CHAPTER 14

"All set?" Hoyt checked with the female undercover officer who was playing the part of Chrissy Valente. They were all set and waiting for one John William Detwiler to show up. Michael and Matt were stationed in a vacant apartment next door to the intended victim's. They had other officers stationed in the parking lot and in a couple of stairwells also.

"Yes, lieutenant." Sherry Ferndale checked her pistol one more time. She hid it under the pillow on the bed where she was laying.

"All right then, everyone keep your eyes open." Hoyt looked over at Matt. "This better work or both of us might be in trouble."

"Nah, not me." Matt grinned at his friend.

Everything was quiet and there was little movement until 2:00 am. Detwiler's car pulled into the parking lot. "The target has just entered the parking lot." The unit assigned to the lot informed the others.

Detwiler looked around somewhat nervously, then headed on up to the top floor of the six story complex and up onto the roof. Hoyt's spotter in the back of the property radioed that he had thrown the rope just as expected.

The lawyer's next move was to break into Valente's apartment. Matt was watching one of the monitors in the hallway: he had placed a critter where it would give a good view of the intended victim's door. "Not bad at picking a lock – to be a lawyer," he observed.

"I'll be sure to tell CJ you said that." Hoyt grinned at him.

"Okay, Sherry he's in the apartment, get ready." Matt and Hoyt both held their breath as Detwiler slowly moved toward the bedroom.

"Unit A is moving up to the door of the apartment." Hoyt and Matt moved into position just outside the door, ready to take down the lawyer. "Unit B, cover the window, he might try to go out that way."

The two men silently crept into the apartment and headed back toward the bedroom just as the undercover officer shouted out to Detwiler. "Freeze!" She held him at gunpoint. He bolted for the window and unlocked it. As the undercover officer got out of the bed, the attorney reached for the rope and started to swing himself out of the window and down to the ground – but his hand slipped. The rope quickly sped through the eye bolt and the lawyer was sent crashing to the ground head first.

"Unit B, have you got him?" Hoyt radioed the other officers.

"Roger that, Lieutenant, but you don't have to worry – he's not going anywhere. He's dead."

A few days later, Matt and CJ attended the arraignment of Roger Bettenhouse. He was being represented by a public defender. He looked at Matt and nodded his head. The judge asked for his plea he simply said guilty. The evidence against him and Detwiler was indisputable. The DNA on the lawyer's cup matched the blood on the black material Matt had found in the gutter on one of the roofs. Bettenhouse's fingerprints were on the knife that was found in the storage locker as well as the bottle of shower gel found in one of the apartments. And his DNA was found in the drains of four of the recent victims – more than enough for a conviction. Outside the courtroom Matt invited Hoyt to lunch and as the three of them got out of their vehicles in the parking lot, Hoyt's phone rang.

"He did what?! Well, I guess he didn't want to cost the taxpayers any more money. Thanks for letting me know, Sanchez." He hung up. "Well that's one trial we won't have to sit through – Roger Bettenhouse just hung himself in his cell." No one said anything for a minute.

"As bad as I hate to say it, I kinda felt a little sorry for the guy." Matt looked at Hoyt. "Don't get me wrong, he killed two officers and a bunch of women, but I really don't think he was mentally competent."

Hoyt nodded. "No, I understand where you're coming from, but I just keep thinking about the families who lost loved ones because of him and his brother."

"C'mon, let's go get some lunch." Matt put an arm around both CJ's and Hoyt's shoulders.

"Hey, Houston I've been meaning to ask you something. What were you and Bettenhouse talking about the other day – about the shows in Nuevo Laredo?"

CJ began to giggle uncontrollably. "Matt, can I answer this one?"

"Sure, CJ, better you than me." Matt was doing his best not to fall over laughing.

"Michael, just let me say this: there are some things in life that it's better that you don't know about. And believe me, this is one of them." She and Matt continued to walk into the restaurant still laughing, while Hoyt stood with his hands on his hips wearing a confused expression.