Robert F. Clifton
A Predetermined Course Of Events
Copyright 2018 by Robert F. Clifton
All rights reserved. No part of this book
may be reproduced or transmitted in
any form or by any means without
written permission from the author.
Table Of Contents
Chapter One….Ethel Lamb
Chapter Two….Autopsy And Questions
Chapter Three..Church, Streets And Alleyways
Chapter Four….Informants And Information
Chapter Five….,Chasing Leads
Chapter Six…….All the Pretty Girls
Chapter Nine…..The States Witness
Chapter Ten……Grand Jury
A cold November wind blew in and from across the vast salt Meadows that separated Nautilus Beach, New Jersey from the mainland. As it did Captain Robert Wallace, Commanding Officer of the police departments Major Crime Squad raised the collar of his overcoat in an attempt to protect his neck from the frigid air. He stood for a moment getting the wind direction.
Once he made a determination he put the wind to his back then knelt down to examine the dead body of a young Black girl.
A cold November wind blew in and across the vast salt meadows that separated Nautilus beach, New Jersey from the Mainland. It also blew over the City Dump of Nautilus Beach. As it did Captain Robert Wallace the Commanding Officer of the police departments Major Crime Squad raised the collar of his overcoat in an attempt to protect his neck from the frigid air. He stood for a moment judging the wind direction. Once he made a determination he put the wind to his back then knelt down to examine the dead body of a young black girl.
The first observation he made was that of a large dry puddle of what appeared to be blood next to the head of the victim. Body gas caused by the deteriorating and decomposing internal organs in the girls body escaped from the deep slash
In the victims throat. It appearing like cigarette smoke raising slowly into the air.
The girl lay face up. Her eyes were open. Her hair was cut close to her scalp like that of a boy. She was attired in a black quilted jacket, a green blouse and pink skirt. The skirt had been raised to her hips. Panties were absent as were stocking or socks. Soiled white tennis shoes were on her feet. Wallace stood then called to his squad members, “Look for a pair of female panties.” He then stood and took another look at the victims body. When he did he noticed yellow/brown scabs on the abdomen of the girl. Removing a small notebook and pen from the inside pocket of his blazer he made notes of what he had observed so far. He then began walking slowly around the body looking, searching, taking his time as he visually inspected
rusting tin cans, old newspapers, bottles and broken window glass. He stopped, looked down then knelt to get a better view.
A piece of glass, a large shard lay to the left of the victim. It appeared to contain what might be blood stains. Wallace stood and called to the forensic unit members. “Over here! I want a photograph taken of this piece of glass. Afterwards, dust it for latent prints,” he ordered.
Sergeant William O'Neil walked up to where Wallace stood watching the technician first photograph then lift and preserve the glass shard as evidence. Wallace turned and said,
“I'm heading back to headquarters. You are now in charge of the crime scene. When everything is finished you can shut it down, however make sure you get the names of everyone here, in particular the names of the forensic team.”
“No problem. Anything else?”, asked O'Neil.
“Yes, have McKenzie go with the body to the hospital morgue. While he's there have him get a day and time the pathologist will be conducting the autopsy. I want to be there when he does.”
“What about Hampton?,” asked the Sergeant.
“Hampton? Hampton?,” asked Wallace.
“He's the guy that found the body,” O'Neil replied.
“Oh, yes, of course. Right now I'm in no hurry to question him. Maybe we'll bring him in tomorrow or the next day. I'm more concerned about the girls time of death.”
Arriving back at police headquarters Captain Wallace entered the main lobby and walked to the office of Deputy Chief Harry Sweeney. Entering he spoke to the chief's secretary and asked to see the commanding officer in charge of line operations.
A few minutes later Wallace sat in front of the desk of Chief Sweeney.
“OK, what do we have Bob”, asked the Chief.
“Right now a dead Black girl who was murdered and possibly raped or abused.”
“How was she killed?”
“The killer slashed her throat probably with a sharp piece of glass.”
“Out near the city dump.”
“Leads? Hell, right now I don't even have a name.”
“What do you need?”
“Nothing at the moment but when I do I'll come calling.”
“No problem, within reason of course.”
“Alright, I'll keep you advised.”
“Talk with you later.”
Wallace walked out of the Chief's office and made his way to the elevator. He then traveled up two floors where the Major Crime Squads office was located. Entering he was met by his secretary, Mildred Cummings. “Is it bad?”, she asked.
“She was just a kid, fourteen maybe fifteen years old.”
“I see, oh the poor child.”
“Yeah,” he replied as he removed his overcoat and placed it on the clothes tree. “Is there any coffee?,” he asked.
“What's there is from this morning. I can make a new pot if you wish.”
“No, that's not necessary. If it's hot it's fine.
After pouring the dark and strong coffee into a Styrofoam cup Wallace carried it back to his desk. Once there he sat down then reached into the inside pocket of his blue blazer. Removing a small notebook he turned to Mildred and said, “Just as soon as I get my thoughts together we can start my initial report in this case.”
Mildred reached for her stenographers pad and replied, “Let me know when you're ready.”
When the office door opened Wallace looked up to see Sergeant O'Neil entering. “Did everything go alright?”, asked the Captain.
“Yes sir. I found tire prints about fifty feet from where the body was found. I had forensic make a cast of them.”
“Good. How about McKenzie?”
“Oh, he bitched a lot about having to go to the morgue with the body. He claims he always gets the shitty end of the stick.”
Ten minutes later Detective Tom McKenzie came into the office. Wallace looked at him and said, “Well, when is the autopsy and at what time?”
“Tomorrow morning at ten o'clock.”
“Good. Have you ever seen an autopsy?”
“Well tomorrow will be your first.”
“To learn and gain experience.”
“I rode all the way to the hospital morgue with that dead body. I can still smell her.”
“Is that what you consider getting the shitty end of the stick?”
McKenzie looked quickly at Sergeant O'Neil then at Captain Wallace. “Yes sir. I said that. It seems I get the dirty assignments.”
“Well as I see it many of us get what you call the shitty end of the stick. Sergeant O'Neil, before he was promoted probably thought that he got the shitty end of the stick many times. The same goes for me. I didn't enter police work as a Captain so as a young patrolman I think there were times when I got the shitty end of the stick. Mildred probably thinks she got the dirty end of the stick when she was assigned to me as my secretary. Now, I like my squad members to be happy. So, if you want to return to uniform, patrol just let me know. I'll transfer you in a minute. If not, then go the detective bureau and see if there is a missing person complaint on a teenage Black girl.”
“I want to stay Captain.”
“Good. I just gave you an assignments.”
Fifteen minutes later Tom McKenzie entered the Detective Bureau. When he did he was met by Detective Andrew Perry. “What's up?”, asked Perry.
“I need to know if there is a missing person complaint on file. She would be a Black female fourteen or fifteen years old.”
Perry walked to the list of on going complaints and cases. He then moved his index finger down the list and after a few minutes said, “Nothing here about any missing persons. Is this about that girl they found out near the city dump,” he asked.
“Try talking to Sergeant Woodson, the head of the Juvenile Bureau. She might know something.”
“Thanks, I will.”
McKenzie then walked across the hall and entered the Juvenile Bureau. He was met by a police woman and asked to see Sergeant Woodson. A few minutes later Sergeant Woodson
asked, “What's on your mind?”
“Captain Wallace sent me to inquire about the girl that was found to be a victim of homicide out near the city dump. I check the missing person file and there was no mention of a missing teenage black girl. It was suggested that I ask you hoping you might be able to identify the subject.”
“I see. Describe her to me if you can.”
“She is a dark skin girl, maybe five feet tall and around a hundred and twenty pounds. She had a close cut hair style similar to a boy.”
“What was she wearing?”
“A black quilted winter jacket, a green blouse and a pink skirt.”
“I assume photographs were taken.”
“Yes, however, I don't think they're ready yet.”
“Well until I see them I'm willing to bet that the girl is Ethel Lamb.”
“Then you know her?”
“Oh yes. We have a file on her as thick as your arm.”
“Then I'll let the Captain know.”
“I suggest you have him call me.”
“I'll tell him that.”
Ten minutes later McKenzie reported to Captain Wallace.
“I see. Bill call down to the ID lab ask if the photos taken of the latest victim are ready. If they are make sure one is sent to Sergeant Woodson in Juvenile,” said Wallace.
By one o'clock that afternoon Wallace dialed the number for the Juvenile Bureau. When a police woman answered the telephone he identified himself and asked to speak to Sergeant Woodson. She answered with “Sergeant Woodson.”
“Hello Sergeant. I'm calling for a couple of reasons. First, have you viewed the photograph of the female victim found out by the dump today?”
“Yes I have.”
“Is that who you believed might be Ethel Lamb?”
“Yes, that's her. There's no mistake.”
“I see. Now my next reason for calling is to ask you to join me across the street at “Little Joe's Coffee Shop”. I haven't had lunch yet and I was hoping we could discuss what you know and have on record about Ethel Lamb.”
“Why can't we discuss it in your office or mine?”
“Because I'm both hungry and busy and at the same time I might need you to come in on this case.”
“I prefer to explain why over lunch. So can we talk and eat at the same time?”
“How can I say no? You outrank me.”
“Fine. I'll meet you in the lobby.”
When Wallace stepped off of the elevator he saw Sergeant
Edwina Woodson standing in the lobby waiting for him. Woodson was tall, slender with skin the color of mahogany. She wore her black hair soft and long and had a thin nose and lips. Today she was attired in a dark blue suit which was covered by her long black winter coat.
After meeting the two walked out of the building and crossed the street to the small luncheonette known as “Little Joe's”. When they entered Wallace walked to the rear of the restaurant and selected a booth. After removing their coats they took a seat opposite of each other. “So, why is it so important that I join your squad working this homicide?,” asked Woodson.
“I recall that when I was Director Of Training you were an excellent student in your class at the Police Academy. As the commanding officer of the Juvenile Bureau you probably know more about Ethel Lamb than anyone. I need your knowledge. Now, at the same time I also know that the Black community in this city does not trust the police in general, nor White police in particular. So, I will also need you to help me in regards to Police Community Relations. At the same time Detective Carol Myers is on vacation. I prefer a woman working on this investigation,”
“Often things arise that only a female officer can handle.”
“Are you asking me to be an Aunt Sadie?”
“Of course not. When you come on board you will see that I conduct my investigation without prejudice. If at any time I or any members of the unit accidentally or deliberately step out of line I want you to call me on it.”
Their conversation was interrupted when the waitress came to the booth.
“I'll have a corn beef special sandwich on rye and a cup of coffee,” said Wallace.
“Just coffee for me,” Woodson replied.
When the waitress walked away Woodson said, “I'm very happy in Juvenile. There, I'm in command. You're asking me to
take a backseat to you.”
“Nonsense. I'm offering you a chance to advance in your career. A successful assignment to the Major Crime Squad culminating in a successful homicide investigation will look good in your personnel file, not to mention any future resume's, “Wallace replied.
“Woodson smiled. “You make it sound so inviting,”she said.
“Then you'll come on board?”
“I'm still considering it.”
“Fine. While you do suppose you tell me what you know about Ethel Lamb.”
“Ethel Lamb? Well to start she was born mentally retarded. I believe her IQ is about sixty. Her father Henry Lamb is Black. He is also an alcoholic. Her mother Edith Lamb is White. She's hooked on heroin. They live at seven fourteen French Street. Being mentality slow as a result Ethel was to receive a special needs education by the State. However, she seldom arrived for classes instead began walking the streets because her parents never made her go to school. Often hungry she began stealing food from fruit stands. Then she shoplifted in Five and Dime Stores and clothing stores. That's when she came to our attention when finally complaints were made.
After several appearances in Juvenile Court I informed the judge that we had information that many wino's and homeless men were using her sexually in back allies and empty houses. I also asked that the court take her into custody and send her to a place where she would be safe and protected. The Judge ignored me. You have seen the results.”
“I see. Then I assume you have met and dealt with her parents?”
“Several times. One is either drunk or the other one high.”
“Still, you can talk to them.”
“I suppose so, yes.”
“Good, here comes our order. Now while I eat my lunch I want you to keep considering my offer.”
“I'll accept on one condition.”
“And that is?”
“If at anytime I want out I go back as head of the Juvenile Bureau.”
“Said and done. Here's my hand on it.”
Returning to headquarters Wallace went directly to Deputy Chief Sweeney’s Office. When he sat down Wallace said,
“I need Sergeant Woodson assigned to my unit.”
“For how long?”
“Possibly for the duration of the investigation.”
“And how long would that be?”
“Then I'll assign her to you thirty days at a time and that will be based on how the investigation is moving forward.
Hit a stone wall and she goes back to Juvenile.”
“Good, I can't ask for more then that,” said Wallace.
When he entered his office Wallace saw McKenzie seated at a desk. “Tom, when is the autopsy?”
“Ten o'clock tomorrow morning.”
“Good, I want you with me when we observe.”
“Because as I recall you have never witnessed one.
Time to get your feet wet.”
Autopsy And Questions
At ten o'clock the next morning Tom McKenzie and Captain Wallace stood silently in the examination room of the city hospital morgue. The watched as the morgue attendant pushed the stainless steel gurney the held the remains of Ethel Lamb to the examination table. There, the attendant and Doctor
Abraham Rosenberg, the hospital pathologist and city medical examiner lifted the body from the gurney and onto the table.
The body was still attired in the same clothing as when it was found. Wallace watched as the assistant carefully removed the tennis shoes, then the jacket using large sharp scissors to cut along the seams. Once the jacket was removed he cut away the blouse and the skirt. The body now only contained a brasserie.
Wallace reached inside his blazer pocket and removed two cigars. He handed one to McKenzie.
“I don't smoke,”said the detective.
“I suggest you light it and puff on it. When the doctor opens the body cavity the smell of body acid some times is over whelming,” Wallace replied.
“I'll take my chances.”
“Suit yourself,” said Wallace as he lit the cigar he had in his mouth.
Using the scissors the attendant then cut away the bra. When he did hundreds of maggots were seen squirming on the dead flesh. McKenzie began to gag and rushed to a sink and vomited. When he was finished he washed his face and hands with cold water from the tap, pulled himself together and returned to stand beside the Captain. “Sorry about that sir.”
“Forget it. I did the same thing at my first autopsy.”
“It was the sight of the maggots that got me.” “Actually the maggots are a good thing. By the size of them they hatched about three days ago. That means that the girl was probably killed on November the fourteenth. Still, we'll wait for the pathologist to tell us when she died.”
“It doesn’t figure. It's November and cold. How can flies lay eggs in the cold?”
“They can and do. Cold weather only means that the larva hibernate. When the temperature warms they begin feeding again. Like right now.”
“If you don't mind I'd like that cigar now.”
“No problem. Just remember to puff and puff hard.'
The two investigators then stood and watched as the medical examiner using a scalpel made an incision from just under the girls sternum down to her pelvis. Wallace watched as McKenzie created a large cloud of blue cigar smoke.
After removing the liver Doctor Rosenberg weighed it then cut slices from it for microscopic evaluation later. The same thing was done with the heart and kidneys. Then using a small electric saw he began cutting around the skull cutting until he had made a complete circumference. Then with rubber gloved hands he pulled on the skull and removed it with a cracking sound as one shred of bone at the base of the skull gave way.
“Damn! I hate this part. The cracking sound gets me every time,” said Wallace.
When Doctor Rosenberg removed girl's brain he weighed it, took thin slices for microscopic slides and then removed the rubber gloves from his hands Wallace asked, “Can you give me an estimate when death occurred?”
“From what I have determined I'd say death happened four days ago. Death was caused by loss of blood from the wound in the neck since the jugular vein had been severed.
Unfortunately for the victim the trachea had been damaged resulting in the girl fighting to breath as she bled to death. Did you happen to notice the large contusion on her left cheek?”
“No” Wallace reached for his notebook and pen then added the information provided by Doctor Rosenberg. He also added, “Date of Death, November 13, 1978. Large contusion on victims left cheek.”
“You probably didn't notice it because of her dark skin but it's there, so is what appears to be a pubic hair on the inside of her left thigh. I'm sure you want that for evidence,” the doctor continued.
“What about those scabs on her abdomen?”
“It appears to be impetigo. A skin disease. Also highly contagious.”
When he returned to his office he saw Edwina Woodson seated at a desk next to the large windows that looked out onto the city street three stories below. Seeing Wallace Woodson asked, “Is it alright for me to use this desk or is it assigned to someone?”
“The only desks assigned in this unit is mine and Mildred's. However, since you're coming on board as a much needed hand in this investigation consider it your desk while you're here.”
“You're welcome. Now, I want you to go the Lamb home. Question them about anything they might know about just who Ethel was traveling with, where she went and with who.”
“If you don't mind I'd rather question them here.”
“Worse than you can imagine.”
“Very well have the parents brought into the office.”
Turning to Sergeant O'Neil Wallace said, “Bill when ever you want to bring in the man that found the body I'm ready to hear what he has to say.”
“Fine, I'll take a ride out to the city dump and see if he's free.”
“Mildred, time for another report. Bring your pad and pen,” said Wallace.
An hour later Bill O'Neil walked into the office with
Edmond Hampton. “Captain. This is Mr. Edmond Hampton. He is the foreman in charge of the city dump,” said O'Neil.
Wallace stood and offered his hand. “A pleasure to meet you sir. So, you are the one that found the body of the girl.” he said.
“Actually, it was Homer who found the body,” Hampton replied.
“Homer? Who is Homer?”, asked Wallace.
“Homer be my mongrel dog. I keep him in my office at night to prevent anyone breaking in and stealing from me. Every morning when I get to work I let him out. Usually he will bolt outside and either lift his leg and piss or squat and shit.
That morning he bolted outside the main gate. I yelled at him to stop and come back but he wouldn't listen. I said to myself since I got to go get him I'm going to kick him square in the ass when I do. Any way I finally walk up to him and there he was standing next to that poor little girl. So naturally I went back to my office and called the police.”
“Did you touch anything?.” asked Wallace.
“Did you see anyone around the area?”
“No. I get to work at seven in the morning and quit for the day at three in the afternoon. The two men that work for me come on at eight and quit at four. They weren't there yet it being bout seven fifteen in the morning when I found her.”
“Our information at this time is that the body was out there for three or four days. Why didn't your dog find it before today?”
“Don't know. Could be the wind was right for him this morning.”
“I see. What about those people who wanted to dump.
Or other people who comb the trash for valuables?”
“Weren't nobody there I'm telling you. Dumping hours are eight to four. Those junkers that come out to sort through the trash are usually homeless men staying in the missions. They stay at the mission to have breakfast then wander out to the dump to see what they can find. Cides. If there were any of them out there that morning I'd have run them off.”
“Have you ever seen any man with the girl on or near the dump?”
“Nope. Never been any kind of female out there at any time, girl or woman.”
“Alright Mr. Hampton. Sergeant O'Neil will take your statement. After you sign it you're free to go. We'll drive you back to your office,” said Wallace.
Turning to McKenzie Wallace said, “I want you to go to French Street bring in the parents of Ethel Lamb. I want to question them along with Sergeant Woodson.”
“Yes sir. On the way,” McKenzie replied.
“I doubt if you will find one of them sober this time of the day,” said Woodson.
“Maybe we'll get lucky,” Wallace replied.
Thirty minutes later Detective McKenzie walked into the office with Edith Lamb. “Here is Mrs. Lamb, Mr. Lamb was out cold on his couch,” said Tom.
“Hello Edith,” said Woodson.
“Hello Sergeant. It's been a while,” Edith replied.
“I'm so sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you. Now, she's in a better place.”
“Come and sit here at my desk.”
“Edith Lamb walked across the room and sat down in a chair next to Woodson's desk.
After taking a long look at the woman Woodson said, “You're just coming down off of a high, aren't you?”
“No. No I'm not.”
“Let's see your arms.”
“Because I want to know when you shot up last.”
“It's been a while.”
“Then show me your arms.”
Edith stood and removed her winter jacket then sat down again and offered her bare arms to the Sergeant.
“Damn woman. You got track marks upon track marks. Let's see now. How about this one,” said Woodson as she squeezed what appeared to be a fresh needle mark. When she did a small amount of yellow puss oozed out of the injection site.
“I see you're still using dirty needles,” said Woodson.
“I'll admit I have a chippy.”
“You have more than a chippy. Heroin has you hook, line and sinker. You know that eventually it's going to kill you, don't you?”
“Right now it doesn't matter. I blame myself for Ethel's condition. I was using when I was pregnant. I believe it caused her mental problems.”
“Alright, let's talk about Ethel.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Two things. Where did she go and who did she associate with?”
“When I asked her where she went or where she had been she would tell me, church.”
“Did she mention which church?”
“How about who she associated with. We have information that she was often with wino's and homeless men.”
“If she did she never mentioned anyone in particular to me.”
“When Ethel was found she was not wearing panties.
Did she wear panties or not?”
“I made sure she wore them every day. However, once out of the house if she had to shit she'd go someplace and remove them. I think she used them to wipe herself. I was always buying her panties.”
“Sure you did when you weren’t buying H. Nonetheless
my question is was she wearing panties the last time you saw her?”
“I don't know.”
“You don't know. You don't know what church she went to. You don't know who she associated with and you don't even know if your daughter wore panties on the day she was murdered. I bet you know more about your dealer then you do about your own daughter.”
“I never claimed to be the perfect mother.”
“And I can't imagine why. McKenzie, take this woman home. I'm finished talking to her” said Woodson.
After Edith Lamb Left Wallace turned to Woodson and asked, “Will taking to the father be any better?”
“Probably not but for the record we have to do it.”
Two days passed before Sergeant O'Neil was able to find Henry Lamb sober enough to be questioned. When the man walked into Captain Wallace's office Wallace got up out of his desk chair and offered his hand in friendship. “Mr. Lamb. Thank you for coming in to talk with us,” he said.
“Captain, somebody killed my baby girl,” said Lamb.
“Yes sir. That's why you're here. We're hoping you can tell us something, anything that might help us find out who did this thing.”
“I'll try but don't know too much about what my Ethel did most times.”
“Why is that Mr. Lamb.”
“It be the drink. I can't stop Captain. It going to kill me I know but anyways even when I was sober didn't see or know what that girl was doing or where she be.”
“Can you remember her saying anything about anyone and in particular any man or men?”
“I kinda remembers her saying something bout E or a name beginning with the letter L.”
“Do you know what church she was going to most every day?”
“Let me change the subject somewhat. We know that Ethel was suffering from impetigo. Did you know that?”
“Knew she had some skin problem. That be Edith's responsibility. The girl wouldn't take a bath. Scared of the water I believe. Anyways, Edith made her wash her hands and face. Don't know anything about her washing the rest of herself.”
“And what was your responsibility Mr. Lamb?
“Puttin food on the table and a roof over our heads.”
“What about the responsibility of taking care of your daughter?”
“Been all over that with the State the court and Children Services. I tell you like I told them. I do the best that I can. Specially since I got the sickness.”
“Apparently it wasn't enough. OK thanks for coming in. you're free to go. If we need to talk to you again we'll let you know. Tom? Take Mr. Lamb home.”
After Henry Lamb left the office Wallace turned to Sergeants O'Neil and Woodson And said, “Well, what we have now is the fact that the girl spent some of her time at a church.
However, we don't know which church. Bill, I want you to check all of the churches in Ethel Lamb's immediate neighborhood. Talk to the ministers or anyone who might know her or in fact saw her around their parish. Edwina, I want you to concentrate on anyone named El. Maybe some of the kids you know might have some information about Ethel.”
“No problem, I'll do it in the Juvenile Bureau. It's not too smart to question kids in the Major Crime Squad Office,”
“And I agree,” Wallace replied.
“ It's a little late in the day Cap. I'd like to start tomorrow,” said O'Neil.
The next morning Sergeant Woodson sat talking to a teenage boy. “So, what can you tell me about a girl named Ethel Lamb?, she asked.
“Dummy? Not too much. Know that she be weak in the head. Also dirty, smelly most of the time.”
“Why do you call her Dummy?”
“Cause she is. Born dumb, acts dumb, is dumb.”
“That's not a very nice thing to say.”
“ Nice don't cut it.”
“If you consider her dumb who do you consider smart?”
“Lot's of dudes including me.”
“How do you figure that you're smart?”
“Been told lots of time that I'm street smart.”
“I see. Then if you're street smart that means you know practically everything going on in the neighborhood. Isn't that right?'
“Then do you know anyone named El?”
“Might. Might not.”
“If you do or if you should hear about someone named El and was involved with Ethel Lamb would you tell me?”
“I ain't and I'll never be a snitch to the police.”
Churches, Streets And Alleyways
At ten o'clock on a sunny morning Sergeant Bill O'Neil parked his unmarked police car across the street from Saint Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church. When he got out of the car he locked the driver side door and as he did he took a long, hard look at three men standing and watching him.
After crossing Murray Street O'Neil walked up three wooden steps that led to the porch of the manse. At the front door he stood and knocked then waited. After a short time the door opened and a short, matronly woman said, “Yes?”
“Good morning. I am Sergeant William O'Neil of the Nautilus Police Department. If possible I'd like to speak to the Reverend please.”
“Let's just say that it's a police matter.”
“Um Hummn. Wait here. I'll see if the good Reverend got time to see you.”
A few minutes later the woman returned and said, “Come in and follow me. The Reverend is in his office. He will see you.”
After thanking the woman O'Neil followed her down a long hallway until she stopped in front of a door. This is it. Just go on in.”
O'Neil opened the door and stepped into a large office. A man stood up and said, “ Come in officer, come in. How may I help you today?,” he said.
“ I'm sure by now that you have heard about the young girl who was found murdered out by the city dump,” said the Sergeant.
“Yes, of course and a sad and terrible thing it is to have happened to anyone.”
“Yes sir. The girl is known to us as Ethel Lamb. We have information that she had been spending time at church. My question to you sir is are you familiar with her and if so did she come to your church most days?”
“I can answer both of your questions with a no. You see
Saint Paul's at this time have no youth programs. Our finances prohibit that kind of function at the present time. As far as the Lamb girl attending services here, she did not. May I suggest Sergeant that you inquire at Saint Nathaniel’s Episcopal Church
two blocks from here and at Saint Charles Catholic Church four blocks from here.”
“Thank you Reverend. I shall. However, I need your full name for my report.”
“Of course. I'm the Reverend Horace Johnson.”
“Thank sir for your time.”
“My pleasure Sergeant. My pleasure.”
Sergeant O'Neil then walked out of the house and crossed the street walking to his parked automobile. As he did he noticed that a small group of young men and teenagers had gathered on the sidewalk and were watching him. As he reached the car someone asked in a loud voice, “Hey man. When you goin to catch the dude that killed that young girl?”
O'Neil unlocked the driver side door and without responding started the engine and drove away. Heading for the next church on his list. After stopping at the next two churches and meeting with the clergy he came up empty when it came to information on Ethel Lamb. He returned to headquarters and reported that fact to Captain Wallace.
“Alright. Tom I want you to check the list of all registered sex criminals in the city. Look for a guy with a first name beginning with either El or the letter L.
At the same time the rest of us might have to rely on any informants we have that might either know something or can come up with a piece of information,” said Wallace.
Just as he was finished speaking the telephone on his desk rang.
Picking up the receiver Wallace spoke, saying, “Captain Wallace.”
“Captain, this is Daniels in Forensic. We were able to lift several latent prints from that piece of glass you wanted tested.”
“Really? How many and in what condition?”
“We have the right thumb, right index, right middle, right ring and a partial of the right little finger. The condition is perfect. There will be no guessing if and when you land a suspect.”
“Then I can assume that the killer is right handed?”
“No, but you can assume that the killer used their right hand to hold the piece of glass that probably killed the victim.”
“I see. Have you run them through N.C.I.C.
(National Crime Information Center)?”
“Not yet. Right now we're checking our own data base.”
At three fifteen PM Tom McKenzie walked into the office with a White man approximately thirty to thirty five years of age. When he did Wallace looked up with interest from the paper work he was doing and said, “What do we have here?”
“Captain this is Elwood Wilson. Right now he lives at thirty seven north Belmont Place which is six blocks from French Street,” Tom reported.
“I didn't know where I lived is a crime,” said Wilson.
“It is if your an ex-con and didn't report a correct address,” Wallace replied.
“I did, you can look it up.”
“We will. Have a seat. We only want to ask you a few questions,” said McKenzie.
Wilson sat down and waited for McKenzie to begin questioning him.
“Alright, you told us where you live. Now, where do you work?.” asked Tom.
“Tony's Bar and Grill.”
“So, you're a dishwasher.'
“Yep. When you're an ex-con they don't make you chairman of the board.”
“As an ex-con why were you arrested?”
“Having sex with a minor.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Not too much to tell. I met a girl. She said she was nineteen. We had sex and it turned out that she was fifteen.
I was arrested and convicted for statutory rape.”
“How much time were you given?”
“Five years. I was out in three.”
“Where did this happen?”
“How long have you been living and working in Nautilus Beach?
“About sixteen months.”
“And you registered here as a sex offender?”
“Do you know a girl by the name of Ethel Lamb?”
“Have you ever spent any time in or near the churches on Murray Street.”
“What do you know about Ethel Lamb?”
“Not a damn thing.”
“Do you know that she was murdered?”
“What's that got to do with me?”
McKenzie was quiet for a few moments then said, “Right now you're free to go. If we need to talk to you again we'll let you know.”
Wilson got up out of the chair and without saying a word walked out of the office.
Wallace looked at McKenzie and said,“From what I just saw and heard you have got much to learn about questioning individuals. That man turned the tables on you. He had you answering questions and at the end he had you stymied. I want you to take what I said as constructive criticism. Sit in on the next time questioning takes place either by Sergeant O'Neil or myself.”
“Now, let all of us sit back and take a look of what we have and in my opinion it isn't much. We've struck out so far on a suspect named either “El” or a name beginning with the letter
“L”. At the same time we struck out by identifying any church that the girl might have visited or frequented. However, something that Edmond Hampton said offers a new place to investigate. Hampton mentioned that some of the men that pick through the trash at the dump are from the mission. What do all missions have in common? The answer is religion and religious services which broadly defined could be a church. Bill you and Tom go to the mission and see what you can learn,” said Wallace.
“On the way. Come on Sport,” said O'Neil.
Thirty minutes later Sergeant O'Neil and Detective McKenzie walked past two men who were seated on a wooden bench outside of the Atlantic Garden Mission For The Homeless.
Both men looked at them with a suspicious gaze knowing instantly that in all probability the two strangers were cops. Once inside O'Neil walked up to young Black man who was sweeping the floor. “Excuse me. Who is in charge here?”, asked the Sergeant.
“Mr. Perkins. He's back in the kitchen,” the young man answered.
Both investigators then walked towards the rear of the building passing through the large dining room which contained large folding tables and chairs both painted gray and in all probability purchased from or donated by United States Government Surplus. O'Neil pushed open the double doors that led into the kitchen. McKenzie followed. In the kitchen they saw a short, balding man who was stocking shelves in the pantry.
“Mr. Perkins?”, said O'Neil.
The man turned and upon seeing the two men answered, “Yes, may I help you?”
“We hope so. I am Sergeant O'Neil. This is Detective McKenzie.We're from the Nautilus Beach Police Department. We would like to ask you a few questions if you don't mind.”
“Certainly, what about?”
“We are currently investigating a homicide where the victim is a young Black girl who might have either frequented this mission or visited some of the men who use these facilities.”
“You must be referring to Ethel.”
“Correct, Ethel Lamb. I assume that you know her.”
“Yes. She has been here often. Usually for a meal. Most times breakfast, other times dinner. Sometimes she sat in for the services.”
“I see. Did she associate with anyone in particular?”
“Not that I can recall. Most of the men felt sorry for her knowing her mental problems. At the same time you should be aware that many of the men that we serve come and go quite frequently. Some live by traveling from city to city mission to mission.”
“ Would you happen to know how many man staying here go out to the city dump to search through the trash for anything of value that they might find and sell?,” asked McKenzie.
“Two men come to mind. One is Harvey Anderson. The other is Ellington Morris.”
Hearing the name Ellington Morris the two police officers looked at each other. “Ellington Morris, is he here now?”
“Not at the moment. He is away most days. He could be anywhere. Sometimes he walks the boardwalk panhandling for money. Other times he works the dump. One thing for sure he always arrives in time for supper and to get a bed for the night,” said Perkins.
“Can you describe him please?.” asked O'Neil.
“Ellington is a dark skin Black man. He is about six feet tall and weighs about one hundred and seventy five pounds.
He's wearing his hair long. Not an Afro but long down to his shoulders. This morning he was wearing a blue quilted jacket, bluejeans, tan tee-shirt and black high top leather shoes.”
“Do you know where he might be?”, asked McKenzie.
“That's hard to say. It's an overcast day, breezy and cold. I doubt if he's on the boardwalk him knowing that not too many people will be out and about there. He might be at the dump but then again like I said, he could be anywhere,” said Perkins.
“OK Mr. Perkins. Thank you for your time. We'll take a look for Morris. If he shows up here you can tell him that we want to talk with him. He can either come in to headquarters or call us and we'll come and get him. Here's my card and telephone number,” said O'Neil.
“You're welcome gentlemen. I'll certainly tell him when I see him again.
Once outside O'Neil said, “Well what do you think?”
“Right now the fact that a guy staying at the mission has the name Ellington might open a door in this investigation but I'm not getting over excited about the fact right now,”said McKenzie.
“Too easy. We walk in ask a couple of questions and walk out with a lead. Too easy.
“Maybe but it's a lead.”
“Yeah. I don't know what they're making for lunch or dinner but some one was using a lot of vinegar. Did you smell it”,” asked McKenzie.
“Yeah, maybe they're making pickles. Let's swing by the city dump. If we're lucky Morris might be there,” said O'Neil.
At the city dump the detectives found six men going through the latest trash that had been recently dumped. McKenzie got out of the unmarked police car and walking carefully over assorted junk that had over time became part of the landfill made his way to where the men were working. After identifying himself he said. “I'm looking for Ellington Morris.”
“He ain't here,” said one of the men.
“Then, I take it you know him.”
“Yeah but like I say. He ain't here.”
“Was he here?”
McKenzie took his time looking at each one of the men and finding none that met the description of Morris turned and walked back to the automobile where O'Neil sat waiting.
Informants And Information
On a Saturday mid-morning Robert Wallace left his condo and drove his personal car to the seawall located in the inlet section of Nautilus Beach. It was an unusually warm November day, the type that many people would refer to as, “Indian Summer.” When he arrived at the sea wall he recognized the old Ford pickup truck parked there and also the owner, Howard Simpson. Simpson stood with a fishing pole in his hand and did not turn to look when Wallace stopped his car and turned off the engine. Wallace unhooked his seat belt, opened the driver side door and got out of the vehicle. He then walked slowly to where Simpson stood. “Kind of out of season for fishing this time of the year,” he said.
“Not if you're fishing for winter flounder,” Simpson answered.
“Right now I'm fishing for answers,” Wallace replied.
“Some time answers are expensive.”
“I agree. The answer I'm looking for will probably cost me five hundred dollars.”
“For five hundred dollars I'd have to hear the question.”
“The question is, who is a guy with a name El or begins with El who traveled at times with a young black girl named Ethel Lamb.”
“This guy White or Black?”
“I don't know.”
“Where did he travel?”
“The north side of town in the Black community and possibly out near the city dump.””
“Anything else, nickname scars, tattoos?”
“Right now, I don't know.”
“Not too much to go on. Give me some time, a couple of days, maybe a week. I'll be in touch if I come up with something.”
“OK. I'll wait for your call. By the way. You don't really expect to catch anything do you?”
“Hell no. I don't even have bait on the hook. I thought it would look better if when two guys were talking here one of us pretended to be fishing.”
“See you later Howie.”
Wallace then drove to mid-town and pulled into a parking lot near the boardwalk. He paid the attendant two dollars, the hourly fee. He didn't intend to be longer than one hour. Leaving the parking lot he walked up the wooden incline to the boardwalk. There he put two quarters in a newspaper machine, opened the door and took out a copy of the Nautilus Press. On the ocean side he saw a Black man sitting alone in the pavilion. Wallace walked into the pavilion then took a seat two rows back and to the mans left. He then opened the newspaper and pretended to be reading it. “Hello Bubba. What's new?”, asked Wallace.
“Depends on what you be looking for and how much you payin,” the man answered without turning and looking at Wallace.
“I'm looking for a guy that likes young girls. The kind that wont put up a fight.”
“Plenty of them around.”
“Yeah but this guy is nasty. He goes off when he's pissed. Then he might get violent.”
“Like I say. Plenty of them around.”
“Yeah, I want you to talk to your sources. See if you can come up with someone who traveled with a retarded teenage Black girl. I have reason to think that he was using her sexually and when he did he took her out near the city dump.”
“Got it. Anything else I should know?”
“No. That's about it for now.”
“You know my fee.”
“Fine. I'll call you when I've got something.”
“ Good. I'm counting on you Bubba.”
“Has Bubba Stokes ever let you down?”
“Later then,” said Bubba as he got up and walked out of the pavilion. Wallace sat for another fifteen minutes watching a dozen seagulls standing on wet sand their backs to the ocean breeze before he got up and left heading to the parking lot.
At ten fifteen on Monday morning Lieutenant Ralph Parker a member of the Forensic Unit entered Captain Wallace's office. Wallace looked up and said, “Do you have something?”
“Yes, the plaster cast of the tire impression we took out near the dump.”
“What can you tell me?”
“Well, as you know identification is based on characteristic marks and details found in the tire tread. Examination is made by direct comparison of the evidence impression on the tire. For example, if you look at this cast you will notice that one side of the tire in question is missing tread. The question then arises, why? In all probability the vehicle we're looking for needs a front end alignment. This tells us that the tire in question is located on the front of the vehicle. We also know that the manufacturer of the tire was Firestone and that particular tire was used in the production of General Motors in 1975. Unfortunately we're also talking about three to four million vehicles produced that year.”
“So, our best bet is to find the car or truck that has a damaged front tire with the matching tread found at the crime scene.”
“You got it.”
Wallace then turned to Sergeant O'Neil and said, “I want you to take McKenzie with you and check Ethel Lamb's known travel area. Look for a General Motors vehicle. It could be a car or a truck. Check the front tires for the type of wear and damage a bad front end alignment might cause.”
“On the way. Tom? You're driving,” said O'Neil.
After the two detectives left the office Wallace turned to Sergeant Woodson and said, “What else can you tell me about the living conditions at the Lamb's?”
“What do you want to know?”
“Right now I'm interested in who might be either close to Ethel such as a neighbor, relative or frequent visitor.”
“The only frequent visitor that I can think of is King Munoz.”
“Who is he?”
“Edith Lamb's drug dealer.”
“King can't be his real name. What is it?”
“I don't know but he's been arrested a few times. I can call down to records and see what name they have along with his fingerprints.”
“Ten minutes later Woodson hung up the telephone and said to Wallace,” I got Munoz real first name and you're not going to believe what it is.”
“Do you know how he operates?”
“He's the typical dealer. Meets his customers at various places, on the street corners, bar restrooms however, those he really has hooked and too sick to travel he'll got right to the house like in Edith's case.”
“So, he would come in contact with Ethel from time to time.”
“And his first name begins with El.”
“It appears that Mr. Munoz is at the moment a prime suspect.”
Three days later O'Neil and McKenzie were able to find Munoz dealing heroin on the corner of Pennington and Maple Avenue. After they took him into custody they brought him to the office of the Major Crime Squad. Captain Wallace looked at the man and said, “ We know that your name is Eliodoro. Your alias, Rey or King is new. It doesn't show up on your rap sheet. How come?”
“ The name goes with my reputation man. People that know me think that I'm the king of smack,' Munoz answered.
“ Is that right? Seems to me that since you're here in my office and under arrest for possession and distribution of heroin
you're the king of stupidity.”
“ Man, we both know that your men planted that shit on me. You guys has been harassing me ever since I came to this town.”
“Maybe you should have left.”
“One time you guys even told the press that my stash was laced with rat poison and they printed that story.'
Wallace smiled. “ I bet your business went into a slump.”
“Problem was and is I'm no dope peddler.”
“Yeah and I'm the Pope. Now, let me tell you why you're here instead of in the office of the vice squad. We know that you have a customer named Edith Lamb. Since you know Edith you must know the rest of her family, her husband Henry and their daughter, Ethel.”
“Can't say that I do. Can't say that I don't.”
“I see. Are you aware that Ethel Lamb was a victim of homicide?”
“I heard something about it. Heard she was found out near the dump.”
“ We also know that she traveled with someone with a name that began with El.”
“And you're thinking that it's me.”
“Your first name is Eliodoro.”
“Just a coincidence man.”
“But you must admit a good one for us.”
“First you got me busy selling smack on street corners then you got me running with some retarded teenage girl. If that be true then she would have been bad for business. That kid was dirty, like smelling bad dirty. You know what I mean?”
“Yeah but since you're the king you must know what's going on in the hood. Tell me, what else have you heard about the murder of the girl?”
“Nice try. First you accuse me of being a dope dealer, plant shit on me, then a suspect in a murder and now you expect me to be an informer. Man you got to be kidding. No way man. No way.”
“OK. Have it your way. I have no further questions. The officers will now take you to the Vice Squad and turn you over to them. I'm sure they have many more questions that I do.”
“And they'll get the same answers.”
“See you in a couple of years King or is it Eliodoro?”
Thanksgiving came and went as it did the weather remained cold as did the Major Crime Squads investigation of the Ethel Lamb homicide. The informants that Wallace used continued to come up empty, void of any information related to the case. At a morning briefing Wallace asked, “Does anyone have anything new to contribute? Any information or ideas?”
The squad remained silent. Then, Sergeant Woodson said, “ Here's something. I don't know how important it is but there is going to be a memorial service for Ethel.”
“Really where?,' asked Wallace.
“ At Saint Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church.
It seems that Children and Family Services paid to have Ethel's body cremated then contacted Reverend Johnson and set up the memorial service,” said Woodson.
“If you ask me I believe they know that they didn't do a proper job in Ethel's case. Thet might be having a guilty conscience, so to speak.”
“Do you know when the service will take place?”
“Tomorrow at seven PM.”
“OK. You and I will be attending.”
“Why are you going Captain?”, asked McKenzie.
“ There have been times when the killer shows up either at the viewing of his victim or the funeral. Perhaps he or she might attend the church service. We will be there looking over the attendance. Maybe we'll spot someone or something out of place or the ordinary. You never know.”
At six thirty the next evening Captain Wallace and Sergeant Wallace stood on the front steps of Saint Paul's church observing and scrutinizing those entering the church. When it appeared that those who would be attending were inside the two investigators entered the church and sat down in the last pew near the front door. Shortly after they took a seat the piano player began to play, “ Just A Closer Walk With Thee.” When the song ended Reverend Horace Johnson, attired in a purple and gold robe got up out of the large chair he had been sitting in and walked to the front of the stage. He began to speak. “Blessed are those who come in the name of the Lord.”
“Amen,” chanted those in the pews.
“We come here this day to honor one of God's children. A sister to all of us. One that came into this world afflicted. One might ask, why did the Lord God allow a child to be born with an infliction? Now, I could give you the old adage, that God moves in mysterious ways but I know that will not satisfy you. So, what I will do is tell you of the curing ways of the Lord Jesus. And Jesus said, “ Behold I cast out devils and I do cures, today, tomorrow and the third I shall be perfected.” Now, what else do we know. Well, we know he cured a woman who had been ill for eighteen years. We also know that he raised Lazarus from the dead. He made the blind to see. In Luke 5:12-16 it reads, “And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy who seeing Jesus fell on his face and besought him saying, Lord, if thou will, cast me clean. And he put forth his hand and touched him saying, I will: be thou clean and immediately the leprosy departed from him.
So I say to you that there can be no doubt in anyone's mind that the Lord Jesus did then and does now have the ability to cure. First of all he told us that he does. Second it is written in the bible of the many cures and miracles that he performed. We also know that he in his other ways cured the suffering. As he was on the cross he said to the others being crucified, “Today you shall be with me in heaven. And, their suffering ended. Now, we think of our little sister Ethel who also suffered. She suffered with an infliction. She also probably suffered at the hands of an assassin. If we trust in God. If we trust in Jesus then we can be assured that in death she was cured and is in heaven with the Lord. Let us pray.”
When the prayer was finished the choir also dressed in purple robes stood. The choir director then turned to the piano player and nodded his head. When the music started the
choir began to sing, “Oh Happy Day”. Wallace listened to the lyrics:
“Oh happy day. Oh happy day. When Jesus
Washed my sins away. Oh happy day. Oh happy day. When Jesus washed my sins away. He taught me how to watch and fight and pray. And live rejoicing every day, every day. Oh happy day. Oh happy day. When Jesus washed my sins away. He washed my sins away. To watch and fight and pray and live rejoicing everyday.”
When the music ended and the song was over so was the service and Wallace and Woodson sat watching and observing those who were filing out of the church. Henry and Edith Lamb were not among those leaving.
Captain Wallace stood before his office window on the third floor of police headquarters. He was in an unpleasant mood. Weeks had gone by from the time Ethel Lamb had been found murdered out near the city dump and to the present which was mid December. The majority of the citizens of Nautilus Beach were beginning to enjoy the coming holiday season while he was frustrated with the lack of progress he and his squad members had accomplished so far. As he stood looking out and down to the street below he saw the Christmas decorations the city workers had placed on the light poles on every corner. He turned to the sound of the ringing telephone on his desk top and he walked to his desk sat down and after lifting the receiver said, “Major Crime Squad, Captain Wallace.”
“It's me, Bubba.”
“Do you have something for me?,” asked Wallace.
“Maybe. Right now I need the facts. Word on the street be you looking for a car with a certain tire. That right?”
“Correct. A General motors automobile with a damaged front tire. When I say damaged I mean that the tread is worn off because of the front end being out of line.”
“Isn't that enough?”
“Guess it will have to do. Anyways, there be a dude who works as a porter at the Aristocrat Bar located on Fenton Street. You know the place?”
“I'm familiar with it.”
“Good, this dude I be talkin about got a nineteen sixty eight Buick. Also got a damaged front end and the right front tire matches what you say.”
“Interesting. What time does this guy come to work and on what days?”
“Dude gets there at bout nine in the morning. Then he cleans the shit houses and mops the floors. He be done bout one or two in the afternoon. Works everyday”
“This guy got a name?”
“Sure he got a name. It be Tillman Johnson.”
“What else do you know about him?
“Damn Wally. What the hell do you want from me?
You want his damn pedigree?”
“Calm down, calm down. I want as much information
As I can get. My job is to ask questions. Your job is to answer them. Understand?”
“Good. Now I'll check out this guy and his car and I'll get back to you.”
“And then I get paid and remember it be Christmas time.”
“If your information pans out you get paid. If it doesn't the only thing that will be in your Christmas stocking will be your foot,” said Wallace as he hung up the telephone.
At ten o'clock the next morning Wallace and O'Neil walked into the Aristocrat Bar. They were instantly met with the mixed odor of stale cigarette smoke, stale beer and cheap cologne. Wallace figured that the aroma of cheap cologne was coming from the guy standing behind the bar who asked, “You want something?”
“Police. We're looking for a man named Tillman Johnson,” said O'Neil.
“A private matter.”
“Suppose I tell you he ain't here?”
“Then I'd have to arrest you for lying to the police,”
“Hey man don't get riled. I'm just lookin out for a brother that's all. Man's working in the ladies room. Back of the room to your left.”
The two investigators then made their way to the restrooms. Arriving at the Ladies Room they found the door open. From the open door the strong smell of bleach and other disinfectants was carried on the air mixing with the other aromas from the bar room. Fighting the stench Wallace called out, “Tillman Johnson!”
A toilet flushed then a man answered, “Who wants me?”
“Captain Wallace, Nautilus Beach Police.”
Tillman Johnson walked to the restroom door and standing before the two detectives said, “Yes sir, I'm Tillman Johnson”
“Mr. Johnson, I'm Captain Wallace. This is Sergeant O'Neil. We're with the Nautilus Beach Police we would like to ask you a few questions.”
“What about?” asked Johnson.
“We have information that you own a nineteen sixty eight Buick. Is that right?”
“We would like to take a look at it.”
“Fine, but if this is about the accident and me not havin
insurance then I want you to know that I already got me a ticket for that.”
“No, Mr. Johnson that's what this is all about. Can we see your automobile sir?”
“Sure. It's out back behind the bar. Keep in mind that
I was in an accident and the front end is damaged.”
“How did the accident happen?”, asked O'Neil.
“Took my eyes off of the road and ran into the ass end of a Fed X truck.”
“When did this happen?,” asked Wallace.
“Two weeks ago, November the thirtieth.”
Wallace looked at O'Neil and shook his head. “You did say that the accident was investigated by our police department didn't you?”
“I said the man who investigated gave me a ticket for not having insurance.”
“Alright. Since we're here let's take a look at you car,” said Wallace.
The three men walked outside into the bright morning sunshine. After leaving the darkened barroom the sunlight hurt Wallace's eyes and he reached inside his blazer pocket and took his sunglasses out and placed them over his eyes.
Arriving in the rear yard of the bar Wallace watched as O'Neil knelt down and looked at right front wheel and tire of Tillman Johnson's Buick. He stood and said to Wallace, “This tire is a Bridgestone, not what we want.”
Wallace offered his hand and said, “Thank you for your co-operation Mr. Johnson. You have been very helpful.” After leaving Johnson and the Aristocrat Bar both men returned to headquarters.
“Well, how did it go?,” asked Woodson when the two investigators walked into the office.
“Zero, we struck out. It was the wrong make of the tire and the damage was done a couple of weeks ago,” Wallace answered.
“Now what?,” asked McKenzie.
“We keep digging,” said O'Neil.
“Well, I might have something. While you were out I got word that there is an abandoned Chevrolet on Fillmore Place. Not only was it abandoned but whoever ditched it set it on fire. The question is why was it torched? The city tows hundreds of abandoned vehicles every year. Yet, this automobile was burnt and left. Again why?,” asked Sergeant Woodson.
“I don't know. Take McKenzie and check it out,”said Wallace.
Twenty five minutes later Tom McKenzie parked the unmarked police car on Fillmore Place and across from where the burnt vehicle had been left on a vacant lot. “You're right Sarge. Whoever left this car here wanted to destroy it but why?”
“I don't know. The word is someone in the neighborhood was out here at about two AM saw the flames and pulled the fire alarm at the box on the corner. After the fire was extinguished the fire chief determined that the fire was set deliberately. Gasoline was used. Whoever did it took the container with them.”
“Alright, let's see what we can find,” said Tom.
McKenzie walked to the back of the Chevrolet, looked at and examined the rear of the car and said. “The rear license plate is missing.”
“So, is the front plate”, said Woodson.
“Let me take a look at the front tires,” said McKenzie as he walked towards Woodson.
“Fine. While you're doing that I'll look for the Vin number. Let's hope they forgot to remove or destroy it.”
Tom McKenzie knelt down on one knee and carefully examined first the right front tire and then the left front tire.
“Bingo!”, he said.
“Did you find something?”, asked Wood son.
“Yeah, a Firestone tire matching the description of the plaster cast made by Forensics. I'll call for a photographer to come out and photograph this.”
“While you're at it call the police garage and have then come out and remove the wheel with the tire. After photo's are taken we'll take the wheel and tire in as evidence,” said Woodson. “By the way, whoever abandoned this car made two mistakes, the tire which didn't burn and they left the Vin number. It's CHMBB 7083WD114221,” said the Sargent.
“Well, it should be easy to run the vin number and see who either owns it or has owned it,” said Tom.
Back at headquarters Woodson reported to Captain Wallace what they had found. “Excellent. It's about time we came up with something in this investigation. Both of you write and submit your reports and follow up with the photographs and the evidence number for the wheel and tire,” Wallace ordered.
The next afternoon Wallace parked the unmarked automobile assigned to him in Row B in the parking lot for the
Neptune Mall. He then sat patiently waiting for Bubba Stokes.
Fifteen minutes later Bubba pulled into the parking lot and after entering Row B parked his car and after shutting off the engine rolled down the driver said window. Wallace rolled down his window also.
“ Seems to me you owe me some scratch,” said Bubba.
“How do you figure that?”
“Word be you found the car.”
“If I did it wasn't the one you offered up.”
“ How do I know that?”
“ Because I said so.”
“Don't mean a damn thing.”
“ Look at it this way the car and guy you gave me was in an accident weeks after the murder occurred and the tire didn't match Therefore it wasn't the car at the crime scene.”
“ I want my money.”
“You get paid when you produce. So far you're running on empty.”
“Suppose I quit.”
“The hell you say.”
“First of all you're too lazy to work. Instead you work the street picking up dribs and drabs of information then you try and sell that information to me and other police departments including the State Police. I wouldn't be surprised if you're also and informant for the F.B.I. However, that's
Immaterial. You see I've got you by the balls Bubba. Anytime you try to shake me down like right now or intimidate me I'll just put the word out on the street that you're a police informant. Guess what happens to you then in the hood?
No, you won't quit. It will be me that cuts you loose if and when I'm ready. Now, knock off the bullshit, get off of your ass and go and find information I can use.” Wallace rolled up the car window, started the engine and drove away. Five minutes later Wallace received a radio transmission telling him to see the Chief of Police immediately. Twenty minutes later Captain Wallace walked into the office of Chief Of Police, David Shields.
Wallace took a seat infront of the desk where Shields sat. “Welcome back. I hope you had a nice vacation,” Wallace said.
“It wasn't long enough. As soon as I returned I've been met with a delegation of people from the Black community wanting to know how much progress we're making in the Ethel Lamb homicide. They also want to know when we will make an arrest. Guess what? So so I,” Shields replied.
“ Well, as for progress we have some evidence. Not much mind you but still it's evidence.”
“Latent prints, a hair sample, tire imprint at the crime scene and a small lead on a potential suspect with the name El or with a name beginning with L.”
“ That's not much.”
“Alright stay on it. Do what you need to do as far as expenses go but try to keep it reasonable.”
“By the way how is Sergeant Woodson working out?”
“She might have found the suspects car and the tire that matches the cast that was made at the crime scene. We're waiting for information she obtained from the vin number.”
“Good. Still, she's needed in Juvenile so hurry up, solve this case so I can send her back there and at the same time get the people of the community off of my back. I expect results and soon.”
Upon reaching his office Wallace said, “Good you're all here so listen up. The Chief is on my ass expecting results. The more he becomes a sore ass to me the more I'll be climbing on yours. So, we're going to double down and get results.”
“I think we're doing the best we can under the circumstances,” said McKenzie.
“Is that right? Then give me the results of the fingerprints found on the murder weapon. Give me the results of the pubic hair found on the victim. And, while we're at it give me the results of the vin number found on the suspect vehicle.”
“In all fairness Captain when it comes to the hair and vin number we're dealing with the State of New Jersey which at this time is short of help due to the Christmas Holiday.
As for the latent prints we already know that no agency has a match so far,” said O'Neil.
“Carol comes back from vacation tomorrow. Sergeant Woodson. Myers will be assigned to you. I want the both of you to go into Ethel Lambs neighborhood and question the girls and young women there. See if anyone has made any advances to them. If so try and get a description of whoever approached them. Bill you and Tom go back to the mission and the city dump. Keep asking questions there. You might come up with something. Who knows?”
The next morning Edwina Woodson drove the unmarked police vehicle as she did she began a conversation with Detective Carol Myers. “So, where did you go on your vacation?” asked Woodson.
“Well by the looks of you you must have spent some time on the beach. You have a beautiful tan.”
“ I did actually. Most evenings I was in the casino.”
“Did you win?”
“No. Does anyone?”
“As I recall you were with Captain Wallace the day he was shot.”
“Yes I was.”
“How did that go down?”
“We were after a killer name Lionel Horton.
He was a crazed killer. We found him in Garwood Village. He decided to resist arrest rather than surrender. As a result he shot Captain Wallace twice. Once in the hip the other shot was into his abdomen.”
“Is that why he walks with a slight limp?”
“Yes, the bullet took off some of his hip bone.”
“Interesting. What happened to Horton?”
“I shot and killed him,” Myers answered.
All The Pretty Girls
Sergeant Woodson drove down the sun-lighted Ocean Avenue, the main street of Nautilus Beach. The temperature was forty degrees. At ten o'clock in the morning many people were out shopping. The Salvation Army volunteers were out in force standing behind their red kettles and ringing bells they held in their hands and as usual most people passing by ignored them.
“Where are we going?,” asked Myers.
“The high school. I figure it would be the best place to start, considering Ethel Lamb was a teenager. There, if we get permission we can interview girls in home economics and gym classes. That way the girls will be all together.”
“Sounds good Sergeant.”
Twenty minutes later the two investigators sat in the office of the principal of Nautilus Beach High School, one Mr.
William Fedor. Looking at the two detectives he said, “So, as I understand it you want to enter the classes where only female students are attending,”
“That's correct. Right now we are looking for teenage girls that might have been approached or accosted and
if so hopefully they can give us a description of anyone who might have done so,” said Woodson.
“I see but you see this is very unusual. The thought of interrupting classes just for enabling the police to ascertain information or witnesses is not only out of the ordinary but I would say against the rules and regulations of the Board Of Education,” said Fedor.
“That may be Mr. Fedor. However, while you consider the rules of the Board of Education consider this.
Right now there is a killer in all probability walking the streets of Nautilus Beach. Since he has struck once it is almost certain that he may strike again. Tell me, which of your female students may be next?,” asked Woodson.
“You certainly have a point Sergeant. Let me say this. Although I object to you disturbing the girls classes for the reasons I have mentioned I offer this. If you will allow me time, say three or four days to a week first to contact the Board Of Education as well as the parents of the students here for permission to talk to you I will then announce that the female students meet in the auditorium after school. There and then you announce to them what information you are requesting. Any student with information that wants to talk to you can then meet with you in room 102.”
“That sounds reasonable. I'll wait for you call,”
“Also keep in mind that the girls will be attending on a voluntary basis and can only speak to you with their parents permission,” Fedor added.
“Naturally, at the same time may I ask that when speaking to the Board Of Education that you inform them that it is possible that we also might need to meet with girls in Junior High School. If necessary, we might need to go into the elementary schools as well,” said Woodson.
“I'll see what I can do,” Fedor replied.
Returning to headquarters Woodson reported their meeting with William Fedor.
“Interesting. Good thinking Sergeant. Once they are aware of what information you are seeking those with nothing to add will not show up. Those that do will. Let's hope that some have something to say. At the same time Mr. Fedor is protecting his ass. By law teachers and school administrators automatically obtain parental protection and guidance from eight AM to four PM every school day. Meaning he could allow the girls to talk to you. Instead he's placing the need for permission to talk to the police on the parents.”
“Let's hope some girl comes forward with information,” said Myers.
“Yeah but at the same time be sure they have the OK from Mom And Dad, Wallace replied.
Two weeks later Detective Myers stood in the high school auditorium looking at five girls. Three of the girls were African-American. The other two were Caucasian. Myers looked at her wristwatch and decided to wait another ten minutes just in case other female students might arrive. At the end of that time she said to the girls,”Three of you go to room 102. Sergeant Woodson will listen to what you have to say. Two of you stay here with me. I'll be interested to hear what you say.”
The three Black girls got up and left the auditorium. After they left Carol said to the two remaining girls, “Now, before I listen to what you have to say I want you to know that I will also be asking you questions. At the same time don't be shy. As young woman by now you should know and be aware that adolescent boys and many men usually have sex on their minds most of the time. What I want to know is have any of you been approached or accosted by anyone and if so what did they say? Where did it happen and when and if you can describe whoever it was? Who would like to go first?”One girl raised her hand.
“Fine. What is your name?” asked Myers.
“Cynthia do you have your parents permission to talk with me?”
“Yes I do here is the note they sent giving permission.”
“OK. Suppose you start.”
“It was on a Saturday. I went shopping in the mall.
As I recall I had bought a sweatshirt in Old Navy. After I left the store I stopped and bought some french fries in the food court. I sat at a table by myself and sat eating. A man came up to the table and said to me, “A pretty girl like you shouldn't have to eat alone. Suppose I join you.”
“Then what?,” asked Myers.
“I said, No but he proceeded to take a seat and said, “Now don't be scared. I won't hurt you. I just want to talk to you. I got up, left the table and walked away.”
“What did the man do?”
“I have no idea. I was afraid to turn and look at him thinking that he might think I was inviting him to follow me.”
“Smart. Very smart,” Myers replied.
“Can you describe this man?”
“He was a White man. I remember two things about him that were strange.”
“What was strange?”
“He was wearing dark sunglasses even though he was inside the mall.”
“He had a cheap wig or hair piece.”
“Really? What color?”
“Dark brown. It was easy to see that it was a wig because it didn't match the wrinkles in his face and you could see that it fit like a hat. You could see the outline. The wig was styled for a young man. This man was probably fifty years old.”
“I see, anything else you can recall?”
“No, that's about it.”
“Alright Cynthia. Write down your address and telephone number just in case I want to talk to you again. After that you're free to go. Now, who's next?”
“I'll go next,” said a small petite blond.
“Fine. What's your name?,”asked Myers.
“Alright Martha do you have your parents permission to Talk to me?”
“Yes. Here's my note.”
Myers took the note, read it and placed it in the file folders he had brought with her. OK. Suppose you start.
“It was on a Saturday right after Thanks Giving.
Since it was a nice day I decided to ride my bicycle on the Boardwalk. As you know you're only permitted to ride between eight and ten o'clock in the morning. So I missed breakfast and I got to the Boardwalk at about eight thirty or a quarter to nine. I guess I rode for about an hour. At Denver Street and the Boardwalk there's a hot dog stand that also sells hot coffee. donuts and danish. Having no breakfast I was hungry so I bought a cup of coffee and two jelly donuts. I walked with my bicycle and the bag with my breakfast to a pavilion. There, I sat down and ate. As I was leaving a Black man walked up to me and said, “Damn girl, you sure are sweet. I bet them long legs go all the way to that beautiful ass of yours. Don't it?”
“Then what happened?,” asked Myers.
“Well, I was scared but I remember saying leave me alone.”
“Yes. Although he did ask me for a dollar.”
“Did you give it to him?”
“No, I got on my bike and rode away as fast as I could.”
“Can you describe this man?”
“I'd say he was about six feet tall, dark skin and when I say dark I mean black and he weighed about one hundred eighty pounds or close to two hundred pounds.”
“Any scars, mustache, beard?”
“How long was his hair?”
“He was wearing a hat but his hair stuck out from under it, particularly in the back.”
“Is that about it?”
“Alright if you think of anything else get in touch with me,” Myers replied.
In room one hundred and two Sergeant Woodson
sat looking at the three girls. “First of all I want to see the permission notes from your parents,” she said.
All three girls presented their notes and after Woodson carefully read them she said, “Who wants to go first?”
“I will said a small, petite light skin girl.”
“What's your name?,” asked Woodson
“Alright Latoya what do you have to say?”
“Well my mother works all day down beach. She works as a domestic and she works long, hard and late. She rides the bus home and most of the time has to send me to the store two blocks a way for things for supper. I have to walk past the Mission House and a couple of times two homeless men asked me if I'd like to make five dollars. I asked them how. One of the men laughed and said you come back here in the alley with me and I'll show you how. As pretty as you are I'll give you ten dollars.”
“Then what?,” asked the Sergeant.
“Nothing. My Mama taught me along time ago about men and boys and what to watch out for. So I walked away both times. The word was that the police wanted information so here I am and that's what happened to me,” said Latoya.
“Can you give me a description of these two men?,” asked Woodson.
“Both men are light skinned. One has long hair and a beard. The other has a thick mustache. He also has a scar over his left eye. He was the one that spoke to me.”
“What kind of scar? Long? Wide? Deep?”
“Like a scar caused by a knife or razor.”
“How are they dressed?”
“Like most of those that live at the mission. One man wore black and white wing tipped shoes, pants and shirt that didn't match. The other guy didn't wear socks.”
“Did you hear their names like a first name or a nickname?”
“Alright Latoya. Thank you.”
“Alright girlfriend you're next. What's your name?,” asked Woodson.
“I'll ask you the same question. Did your parents give their permission for you to talk to me?”
“Fine. What can you tell me?”
“It was on a Saturday right after Thanksgiving.
My boyfriend was playing basketball in the schoolyard at Monroe elementary school . I wanted to see him so I left my house and started walking.”
“Where do you live?”
“On Turner place.”
“OK, as I recall the school is two blocks from your house.”
“I walked about one block when a man crossed the street and walked up to me and said, “Don't you know a pretty girl like you shouldn't walk these streets alone?”
“I kept quiet and kept walking.”
“What did he do?”
“He followed me.”
“Did he say anything else?”
“He said he would give me twenty dollars if I would show him my panties.”
“I see. What did you do then?”
“Very smart Tonya. Very smart. Can you describe this man?”
“Yes Mam. He was a white man about forty or fifty years old. He was medium height and wore dark sunglasses.
“What color was his hair?”
“He was wearing a hat. I remember that the hair at his temples was white or gray.”
“No. That's about it, except I was scared.”
“Being scared is a good thing girl. Running away just might have saved you from harm. That leaves you miss. What's your name?”
“ What happened to you?”
“ Every time I go to the WaWa store a man whistles at me and says things.”
“What kind of things?”
“I don't know. I think he's speaking in Spanish.”
“Alright what do you think he's saying?”
“Something about having sex.”
“What makes you think that?”
“Because as he's talking he's rubbing his crotch.”
“Which WaWa store are you talking about? There are two in your neighborhood.”
“The one at Chester Ave.”
“ Can you give me a description of this man?”
“He's young, maybe eighteen or twenty. Tall, thin, olive skin. He's either Mexican or Puerto Rican.”
“Did he approach you in any way?”
“No, just making sucking noises and grabbing himself.”
“What time of day does this occur?”
“All I know is that he hangs out at the store. I usually go there between four and five PM.”
“Alright Candice. I'll take care of this. Don't worry or be scared.”
After the teenage girls left Sergeant Woodson and Detective Myers sat comparing notes. Myers made sure they had the names, addresses and permission slips from each girl they interviewed and then satisfied left the high school and headed back to headquarters.
After they entered the Major Crime Squad Office Captain Wallace asked, “Well, how did you make out?”
“Very good,” said Woodson.
“I'd say excellent,” Myers replied.
“Is that right? Let me hear what you have,” said Wallace.
“I'll start. We interviewed five teen age girls. Three were African-American. Two were Caucasian. I questioned the Black girls. Myers questioned the White girls. Each girl questioned produced a permission slip from their parents allowing them to meet with us,” said Woodson.
“Good, good,” Wallace replied.
“ As a result of my questioning I came up with
A few suspects. Two are two light skin African-Americans that
hang around the mission. One has a scar over his left eye. One of them offered a girl ten dollars if she would go into the back alley with him,” said Woodson.
“What else?,” asked Wallace.
“Another girl was approached on the street by a White man who offered her twenty dollars if she would show him her panties. She was scared and ran away. She described the man as being between forty and fifty years old. He wore dark sunglasses and a hat.
The third and last girl I interviewed complains about a Latino or Hispanic young man who talks to her in all probability in Spanish and while talking grabs his crotch.”
“Is that it?,” asked Wallace.
“Not quite. After Carol gives her report I'll have more to say.”
“Alright Myers, you're up,” said Wallace.
“I interviewed two girls, both Caucasian. I think you will find what they had to say very interesting. First of all one girl rode her bike on the Boardwalk and was approached by a Black man who walked up to her as she was sitting in a pavilion.
He mention her legs and said she had a beautiful ass. He also asked her for a dollar. She described the man as being dark skin, with long hair wearing a blue jacket.
The other girls was approached by a White man in the Mall Food Court. According to her he sat down at her table uninvited and said, “A pretty girl like you shouldn't have to eat alone. Can I join you, or words to that effect.” The girls said no, but the man sat down anyway and told her not to be scared that he only wanted to talk to her. With that the young lady got up and walked away.”
“Did she give you a description?” asked Wallace.
“Yes. He was a Caucasian male, forty to fifty years old wearing dark sunglasses and here's the interesting part. This guy wears a hairpiece, a bad fitting hairpiece dark brown in color and according to the witness one that doesn't look natural .” said Myers.
“Is that it?”, asked Wallace
“I think that as a result of the information we have received from the girls we narrowed it down to two suspects one a Black male, the other a White male. Ellington Morris fits the description of the man on the boardwalk. Morris, according to our information is a panhandler and works the Boardwalk for hand outs and the dump for anything of value. The White man fits the description of the guy in the Mall and the one who offered twenty dollars to see the girls panties. Unfortunately, that's all we have on him at the moment,” said Woodson.
“Well, it's more than we had yesterday,” Wallace replied.
Shortly after ten PM Robert Wallace turned on the lamp that was mounted over his desk at home. He then reached down and picked up his briefcase. He opened it and took out the copies of the police files related to the Ethel Lamb case. Wallace then opened the manilla folder containing a list of possible suspects along with the reports submitted by Sergeant Woodson and Detective Carol Myers. He then began to read. “ Let's see what we can either come up with or eliminate,” he thought to himself.
“ First of all the guy that spoke Spanish. Sure, he is probably an asshole and could be arrested for molesting and interfering. However, if one is familiar with the Spanish culture one should realize that their young women who venture outside normally have chaperone's. Such a female on the street alone and unchaperoned
could be viewed as a loose woman or even a street walker. Still, right now he doesn't appear to be the type who would continue to associate with a retarded girl just for sex. At this point we'll bring him in, contact the complainants parents and see if they want to sign a complaint on her behalf. If not we'll take a look at him,” Wallace continued in thought. He next took out the report on Ellington Morris. “Morris. This is the second time he has been mentioned in this investigation. Like the Latino or Hispanic guy he's a pain in the ass particularly to the Boardwalk merchants as he bothers potential patrons asking them for money. At the same time he did approach Martha Haynes and according to her used an innuendo. He also is familiar with the city dump. We'll bring him in for questioning. Then there's the two men at the mission. One has a scar over his eye. He should be easy to find.
The interesting unknown suspect is the older guy, a White guy. He's bold. He forced himself on the girl in the food court by deliberately sitting down at her table. Again, a guy fitting the same description approached a girl on the street. That time he was even more bolder offering money to see he panties. Yet, as far as we know he has only approached White girls. I get the feeling that this guy is dangerous. He could be a rapist or a killer,” Wallace contemplated. “Alright, we'll start picking them up. The Hispanic guy will be easy. I'll use Carol. Bill and Tom will back her up.
Woodson will confer with the parents of the high school girls to see if they want to sign complaints,” Wallace planned.
“When are you coming to bed?.” asked Mary Wallace.
“In about five minutes,” Robert replied.
The next day Captain Wallace gathered the squad members together. “Today we start bringing in and questioning a couple of subjects. Notice that I didn’t say suspects. However, they do appear to be they type that bother females. They might be arrested. When I say might that's because Sergeant Woodson
will contact the parents of the girls to see if they wish to sign complaints on the behalf of their daughters. Now then, the character who hangs out in front of the Wa Wa store on Chester Avenue, Carol he's your next case, providing he breaks the law.
Bill, you and Tom will back up Myers. Carol, just appear as a woman alone going shopping at the store. If I guess right he will make a move on you. If and I'm sure he will, if he touches himself in front of you you make the arrest. Before you ask me, yes, all of you can put in for overtime,” he said.
At five o'clock that evening Detective Myers sat in the back seat of the unmarked police car. Sergeant O'Neil sat behind the steering wheel. Next to him sat Tom McKenzie. Every once in awhile O'Neil using binoculars focused in on the front of the Wa Wa store waiting to see a Hispanic male show up and take a position in front of the door. At this time in the late afternoon it was almost dark. The darkness accented the Christmas lights installed on store fronts and private homes along Chester Avenue. A cold ocean breeze was blowing in off of the water lowering the temperature of the air and the wind chill factor made the occasional gusts feel like it was freezing. Pedestrians with watery eyes and red noses lowered their heads walking into the wind. In the distance one could hear the ringing of a bell used to alert passerby’s to the need of contributions to some cause. “So far, nothing,” said O'Neil.
“He might not show because of the weather,”said McKenzie.
“I'm betting he will. A guy like him will take into consideration that women and in particular working women will be out and about either shopping for dinner or for Christmas presents,” Myers replied.
“It might depend on just how long he has been in Nautilus Beach or for the matter the Northern States. If he is in fact a Hispanic more than likely he came from an island in the
Caribbean. He might not like the cold since he's not use to it,”
“He could have been born here,” Myers added.
“Wait a minute. There's a guy standing just inside the front door. He must have been inside before we got here otherwise we would have seen him enter,” said O'Neil.
“Keep the glasses on him. If he's the one we want he should make a move on some female entering or leaving the store,” Myers suggested.
“OK. I've got him. He keeps looking out of the door like he's waiting for something,” said O'Neil.
“Yeah, we know what that something is,” said Tom.
“Alright, since he's not coming out I'm going inside,” Myers stated. Carol opened her pocketbook and removed the Colt two inch barrel .38special and checked it opening the cylinder making sure that the weapon was loaded.
Satisfied, she placed it back in her purse next to her identification card, badge and handcuffs. “Alright guys, here I go.” Myers stepped out of the automobile, closed the car door and began walking slowly in the cold to the Wa Wa store. As she approached the store front the man standing on the inside opened the door and said, “ Buenas tardes.” (Good Evening)
Myers smiled and walked past him. When she reached the rear of the store she glanced at him and noticed that he appeared to be watching her. She walked slowly to the snack aisle and selected a small bag of potato chips and two wrapped chocolate cupcakes. As she walked towards the cashier she felt the young mans eyes on her. After paying for the items she picked up the bag containing her purchases and headed for the front door. There, the man blocked her exit. “Excuse me,” said Myers.
“ Como te llamas?” (What's your name?)
“I said, excuse me,” said Myers sternly.
“ Tienes un hermoso culo,” ( Yuo have a beautiful ass) said the young man as he grabbed his crotch.
Myers opened her pocket book and removed her badge. Showing it she said, “Entiendo espanol. Estas bajo arrsto,” (I understand Spanish and you're under arrest.) The man then bolted out of the front door and began running down the street on the sidewalk. O'Neil and McKenzie quickly exited the unmarked car and stopped him announcing, “Police, stop right there!” After placing the mans hands behind him McKenzie proceeded to place him in handcuffs. Myers walked up and said, “I'm glad you two stopped him. Now, let's take him in and let the Captain question him,” she said.
Thirty minutes later Captain Wallace looked at the prisoner O'Neil, McKenzie and Myers had brought into the office. “So, he made a move on you,” Wallace said to Myers.
“Yes and made an indecent proposal and act,” she answered.
“Alright, Mildred call downstairs to the Detective Bureau and tell them I need Detective Garcia up here to translate,” Wallace ordered.
“I don't need a translator. I speak English,” the prisoner replied replied.
“I figured that but to be on the safe side we'll have a translator here so you can't say in court you didn't understand my questions. Now, the first question is what's your name?”
“What's your nationality?”
“I'm a US. citizen.”
“Then, I assume you're Puerto Rican?”
“That makes you a Latino.”
“ Do you live here in Nautilus Beach?”
Wallace interrupted the questioning when Detective Edwardo Garcia entered the office. “Hello Ed. Mr. Rodriguez says he understand and speaks English. To be on the safe side I want you to read him the Miranda Warning first in Spanish and then in English. After that Mildred will take the question and statements in short hand. You can start whenever you're ready.”
“Yes sir.” Garcia then read the Miranda warning to Rodriguez first in Spanish then in English. When he was finished Wallace said to the prisoner, “Now, let's continue where do you live in Nautilus Beach?”
“Six seventeen Caspian Avenue.”
“How old are you?”
“Laborer in a lumber yard.”
“Which lumber yard?”
“Surf Side Lumber on the Mainland.”
“Have you been arrested before to day?”
“I'll get right to the point. We have information that you have been hanging around the Wa Wa store and bothering young girls and women,” said Wallace.
“That's not true mon.”
“ You just accosted a police officer, one who arrested you.”
“Her word against mine.”
“Do you know a young lady named Candice Morgan?”
“Never heard of her.”
“Well you'll hear of her soon. According to Sergeant Woodson her parents are going to sign a complaint against you in the interest of their daughter who will testify against you.”
“If she does she'll be lying.”
“ I doubt it. Let's change the subject. Do you know a teenage girl named Ethel Lamb?”
“She is an African-American girl, dark skin, and with a mental problem.”
“Do you mean Dummy?”
“Why do you call her Dummy?”
“Everyone? Give me some names.”
“Oh mon I don't know names just dudes who talk about her.”
“When you say guys talk about her what do they say?”
“They say she's easy.”
“You can get her for an ice cream cone or a bottle of soda.”
“Did you have her?”
“Hell no. That bitch smells.”
“ Do you know anyone who did?”
“No, but I seen her once or twice with the culos from the mission.”
“Culos means bums in Spanish,” said Garcia.
“Thanks Ed. These bums as you call them, can you name any of them?,” asked Wallace.
“No. Like I said I seen her with them once or twice.”
“Is there anything else you would like to tell me?,” asked the Captain.
“No, except I didn't do anything.”
“Not according to Detective Myers.”
“I forgot to mention that I'm also charging you with resisting arrest,” said Myers.
“I didn't resist.”
“You ran and Sergeant O'Neil and Detective McKenzie will testify to that in court,” Myers replied.
“Well, I guess that wraps up this matter. Take him downstairs and book him. What's the charge Carol?” said Wallace.
“Disorderly person, molesting and interfering and resisting arrest,” she answered.
The next day Detective McKenzie brought in Ellington Morris, Tom made Morris take a seat next to the Captain's desk. Wallace looked at the man for a moment seeing a man wearing second or third hand clothes and worn, dirty canvas shoes. “Are you Ellington Morris?,” asked Wallace.
“Do you know why you are here?”
“Probably for panhandling on the walk.”
“Have you ever been arrested before?”
“Yes sir, a couple of times.”
“Vagrancy and panhandling.”
“Where do you live?”
“At the mission.”
“What is your occupation?”
“I use to be a stevedore till I hurt my back.”
“Where did you work?”
“The docks in Philadelphia.”
“It is our understanding that you now work the City Dump looking for anything of value.”
“That be true, cept I ain't been out there for some time.”
“Think hard, when was the last time you were out on or near the dump.”
“Had to be some time in September. I remember that cause I found me a big bag of aluminum cans cashed them in and made a few dollars that day.”
“How long have you been living at the mission?”
“Bout eight months. Came into town from Philly. Had no scratch. Didn't know nobody. The mission took me in.”
“Well since you have been at the mission that long do you know a young girl named Ethel Lamb?”
“Know her? No. Seen her? Yes.”
“And when you saw her what was she doing?”
“Sometimes she came in to eat. That be different times of the day. Not all the time but every once in awhile. Once or twice she sat in for the service.”
“Ever see her with men from the mission?”
“Can you name them?”
“No. dudes come and go. I saw her walk away with one dude one time, two dudes another time.”
“Where did they go?”
“Don't know for sure but heard there be a vacant house on Turner Street. Place got a mattress on the floor.
Lot's of homeless guys on drugs stay there and shoot up. They might have taken her there.”
“Did you ever have relations with the girl?”
“Hell no! Living be hard enough for me. I don't need no sex with a minor charge put on me. Matter of fact I felt sorry for the girl.”
“Then why didn't you protect her?”
“Cause if I did I'd have to fight those dudes. Probably get beat up and then arrested. Fact is I mind my own business.”
“You're probably right Mr. Ellington. No one can fault you. Maybe, just maybe had you stopped those two men Ethel Lamb might still be alive,” said Wallace.
“And my ass might still be dead,” Ellington replied.
On Wednesday, January 10, 1979 Captain Robert Wallace read and re-read the laboratory report sent by the State Police. “The pubic hair submitted for analysis was examined and found to be human. The donor is Caucasian.” Wallace placed the report on his desk top leaned back in his chair and said to himself, “Son of A Bitch. According to this report this takes any and all African-Americans out of the picture. This will now be like starting the investigation from the beginning. Now, where do we start?”
“Let me have your attention people. The lab report just came in about the pubic hair found on the victim during the autopsy. I've got news for you. That hair came from a Caucasian. All that means right now is that the assailant was White or a White male left the hair,” said Wallace.
“Could Ethel been assaulted and killed by two men,” asked Myers.
“Right now anything is possible.”
Wallace looked at the thick file related to the Ethel Lamb case and then opened it. He began reading each report submitted by members of the squad. He chose one report submitted by Tom McKenzie then leaned back in his chair and began to read it. Then, he read it again. “Tom?” he said.
“Yes sir?.” McKenzie answered.
“In your report in reference to the information you ascertained in relation to Ellington Morris you also mention a Harvey Anderson. Who is Harvey Anderson?”
McKenzie stood silently with an embarrassed red face.
“I don't know sir. I never followed up on that information. I got caught up with investigating Morris that I forgot about anyone named Anderson. I'm sorry.”
“Well, according to what you did put in your report
Is that this Anderson guy works the city dump. Go back to the mission and find out what you can about a Harvey Anderson. First of all I want to know if he's White or Black.”
“Yes sir. I'm on the way. Again, I'm sorry sir.'
“Hey mistakes happen. Try not to make anymore, OK?”
After leaving police headquarters Tom McKenzie Drove to the Atlantic Garden Mission. As usual three what appeared to be homeless men loitered near the front door. They moved away when Tom approached. Once inside he looked around and saw that the main dining room was empty. Still, hearing sounds coming from the kitchen he walked towards it.
Entering the kitchen he saw Mr. Perkins standing in front of the stainless steel sink washing a large pot. “Mr. Perkins!,” said McKenzie.
Perkins turned smiled and turned off the running water. Then he dried his wet hands on his apron. “Ah, Officer McKenzie. It is McKenzie isn't it?,”he asked.
“What can I do for you Officer?”
“If you recall the last time I was here with Sergeant O'Neil we asked you about anyone staying here occasionally going out to the city dump to work.”
“Yes and I told you that there were two men that did.
One was Elliot Morris and the other was Harvey Anderson.”
“That's correct sir. What I need now sir is to be able to talk to Harvey Anderson.”
“I'm afraid he's no longer here. He left right after Christmas.”
“Do you happen to know where he went?”
“I heard that he went to Schooner Beach. Knowing him you'll probably find him at a mission there. Good luck. Harvey unfortunately is an alcoholic.”
“Can you give me a description of the man?”
“Certainly. He's White, forty years old about five foot eight or nine weighs about a hundred and sixty pounds and has brown hair. As far as I know he came here from Philadelphia as many of our homeless men have. Most of those lived on the sidewalks of Race Street. That's about all I can tell you Officer.”
“Thank you. You have been a great help sir.”
“You're welcome. Stay safe. I'll pray for you.”
“Thank you. Good by,”
Arriving back at the Major Crime Squad Office Tom McKenzie reported to Captain Wallace. “Harvey Anderson is a White male, age about forty. He's five foot eight or nine and weighs approximately a hundred and sixty pounds. Unfortunately, he's not here. He might be in Schooner Beach at a mission there.”
“Very good. Now, had you gathered that information the first time you were there you wouldn't be driving to Schooner Beach tomorrow,” said Wallace.
Late the next morning Detective McKenzie drove across the bridge that separated Schooner Beach from the mainland. Sergeant O'Neil sat next to him. “Well here we are. What's next?,” asked McKenzie.
“We go to the Schooner Beach PD. When we get there we'll get directions to the mission or missions. At the same time see if they have anything on Harvey Anderson,” said O'Neil.
“Do you know where it is?,” asked McKenzie.
“Not really. I haven't been over here in years. Just keep driving down Atlantic Avenue until we see a radio car. We'll stop, identify ourselves and get directions. Once we get there we'll see what they have on Anderson. Then look for him at the mission/ Let's hope that there is only one mission.”
“I see a radio car up ahead,” said McKenzie.
McKenzie stopped his car next to the Schooner Beach patrol car. When he did O'Neil got out and walked over to where two patrolmen sat. “Hello. I'm Sergeant O'Neil from the Nautilus Beach PD. To tell you the truth I haven't been here in years. I need instructions to your headquarters”
“We just got a call to come in so just follow us,” said the police officer in the passenger seat.
After arriving at the Schooner Beach Police Department Sergeant O'Neil along with Detective McKenzie went immediately to the Detective Bureau. There they met with Captain Harold Lewis. “Captain, we're in town looking for a homeless man named Harvey Anderson. We have reason to believe that he might be living in a mission house. What I need is information. First, do you have any records of a Harvey Anderson being arrested in your city. Next, I need the names and addresses of the mission houses in Schooner Beach,” said O'Neil.
“Have a seat. This will take awhile. I'll call down to our Records Bureau and see if we have him in our system. As for the address of the mission house, we only have one in town at the moment. It's called Good Sheppard Mission House and operated mostly by volunteers. The Reverend, William Davis is in charge. The mission is located on Decatur Street. When you leave I'll have a radio car lead you there,” said Lewis.
“Fine, I appreciate that sir,” O'Neil replied.
“While we wait for the Records Bureau to call do you mind me asking why you want this Anderson fellow?, asked Lewis.”
“Not at all. We 're investigating a homicide of a teenage girl in our city. One of the pieces of evidence was a pubic hair found on the victim. The lab report states that the donor of that hair is a Caucasian. At the time of the murder Anderson was the only Caucasian living at the Atlantic Garden Mission. We also have information that from time to time he was near the crime scene.”
Five minutes later the Captain's telephone rang.
“Captain Lewis,” he said answering the call.
Lewis said, “Thank you', and hung up the receiver. “Well now, according to out records we have nothing on a Harvey Anderson, not even a vagrancy charge. Sorry,” he continued.
“Oh well, thank you for you help. Now we'll be going,” said O'Neil.
“Perhaps you'll do better at the mission house,” Lewis replied as he shook hands with the two detectives.
After following the radio car to the Good Sheppard Mission House McKenzie parked the car. Both men then went inside. A young man O'Neil judged to be in his mid-thirties was standing talking to a young woman. Seeing the two men he asked, “Can I help you?”
O'Neil showed his badge and said, “Police. We would like to speak to the person in charge.”
“I guess that would be me. I'm Reverend Charles Bennett.”
“Good. I'm Sergeant William O'Neil and this is Detective Thomas McKenzie. Is there someplace we can go where we can talk in private?”
“Of course but first allow me to take care of a minor matter I'm having with this young lady.'
“Please, take your time,” said O'Neil.
A few moments later Reverend Bennett said, “Now gentlemen come this way. The two detectives followed the minister to his private office. Once inside the Reverend said, “Have a seat and how can I help you?”
“We're here looking for a man named Harvey Anderson. We have reason to believe that he's staying here,” said O'Neil.
“As a matter of fact, he is staying with us at the present time.”
“Excellent can we see him?”
“No. today he's working as a day laborer. I would imagine that he shall return sometime after five o'clock this evening.”
“Work program?,” asked McKenzie.
“Oh yes. Here we give those staying with us the opportunity to gain employment. This in return allows them to find a path to independence and a new life style.”
“It sounds very interesting,” said O'Neil.
“ Let me explain how we work here at the Good Sheppard Mission. We're open seven days a week. We serve two hot meals Monday through Friday at noon and at seven PM. A Saturday meal is served at noon and a three PM on Sunday. Two hours before each meal clients, notice we do not refer to them as the homeless, vagrants or inmates, clients are allowed to shower.
We provide all toiletry items. They can get a change of clothing, including undergarments, make a telephone call and use our computer and job board to search for employment. We also offer, working one on one with case managers an opportunity to develop a program that plans their independence.
Some of the services we offer are the ability to obtain identification, sources of income, housing, substance abuse referrals, medical assistance through our clinic, bus passes for employment or doctors visits and clothing vouchers for job interviews.”
“It sounds like you have a very well run organization,” said O'Neil.
“We try. We owe our success to the many volunteers who work here and we can't forget those that donate, food, clothing, and of course money that keeps us operating.”
“Very interesting. Well I guess we'll be back some time after five PM to talk with Anderson,” said O'Neil.
“If you wish. Allow me to invite both of you to join us for supper. I'm sure that you will find it of at least as good as restaurant quality,” said Bennett.
At five forty five PM O'Neil and McKenzie returned to the Mission House. As the walked to the front of the building they saw a man fitting the description of Harvey Anderson. “Are you Harvey Anderson?”, aske O'Neil.
“Yes. I was told that the police were looking for me.”
“That's true. We woulds like to ask you a few questions,” said O'Neil.
“Let's sit on the porch. No one is there and we can talk in private,” Anderson replied.
“Fine. Lead the way.”
Once seated in comfortable wicker chairs Anderson opened the conversation. “Am I in some kind of trouble?”
“ That depends,” O'Neil replied.
“ I haven’t done anything to break the law.
“Do you know a young African-American girl named Ethel Lamb?”
“No but if this is about her murder I don't know anything about it.”
“Well, here's what we do know. Ethel Lamb was a frequent visitor to the Atlantic Garden Mission House and you stayed there.”
“That's true but so did many other guys.”
“True however most of them were Black.
“So we know that a Caucasian male was with her when she died.”
“It wasn't me.”
“Well, to be sure. I would like to take a sample of your blood and hair, particularly a sample of your pubic hair.”
“No, at your and my convenience. If you consent to giving us samples you simply sign a consent form. At the same time if you refuse then I go to court and get a search warrant.”
“Hey, I've got nothing to hide. If you have the forms with you I'll sign them now.”
“Unfortunately, I don't. When are you free?”
“Most anytime. I got a job as a day laborer. I hate to lose the work by not showing up.”
“Are you free on Saturday's?”
“Good, we'll pick you up here on Saturday, take you back to Nautilus Beach. There you give us the samples, sign the forms and we bring you back here. What do you say?”
“I say, fine.”
“Good, see you on Saturday,” said O'Neil.
The States Witness
On the following Saturday Harvey Anderson allowed the Nautilus Beach Police Surgeon to take samples of his pubic hair. After that was done he sat in a chair in front of Sergeant William O'Neil. Captain Wallace sat quietly ready to watch the questioning. “For the record What is your full name?”, asked O'Neil.
“Harvey Wilbur Anderson.”
“And your address?”
“Currently at the Good Sheppard Mission House in Schooner Beach, New Jersey.
“What is your occupation?”
“I'm presently working as a day laborer,”
“In Schooner Beach?”
“Have you ever lived in Nautilus Beach?”
“At the Atlantic Garden Mission House.”
“How long did you live there?”
“Almost a year. Eight months actually.”
“While there were you employed?”
“No. I looked for work but jobs were hard to find.”
“How did you earn any money?”
“Once in awhile I went to the city dump. When I was there I dug through the trash looking for anything of value that I might be able to sell.”
“Let's go back to your time at the Mission in Nautilus Beach. While you were there did you ever see a young,
African-American girl in or about the premiss?”
“You must be talking about Ethel. Sure I saw her. Most of the time she was there to get something to eat. Once in awhile she sat in for church service.”
“When she was there did she associate with any particular person?”
“ I can't truthfully say she did. Reverend Perkins was very protective of her knowing that with her mental condition she was vulnerable.”
“Other than you what other Caucasians lived at the Mission while you were there?”
“There was three, two women and a boy.”
“How old was the boy?”
“Nine, maybe ten.”
“Let's go back to your times at the city dump.
When you were there working did you ever see an automobile parked about fifty or a hundred yards from the dump entrance?”
“I remember working there one day when I happened to hear an automobile engine start. I looked over and saw it drive away.”
“Can you identify the car?”
“All I can say is that it was blue.”
“Did you ever see that car before or after that day?”
“Not that I remember.”
“Was that car a Chevrolet?”
“I can't say.”
“Do you know what day that was?”
“Can you think of anything else Captain?,” asked O'Neil.
“No. I think you have covered everything. Mr. Anderson thank you for your co-operation. We appreciate it,”
“I'd like you to notify us if you leave Schooner Beach and let us know where you are,” said O'Neil.
“Good. Now, Detective McKenzie will drive you back to Schooner Beach. Thanks again,” added O'Neil.
After McKenzie and Anderson left Wallace looked up as a civilian clerk entered the office. He then watched as the clerk handed an envelope to Mildred. The secretary glanced at the envelope then got up and walking to Wallace's desk said, “ This is for you.”
Wallace took the envelope and saw that it had been sent by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Division. He opened the mail and removed the document that had been sent. He then said, “Son of a Bitch!”
“Something wrong?,” asked Woodson.
“This is a report from the Motor Vehicle Division
in reference to the Vin number you found and we submitted. It reads: Vehicle Identification Number CHMBB7083WD114221 is registered to Atlantic Garden Mission House, Said vehicle is a 1975 Chevrolet Malibu, color blue.”
“You got to be kidding,” said O'Neil.
“Did you ever see that car there?”, asked Wallace.
“No,” said O'Neil
Wallace reached for a file folder containing McKenzie's reports. He read page after page. Then said, “In all of his reports submitted in reference to the Atlantic Garden Mission House he constantly refereed to Perkins as Mr. Perkins. He either never asked the man his first name or neglected to add the name in his reports. That mistake has cost us weeks of time and money. I should kick McKenzie square in the ass,” said Wallace.
“In all fairness Captain I was there and made the same mistake,” O'Neil replied.
“Think Bill. Try to remember what either you or Tom said when you first met Perkins.”
“I still don't remember either one of us asking the man his name. All that comes back to me is that Tom remarked about Perkins smelling like vinegar.”
“Neither one of you put that in your report.”
“I didn't think it was important.”
“ Vinegar can be used as a home remedy for treating impetigo. Impetigo is a highly contagious skin disease one that Ethel Lamb had.”
“Shall I go get Perkins?,” asked Bill.
“No. Not yet. While we wait from Tom to get back from Schooner Beach we'll prepare a search warrant. I think we have enough probable cause for it. Some of the facts may be circumstantial but the automobile tire impression at the crime scene should persuade the judge to issue the warrant. If he does then we can match fingerprints and of course the pubic hair. In addition let's include a search of the premiss. I'm betting we come up with a dark brown hairpiece.”
“Is that important?,” asked Woodson.
“To the Ethel Lamb investigation? No but if it solves the matter of a guy on the street accosting young girls?
Yes it becomes important. If Perkins is that guy then you can contact the girls parents and put their minds at ease. Carol, when the warrant is ready take it to the court and have the judge read it. If he has any questions answer them. If you have any question call me. Got it?”
“OK Mildred. Let's put the warrant together.”
“Are we picking him up today?”, asked O'Neil.
“No. First, I want the warrant. Next. I want things lined up. The Police surgeon for the pubic hair sample and at the same time the possibility of scars left from the impetigo. After that we'll take his fingerprints and make the comparison with those found on the glass shard. Perkins is not going anywhere. Right now he like all criminals thinks he's outsmarting us. Time is on out side. We'll pick him up
At ten thirty in the morning of the next day
Sergeant O'Neil and Detective McKenzie entered the office with Perkins. Wallace got up from behind his desk. “Mr. Perkins do you know why you are here?,” he asked.
“I was told that it had something to do with Ethel Lamb's murder.” Perkins answered.
“That's correct. For the record sir, what is your first name?”
“Ah, yes of course. Right now Mr. Perkins you are about to be advised of your rights under the Miranda Ruling. Before we do that I'll jump ahead a bit and Advise you that you do not have to talk to us and if you do you have the right to have an attorney of law with you. Do you understand?”
“Yes. However, I have done nothing wrong.”
“If you say so sir. If you say so. Bill, read Mr. Perkins the Miranda Rule.”
After O'Neil was finished Wallace said, “Now that you have been advised will you talk with us?”
“Like I said. I've done nothing wrong.”
“Right here sir I hold the warrant that was served on you at the Mission House. As you know by now it is a search warrant.”
“Yes, I know your men took my hair piece.”
“That warrant also gives us the courts permission to take samples of your hair and to examine your body.”
“The Police Surgeon a qualified medical physician.”
“What happens if I refuse?”
“It prolongs the matter.”
“Well, I refuse. I think I have the right now to say that I'm done with this questioning. I want, no I demand a lawyer.”
“Fine Mr. Perkins. You are now under arrest for the murder of Ethel Lamb. You will now be taken downstairs to the City Jail. Upon your arrival you will be examined by the Police Surgeon. He will take samples of your pubic hair and at the sometime examine you for scarring caused by the skin disease, impetigo. Then you will be booked. While being booked and processed you will be fingerprinted. Your fingerprints will then be examined by our Forensic Unit where they will be compared with those found on the weapon you used to kill Ethel Lamb. In addition we will introduce as evidence for the State the tire impression your automobile made on the day you killed the girl. You see Mr. Perkins one of the mistakes you made on the night you burned your automobile is the fact that the Vin number was still in place behind the windshield. However, if it's any consultation that number is also located in another place in the vehicle. We would have found it anyway.
We also have reason to believe that it was you who had approached young teenage girls in the mall and on the street. This means that I'll place you in a lineup. If and I'm pretty sure If any of these girls come forward and identify you, their statements will also be submitted as evidence for the State.
At the same time I and the officers under my command become witnesses for the State. We will all be in court prepared and ready to testify against you.”
“What happens if I resist giving samples and being examined?”
“Then somebody will in all probability knock you on your ass and hold you down while the samples are taken.
I'm pretty sure that as that's being done someone else will be reading the wording of the search warrant to you. Take him away.”
Sergeant Woodson said, “Nice job.”
“Yes, all of us did a nice job.”
“Certainly. His mistakes made it necessary for me to check his work. Checking his reports and what was missing in those reports made me examine and re-examine resulting in me thinking and re-thinking, So in fact he was a big part of this investigation.”
“I see. Now, what happens to me?,” Woodson asked.
“What do you want to happen?
“I want to go back to Juvenile.”
“Report back there tomorrow morning.”
“No need to thank me. The Chief had already ordered that at the conclusion of this case that you were to return and command the Juvenile Division again.”
“Well then, it's been real.”
“Like I told you. Put it in your resume'.”
“I will. See you around.”
“Probably, possibly in County Court. You did a nice job interviewing those high school girls.”
“Get out of here.”
Monday, June 25. 1979 began with an extremely
hot morning. Upon arriving at the County Court House Captain Wallace dreaded leaving the air condition interior of the automobile assigned to him. He looked at his wristwatch and saw that he was running late. He got out of the car, picked up his suit coat that was draped over the front passenger seat, locked the drivers side door and began walking to the entrance of the building. Once inside he stood for a few minutes allowing the air in the cool air conditioned room to slow and hopefully stop his perspiring. “ Why is it that on the hottest summer days we're required to appear in court in suit and tie?,” he thought to himself as he walked to the waiting room set aside for witnesses.
Twenty minutes later a Bailiff opened the door and said, “Captain Robert Wallace?”
“You have been called sir.”
“Thank you.” As he walked towards the courtroom
he thought to himself, “ What a waste of time. Grand jury hearings are held supposedly to present the State's case against the defendant. The Prosecutor presents the States evidence both concrete and circumstantial along with witnesses. Anyone knowledgeable of the legal system realizes that the Prosecutor basically knows that the jury under his direction will render an indictment. If he does not want an indictment he just tells the jury that the case in question is weak or that there is no evidence to support the charges.”
After entering the courtroom Wallace walked to the witness stand where he raised his right hand and was sworn to tell the truth. He then sat down in the witness chair and waited for Jeffrey Lippmann, one of the County Prosecutor to begin the questioning.
Wallace did not like Lippmann. The man had a personal dislike for the Nautilus Beach Police Department and its members. This animosity was the result of an evening on the town by Jeffrey Lippmann whereupon the man became drunk and disorderly. He was taken into custody by the local police. However, before he could be booked the local politicians worked their influence and Lippmann was released without being charged. Nonetheless, Lippmann still carried a grudge and at times would go out of his way to investigate any and all complains against Nautilus Beach Police Officers. Wallace watched as the man approached the witness stand.
“For the record please state your name, occupation and rank,” said Lippmann.
“I'm Captain Robert Wallace of the Nautilus Beach Police Department.”
“What is your current assignment?”
“Commanding Officer of the Major Crime Squad.”
“Please explain the function of the Major Crime Squad.”
“Its function is to investigate Rape, Murder or if you will homicide, robbery and larceny over ten thousand dollars.”
“I see and did you and members of the Major Crime Squad have the opportunity to investigate the homicide of one Ethel Lamb?”
“Yes we did.”
“Good. Please tell the court and members of the jury what you know and did in reference to the murder of Ethel Lamb.”
Wallace turned his head and looked directly at the men and women of the Grand Jury and said, “ On November 17, 1978 the body of an African-American teenage girl was found on a vacant lot adjacent to the City Dump by the foreman of the dump. He in turn called the police. Our arriving patrol units determined that the girl was dead. They then called into headquarters and continued to protect the crime scene.”
“Allow me to interrupt you at this time Captain how did the patrol officer know that the girls was dead and not just severely injured?”
“ Because the body at the time was in a state of decay.”
“ In your investigation did you ever determine the time of death?”
“Yes, according to the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on the victim he judged that death occurred on November 13, 1978.”
“Please tell the court and the jury parts of your investigation that led to the arrest of Ellsworth Perkins.”
“ Certainly. After interviewing the parents of the victim, Ethel Lamb. We were able to learn that the victim did two things routinely. She frequented what she considered to be a church and she was in the company of someone with the name according to her as EL.”
“Several people were brought in for questioning and statements taken from them. At that time the case was in what I must say was in limbo. However, we had what I considered concrete evidence. We had a complete set of fingerprints from the right hand of the assailant found on the murder weapon. At rhe same time we had a pubic hair found on the body of the victim at the time of the autopsy.'
“You mention murder weapon. What, in your opinion was the murder weapon?”
“A glass shard. It was used to cut the victims throat.”
“I show you now States Evidence A. Is this the murder weapon that you recovered at the crime scene?”
“May I see it a bit closer?”
Wallace carefully examined the piece of glass then stated, “It appears to be.”
“Appears to be? You're not certain.”
“When I took the glass as evidence I placed a piece of cellophane tape on one edge away from the latent prints.
I then wrote my initials on the tape. That tape is no longer there.
So, to repeat, the piece of glass that you show me appears to be the piece of glass I recovered at the crime scene.”
Lippmann walked back to the table and placed the glass back in the evidence folder. Returning to the witness stand he said, I believe you mentioned fingerprints. Were the fingerprints on the glass shard examined?”
“Yes, first by members of our Forensic Unit and as I understand it by the State Police directed to do so by your office, that of the County Prosecutor.”
“ By their examination what was the results?”
“The results submitted by the Nautilus Beach Police Departments Forensic Unit the latent prints found on the glass shard are identical to those of Ellsworth Perkins at the time of his arrest.”
“On the day the victim was found a search was made of the crime scene. A short distance from where the body was found an impression of what was thought to be made by an automobile tire was also found. That impression was first photographed and then a plaster cast was made of the impression. Sometime later an abandoned car was found to be burned and abandoned. The Vehicle Identification Number was found and that number was sent to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Division requesting information. The report sent to us was that the vehicle a 1975 Chevrolet Malibu, blue in color was registered to the Atlantic Garden Mission House located in Nautilus Beach.”
“In you investigation did you determine who was or is in charge of the mission house?”
“Please tell the court the name of that person in charge.”
“Please continue about the automobile.
“With the automobile in our custody it was determined that one tire on the wheels of the automobile was an identical match of the cast of the impression left at the crime scene.”
“I see. Anything else?”
“Yes. A lab report given to us in reference to the pubic hair found on the victim resulted in the fact that the donor of that hair sample was a Caucasian. After Perkins arrest he was presented with a search warrant indicating that he would have samples of his pubic hair taken and also to be examined for any signs of scaring on his body in relation to an infection of impetigo.”
“What were the results?”
“The pubic hair matched the one found on the victim and scars were found thought to be caused be impetigo.”
“Why was impetigo so important to your investigation?”
“At the time of the autopsy the victim was found to be suffering from a severe case of impetigo. Impetigo is reported to be very contagious. It was my opinion that if Perkins came in contact and in particular sexual contact with the victim that he would be infected.”
“And was he?”
“You will have to ask the Police Surgeon that conducted the examination.”
“I see. So, in you opinion Ellsworth Perkins is the murderer of Ethel Lamb.”
“Yes but he had many accomplices.”
“Accomplices. What accomplices?”
“For one the State of New Jersey. In particular the Child and Family Services. At anytime they could have interceded and placed Ethel Lamb in a better environment than the one she was forced to live in from day to day. Next, would be the welfare system that gives money to the poor of who some take the money and buy alcoholic drinks or narcotics, just as the victims parents did. At the same time I place some blame of the Juvenile Court System who upon seeing the victim in court and knowing her mental condition and living conditions refused to taker her into custody and place her where she would receive treatment and safety. The Board of Education that allowed Ethel Lamb to wander the streets unsupervised instead of demanding that she attend classes that would help her. However, I also place the police on the list. We do not do enough background checks on persons that are in contact with children and particularly the handicapped children. Handicapped children are vulnerable to adults. Mentally handicapped children more so. Lastly I most
add to the list the members of the jury. Why? You might ask.
Think of all the times when you as an individual was asked to donate time as a volunteer to those organizations that work for the betterment of conditions for children. Think of the times when you refused to donate money to their causes. It was at those times ladies and gentlemen that some other child living exactly like did Ethel Lamb might become another victim. In
Ethel Lambs case she was born into a predetermined cause of events. Another definition would be, destiny. One that we as members of society could have changed. I must also Add my name to the list. As the commanding officer of the unit that investigated Ethel's case I was lax in reviewing the work of the members of the squad. I must admit that their work was excellent. Nonetheless mistakes were made. Had I been observant I would have noticed those mistakes immediately. The results might have been that the arrest of Ellsworth Perkins would have been sooner rather than later.”
“You may step down Captain.”
Publication Date: 04-17-2018
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