded. “You were close to them. Rebecka and you were friends from High School from 11th grade on, until…”

“She was my best friend.”

“And Robert?”

“I knew him a…little. He was a year older, hung out mainly with his own friends. Went to college, then it was just Becka and me.” She let out a huge puff of air. “You know all this. He,” she said, nodding towards Rovas, “asked me all this…then.”

Rovas interjected. “Yes, I did, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure we have the facts correctly. I hope you see that.”

She nodded slightly, looking down at her hands one more time.

Gil picked up the questioning again. “I need to ask this: did you know Robert Larsen more than just a little? He had to come home from college for visits, vacations…you say you were Rebecka’s best friend. Your fingerprints were found in various parts of the house, including the basement, which means you had been there often enough, and recent enough from the time of the crime, to not have been around Robert after he graduated college. He was back there, again, going for his masters.”

Aimee twisted her body on the couch, looking quite uncomfortable.

Berrak, inwardly wincing, could not hold it in any longer. “Aimee. You were out out from your college classes-a lot-soon after the semester started. I was able to…find school records.” Berrak hesitated, knowing she had to bend some rules to get what she found. “After the second week, you missed class after class. Or, you would show up to morning classes and run out, sick. Right or wrong, three professors noted this in case…You then dropped out of school, after not showing up for most of the semester after that.” Berrak looked to her husband.

Rovas nodded. “Aimee…were you pregnant?”

The three of them looked at Aimee, awaiting an answer. Tears dropped onto her hands, which she had brought up to cover her mouth, her cheeks.

“Yes.” Quietly.

“I’m assuming it was Robert’s.” Pause. A nod. “Was it rape?” Rovas asked.

Aimee shook her head. “He didn’t want any children, especially not then. He was just starting his grad work. His work, his parents, his…his…his!” She broke off. Looking up at Berrak, focusing solely on her: “Robert never asked me what I wanted, needed. I wanted to be with him. This was not planned, but I hoped…”

Berrak got up from the loveseat and went over to Aimee, taking her hands as she sat down on the couch beside her. Aimee cried while Berrak held her.

After the tears subsided, Aimee told the rest. “Robert was involved in Political Studies. He wanted to move into the political world. He…convinced me that having an abortion was the right thing, since he did not want to get married then, and I didn’t have a good job at that point to support a child, even with his help.”

Gil asked “How does that work, then, with his being part of these pot parties?”

“Bobby thought it was such a non-issue. He felt marijuana was going to eventually be legalized, so…and that’s kinda what’s been going on lately.”

“He didn’t want…this,” she splayed her hands, “…to come back and cause problems for him down the line if he made it later in life. We did the…abortion…two states away. Legal, and confidential.” She looked up at Rovas; it was the first time anger crept into her voice. “Bobby was trying to protect future Robert. So, the whole way over, I tried to change his mind..about the baby, I mean. He kept arguing his point. I…finally gave up.”

The silence that followed was painful for all of them.

Gil finally broke the tension. “Aimee, were you the one who called 911?”

“Yes.” Crying again.

“Why didn’t you tell your name to the operator? Why did you leave?”

“They were all dead! They OD’d right in front of me.  Seconds. They all had their own joints. Everything was fine. Then…the convulsions. Their bodies spasmed out. I was terrified, not thinking straight. The look on Becka’s face, the pain… and then Bobby…I called.  I ran.”

“Why did you kill them, Aimee? Your trouble was with Robert. Why did you kill them all?” Gil asked.

Rovas had put up a hand while Gil was asking this, but it was too late.

“I didn’t kill them, dammit. I loved both of them! Even after what Bobby had me do. My only ‘crime’ was calling then leaving, staying quiet. I felt my life was over. I shut down for months afterwards.”

Rovas got up, walked over to Aimee. He knelt to her right. Berrak was still to her left.

“Then, Aimee,’ he asked, “why would Robert bring something so dangerous?”

“But, Bobby didn’t bring it. It was just his and Becka’s place. Eddie brought the pot that night.”

“Edward White?”

“Yes.”

He stood up first, beckoning to his wife and the Sargent Detective as he entered the hallway.

“If she’s not lying, which I don’t think she is, now…” he sighed. “We looked in the wrong direction. The whole damn time.”

“I’ll take her down to the station to write this out, officially. Berrak?”

“Yes. It’s time to look much deeper into Edward White.” She looked into the living room, sadness washing through her. Aimee folded in on herself on the couch, weeping quietly.

*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.

Janes’s Addictive (A to Z Blog Challenge)

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**To start from the beginning: From the Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

Janes

“Jane’s Addictive”

The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas

“So, seven years ago a call went into 911. A woman saying she found five dead people. She gave the address: a house in the suburbs, the bodies were in the basement. The call came from that house. She hung up without giving her name. When the first police arrived, the only thing greeting them were the dead. I was called in-I doubt you remember this, but it was one of those middle of the night calls I got far too often.” Rovas looked at his wife, knowing the answer, but, still.

“No, I don’t.”

“There were no stab wounds, no gun shots, no strangulation marks. Each victim-three young men, two women-were in various positions on the floor in a not quite semi-circle. They were dressed. Around and on them were ashes. It was later determined they had been smoking marijuana, but it had something extra in it: a very high grade pure heroin was mixed in. An ‘A-Bomb’ or “Atom Bomb, in street slang.”

“Either one not bad enough for them?,” Berrak asked.

“That’s the thing. Everyone we spoke to said that all five eschewed the use of harder drugs. They saw the marijuana as nothing more dangerous than liquor. Funny thing, this was a meditation group, something they began in college. We even found their dealer…well, he came forward, actually, at a friend’s urging. He swore he never sold anything but pot. Investigations could not find anything to the contrary. He did some time, but not for murder in any degree.”

Berrak had picked up the file and was studying it, finding the points that Khazarian mentioned. The points he glossed over weren’t worth bringing up, she agreed, as she read them. “Good people, never hurt anyone, against hard drugs, never a problem…Zarian, interview after interview, they all say the same things.”

“Yes, even the dealer”

“So, the woman who called?”

“No trace. There majority of the fingerprints in the basement were of the five. There were assorted others: the parents who owned the house, who had been away for the weekend that it occurred. Some neighbors, other family members. We interviewed them all. Most of the women whose traces we found had solid alibis; the few who didn’t were investigated seemed to have no grudge with anyone who died. No skeletons in the closets that we could find. No motive.”

“Motive. So, Zarian, you think this was murder?”

“Yes. Call it a policeman’s gut instincts, but I feel this was more than buying a bad dose. If it had been on the streets, we would have had more deaths coming in, We didn’t.”

Rovas moved his chair to Berrak’s side. The two of them poured over the information they had in the files. After going over the information, and one or the other throwing out ideas to the other, Berrak got up to chart the information they had on the white board that they had brought in on the “Old Lace” case.

It soon filled up, spilling over to the nearest bulletin board. The pictures of the five dead were at the top: Rebecka Larsen, Robert Larsen, Michelle DeBois, Ernesto “Ernie” Perez, and Edward White. Below and to the side were lists of relatives, friends, the dealer, and any and all information the two of them agreed was relevant.

 

Rovas got up and stared at the board. He studied each area, went over the details methodically, looking for connections he might have missed seven years ago. Berrak joined him, starting at the other end from her husband. They met in the middle, Berrak passing in front of Khazarian. He grabbed her around her waist, leaning in to nuzzle her neck.

She lightly smacked his hands, smiling at the boards, which immediately took her out of the contact. “Zarian, this is not the place. These people…they don’t have any chance for any happiness anymore. Haven’t had, in a long time.” She pivoted around, gave him a kiss, and slithered out of his embrace.

Rovas smiled, continuing on his inspection.

Finally, they returned to their chairs. Berrak took a pad of paper and began to write down a list.

Rovas tried to look over her shoulder. Before he could ask, Berrak said: “This is a list of the women who did no have an alibi at the time of the murders. Yes, I think so as well.” she said. “After dinner, I think some computer time can hopefully give us some current information.”

“And tomorrow,” Rovas added, “we’ll hopefully find them and have a word. I’ll see if Gil will be available.”

“Good.”

“Yes, good.”
*************************************************
“The Case Files of Inspector Khazarian Rovas” is my theme for this year. Cold case files for the good inspector to delve into, trying to make sense &/or solve. My plan is to use a variety of genres within this overarching theme to allow me to play and, of course, challenge myself. Some cases might bleed into another case. Most will be stand alone. We’ll see, won’t we?

As to the Blogging from A to Z challenge, I’ll let the words of Arlee Bird (founder of said challenge) tell you what this is all about:

The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, the A to Z Challenge is posting every day in April except Sundays (we get those off for good behavior.) And since there are 26 days, that matches the 26 letters of the alphabet. On April 1, blog about something that begins with the letter “A.” April 2 is “B,” April 4 is “C,” and so on. You can use a theme for the month or go random – just as long as it matches the letter of the alphabet for the day.

The A to Z Challenge is a great way to get into the blogging habit and make new friends.

So, join me (and the over 1800 other blogs involved) starting on Friday, April 1, 2016 and ending on Saturday, April 30th. Comments and such are always welcome. I hope you enjoy the stories.