Santa Fe Dead

Santa Fe Dead by Stuart Woods

Book: Santa Fe Dead by Stuart Woods Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stuart Woods
Tags: thriller, Suspense, Mystery
questions they ask; don’t volunteer anything. If they fail to ask some question I deem important to your status, I will ask the question. They will record your answers, and they may well videotape you, as well. Do you have any objections to that?”
    “No, none at all,” Wells replied. He seemed perfectly relaxed.
    Eagle’s secretary came into the office with a courier package, and he opened it. “Ah, here are the documents concerned with your business setup and your financial statement.” He handed the statement to Wells. “Does this seem correct to you?”
    Wells looked it over while Eagle reviewed the business documents.
    “Yes, it does.”
    “Then sign it at the bottom.” Eagle had his secretary come in and notarize it. “Mr. Martínez and Mr. Reese are here,” she said, “and they have some sort of technician with them.”
    “Please send them in,” Eagle said. He stood and greeted the men and offered them coffee while the technician set up a video camera and fitted everyone with microphones.
    “Are we ready?” Martínez asked.
    “Perfectly,” Eagle replied.
    Martínez nodded to the technician to start the camera, which was pointed at Wells. Martínez noted the date and time, then began. “This is the recorded statement of Donald Wells as to the facts surrounding the death of his wife and son. Present are Mr. Wells, his attorney, Ed Eagle, Detective Alex Reese and myself, Roberto Martínez, district attorney of Santa Fe County. Mr. Wells, are you aware that your voice and image are being recorded?”
    “Yes, I am.”
    “Do we have your permission to record this interview?”
    “Yes.”
    Martínez read Wells his rights and produced a Bible and swore him in. “Now, Mr. Wells, please give us an account of your actions from the time you first heard of the kidnapping of your wife and son.”
    Wells went through his story in a lucid fashion, interrupted only occasionally by questions from Martínez and Reese.
    “What did you do after you received the phone call saying your wife and son had been kidnapped?”
    “I called the house and got no answer, then I called Mr. Eagle and asked him to go to the house and check it out. I gave him directions on where to find a key, and I also gave him the alarm code.”
    “For the record,” Eagle said, “when I arrived at the house, the front door was unlocked and the alarm had not been armed.”
    “My wife would normally only lock the door and arm the alarm if she was going out or before retiring at night.”
    Martínez questioned Wells about the contents of his safe, which had been found open, and he replied fully.
    “Our theory,” Eagle said, “is that the perpetrators threatened the boy, in order to get the combination from Mrs. Wells.”
    Martínez nodded. “It strikes me as a very good way to give a hired killer an instant payoff,” he said.
    “That is a conclusion not supported by the facts,” Eagle said.
    “I had nothing whatever to do with the death of my wife and son,” Wells said.
    “Then perhaps you can tell me why a kidnapper, facing the prospect of a five-million-dollar profit, would immediately murder his hostages for a fifty-thousand-dollar payoff?”
    Wells shrugged. “Maybe he got cold feet, and when he found the contents of the safe, decided to settle for that.”
    “I should point out, Bob,” Eagle said, “that the collection of a ransom is a very high-risk activity for the perpetrator, offering multiple opportunities to be caught, whereas the taking of the cash and gold coins held the promise of a higher level of safety.”
    “But then why would he kill the woman and the boy?”
    “Kidnappers,” Eagle said, “historically decide early in their planning whether to kill the hostages or free them after the ransom has been collected. This particular perpetrator obviously traded their lives for his own safety.”
    “Did your wife have a will, Mr. Wells?”
    “Yes, she did.”
    “Are you aware of its provisions?”
    “Only in

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