“Sam, before you do anything rash, there’s something you need to know. It would be a tragedy to die without knowing. Please take your thumb off the detonator. None of us is armed. We promise not to do anything rash.”
“Don’t try to fill me with lies! You killed my son. You have to pay.”
Spears shook his head. “No, Sam, no lies. What I need to tell you is verifiable. It’s all in the files, you can access them on that computer.” He pointed to the units on the table against the wall. “Besides, from the look of what you’ve got there it would be more than the four of us that would be killed. There are people out there who had nothing to do with this. Please, let me tell you something.”
Sam wavered. What could they possibly have to tell him that could change anything? Johnny was dead. Life was no longer worth living. He had endured a year of hell. It was time to set things right.
“What are you talking about? What’s on that computer? Something about Johnny?”
“Yes, Sam. The inquest into his death turned up information that…well, things I’m pretty sure you didn’t know. It was decided that in view of his demise those things didn’t need to be made public. Perhaps it’s time you knew. Please, let up show you.”
“What are you talking about? Johnny was a fine man. He was a successful businessman; he was well liked. What lies do think you can feed me?”
Detective Anders took over. “Sam, please. I know you loved your son, but he had a secret life. We can show you what was uncovered after his death.”
“A secret life? What the hell are you talking about? Johnny was a good boy.”
Anders noticed Sam’s thumb had moved away from the detonator. He decided to press on. “Sam, there are tax records and other documents that show Johnny’s business was only a front for other activities. These things can’t be falsified or made up. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I don’t want you to do anything rash without at least knowing the truth.”
“What are you saying to me? My son was some sort of criminal? It’s not possible. I raised him right!”
Anders pressed on. “Sam, I’m sure you did. People get into situations and things change for them. We believe, from what we can piece together that Johnny became involved in a large drug deal to get money to save his business. Once he was involved he couldn’t get out. At least that’s what we think.”
Sam was visibly shaken. This couldn’t be happening. He would have to look at their evidence and see for himself. Such a thing was unthinkable, Johnny a criminal! He had to know.
“Okay, I’ll look at your evidence. I’ll stand just far enough away to read the screen. One of you can operate the computer, the other two sit at the table with your hands behind your heads.”
Anders motioned for the other two to sit and he went to the computer and turned it on. Sam stood where he could see the screen and the other two detectives at the same time. Anders could see his eyes were red-rimmed. He would have to be careful.
“Sam, do you remember the exact details of the events on the day Johnny died?”
“One of you shot him. It couldn’t be determined who it was; you were all firing at that bank robber. You killed my son!”
“Sam, it was a bullet that ricocheted. It was an accident. I understand how you feel, but Johnny wasn’t there by accident. It’s time you knew.”
Tomorrow – Part 7 – The End