Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Sunshine City Chronicles: The Freshman, Part 3- The Brewing Tempest


June 4, 2018,
12:09 local time,
Sunshine City Police Headquarters,
Sunshine City, Sonora

“You know, Harv,” said Morgan as he and Bullock had a “working lunch” in Bullock's office, “I'm not sure we're going to find anyone on the missing person's list.”
“Why are you so sure?” said Bullock, taking a bite out of his first steak burger.
“I know we found shoe prints at the scene,” said Morgan, eating a much smaller sandwich wrap, “but there weren't many of them. It makes me think the whole thing was staged.”
“Staged?” said Bullock through bites of the sirloin.
“Yeah,” said Morgan. “It was pouring rain when you picked me up...that would be roughly the time when the UnSub killed the man...except, why would the man be on the beach in the first place? Surely no one goes to the beach in the rain.”
“Well, there's a few people...” said Bullock.
“C'mon, Harv,” said Morgan, “you know what I mean.”
“So the UnSub goes to the beach, kills the man,” said Bullock, “stomps his feet a few times, takes his family and leaves.”
“No,” said Morgan. “There's no family...just the UnSub and the man he killed. In fact, he likely killed the man somewhere else and brought him to the beach for us to find. He then moved four beach chairs closer to him to make us think there was a kidnapping.”
“The stiff was pretty heavy,” said Bullock. “We must be dealing with a strong UnSub.”
“With this beach having a strong importance to him,” said Morgan, “and with the staged kidnapping, he must think that someone took something from him.”

A knock then came on Bullock's door. Bullock then told the would-be guest to come in.

“Whoa,” said Neena Thurman, coming through the door alongside Christina Alonso, and seeing the lunches of Bullock and Morgan. “Are you on a diet, Derek?”

Morgan chuckled. “Naw,” he said. “Well, I guess sort of...I'm doing Weight Watchers...I felt like I was getting a little heavy...so I'm giving myself a trim.”
“How does it work?” said Thurman, intrigued.
“Well,” he said, “you can eat as much food as you want in a day, until you hit your limit. That limit is determined by a certain amount of points, of which each food and drink item has a corresponding value. For my age, I can only eat a maximum of 30 points per day, of which this meal I have in my hand...it's worth 10 points. Since I only had a coffee this morning- just one point- I have 19 points left, which I saved on purpose to have myself a big dinner. Well...as big as I can. I can't eat like Harvey can.”

“Yeah,” said Alonso with a chuckle as Bullock started eating another steak sandwich. “So how many points have you had today, Gramps?”

Bullock finished swallowing his bite before answering, not reacting to Alonso's preferred nickname for him.

“Well,” he said, “I'm not sure...but I do think I passed 30 points about three steaks ago.”

Thurman, Alonso and Morgan both laughed before Thurman decided to get down to business.

“OK,” said Thurman, “toxicology test came back on the dead man, who we identified through dental records as a one Martin Coleman, who was vacationing here from Montreal. Coleman was found with 6000 mg of valium in his system, ground down to a liquid so that he could take them in faster. Coleman was dead before he even got to the beach.”
“6000 mg,” said Bullock in shock. “That's six bottles.”
“The fact you know that worries me,” said Morgan.
“No,” said Bullock. “I don't take them myself...around here, there are lots of celebrities...or former celebrities. Lots of them overdose on sleeping pills, so I have experience with them.”
“I see,” said Morgan before turning his attention to Thurman.

“Thank you, Neena and Chris,” said Morgan. “Is there anything else about Martin that you'd found?”
“As far as I can tell,” said Alonso, “I found no defensive wounds on him, no bruising of any kind.”
“No signs of a struggle,” said Bullock. “So Coleman was probably forced to ingest that drink.”
“He also likely knew his killer,” said Morgan. “Forcing someone to down that much valium isn't something you risk doing out in the open, so Coleman had to have been at his hotel room when he ingested all those pills...and he's not likely going to let just about anyone walk into his room.”
“What if it was hotel staff, or someone posing as staff?” said Bullock.
“Why would hotel staff,” said Morgan, “or someone posing as hotel staff, want him to down all that valium...and then cart his passed out hide to the beach? It's an oddly specific M.O....if it were a simple robbery, they'd just do it at his hotel room, or the robber would shoot him right there. No, this thing took time, effort and planning...Coleman had to know his attacker.”

“OK,” said Bullock. “Neena and Chris...continue examining the beach scene. After lunch, we'll sent Street and Wade to Coleman's hotel room.”