Henry Snow swallowed the last of his hamburger at Burger & Shake and asked Hazel Peck for a coffee refill.
“You seem down today,” she observed as she topped his cup. Snow nodded. The veteran police detective had hit a dead end on a brutal rape and murder case. A young girl named Heather Jones and her boyfriend Bob Wells had been to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and had stopped for a late night set of bowling. As they walked out an attacker leaped from a green pickup truck, struck Wells unconscious with a gun, and dragged the girl fighting and screaming into the vehicle and sped off.
Shock engulfed the city as news confirmed a young girl’s body dragged from a watery culvert was Heather Jones. She had been drugged with morphine and strangled. Gerald Klein had been picked up by Snow as a theft suspect and while en route to the police station the suspect jeered, “I was wandering when you’d come to get me over Heather Jones.”
Snow’s foot hit the brakes.
“What?” he asked.
“You heard me cop. Now read me my rights!” Klein snapped.
The suspect’s cold candor in the interview as he graphically depicted the ordeal of the rape and murder to the lie detector shocked Snow. “Sorry Hazel,” Snow said, “Results from a lie detector absolved a suspect I know is guilty.”
Hazel smiled, “Maybe you asked the wrong questions?” Snow put his coffee cup down. Stunned at the remark, he realized the line of questioning dealt with Klein killing the girl and not if he knew who did. Her killer was still at large. Snow chugged down his coffee and left a couple of bills to cover his ticket. “Keep it. You earned it.” The detective bounded out the side door.
“What was that all about?” asked a blonde woman reapplying her lipstick at the counter.
“I don’t know,” Hazel Peck replied, “But he left a nice tip.”
published 24 June 2013