The debrief wasn’t pleasant but it was mercifully quick. For that I was grateful. SAC Hinch closed the hatchery case and then proceeded to berate me about inter-jurisdictional policies and blah blah blah. He also gave me an envelope.
“Don’t worry. I didn’t open it, Mizz Kwan.” Hinch attempted a little humor.
It came from Quantico; from Director Dean. I would read it later, when I was alone. Just in case it was bad news, I didn’t want to be around anyone, especially Gerry.
“Are we done here?”
“Yes, thank you. Have a pleasant day.” He wasn’t even looking at me.
Thank God, I’m not an Agent. (first time I admitted that)
I tried to shake the essence of SAC Gerald Hinch off. It might take a few showers and maybe a tropical vacation to complete that cleansing. For now I met up with Detective Nelson for some coffee and an update.
“What about William?”
“He has been placed with an Aunt and Uncle in Seattle for now. Greta Little may never get him back and I don’t know how I feel about that.” He frowned.
“And the girl?”
“Becky? She has not said a word since we found her. She’s still in the hospital.”
“Damn. This sucks.” I decided I didn’t want my coffee.
“Don’t know how to feel either?” he asked.
“It isn’t our job to feel, is it?” I asked sincerely.
“HA, like we can just turn off the “human switch?” He scoffed.
“The Reverend did. The Medford Rapist did. I think William did.” My voice wavered a little.
“There are going to be some tough questions coming. Our little town and Police department are going to feel this for a long time. As well we should. There is going to be in investigation. Heads will probably roll.”
“At this point I am not sure that it matters. Aren’t I equally to blame? I looked the other way.” He sipped his coffee.
“It should never have happened.” He looked away.
“It’s not your fault Detective.” I tried to look him in the eyes.
“I hear that, and I try to tell myself that, but I am not so sure if I believe it. Those girls were victimized and we did nothing to prevent it. At least not entirely.” He tried to smile for me.
“You did what you thought was right at the time. You didn’t ignore it. When the opportunity came, you took it.” I took his hand. “And I was happy to help.”
He didn’t pull away immediately. He took a sip of his coffee and sighed.
“We thank you for your help Bobby. I am not sure we could have done this by ourselves”
“I had help.” I smiled.
“I hope I didn’t drive you too crazy. I have recently been ‘diagnosed’ as difficult.” We shared a laugh.
On the ferry back to Seattle, I opened and read the letter.
“I was delighted to hear that with your help the Poulsbo Police Department ended the terrible crimes of Reverend Robert Parker Little. A dangerous rapist and potential killer is no longer a threat to society. I only wish we could have prosecuted this menace and brought some closure and justice to the people of Poulsbo. I am proud that you could lend a professional hand in this case. I am especially proud of the work that you provided as an ex-Special Agent. Your dedication to enforcing the law and your fierce tenacity to follow through with what you started is a direct result of your training and natural ability. You are an example to be followed.”
It continued on a separate sheet.
“What I have not told you is this; I wanted you on this case. You were sent to investigate an act of sabotage at the behest of the Suquamish Indian Tribe. Sheriff Ransom Johns has sent a formal thanks to the FBI in your behest. Detective Nelson had sent me an urgent request through back channels to assist him “unofficially” with his case in Poulsbo. The political situation there had left him without options.
I knew you would be inclined to participate but I could not ask you directly as this was meant to be a quiet case (and you are not an official Agent). It was also an opportunity for me to put a final seal on your record. You needed this as much as Detective Nelson did. I still think you have issues with authority but you have proven that with focus and determination you can overcome this deficiency. I had hoped for as much. I took a risk with you and you made it happen. I thank you for that.
I hope you continue to pursue your quest for Justice.
On a personal note, I hope that the events on the last week remain with you in your career as a Private Investigator in the Northwest. Never forget the horrors that man inflicts on man. We need reminders from time to time so we NEVER lose our singular focus that justice, in whatever form it takes, must always win. It is our job, our mission, to bring those who commit such heinous acts to justice. Never forget that.
Jack Dean, Director. FBI Academy, Quantico, VA.”
I watched the rain on the window as the ferry listed slightly from left to right. I placed the letter back into the envelope.
I hope my therapist is happy.
I need a new pair of skates.
-End Case File.