Judge Patty Traylor lived in a gated community smack-dab in the middle of Fredericksburg. Konan figured it had to do with the close proximity to her work. He pulled the truck up to the gate. The security guard stepped out of his hooch, Konan rolled down his window.
“How y’all doing this morning, “the guard asked.
“Just fine,” Konan said. “How are you?”
“Pretty good. What can I do for you?”
“We’re here to see Judge Patty Traylor.”
“She expecting you?”
“Yes, sir. She is aware we’re coming.”
“Alright, let me double check with her.”
Konan nodded. The guard picked up a phone and dialed Traylor’s number. He nodded his head and hung up. The gate made a racket as it opened.
“Y’all have a good day now,” the guard said.
“You too,” said Konan.
He put the truck in drive and drove through the open gate. Traylor had given Lilly her address, Konan pulled into her drive at a quarter after ten. Judge Patty Traylor stood behind the glass storm door and watched as the detectives unloaded.
She motioned for them to come in and walked back into the house. Lilly and Konan followed her in. Traylor led them to the kitchen. She sat at her dinner table, the detectives sat across from her.
“Ask your questions, detectives.”
Konan deferred to Lilly. She met Traylor’s eyes and gave her a sad smile.
“When was the last time you saw Tiffany?”
“About 430 p.m. last week Friday.”
“How was she that day? Worried? Panicked? Happy?”
“Tiffany was a joy to be around. She was the one bright spot in the office.”
“Any boyfriends? Serial dater?”
“I never got involved in her personal relationships, but I think she’d met someone special.”
“That’s something. Do you know who he was? A name perhaps?”
“No. He had called my office earlier that Friday. She was chomping at the bits to get to him. I let her go early to meet him.”
“Judge Traylor, why did you step down,” Konan asked. Traylor stared at him. Lilly also.
“Excuse me,” Traylor said. “What does that have to do with Tiffany’s murder?”
“That’s what I am trying to figure out. Why did you step aside?”
“I abused my position, detective.”
“And? Ma’am, pardon me and my bluntness, but that is a load of crap. Most of the people knew that you were going after pedophiles and they were okay with it. So, why confess now?”
Traylor’s eyes filled with tears. She shook her head, Lilly stared at Konan and shrugged.
“Ma’am. Someone killed Tiffany to get to you. It’s that simple. Did you and her have a relationship outside of work?”
“Did you see the photos of her body?”
Tears slid down Traylor’s face, and she sobbed. Traylor put her hands over her face but Konan pulled her hands down and looked her in the eyes.
“Someone was there with her. They pumped her full of alcohol and party drugs. Do you know what happened next?”
“Konan,” Lilly said. Konan leaned into the face of Traylor and met her eyes.
“When you stepped down, they killed her. Her spiked collar pierced her throat. The smell of blood attracted rats. The rats started with her ankles, then her thighs, and then they ate out her throat. Now, who threatened you?”
“It was a blond haired man. I’d never seen him before. He said that if I didn’t do what he said, he’d have Tiffany killed.”
“What was his name?”
“I didn’t get his name, detective. All I know is that he was a political consultant.”
Konan leaned back in the chair and shook his head. “It wasn’t Billy. He’s got black hair. Jesus, this crap is out of control.”
“Ma’am. Can you recall any specific markings, anything that stood out to you when this person visited you ”Lilly asked.
“It was dark. I couldn’t tell much about him, but I got the feeling he wasn’t alone.”
“Thank you, ma’am. We appreciate your willingness to answer our questions.”
“Catch these people, please.”
Konan took Traylor’s hands and gazed deeply into her eyes. He nodded his head and said:
“Lord as my witness, those who did this will pay.”