To Tell the Truth
Bridget lay under Bodaway Macawi's body soaked in sweat the gun still in her hand. Her face felt like it was burning. Was he dead? Was he really dead? Was that nightmare finally over?
After what seemed like an eternity of Macawi's blood drip on her, the police and Agent Machado burst in. "It's alright, it's alright," he said, helping her up.
Bridget's first thought was of Juliet, but Machado said Juliet was with Andrew in the Hamptons. That didn't make sense. She knew she heard a scream.
She knew she had said something to Machado but had no idea what it was. Her ears were ringing from the gunfire and her mind was a blur. She tried to understand what was going on but it was just too much all at once. The only thing she could retain in her mind was when of the cops took the gun and walked with it to the back and called on his radio.
Bridget sat, her heart racing, feeling dazed and confused for she had no idea how long before pulled herself together enough to wash up and change into something that wasn't covered in Mackawi's blood. Oddly it made her feel better.
For some reason, Solomon was there when she returned from freshening up. He showed her a video of Siobhan being alive after Bridget thought she had committed suicide. For seven months she had taken her sister's husband but she thought she wasn't committing adultery with a married man because Siobhan was dead. Somehow adultery didn't seem like her worst problem though.
The police officer returned, took her arm and handcuffed her. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?"
She just stood there numbly, too astonished even to answer. She could feel her lips trembling.
Machado stepped in. "Mrs. Martin, don't say anything until Andrew gets you a lawyer."
Bridget looked around, sadly. "I don't think he's going to help."
Machado turned to the police. "What are you even charging her with?"
The cop held up the gun. "Violation of the Sullivan Law will do for now. This gun isn't licensed to you, is it?"
Bridget shook her head as the police walked her down the fourteen flights of stairs and into a squad car, wondering what else was going to unravel in her life now.
As the police drove her away from the Park Avenue apartment that had been her home she could feel herself slipping away from everyone she loved in the world. At first she felt utterly hopeless but then she remembered what she had learned in NA. She had surrendered her life to her higher power. In the back of the police car she quietly repeated over and over that prayer that had meant so much to her.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
She could not change how Andrew and Juliet felt about her lies. She could not undo the lies. All she could do is tell the truth now.
She felt the hand cuffs that shackled her wrists and in her mind they became the set of rosary beads from her childhood. She said prayers she had thought she had long forgotten. She crossed herself as well as she could and said the Apostle's Creed, one Our Father, three Hail Marys and one Glory Be. When the car stopped at the station and as they took her out, she said the Hail the Holy Queen.
Hail Holy Queen,
Mother of mercy,
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping
In this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy towards us.
And after this, our exile,
Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement O loving O sweet Virgin Mary.
Pray for us oh holy mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
She had learned in NA that everything passed, be it the good times or the bad. This would pass. She didn't know when or how but she knew she had to trust in her Higher power, the God she had known when she was a little girl and was just beginning to know again now.
She was fingerprinted and had her mug shot taken. It wasn't the first time but she had thought she'd never have it happen again. She tried to relax and to smile as she told herself that she hadn't done anything wrong.
They led her into an interrogation room and sat her down in behind a metal desk, still leaving her handcuffed. She guessed they were trying to make her feel like she was helpless and completely under their control. They failed. Her thoughts were free. She said the rosary.
Detective Robert Goren knew well that exhaustion worked like a legal form of torture. He kept her waiting and waiting. He watched her through the one way glass and had people go in and out until it looked like she would crash in exhaustion right there in the interrogation room. That was the moment to strike. When he could see her begin to panic, she would break and the truth would slip out. He spent the time familiarizing himself with the case files. He'd just been assigned the case. They called him in because it was too high profile for Towers to muff up any more.
He kept her waiting in the interrogation room for over an hour, waiting for her to begin squirming but she didn't squirm. As a former alter boy he new someone who was praying. He could even tell by how her lips moved what prayers she was saying. All she asked his minions for was a chance to go to the bathroom. Still not all was lost. Bladder bust was another form of legal torture.
She had lost count of her prayers by the time a fat, grey haired detective in a suit jacket with a blue dress shirt sat opposite her as others crowded around. He had a grizzled beard and an exhausted look. Another rumpled suit with a gold shield followed. A uniformed officer focused a camcorder on her. The fat one talked first. "I am Detective Goren. This is Captain Hannah. It's the 18th of April, 2012 and it's about fifteen minutes after Midnight. State your name for the record," he said.
"Couldn't I go to the bathroom first?"
He leaned over her. "No."
Captain Hannah raised an eyebrow. "That's not the name on your ID."
"No. I am Bridget Kelley. The ID is for my twin sister, Siobhan Martin."
Goren stepped outside. A fingerprint technician was standing there about to know, clutching the computer's identification scan of her fingerprints. He grabbed the sheet and went back inside.
"Well," Goren said, sitting on the desk, swinging his shoes right under her face to invade comfort zone. "It seems we have caught the big fish. We have the hard evidence. You may as well confess."
"The murder of John Delario." He waved and a uniformed officer brought in a laptop computer. "You didn't count on that storage facility having more cameras in storage facilities than Macy's."
Hannah played footage from a jerky night vision security camera for her. She watched in horror as the man she thought was her sponsor fought with Gemma Butler and then shot her to death. Minutes later, her face drove up. She appeared to be in a Mexican Standoff with Gemma's killer until she talked him out of his gun and killed him.
Bridget watched in astonishment. "Siobhan shot Charles Young?"
"Charles Young wasn't his real name."
"I knew him as Charles Young. He pretended to be my sponsor in NA and told me he was a cop." She thought for a minute. "That wasn't me. It was my twin sister Siobhan. I was in Penn Station with Andrew Martin and two police detectives." She tried to remember. "I forgot the woman's name but the man was bald and his name was Towers." She looked at the frozen picture of her and followed a hunch. "Do you have any other cameras of this?"
"Plenty. Just pull up files C01 through C11."
She pushed Goren's foot out of the way and took the computer. She followed a hunch. It wasn't easy to control the computer mouse in handcuffs but she managed and looked through the different camera views of Siobhan. She stopped the camera at one, froze the screen and turned the notebook around to the detective. "There. Do you see that?"
Bridget pointed using both hands. "Men! That's a bump and a big one. "
"A baby bump. Siobhan is pregnant. Look at that."
"It's just the angle and what you were wearing."
"Think," Bridget said. "Siobhan was having an affair with Henry Butler, Gemma's husband. It looks like she hired this Charles Young to kill Gemma and make it look like someone had kidnapped Gemma for ransom and killed her. Henry Butler must be in on it. Why otherwise would he 'accidentally' screw up the ransom pay-off? So Siobhan silenced him." She shook her head. "What a set of cold bastards."
And a stupid set, Goren thought. How could they miss something so obvious as all the security cameras at a storage facility? EVERY storage facility always boasts of all their cameras to the customers.
Goren had always prided himself as an amateur profiler. They had brought him into the case because it had made no sense for a woman on the run from a mob killer to murder people involved with her sister. He compared the notes in the case files on Gemma's kidnapping and Delario's murder. Suddenly everything made perfect sense. He walked around her and snaked his head around almost into her lap. "How long had you masqueraded as your sister?"
"Since mid September. Can I go potty now?"
"How … did you two work it out as a deal?"
"Siobhan pretended to have committed suicide, knowing that I was on the run from Macawi and that I would jump at the chance to escape him by becoming someone else. I thought she really was dead until today."
"Can you prove it's been that long?"
She thought for a moment. "I think I can prove … definitely since the first of November. I had a head and neck MRI after a concussion. Her fillings are different." She thought some more. "No, earlier. I called my sponsor in Wyoming on Siobhan's cell and it was on the bill. That must have been late September."
Hannah leaned forward. "And Oksana Segalovich?"
She thought, trying to remember. It was difficult at that hour. "I've heard that name. I really could think better if you'd let me use the bathroom."
"Segalovich was a maid at the Soho Diamond. She said you paid her thousands of dollars to change her mind about her letting Henry Butler into Tyler Barret's hotel room?"
"I wouldn't pay five cents to save Henry Butler from Freddy Kruger. He's a slime ball who cheated on my friend Gemma."
Hannah took the notebook from Bridget and pulled up a different directory of video files. "This is from a gas station's security cameras." This security video was date stamped the third of April at 2:00 in the afternoon. It showed someone who looked rather like Bridget get out of a cab and go to a doorway.
Bridget shrugged. "So?"
"This is Oksana's apartment. You've never been there?"
"Except for you and Detective Towers I never even heard of her."
He skipped the footage ahead, feeling stupid. All of Towers's work just fell right apart as he was questioning her. He thought about playing the "One Catholic to another, confess your sins to find forgiveness" line but that didn't seem worth the bother either. All that time, all that talk of identical twins and Towers never even once considered checking her fingerprints. He had plenty of opportunities. "So this isn't you exiting?"
Bridget looked at the date stamp. Half past two. "No. At the moment Andrew's crazy ex wife Catherine was trying to murder me. Ask Andrew and Juliet. Or ask Agent Machado of the FBI. Or just pull up the arrest report on Catherine Martin." She took the laptop again and slowly advanced through the footage, pausing it as Siobhan turned to hail a cab. "You're the detectives. What's wrong with this picture?"
Hannah nodded, seeing it but Goren didn't get it. "Tell me."
"I am a size five."
That just elicited a blank stare.
"I am 34-23-34. Siobhan is as big as a whale under that coat. See how she has that pregnant waddle and is leaning back to take the weight of the baby. She looks very overdue. She's probably had the baby already."
He wanted a tricky answer to get inside her head. He wanted to say that the pregnant waddle could be acting and the belly could be a pillow. But he knew it wasn't even worth the bother. He just shook his head in depressed frustration. What else had Towers missed?
Hannah put down the autopsy report file folder. "Segalovich was poisoned. At first we thought it was a heart attack but the autopsy showed that she'd been poisoned by inhaling strychnine mixed with cocaine."
Bridget wrinkled her nose, thinking distastefully of the lines she'd snorted. "Strychnine in cocaine?"
"It's actually sort of clever. Strychnine is often used to cut cocaine. She probably thought we would just think it was an accident."
Bridget nodded. "It makes sense. She killed twice before for Henry Butler. She'd kill again to protect that asshole."
"But you did kill Macawi?"
"He was trying to kill me."
"Where did you get the gun?"
"Solomon Vessida. He gave it to me when I told him that Macawi was in town and coming for me."
"And how did you know that?"
"Detective Kemper from Wyoming came to me after he escaped prison and tried to blackmail me for money. Then I saw on TV tonight that he had been murdered. That meant Macawi was here."
Hannah and Goren stepped outside and stepped down the hall. Goren got a cup of coffee and sipped it as he compared dates between the Segolovich murder and the Catherine Martin case file on a computer. "I believe her, Captain. She has no motive for Segolovich and those are both airtight alibis. And everything she says has made more logical sense than anything Towers ever said about the case."
Captain Hannah shook his head. "It doesn't make sense. The surveillance video was in the file and was part of their insurance claim against damages caused by two people bleeding to death at their storage location. The physical evidence from the distance of the powder burns and the trajectory of the bullet wound both prove that it wasn't suicide. Why didn't Tower ever mention it in his report?"
Goren paused, sipping his coffee. It tasted terrible but he kept on drinking it anyway. "Captain, I see three possibilities. DeLario was ex-NYPD. Someone downtown didn't want the scandal of an ex-cop being part of a murder and kidnapping so they said he killed himself. Towers is on the take from someone, perhaps Siobhan Martin or Henry Butler. Or, Towers is a complete idiot."
Hannah poured himself a drink of water from the cooler. "A rock isn't that stupid. Just watch the surveillance video. That leaves us with a bad cop or downtown's toady. Either way, I am transferring Towers to parking detail and talking to Internal Affairs. So what do you suggest we do about DeLario?"
Goren shrugged. "DeLario is dead. We can't make him pay. But we can get a warrant for murder on Siobhan Martin for killing him."
"And if Downtown really does want DeLario's name kept out of it?"
"Then we turn DeLario into a heroic undercover cop on a deep mission to infiltrate a murder for hire gang but just as he was rescuing an intended victim he was tragically killed in the line of duty." Goren put his hand over his heart and then made a mock salute. "Can't you see Old Man Kelly making the speech as the bagpipes play for that asshole?"
Hannah thought. He definitely could. "But it's all bullshit. DeLario shot the bitch. The evidence is clear."
Goren shrugged. "Evidence comes, evidence goes. The important thing is that Siobhan Martin is guilty of murder on DeLario and Segolavich as well as kidnapping and felony murder on Butler. We make any of those stick and it's mandatory life in prison."
Hannah hated to do it but he had to agree with Goren. "I'm going to cut Bridget Kelly loose."
"What about the other charges? The gun is owned by Solomon. He does have a license for it but she doesn't."
Hannah shook his head. "Maybe we can make it stick legally but the NRA will make her the poster girl to have the Sullivan law overturned. See the poor, defenseless pretty young woman kills the evil mobster in self defense in her own home and the police put her in jail."
"That leaves earlier given false statements to a police officer about her identity and using false identification."
"Again, probably far more trouble than its worth and I have a feeling we can use her. If nothing else she's a key witness in the Catherine Martin case and we can use her testimony to yank Solomon Vessida's firearms license."
Hannah wadded up and threw away his empty water cup. "Henry Butler is at the center of four murders. We have the hotel surveillance tapes and Segolovich's signed statement and now we have ID'd Martin as Segolovich's killer. Time for you to do the job Towers should have done and track down Siobhan Martin. Get some sleep but start tomorrow with getting the medallion and GPS information on the cab that went to Segolovich."
Goren saluted and left. He knew exactly what he was going to do.
Hannah went back inside the interrogation room. "You can go for now but don't leave town."
Bridget shrugged. "Like I had any place to go and any money to go there."