Rock & Roll Homicide

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Authors: R J McDonnell
made a mental note to scrap Plan A of hand-to-hand combat if I came across Josef in a dark alley. I was pretty sure I could take him with Plan B – the hundred yard dash.
    Shamansky recognized three more of the 15 scary-looking visitors. He didn’t think any were known felons, but all had several scrapes with the law and all had reputations as very bad dudes. “What do you make of it?” I asked.
    “Something is definitely going down at Cerise Records. But these pictures aren’t enough to be able to get a requisition for more manpower from the brass,” he said.
    “Why not?” I asked emphatically.
    “Because my boss is going to cite the names of about five gangster rap bands and tell me this is probably just a bunch of white guys trying to Gravy Train the idea,” he said. We then looked at the rest of the photos I had selected and Shamansky was able to supply a few names to go with the faces. At this point our food arrived and our sexy server made another huge fuss over Shamansky.
    “How could your boss not put two and two together. First you have a murder; then an uncooperative suspect who ducks you; then you have half of San Diego’s Russian bent noses popping over shortly after the murder,” I said.
    “I think that’s putting three and three together, but who’s counting,” he said. “It’s not so much that this doesn’t look suspicious; it’s more that the case against your boss is looking better every day.”
    “How so?” I asked.
    “Let’s just say you better put in for your expense reimbursement soon. If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say your client will be wearing a numbered shirt by this time next week,” he said.
    “C’mon Shamansky,” I said. “I gave you some good stuff here. What have you got that makes her look so bad?”
    He replied, “There are a few things, like the fact that she gave him the headphones, had access to them and was seen fighting with Terry a couple of days before the murder. But the one that stands out the most is the fact that Chelsea’s dad owns a construction company that uses blasting caps for excavation. And, she took out a five million dollar insurance policy on him less than a year ago.”
    “Most married couples have insurance policies and, from what I can tell, everybody that knew Terry fought with him on a regular basis. He was not your proverbial sweetheart by any stretch of the imagination,” I said.
    “What about the blasting caps?” he asked.
    “Is there any evidence that she was in possession of blasting caps or came anywhere near where they’re stored?” I asked.
    “We’re working on that right now,” he said.
    “We both know that you can find almost anything about anybody if you know your way around the Internet. Also, everybody knows that the spouse is always the top suspect. Framing Chelsea would be the easiest thing in the world. Especially if the police decide they don’t want to look at more than one suspect,” I ranted.
    “You’re lucky I’m in a good mood, Duffy. Why don’t you leave fifty for the meal and take off. I’ll take care of the tip,” he said.
    Not at all pleased, but also not wanting to burn any bridges, I left the cash on the table and said, “I suggest the cherries jubilee for dessert.”

    I arrived at Perfect Pitch Recording Studios at 2:30 PM. The band had just taken a break and was still gathered in the studio. I was immediately accosted by a blond behemoth in khaki slacks, blue blazer, white shirt and striped tie. “What are you doing here?” he shouted.
    “Nigel Choate invited me to stop by,” I said as all three of the band members watched the exchange.
    “No visitors! Get out now!” he exclaimed.
    Jack Pascal stepped forward and said, “This guy is a rhythm guitar player. He’s going to fill in for Terry Tucker’s part so that the rest of us can stay in rhythm while we do our thing.”
    “No one told me this. I was told an African man named Skeezie Johnson would be filling in,”

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