All Things Lost

All Things Lost by Josh Aterovis

Book: All Things Lost by Josh Aterovis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Josh Aterovis
it?”
    “Next to nothing.”
    “Good, there's no time like the present to begin learning research techniques. You can start by going to the newspaper and seeing what they have on file. I'll make a couple calls to my PD connections and see what the ground level buzz is on the case.”
    “You have police connections?”
    “I'd better. I was a cop for longer than you've been alive. And no good investigator worthy of the name would be caught dead without a couple good contacts at the station. I'll take you there one day and introduce you around.”
    “I may know some of them,” I said dryly.
    “I keep forgetting you're not exactly green when it comes to the whole investigation scene.”
    “I'm far from experienced though.”
    “Well, the first step is getting background. We need to know as many facts as we can about what happened. And I mean evidence, not just suspicions and theories, although they have their place too.”
         “What do I do?”
         “Go to the newsroom at the Chesapeake Times and tell them you want to look at the issues starting when the story first broke. Tell them you're working for me; they know me there.”
         “What am I looking for?”
          “Anything and everything to do with the case; names, dates, location, the officer in charge of the investigation, what they think happened, whatever you can get.”
         He gave me directions and sent me off after telling me to keep record of my mileage on the car. I was driving Adam's, as mine was still incapacitated. I didn't have any trouble getting the newspapers, but as the story began to unfold bit by tortured bit I found myself more and more horrified and less and less sure I wanted to be involved.
         The first story, reported several days earlier, was just a brief account of a house fire in which the firemen said there was at least one victim. No cause of the fire was reported. By the very next day the deceased had moved from the status of an accidental victim of a tragic fire to murder victim. Details were still sketchy at this point. It seemed investigators were staying pretty tight lipped.
         The full story broke on day three. The police released full details of the man, Ira Cohen, a night deskman at a run-down hotel on the edge of town. His earthly remains had been found at the heart of the fire, but he hadn't died in the fire. It seemed that before the fire had been started old Ira had been hacked apart. My stomach lurched just thinking about it. It was also reported that an accelerant had been used to set the blaze.
         A clearer picture of Mr. Cohen began to appear in yesterday's paper. He had a record of minor infractions; DUI's , disorderly conduct and barroom brawls, but it seemed he didn't limit his brawling to the barroom. There were records of several investigations into allegations of child abuse, but nothing ever came of any of them.
         The article ended with the mention that Mr. Cohen's son, Caleb, had been picked up for questioning regarding the murder and fire.
         With a sigh, I closed the tablet I'd been using to take notes, now with several pages full of my sprawling handwriting. I thanked the staff that had helped me and drove back to the office.
         “The damn phone has rung itself off the hook!” Novak barked as soon as I opened the door. He was sitting at my desk.
         “Sorry?” I offered, although I was unsure of what I was apologizing for.
         “Ah, it's not your fault. It's the weather. It makes everyone think their spouse must be cheating on them. But if you're gonna start helping me out on research I'm gonna need to find us another desk jockey.”
         We went into Novak's office while I quickly brought him up to date on what I'd found out at the newspaper.
         He grunted when I had finished my recital. “Good work, kid. I knew most of that already but you did a nice job. My source at the department confirmed all that and

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