Thursday 10 – Friday 11 December 2015
Footage of the police detective’s death had made its way to New York. News programme after news programme had covered the exclusive footage that had been captured on a cell phone by a tech savvy witness who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time, and Hugo Weinmann’s face was now plastered everywhere. The news broadcasts caught Olga’s eye, and she beamed as the information filtered through that Hugo had indeed shot and killed Ryan Smoker, and had subsequently been taken into police custody. As a cop killer, Hugo would be revered in prison, but hated by the cops all across the state of New York. She doubted that he’d last long in prison though. Some cop would be owed a favour by some shady character, and Hugo would end up in the same place as Smoker.
She poured herself a neat vodka, skolled it, and then poured herself another. One question continued to penetrate her thoughts – could she trust Hugo to keep his mouth shut? Careful and precise planning ensured that all of the evidence would line up, and point straight at Hugo as being the mastermind behind the family business. Twisting of the evidence here and there would see that Olga was asked to give up her brother in return for immunity. Hugo would end up in prison, on death row, and she would be free to live her life elsewhere, and in luxury. A quick glance towards the hallway closet, and its hidden stash of money and passports, calmed her mind, and she felt as if the finish line was only a few short steps away.
* * * * *
Ryan Smoker’s corpse was remarkably warm and mobile for a dead man. He’d enjoyed acting out his execution for the cameras, but it was nice to be alive all the same. He watched from the viewing room as two senior detectives interrogated Hugo. Weinmann was reticent about divulging anything to anyone other than the detective that he was set up to shoot.
‘I’d really rather speak to Detective Smoker. I don’t think the two of you quite understand the importance of ensuring my safety. Olga is . . . fierce . . . perhaps vicious is a better word, and she’ll kill me herself if she finds out that I’m the one who ratted her out.’ Hugo’s voice wavered. Olga terrified him, despite the fact that she was his sister.
‘You can rather talk to Smoker all you want, but you’re not gonna get your way. You’re talking to us, or you’re going to jail. Either way, justice wins.’
Hugo sat tall in his chair, and looked the fat, sweaty detective in the eye. ‘Then I guess you’re hauling me away to jail until I do get what I want.’
‘Jesus Christ, Smoker, this is all I need.’
‘Chief!’ Smoker peeled himself from the ceiling, heart thumping. ‘Do you have to creep around this place all the time? You’re like a sneaky stalker, all quiet, and creepy.’
The chief’s laughter boomed in the small viewing room. He clamped a huge hand on Smoker’s shoulder. ‘You’re a jumpy little guy, aren’t you, Smoker?’
‘Only when you creep around, and frighten the life outta me.’
‘Look, I’ve been trying to get to Olga Renmark for years, and here’s her brother, ready and wiling to hand her to us on a platter but he won’t talk to my seniors, he wants to give it up to you. So, here’s what’s going to happen . . . I’m going in there to tell Davis and Gordon to get the hell out, and then you and I are going to sit in that room with Hugo Weinmann while he tells us everything we need to know to put his sister on death row. No arguments from you.’
‘You won’t have any from me, chief, but I think you’ll get a lot from those two in there.’
‘Life’s a bitch, Smoker,’ the chief replied. ‘Those two are used to disappointment. They’ll get over it.’
* * * * *
She expected the knock on the door, but was surprised by how quickly the police had finished with Hugo. She ushered the detectives in, and feigned ignorance.
‘Please, have a seat. How can I help you, officers?’
‘We’re detectives, ma’am, and you can help by coming with us to the station. We’d like you to assist us with our enquiries in regards to your brother Hugo Weinmann.’
‘Am I under arrest?’ She enjoyed playing the role of helpless woman.
‘No, ma’am, you’re not. We just need your assistance, and we need to question you in a formal interview . . . for the record.’
‘What’s Hugo done that you need to interview me about?’
‘Look, Ms. Renmark, we’d really rather do this in a formal interview.’ The detective paused for effect, well aware of her ruse. ‘He’s killed a detective in Steppingstone, and he’s trying to convince the local law enforcement that you had something to do with it. Now, before you get all upset, and feel affronted, rest assured that’s not what the locals believe, but they want us to speak to you, get some background on your brother, that sort of stuff.’
Olga looked shocked. ‘He killed a detective? Jesus . . . ahh, just let me get my coat. I’ll answer any question you have. This has to be sorted out.’
‘Nothing really to sort out, ma’am. He’s been caught out on camera shooting the detective. It’s just formalities that we’re conducting here, tying up some loose ends for the Steppingstone boys.’
* * * * *
Detective Smoker looked on as his chief took the call from the Manhattan boys. Although wearing a constantly stern expression, the chief grinned just a little. Smoker knew Manhattan had her, and it was only a matter of time before those boys let Olga in on the true reason behind her interview. The chief hung up the phone, and eyeballed Smoker.
‘This better work the way we want it, Smoker. If it doesn’t we’ll have lost any chance of getting Olga Renmark.’
‘I’m sure they’ll do it the right way, chief. Weinmann’s given us a lot to work with. His statement’s detailed, covers everything he can remember Olga being involved with, and Davis and Gordon are combing his journals, page by page, for anything else that can corroborate what he’s already told us. Turns out, Weinmann has been keeping very detailed journals on the family business dating back to when his father was the big man. Nobody ever gave Hugo credit or thought he’d be a suitable addition to the family business, so he took to all that low level stuff – drug dealing, petty theft, that sort of stuff. They all overlooked him. No one ever thought he was a threat in terms of the information he was privy to, and all the while, ol’ Hugo was writing that shit down. Give the Manhattan boys a few hours, and Olga Renmark will be behind bars. No lawyer is ever going to be able to get her off of any charge with the information Hugo’s given us.’
The chief smiled a big, toothy grin. ‘Do me a favour, Smoker . . . take Davis and Gordon, and get yourselves to Manhattan, and bring Olga Renmark back here. If the Manhattan boys want in on this, bring them along for shits and giggles. The more the merrier, I say. But you get her back here, and you make sure that there’s no chance in hell that she can get around any of the charges we lay on her. And you do that right now. Get home, pack a bag, get Davis and Gordon, and get to Manhattan ASAP.’
* * * * *
The interview was nearing the third hour, and finally it was dawning on Olga that her life would never be the same.
‘I thought I was meant to be assisting you, detective, but it seems to me that the pendulum has swung in Hugo’s favour. What has that little bastard said that’s got me stuck in here being interrogated by you?’
‘More to the point, Ms. Renmark, what hasn’t he told us?’
‘I’ll kill him.’
‘Hmmmm, not where you’re going you won’t.’
. . . The end . . .