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Angola LaGrange and the Brain Teaser Part 7

The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. When my missing person case turned out to be the third victim of a serial killer, I knew I’d have my work cut out for me. After the forth

The name’s Angola LaGrange, private investigator. When my missing person case turned out to be the third victim of a serial killer, I knew I’d have my work cut out for me. After the forth body, someone leaked the whole story to the media. Now they’re calling this killer the Brain Teaser and the FBI has been called in to investigate. Worse than that, Clay Jackson, the man leading the FBI investigation has it out for me, so when he found me at a potential fifth crime scene, he arrested me.

Read the full details Here and the unfolding case below.

The interrogation room was as bland as they come; stained beige walls loomed over stiff gray carpet. Even the door was the same sickly color. The monotony was only broken by the “mirror” across from me and the analog clock that hung above it. The time read 3:40, a few hours after I’d been arrested, but a careful look at the clock revealed it had been tampered with. The minutes didn’t last a full sixty seconds, to make detainees nervous about how much time they’d spent in the room.

It was a smart trick, too smart for Clay.

I shifted in my seat. It was uncomfortable, but I knew from past experience that the one on the other side of the cheap table was just as bad. My hands were still cuffed behind me, but with a little effort I managed to swing my feet up to rest on the table. I leaned back and closed my eyes. There was no telling how long before they’d send someone in to talk with me, I might as well relax.

I thought about Lucky, undoubtedly trapped in an identical room. I imagined him panicking, frantically pacing, and yelling at the walls. For all his bluster he didn’t have much experience in police custody, especially not in connection with a serial killer case.

Every minute I’m in here, the murderer gets farther away. Clay had me dead to rights; odds were I’d be spending at least the next couple of days in a cell, maybe longer. Maybe a lot longer.
But he’d thrown me in interrogation, so I still had something he wanted. If I played it cool, there might be a way out of this yet. And besides, it always riled Clay when prisoners didn’t cower before the FBI.

From there my mind drifted, first back to the case and then off into sleep.

I awoke when the door opened with a creak. I kept my eyes closed. Another creak as the door shut; followed by a few heavy footsteps, distinct despite the carpet.

“Angola LaGrange.” It was a deep voice I didn’t recognize, accompanied by the smack of a heavy folder landing on the table.

I was surprised Clay passed on the opportunity to interrogate me himself.

“Do you mind keeping it down? Some of us are trying to sleep.”

A strong arm swept my feet off the table, forcing me to sit upright again.

“Do you think this is a joke?” A brief rustling of papers. “Breaking and entering, obstructing a federal investigation, impersonating a police officer, the list goes on.”

I opened my eyes. The man in front of me was young and at least 6’4, but clearly spent as much time in the gym as doing police work. On the wall behind him, the clock read 4:55, but if I had to guess, I’d say I hadn’t been in there more than an hour.

“What do you know about these?” He spread out some pictures of the various “Brain Teaser” murders on the table in front of me.

More than you. I leaned in to examine the images. “Hmm. The lighting is solid, but the subject matter is too gruesome for most mainstream galleries. Have you tried cats? They’re all the rage these days.”

He slammed his fist down and the whole table shuddered. “Listen, right now you are the prime suspect in two of the Brain Teaser murders. I’m happy to push the paperwork through right now, but it’s up to you. We can—”

“Are you seriously about to say ‘we can do this the easy way or the hard way’? Wait, no, I get it now, you’re not a real cop either; you just play one on TV.” I put my feet back up on the table and looked past him to the mirror. “Tell your boss if he wants what I know to grow a spine and come ask me himself.”

The man packed up his file and left without another word.

It was probably another twenty minutes—though the clock had moved to the far side of 5:30—before the door opened again. The older man who entered looked like a cross between Bruce Willis and a walrus.

Upon seeing my hands still cuffed, his gigantic gray mustache bristled and he waddled over to me. “My, my. Let me help you with that.”

Of course, good cop. “Thanks.” I rubbed my newly freed wrists, not that the cuffs had ever been tight enough to dig into them.

He settled his bulk into the increasingly flimsy-looking chair across from me and the pale light gleamed off of his wrinkled forehead. “I’m Agent Marion, but you can call me Bill.”

“Okay, Bill.”

“Now, Miss LaGrange, your friend Mr. Haskins is in the next room telling my over-muscled partner everything. This is your last chance, if you confess before his statement gets processed; we might be able to make you a deal.”

I laughed. “That old trick, Bill? I expected better of you.”

“Do you truly believe your friend is so loyal that he won’t sell you out to save his own skin?”

“Of course not. I’m sure Lucky spilled his guts to the first cop he saw. And yet you’re still in here talking to me. If he’d told you anything really interesting, your boss would be here rubbing it in my face, instead I’m getting the ‘good cop/bad cop’ treatment, which means you’re still hoping for something. It can’t be to get me to incriminate myself, since you already have enough to throw me in a cell and you haven’t.”

Bill’s mustache twitched.

“Unless you know that there’s a reason the existing charges won’t stick.” I turned my attention to the mirror. “Maybe some technicality that Clay screwed up on. But then, Lucky’s confession would have been enough for that. So tell me, Bill,” I said to the man in front of me. “Why am I still here?”

Two sharp knocks from behind the mirror interrupted his response.

“I’m sorry, Bill, it seems our time is up.”

“They warned me you were smart.” He heaved himself out of his chair and toward the door. “Looks like Clay’s got his work cut out for him.”

He left me alone with the ticking of faux minutes.

I smirked at the mirror. I had no way of knowing if Clay was still back there, but it felt good anyway.

After the briefest interval yet, the door opened again and Clay Jackson himself entered. He had a cup of steaming liquid masquerading as coffee in each hand, a file tucked under one arm, and a sour expression on his face.

Neither of us spoke as he set the cups down, one in front of each of us, and settled into his chair. He placed the file in the center of the table where either of us could reach it easily.

I crossed my arms and waited.

He sighed. “Against my better judgement, I’ve been instructed to get your cooperation by any means necessary.”

“Ah, so the whole ‘good cop/bad cop’ thing was your attempt at torture?”

He chuckled once before regaining his composure. “With that in mind, I’m prepared to offer you this one time deal: all the information you have on the Brain Teaser case in exchange for dropping the charges against you.”

“And Lucky?”

“And Lucky.” He pulled a document out of the file and passed it over to me.

I read through it. Everything seemed to be in order; it even had all the right signatures, well, except mine.

Clay held out a pen. “Do we have a deal?”

To Be Continued…

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