(the story continues with another posting…To find the beginning of this crime novel, if you’re new to this site,  click in the Archives section located in the left- hand column, and go to the July 16th, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1).  For those of you already up to # (34), we continue below.  Enjoy.)
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xxiv ) continues…
     Becker’s cellphone rang. It was Captain Berry.
     “Becker, what’s the status down there, I’m getting calls from the Chief of D’s about how the scene is being handled.”
     “I’m guessing the manager of the hotel complained to somebody further up the food chain?” Becker replied. “We don’t have a lot to go on yet, the victim’s still a John Doe, but the M.E. has him being dead early afternoon on Wednesday, so there probably isn’t anybody still hanging around.
     “You may want to get down here for PR, Cap. There was a lot of networking going on with patrons in the lobby. Might want to get a straight story out to the media before they start writing their own.”
     “I’ll make the call to take care of uniform patrol, then I’ll be there in about 15 minutes after that,” Berry said, then hung up.
     Becker put the phone into his jacket and it rang again. This time it was Terrance.
     “What have you got?” Becker asked, as he watched the M.E. start to roll the corpse over on its side. This exposed an even larger opening in the back of the victim and, as Eric had suggested, the mattress was jaggedly torn from the projectile’s shrapnel.
     “We’re making copies of all the desk activity along with any cameras that include 535’s door or the lobby entrance in them.” Terrance began. “But,” he continued, “this guy didn’t show up at the desk until one o’clock in the afternoon. The reservation was made at eleven in the morning.” he said. Becker wasn’t following, “So what? He called in the reservation.” he suggested.
     “Not in this case, Mase.” Terrance corrected, “We checked the reservation log and receipts, the room was paid for in cash, for Wednesday through Friday. There was a bottle of champagne sent up and a dinner order placed for Wednesday night. Those were prepaid too.” he said.
     “So who reserved the room?” Becker asked.
     Terrace continued, “That’s a problem, Mase, the desk was crowded at that time with people checking in and out. We’ll need the day clerk to sort it out. The camera shots aren’t pointing to anyone in particular. We’re gonna start looking at Room 535 pictures next, but Boyton tells me the angles might not be very good for that section of the hallway. They’re upgrading the surveillance system, but haven’t hit that floor yet.” he said.
     Becker noticed the Crime Scene Investigators wrapping up their equipment. The M.E. was working with one of his assistants, placing the body into a black zippered bag.
     Becker started, “We’ll need to call the…”
     Terrance interrupted, “The day clerk’s already on the way, buddy. I’ll get back to you as soon as he arrives,” Terrance concluded.
     “OK,” Becker followed, “I’m going to look at whatever CSU found in the room.”
     Becker walked toward a man wearing a CSU jacket, who was giving others on his team orders, regarding the storage and identification of evidence.
     “What have you found so far?” Becker asked.
     “This place was picked pretty clean,” the CSU point investigator said to Becker. “No wallet or ID, no phone, no cash,” he itemized, shaking his head. “The victim still had his watch though,” he remarked, “a Tag Heuer. Gold wedding band left behind too. Doesn’t make sense if this was a robbery. The room safe was open, but no prints. Can’t say if it was used or not.”
     Becker pondered out loud, “The room was paid up for three nights, plus champagne and a meal? This guy was probably dead before dinnertime.”
     The investigator shrugged his shoulders, “Nothing here but a bucket of water on that,” he answered, pointing to a corner table. “No signs of anyone ever eating in here. Trash cans were empty.” he said. “But” he quickly chimed, pointing to the opposite side of the suite, “the john is another story.”

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