The body of the deceased resident was taken to the city morgue after the
detectives had taken pictures of him and had taken notes on what the resident
was wearing and to make a record of any belongings found in his clothing.
After approximately fifteen minutes the two detectives went to the staff room on the second floor to talk to the staff of the facility.
The House of Hope was a four floor building that housed approximately seventy residents. It was the brain child of the government’s Health Division and was considered to be state of the art. There were two main treatment facilities located in the building. The fourth floor contained the substance abuse treatment center. The third floor was a rehabilitation unit for clients presenting with severe and chronic psychiatric disabilities. The second floor was for female residents that had previously been homeless or were escaping from abusive relationships and the first floor was occupied by impoverished men who didn’t have a safe and permanent place to live in the community. The administrators of The House of Hope were very proud of their building as it purported to meet so many divergent needs in the poorest area of the city. When a first time visitor came to The Center, they would first notice the offensive odor that only chronic and severe poverty can produce. There was always a strong smell of body odor present in and around the building.
“As some of you have probably heard one of the residents in your building has passed away tonight. We are not sure as yet how he died. The medical examiner will examine the body to try to determine the exact cause of death. My partner, Detective Holland and I will be interviewing any of you that we feel can provide us with some background information about the deceased resident and what may have happened tonight. Detective Holland will start with Cora Sanchez who apparently was the first to discover the body. I would like to question the mental health supervisor first. We ask that the rest of you wait in the staff room until you are called by either Detective Holland or myself.
Hoss: Because this Mick Russell is the guy who stole our truck.
Harvey: Where is Mick now? He’s got the keys to our truck.
Dwight: Who knows? The same two Air Force guys kidnapped him again while he was on the air for the second time today.
Rick: Yeah, twice in one day. That boy is having a real bad day.
Dwight: You think Mick’s having a bad day? Poor baby. How about us? Our radio station has been trashed twice today.
Hosss: So where do you think the Air Force guys took Mick?
Rick: Well, there are two possibilities. One is that they took him back to the Air Force Base for questioning. The other is they took him out to the desert to shoot him.
Dwight: Rick, The Air Force wouldn’t take Mick out into the desert to shoot him. Heaven forbid!
Rick: Have you ever heard about Hiroshima, Dwight?
Dwight: Oh, yeah. I hear what you’re saying now.
Rick: That’s the reason that I’m the lead broadcaster and you’re my assistant.
Dwight: I didn’t know that. I always thought it was because you married the owner’s daughter.
Harvey: Come on, Hoss. We’ve got to get the keys to the truck back.
We’ll go to the Air Force Base first. If Mick’s not there then we’ll search the desert for him.
Hoss: One problem, Harv. How do we get out to the desert?
Harvey: We”ll go to the compound and get your car.
Hoss: But what if our supervisor recognizes us?
Dwight: Look you guys, there’s some cartoon character costumes in our storage room. Feel free to use them as disguises.
Narrator: Hoss dresses up as Elmer Fudd and Harvey dons the Yosemite Sam costume. As Harvey and Hoss leave the radio station Rick and Dwight are laughing so hard that tears are running down their cheeks.
Rick: Dwight, whose keys are those hanging on the hook in the office?
Jim: One thing I should warn you about. General Kane doesn’t believe that wrestling is fake. He wants to see plenty of blood and pile drivers done right on the cement floor outside the ring.
Harry: Well the General has nothing to worry about. I’ll give him all the blood, guts and pile drivers he wants. Good to know that some people up there know the truth. Wrestling is not fake!
Narrator: Harvey and Hoss, the two dogcatcher start walking back down and in about thirty minutes make it back into the downtown area of Roswell.
Harvey: Look, Hoss. There’s our truck parked outside the radio station. I bet the yahoo that stole it is inside the radio station right now.
Narrator: Harvey grabs a large piece of wood and uses it as a battering ram against the rebuilt radio station door. The two dog catchers fall over and roll onto the carpet of the radio station.
Rick: Hey you goofs! Have you ever heard of doorknobs and turning the handle first?
Dwight: Rick, look at our station! Now we have splinters of wood to go with all of broken glass. Everybody who come to the station is trying to destroy the place.
Harvey: Don’t get your shirt in a knot Dwight. Just send the repair
bills over to City Hall. The City of Roswell will reimburse you for all the damage.
Hoss: Yeah, we’re dog catchers here on official city business. Some guy stole our truck. He’s got to be in here.
Harvey: Right, we were trying to take the guy to the hospital and he repays us by stealing our truck.
Rick: Well, he’s not here now.
Dwight: A few minutes ago we had our special guest Mick Russell on the air. He just starting telling our listeners about how he was kidnapped by the Air Force and thrown in the back of a truck with a bunch of dead aliens.
Harvey: Did he say that he got a shot of horse tranquilizer in the butt while he was at the hospital?
Rick: How did you know?
A young blond female paramedic in her twenties and her handsome young male partner were the first to attend to the resident in the stairwell.
“He’s not breathing and I’m not getting a pulse,” the female paramedic said to her co-worker.
“He’s feeling stiff and cold to to the touch,” added her male colleague.
Just then a young police constable and his senior partner arrived on the scene.
“How’s the man doing?” asked the younger police officer.
“He’s dead,” the male paramedic answered. “He has numerous contusions on his body and his neck could possibly be broken as a result of a fall or a push.”
“The medical examiner will need to determine the exact cause of death. I’ll call for the detectives,” the senior constable said to his young partner.
Within ten minutes a big , burly detective in his early fifties named Jeff Barnes arrived with his partner, Krista Holland, a trim, attractive, strawberry blond, female detective.
As all this was happening, the security guard, Jim Bellows, had called a code blue for the building. This meant that all available staff who were available were to respond to the site of the incident. The first residential care worker to arrive at the scene was a tall, thin woman in her late forties. She was instructed to stay where she was by the male detective.
After a brief introduction to each other Constable Redding asked the residential care worker to round up the rest of the staff of the facility and have them wait in the staff room until the detectives were ready for them.
The second staff to arrive at the scene was Rick Jennings, the mental health wing supervisor. Rick was a good looking, physically fit man man who had just turned forty. He quickly identified himself to the detectives. When Rick asked what had happened, the female detective, Krista Holland, told Rick to wait in the staff room but not before informing the supervisor that a resident of the facility was dead.
Steve: Man, I’m getting pretty hungry. We need to find a truck stop. Maybe if we do some walking around we’ll find a highway.
Harry: Good idea. We’ll wait for a trucker on his way into town.
Narrator: Jim, the security guard is now driving down the highway on his way to Corona to get the General his burgers, pepperoni sticks and cigars. He sees two hitch hikers trying to thumb a ride. Jim stops to pick them up.
Jim: Howdy, boys, I’m going as far as Corona. Will that help you out?
Harry: It sure will. Are there any restaurants in Corona? We’re really hungry.
Jim: Well, there’s a Burger King and a 7-11. It’s about a two hour ride to Corona from here. If you guys are really starving I’ve got a couple of old, stale boxes of Animal Crackers in the car. Well, hop in boys. I’m running an errand for the General.
Steve: Thanks a lot, man. We really appreciate it.
Narrator: Harry and Steve get in the back of Jim’s old Volkswagen Bug. The two convicts introduce themselves to Jim.
Jim: Hey, Harry. How come you’re wearing wrestling trunks and boots?
Harry: Well, during my last match, two criminals broke into the dressing room and stole all my street clothes.
Jim: Man, you really have to be some kind of low life to steal another dude’s clothes. It’s really gets hot in the daytime but by nightfall it’s awful chilly out in these parts. We’ll find you a new set of clothes when we get back to Corona. It won’t be easy though, Harry. You’re a pretty big guy.
Steve: Harry’s stage name is the Masked Mauler. Put on your mask Harry.
Jim: Man, that mask is cool! When’s your next match?
Steve: I’m the Mauler’s manager. We’re out here scouting for a new territory for the Mauler to wrestle in. He’s barred from all our old territories because he has a nasty habit of hanging promoters over the
bridges of local rivers. Mauler gets really upset when promoters don’t book him in the main event. I’m going to register Harry for some anger management classes in the fall. Hey, Jim, do you know of any wrestling promoters out in these parts?
Jim: Yeah I do, General Kane. He’s the guy I’m running this errand for. He says that these wrestling cards are good for the troop’s morale. I’ll tell you what. You buys boys ride back with me to Roswell after I finish this errand. The General might be interested in booking the Masked Mauler. He likes to book wrestlers with lots of attitude.
“Some of you have expressed concerns about how we are going to finance this research project. I would like to address this issue by asking our special guest, Mr. Blake Riley to come up next. Mr. Riley is a very successful entrepreneur and has a strong interest in helping fund an expedition to look for Ogopogo. Please come up to the podium now, Mr, Riley,” said Dean Sanderson.
There was a slight smatter of applause after Blake Riley’s introduction. Some in the audience had heard about Blake Riley, but they didn’t quite know what to make of him. There had been rumours going around that Blake was a rather sleazy character. Although these were only rumors, people tend to believe that where there’s smoke, there is fire. Many of the students were surprised that their dean had not done his due diligence of Blake Riley’s past history. They feared that Dean Sanderson was so worried about coming up with the funding that he wasn’t too concerned where that money came from or what kind of a funder he would have as a business associate.
Becoming alarmed Cora ran out of the stairwell to get help.
As she opened the door to the stairs she saw a security guard doing his rounds. She called out that a man was down in the stairway. The security guard immediately called 911.
In under five minutes four paramedics arrived on the scene. The paramedics in this city were very familiar with this facility and the surrounding neighborhood. It was not unusual for emergency personnel to pay ten to twenty visits per week to this facility. Many of the calls they received were, in
Essence, false alarms. When the paramedics arrived at the scene they would
often find that the client was very intoxicated with either alcohol, drugs, or both being the culprit. Other times they would be called out due to a client complaining of being short of breath and or having chest pain. Other occasions the calls would be for residents experiencing anxiety attacks or going into psychosis. Two years ago they had been called to the scene for an actual fatal stabbing incident.