“To some degree, yes,” Danny confessed. “But what we heard seemed to be too coincidental coming from people that, as you said, hadn’t talked to one another since the hotel closed in 1985. Leaking pipes was one example. Even Mr. Boykin touched on that.”
“Well the fact was the pipes did, indeed, leak a lot. It was a mess,” Aaron said.
“Yes, I’m sure it was,” Danny agreed.
After a few more non-essential questions, Danny motioned to Joe for a huddle outside the room and talk to James Fillmore, the assistant district attorney, who had been listening in on the interviews. Danny asked for the three to sit tight. He would be back shortly.
“What do you think?” Danny asked, looking at his partner and the ADA.
“We’ve got three senior citizens guilty of hiding human bodies and interfering or hindering the investigation of a series of murders,” Fillmore reckoned. “Basically, what we have is a mixture of direct and indirect evidence about separate crimes that happened over a period of many years ago. The actual murderers, so to speak, are either dead or missing. If you want to go after those two hookers, then have at it. But my guess is they’re either dead or have changed names so you’ll never find them. It’s a crap shoot.”
“Yeah, that’s about what I thought,” Danny said, nodding in agreement. “I don’t see any jury convicting old-age pensioners for something they did decades ago with no premeditation. Joe, you got any thoughts?”
“I feel about the same way. I mean, for all practical intents and purposes, we’ve solved the case. It’s just that everybody directly involved in the actual murders seem to be dead or probably near death. What’s the use? Is it worthwhile to pursue these people even if there was a slim chance of conviction? Can you imagine the cost of the trials? I don’t think so. Besides, we got two high profile bodies that we’ve kept quiet from the press. But the bigger issue is, do we want to take the chance and expose all this with no certainty of convictions? If we do and fail, it’ll be on helluva mess.
“Joe’s got a point, Danny. I’d just drop it right here, right now. You’re dead in the water. Don’t make it worse,” Fillmore said.
“Well, if you’re willing to sign off on this, we’ll drop it. You’re the one who would have to duke it out in a courtroom,” Danny said.
“Let’s get some officers to take them home,” Joe said.
“I’ll tell Lieutenant Hastings we’ve closed the case,” Danny said, walking up the hallway toward his supervisor’s office.