Wednesday 13 June 2012
She smiled smugly. The constabulary had nothing on her or her involvement in the recent deaths in Blackfriar’s Dell. Helen Carlisle was essentially Teflon coated – everything was going to slide right off of her.
‘I have no idea what you are talking about, Detective Chief Inspector,’ she sneered.
‘Is that so, Helen? No idea how John Mitchell ended up beaten aside the head, and torched? Or how your father lost his life? No thoughts about why your mother got so pent up over Tara Roberts that she murdered her, and then committed suicide? The murder of Alan Willits? No thoughts at all?’ James hoped to bait the woman sitting opposite him. He hoped to wipe the smug look from her face. He hoped, more than anything, to cut her entitled self down to size. It was an unprofessional way to be, but James couldn’t help himself; Helen Carlisle was rubbing him the wrong way, and his rage was building.
‘My dear Detective Chief Inspector James, isn’t that your job? To find out the answers to all of those questions? Because I thought that’s what you got paid for.’
Harris reached across and took the papers from James’ trembling hands. Helen watched the exchange of papers, the smile slowly disappearing from her lips.
‘And what is it that you have there, Detective Constable Harris?’ she enquired.
‘A couple of things, Ms. Carlisle,’ Harris quietly spoke, ‘number one, I’m sure it’s safe to say that neither of us, DCI James, nor I, appreciates the condescending tone with which you spew out our rank and name. And number two, this is the metaphoric smoking gun. There’s nothing that gets by the forensics teams. Ever.’
She squirmed in her seat as she considered each crime scene, and in particular, the crime scene that she had attended. Had she left any evidence that would convict her? No, she was sure that Harris was bluffing.
‘If you really did have anything, DC Harris, you’d have charged me by now,’ she spat out.
‘I wouldn’t be so sure, Helen. How do you know we don’t currently have a team of officers out searching through your car, your home, and your mother’s home?’ He smiled as smugly as she had previously done.
‘And besides,’ continued DCI James, ‘it’s a policy of ours to allow the perpetrator an opportunity to voluntarily explain the situation, in the event that they wish to demonstrate remorse and co-operation. The court always looks favourably on that. However, if you’re sure that you wish to maintain your current course – ’
A knock on the interview room door halted James’ speech. A female officer walked in holding an A4 sized envelope.
Harris spoke, ‘For the benefit of the tape, WPC Atkins has entered the room and has given an A4 envelope to DCI James. She has then exited the room.’
James opened the envelope and peered inside. He snickered.
‘What? What’s in there?’ an agitated Helen demanded to know.
‘Oh, Helen, I’d say that you’re right royally screwed about now,’ James replied.
He emptied the contents of the envelope on to the table in front of him. Black and white photographs of Helen Carlisle bludgeoning her father to death, each date and time stamped, screamed Helen’s guilt. Spreading the contents out, James revealed diary pages indicating meetings between Helen and Alan Willits, a SIM card from a phone, and a 16 GB USB thumb drive. He spoke as he rifled through the items, Helen’s eyes never moving from the table.
‘I’m willing to bet, Helen, that the thumb drive has a lot more evidence on it, and I’m also willing to bet that the SIM is going to contain information pertaining to phone calls, text messages, emails, and maybe more photos that point towards some level of collusion between you and Alan Willits. Did you pay him to kill John Mitchell?’
She said nothing, her face frozen with an almost terrified expression.
‘He killed John Mitchell for you, although I’m puzzled as to why you wanted him dead. And I’m thinking that you killed your father for him, to stop the redevelopment of Parson’s Wood. You primed your mother to kill Tara Roberts, probably because she was going to slurry the Carlisle name, thus making it a non-profitable brand. Or maybe she saw you killing your father? Yes, that’s more like it, I think. You pushed your mother to take her own life, and then, the icing on the cake, you poisoned Alan Willits to shut him up. And it was all about reputation and money. Am I anywhere near the truth?’ James asked.
‘Ornithologists,’ DC Harris added, ‘always taking photographic evidence of their birds.’
‘Well,’ she said unflinchingly, ‘they all deserved it, didn’t they?’
. . . The end . . .