(A new addition to the crime novel coming right up…If you’re here for the first time, glad you made it, but please go to the Archive section and click on the July 16th posting, They Had the Right to Remain Silent (1), where the tale takes off.  Thanks for dropping by and let’s get to it.)
They Had the Right to Remain Silent
Richard S. Jachimecki
Chapter ( xxix ) continues…
     “We could go downstairs and root through what the investigators brought from the hotel,” Terrance suggested.
     “The lab guys probably haven’t even started on it yet.” Becker countered.
     “We could just look for the obvious…”
     “We can’t postpone it anymore, T,”
     “I know, I know. I’ll call the Captain.” Terrance acquiesced.
     Becker’s cell phone rang. He looked at the display. He saw the ID, and it triggered in him a mix of emotions.
     “We’re close, Mason. You may want to check on the progress,” she said.
     “OK Pam, we’ll be right up.”
     He snapped the phone shut and looked over at Terrance. His partner was finishing the call to the Captain.
     “Berry said he’ll be here within an hour. He’s calling Doc in now to prep the body for a family identification.”
     “I’ll call Missing Persons back to get the number and address on the wife. We probably won’t get anything from his workplace until Monday. You head upstairs, Pam’s got something for us.”
     Terrance went back upstairs and opened the office door. There he found Pam seated, her knees supporting a lap easel. She was working on the computer rendering with a mechanical pencil.
     Pete was pacing behind her, and stopped momentarily to inspect her efforts.
     “No, still a little more shadow there,” he said, and pointed beneath one of the eyes in the picture.
     “Yeah, that’s good,” he said, then clapped his hands, “that should do it.”
     He sat down in his chair, sprawled out as if he’d finished a marathon.
     “Mr. Sheffield has been very descriptive,” she told Terrance, though she never took her eyes off the board.
     She continued to make light strokes on the sketch using a 9H graphite, then slid the pencil behind her ear and picked up an artist’s paper stump to blend in skin- like shading.
     Becker joined them as Pam turned the easel around for inspection.
     “Ms. Adams, you have a true gift. It looks like a photograph,” Terrance complimented.
     Pamela Adams was the best Forensic Artist in the city and was also an instructor in the craft. Her renditions were three- dimensional, jumping off the page. The common suspect sketches of other artists gave the features of a face, but for expediency they relied mainly on the laundry list of components downloaded in the computer’s data base. The eyes especially, were always lifeless. Pam’s portraits were a quantum leap. She honed her talents by asking the right questions, garnering the answers, and transforming them into a collective illustration. For the small amount of extra time invested, Pam’s finished product gave the viewer not only a lifelike portrait, but a sense of what her subject was thinking.
     Becker stared in silence. He scanned the woman’s face on the easel. Impressions ran through his head. Comely. Intelligent. Protective? Calculating. A core of ice.
     “What do you think, Mason?” Pam asked.
     “It’s very good,” he said, absorbed in the picture, “and eerie at the same time.”
     Becker heard the swoosh of blood as it pulsed past his ears, and had a sour taste in the back of his throat, the longer he gazed at the woman, whose eyes seemed to be looking straight into him. He forced himself to break away, from the grasp those eyes held. He recovered and felt the uneasiness subside, and looked directly at Pam.
     “It’s very good,” he repeated.

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