All that remains, p.19
All That Remains, p.19Patricia Cornwell
"What she did was anticipated. Let's put it that way."
Wesley recrossed his legs and reached for his drink.
"And you laid the trap," I said.
"No one spoke for her at her press conference."
"It doesn't matter because no one needed to. Someone made sure her accusations would come across in print as the ravings of a lunatic. Who primed the reporters, the politicians, her former allies, Benton? Who leaked that she consulted a psychic? Was it you?"
"Pat Harvey saw Hilda Ozimek last September," I went on. "It never made the news until now, meaning the press didn't know about it until now. That's pretty low, Benton. You told me yourself that the FBI and Secret Service have resorted to Hilda Ozimek on a number of occasions. That's probably how Mrs. Harvey found out about her, for God's sake."
Connie returned with my coffee, then left again as quickly as she had appeared.
I could feel Mark's eyes on me, the tension. Wesley continued staring into the fire.
"I think I know the truth."
I made no effort to disguise, my outrage. "I intend to have it out in the open now. And if you can't accommodate me this way, then I don't think it will be possible for me to continue accomodating you."
"What are you implying, Kay?"
Wesley looked over at me.
"If it happens again, if another couple dies, I can guarantee that reporters won't find out what's reap going on - "
It was Mark who interrupted, and I refused l look at him. I was doing my best to block him out. "You don't want to trip up like Mrs. Harvey."
"She didn't exactly trip up on her own," I said. "I think she's right. Something is being covered up."
"You sent her your reports, I presume," Wesley said "I did. I will no longer play a part in this manipulation."
"That was a mistake."
"My mistake was not sending them to her earlier."
"Do the reports include information about the bull you recovered from Deborah's body? Specifically, that was nine-millimeter Hydra-Shok?"
"The caliber and brand would be in the firearms report," I said. "I don't send out copies of firearms reports any more than I send out copies of poll reports, neither of which are generated by my office. But I'm interested in why you're so concerned over that detail."
When Wesley did not reply, Mark intervened "Benton, we need to smooth this out."
Wesley remained silent.
"I think she needs to know," Mark added.
"I think I already know," I said. "I think the FBI has reason to fear the killer is a federal agent gone bad. Quite possibly, someone from Camp Peary."
Wind moaned around the eaves, and Wesley got up to tend to the fire. He put on another log, rearranged it with the poker, and swept ashes off the hearth, taking his time. When he was seated again, he reached for his drink and said, "How did you come to this conclusion?"
"It doesn't matter," I said.
"Did someone say this to you directly?"
"No. Not directly."
I got out my cigarettes. "How long has this been your suspicion, Benton?"
Hesitating, he replied, "I believe you are better off not knowing the details. I really do. It's only going to be a burden. A very heavy one."
"I'm already carrying a very heavy burden. And I'm tired of stumbling over disinformation."
"I need your assurance nothing discussed leaves here."
"You know me too well to worry about that."
"Camp Peary entered into it not long after the cases began. " "Because of the close proximity?"
He looked at Mark. "I'll let you elaborate," Wesley said to him.
I turned and confronted this man who once had shared my bed and dominated my dreams. He was dressed in navy blue corduroy trousers and a red-and-white oxford shirt that I had seen him wear in the past. He was long-legged and trim. His dark hair was gray at temples, eyes green, chin strong, features refined, and he still gestured slightly with his hands and leaned forward when he talked.
"In part, the CIA got interested," Mark explained "because the cases were occurring close to Camp Peary And I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that the CIA is privy to most of what goes on around their training facility. They know a lot more than anyone might imagine, and in fact, local settings and citizens are routinely incorporated into maneuvers."
"What sorts of maneuvers?" I asked.
"Surveillance, for example. Officers in training at Camp Peary often practice surveillance, using, citizens as guinea pigs, for lack of a better term. Officers set up surveillance operations in public places, restaurants, bars, shopping centers. They tail people in cars, on foot, take photographs, and so on. No one is ever aware this is going on, of course. And there's no harm done, I suppose, except that local citizens wouldn't be keen on knowing they were being tailed, watched, or captured on film."
"I shouldn't think so," I said uncomfortably.
"These maneuvers," he continued, "also include going through dry runs. An officer might feign car trouble and stop a motorist for assistance, see how far he can getting this individual to trust him. He might pose as a law enforcement officer, tow truck operator, or any number of things. It's all practice for overseas operations, to train people how to spy and avoid being spied upon."
"And it's an MO that may parallel what's been going on with these couples," I interpolated.
"That's the point," Wesley interjected. "Someone at Camp Peary got worried. We were asked to help monitor the situation. Then when the second couple turned up dead, and the MO was the same as the first case, the pattern had been established. The CIA began to panic. They're a paranoid lot anyway, Kay, and the last thing they needed was to discover that one of their officers at Camp Peary was practicing killing people."
"The CIA has never admitted that Camp Peary is its main training facility," I pointed out.
"It's common knowledge," Mark said, meeting my eyes. "But you're right, the CIA has never admitted it publicly. Nor do they wish to."
"Which is all the more reason they wouldn't want these murders connected to Camp Peary," I said, wondering what he was feeling. Maybe he wasn't feeling anything.
"That and a long list of other reasons," Wesley took over. "The publicity would be devastating, and when was the last time you read anything positive about the CIA? Imelda Marcos was accused of theft and fraud, and the defense claimed that every transaction the Marcoses made was with the full knowledge and encouragement of the CIA...."
He wouldn't be so tense, so afraid to look at me, if he felt nothing.
' . . . Then it came out that Noriega was on the CIA's payroll," Wesley continued making his case. "Not long ago it was publicized that CIA protection of a Syrian drug smuggler made it possible for a bomb to be placed on a Pan Am seven-forty-seven that exploded over Scotland, killing two hundred and seventy people. Not to mention the more recent allegation that the CIA is financing certain drug wars in Asia to destabilize governments over there."
"If it turned out," Mark said, shifting his eyes away from me, "that teenage couples were being murdered by a CIA officer at Camp Peary, you can imagine the public's reaction."
"It's unthinkable," I said, willing myself to concentrate on the discussion. "But why would the CIA be so sure these murders are being committed by one of their own? What hard evidence do they have?"
"Most of it's circumstantial," Mark explained. "The militaristic touch of leaving a playing card. The similarities between the patterns in these cases and the maneuvers that go on both inside the Farm and on streets of nearby cities and towns. For example, the wooded areas where the bodies have been turning up are reminiscent of the 'kill zones' inside Camp Peary, where officers practice with grenades, automatic weapons, utilizing all the trade craft, such as night vision equipment, allowing them to see in the woods after dark. They also receive training in defense, how to disarm someone, maim and kill with their bare hands."
"When there was n
"But Deborah Harvey was shot," I said.
"With an automatic or semiautomatic weapon," Wesley replied. "Either a pistol or something like an Uzi. The ammunition uncommon, associated with law enforcement, mercenary soldiers, people whose targets are human beings. You don't associate exploding bullets or Hydra-Shok ammo with deer hunting."
Pausing, he added, "I would think this gives you a better idea why we don't want Pat Harvey cognizant of the type of weapon and ammunition that was used on her daughter."
"What about the threats Mrs. Harvey mentioned in her press conference?" I asked.
"That is true," Wesley said. "Not long after she was appointed National Drug Policy Director, someone did send communications threatening her and her family. It isn't true that the Bureau didn't take them seriously. She's been threatened before and we've always taken it seriously. We have an idea who's behind the more recent threats and don't believe they're related to Deborah's homicide."
"Mrs. Harvey also implicated a 'federal agency,'" I said. "Was she referring to the CIA? Is she aware of what you've just told me?"
"That concerns me," Wesley admitted. "She's made comments to suggest she has an idea, and what she said in the press conference only increases my anxiety. She might have been referring to the CIA. Then again, maybe she wasn't. But she has a formidable network. For one thing, she has access to CIA information, providing it's relevant to the drug trade. More worrisome is that she's dose friends with an ex-United Nations ambassador who is a member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Members of the board are entitled to top secret intelligence briefings on any subject at any time. The board knows what's going on, Kay. It's possible Mrs. Harvey knows everything."
"So she's set up Martha Mitchell-style?"
I asked. "To make sure she comes off as irrational, unreliable, so that no one takes her seriously, so that if she does blow the lid, no one will believe her?"
Wesley was running his thumb around the rim of his glass. "It's unfortunate. She's been uncontrollable, uncooperative. And the irony is, we want to know who murdered her daughter more than she does, for obvious reasons. We're doing everything within our power, have mobilized everything we can think of to find this individual - or individuals.".
"What you're telling me seems patently inconsistent with your earlier suggestion that Deborah Harvey and Fred Cheney may have been a paid hit, Benton," I said angrily. "Or was that just a lot of smoke you were blowing out to hide the Bureau's real fears?"
"I don't know if they were a paid hit," he said grimly.
"Frankly, there's so little we really know. Their murders could be political, as I've already explained. But if we're dealing with a CIA officer gone haywire, someone like that, the cases of the five couples may, in fact, be connected, may be serial killings."
"It could be an example of escalation," Mark offered. "Pat Harvey's been in the news a lot, especially over the past year. If we're looking for a CIA officer who's practicing homicidal maneuvers, he may have decided to target a presidential appointee's daughter."
"Thus adding to the excitement, the risk," Wesley explained. "And making the kill similar to the sorts of operations you associate with Central America, the Middle East, political neutralizations. Assassinations, in other words."
"It's my understanding that the CIA is not supposed to be in the business of assassinations, not since the Ford administration," I said. "In fact, the CIA's not even supposed to engage in coup attempts in which a foreign leader is in danger of being killed."
"That's correct," Mark replied. "The CIA's not supposed to be in that business. American soldiers in Vietnam weren't supposed to kill civilians. And cops aren't supposed to use excessive force on suspects and prisoners. When it's all reduced to individuals, sometimes things get out of control. Rules get broken."
I could not help but wonder about Abby Turnbull. How much of this did she know? Had Mrs. Harvey leaked something to her? Was this the true nature of the book Abby was writing? No wonder she suspected her phones were being bugged, that she was being followed. The CIA, the FBI, and even the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which had a backdoor entree straight into the Oval Office, had very good reason to be nervous about what Abby was writing, and she had very good reason to be paranoid. She may have placed herself in real danger.
The wind had died down, a light fog settling over treetops as Wesley closed the door behind us. Following Mark to his car, I felt a sense of resolution and validation because of what had been said, and yet I was more unsettled than before.
I waited to speak until we left the subdivision. "What's happening to Pat Harvey is outrageous. She loses her daughter, now her career and reputation are being destroyed."
"Benton's had nothing to do with leaks to the press, any sort of 'setup,' as you put it."
Mark kept his eyes on the dark, narrow road.
"It's not a matter of how I put it, Mark."
"I'm just referring to what you said," he replied.
"You know what's going on. Don't act naive with me."
"Benton's done everything he can for her, but she's got a vendetta against the Justice Department. To her, Benton's just another federal agent out to get her."
"If I were her, I might feel the same way."
"Knowing you, you probably would."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" I asked, as my anger, which went far deeper than Pat Harvey, surfaced.
"It doesn't mean a thing."
Minutes passed in silence as the tension grew. I did not recognize the road we were on, but I knew our time together was nearing an end. Then he turned into the store's parking lot and pulled up next to my car.
"1'm sorry we had to see each other under these circumstances," he said quietly.
I did not reply, and he added, "But I'm not sorry to see you, not song it happened."
"Good night, Mark."
I started to get out of the car.
He put his hand on my arm.
I sat still. "What do you want?"
"To talk to you. Please."
"If you're so interested in talking to me, then why haven't you gotten around to it before now?"
I replied with emotion, pulling my arm away. "You've made no effort to say a goddam thing to me for months."
"That works both ways. I called you last fall and you never called me back."
"I knew what you were going to say, and I didn't want to hear it," I replied, and 1 could feel his anger building, too.
"Excuse me. I forgot that you have always had the uncanny ability of reading my mind."
He placed both hands on the wheel and stared straight ahead.
"You were going to announce that there was no chance of reconciliation, that it was over. And I wasn't interested in having you put into words what I already assumed."
"Think what you want."
"It has nothing to do with what I want to think!"
I hated the power he had to make me lose my temper.
He took a deep breath. "Do you think there's any chance we can declare a truce? Forget the past?"
"Not a chance."
"Great. Thanks for being so reasonable. At least I tried."
"Tried? It's been what? Eight, nine months since you left? What the hell have you tried, Mark? I don't know what it is you're asking, but it's impossible to forget the past. It's impossible for the two of us to run into each other and pretend there was never anything between us. I refuse to act that way."
"I'm not asking that, Kay. I'm asking if we can forget the fights, the anger, what we said back then."
"When I called you last September," he went on with feeling, "I wasn't going to tell you there was no hope of reconciliation. In fact, when I dialed your number I knew I was running the risk of hearing you say that. And when you never called me back, I was the one who made assumptions."
"You're not serious."
"The hell I'm not."
"Well, maybe you were wise to make assumptions. After what you did."
All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell / Mystery & Detective / Thrillers & Crime have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes