Friday 19 October 2012
From the observation room Officer Andy Ricketsen watched the interview unfold. He was sore at not being permitted to sit in on the interview with Detective Sue Lennard. Brian Hunt, the detective in charge of the case, had promised Andy earlier that he and Sue could take charge of the Cody Seaborn interview. However, fifteen minutes into the interrogation, Hunt had removed Ricketsen and the detective had taken his place. The detective had offered no explanation for his decision and that had riled Ricketsen further.
Seaborn’s admission that the investigation into Missy Fairmont’s stalker was never intended for the Detective Squad, let alone his uncle Russ Seaborn, had Ricketsen feeling like a patsy. He was supposed to be the one who investigated Missy’s complaint but instead, he’d been alarmed by the gravity of the situation and had walked the case upstairs to the detectives. It was pure chance that Ricketsen’s long time buddy was the first detective he came across.
The magnitude of events was weighing heavily on Andy. At the end of the day, it was Andy’s fault that Russ Seaborn had been murdered by his own nephew: had Andy not delivered the case to the Detective Squad, had he investigated it himself, Russ would still be alive. Considering all of this, Andy slowly understood why Hunt had removed him from the interview. Feeling so at fault, it was entirely likely that Andy might fly into a rage at Cody and that, in turn, would be detrimental to the police case against the boy as well as Andy’s career.
Hunt’s line of questioning brought Andy’s attention back to the interview. Seaborn admitted that killing his uncle was done under his own volition, and was a crime of opportunity, and as Cody had implied, it was a necessity to keep his identity and involvement a secret. It wasn’t so much Cody’s story that bothered Andy, but more so the way he recounted it to Hunt. There was no remorse in the boy’s voice, no hint of him being upset or distressed, as Ricketsen expected there would be of a kid who had been manipulated by an older woman. No, Ricketsen had a feeling that Cody Seaborn was involved as much as Mrs. Fairmont in the conception and execution of the murder of her husband.
Andy left the observation room and raced around to the door of the interview room. He knocked quite loudly, startling the occupants. Irritated at the interruption, Hunt leapt from his chair and opened the door. Ricketsen could see that Hunt would rip him limb from limb if he didn’t have a good reason for interrupting the interview.
‘What?’ Hunt snarled. Ricketsen cleared his throat and wondered if it was such a good idea to have knocked.
‘I know you think that I’m a lowly officer –’
‘Get on with it, Ricketsen,’ Hunt was now the one interrupting.
‘Okay, look, I really think that the kid is in this up to his eyeballs and he’s not being completely truthful.’
The thought had already crossed Hunt’s mind.
‘Go on,’ said Hunt.
‘Just thinking on my feet here, but he’s got a thing for older women, right?’
Hunt nodded in agreement. The kid wasn’t as meek and mild as he wanted the detectives to think.
‘What would happen if you and the attorney left the room? Leave Sue in there with him and see what he tries. We’d be watching the whole time so Sue would be safe.’
‘And how would we get Chadwick out of the interview room without him insisting that Lennard leaves as well?’
Ricketsen briefly considered the question. Legally, there was no reason why a detective would be left alone with a suspect whose attorney had left the room.
‘What if you were called out of the room first, leaving Sue, and the kid and his attorney alone? Then you stick your head back in, tell Chadwick there’s a phone call for him. When he mentions his client being alone in a room with a detective, you assure him that Sue can’t do anything because the whole interview is being recorded and he’d have visual evidence that she’d unlawfully questioned his client.’
Hunt didn’t look convinced that Ricketsen’s plan was going to work.
‘I know it’s simple, and a stretch, but it’s all we’ve got, Detective Hunt. If it doesn’t work, we’ve lost nothing.’
‘Okay,’ Hunt replied, ‘set it up. Give us a few more minutes with him, then do your thing.’ He looked around at the desks then gestured to a stack of papers on the closest one.
‘Hand me a wad of those printouts, Ricketsen. I can’t go back in empty handed. Chadwick’s a sly bastard and he’ll recognise the call as a set up. I wanna make it seem as though you’ve delivered a bunch of information about Cody Seaborn to me.’
Andy did as he was instructed and then headed back to the observation room to calm himself. Sue would be alone in the room with a double murderer, and Ricketsen hoped to God that he was wrong about Cody Seaborn because if he was right, Sue Lennard could end up in a sticky situation.
. . . To be continued . . .