On the ride back to the station, young deputy Thomas George felt dejected and disappointed; their investigation of the hospital room turned crime scene yielded nothing. More importantly, despite his most sincere efforts, he himself was unable to find any leads and prove his worth to Detective Isaias. Isaias himself was perplexed at the crime scene. No fingerprints, no footsteps, and no one of the eight nurses and staff members on duty at the time saw or heard a thing. All there was to go on was a corpse with a jaggedly cut open neck. Whatever the murder weapon was, it wasn’t sharp. Isaias just wanted to get the case solved as soon as possible and get the hell out of Carson City and the day yielded no progress toward that end. Both Isaias and George rode back to the station in silence. Both irritated by the crime for their own separate reasons.
Gonzo knocked on the door of 2154 Lavender Grove Way at about ten A.M. Like all the other residents on that working class street, the home invasion victims were not home- working, naturally. No one answered the door so Gonzo checked in all directions around him to make sure no one was watching then he jumped the fence into their backyard. The first thing Gonzo heard on the other side of the fence was barking. He feared the worst. “Shit!” he whispered softly but emphatically and figured that they must have bought a guard dog after the home invasion. He braced himself and reached for his gun but was put at ease when he saw a Labrador Retriever eying him cautiously from around the corner of the house. It was a large dog, but after a friendly whistle and a few cajoling words from Gonzo, he was letting the intruder in uniform pet him peacefully. Gonzo looked around the backyard and saw a large plastic doghouse. He looked back down at the dog and thought to himself, ‘perfect.’ Gonzo walked over to the doghouse, turned it over and began digging in the dirt beneath it with his hands. The dog watched, apparently puzzled at the queer site of a man digging with his bare hands. After Gonzo got the hole to about a foot in depth, he stood straight, reached into his pants, and produced the bloody file he used to hack the robbers’ neck open. He placed the file in the hole, replaced the dirt on top of it and put the doghouse back in its place. The sun was beating down in full force causing Gonzo to sweat profusely after his labors. He wiped the dirt off his knees and hands. He patted the Labrador on the head, put his finger to his mouth and gave a, “Shhh” to the dog before scaling the fence and leaving.
Back at the station Deputy Thomas George was at his desk writing a brief report on the day’s events. He looked at the picture of his wife that he kept there and gave a defeated sigh as he felt his opportunity and her love slipping away. His thoughts naturally turned to Terrence Lenkley: the man who had originally stolen his opportunity. Then he thought about how bad that corpse had looked in the hospital bed. Then he thought about how bad the suspect looked before he ever got to the hospital. Lenkley had beaten the shit out of him. Supposedly because he pulled a knife on him. Now he was dead. George sat with all these ideas floating around in his head. Then, the ideas gradually started to connect to form a bigger picture. ‘What if’ the deputy mused to himself, ‘what if Lenkley killed this man to keep him quiet about brutalizing him? Maybe he didn’t even have a knife, that would give Lenkley a perfect motive.’ These were revolutionary ideas, and pure conjecture at that so George thought it best to keep them to himself for the time being, but he was tantalized and his resentment for the the man Lenkley made it all the easier for Thomas George to follow his suspicions as far as they could take him.
Lenkley made his rounds in the town for a few hours then returned to 2154 Lavender Grove Way. This time to actually get a statement. The residents were home this time. Julie and Arthur Reynolds; a married couple with no kids. Lenkley was invited in politely and he extracted a statement from the husband and wife. They thanked him for his efforts on the day of the robbery and before he left, Lenkley informed them that the suspect had been killed and that there was an ongoing investigation into his murder. The wife seemed shocked, Arthur seemed indifferent.
At the end of the day, Detective Isaias, Deputy George, and Sheriff Lenkley all convened in the briefing room to pool any information the day had yielded. There wasn’t much to speak of, but before the pow wow was adjourned Lenkley spoke up. “Look it may be nothing but I got a really odd feeling with the Reynolds while I was there getting a statement.”
“Oh yeah? How so?” Isaias replied, seemingly disinterested.
“Well for one thing their dog was going crazy over something the whole time I was there.” Lenkley continued.
“You saw their dog?” interrupted Isaias.
“Yeah I could see it through the back glass door. It was barking and sniffing at its own doghouse as if it had never seen it before.” Lenkley answered. George stood silent listening to the exchange between Isaias and Lenkley, watching them go back and forth. Felling impotent. He had nothing to bring to the table on the investigation and here was Lenkley, the inexperienced drifter he grew to resent more and more each day with what sounded like a lead. “The dog was adamant about something in or around its house the whole time I was there. I don’t know, I guess it could have been a dead lizard or something but-” Lenkley paused, letting his eyes trail off “but when I told them the suspect had been murdered, they got really…flustered. The wife got real jittery and the man’s face kinda glazed over.”
“You told them he was killed?!” Isaias asked incredulously. “Why did you do that?”
“I don’t know, I thought they deserved to know, but they didn’t react the way I expected.” Lenkley answered. Isaias sighed heavily and rubbed his temples. His mind and body were exhausted by the day.
“You shouldn’t have done that Lenkley.” He said in an almost sarcastic tone. George couldn’t stifle a smirk as he drew satisfaction from Lenkley being chastised.
“I’m sorry but like I said, I got a funny feeling. Maybe they’re worth looking into.” Lenkley said sheepishly. George never heard him speak like that before, in that tone.
“Ok I’ll see what I can do about a warrant.” Isaias replied, obviously eager to leave the station. In truth he did want to leave, but he didn’t want to go back to his cracker-box motel room. This investigation was already taking a toll on him and it looked like it would drag on longer than he planned for. As the trio exited the building and walked to their cars, the detective stopped and asked, “Any good bars around here?”