The Punishment Fits the Crime
Artie always liked it after dark. When the sun went down, it got cooler and the sea breeze came in and cleaned out even the slums. His business always improved under cover of night. Tom had increased the load in the last week. That was okay. He never had trouble selling it all. In fact, he usually ran out. Now he was being more careful whom he sold to. In the last two days, he had only sold to buyers he knew well. It took a little longer.
"Hey, Artie," came a familiar voice.
He turned and saw Frankie Summon enter the alley. "Where you been, Frankie? You didn't get your goods the other night."
Frankie grinned. "I made a score later. Everything cool?"
Artie eyed him critically. "What cool?"
Frankie scratched his cheek. "Never mind, man, you got my stuff?" He pulled out a hundred dollar bill.
Artie did not smile. "Where'd you get that bill? You don't never have money like that."
Frankie laughed and answered truthfully: "Fat tourist left his wallet in the bathroom down at the beach."
Artie looked skeptical.
"Say, what do you care, man? It's green."
Artie shoved the money back. "Some cop give that to you?"
"What? No, man. What's with you?"
Artie turned away and headed deeper into the alley.
"Say, man." Frankie followed him. "I need my stuff. You want me to go make change or something?"
Artie turned around, knife in his hand. "You were there the other night, pal. I can't take no risk."
"What risk?" He was sweating in fear. "Hey, wait a minute. I didn't see nothing; I don't know nothing."
Artie, in a quick motion, jabbed his knife
hand forward and the blade into Frankie's chest. Frankie collapsed
with a groan onto the pavement. Artie wiped the blade on Frankie's
shirt and hurried out of the alley.
Danny had taken less pleasure at the fall of darkness than Artie had. In the twilight, he carefully walked back down the rickety wooden steps of the apartment complex. It had not surprised him that Gino Wang's mother had neither seen her son nor knew where to find him. Armed with his school photo, Danny headed slowly back to his car. He knew the only good way of tracking someone like Wang would be on the streets at night. That was a dangerous idea and would not be easily accomplished. He would need to find a young police officer to go under cover.
"Hey, Mister," a child's voice called. The small, skinny boy came running up to him. "Hey, Mister, you're a cop, right?"
"Yeah," he replied. These kids could spot one a mile off. "What is it?"
"Come quick. A guy got knifed in
It did not take long to get all the usual
people and things into the alley. Frankie was already dead, curled up
in the filthy alley as much as he had fallen. If there had been a witness,
no one was saying. As the routine proceeded, there was one quiet
observer at the corner: Gino Wang. He could sum up very quickly
what had happened to his friend, and realized why. He had been right
and he now, more than ever, knew he had to find a way to hide. Yet,
right now he was in need. His body cried for the heroin to help
him think more clearly. Wiping his sweaty palms on his pants, he
slipped back out of the alleyway, not sure what to do.
It was morning by the time the autopsy on Frankie was complete.
"Was killed by one stab wound to the chest just below the sternum, turned upwards through the heart, piercing the left ventricle. Death was almost instantaneous." Bergman explained to Steve. "Six inch blade. Same powder tracings as last time. Looks like you've got the same killer. And this time, I've got something a little better." He handed McGarrett a small plastic bag with a metal fragment. "Tip of the knife broke off on the bone."
Steve examined the small sliver of metal.
"Good work, Doc."
Danny's legwork had not turned up Gino Wang. He had spent most of the night cruising the streets, checking known drug dealing sports, but everything seemed to be shut down tight. His HPD recruit had come up empty-handed as well. He hoped Gino had not had any more success finding his dope than he had had finding Gino. That would keep him circulating and more likely to make a mistake.
At 8 a.m., Danny parked close to the high school and watched arriving students, No Gino among them. Five minutes after the late bell, he started back to his car when a young girl approached him.
"You looking for Gino?" She asked.
"You seen him?" He replied.
She gave a seductive smile. "Maybe. He gets around, you know?"
He leaned against the car. "Did you know his friend got killed last night?"
"Yeah," she whispered without remorse. "That was really something, wasn't it? Frankie was a cool dude, you know? Really makes you stop and think, you know?"
"Stop and think about what?"
"You know." She shrugged, her bleached blonde hair brushing against her shoulders. "Life, death, what comes after. Is there a new world we go to? It's got to be so much better than here. Then, maybe there's just forever." She shivered. "Who knows."
"Yeah," he remarked, "who knows. You were saying you've seen Gino Wang."
"Did I?" She whispered, as if she had forgotten. "Gino. Well, he hasn't been around, you know?"
He began to feel impatient. Another sleepless night had not improved his humor. "I think you are late for school," he remarked.
She turned to look at the building. "Oh."
"Now, if you know something about Gino, tell me. Otherwise, you'd better be on your way."
She pouted. "Can't I get to ride down to the police station in your car?" She rubbed her hand on the car door slowly. "It looks like a nice car."
He smirked. No one had ever thought of his six year old, banged up Mercury as a hot car before. He wanted to just leave, but the hoped she might really know something kept him from going. He knew she knew that and would milk as much as she could get from the moment. "What's your name?" He asked her.
"I can't let anyone ride in my car who doesn't tell me her name."
"Well, Denise Faught, how old are you?"
No way she gets in my car, he thought. He reached into the car and picked up the radio. "Williams to central."
"Do I get my ride now?" Denise asked.
"I'm requesting a squad car to pick you up," he explained.
"Central," came the voice.
"Requesting a backup at Kapiolani High. Witness for questioning at Five-O. Dispatch female officer."
Denise slumped against the car, arms crossed, an angry look on her face. "No fair."
He turned back to her. "Now, do you have anything to offer on Gino Wang or not?"
"He was on Merchant Street last night lookin' for a fix. He was scared he'd be killed next."
"Cause Frankie got killed."
"Did he know who had killed Frankie or why?"
She gave a bit of blank look. "He didn't say. But, oh was he scared." She looked at Danny, genuine concern showing. "Is somebody really trying to kill Gino?"
"I don't know, but if so, I can keep him safe. Do you know where he is?"
"I really don't know," she answered truthfully.
He pulled out his wallet. "If you see him again, give me a call. Better yet, have him call me. We can get him protection." He handed her his card. "Here." He also gave her a ten dollar bill. "Buy breakfast." He quickly scribbled something on a page from his note pad, and tore it off, and gave it to her. "This, too."
She glanced at it, and smiled.
"Your late excuse for school. Get going." He watched her run off, then got into the car. "Central, this is Williams, cancel the backup."
"10-4. Standby, Williams. Patch through to McGarrett."
"Danno," Steve's voice crackled over the speaker.
"Where are you?"
"Meet me at pier 36. We've got another
Danny fully expected it to be Gino Wang, gutted on the beach like a fish. He parked at the pier, then made his way down to the sand. It was wet from the light rain the night before and got into his shoes, sticking to his socks and pants. Steve was already with two officers under the pier.
The body was not Gino.
"Charlie Mansfield," McGarrett gestured to the chest wounds. "Shot four times at close range." He noted the powder burns on his clothing.
They left the lab crew and uniformed officers to finish and made their way up to the boardwalk.
"Related?" Danny asked.
"I don't know, Danno. My instinct says yes. Our killer has either turned up with a gun or..." He stopped.
"If Mansfield killed Summon, could Wang have killed Mansfield?" Danny suggested.
Steve didn't answer right away. "We're not dealing with drug lords here--we're looking at kids. If Wang did get a weapon, would he have fired four times?"
Danny frowned. "What do you mean?"
"This looks more like a crime of passion--of hate."
"What about fear? Wang's pretty frightened right now."
McGarrett watched the waves crashing on
the beach for a moment. "Let's see what the lab turns up."
He kept having that nagging feeling that something very important was
missing in this puzzle, that they had the piece and didn't know it.
Lawee's funeral was at 1:00. A police funeral is always a major event--a media circus. Like most law enforcers, McGarrett had a distaste and distrust of the news people. They always seemed on opposite sides of an issue. The media had too much power with no checks and balances on what they did with it. He half expected Anna Marie to make some public announcement about the police dragging their feet on the investigation. She did not. She sat solemnly, expressing no emotion during the proceedings. Afterwards, she left with two friends, not having even acknowledged anyone from Five-O during the entire memorial service.
"I'm surprised she didn't make a scene after everything else the last two days," Danny voiced Steve's thought.
"Yeah," he answered. "Well, by now she knows Mansfield is dead. Perhaps she feels justice is served."
"But Mansfield didn't kill the others," Danny replied. "No knife in his possession. No indications except her word that he was even involved in this."
"Exactly," McGarrett replied. He
turned to watch the limo carrying Anna Marie pull away. "If Anna Marie
was capable of selling herself to Fu for information, what else is she
Gino ran. He didn't know why they wanted him, it didn't matter. He ran. He scaled the corrugated steel fence at the end of the alley and stepped nimbly to the drainpipe, then shinnied up towards the roof of the four story building. The uniformed officer appeared in the alley below, spotted him on the roof and shouted for him to stop. He dodged down the far side of the roof, slid on the tile, but regained his footing. He accomplished the small jump to the next building with ease.
How he needed his fix. The adrenaline of fear thundered through him, but he ached for his drugs. He made it to the far side of the roof and looked down. No police yet. He dropped down to the fire escape. He raced down the stairway and was to the second floor when the officer appeared in the alley below him. He started back up.
"Hold it!" came the shout.
He looked up to see another officer at the
top of the escape. He sat down on the step, shaking in fear and withdrawal.
Gino sat shivering and sweating in the interrogation room in HPD. Before him, cool and ever observant, stood the imposing figure of Steve McGarrett. At the door, less obvious, stood Danny Williams, also watching for any clues.
"What are you afraid of, Gino?" McGarrett asked kindly.
He almost giggled. "Your--your cops chase me down, drag me in here and you ask me why I'm afraid?"
"Where were you for the last two days?"
He shrugged, staring at the table. "Around."
"Did your mother tell you you were wanted in questioning?"
"I haven't seen her in six days. We--we don't get along much." He ran a shaking hand through his hair. "I need a drink." Danny poured him some water which he guzzled instantly.
"How long since your last fix, Gino?" Steve asked, just as quietly.
"What?" He asked, knowing the question.
"You didn't find any last night. Did you buy the night before?"
"No," he murmured.
"How about the night before that?"
He frowned. "Look, I don't know why you want me. I didn't do nothing wrong. You didn't catch me with any dope. It's not a crime to be strung out."
"We can help you get clean, Gino," Danny offered.
He laughed. "I don't wanna be clean. I like my highs, it's the only good thing in life. I live for it, man. What would I do without it?"
"You may be about to find out," Steve remarked.
"Your friend Frankie is dead."
"Yeah, I know," he answered.
"Yeah, I know," he answered.
"You know a Charlie Mansfield?"
He squinted and shook his head no.
"He's dead, too. Now," Steve drew closer, "we know Frankie, Quint, and Charlie were there when Officer Lawee was killed. Were you there, too?"
Gino looked away. "No, man, I don't know nothin'."
"What are you afraid of, Gino?" Steve demanded. "You are either the next victim or you are about to be charged with murder."
Gino stared at him. "I didn't do nothin'!"
"If you know who killed Lawee and you don't help us, it's just the same. You're helping the killer."
He rubbed his hands on his clothes. "I really need a fix, man."
"I can get you help there," he promised.
"I just wanted to feel good. Frankie an' me went to Artie. Frankie used him all the time. He always has good stuff. He had this guy with him that night."
"I don't know."
A picture of Charlie's body was waved before him.
"Yeah, that's the guy."
Charlie Mansfield," Steve supplied.
"Oh." Gino licked his lips. "Well, he and Artie, they had the stuff. Then this cop just walks in. Artie--he must have got scared. We all got scared and ran."
"Who stabbed Lawee?" Steve asked, leaning close.
Gino scratched at his sweaty arms. "Why, Artie. He was so scared. We ran. Artie ran. An' that cop, he was movin' and all. I thought he'd be okay. But he died." He was quiet now. "I really need my fix."
"Danno, get the doc up here and get him
fixed up. Then let's find out what he knows about this Artie."
Danny parked once again at the high school. Gino's description of Artie Bender was being circulated amongst the whole force, so it would not be long before he was picked up. But it wasn't the end. Artie had not killed Charlie. They were partners. Gino's description of Artie to be about five foot three inches, weighing only about 100 pounds confirmed he had not killed Quint either. It looked as if a warrant for Tom Dagit was becoming more likely. Danny hoped when they got Artie, Dagit would be tied in.
It was almost 4:30 p.m. School had been out for an hour. Leaving the car, Danny crossed to the rear of the building and tried the steel door to the basement. Much to his amazement, it was unlocked. He slipped inside and descended through the darkness to Tom's mop area. He turned on the light. The floor had been swept clean, things had been moved around again since he and Duke had been there. The bags of sand were still in the corner. He looked into a few boxes, into the dark corners hoping to find a .38 caliber pistol that had killed Mansfield, drugs, or anything else unusual. Odd how Mansfield's dad was principal, Mansfield tied in, this Artie had lived in the basement. Danny wondered if Lucas himself was in this. The door above opened and Danny slipped out of sight. He drew his gun, expecting Artie to make his appearance.
"Artie?" called a voice. "You down here?" Tom Dagit descended the steps to the basement. He noticed the light had been left on. "Artie?" He sounded more suspicious. Crossing nearer the sink, he pushed back a carton of cleaning chemicals and case of toilet paper, and opened the cardboard carton behind. The merchandise was all there. But who had been here? Artie was never so careless as to leave on the light.
"Hold it, Dagit," Danny said, stepping out, gun drawn.
He spun away from the box, plastic bag of white powder still in his left hand.
"Step aside," Danny ordered.
Tom dropped the drugs on the top of the box and raised both hands to shoulder height. "Look, I just let the kid live here--he had no place to go."
"And let him store his drug warehouse here also?" Danny replied. "How neighborly of you. Come on, let's go."
"Look, you can't tie me to any of this. I'm just the janitor. I came for my mop. I just found that stuff now. You didn't give me time to report it."
"Let's go. We can sort this out later." He motioned Dagit to move. Danny watched each movement with care. Dagit was a huge man, but Danny had learned the gun can be a great equalizer.
Dagit turned without further comment, and started up the stairway. "This isn't what it looks like," he remarked as he opened the steel door at the top. With sudden speed, he leapt through the door, then slammed it shut in Danny's face, knocking him back down the steps.
At the bottom, Danny jumped to his feet and raced back up, throwing the door open just in time to see Dagit vanish around the corner of the building. He needed to choose between following and calling for backup. He followed.
Dagit had dodged around the corner of the building and run to the far end. He knew every inch and hiding place on the property. Near the far end, he bent down and pulled up the manhole cover to the sewer. He slid it to the side and had one foot on the ladder when Danny around the far corner.
"Hold it!" Danny shouted.
Dagit stepped back out and dodged into the alcove just a few feet away knowing Williams would not know this was a blind alley. He snatched up the shovel that had been leaning against the wall.
Danny raced to the edge of the alcove corner he had seen Dagit vanish around and stopped. He leapt around the corner, gun extended first.
Tom brought the shovel down with all his might against Danny's gun hand with the desired effect. The gun hit the ground and, as Danny scrambled after it, Tom gave the gun a perfect soccer kick into the open manhole. It hit the sewer far below with a splash. Danny made a dive for Dagit's legs and the janitor swung the shovel, hitting him in the side of the head. He dropped the shovel and ran.
His head ringing and right hand throbbing, now weaponless, Danny got back to his feet and decided it was time for that backup. He turned towards the mouth of the alcove when the path was suddenly blocked by a young man, open knife in his hand.
"Why are you after Tom, cop?" He demanded.
"Artie Bender?" Danny guessed.
He did not reply, just watched Danny intently, knife up and ready. "I can't let you hurt Tom."
"I'm not going to hurt him, just talk to him," Danny replied.
Artie hesitated. "I didn't mean to kill that cop, you know. He scared me."
"We all get a little scared now and then," Danny muttered, trying not to reveal his own fear.
Artie took a step closer. "Sorry, man. You're in the way." He took a calculated, savage swipe with the knife.
Danny dodged it, stepped backward, deeper into the alcove. "Artie, stop and think. Let it stop here. Now. It's not too late."
"Hell it's not." Artie made another lunge with the knife.
Danny retreated again, knowing he was stepping the wrong way, away from the exit. He focused on the knife and noticed the broken tip. "Let me help you."
"Help me into the electric chair, huh? I killed a cop here!" Artie shouted.
"You are sixteen!" Danny shouted back. "There are things we can do to help you!"
Artie believed none of this. No one ever had helped him unless they had something to gain.
There was a movement in the alcove entrance. "Anna Marie!" Danny gasped as she stood there, gun clutched in both hands. "Wait!" His attention had been distracted a fraction of a moment and Artie drove in with the knife again, finding his target. Danny attempted to twist away and almost made it as the blade sliced into his right side. He went down in shock from the searing pain at the same moment there was the gun blast. Artie collapsed in a heap on the concrete. "Anna Marie!" Danny gasped, using the wall for assistance.
She looked at him. "I'm gonna get that other bastard," she declared, turned and ran.
"Wait!" He pleaded, gripping his side and stumbling out of the alcove. He was just in time to see her go inside the door to the school. She must have seen Dagit go in there, he decided. Left hand clutching his bleeding right side, he followed.
The hallway was quiet, cool, semi-lit. He listened and could hear hurried footsteps. He looked around the corner, but could see nothing. Trying to remember the layout of the school, he placed the Math wing, Science wing. He moved to the next hallway. Silence now. Administration wing. There were faint echoes of voices--men's voices from the offices ahead. To the right branched another corridor. He waited a moment, trying to catch his breath, knowing someone to be just around the corner against the wall and knowing who it was.
He swung quickly around the corner and Anna Marie jumped and gasped. "Sssssh," he urged urgently.
She frowned at him. The pistol was still in her hands. "How'd you get in here?" She demanded.
"Give me your gun," he whispered back.
"No way," she replied.
"Anna Marie," he murmured, breathing heavily, "I'm not asking."
She looked at the blood dripping on the floor. "You can't do anything. Look at you." She pulled away, headed for the translucent glass door to the office.
The voices were louder, audible. "So you came here!"
"I need the money to get out now!" That voice was Tom Dagit's. "They take me, they take you."
Anna Marie burst through the door, pointing her gun. "Hold it right there!" She yelled at Tom and Lucas.
Lucas looked at her in wonder. "Who are you?"
Danny followed her through the door, holding onto the wall to stay upright. He gestured a bloody hand towards Dagit. "You are under arrest for resisting arrest and assault on a police officer..."
Lucas almost chuckled, also waving towards
Tom. "He came in here ranting about money. He held me up--include
that in your charges."
McGarrett pulled up outside the high school with a screech of brakes. He jumped out one side, Duke the other. He hated with a passion these anonymous tips. There was always an ulterior motive. But the tip about shots fired at the school had to be answered, and Williams had not checked in when called. Steve spotted Danno's car right away and went to it while Duke started out across the school grounds.
Duke noticed the open manhole quickly and upon arriving there, saw Artie's body in the alcove. "Steve!"
"Our friend Artie Bender, I assume," Steve commented upon his approach.
"Shot in the back," Duke told him.
"Yeah, but there's blood on the knife." He noticed the broken tip.
"Call for backup, Duke." Steve followed the droplets of blood that led to the school. There was blood on the door knob. Gun drawn, he followed the blood trail down the hallway.
Dagit turned to face Lucas in rage. "I warn you, Mansfield, I'm not going to take this alone!"
"What kind of wild accusations are you throwing around here? I've done everything I could in the last five years to make this campus drug free. My mistake was in hiring a louse like you who brought the pushers-" Lucas didn't get an opportunity to complete his sentence.
Dagit lunged for Anna Marie, grabbing her weapon, and fired at Lucas.
Upon hearing the gunshot, McGarrett broke into a full run, bursting through the door. Dagit swung towards him.
"Drop it!" he shouted, his .38 leveled at the janitor's head.
Dagit dropped the weapon and raised his arms. "He was the major supplier for this whole end of town," he bellowed.
Duke appeared in the doorway, gun in hand also. He moved to Lucas' limp body in the chair. He shook his head.
"Duke, book him." Steve gestured towards Tom. He turned to Danny. "What happened to you, Bruddah?"
"Nothing that won't heal." He winced.
"Let's find you a doctor." He glanced
at Anna Marie. "You remain available."
It was hard to believe this still wasn't over. Rich Lawee's killer was gone, the murder solved, but it still was not finished. With a heavy heart, Steve summoned Anna Marie to the office two days later.
She entered and noticed Danny present in the office. "How are you doing, Williams?" She asked cordially.
"Moving a little slow," he replied.
She cocked an eyebrow.
Steve motioned her to a chair. "Have a seat."
She did so.
"We have a lot of holes left that I hope you can fill in for us regarding your brother's death."
"Oh?" She asked.
"You first heard about Charlie Mansfield's involvement from Fu Susang."
"What else did you get from Fu?"
"Like what?" She replied.
Steve laid the small gun on his desk. ".38 caliber. Three shots left. He didn't even give you a full clip."
She grinned. "I'm not a crime solver, just a citizen."
"What did you do with your information?"
"You know what I did. I brought it to you!" Anger was rising in her voice.
He nodded. "You did. Then you followed me knowing I'd take you right to Charlie. And when you got the opportunity, you shot him."
She stared at him. "What?"
"Ballistics reports the same gun that shot Artie and Lucas shot Charlie. Then you followed Danno until he found Artie for you."
"I saved his life!" She snapped.
"Maybe, but that's besides the point. Your goal was to kill Artie, not to save Danno."
"That'll be pretty hard to prove," she retorted. "Did you see the newspaper? Half the people in this town think I'm a hero. They claim I made the punishment fit the crime. Maybe I should have been the family cop."
McGarrett struggled to control his anger. "Police are trained carefully. We do not operate above or around the law, but through it. No doubt there will be a lot of sentiment for you and no doubt you'll get your charge reduced. Your punishment will, without a doubt, not fit your crime. Book her, Danno, two counts of murder one."
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