[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 087
Chapter 17 (3 of 11): Interviews
“Well, that would be the obvious place to start,” Phoebe admitted. “And I’m not saying they’re absolutely off the hook. You could make an argument this was one of those ‘honor killings’ you read about these days – paternal rage at a disobedient daughter, a daughter dating the wrong kind of man, or just dating, period. But I associate that more with Middle Eastern cultures than Far Eastern ones. But if it is, would it involve a bashed-in head and dumping in the countryside?”
“More likely a strangling, or a so-called suicide, right at home,” Willard suggested.
“That’s my thinking, too,” Phoebe said. “As I say, I don’t rule them out, especially the father, but for now Fabian Darling seems a more productive line of inquiry. If that doesn’t take us anywhere, then we can always come back to the parents and put them under the microscope. But,” she wound up, “my gut instinct, for what it’s worth, says they’re not involved in their daughter’s murder.”
“We’re interviewing this Fabian?”
“That we are,” Phoebe said emphatically and arranged the folders and papers on the table in front of herself. “The interview will take place at two this afternoon, and I want Sundelius and Garrett to sit in. Pete, I’d like you to handle the video. We’ll do it in interview room number three, where we can tape audio and video. Pete, I’d like you to handle the camera. Anybody who’s interested is free to sit in behind the glass.” She was referring to the ‘hidden’ room behind the two-way mirror on the long side of number three. “But let’s remember, Fabian is only a suspect at this point. He’s not under arrest, and he’s agreed to do the interview as a courtesy.”
They all nodded knowingly.
“What do we actually have on this Fabian besides the suspicions of the parents?” Willard asked.
“I was just getting to that,” Phoebe said, picking up the ledger-like document that contained the autopsy and lab reports. “It’s not a great deal, but I’ve seen arrests – and convictions — made from smaller beginnings.” She glanced through her own notes she’d taken a few hours earlier on the yellow legal pad. “Let’s see here. The first thing that comes to mind is the cause of death, what actually killed her.” The detectives and Bev were scribbling furiously in their little notebooks. “Here’s how the pathologist puts it, technically: ‘… gross trauma consequent on blunt force blow to left parietal region of head …’ and ‘…massive intracranial exsanguination as result of epidural hematoma and subarachnoid hemorrhage.’ Everybody get that?”
“In other words,” Rickie translated, “somebody bashed her brains in and she bled to death.”
“In the unadorned vernacular, yes,” Phoebe said dryly.
“Which,” Barb noted, “suggests a very powerful blow with some kind of weapon to cause that much damage. Which in turn makes you think of somebody big and strong.”
“Probably,” Phoebe admitted.
“Do we know when she died?” Ulla asked.
“Only approximately. Some time between three Friday afternoon and around four Monday morning.”
“The weekend, in short.”
“Do we know if Officer Darling was on duty last weekend?”
“According to the shift reports, he was off Friday through Tuesday.”
“Any signs of sexual assault?” Rickie asked.
“None. Nada, nothing. And a negative tox screen. Except for a drink or two before she died. And what sounds like maybe a sushi dinner. But,” Phoebe said with heavy emphasis, “they recovered several hair samples from the exterior clothing of the body, and they were not the victim’s. Some, however, were in fact consistent with hair samples Fabian Darling voluntarily provided.”
They all looked at each other. “What does that mean?” Rickie asked.
“Everything and nothing,” Phoebe suggested. “It does place him in contact with her, but if he was seeing the woman, you’d expect that, wouldn’t you? There were also other hairs that the lab thinks didn’t come from Fabian or the victim.”
“Hair is tricky,” Phoebe admonished them. “We’ve got to be cautious here. A competent defense lawyer can play havoc with hair. Let’s not forget that, and let’s not get too excited, yet. Let’s see what Fabian has to say first.”
Phoebe scans the table. “I think that’s it for now. We’ll break for lunch, but I want Ulla and Willard to meet me in number three about a quarter of two. We’ll set up a routine for the interview. Anything else?”
Nobody had anything more.
“Thank you, all,” Phoebe said and rose from table. Bev helped her gather all the folders and papers together, and everybody trooped out.
TO BE CONTINUED