The Body in the Pool
Book One of the Dismember Killer Series
Chapter Twenty Eight
Spence walked quietly back into the office and sat down at his desk.
Melanie spoke without looking up. “I sent the file to the shrink. She thinks she can have her review to us tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a big day.”
When Spence failed to respond, Melanie turned in her chair, “What’s wrong with you?”
“I saw the bean counters.”
“Millions, many, many, millions.” Spence nodded.
“The Academy had that much money?”
“I have no idea. He was stealing from all his clients.”
“ALL of them,” Melanie exclaimed.
Barnes turned from his monitor to face the room. “That’s a lot of new suspects.”
Melanie opened her mouth and then closed it again without speaking.
“You look like a big mouth bass I once caught,” said Barnes.
“I’m thinking. And here’s what I think. Yes, a lot of people are probably super pissed at Harold or will be when they find out what he did. But—” Melanie thrust out her pointer finger, “his body was at the Academy.”
“She’s got a point,” Spence said to Barnes.
“Literally,” Barnes deadpanned.
“We all need to be at that funeral tomorrow and the reception after. We need to talk to as many members of the board as we can.” Spence was back in the saddle. “I’m going to update the lieu and get us a photography team to take pictures of everyone. I want to be able to identify them all.”
“I’m not sure if we still care, Arlene hasn’t booked any trips since her husband’s death.”
“I’d love to be able to cross her off our list. I think we can get a warrant for her place based on the embezzlement, once we have the report to put in as documentation, which should come in tomorrow.”
“Listening to the list for tomorrow makes me feel like I need a nap today,” Melanie sighed.
“I’d love to say take the afternoon off. We need to be as prepared as we can be tomorrow. That means data mining today. I want further backgrounds on everyone. If they sneezed on a buffet in Vegas when they were seven, I want a photograph of it.”
Melanie and Barnes nodded and went back to their computers. Spence headed back downstairs to knock on his lieutenant’s office door.
“It’s about the Paulson case.”
“I don’t think this is a Dismember case. Harold Paulson was embezzling from all his clients. We’re about to go hard at it. If you want to pull us, this is the time.” Spence kept it brief.
“How deep are you?”
She leaned back in her chair, tapping the eraser end of a pencil on the desk. “If I pull the case from the task force, the media will notice. The headlines will read Paulson murder no longer considered a Dismember case.”
“And our killer will be on guard.”
The lieutenant nodded at him. “What do you need to pull this in?”
“Photography team for the funeral. The accounting department probably needs a little overtime. They’re all thrilled to have landed the white whale of accounting crimes.”
The lieutenant barked out a short laugh.
“Any chance we could get Harding back?” Spence asked, knowingly pressing his luck.
“Not happening. His relationship with the reporter went on for months.”
“Begging your pardon, he didn’t know. She lied about who she was.”
“So former Detective Harding informed me,” her voice dripped with acid.
“You’ve decided to bounce him?”
“Disciplinary action is pending.” She picked up the report she had been reading when Spence arrived.
“He’s one of the best detectives you have at your disposal and our team is less effective without him.”
“Thank you, Thomas. You may go now.” She did not look up from her paperwork.
Spence accepted his dismissal.