Wednesday, February 8, 2012
"So let me get this straight," Donati said, propping one foot up on the edge of his desk. "You say you've been doing a photo documentary of a bunch of Columbian drug dealers that just happen to end up here in Pine Lake?"
Biff Monroe leaned forward in his chair, his elbows resting on the tops of his thighs. "It's more complicated than that, but yeah, that's why I was on the Adams' property when Frankie Lassiter took a nose dive off the second-floor balcony."
"But you didn't help him over the edge?"
"No, sir. I don't know who would've sent you that note saying I pushed him, but they didn't have their facts straight. I can prove that with the photos."
Donati studied the face of the young man across the desk. Biff Monroe was no stranger to the police station. As a kid, he'd been wild as hell, skipping school, drinking, driving through town like a maniac. He'd been caught smashing windows at the junior high, and Donati suspected, but could never prove the kid was behind a rash of graffiti. Murder, however, was an entirely different class of crime. Monroe might have been a reckless kid, but in spite of the anonymous note claiming he'd pushed Lassiter off the balcony, Donati wanted to believe the guy.
"Got anyone who can corroborate your story?"
Biff grimaced and ran his hands through his hair. He took a full minute before answering. "Yes, sir. I do."
He pulled a cell phone from his pocket. "This is going to blow three years worth of undercover work, but you can talk to this guy."
Biff punched in a number and handed the phone to Donati. There was an answer after the second ring: "Jackson here. What's up?"
"Hello. This is Chief John Donati, Pine Lake Police."
"Ah, shit.," the man said. "If you're using this phone, it must mean the bastards got Monroe."