Thursday, November 12, 2015

Walt Murphy – Part Two – 44

I filled Tom in on everything I knew, or thought I knew, and gave him my notes to back up what I'd told him.

"Interesting," he said when he finished reading.

"That's it? Just interesting?"

"Since I've come to some of the same conclusions, yeah, it's interesting that you have too. It means I, we're, probably on the right track. Then only problem is finding Ben. Or whatever he's calling himself now. His father is being very tight-lipped."

"I wonder," Ricky said pensively. "Maybe Carlo thinks the same thing? That Ben's the one who killed Ms Engel?"

I nodded slowly. "It would explain why he's not willing to give me, well us"—I glanced at Tom—"Ben's name or where he's living. The best I've gotten out of Carlo is a hesitation when I asked if Ben lives in the area, before he said he didn't."

"Hardly conclusive," Tom pointed out, "but still telling."

"My thought exactly. He could be in Louisville, close to Carlo, or up here, or anywhere in between."

"Or in Timbuktu, but my guess is you're right. He'd have to be close by considering all he's done in the last week or so."

"Just because we are playing guessing games here, have you checked out Carlo Donati's whereabouts during the relevant times?" I asked Tom.

I could tell he was resisting rolling his eyes when he replied, "Of course. Mr Donati was back in Louisville on Sunday. That's confirmed by his pastor and two golfing buddies. Tuesday he had meetings with various clients at his business. Again, that's confirmed by the clients. The last meeting ended at approximately six pm. He'd have been hard pressed to make it back up here in time to kill the woman in the Elite Gym parking lot."

"Two hundred miles at sixty miles per hour would take approximately three and a third hours, and that doesn't take into account slower speeds in town," Ricky told us.

"The math whiz strikes again," I said, chuckling. "Still, if he's right and I'm sure he is, that would put Carlo here around nine-thirty pm if he left directly from work." Something else occurred to me. Something I should have checked. "Do you know if he owns a motorcycle?"

"He doesn't. He has two cars, a 2012 Chevy SUV that he uses for business, and a BMW sedan, presumably for personal use."

"What color?" I asked.

"You think I keep info like that in my head? Why do you care anyway?"

"Number two on my list."

Tom took a look. "Okay. Hang on." He made a call and asked whoever answered to go to his desk and check his notes on Carlo Donati. A couple of minutes later he hung up. "Medium green."

"So it could have been him," Ricky said. "Or Ben, if he borrowed the car, with or without Carlo's say-so."

I nodded. "Easier to use than the cycle for staking out the house. Presuming of course it was Ben and not just someone visiting the people across the street."

"What if…?" Ricky took a swallow of his beer.

"You gonna leave us hanging?" I asked.

"I just had a wild idea. What if it's both of them? They both had a reason to want Ms Engel dead."

"You're right, that is wild," Tom said. He turned to me. "You've talked with Carlo on a personal level. Do you think he'd be involved if it meant keeping Ben safe, or to muddy the waters?"

"Yeah, I can see that happening," I said after a moment's though. "I think Ben is his world and always has been. But—I don't think Carlo would kill anyone. Take a potshot at me and watch the house? Yes. Maybe even come up with the messages to try to make me back off. Especially if he thought Ms Engel's murder was the only one. He could have convinced himself she deserved it."

"What about someone trying to break in here?" Ricky asked.

"My best guess is, that was Ben. Carlo sounded surprised when I told him Ben had dropped something during his visit here."

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