|The Killjoy Case
Author: Slackitude PM
Detective Miri Gerjuoy has to act fast to find the vicious killer who stole the Killjoy jewels.Rated: Fiction T - English - Crime/Mystery - Chapters: 4 - Words: 7,281 - Published: 12-24-11 - Status: Complete - id: 2982271
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The internal affairs officer was a large, athletic man named Lieutenant Greeb. He kept shifting in his chair to try and see down Miri's blouse, and she kept shifting in her chair so he couldn't. Greeb had a considerable height advantage and was probably used to looking down blouses...Miri was damned if she was going to give him a free peep show just because he was well over six feet tall.
Greeb was explaining that the shooting had been ruled justified, no surprise there, and she could have her gun back. She wondered, briefly, if she wanted it back, but decided not to say that. Lieutenant Greeb further explained that per department policy she would be expected to attend mandatory counseling with a department therapist. She thought that might not be such a bad idea, but decided not to say that either.
"I know," said Greeb with a 'just between us' smile, "the last thing you need is to get your head shrunk, but it's policy and it's painless. This was a righteous shoot, Detective, good job."
"Thank you, sir"
And that was it. She'd put a bullet into another human being, and it was all OK. It was even "Righteous". It was him or me she thought. And I wasn't going to let it be me.
Jamil was waiting for her outside of Greeb's office.
"How did it go?"
"The shooting was justified, I've got my gun back" Miri said quietly.
"How are you? OK?"
"Yes, I'll be fine," Miri smiled, "Let's find the rest of that jewelry."
Talking to Star Lewis' friends and associates, they were able to determine he had originally attempted to give the necklace to his girlfriend. When she broke it off with him, he took the necklace back and tried to sell it.
"So, add 'classy guy' to his list of accomplishments" said Jamil Deeb.
"I guess we should go to the hospital, and talk to this classy guy himself"
"You sure that's a good idea? You didn't exactly part on good terms" Said Jamil.
"I can take it if he can" countered Miri.
Star Lewis was handcuffed to his hospital bed. He looked harmless enough, small and powerless with tubes going in and out of his body.
"Hello, bitch" he said with as much venom as he could muster.
"Star," said Miri, "and here I thought we were old friends."
"You shot me, you crazy bitch!"
"Only because you were going to try and shoot me. Anyway, let's let bygones be bygones and help each other out now, shall we? You tell us were the rest of the jewelery is, and how you heard about the jewelry in the first place, and we'll tell the judge you cooperated."
"You go to Hell," Star spit out, "my lawyer says you got nothing on me. I found that necklace in an alley somewhere, oops, somebodydropped it. I don't have any of the other stuff and you got nothin' to put me in that guys house...lots of people own shotguns...I don't need to tell you anything."
"Star Lewis," Jamil Deeb spoke over Miri's shoulder while Miri smiled down at Star, "while you were unconscious a warrant was served upon your person, this warrant entitled our CSI techs to obtain hair from your head. This hair is being compared to hair retrieved from the murder scene. If it matches, we will indeed have 'something on you.' We trust you'll be more cooperative then."
"We'll be in touch, Star," said Miri. "Don't worry, we know where to find you."
Star looked stricken, like he'd been shot again.
"Well, we didn't get anything but that was sure fun" said Miri as they left Star Lewis' hospital room.
Back at the precinct house, Miri and Jamil discussed the case.
"Star Lewis must have had a partner," said Miri. "Someone who knew about the jewelry and that Steven Killjoy would be in Hawaii. Someone who put Star in that house with that shotgun"
"The email that got sent out to everyone discusses 'Larry house sitting' so if that's how the partner got their information they have guilty knowledge of the murder" Jamil observed.
"Star will roll over on his partner, he's too much of a low life not to" said Miri.
"It would be very satisfying to nail them both."
CSI returned with a match between Star Lewis' hair and the hair taken from the murder scene. Armed with this the two detectives went to see Star and, with his lawyer present, he was much more cooperative.
"We're not in a death penalty state, but we'll tell the judge your client cooperated and it's my personal belief that while your client is a vicious little killer, he didn't intend to use a shotgun. He'd have carried something more reasonable if he'd expected to run into someone. His partner didn't tell him he'd meet a house sitter. That could effect his sentencing." Said Detective Gerjuoy.
"About his partner..." Began the attorney.
"All I know is her name is Viv, I have a phone number for her and I met her through my friend Jimmy, who said she was looking for someone to do a simple home break-in, there wasn't supposed to be anyone there. I brought the shotgun just in case. I never meant to kill nobody." Star blurted.
Miri and Jamil exchanged glances. Vivian Penrose they both thought.
Miri spoke up "This is going to require something more from your client. Star, we need you to call this 'Viv' and arrange a meeting, tell her you're thinking of going to the cops, you'll be wearing a wire."
"I don't know about this..." said Star.
"I advise you to cooperate" said his attorney.
"All right...I'll do it."
The press had been following the case pretty closely, but they were kept ignorant of the match made with the hair and given to understand that Star Lewis was freed due to lack of evidence.
When Star Lewis called "Viv" it was recorded.
"Hello, Viv, we need to talk"
"I really don't see anything we need to talk about"
"I got shot, Viv. I got shot and they took the necklace that was supposed to be my payment for the job. I'm thinking of telling the cops all about you and how you lied to me. You told me there wouldn't be anyone there. You got me wrapped up in a murder beef to keep me quiet"
"That would be...unwise" there was a cold, remorseless tone to Vivian Penrose's voice. Miri Gerjuoy was quite sure Steven Killjoy had never heard this voice from his friend Viv.
"Well, I want another necklace. Something to pay me back for getting shot. And you don't want me talking to the cops, so you'll give me what I want"
"Where and when do you want to meet?"
"The Burger Barn at Third and Elm. Tomorrow at noon."
"I'll be there"
The next day, Miri and Jamil and half a dozen other officers, along with a handful of techs (to work the microphones and camera), waited in cars in the parking lot of the Burger Barn. Star Lewis sat at a bench sipping a soda.
"Huh" said Jamil.
"What?" Asked Miri.
"When he drinks his soda, it doesn't spray out from where you shot him."
"Oh, very funny"
"We're up" said Miri, as Vivian Penrose pulled into the parking lot in a late model Mercedes.
"This is our target arriving now" Jamil said into his microphone, alerting everyone. If they were worried about Vivian Penrose spotting them they needn't have been. She seemed entirely focused on Star Lewis. She was wearing a bright yellow sun dress despite the cool weather and carrying a large wicker handbag. She walked over to the bench and sat opposite to Star Lewis. Now the two Detectives just had to hope Star stuck to the script they'd outlined for him and that Vivian Penrose didn't throw him any curve balls.
"Hello," Star's voice came over their speakers "did you bring me a necklace?"
"Yes," Vivian's voice came through loud and clear as well, "do you really want me to hand it over to you right here in public?"
"No one's looking, no one cares"
Vivian Penrose dipped her long thin hand into her capacious purse and brought out a large necklace full of emeralds which she passed to Star Lewis.
"This should settle our business" she said.
"I'm not so sure" said Star.
"What do you mean?"
"I got shot, and you set me up to commit a murder. I think I deserve a little more than just a necklace" he said as he pocketed the jewelry.
"Oh would you quit whining? So I didn't tell you Steven had a house sitter. You brought along a shot gun. Obviously you were prepared to use it. Anyway, as it happens I do have something else for you."
Her hand dipped into the purse again and emerged holding a small semi-automatic handgun which she held under the bench, leveled at Star Lewis' midsection.
"You crazy bitch" he hissed.
"We're going to go for a ride in my car. Like you said, no one's looking, and no one cares."
"All right, move in, but slowly and carefully" said Detective Gerjuoy over the radio as she and Detective Deeb got out of the car.
Miri and Jamil approached the bench that Vivian and Star were seated at, guns drawn.
"Vivian?," Miri said, "Vivian, it's over. Put the gun down and give it up."
Vivian looked around and saw she was surrounded by armed police officers.
"Oh," she said, "this changes things."
"Yes, it changes everything. Put the gun down now Vivian." Miri said, calmly.
"I suppose you'll shoot me if I don't? That really might be best, a tidy ending to this sorry little tale."
"Nobody wants that, Vivian" said Miri.
Vivian Penrose took a deep breath.
"We were quite the couple, you know" she said.
"Who?" asked Miri.
"Steven and I, back in high school I was the envy of every girl with the great Steven Killjoy on my arm."
"I didn't know that."
"When he came out to me he made me the laughingstock of the entire school. But he also took away my future, my bright, bright future as Mrs. Killjoy. Obviously, that was all gone. It's taken close to fifteen years but I've finally taken something from him, his precious collection. I've hidden it, where you'll never find it."
"Vivian?" Miri said quietly, "it's over now. Give up the gun."
"Yes, I suppose it is." She said as she placed the automatic on the bench. Miri kept her covered while Jamil walked up and handcuffed her.
"Vivian Penrose, you are under arrest for theft and conspiracy to commit murder. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?"
"Yes, of course, I'm not deaf" she said with a faint hint of her 'just call me Viv' smile.
One of the other officers was handcuffing Star, and they retrieved the necklace out of his pocket.
"Oh don't bother with that. It's just cheap costume junk," said Vivian, "I figured he wouldn't know the difference and I was going to kill him anyway" she said, brightly.
Later, as Miri and Jamil watched Vivian Penrose being carted off in a squad car, Miri summed up her feelings.
"That woman," she said, "is seriously bent."
"Love makes people do strange things" Jamil said.
"Especially when love curdles into hate."
The trial got a lot of publicity, it made the police look pretty good, so Captain Carter was happy with Miri and Jamil and, for once, delighted to have reporters asking questions. The two defendants were tried separately, first Star Lewis was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in twenty years. Then Vivian Penrose was found guilty and also sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in twenty years. Miri figured the odds of either one actually getting parole were slim to none and was content. The mood at the precinct house was celebratory. In the midst of the general hubbub Miri took a phone call.
"Hello, this is Detective Gerjuoy." She said into the receiver.
'Um...hello...this is...this is Larry Ryuji..." he sounded hesitant, unsure of himself. Not at all the self assured man she remembered.
"Yes, Mr. Ryuji, can I help you?"
"I...I just wanted to thank you, for what you did. For catching those people who did that, to my son."
And then the phone was dead and silent in her hands.
"Will miracles never cease?" Said Miri as she hung the phone back up.
"Who was that?" Asked Jamil.
"Lawrence Ryuji. He called to thank us for catching his son's killers."
"We all grieve in our own way. He just took a little longer then some."
"Yeah...Hey, how about gyros for lunch? I'm buying."
"Sounds good to me."