Книга EchoPark. Страница 67
“You can turn it off, Reg,” Randolph finally said.
“No, can you show it one more time?” Bosch asked. “Just this part at the ladder.”
Randolph nodded to Osani and the tape was backed up and replayed. Bosch tried to use the images on the monitor to build momentum and carry him into his own memory of what happened when Waits got to the top. He remembered looking up and watching Olivas being swung around so that his back was to those below and there was no clear shot at Waits. He now remembered wondering where Kiz was and why she wasn’t reacting.
Then there were shots and Olivas was falling backwards down the ladder toward him. Bosch raised his hands to try to lessen the impact. On the ground with Olivas on top of him he heard more shots and then the yelling.
The yelling. Forgotten in all the adrenaline rush and panic. Waits had come to the precipice and fired down at them. And he had yelled. He called O’Shea a coward for running. But he had said more than just that.
“Run, you coward! How’s your bullshit deal looking now?”
Bosch had forgotten the taunt in the commotion and confusion of the shooting, escape and effort to save Kiz Rider. In the charge of fear that came with those moments.
What did that mean? What was Waits saying by calling the agreement a “bullshit deal”?
“What is it?” Randolph asked.
Bosch looked at him, coming out of his thoughts.
“Nothing. I was just trying to concentrate on what happened during the moments where there’s no tape.”
“It looked like you remembered something.”
“I just remembered how close I came to getting killed like Olivas and Doolan. Olivas landed on me. He ended up shielding me.”
Bosch wanted to get out of there. He wanted to take his discovery-“How’s your bullshit deal looking now?” -and work it. He wanted to grind it down to a powder and analyze it under the microscope.
“Lieutenant, you have anything else for me right now?”
“Not right now.”
“Then I’m going to go. Call me if you need me.”
“You call me when you remember what you can’t remember.”
He gave Bosch a knowing look. Bosch looked away.
Bosch left the OIS office and went out to the elevator lobby. He should have left the building then. But instead he pushed the button to go up.
REMEMBERING WHAT WAITS had yelled changed things. To Bosch it meant something had been going on up there in Beachwood Canyon and it was something he’d had no clue about. His first thought now was to retreat and consider everything before making a move. But the appointment at OIS had given him a reason to be in Parker Center and he planned to make the most of it before leaving.
He entered room 503, the offices of the Open-Unsolved Unit, and headed toward the alcove where his desk was located. The squad room was almost vacant. He checked the workstation shared by Marcia and Jackson and saw that they were out. Bosch had to walk by the open door of Abel Pratt’s office to get to his own workstation, so he decided to be up-front. He stuck his head in the door and saw his boss ensconced at his desk. He was eating raisins out of a little red box that looked like it was meant for a child. He looked surprised to see Bosch.
“Harry, what are you doing here?” he asked.
“OIS called me down to look at the video O’Shea’s guy took of the Beachwood field trip.”
“He’s got the shooting on it?”
“Not quite. He claimed the camera was off.”
Pratt’s eyebrows arched.
“Randolph doesn’t believe him?”
“Hard to tell. The guy sat on the tape until this morning and it looks like it might have been altered. Randolph’s going to have SID check it. Anyway, listen, I thought that while I was here I would take a bunch of files and stuff back to Archives so it’s not all lying around. Kiz had some files out, too, and it will be a while before she gets back to them.”
“That’s probably a good idea.”
“Hey,” Pratt said, his mouth full of raisins. “I just heard from Tim and Rick. They’re leaving Mission right now. The autopsy was this morning and they got the ID. Marie Gesto, confirmed. They got it on the dental.”
Bosch nodded again as he considered the finality of this news. The search for Marie Gesto was over.
“I guess that’s it, then.”
“They said you were going to make the next-of-kin call on it. You wanted to do it.”
“Yeah. But I’ll probably wait until tonight, when Dan Gesto comes home from work. It’ll be better if both parents are together.”
“However you want to handle it. We’ll keep the lid on it from this end. I’ll call the ME and tell them not to put it out until tomorrow.”
“Thanks. Did Tim or Rick tell you if they got a cause of death?”
“Looks like manual strangulation. Hyoid was fractured.”
He touched the front of his neck in case Bosch didn’t remember where the fragile hyoid bone was located. Bosch had only worked about a hundred strangulation cases in his time but he didn’t bother saying anything.
“Sorry, Harry. I know you’re close to this one. When you started pulling the file every couple of months, I knew it meant something to you.”
Bosch nodded more to himself than to Pratt. He went to his desk, thinking about the confirmation of the body’s identification and remembering how thirteen years earlier he had been all but convinced that Marie Gesto would never be found. It was always strange how things turned out. He started gathering all the files associated with the Waits investigation. Marcia and Jackson had the Gesto murder book but this didn’t bother Bosch, because he had his own copy in his car.
He walked around to his partner’s desk to gather the files she had on Daniel Fitzpatrick, the Hollywood pawnbroker Waits said he murdered during the 1992 riots, and saw two plastic cartons on the floor. He opened one and found it contained the pawn records salvaged from the burned-out pawnshop. Bosch remembered Rider mentioning these. The musty smell of the once-wet documents hit him and he quickly snapped the top back on the carton. He decided he would take these as well, but it would mean two trips past Pratt’s open door to get everything down to his car, and that would give his boss two opportunities to become curious about what Bosch was really up to.
Bosch was considering leaving the cartons behind when he got lucky. Pratt stepped out of his office and looked over at him.
“I don’t know who decided raisins are a good snack food,” he said. “I’m still hungry. You want anything from downstairs, Harry? A doughnut or something?”
“No thanks, I’m fine. I’m going to take this stuff over and then get out of here.”
Bosch noticed that Pratt was holding one of the guidebooks usually stacked on his desk. It said West Indies on the cover.
“Doing some research?” he asked.
“Yeah, checking things out. You ever heard of a place called Nevis?”
Bosch had heard of few of the places Pratt asked about during his researches.
“Says here you can buy an old sugar mill on eight acres for less than four hundred. Shit, I’ll clear more than that on my house alone.”
It was probably true. Bosch had never been to Pratt’s home but knew that he owned a property up in Sun Valley that was big enough to keep a couple horses on. He’d lived there nearly twenty years and was sitting on a gold mine in real-estate value. There was only one problem, though. A few weeks earlier Rider had been at her desk and had overheard Pratt on the phone in his office asking questions about child custody and communal property. She told Bosch about the call and they both assumed that Pratt had been talking to a divorce lawyer.
“You want to make sugar?” Bosch asked.
“No, man, it’s just what the property was used for at one time. Now you’d probably buy it, fix it up, and make it a bed-and-breakfast or something.”
Bosch just nodded. Pratt was moving into a world he knew and cared nothing about.
“Anyway,” Pratt said, sensing he didn’t have an audience, “I’ll see you. And by the way, it’s nice that you got dressed up for the OIS. Most guys on home duty would’ve slogged in here in jeans and a T-shirt, looking more like a suspect than a cop.”
“Yeah, no problem.”
Pratt left the office and Bosch waited thirty seconds for him to get the elevator. He then put a stack of files on one of the evidence cartons and carried it all out the door. He was able to take it down and out to his car and get back before Pratt returned from the cafeteria. He then took the second carton and left. No one questioned what he was doing or where he was going with the materials.
After pulling out of the pay lot Bosch checked his watch and saw that he had less than an hour to kill before he was supposed to meet Rachel for lunch. It wasn’t enough time to drive home, drop the documents and come back-besides, that would be a waste of time and gas. He thought about canceling the lunch so he could go home right away and get going on the review of the records, but he decided against it because he knew Rachel would be a good sounding board and might even have some ideas about what Waits had meant when he yelled during the shooting.
He could also get to the restaurant early and start his review while waiting at the table for Rachel. But he knew that might cause a problem if a customer or waiter happened to catch a glimpse of some of the photos in the murder books.
The city’s main library was located in the same block as the restaurant, and he decided he would go there. He could do some file work in one of the private cubicles and then meet Rachel on time at the restaurant.
After parking in the garage beneath the library he carried the murder books from the Gesto and Fitzpatrick cases with him onto the elevator. Once inside the confines of the sprawling library, he found an open cubicle in a reference room and set to work reviewing the documents he had brought. Since he had begun rereading the Gesto files in Rider’s hospital room, he decided to stick with them and finish his review.
Moving through the book in the order the documents and reports were filed, he didn’t reach the Investigative Chronology-usually filed at the back of a murder book-until the end. He casually read through the 51 forms, and nothing about the investigative moves made, the subjects interviewed or the calls received hit him as any more important than when they had been originally added to the chrono.
Then suddenly he was struck by what he had not seen in the chronology. He quickly flipped pages backwards until he came to the 51 for September 29, 1993, and looked for the entry on the call Jerry Edgar had taken from Robert Saxon.