Ashley Wilkinson met him in the hallway. “Hey, Konan. I have some news.” Konan nodded and waved her over to an empty bench.
“What do you have, Ashley?”
“DNA came back off the samples that I took from the first victim.”
Ashley handed him the two sheets of paper. “Joe Waterson and Billy Crump,” Ashley said. Her eyes bored holes in the floor.
“Thanks, Ashley. Anything from Lilly, yet?”
“No,” Ashley replied softly. “She is up next. I can’t believe she is gone.”
“She talked about you; you know.” Konan looked at Ashley and studied her face.
“Yeah. She didn’t think it was fair what happened to you.”
Konan chuckled. “Did she tell you what happened?”
“Some. She said you had a strong sense of justice, that you thought the ends justified the means. Lilly said you punched Tia Mathers in the throat and then proceeded to kick the stuffing out of her.”
“Yeah, but Tia…”
“Had it coming? Lilly thought she deserved it to.”
“It’s ancient history, Ashley.”
“Tia Mathers revealed case details to a journalist, right? That’s what stirred you up?”
“Yeah. She told them our case was thin, and then the killer skated. He killed three people within 24 hours. “
“You killed him.”
“I defended myself.”
“Yeah, by killing him.”
“I will let you know what else I find.”
Thermopolis made his way to Wiggins and Tomas. Janko glared at him when he entered the room. Konan ignored him.
“Can you guys run these two names?”
Wiggins took the paper and typed in the names. “Well,’ he wheezed, Waterson is a two-bit wannabe. He knocked over a laundry and a couple of 7/11’s. Billie on the other hand is a cat of a different stripe. Billy Crump has ties to an underground network of criminals, he is a white supremacist, and he has done time for rape. “
“Okay. Can you guys go pick him up, along with Waterson?”
“Sure thing. You want to ride along?”
“Nah, I better not. Let me know when you are headed back this way.”
Konan watched Tomas and Wiggins head out, then turned and gave Janko a small wave. Janko flipped him off. Thermopolis grinned and walked back down to records. He stopped by a white board and pored over the menus of different restaurants in the area. Konan chose a Korean restaurant and ordered Kimchi.
Ten minutes later he walked into Records munching on a Spring Roll. The telephone was ringing.
“Both perps are in Interrogation Rooms #2 and 3, if you would like to observe.”
“Yep.” Konan tossed his lunch on the dusty desk and ran to the elevator at the end of the hall. He pressed the button and ascended to the main floor.
Joe Waterson was in Room #2. He had thin greasy hair, and a scraggly mustache that turned down into the corners of his mouth. His clothes were filthy, so was his fingernails. Tomas sat across from him.
“You know what happens to kiddy rapists in the joint, Waterson?”
“I didn’t rape nobody.”
Tomas put a picture in front of Waterson. “You see this kid, Waterson? We found your fluid in her. “
“I ain’t touched her.”
“No, you did a lot more than touch. You raped her. You and your bud, Billy.”
Waterson clammed up. Tomas leaned back in his chair. “Tell me what happened, Joe.”
“Okay, kiddy rapist. Sit here until you die. I am sure your pal is smarter than you. I bet he is singing like a canary.”
“Naw, he ain’t. He hates cops.” Waterson leaned back against his chair and smiled. Tomas resisted the urge to choke him right in front of the video cameras. In Room 3, Billy sat calmly. He uttered not a word.
Wiggins stared at him and Billy stared back. Janko stood behind the glass and watched as the two matched wills. Janko walked to Room 2 and stood next to Konan. “You have a minute, Thermopolis?”
“Ain’t got nothin’ but time, Chief.”
“Got a hard nut in Room 3. I want you to take a run at him.”
“I’m just here to consult.”
“Just do it. You know how to get through to these punks.”
“Fine, but you clear the air with your detectives.”
Thermopolis walked into Room 3 and gave Wiggins a nod. Janko tapped on the glass and Wiggins got up and left. Thermopolis stood over Billy and smiled.
“How do you know the victim?”
Billy smiled. “No, habla.”
Thermopolis smiled back and punched him square in the nose. Billy grunted and Konan grabbed him by the nose and twisted. Billy squealed like a wounded hog. Wiggins started for the door, but Janko stopped him.
“Listen, Billy. I asked you how you knew the victim. Don’t make me ask you again.”
“Her mom, Daisy. I knew her through her mother.”
Konan twisted the wounded snout again and Billy cried. “See, that wasn’t hard. Let’s try this again. Did you rape the girl?”
“It ain’t rape. Daisy, Joe and I had an arrangement.”
“Oh. What kind of arrangement?”
“That little slut got pregnant at 12. Daisy made her get an abortion. She caught Joe and me tussling with her daughter at Circled T on Highway 12. She said since she had raised a whore, we could have our way with her anytime we wanted.”
“Daisy pimped out her fifteen-year-old daughter? To you two clowns?”
“Daisy ain’t no pimp.”
“So, you and Joe saw the girl nailed to the floor and decided on one last ride?”
“No, man. We ain’t seen her since Tuesday. We had our fun and then she left. That’s it.”
Konan let go of Billy’s nose “What you and Joe did was rape. It is worse because her own mother allowed you two idiots to paw her own flesh and blood. “
Behind the glass, Janko sent Wiggins to fetch Tomas and sent them to bring in Daisy. Inside Room 3 Billy pressed his hand against his broken nose, and Konan thought about what he had been told.
“Alright, Billy. I am going to pay a visit to your friend Joe. Let’s see if he tells me the same story. Be back soon.”
“You ain’t supposed to hit a suspect, pig.” Konan stood and slapped Billy in the face with his open palm. “I ain’t a cop, Billy. Just a guy asking you questions about the murder of a fifteen-year-old girl.”
Then he walked out of Room 3. Waterson was waiting for him. When Konan walked into the room, Waterson sat up straight.
“What happened to Billy?”
“He played tough. I broke his nose and tried to twist it off.”
“You have something you want to tell me?”
“Yeah. It wasn’t rape. We has a arrangement with Daisy.”
Konan sat in a chair across from Waterson and listened as he outlined what Billy had told him. It took all of five minutes for Waterson to tell it all.
“Thanks,” Konan as he stood to leave.
“Her name was Amber,” Waterson said. “I loved her.”
“You’re 36 years old, Waterson. You and Billy took advantage of her. Love had nothing to do with it.”