“Mr Travers is not our killer,” Kirby told Reid early the next morning.
“He has a good alibi?”
“Only adequate, but I talked with him for over an hour last night.” Kirby filled Reid in on his conversation with Dean.
When Kirby finished, Reid leaned back to look at his partner. “It could play out either way. One, everything he told you was the truth. He did do his best to alienate Ms Westcott so she’s back off, short of letting her know he’s gay. Or, on the flipside, he played on her sympathies, telling her the truth and why he wasn’t out. If she was mad enough, she could have threatened to let his father know and he took things into his own hands to stop her.”
“Come on Reid, would you tell some pissed off female your deep, dark secrets?”
“I wouldn’t, but people do strange things when they’re feeling pressured.”
“Yeah, I guess. Given what we do I’m well aware of that, of course. But in this case I think I’m right. He didn’t kill her. So let’s sit down and take a look at the other possibilities, especially the man she left the club with.”
“About whom we know ace-deuce other than what he looks like.”
“We could have the newspaper do a ‘Have you seen this man?’ article. He is a suspect.”
“I’ll do that now,” Reid said, picking up the phone.
While he made the call, Kirby began writing down the list of possible suspects from the theater. When Reid finished the call, Kirby slid the list over to him.
“Okay, start at the top. Malcolm Leads. He was at the club, and according to Ms Travers and Mr Eckert he was upset about Ms Westcott dancing with the ‘stranger’ as we’ll dub him.”
“Yep. One of the other girls who was there said they were dancing like it was a sexual seduction in progress.”
“Isn’t most dancing, if you stop to think about it,” Reid said with a laugh. “But still if Mr Leads had a thing for her and she wasn’t interested in him, I can see it could be the last straw—even if Ms Travers and Eckert said they got him calmed down.” He tapped the list. “Which brings us to Eckert himself.”
Kirby nodded. “Maybe the breakup with Ms Westcott wasn’t as final as he led Ms Travers to believe. He could care a lot for Ms Travers, but still have been getting some behind her back with the victim. If Ms Westcott threatened to make their affair public he’d have reason enough to want her out of the picture.” Kirby dug through their notes from the interviews with the actors. “Ms Travers said that after supper with Mr Leads they all went their separate ways. I wonder whose idea it was that she not go home with Eckert, or vise versa.”
“Something to find out, and turning that scenario around, she could have thought he was still playing around with Ms Westcott and decided to get her out of the picture once and for all.”
“That gives us three who might have had motives. Then there are the men in the company she dated and dropped, although no one’s even implied that any of them were upset when it happened.”
Reid nodded. “I get the impression that was her usual modus operandi and everyone was used to it happening.”
“Mr Nester is definitely a no-go.” Again Kirby looked through the file they were amassing, taking out a sheet of paper. “He was home with his wife, he says. John talked to her. She confirms it.”
“There’s always young Ms Mars. She came out on top with Ms Westcott’s death since she took over her role in the show.”
“This is a local theater, not New York or Chicago. I don’t see an understudy killing the star so she could step in.”
Reid shrugged. “Again, we both know stranger things have happened. I wouldn’t write her off quite yet.” He pointed to the list. “I don’t care if you think he didn’t do it, add Mr Travers.”
Reluctantly, Kirby did.