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The Negotiator was trying to...well, negotiate...with his new boss, Superintendent Frank Crabtree. Frank wanted his ambitious nephew, Duke Crabtree, to take the case of Dr. Raleigh's murder. It still pained The Negotiator to think of his poor boss dead and gone...which is why HE wanted to bring the murderer to justice.
"I'm giving you 16 hours to make an arrest. If you don't have a suspect in jail my midnight...Duke takes over the case and you'll be managing the desk at Central Booking. You follow?"
"Why are you so angry?"
"Are you insinuating that any "animosity" between us is gonna affect your job performance you pussilanimous-"
"Well yeah. I work better when I feel better about myself."
"I'm sorry if I said anything slanderous to you. When I get tired, I get snappy."
"Well then you musta been dog-tired on Sunday."
"Chief, I was spewing off so many non-sequiters my own DOG bit me!"
"Ha-ha-ha! Alright, fine, I'll give ya 24 hours. Is that enough?"
The Negotiator saluted. "I'm on the case, sir!"
First things first...the murder scene.
"We haven't touched anything. She's just the way we found her." Jim the cop said as the Negotiator walked up to him in Honeydew Park. The Negotiator knelt down and saw the face of Angie staring up. There were tear trails on her cheeks still...
"Cause of death is...a fractured skull. Her...her watch reads 12:06, most likely the time of death. There's a bracelet here...it reads "TLB" and it seems to belong to a man. And...a five pound tire iron. No fingerprints..."
The Negotiator bit his lip. "I'm closing her eyes." He said, lifting his hand and gently closing his boss's eyes. "I'm so, so sorry..." He thought as he stood up.
"Can I release the body to the coroner?" Jim asked.
"I also asked the lads to run a make on the tire iron to identify the vehicle."
"...good job. Check out the bracelet as well."
"Thank you sir. I appreciate your confidence in me."
"So Dr. Russell...tell me everything."
"I CAN'T believe anyone would KILL her. Was it that escaped criminal? That's what all the papers say."
"Er, Mr. Russell...did Angie have any...enemies?"
"I wouldn't know. She was a very ambitious, secretive BITCH in my opinion, but would someone want to kill her for that?"
"Was there a...man in her life?" The Negotiator asked.
"Yes. Yale Johnson."
"Can I have a list of her cases, please, all the things she was working on?"
"You're wasting your time. Hartrup's your crook."
"Where's the computer?"
"She obviously took it home with her. Satisfied?"
"Quite. Don't leave town. I'll go check on her home right now."
Driving to Dr. Raleigh's apartment, the Negotiator looked around. He felt sorrow fill him as he searched around. Only a few weeks ago he'd been in here with Angie, laughing about how great it was to be promoted. They'd been having such a great party with the others and-
Where was the computer? It...it was gone...
Yale's sweater with a recipt for "Fatal Attraction" was on the chair in the living room where Angie's computer ought to have been. The drug "Paxwic" was mentioned in a newspaper article on the table, highlighted. And there was a datebook that read "H" away and "presentation to reg" near the table. This...this was enough. But before he could leave, the neighbors dropped by.
"Hello! I'm Mrs. Tart. This is my husband. I suppose you're looking for clues."
"Have you seen any suspicious people coming around?"
"Yes. A black male came around at all times of the day and night."
"Honey, his name is Yale, and he's a very nice man."
They began bickering. The Negotiator finally popped the question: "Why was Yale suspicious?".
"Because he had a wedding ring on. He was committing adultery."
"For how long, do you think?"
"Oh, not very long. Not more than 6 months."
"Thank you for your time."
Just as The Negotiator had left the building, who should show up on the scene but Duke Crabtree, anxious to report something.
"What is it, Duke?"
"You wanna hear something disgusting? The Shrink was PREGNANT. This is a DOUBLE HOMICIDE. I'm gonna be going after that Hartrup creep. Oh, and another thing, Yale Johnson reported his car stolen and it was found about 100 yards from the crime...and guess what...the tire iron's missin'. Ain't that a coinky-dink?"
"...whatever." The Negotiator said. "Get lost, Duke. I've got work to do. I'm going to Ted's house..."
"...right after a nap..."
The trip to the house was uneventful. But when the Negotiator opened the door he was shocked. There really was "blood" on the walls. Ted's prison jumper was discarded on the floor, along with a bottle of scotch. On the couch was a pizza receipt, ordered at 10:21 and delivered at 11:15. So...then...
Ted WAS innocent. Of that the Negotiator was sure. What about Yale? He HAD to talk to Yale.
"I'm just devestated." Yale said. "Ted didn't do it. He's not the type!"
"What was Angie to you, Yale?"
"A friend and colleague." Yale told The Negotiator.
"...Yale, I KNOW you were having an affair."
"We WERE. But I put the brakes on it recently. My marriage is important to me."
"Angie was 2 months pregnant Yale..."
"REALLY?" Yale gasped. "That's...wow..."
The Negotiator sighed. "Yale, I...I hate to ask you this, but...will you submit to a blood test."
"I...I didn't kill her, I'm innocent, I...I should talk to a lawyer."
"You ARE a lawyer. Where were you around midnight?"
"I was talking to the cops about my stolen car."
The Negotiator nodded. "Right, I'll just be-"
Guess who showed up. AGAIN.
"Sorry to say this but your game's up! I caught that bastard Hartrup walking up the road to his ex-wife's place! I'm charging him with 1st degree murder!"
"Sure thing." (You shifty-eyed pig) "But I wanna speak to Ted."
"Go ahead, but we got him nailed with that bracelet. It was a gift from Hartrup to his WIFE." Duke said smugly.
"...creep." The Negotiator said, leaving the building.
Ted turned out to be...well...noncooperative. Nothing the Negotiator said worked. So he decided to visit Bridget's home. When he knocked on the door...
A shotgun was stuck in his face. YIKES!
"Nobody here wanna buy nothin'. Go away!"
"...I gain't got much use for the Fuzz. Whaddya wanna know?"
"Seen this bracelet before?"
"Where'd ya get that?"
"What does TLB mean?"
"Ted love Bridget. I made her give it back."
"Where IS Bridget?"
"She's romancing a good man now. One with money. Position. She'll do good this time!"
"I need to contact her. Where is she?"
"She's probably with her boyfriend, Rolf Klink or something. Go check it in the paper."
Waving goodbye, the Negotiator went back to his car, taking out his daily copy of the paper and looking through to find...
BINGO! "400 Jobs Promised as Drug Company inks Plant Deal". There was a picture of Rolf Klink and Bridget Hartrup in the paper. The drug spoken of was...Paxwic...
"So, have you found a suspect? Because it looks like Duke beat you to the punch." Frank Crabtree said down at the station.
"Ted didn't do it, sir." The Negotiator said.
"Ted couldn't have done it. He has a receipt for pizza at the time of the murder, meaning he couldn't have left the bracelet at the crime scene."
"That's...that's pretty compelling police work. So if HE didn't do it, who did?"
"Angie's work was related to Rolf Klink. Her paper could have ruined him. And Bridget, Hartrup's ex-wife, is currently seeing Rolf Klink. They have more motive."
"That's...that's d--n fine police work. Alright, let's go have a talk with Klink. Duke, I want you to come along and assist however you can. You might learn something."
Duke's sneer faded as instantly as it had begun. The Negotiator grinned inwardly as they left the building to go find a certain couple...one Rolf Klink and one Bridget Hartrup...