Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor by Archer Mayor Read Free Book Online

Book: Occam's Razor by Archer Mayor Read Free Book Online
Authors: Archer Mayor
Tags: USA
    “Jesus H. Christ.”
    I entered our detective bureau from the small conference room next door. Willy Kunkle, feet up on his desk, newspaper across his lap, was shaking his head in disgust. Tyler was sitting at an adjacent workstation, typically not saying a word.
    “Frigging politicians,” Willy continued. “Never miss a chance to get some mileage off somebody else’s misery.”
    I hesitated to ask, not being overly fond of such conversations, but then figured it might be worse if I ignored him. “What’s up?”
    “You know that cluster fuck they had up north, where the kids got whacked? Now the governor and our own Jim Reynolds are jumping up and down, claiming
something’s-got to-be-done
, quote-unquote. God help us. They’re babbling about maybe the whole system needs to be changed.”
    Jim Reynolds was a local attorney trying to make his mark as a state senator. Gail liked him and thought he might go places. I agreed with his general philosophy, but he didn’t impress me much otherwise—there was too much calculation deep in his eyes to make me think his own self-interest didn’t count above all else. Which is what made Kunkle’s comment that much more interesting. “What whole system?”
    “You and me—I quote, ‘Governor Howell and Commissioner of Public Safety Stanton have asked Senator Reynolds to be the point man on a series of public hearings concerning the feasibility and advisability of revamping Vermont’s entire law enforcement structure.’”
    Kunkle tossed the paper onto the tabletop. “Howell’s also quoted asking why, if New York City has eight million people and two police forces, does Vermont, with one-fifteenth the population, have some sixty-eight different police agencies?”
    I paused at my office door. “That’s not such a dumb question.”
    Kunkle opened his mouth to respond but then closed it when Tyler said quietly, “Reynolds was in the dailies week before last.”
    We both looked at him. The dailies are the reports filed in the computer by all shift officers for the edification of the rest of us. They cover everything from homicides to stray animals and allow us to share the town’s vital signs.
    “Why?” I asked him.
    “His office was broken into. Nothing missing, according to him. A patrol passed by the back door in the middle of the night and saw it had been jimmied. They probably scared away whoever it was.”
    Neither one of us had anything to say to that.
    “Is Ron around?” I asked instead.
    “Not yet,” Willy answered, as Tyler lapsed back to contemplating his paperwork. “He’s got the late shift again.”
    I handed Willy a slip of paper with “PCH” written on it. “That’s a partial plate on a late-model, dark blue Ford Crown Victoria. When he gets in, see if he can get DMV to chase it down, will you?”
    Kunkle looked at it appraisingly. “This the car from last night?”
    “According to Edward Renaud.” I turned to J.P. “You get anything like tire marks or anything from near the railroad tracks?”
    He frowned. “Nope. Looks like they came, they dumped, and they left without a trace. I tried collecting enough of the skull to get an idea what the guy looked like, but I didn’t get far. I shipped the pieces up north anyway—let them play with it. I was hoping for a finger at least, but the train really did a job. His hands couldn’t have been better positioned. I looked all over the place. The only angle I got left is to check local dog owners—see if some pooch brought home a little tidbit.”
    Kunkle dropped his legs to the floor. “God Almighty, J.P. You ought to get out more. I’m going for coffee.”
    I retreated to my office, an eight-foot-square corner closet with two windows looking onto the parking lot and a third separating me from the squad room. Tyler followed me in with a sheet of paper in his hand.
    “This was faxed in from the ME’s office early this morning. A complete report’s coming by mail.”
    I took it from

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