The Cover Up Part Eight

Exactly,” replied Rick. “There are other similarities to a prison. There is a pecking order among the residents. There are weak residents and strong residents. The stronger ones like Simon use manipulation and intimidation to control the weak ones.”

Can you give me some examples?” asked Barnes.

Sure, replied Rick. “ Most of our residents are heavy smokers and cigarettes are the equivalent of money to most of them. Several of the residents are on smoke plans where they are only allotted so many cigarettes per day for both health concerns and their financial limitations. Naturally, most of the residents run out of their daily supply of cigarettes long before their day is over. Then, the wheeling and dealing begins. Some of the weaker residents that still have cigarettes left over can be intimidated into giving their cigarettes to the residents that they fear.”

Barnes looked puzzled,”Can’t your staff do something about this

They try their best. Often if they catch one resident trying to take advantage of another resident They will make the offender pay back the resident that they bummed the cigarettes off. The problem is that they can’t see everything. There is often only one staff on duty per shift. It’s like a referee at a hockey game. He can’t watch the whole ice surface all of the time.”

That’s ridiculous!” said the detective. “One staff for twenty plus residents?”

That’s all we can afford on the limited budget that they give us.”

Okay, let’s get back to Bret,” said Barnes impatiently. “What kinds of things would Bret do to piss off Simon and Matthew?”

Bret would spoil their game. If he witnessed anyone bullying the other residents Bret would quickly put a stop to it. Rick didn’t have to do or say much to get a bully to back down. A good stern look from Bret was usually suficient Bret still went to the gym four or five times per week and he had


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