I wish I had been more violent that night.
My incident report to Lieutenant Julie Brooks was brief. Forty minutes earlier, the victim’s white Cadillac SRX veered out of traffic at low speed and bumped into a building.
“The car was still running when we got here. Driver and passenger were deceased.”
Julie looked over her glasses at me and inserted her delicate looking hands into some latex gloves while she waited for the crime scene tech to finish taking pictures.
Stepping carefully around some amber chunks of plastic from a broken taillight cover, she leaned through the open driver’s side window to tilt the head of Victim Number One, allowing us a better view of his heavily stubbled face.
“Gunshot wound, left temple. Healthy shot residue.” She spread the driver’s singed hair away from the point of entry and caught the eyes of our crime scene tech, Eric Wilson, “Close range. Caliber?”
Wilson pinched air between a thumb and forefinger, “.25 or .22, Lieutenant. Two shots each.”
I walked around the car. The windows were down. “Two shooters walked up alongside the Caddy and expired these guys while they were inching through noon traffic. They never saw it coming.” I jerked a thumb toward the street, “Several of the witnesses who hung around said the shooters were dressed in black and wearing hoodies with bandana masks.”
“Do we know who the victims are yet?”
“No. I’ve been waiting forever to get into the vehicle,” I stared at Eric Wilson, who flashed me the finger without looking at me, “but we ran the plates, and according to data, they belong on a navy blue 2016 Mazda CRX.”
“Being dead guys in a stolen Caddy. What a lovely way to go out.” Julie opened the door and pushed the driver’s body gently toward the collapsed air bag to wrestle a wallet from his back pocket, wrinkling her nose, “Dead butt-sweat and pee.”
“Thank goodness for gloves, huh?”
She nodded, “No cards, but there’s so much cash in here I’m surprised this thing folds.”
“Who is he?”
She tilted the little plastic window framing the driver’s license, “Fake. I’ve seen far worse though. Victim One is Leo David.”
I wrote the name out. There was something vaguely familiar about it, so I yelled to my partner, “Hayley?”
She ambled over from the curb where she’d been interviewing witnesses, “Yeah?”
“Leo David,” I pointed to the deceased, “Name sounds familiar.”
Hayley stared at the license first and back at the corpse, “Could be Leonid Davidovich.”
Julie leaned in, “Davidovich?”
“Low-level, long-sheet Bratva dirtbag, Lieutenant. He was charged a couple of years ago for an extortion-related homicide in Philly. Dropped for lack of evidence, witness recants, blah, blah and blah.”
I raised my eyebrows, and Lieutenant Julie Brooks acknowledged my, “And that’s why we’re partners” look.
Hayley continued, “He looks younger now, without the beard.”
“He’ll never look any older. What would you like us to do, Lieutenant?”
She used her phone to take a picture of the license, “Get any currents you can. See what else you can find on him.” She dropped the sweat-soaked wallet and its contents into an evidence bag and handed it to Eric. “I’ll coordinate from here with Mr. Wilson.”
Eric shot me a look from behind the Lieutenant and mouthed the word, “Yay.”
“Okay, Lieutenant,” Hayley waved, “we’re on it.”
“You better make sure you keep your partner, Ryan. She makes you look smarter than you are.”
“Golly, thanks Lieutenant.” I gave her a feeble salute as I followed Hayley to the car.
Turns out there are plenty of Leo Davids out there. We excluded most of them easily enough. I went through tons of lists and files until Hayley swiveled her monitor toward me, “Hey.” It was Leo David’s Facebook page, which supplied pictures of him and a nameless significant other engaged in activities which did not necessarily include clothing.
I added the near-simian quantity of his body hair and the image of Leo David’s butt to the reasons I don’t do social media, making a mental note to scrub my eyeballs later with a wire brush and some bleach.