The 85 year old dot to d.., p.1
The 85 Year Old Dot to Dot Detecrive, p.1Bill Russo
Rick Bates: The Dot to Dot Detective
by Bill Russo
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(Note from the Editors)
The hero of the tales that follow is a deadly shot. Don't let his 85 years fool you. More than one 'yegg' 60 years younger than the "Chief" has made that mistake.
Though long retired from a Cape Cod police department, he takes the occasional case - but more often than not the case is one of wine. The Chief did not take up drinking until the age of 75, but now he is making up for lost time.
Short of temper, he thinks his own 'sweat' doesn't stink. He of course, used another word, but we (the editors) want this book to be family friendly.
The Chief constantly moans that he has no Watson to puff up his exploits, and perhaps that is why he has finally agreed to release his memoirs. Chapter one, is his most recent adventure, written by himself. After release of that account, he decided to contact Mr. John Charles Weeks and commission him to put his life to ink - or digital representations of letters - depending on where and how you are reading this.
The Chief cautions all that would read; that real police work is not like television. Real cases don't come with intricate plots populated by genius detectives; actual police work is most often tedious and boring. The solution to cases is not found in brilliant deductions, but in merely putting one foot in front of another.
In the words of the Chief, "To solve a case is to pick a starting point. That is the first dot. Then just go to the next dot and so on. When all the dots are connected the case is solved."
Without further ado, here is the life of Richard Bates of Cape Cod.
The Cape Cod Name Game Murders
by Richard Bates
Mrs. Blade was killed with a knife. Mr. Gunn died from a wound caused by a pistol. John Roper was found hanging from a rope tied to a beam in his cellar. Cape Cod was scared stiff.
Somebody was on a crazy killing spree; dispatching victims according to their names in an otherwise random manner. The victims had no common connections other than the fact that their names are also the names of weapons.
Chief Sean O'Barry had no clues. Selectman Chairman Gino Romano had no patience. And the Town Administrator Martin Hammer had no time. He was the next victim. Bludgeoned to death in his office with a wooden mallet shortly after lunch.
And then they called me. It was mid afternoon and Sloppy Joe's wasn't yet crowded. I wasn't going to answer the phone. In fact, I generally don't even carry a phone. I don't carry a watch either, so sometimes I use the phone just for telling time. Since I had a doctor's appointment that I did not want to miss, I had brought my 'cell watch' with me.
On the sixth ring I answered..........
"Chief, this is Sean O'Barry. Sorry to interrupt you on your Key West time but we need you. Hammer has just been killed and the whole town is in a panic. Please come as soon as you can. I will text you all the details."
"Hold on Sean. First of all, I'm not the Chief anymore: Just call me Rick. Second of all, you can't text me. I have a plain old cellphone - the old flip phone deal. I don't even know if it has texting and I am not going to learn it. And third of all, I am not going to leave sunny Key West for a Cape Cod winter. Hell, I am not even going to leave my bar stool."
I like O'Barry. He was a rookie on the force thirty years ago when I retired. He was a good kid, but I like retirement too. At age 85, I have to admit, I am starting to slow down a little bit.
Finally after he told me what was happening on Cape, I agreed that I would go back North to take over the investigation.
"Okay Sean. I will drive from Key West up to Miami, leave my car at the railroad station and take the Silver Meteor to South Station in Boston. From there, unless you send up a car to meet me, I'll grab the Cape Cod Flyer to Hyannis. I will see you in about two days."
"Two days," Sean moaned. "But Chief, I mean Rick: this psycho is killing at the rate of one person every three days. If you don't hurry, someone else will die. Mr. Spears is worried, so is Mrs. Axe, and Captain Hook and Mr. Nail too. Mr. Shield thinks he might be safe, but he's plenty worried."
"I don't think there will be another murder for a while Sean. You say the murders are random. They are anything but. Your killer is selecting victims based on names, yes. But he, or she, is also very carefully matching the
murder weapon to the crime. Mr. Roper was done in with a rope. Mrs. Blade by a knife, and Mr. Gunn by a pistol. You see he has used up the simple ones. The next murder will take a little more time to plan. While I am on the train, I will be mapping out a plan to catch your perpetrator. I will be leaving Miami tomorrow morning and I will arrive in Boston about 6:00 P.M. the next day."
"Okay Rick. But you know you could fly it in about three hours."
"No Sean I can't! I don't have wings. By the way, the train, counting my roomette, will be about $700. I will need you to wire me that here in Key West."
"Seven hundred dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rick, I just don't know....."
"Okay Sean, why don't you just let the State Police or the FBI take over...."
"No. Rick. You will have the money by four o'clock today. I will tweet you."
"Don't tweet me Sean, I do not have a tweeter."
"That's twitter Rick."
"No. It isn't. If it were twitter, then you'd be sending me a twit not a tweet.
And I think twit is an appropriate name for all of you who...."
"Okay, okay. Rick, I get it. What do you want me to do while I wait for you."
"Make me a list of all possible victims."
"I have been doing that. So far I have got about 20 names - Hook, Bolo, Baton, Lance, Halberd, Cannon, Arrow, Cord, Wire, Smith, Wesson, Colt, Razor, Stone, Lynch, and Brick."
"Good job Sean. Now, you've got about a hundred officers........."
"One hundred fifteen," he interrupted, "and everybody has been called in. No days off, no vacation, and no sick time till we get this man."
"Or woman. So take your men and put a guard on each of the people on your list. I know you can't watch them 24 hours a day, but even a limited presence will make it significantly harder for your maniac to do his next murder. And you might luck out and catch him trying. Keep on it. I will see you in two days time."
Before he hung up, I told Sean to call Jim Moody over at the Cape Cod Times. I wanted the paper to write up a big feature article saying that I (the retired Chief of the police department) was coming back to personally head up the investigation into the "Name Game" Murders".
On Cape Cod, everybody has tweeters, eye pads, eye phones, tablets and all the other trappings of the computer age, but they all still read the Cape Cod Times. It's a tradition. Tourists read it because every day the paper has a whole page of beach and weather information, restaurant specials, and a listing of upcoming events. The locals read it because it is still the best source of information about what's happening in the 15 towns that make up the quirky little island of 200,000 people off the coast of Massachusetts.
I knew that the killer would read the news about me leaving my winter spot in the Keys to come back up North. I knew too, that once I got to Hyannis;
the murderer would have me lined up for his next conquest. And that was exactly what I wanted.
I left my vehicle in the lot at the Miami train station. The lot is
I slid four, crisp hundred dollar bills across the counter to pay for my ticket. O'Barry was going to be happy. I got a bargain. My fare from Miami to Boston was only $120 and my Roomette was specially priced at $220. So for $340 I would be able to ride the 26 hour trip in the comfort of my little room. All my meals were included in the price.
I was able to get the 8:20 A.M. out of Miami. The baggage attendant took charge of my bags and the train was right on time. I went to my room and began plotting my battle against the name game killer.
The combination was rolling smoothly on its long run three hours later when the porter asked me if I wanted to eat lunch in the dining car.
"No thanks, I will eat here in my room. I'll have the Angus steak burger with Swiss on a corn dusted kaiser roll. Put in a couple of Applewood smoked bacon strips. And for a beverage, a good red house wine will do. Full bottle please."
Railroad food is outstanding. I don't know how they get it to taste so fabulous, but it never disappoints. And when you have a roomette, all meals are included at no extra charge.
My burger was excellent and the wine was perfect. I didn't start drinking until I was 75 years old, but now I am making up for lost time. Another glass of wine, then a nap. Then it will be dinner time. Did I mention that I love the train?
After my nap, I went to the dining car for an excellent herb roasted chicken with rice pilaf and corn, along with three glasses of Chardonnay. I was seated with three Hispanic women from Lake Worth in Palm Beach county. We
passed a pleasant 90 minutes discussing the merits of Spanish Telenovas.
Then I retired to my room to work on my plan to capture the name game killer. But I was a little tired and I drifted off, sleeping like an 85 year old baby until breakfast. Before arriving in Boston, I did manage to settle down and craft a plan that I felt would work and when I arrived at Chief O'Barry's office I shared it with him.
"How was the train ride, Chief?"
"Sean, don't call me Chief! You are the chief now. I am Rick. Just Rick. The train ride was spectacular. Why would anybody travel any other way? Now bring me up to speed on the latest developments."
He briefed me and I outlined my plan. I told him that I wanted to set up my office in Hammer's old office - the place where he was killed. I instructed him to get another item in the Times with all the details.
In a nut shell my plan to capture the murderer was to goad him into returning to the scene of his crime...the very place where he had killed Town Administrator Marty Hammer. How would I get him to come after me? I decided to use radio.
There are a dozen radio stations on Cape Cod, but WMIC talk radio, is number one by far. Its success is mainly due to the popularity of the morning talk show, hosted by a colorful guy named Larry Edwards.
Larry is a Cape Cod institution. Almost everybody on Cape tunes in. He knows everyone and is on first name terms with every body from the clerk at the corner store, to the Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
He is even on a first name basis with the jailers of the last three Speakers!!! That's another story for another time!
I was sure that the killer would be listening to Larry's program because serial
murderers bask in the notoriety of their inhuman acts. I decided to call in to the show and set the baits that would bring an end to the bloodiest reign of horror that Cape Cod had ever seen.
I went on between 8:30 and 9:00 A.M., which I figured would be the best time to ensure that that my target was listening. I explained to Larry that as the retired Chief of Police, I had returned from 'snow birding' to take charge of the case. I informed the radio audience that I would be in my office 24 hours a day until the killer is caught. I explained that I would be eating and sleeping in the building and would not be leaving it at any time.
After a general discussion of the plague of terror and death that had gripped every town and village from Provincetown to Bourne; I fielded half a dozen calls from listeners. I was hoping that the murderer would call in to the show, but it didn't happen.
During that first day back on Cape, I pored through voting lists, telephone directories, and various public records to find names that would most likely be on the killer's list. There were hundreds of possibles. Last names. Names like Remington, Colt, or Gatlin were bad enough, but even a person's first name could make him or her a target. Tommy? Tommy Gun. Pete? Pistol Pete. Wes? Wesson.
Too many names. Too many possibilities. My best chance was in staying in the office and hoping that my baits would draw the killer to me.
On the radio, I revealed that the police station would be empty, except for me, between one A.M. and four A.M. Every day.
At midnight that night, I slid my shoes off and laid down on the office couch. I drifted off to a restless sleep. Some time later, I snapped to, when a crack of light appeared at the office door as it began to be slowly opened. An illuminated clock on the wall revealed that it was nearly three in the morning.
A figure silently approached me in the darkness.
"Before you kill me, why don't you turn on the light so we can have a little talk," I broke the stillness.
"Don't move or I will shoot you!" commanded a decidedly male voice.
"We both know that you are not going to shoot me. My name is not Gunn or Bullet, so I will not die from one. Just put on the light and let's talk."
The snap of a switch brought instant brightness and I gazed upon a face I knew very well.
"Captain Hook. I am not totally surprised to find that it is you behind all these killings. But why?"
"Hello Chief. It's you. It's all your fault! Before we talk, give me your gun."
I rose from the couch and handed over my little Glock 19 that I have had since the 1980s. It's a mini Glock that's perfect for undercover operations. A scaled down Glock 17; it's four inches shorter and holds 15 rounds, but weighs less than two pounds fully loaded. I love that gun and sure hated to give it up, but I presented it to Captain Hook, handle first and then sat back down.
"Well that's a wimpy little gun Chief, but thanks for it. Now we will talk. You are the reason for everything. You retired more than 30 years ago but everybody still calls you Chief. You go to Florida in the winter but every summer you come back and stick your fingers in the department. Look at me, forty years on the force and they finally make me a Captain just as I am being forced to retire.
I could have been Chief. If you had put a good word in, the selectmen would have made me the boss. But you never once went to bat for me. I wanted to be a detective and you always put me on traffic detail."
"You made your own trouble, Hook. How many times were you on the carpet for drinking on the job? How many times did you almost get discharged? I never spoke up for you because you were not a very good cop. But I never tried to get you fired either because I thought at least you were honest and
when you were sober, you did your work."
"It doesn't matter now Chief. You are my last job. I am going to kill you and then I am going to retire. I am going to open my mouth and blow my brains out. But not before I croak you, you ancient relic. You should have died 20 years ago."
"I am all alone here. There is nothing to stop you. How are you going to do it Hook? What's it to be?"
"Think about it Chief. There's really only one way to properly get rid of you. I am going to take you to Monomy Island where you can join the thousands of seals as shark food."
"Okay Hook, let's get going. I'll just put on my shoes and then I will be ready to go"
I reached down and pulled out my spare Glock 17, that I had stowed inside my shoe and shot Hook twice in the temple before he had a chance to even think about firing at me. He crumpled and fell dead to the floor.
He really was a lousy cop. He took his eyes off
Later as I was being driven to the train station to go back to Key West, Chief O'Barry asked me, "Chief, why were you so certain that Hook would come after you.
"First of all. Don't call me Chief! It's Rick. Second of all Sean , that's a stupid question. What's my last name?"
"Bates. Your name is Rick Bates."
"Yes Sean and how do you catch a fish or a killer? You use baits! I will be 86 years old next birthday, but I knew that my 'Bates' are well preserved and would still be irresistible!
The 85 Year Old Dot to Dot Detecrive by Bill Russo / Mystery & Detective have rating 4.3 out of 5 / Based on17 votes