The Locked Room
The Locked Room
S EATED IN HIS CUBICAL , in an office he shared with a multitude of reporters, Joe Dixon searched for the home phone number and then called the lead detective in the Fowler case. "Detective Tucker?"
"This is Joe Dixon at the Denver Divide."
"Yes, Sir. I got an anonymous call saying Davet Bouchard is dead. I was wondering if you have a comment."
Seated in his favorite chair at home, the ex-detective sat up a little straighter. "I am truly sorry to hear that. How did he die?"
"His car went off a cliff outside of Lost Bell, Colorado."
"Yesterday some time. I verified it with the Sherriff."
"Are you positive it was Dave Bouchard? That's a pretty common name."
"Not Dave, Davet. Not many with that first name."
"True. The call was anonymous; you say? Was it a man or a woman?"
"A woman." Eager to write his article, Joe started to become annoyed by all the detective's questions. "How about giving me something I can print?"
"I'll say this for the man, at the trial he never once wavered in his account of what happened. I believed every word he said."
"Thanks, detective. You have a good day now."
"Same to you."
Andrew Tucker hung up the phone. Everyone called him Andy, and by the time he retired he was more than ready to spend his days fishing, tending his flower garden, and enjoying a good long rest. That lasted about two weeks before boredom and loneliness set in. He married at age twenty-eight, spent too many hours working cases, and lost his wife to a man who had far more time to spend with her. Andy didn't remarry - once was enough for him, and instead made the people in the department his family. Therefore, he had no children either, and regretted the decision.
Of all the cases he worked, the Fowler case bothered him the most. It should have been a simple embezzlement trial with an easy conviction, but it became much more than that, and in the end he had more questions than answers. A second witness, the owner of an ad agency, was found shot in his home after Fowler was arrested, and Andy always suspected it was a murder for hire. He just couldn't connect Fowler to it. They got him on the embezzlement charge and that had to be good enough. More interesting still - the money was never found. Andy believed Davet Bouchard's testimony and every word Fowler's wife said too, until the truth about her hit him square in the face. Was it too late to find out what happened to the money? The answer to that was to find Paige Fowler.
Now the star witness was gone and Andy couldn't help but wonder if Davet Bouchard's death was an accident or another murder. Either way, the man didn't deserve to suffer such a horrible death. If it wasn't an accident, he knew just who killed him, and this time he might be lucky enough to catch her.
Andy Tucker packed a bag, got in his car, and started to leave his home in Denver. Abruptly, he hit the brakes and stopped at the end of his driveway. He went back in his house to get a road map and a pistol he hadn't fired in ages, and then returned to his car. He studied the map for a moment, and then headed for Interstate 70.
J OE DIXON WAS A REPORTER after all, with a nose for news and he was rarely wrong. The only problem Joe had was convincing his editor to let him go to a little Colorado town that was barely on the map. The best way to convince him was to write a spectacular front page story recounting all the details of the biggest embezzlement trial Denver had ever seen. In his youth, it was that very trial that convinced Joe he wanted to become a reporter.
He knew the sensational facts of the case and the aftermath like the back of his hand, or at least thought he did. He opened a new file on his computer, popped the bone