September 10th, 1985
The station is abuzz this morning as everyone is on phones or poring over files. Lt. Epstein was forced to call in sick, so Det. Sgt. O’Hinn is The Man today. PPA Aldonato dug up the DD-5s from the two muggings in the area around W. 23rd for Det. Shirley. That route doesn’t look encouraging: One of the perps was already taken in on a turnstile jump and is currently sitting in Rikers Island; the other was a purse snatching. She put in a call to have Foot Patrol do a canvas with his description, along with the word already out on the dealer named Styx.
Amid the flurry of people always walking in and out of the Squad Room, two figures enter, easily drawing glances from around the room. They clearly appear to be prostitutes, flamboyantly dressed. The first is a demure looking Latina with a wild mane of teased-out hair, a furry coat, tight skirt over zebra-striped leotards and heels. Her companion is a tall African-American with long, beaded cornrows, dramatic make-up, and an equally daring outfit. While the both look decidedly feminine, the African-American is sporting an unmistakable Adam’s apple which breaks an otherwise flawless illusion.
“How can I help you?” asks Lisa.
The Latina points a long-nailed finger at Det. Shirley and says, “I need to talk to Det. Felicity Shirley.”
Det. Shirley remembers the two from her time with the 9th before it got absorbed into the 13th. The Latina is named Angela and the African-American, whom she doesn’t know as well, is Peaches. Angela had helped Det. Shirley with a case before and they already have a rapport.
O’Hinn grins and says to Shirley, “Enjoy.” And with that he heads for the Lieutenant’s Office.
Peaches shakes her head. “Uh-uh!” she says. “Angela we need a man in this situation. We need to speak with that male detective right over there.”
Peaches is clearly the dominant personality here, so Angela simply goes with it. Peaches turns to Det. Shirley and says, “No offense to you, sweetie, but look at that face.” She gestures to poor Angela, who, now that she’s closer, id revealed to have been beaten. Her lip is cut and her face is all black and blue. “She is gonna be one dead ‘ho unless we get a strong male presence involved!”
“What happened,” asks Det. Shirley.
O’Hinn rolls his eyes. He really doesn’t want to do this. A beat-up tranny pros. is a waste of time. No DA will ever take the case; and even if one did, the judge would laugh them out of court. It’s sad, it’s unfair, but it’s also just the way it is. Still, they can take a statement and go through the motions.
“Can we do this over doughnuts?” asks Peaches as she spies the box through the open Break Room door. “I hope they have jelly-filled!”
Peaches leads Angela to the Break Room with O’Hinn following reluctantly after. He grabs Det. Shirley’s arm and says, “Sit in on this.”
In the Break Room Angela takes a seat along with Shirley and O’Hinn. Peaches is clearly taking charge of the situation.
“Angela,” says Peaches, “I’ll serve, you spill. And do not go easy on that person!”
“Alright,” says Angela petulantly. And as Peaches pours coffee and hands out doughnuts to everyone, Angela hesitantly goes into her story. “Okay, so I been thinking about having the operation.”
“An operation,” asks Shirley.
“The operation. And I decided I would. But then I decided I di’n’t want to. ‘Cause, you know, I knew this girl last year. She went and had it. But they di’n’t do it properly; they di’n’t complete all the steps. She got all infected and complicated and she almost died! Back and forth to the hospital and a year later nothing works right on her! So I got this boyfriend and he wants me to get it done. But to do it right you gotta go to Europe. They got these clinics and they know that they’re doing, but he don’t wanna know!”
Peaches interjects, “That boy can’t accept his ‘love’ for Angela so he expects her to change so he can assuage his guilt!”
“So he beat you up when you said ‘no’.”
Angela simply nods her head, looking miserable over it.
“He’s sayin’ he gonna cut her throat,” insists Peaches.
“But I don’t think he means it,” says Angela in a girlish whine.
“Girl, I saw that man look atchoo with murder in his eyes!”
Angela looks like she’s going to cry. She rests her forehead on the table, her arms wrapped around her head protectively, as if she wants to shut all this out.
“So you gonna give him a name, so we can arrest him?” says O’Hinn irritably.
Angela’s head pops up from the table. “I don’t want him arrested!”
“That’s how this works,” says Det. Shirley. “You make a complaint or there’s nothing we can do.”
“Can’t you just smack him around a little?” asks Peaches.
“Not if you don’t give us a name,” says O’Hinn.
“You want us to go talk to him for you?” offers Shirley.
“We still need a name,” says O’Hinn.
Angela looks around the room, as if hoping that someone will let her off the hook. Finally Peaches steps in on her friend’s behalf, “His name is Jimmy Cortez. He’s this Puerto Rican muscle-man, pumps so much iron it cuts off blood flow to his head.” She shoots to Angela, “Who can’t accept a person for her nature—or for his own!” Then she looks back to O’Hinn, “He got a place on Avenue B.”
“We’ll go have a talk with him,” promises Det. Shirley.
“Meantime, stay away from him,” says O’Hinn.
As promised, Det.’s O’Hinn and Shirley drove out to B Street in Alphabet City to talk to Jimmy Cortez. They found him and told him to stay away from Angela or they were going to arrest him. Mr. Cortez was immediately defensive about the matter.
“Look, I’m not a fag!” he insisted.
“Fine, you’re not a fag,” said O’Hinn. “Now stay away from Angela. We have enough to run you in right now.”
“Look, I didn’t know that was a man,” he insisted. “Alright? You seen her: Cute little ass and tits out to here! How was I supposed to know?”
“Alright,” assured Shirley in her Virginia drawl, “you just stay away from her, now.”
But Mr. Cortez was still lost in his conflicted thoughts.
“She’s deep inside me, man,” he whined. “She gets in your head, you know? There’s just somethin’ about her.”
“Alright,” said O’Hinn. “You’re going in.”
But Mr. Cortez relented and promised he’d stay away. As he left, Det. Shirley felt troubled as she and O’Hinn went back to his inexplicably-fancy-car-for-a-cop: His 1985 Bentley. She knew he was trouble. She could feel it in her gut.
Back at the station the detectives were greeted by the news that Foot Patrol had picked up the 23rd Street drug dealer Styx. The officers had him in the Pokey and ready to be questioned. The detectives found him in the cage, dressed in his signature band tee shirt that was his namesake. The police found him in possession of a wristwatch bearing the inscription: To Andy, Love Mon & Dad.
When the detectives show him Andrew Sullivan’s picture, Styx denied, of course, having ever seen the kid. Surprisingly he even maintains his story when confronted with the fact that he was wearing the victim’s watch.
“Look,” Styx says defiantly, “what’s the point. You’d never believe me.”
“Try us,” says O’Hinn dryly.
“I found it in a dumpster this morning.”
“You’re right, we don’t believe you.”
“Look, I swear to God, it was right there!”
“You go dumpster-diving a lot, do you?”
“It’s where I keep my stash.” He continues on as the detectives question him. “There was other stuff with it, too. There was a wallet. I left it there, it was all messed up. It was all bloody, I didn’t wanna touch that. Diseases. Look, it should still be there. They only pick it up once a week. It’s why I use it.”
O’Hinn, in his capacity as Boss calls for a CSU team to check out the area indicated by Styx, while he is taken down to The Tombs.
CSU reported finding a plastic bag containing Styx’s stash; a multi-colored galaxy of uppers, downers, screamers, laughers, about two dozen amyls, and about a pound of grass. Det. Sylvesterson went on, “We also got a wallet. Andrew Sullivan’s DL is inside it, along with $8.00 cash. The team did a thorough canvas of the area for the murder weapon, but came up zippo. If we find it, we’ll check it for your perp’s prints. Oh, also, we found a bloody shirt in a storm drain, XL.” Unfortunately that is not the size shirt Styx typically wears; he’s a scrawny little shit. “We’re gonna need some samples from your perp to match it against the shirt: Hair, fibers, blood, anything you can give us.”
“We’ll see if he has a vein left,” said O’Hinn.
After hanging up with CSU, O’Hinn was about to call the Manhattan House of Detention to get samples from Styx when a call comes in: Pros DOA at 4th and B in Alphabet City. O’Hinn knows what’s coing already. He gets Shirley and the two head out.
1st Officer on the Scene is Det. Kowalski’s friend Steve Ravetti. He greets them as they get out of O’Hinn’s Bentley.
“Heya, Detectives. He-she pros, hacked up pretty good.” Det. Shirley passes Ravetti by to get a look at the body. O’Hinn stays to listen as Ravetti continues. “There was another hooker here, screamin’, but she ran away. Black girl. Got a license plate number from her. She left it tacked to a pole.” He hands O’Hinn a piece of paper with a license plate number written on it.
“Alright, thanks. We think we know the doer already. Name’s Cortez, Jimmy. You’ll find him on B.” O’Hinn gives Officer Ravetti the address and then heads to where Shirley is looking at the pitiful remains of Angela. She has been slashed several times, blood covering the loud, colorful outfit she was wearing just this morning.
“I knew that boy was trouble,” says Shirley bitterly.
“There was nothin’ you coulda done,” says O’Hinn.
“I want that some-of-a-bitch,” she declares hotly.
Back at the Squad the detectives get on the phones and start running down the license number of the car left by who they assume was probably Peaches. They put out the word to find her, as well. Surprisingly the name that comes back on the license plate is not Jimmy Cortez’s. It comes back to a Mr. Kevin Dowell, an architect. They easily track him down to his place of employment, but when they try to call to get him to come in, he keeps hanging up the phone. Frustrated, the detectives send out a Sector Car to pick him up so they can question him in person.
It proves a simple matter in finding and bringing Mr. Dowell in to the Precinct. He is very angry about the police coming to his place of employment and exposing his business to the world. He is humiliated! He complains that he has a wife and children, and he does not want them—or his coworkers—to know that he visits prostitutes during the day.
As much as the detectives try to get him to calm down and tell them what he saw that day, he instead rages on, “You don’t have one bit of concern for the damage to a person’s reputation! You people are scum!”
The detectives do their best to persuade, cajole, and finally, threaten cooperation out of Mr. Dowell. He reluctantly finally tells his story. Amusingly, the detectives get the impression that Mr. Dowell has no idea that it was actually a man who was servicing him. Well, Angela did pull off the illusion well.
“We got into the car. She asked if I wanted to go to a motel, and I didn’t have time, so we went into the alley. I paid her $40.00. She was just starting to undo my trousers; and before anything else could happen, her pimp, or maybe some street thief, came up to the window on my side and pulled open the door. He held a knife to my throat. He took my money and then threw my wallet on the floor. And then he went around the to the front of the car, I don’t know why. I was glad enough to get away. Anyways, she got out, she was screaming at him. I don’t know if they were working together. I almost ran them over getting out of there.”
As if they didn’t already know who, Shirley asks, “Can you describe the man?”
“Muscular, medium height, Hispanic.”
They send Mr. Dwell on his way. He declares that he will not testify, but the detectives say he’ll have no choice. If they need him he’s gonna testify and his story’s going to get splashed everywhere.
When he gets back to his desk, O’Hinn finds a message from the ME, Dexter Morris. Shirley is already on the phone trying to track down Mr. Cortez. So O’Hinn heads up to the ME’s office by himself. He could have just called, but it would be nice to get out of the office. It’s been a day.
Dex is an interesting character. He is young, eager—almost improperly so—but it’s due to his love of science. Despite his having to examine evidence of terrible crimes, he is so enamored by the scientific process that he relishes the challenge of finding out what happened. O’Hinn listens as Dex eagerly gives the rundown on the victim’s body.
“Your victim died from a single tab would to the chest,” then Dex smiled sheepishly. “But I guess you already knew that. But still, it’s confirmed. The wound was made with a curved blade. You’re looking for a single-edged knife, or some sort of tool. Now, his tox screen is mostly clear. We found traces of TCH, but it wasn’t recent. But that’s all I have for you. We would have had more, but there was a problem with the sample.”
“What kind of problem?”
“Contaminated sample. It’s nothing. We just need to draw some more and run it again. There was a trace of canine DNA in the sample. Some technician probably didn’t was their hands properly after petting the family dog, or something.” He grins boyishly, “Did you guys have a K-9 Unite at the scene?”
“We don’t need no slip ups. Just run it again and get back to me.”
“Sure thing, Detective.”
The end of another day in the NYPD!