Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hush's Interrogation

The city Arthur Aimes policed was a relatively small mining town that didn’t have traditional organized crime like the larger metropolitan centres in Southern Ontario. There used to be some outlaw biker gangs up until the federal government got tough and introduced legislation that gave police sweeping powers to investigate and prosecute them. After thirty years or so of gangs with colorful names like The Coffin Wheelers, Satan’s Choice and finally Hells Angels having a presence in Sudbury,  the pressure, drugs, in-fighting and successful busts by law enforcement had pretty much wiped out by 2010.
The organized criminal element that had endured through it all were the families. Not mafia families but clans of Irish, French, Polish and other immigrants who settled in the city and shared notorious histories for crimes like drugs, bootlegging and gambling that spanned generations.
If you wanted weed, oil or black hash you went to the big house on Valleyview Road and visited the Desjardins. If you wanted a case of beer or a bottle of whiskey at four in the morning you called the Hutman family. Mario Vitali and his four sons had poker shacks throughout the city frequented by loansharks and degenerate gamblers. The families were tough to crack because while most people the sergeant arrested were quick to trade information for a lighter sentence, giving up a sibling or a parent wasn’t easy for anyone.
 In Arthur’s experience, getting the answers he needed wasn’t just about the questions he asked. It wasn’t about trying to trip a suspect up by finding holes in an alibi or playing good cop bad cop like in the movies or on TV. It was knowing how to read people, how and when to talk and more importantly when to stop talking and just listen. Over the years, The Sergeant mastered the art of uncomfortable silences in interviews and interrogations and used it to make nervous suspects tell him things that make their defense lawyers scream “What part of right to remain silent did you not understand?”
Aimes knew those tactics would be useless against Hush Falibur, now seated across the steel table from him looking tired and bored. The man had aged very little since the last time he’d seen him.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this Henry, but I am genuinely glad to see you.”
Falibur didn’t respond. There was only the clink of his chains against the table as he turned his wrists over and looked at the handcuffs securing them.
“I don’t know how things have been for you, but let me tell ya I’ve been bored fuckin’ stiff.”
Aimes looked around the small white bricked room and raised his hands. “Tired of this shit, ya know what I mean? You must have been tired of it too because I haven’t heard anything…not a single thing about you in twenty years…and I hear everything.”
The Sergeant was somewhat of a legend in the department for always having his ear to the ground. He had over twenty informants on the street at any given time and a long list of dopers, rounders and fences who owed him favors. Getting information about what Hush was up to had always proved difficult because of his reputation on the street. Even the crew he used to roll with were all deathly afraid of him. The few who did talk would never even dream of testifying in court.
Despite the shortage of people willing to talk to him about Falibur or his crimes, Arthur knew a great deal about his history.
Hush could be best described as a criminal contractor who was highly regarded by the city’s prominent underworld figures and feared by street-level dealers and common thugs. He specialized in debt-collection but also had his hand in insurance-related arsons, business break and enters shakedowns and murder. From the late-eighties until the mid-nineties Hush Falibur worked mostly for a high-level drug trafficker and used car lot owner named Vernon Donnelly, known on the street as The Irishman. On August 17th 1995 Falibur killed Serge Jesenek, who Aimes suspected to be Donnelly’s drug-runner at the time. After that, Hush seemed to retire from his life of crime. He stopped showing up in police reports, he wasn’t spotted at any of his old hangouts and his name was never even mentioned in any of the telephone conversations the police recorded as part of the investigation into Jesenek’s disappearance.  From a law enforcement perspective, Hush Falibur became an intelligence black hole.
Aimes decided it was time to let Hush Falibur in on what he knew.
“You know I went to Richard Flynn’s funeral,” the Sergeant said.
There was a reaction. Not much of one, but Arthur saw it. Falibur raised his eyebrows and his mouth twitched just slightly.
“You remember old Dickie Flynn, dontcha Hush? Of course you do.  I thought I’d see you at the visitation but you never showed up.”
“Lawyer,” Hush said.
“Sure,” Aimes responded. He took his cellphone out from inside his suit jacket pocket. “Who do you want me to call? I’ll dial and hand it to you.” He looked across the table Falibur in silence for a minute, then he flinched and added “Oh, Oh yeah. Then I’ll step outside to give you some privacy.”
Hush looked up to the security camera mounted above the door. The sergeant followed his gaze.
“Oh that thing? It doesn’t work.”
Aimes read the expression on his face. You think I’m an idiot?
I’m not lying,” Aimes said.
Falibur shook his head.
“Fuck it. Take me to the cells. I’ll call later.”
“I’ll do that Henry. I’ll book you myself and get you access to another phone somewhere more private, but I’ve been waiting a long time to have this talk with you. A really long time.”
Hush shrugged his shoulders. Whatever.
“Did you know Flynn called me a few years back? Just before he died. I was sitting at my desk one day and outta the blue I get a call from Dickie Flynn.”
“Look Sarge,” Hush said. “I’m hungover, I’m tired and I’m starting to get a headache. I’m gonna rest my head on this table and take a nap. When you’re done talking to yourself, gimme a poke and we can get this fuckin show on the road.”
Hush put his head down on his arms and closed his eyes. Aimes continued.
“Flynn tells me he has a twenty-two year old son. So I’m wondering two things, Henry. I’m wondering how that degenerate ever managed to convince a woman to have his baby, and secondly I’m wondering how he hasn’t drunk himself into the grave by this point. He was always a fat fuckin’ alky, wasn’t he?”
Aimes pauses for an answer he knows he won’t get and then keeps going.
“Turns out his dumbass kid got arrested coming off the greyhound at the downtown bus station carrying a brick of crack cocaine and three hundred fentanyl patches in a duffel-bag. He’s already on bail for possession of eighty hydromorphone capsules for the purpose of trafficking. Dickie Flynn’s kid was fucked with a capital F and his old man knew it.”
Aimes leans back in his chair and stretches his arms out beside him. He knows that even though all he can see is the back of his head and his long mane of silver hair, Hush is hearing every word.
“So Dickie says can you help me Art, can you get my kid a break? He’s a good kid, only he’s fucked up cause he’s got a drunk like me for a father. He offers me dope dealers, he offers me chop shops, he’s willing and he is ready Henry, ready to give me anything to save his kid from the penitentiary.”
Arthur’s tired of sitting so he get up from his chair with a groan. I shouldn’t talk about fat folks, he says to himself while looking at his own gut.
“I say there’s only one thing he could tell me that will make me go to bat for his boy. Can you guess what that is Henry?”
Aimes walks over to the two way mirror and straightens his tie.
“All the sudden ol’ Flynndian doesn’t want to talk on the phone no more. He gives me his address and I drive over to his shitty little apartment on Bloor Street. It was a real fuckin’ dump Henry. It smelled like stale beer and old piss. Dickie’s loaded to the gills when he answers the door to let me in, and then he staggers to his couch on the shitty looking prosthesis he was wearing. Loses his leg to diabetes and still pounding back the booze. He tells me to sit down but let me tell ya, I’m not sitting anywhere in that shit-hole. There’s mouse shit on his coffee table, ya know what I mean?”
Arthur turns around to see Falibur with his head still on the table.
“Dickie tells me about the time you showed up late one night at his old house in the valley in the summer of ‘95 and how he had to lend you a pair of shorts and a t-shirt because you and him burned the clothes you were wearing in an old oil drum in his back yard.”
Arthur walks over to stand behind where Hush is sitting and looks down at him.
“Do you remember any of this Henry?”
Hush doesn’t move.
“He goes on to tell me how you got in your car and told him to follow in his Jimmy. He says you headed out to the old open-pit mine behind Capreol and then you torched your car. I remember that car, Henry. It was a black 1991 Cutless. You reported it stolen on June 19th, 1995.”
Hush slowly brings his head up and rubs his eyes with his cuffed hands.
“You know what the funny thing is Henry?”
“You like the sound of your own voice?” Hush offers.
“Ha-ha. No. The funny thing is the story Flynn tells me, he swears it was mid-June, 1995. Normally I wouldn’t put too much stock in timetables given to me by alcoholics Henry, but I double-checked the incident report about your stolen car.  That’s the same month Serge Jesenek’s mother reported him missing.”
Hush shakes his head and shrugs.
“You done here, Aimes? My head’s pounding.”
This guy is stone cold, the sergeant thinks.
“I know you knew Serge, Henry, but did you ever meet his mother?”
Hush stares past him and sighs.
“Every Christmas I get a call from her, Henry. Even last Christmas. She’s fuckin’ 88 years old and fuckin’ riddled with cancer. I went out to her house on Long lake New Years Day because she wanted to give me some sweets she baked. She can’t be more than ninety pounds. She’s so fuckin’ sick I could smell it off her, Henry. I mean it. I could smell death on her. I don’t know how the hell she’s hanging on, but I think I know why.”
Hush Falibur’s left eye begins to twitch and he scowls.
“Are you fucking done yet Aimes?”
“You know what she asks me for every Christmas, Henry?”
“I’m done,” Hush growls. “I want a fuckin lawyer. I want one now.”
“She wants to know where her son’s body—“
Hush slams his hands down hard on the metal table and jumps to his feet.
“You listen to me now, Sergeant fuckin’ Slob. Twenty five fuckin years you been fucking with me and you still can’t knot your fuckin tie right or keep your cheap shirts fuckin’ tucked in your pants.”
Startled, the sergeant steps back.
“I’m gonna tell you this once and only fuckin’ once. I don’t know where the fuck Jesenek is. I don’t even know if he’s dead, and neither do you. Maybe he’s in Mexico. Maybe he’s in Russia or fuckin’ Venezuela.” Hush was trembling, his eyes were wild and spittle flew from his lips as he spoke.
“Maybe he is fuckin dead. I don’t have a fuckin clue about where Serge Jesenek is.  I’m sorry his Mamma misses him but the truth is he was a scumbag cocksucker. You know what Aimes? I hope he is fucking dead, I hope he suffered before he died and I hope where ever he is now, he’s still fuckin’ suffering. There’s a wall between life and death and there’s blood on the moon. They’re waiting for me. What does that blood smear remind you of. Tell me what you see. They’re waiting.”
At first Aimes thought Falibur was in a trance or he was having a waking dream. Then his eyes seemed to snap back into focus and for a second, it looked like even he was confused about what he was saying.
“Calm—,” was all Sergeant Aimes could manage before Hush Falibur collapsed to the ground and seized up. His feet drummed against the leg of the chair sending it flying into the wall. Thick white bubbles foamed out of his mouth.
Arthur Aimes knelt beside his suspect and yelled at the top of his lungs.

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