Posts Tagged ‘Martin Ramirez’

DNA, Whatever That Is


November 16th, 2009 Posted 10:20 am

DNA comes up a lot in this job, but what it is exactly, don’t ask me.

We were in Addie’s apartment in College Town, which is near the downtown towers, but very different, with lots of grass and none of the downtown shadows. Addie’s apartment was full of light. A couple of tennis racquets stood in one corner and under the couch Bernie and Addie were sitting on lay a tennis ball, no doubt about that, even though I couldn’t see it.

“The DNA results came in,” Bernie said. “The lab says we’ve got a match.”

“Meaning it’s my great grandmother’s sister Betty?” Addie said.

“They can’t say that precisely,” Bernie said. “Just that it’s a female related to you on your mother’s side.”

“But who else could it be?” Addie said.

Bernie nodded.

“So,” Addie said, “Betty was a script girl and she was killed on the Greed shoot and no one was punished?”

“That’s it,” Bernie said.

Addie was quiet for a while. Bernie just sat there. Me, too, although I wanted to root around under the couch for that tennis ball pretty bad. Finally she said, “Should I be crying? It was so long ago.”

Bernie nodded. Then he opened up the film can with the Martin Ramirez painting inside, took out the painting – that strange picture of trains and tunnels – and said, “Can’t think of anyone else who should end up with this.”

He handed her the painting. Addie cried then, but not much.


Mental Problems


September 28th, 2009 Posted 8:02 am

“What happened to Ezra Printz?” Suzie said.

“Good question,” Bernie said. “Records show he spent time in Stockton State Hospital.”

“Meaning he had mental problems?” said Suzie.

Portia interrupted. “The whole family’s out of their minds.”

“Which explains why Kelo married you,” said Trimmer.

Portia gave him a quick kick. “Zip it, bro.”

“Another inmate at Stockton State,” Bernie continued, “was the painter Martin Ramirez. He’s considered a great artist now, but his life was kind of miserable. It’s my guess that he and Ezra met and somehow the murder film got switched with a painting. Maybe they made a trade.”

“But you found the can with the painting in Death Valley,” Suzie said.

“Chet did, actually.”

My tail started up.

“How did it get there?” Suzie said.

I waited to hear. Bernie was always the smartest human in the room.


Tempermental Birds


September 16th, 2009 Posted 8:29 am

“Why is Kelo a moron?” Bernie said.

Portia gave him a long look. “I want a deal.”

“Okay,” Bernie said. “Where is he?”

“I don’t know.”

“For someone who wants a deal, you’re not very helpful,” Bernie said. “Tell me this – what was the goal, getting the film or getting the painting?”

“Why would we want the painting?” said Portia. I remembered that painting, tunnels and trains, kind of scary.

“It’s probably worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Down on the floor, Freddie Dancer groaned. The human groan is an interesting sound. When perps groan I always know we’re getting somewhere. Bernie peeled the duct tape off Freddie’s mouth. Or maybe it was already off, or hadn’t been on in the first place. All I remembered was something about ducks, which turn out to be a tempermental type of bird.

“Speak, Freddie,” Bernie said.

And by the way, I’m loving having all these friends.


More Greed


August 5th, 2009 Posted 8:36 am

“Here’s what I think,” Bernie said. We were out on the patio, Suzie, Bernie and me. They had coffee. I had a biscuit from Rover and Co. Have I mentioned Rover and Co.? Their biscuits are the best.

“What we’ve got,” Bernie was saying, “is footage of a real killing. I believe Ezra Printz, Hollywood PR flack at the time and grandfather or great-grandfather of our missing client Kelo Printz, got hold of the footage. Somehow, he ended up in the same mental hospital as the artist Martin Ramirez, and the footage got switched with a painting. What I’d like to do now is go back to Death Valley and have another look in that cave.”

“But didn’t you say the roof had fallen in?” Suzie said.

Hey! I remembered that.

“A slight problem,” Bernie said, “but – “

At that moment, I heard a car pull up in front of the house, and missed whatever came next. A few moments later, there was a knock at the front door. A heavy knock: even Bernie and Suzie heard it.


The Books

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