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Книга EchoPark. Страница 11

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“Bosch,” one of the other detectives called out. “Miami on two.”

Bosch hadn’t even heard the phone ring in the squad room.

“I’ll take it,” Rider said. “Your head’s somewhere else.”

She picked up the phone and once more Bosch opened the Gesto file.

2

BOSCH AND RIDER WERE ten minutes late because of the backup of people waiting for elevators. He hated coming to the Criminal Courts Building because of the elevators. The wait and the jostling for position just to get on one of them put a layer of anxiety on him that he could live without.

In reception in the DA’s office on the sixteenth floor they were told to wait for an escort back to O’Shea’s office. After a couple minutes a man stepped through the doorway and pointed to the briefcase Bosch was holding.

“You got it?” he asked.

Bosch didn’t recognize him. He was a dark-complected Latino in a gray suit.

“Olivas?”

“Yeah. You brought the file?”

“I brought the file.”

“Then come on back, Hotshot.”

Olivas headed back toward the door he had come through. Rider made a move to follow but Bosch put his hand on her arm. When Olivas looked back and saw they were not following him, he stopped.

“You coming or not?”

Bosch took a step toward him.

“Olivas, let’s get something clear before we go anywhere. You call me ‘Hotshot’ again and I’m going to shove the file up your ass without taking it out of my briefcase.”

Olivas raised his hands in surrender.

“Whatever you say.”

He held the door and they followed him into the internal hallway. They went down a long corridor and took two rights before coming to O’Shea’s office. It was a large space, particularly by district attorney’s office standards. Most of the time prosecutors shared offices, two or four to a room, and held their meetings in strictly scheduled interview rooms at the end of each hallway. But O’Shea’s office was double-sized with room for a piano-crate desk and a separate seating area. Being the head of Special Prosecutions obviously had its perks. Being the heir apparent to the top job did as well.

O’Shea welcomed them from behind his desk, standing up to shake hands. He was about forty and handsome with jet-black hair. He was short, as Bosch already knew, even though he had never met him before. He had noticed while catching some of the TV coverage of the Waits prelim that most of the reporters who gathered around O’Shea in the hallway outside the courtroom were taller than the man they pointed their microphones at. Personally, Bosch liked short prosecutors. They were always trying to make up for something and usually it was the defendant who ended up paying the price.

Everybody took seats, O’Shea behind his desk, Bosch and Rider in chairs facing him, and Olivas to the right side of the desk in a chair positioned in front of a stack of RICK O’SHEA ALL THE WAY posters leaning against the wall.

“Thank you for coming in, Detectives,” O’Shea said. “Let’s start by clearing the air a little bit. Freddy tells me you two got off to a rough start.”

He was looking at Bosch as he spoke.

“I don’t have any problem with Freddy,” Bosch said. “I don’t even know Freddy enough to call him Freddy.”

“I should tell you that any reluctance on his part to fill you in on what we have here came directly from me because of the sensitive nature of what we are doing. So if you are angry, be angry with me.”

“I’m not angry,” Bosch said. “I’m happy. Ask my partner-this is me when I’m happy.”

Rider nodded.

“He’s happy,” she said. “Definitely happy.”

“Okay, then,” O’Shea said. “Everybody’s happy. So let’s get down to business.”

O’Shea reached over and put his hand above a thick accordion file placed on the right side of his desk. It was open and Bosch saw that it contained several individual files with blue tabs on them. Bosch was too far away to read them-especially without putting on the glasses he had recently begun carrying with him.

“Are you familiar with the Raynard Waits prosecution?” O’Shea asked.

Bosch and Rider nodded.

“It would have been kind of hard to miss,” Bosch said.

O’Shea nodded and offered a slight smile.

“Yes, we have pushed it out in front of the cameras. The guy’s a butcher. A very evil man. We’ve said from the start that we are going for the death penalty on it.”

“From what I’ve heard and seen, he’s a poster boy for it,” Rider said encouragingly.

O’Shea nodded somberly.

“That’s one reason why you are here. Before I explain what we have going, let me ask you to tell me about your investigation of the Marie Gesto case. Freddy said you’ve had the file out of Archives three times in the past year. Is there something active?”

Bosch cleared his throat after deciding to give first and then receive.

“You could say I’ve had the case for thirteen years. I caught it back in ’ninety-three, when she went missing.”

“But nothing ever came of it?”

Bosch shook his head.

“We had no body. All we ever found was her car and that was not enough. We never made anybody for it.”

“Not even a suspect?”

“We looked at a lot of people, one in particular. But we couldn’t make the connections and so nobody rose to the level of active suspect. Then I retired in ’oh-two and it went into Archives. A couple years go by and things don’t work out the way I thought they would in retirement and I come back on the job. That was last year.”

Bosch didn’t think it was necessary to tell O’Shea that he had copied the Gesto file and taken it with him, along with several other open cases, when he left his badge behind and walked out the door in 2002. Copying the files had been an infraction of department regs, and the fewer people who knew that the better.

“In the last year I pulled the Gesto file every time I had a little time to work it,” he continued. “But there’s no DNA, no latents. There’s only legwork. I’ve talked to all the principals again-everybody I could find. There’s still the one guy out there who I always felt could be the guy, but I never could make anything out of it. I talked to him twice this year, leaned pretty hard.”

“And?”

“Nothing.”

“Who is it?”

“His name’s Anthony Garland. He comes from Hancock Park money. You ever heard of Thomas Rex Garland, the oilman?”

O’Shea nodded.

“Well, T. Rex, as he is known, is Anthony’s father.”

“What’s Anthony’s connection to Gesto?”

“‘Connection’ might be too strong a word. Marie Gesto’s car was found in a single garage attached to a Hollywood apartment building. The apartment it corresponded to was empty. Our sense of things at the time was that it wasn’t just coincidence that the car ended up in there. We thought whoever hid the car there knew the apartment was vacant and that he’d get a decent ride out of hiding it there.”

“Okay. Anthony Garland knew about the garage or he knew Marie?”

“He knew about the garage. His former girlfriend had lived in the apartment. She had broken up with him and then moved back to Texas. So he knew the apartment and the garage were empty.”

“That’s pretty thin. That’s all you had?”

“Pretty much. We thought it was thin, too, but then we pulled the ex-girlfriend’s DMV mug and it turned out she and Marie looked a lot alike. We started to think that maybe Marie had been some sort of replacement victim. He couldn’t get to his ex-girlfriend because she had left, so he got to Marie instead.”

“Did you go to Texas?”

“Twice. We talked to the ex and she told us that the main reason she split with Anthony was because of his temper.”

“Was he violent with her?”

“She said no. She said she left before it got to that point.”

O’Shea leaned forward.

“So, did Anthony Garland know Marie?” he asked.

“We don’t know. We are not sure he did. Until his father brought his lawyer into it and he stopped talking to us, he denied ever knowing her.”

“When was this?-the lawyer, I mean.”

“Back then, and now. I came at him again a couple times this year. I pressed him and he lawyered up again. Different lawyers this time. They were able to get a restraining order reissued against me. They convinced a judge to order me to stay away from Anthony unless he had a lawyer with him. My guess is that they convinced the judge with money. It’s the way T. Rex Garland gets things done.”

O’Shea leaned back, nodding thoughtfully.

“Does this Anthony Garland have any kind of criminal record before or after Gesto?”

“No, not a criminal record. He hasn’t been a very productive member of society-he lives off his old man’s handouts, as near as I can tell. He runs security for his father and his various enterprises. But there’s never been anything criminal that I could find.”

“Wouldn’t it stand to reason that someone who had kidnapped and killed a young woman would have other criminal activity on his record? These things usually aren’t aberrations, are they?”

“If you went with the percentages, yeah. But there are always exceptions to the rule. Plus, there’s the old man’s money. Money smooths a lot of things over, makes a lot of things go away.”

O’Shea nodded again like he was learning about criminals and crime for the first time. It was a bad act.

“What was your next move going to be?” he asked.

Bosch shook his head.

“I didn’t have one. I sent the file back to Archives and thought that was it. Then a couple weeks ago I went down and pulled it again. I don’t know what I was going to do. Maybe talk to some of Garland’s more recent friends, see if he ever mentioned Marie Gesto or anything about her. All I knew for sure was that I wasn’t going to give up.”

O’Shea cleared his throat and Bosch knew he would now get down to the reason they were there.

“Did the name Ray or Raynard Waits ever come up in all these years of investigating Gesto’s disappearance?”

Bosch looked at him for a moment, his stomach twisting.

“No, it didn’t. Should it have come up?”

O’Shea pulled one of the folders out of the accordion file and opened it on the desk. He lifted a document that looked like a letter off the top.

“As I said, we’ve made it public that we’re going for the death penalty on Waits,” he said. “After the prelim I think he realized the writing was on the wall. He’s got an appeal on the probable cause for the traffic stop. But it will go nowhere and he and his lawyer know it. An insanity defense is a nonstarter as well. This guy’s as calculating and organized as any killer I’ve ever prosecuted. So they responded last week with this. Before I show it to you I have to know that you understand that this is a letter from an attorney. It is a proffer. No matter what happens, whether we move forward with this or not, the information contained in this letter is off the record. If we choose to ignore this offer, no investigation can come of the information in this letter. Do you understand that?”

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