September 9th, 1985
It was a fairly quiet morning at the 13th Precinct. Lt. Epstein came in the squad room carrying a large bright blue shopping bag. He seemed rather embarrassed by the whole thing, but he started pulling out all sorts of items: Shampoo, soaps, mints, vitamins, assorted make-up, a hairbrush, a pair of sunglasses, and other sundry items. He explains that his wife has started selling for this company and she asked him to bring some in to his work. He stresses that no one is under any obligation to buy anything—and even seems a bit uncomfortable when people start claiming items to buy.
The morning continues on rather quiet—especially for a Monday! Then at 10:45am, Lt. Epstein comes out of his office with a call. A body has been found in the alley by Patsy’s Pizza, 318 W. 23rd St. in Chelsea. Since McAvery had to be in court for a few days as a witness for the Prosecution on a case he worked some time ago, Det. Shirley and Det. Sgt. O’Hinn were sent out to the scene.
They met the 1st Officer-on-the-Scene, Dan Holt as soon as they arrived in O’Hinn’s Bentley. The crime scene was already abuzz with activity. An CSU truck and van were already there. Officer Holt, a 21 year veteran on the job was a grizzled, gray-haired cop.
“Heya, Detectives,” he said blandly. “SCU got here early for a change. Wonders never cease.”
“It’s a fuckin’ miracle,” agreed O’Hinn.
Holt leads the detectives to the side alley where the victim was found. The EMTs already had the body in a bag on the gurney and were preparing to take it away.
“We got a white male; late teens, early twenties,” Holt was reading from his notebook. “Stab wound to the chest, fairly deep. Wallet’s gone. No cash, no ID . . .” At O’Hinn’s sour expression: “What? You think we’re gonna make this easy on you?”
“Of course not,” said O’Hinn acidly.
Holt went on, “CSU’s still looking for a murder weapon. Body was found by two pizza guys openin’ for the day. Pizza shop opens at 10:00am. Father and son. Dad is Al DeFazio, son’s Vincent. They right over there.” Holt gestures to two men talking over by the sector car.
O’Hinn and Shirley walk over to the DeFazios and begin the questioning. They’re understandably a little shaken; but they’re native New Yorkers, it takes more than a dead body to really get to them. They had never seen the young man before, but they see a lot of faces every day. But they claim to do quite a late night business. The last customers filed out at 1:30am, and they had the shop closed up by 2:30.
“The only strange things we saw were the customers,” confides the son, Vincent. “Mostly hookers and hustlers coming east off the river. Most are those trannies. They come in all strung out. Some of them even try to use the ladies’ room.”
“Yeah, it gets pretty weird around here these days,” says Al, the father. “The neighborhood’s had two muggings the last week.”
The two detectives thanked the DeFazio’s for their time and let them get back to their shop. Next they cornered the CSU team leader, Det. Paul Silvesterson.
“From lividity and body temp., your TOD is about 2:00am.” He points to the ground where a winding row of little yellow evidence markers lead away into the street. “We got a blood trail. Possibly your guy gets done on the street, comes back here and croaks. We’ll let you know for sure when we get him on the table.”
Back at the station, Shirley and O’Hinn get on the phones and start their investigation. After some time, Shirley lucks out and gets a name from BCI from the prints collected form the vic at the scene. The name comes back to a, Andrew Sullivan, but there’s no address listed for him in the city. He was fingerprinted in a collar a year ago. All that’s on the report is a name, date, and location of the arrest: Washington Square Park.
Lt. Epstein comments, “Might be a Y.O., why you can’t find anything on him.” He thinks a moment, then, “Washington Square. That was the 8th Precinct then. Find out who was running the Conditions Car that day.”
After some time on the phone, Shirley comes up with Officer Manny Long. With the consolidation done with all the precincts on Manhattan Island recently, many cops were let, go and the rest all shuffled around. Once they track down Officer Long, now with the 22nd Precinct, Midtown, the two head out to reach out to him.
Officer Long shrugs when asked, “Mostly we break up gangs of kids getting high. They get rowdy; we toss them in the truck. Sorry, I don’t recognize him—name or the face.” Then something dawns on him. “The date though. That was Columbus Day, ’84. There was a protest that day. There’s always a few collars at them. 500 years of imperialism, or some bullshit. Check with the University, he’s probably a student. Who else but students would protest a holiday?”
Of course, getting through traffic in the late afternoon by the University is no mean feat. Finding parking slowly evolved into an epic quest. Once they finally found one they had to hoof it quite a ways to get to the Administration Office. There a very friendly, and rather portly, African American woman helped them.
“Here we go,” she said, fingers tapping away on her computer keyboard. “Andrew Sullivan: Journalism major. Um . . . I have 427 Lakeview Dr., Amherst, Massachusetts.”
“You don’t have anything in New York for him,” asked O’Hinn.”
“These kids move around so much. All I have is a PO Box with the student union.”
Then O’Hinn gets an idea, “How about a class schedule?” He says to Shirley, “Maybe his professor knows something about him, or find someone who knows him.”
HIS-230………………..Economics & Social Injustice
SCI-307………………..Earth Science: Environmental Ethics
“Looks like Earth Sciences is starting up in about a half-hour.”
O’Hinn and Shirley make their way to the Science Building. They talk to the professor and come up with someone who knew Andrew: Katie Winters, his lab partner. She saw him only briefly the day before he died, “I saw Andrew after Journalism. It gets out about 3:00.”
“Do you know who he’s staying with while at school?” asks O’Hinn.
“He’s got a roommate,” Katie replies. “His name is Spencer, but everybody calls him ‘Spence.’ They’re at Palladium Hall.”
Later the detectives arrive at Palladium Hall, 140 E. 14th Street, Manhattan. Spencer, a young man wearing a colorful hoodie made of woven hemp, takes the news of his departed roommate with a bit of shock.
“Andy’s ben my roommate for the past six months,” he says Spence. I saw Andy, it was after five. I cas comin’, he was goin’.”
“You mind if we look around?” asks Det. Shirley.
“No, go head,” said Spence. He was still processing the loss of his roommate.
Shirley starts poking around Andy’s half of the dorm room while O’Hinn continues to interview Spence.
“Did you talk to him,” asks O’Hinn. “Did he say where he was going? Was he going to see anyone?”
“We talked about seeing Iron Maiden this Saturday at Madison.”
Det. Shirley rifles through binders and notebooks, loads of loose-leaf paper, and textbooks. Among the textbooks were several library books with titles such as The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair; The Meatpacking Industry in America, by Smith & Company; and assorted other books and essays on the meatpacking industry. She looks at these with some curiosity. Then she notices something that was hidden by the haphazard stacks of books she had been going through: A small sandwich baggie containing a sizable nugget of some plant material. She examines it; and after confirming the faint “oregano scent,” knew it to be a nugget of marijuana.
“What’s this?” she asks, cutting into the conversation and displaying the illicit baggie.
“Uh, dyeh,” stammered poor Spence. His face turns bright red as he scrambles for something to sayt to the detective. O’Hinn comes to his recue.
“We’re homicide, not vice.”
“This your or Andy’s,” asks Shirley.
“Yeah, okay, it’s ours.”
“This for recreational use, or are you or Andy selling,” asks O’Hinn, now wondering about the whole new world of possibilities if this murder was drug related.
“We don’t sell,” insists Spence quickly, “either of us.” His shoulders slump as he realizes there’s just no way out of this except to come clean. “We get it on 14th. It’s just dime bags. Got it from a guy named Styx.”
“Styx,” asks Shirley.
“He wears Styx tee shirts. You know, the band? It’s why everyone calls him Styx.”
The detectives let Spence go for the weed, but confiscate it. They head back to the station to put out a BOLO on the dealer named Styx. And with that they decide to call it a day. However, that night Felicity Shirley has another of her disturbing night-terrors:
You are walking through the deserted and decaying urban landscape of New York. The sky above is as gray as the cracking concrete of the buildings. The shadows filling the cavernous streets seem to crawl with movement, as if the shadows themselves live—they breathe! Up ahead an unkindness of ravens gathers around and unseen thing. As you approach the ravens turn toward you, staring malevolently. They scatter as you approach revealing the corpse of a young woman. Her eyes have been picked out and much of the tissue of the nose and lips have been pecked away to reveal the bone underneath! Blood is everywhere! You look down to see that she has been gutted, her entrails spilling out over the asphalt. She suddenly leans up her head and looks at you with vacant eye sockets. Although you can barely recognize her, you know it is Jennifer Danvers! She grabs a handful of her viscera and reaches out to you, opening her mouth as if trying to plead with you, but all you hear is the guttural grunts of someone with no lips and the shreds of what was once her tongue before the ravens got to it!
She suddenly wakes up, drenched in sweat! She looks over at her clock-radio. It’s only 3:15am! Though extremely shaken, Felicity tries to get back to sleep, but with little success. Tomorrow is going to be a really shitty day!