Detective Strong on the case.
This new murder had occurred in another part of town near the industrial sector. The victim was in the import/export business and was found in his warehouse pinned to the wall by a forklift. There were no witnesses as it was late at night and the other employees had left as the victim had a habit of working after hours often alone. His name was Andrew Trent. Detective Strong arrived in his car along with Detective Fisher. Fisher was new to this and so had been paired with Strong who had much experience.
“Has anything been touched?” asked Strong.
“No, nothing.” replied a policeman guarding the scene of the crime. The victim was still pinned to the wall with half the body slumped over the forklift. Strong began walking around the scene of the crime looking carefully at the victim’s position. The victim had probably suffered internal injuries and that would probably be the cause of death. Evidently, it was not an accident.
“Fisher, I want a list of all the employees that the victim had on his staff, and find out if any of them held a grudge against him. Look as well at recently discharged employees.”
“Sure, no problem. I’ll get on it right now.” Fisher proceeded to the office above the warehouse. One secretary had been asked to come down to give a hand and she proceeded rapidly in finding a list of employees and giving it to Detective Fisher. Meanwhile Detective Strong was still examining the scene of the crime. It seemed that the victim had been surprised as a look of shock was on his face. In his right hand he was still holding a crowbar. It was clear that the lift had been hit repeatedly but to no avail as it impaled the victim and pinned it to the wall. The special crime unit finally arrived and proceeded to do various tests. Strong wanted to know especially if there were any fingerprints on or around the lift. Maybe the murderer had been careless in operating the forklift. The foreman of the warehouse had been called down and as he arrived Strong began peppering him with questions.
“Your name is Pedro Silvio, is that right sir?” asked Strong.
“Yes it is. Am I in some sort of trouble Detective? Because I did nothing wrong here, just doing my job.”
“Don’t worry Mr. Silvio. I just want to ask you some questions, that’s all. First, did your boss have the habit of working late and alone most of the time?”
“Oh yes, Mt. Trent always used to do that. The employees left at 5 but he often stayed until 8 or even 9. I would often stay with him until 6 or 6:30.”
“So him staying late was normal then.”
“Among the employees, were there some who hated him, maybe wanted to harm him?”
At that question Pedro visibly squirmed. He had to tell the truth, he knew that he had no choice. “You know, Mr. Trent was a hard boss and he drove his employees hard. They were paid just above the minimum wage and he asked me to monitor how long they stayed in the bathrooms. He was a hard boss, no question.” he said shaking his head.
“Yes, I understand, but did you hear any employees wanting to take revenge on him, or were there any altercation at work, physical altercations that is, between the boss and his employees? said Strong.
“No Mr. Strong, none of that. There were occasional shouting matches but usually the employees were too scared to respond as they needed to work to put food on the table for their families. You have to understand that most of the employees were either recent immigrants or they were Latinos. Very few whites wanted to work here. But I do remember one white who worked here some years back. He was not an easy fellow.”
“Oh, tell me more about that guy. Did he get often in skirmishes with his boss?”
“Yes, I must say that there were often disagreements between them. I often heard shouting matches and I remember the employee left in a huff after a couple of years.”
“Would you remember his name by any chance?”
“He had a peculiar name. I remember that his last name was like a musical instrument…Horn, yes, that was his last name. His name was Horn.” said Pedro Silvio, happy that he had remembered the name.
“Is it possible that his first name was Walter?” asked the detective.
“Yes, yes that’s it. It was Walter Horn.” beamed Pedro. “Do you know him?”
“Well let’s just say that this Walter Horn is a person of interest in several cases.” said the detective smiling. He thought that to have the same name appear in two different murder scenes was more than a coincidence. It would have to be pursued.