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About Dead Doris 5 of 8. Detective Adult 2,050 (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Synopsis: In mid 2003, Detective Sergeant Jablonski and partner are called to investigate an old woman found dead in a small hotel room. They find out it's a murder. The scene shifts to Doris Trumbell, sixteen and wild in the year 1942. Her and friends, Harry and Sammy, with the help of her boyfriend, Pete, rob a bank where Pete works. It turns out the Doris was the murdered woman in 2003. Jablonski is now in Doris's home town investigating both her murder and aspects of the bank robbery. Lucy Chin, a local cop, is assigned to help him....

After checking other records on a local police computer, it was late by the time Jablonski finished at the station. The detective was surprised when Lucy stayed to help.

“I can handle it, officer. You can go home,” he told her while struggling with an unfamiliar database program on their computer.

“That’s all right, John.” She pressed her small chest against his back to point at the screen. “There it is, on line three.” She smelled sweet, with just a hint of violets.

After they were through, he took her to a local pub for dinner. It was to thank her, or at least that was what he told her and himself. She agreed to drive him back to the airport the next day. Since it was too late for a flight out, Jablonski had decided to stay for the night, maybe find a bunk at the station. Most kept a couple for late-working detectives.

Patrolman Chin knew a hotel and called to get Jablonski a room. She knew the owner, another Asian, and got him a good discount.

After checking in at the hotel and before he retired, he received a call from his partner, Detective Larry Edwards. It was about the interview with Sammy Burrows by the Los Angeles police.


With time off for good behavior, his sentence almost completed in 1964, Sammy had been paroled back to Storyville. It was his first offense and prison had shown him he didn’t care for the life. All he wanted to do was go back, get the money he had withheld from the authorities and get the hell out of that town. He was in his late forties, still young enough to start a new life.

The ex-con had saved $ 20,000 of the original $123,000 of the loot and constantly cursed himself for not hiding more. It was better than nothing though, and the thought of it had kept him sane while in prison. At least he wouldn’t have to start a new life at some menial janitor job. Or so he'd thought.

Sammy found he still wasn’t free, having to report weekly to a parole officer, one that kept a somewhat careful eye on Sammy. He was made to follow an entire book of rules, the damn thing being the size of a paperback novel. For one thing, Sammy had to have an income, a job of some sort. He was also required to stay in town and get permission to leave the state for any reason.

There were many other restrictions on his life.

He couldn’t associate with other ex-convicts -- no danger of that. But he also had to be home at night and could be called at any time by the parole officer. He couldn’t drink and had to even get permission to see a woman in a romantic setting. It was almost, not quite, as bad as being in the pen. And it was for the remaining six years of his sentence.

Knowing it was the cause of his being caught in the first place, he knew he wouldn’t be able to spend much money, only what he made at work as a contract landscaper.

“Look, Mr. Smith,” he said to his parole officer. “I’m not welcome here. What are my chances of moving somewhere else, where nobody knows me?”

“I guess that’s allowed, Burrows. You’d have to find a job there first, though. Then I could ask my supervisor. But the job comes first.” A catch 22 situation if Sammy had ever heard one. He had to find a job, but couldn’t go anywhere to look for one.

That problem was solved by having a relative obtain one for him. His cousin lived in LA and worked at an airplane plant there. The place was thriving and had a policy of helping ex-convicts. Since the cousin was a supervisor, with a little pull, he found Sammy a position on an assembly line.

“All right, Burrows, you have permission to leave here. Your new boss sent us a completed form 1037a and promised you’d be gainfully employed. One less on my workload -- for which I'm thankful.

"Good luck. You are to report to Room number 342 of the Los Angeles parole authority at 3247 E. Elm by next Wednesday afternoon. He handed Pete a page from a notepad. Be on time or you’ll be bounced back to prison. From what I've heard, they don’t screw around down there.”

Sammy, on his way to LA, stopped briefly at the shack in the woods. Immediately, he noticed that someone had been there. A rusty car was parked alongside the old building. Looking inside, he didn’t see anything interesting. Fearing for his hidden cache, Sammy hurried inside the structure.

His money was still there, in a canvas sack buried in a corner behind a pile of trash. The rats has nibbled a hole in one corner and a few bonds were partially digested. On the way out, he noticed a light-colored bundle on the rear seat of the getaway car. It hadn’t been there before.

Checking it, he found a skeletal body. Putting two and two together, he figured it must have something to do with both the robbery and the vehicle outside. He was in a hurry to leave, but soon realized they had both been there a long time; not much chance of interruption in the next few minutes.

He couldn’t see if he knew the corpse. The light inside was too dim and he didn’t really want to drag the damned thing outside for a better look. A little squeamish, he opened the door to look for identification. From the size it could be Harry. It was obviously a man, so Doris was out. But what would Harry be doing back there, dead in the old car? Also, who the hell else could it be and who could have killed him?

The hell with it, I have my own problems, Sammy realized. Closing the car door carefully and wiping the handle with his handkerchief, he took his money and left. As an afterthought, the ex-convict stopped and searched the car sitting outside. He was careful and used his handkerchief again when forcing the door open -- it was rusted shut. Sammy had learned a few things in the pen.

Since the keys were still in the ignition, Sammy tried the trunk. He found a treasure inside, over $20,000. It was still in the bank bag from the holdup, which made him realize that had to be Harry’s body in the shack. It was strange that whoever killed Harry had left the money, but Sammy wasn’t about to question the point. “It’s mine now,” he muttered to himself.

Sammy found the job waiting, along with his cousin, in LA. He kept to the letter of the law and served his parole.

The ex-con was fairly happy with the way things turned out, even found a girlfriend and married. The money helped out, spent in tiny dribbles after his parole ended and backing his brother's purchase of the body-shop in Storyville.

The now-honest ex-convict was happy to tell the police quite a bit of the story, minus the shack , money and body, of course. He didn't figure it as squealing, since the cops seemed to know Doris was implicated and even mentioned she was dead. Harry was obviously dead.

He himself had served his sentence and couldn't be tried twice, and he didn’t give a damn what happened to Pete, so he told them about the bank manager. It felt good to get it all out in the open.


Returning to his desk in Smith City, Sergeant John Jablonski checked in with his partner. The two spent a couple of hours on paperwork then went on to more current work. The lieutenant had been on Detective Edward’s ass because of all the time taken on the Mabel Trum, now Doris Trumbell case. There were several more recent crimes needing immediate attention.

It was a week later before Jablonski was caught up enough to work on Doris’s case again. Both figured there was no hurry, her being dead and most of the researching sixty years before. The two spent a couple of hours shuffling papers and consolidating their information into current summaries for the files.

“So, what'a we got, here, Larry? We know her real name and a little of her history. She was, according to Sam Burrows, in on the robbery and shot two employees, including her current boyfriend. Then she disappeared for a long time -- nobody seems to know where -- ending up murdered in a cheap hotel room. That’s about all I get so far.

“But who could have killed her, assuming it was one of the people involved in that old robbery? It also could be someone around here. As far as we know, she had no enemies and few acquaintances, but we could be wrong. That everyone wants to speak well of the dead doesn't help us any. And where's that ashtray hidden?" John stops to go through desk drawers. "No brass is around this late to catch me." He lights a Marlboro while accepting the ashtray from Larry, then continues,

"She didn’t even hint that she had much money and nothing was taken from her room, not that there was much to take. But a sneak-thief would have taken something, if only on principle,” John continued, slouched back in his chair. “And wouldn’t have tried to hide the murder by stabbing her in the ear. He wouldn’t have given a damn how it looked."

“As to the bank robbery," Larry said, "I sent a copy of Burrow’s statement to the police in Storyville. They’re studying whether Peter Adams can be charged with the bank job. It's Statute of Limitations stuff, up to the prosecutor. They'd have to proceed with dead or missing witnesses, bad memories and the like. He would be damned hard to convict,” Larry Edwards reminded his partner. Getting stiff from sitting, he stood up and paced around the desk.

“Back to our case," Jablonski said, lighting up another smoke. "We know that Sam Burrows didn’t kill Mab -- Doris. He was at work in L.A., thousands of miles away. Peter Adams is possible but very iffy. He probably forgot about her long ago, at least by his manner.

"Harry Blackwell is the most likely killer. For one thing, Burrows said Blackwell didn’t get his full share of the money. The bonds were split between Burrows and Doris.” Jablonski paused, shrugging. “Unless, like you said, it was something completely unrelated? A druggie out for a fix.”

“I put out a Be On the Look Out bulletin on Harry Blackwell," Larry reminded John. "We found his prints in the FBI database from when he once applied for a postal job. So far nobody’s located him. He doesn't have a social security number and hasn't paid taxes since 1941. Many people never joined the Social Security program when it was new and many more weren’t eligible,” Edwards recalled.

“It’s becoming intriguing, Larry. We started out with an old woman dying from a heart attack or something and now have a murder, two shootings and a bank robbery,” Jablonski said, sighing, “I don’t think we can do anything until or unless we hear about that Blackwell guy. He’s the only lead we have and seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.

"Oh, by the way,” John said, starting to put his suit coat back on, “I told the Storyville Police to call if they found out anything. We’re to tell them when and if we find Blackwell.”

End of Section Five of Eight. To be posted approx. every two days. Please tell me of any mistakes you noticed.