The Bricklayer

The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd Read Free Book Online
Authors: Noah Boyd
any idea whohad done it. Vail always had great informants, so he goes off on his own to contact them. At the same time, he’s poking around the murder investigation, developing new sources. He finds this one local who, after a little, let’s say, cajoling, names the shooter and also tells Vail that the gun used is at the killer’s residence. Which was kind of a feat in itself because it turns out the informant was the killer’s cousin. At the same time, because killing a police officer is a federal offense, the Bureau offers a twenty-five-thousand-dollar reward. Even though he would not have given up his cousin without Vail getting it out of him first, the informant decides that he might as well cash in and calls the same information into the FBI tip line. One of the ASACs at the time was Kent Wilson. Do you know him?”
    “By reputation.”
    “Then you won’t have any trouble believing what comes next. With the tip, Wilson has the same information as Vail—because of Vail’s work on the street. Vail was always that guy you called when you needed to get something done in spite of the rules. All full of himself, Wilson has Vail come in and reads him the tip sheet. Then tells him to do whatever is necessary to get probable cause for a search warrant at the killer’s residence. Vail leaves without saying a word. He already had everything in motion.
    “Because the informant had no track record, his credibility for a search warrant wouldn’t have been strong enough, so Vail calls one of his most documented sources and has him listen while he telephones the cousin and has him repeat the information. Then Vail has his old informant repeat it to him for probable cause on the search warrant. The Detroitpolice find the gun, get a confession and eventually a conviction.
    “Wilson tries to take credit for the arrest, but the brass at the Detroit PD goes nuts because Vail had also been keeping them up to speed all along, since it was their officer. He didn’t tell them about the sleight of hand with the sources. They call a press conference and give all the credit to Vail.
    “The most amazing part is Wilson thinks it was all Vail’s doing and calls in the Office of Professional Responsibility, telling them that Vail falsified information to obtain a search warrant. He gives absolutely no thought about how it could come back and collapse on him. Subsequently, Vail refused to talk to OPR.
    “Because of the inconsistencies in Wilson’s statement, they tell Vail what they suspected happened and even that Wilson had given him up. Still Vail won’t answer their questions. Not even after they offered him a walk if he flipped on Wilson would he say anything. They even went to the trouble of tracking down Vail’s old informant and threatened him, even tried to bribe him, but he wouldn’t give up Vail.”
    “That’s unbelievable. Why wouldn’t Vail just give Wilson up? He’s not exactly the kind of boss you’d waste loyalty on.”
    Kate leaned back. “Vail’s not that easy to figure out, but there is one very practical reason. If he admitted manufacturing probable cause, OPR would have had to notify the state prosecutor’s office, and the search, confession, and conviction would have been thrown out.”
    “So Vail let himself be fired so a cop killer wouldn’t walk.”
    “I think it’s even more than that. I don’t know. He seems to have this resentment for the way the rest of us lack commitment or something. He didn’t even show up for his last OPR interview, therefore insubordination.”
    “Too bad we lost him.”
    Kate sat silently considering something before she said, “Sir, Vail had this reputation for finding people. He handled all the federal fugitive warrants for Detroit homicide. They said whether someone was gone fifteen minutes or fifteen years, he’d find them. Like I told you, he wasn’t on my squad, but everyone knew about Steve Vail. Funny thing was he seemed oblivious to any kind of notoriety,

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