While Maude fielded the freaks, Sharon and Gordon grilled Irving St. John. It was Sharon’s turn to hang back, while Gordon leered over Cole’s desk at the crooked agent. Irving had been allowed to put on a pair of sweat pants and a white T-shirt before the SWAT team hauled him up to Sitwell.
“Anything you want to say before I get started?” Gordon asked.
“I think you should be saying something,” Irving said as he struggled against the handcuffs that bound his wrists around his back. “A lot of things. How about, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. St. John” and “Please do sic all your high priced Jew lawyers on me for being an idiot?’”
“That’s very offensive,” Sharon said.
“And racist,” Gordon added.
“Why do people keep saying that?” Irving asked. “Do you know how long it takes to go to law school?”
“Three years,” Sharon said. “Four if you go at night like I did.”
Irving appeared shocked at that answer. Sharon continued. “We aren’t a couple of rubes that you can bark at until we give one of you no talent clients some air time. You wouldn’t be here without a good reason.”
“A very, very good reason,” Gordon said.
“Well,” Irving said. “I can’t imagine what that reason could possibly be.”
Sharon and Gordon traded knowing looks. Gordon opened up a file folder. “In total, how much money would you say you stole from your client, Miss Sally Ann Dubawitz, better known by her stage name, ‘Countess Cucamonga?’”
Irving laughed. “That’s a good one.”
The agents stared at the suspect long enough for him to realize they weren’t laughing. “You’re serious.”
“Dead serious,” Gordon said.
“I’m not saying another word until I can speak to my attorney,” Irving said.
Gordon looked at Sharon and shook his head. “That’s too bad.”
“Yeah,” Sharon replied. “I really thought he’d want to help himself.”
“Apparently not,” Gordon said as he closed the folder. “OK. We’re done here.”
“Wait,” Irving said. “What’s this about helping myself?”
“You’ve invoked your right to counsel, Mr. St. John,” Sharon explained. “There’s little room left for us to discuss the matter with you now.”
“Discuss!” Irving shouted. “Discuss, discuss!”
“You’d have to wave your right to counsel,” Sharon said.
“Consider it waved!” Irving shouted.
“Mr. St. John,” Sharon said. “At this time, I have to advise you that you have the right to remain silent. If you wave that right, anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. You also have a right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney…”
“Yeah, yeah, lady,” Irving said. “I watch Law and Order. Just tell me how to get out of this nightmare already!”
“Truthfully,” Sharon said. “I’m not sure how much help we can offer given the gravity of the crimes.”
“Best case scenario,” Gordon said. “We’re talking about multiple life sentences.”
“Life sentences?” Irving asked.
“At best,” Sharon said. “We might be able to talk about making the conditions of your lifetime confinement more comfortable.”
“Lifetime confinement?” Irving said. “Just for skimming a little cream off the top?!”
“For the murders of Miss Dubawitz, Mr. Hogan, and Mr. Becker,” Irving said.
“Who the hell are Mr. Hogan and Mr. Becker?” Irving asked.
“Interesting,” Gordon said.
“Yes,” Sharon said. “He’s copping to Dubawitz but wants to keep playing dumb on Hogan and Becker.”
“Playing dumb will get you nowhere,” Gordon said.
“I’m not playing dumb!” Irving shouted. “I am dumb!”
“We’ve got the goods on you, St. John,” Gordon said. “Countless files and bank statements weaving the cheap and tawdry tale of how robbed Countess Cucamonga blind.”
“Impossible,” Irving said. “You’ve got nothing.”
Gordon spread out several documents across Cole’s desk. Irving read them and frowned. “How did you…but…these have to be fakes. I wiped the Countess’ computer after she…”
Sharon’s eyes widened. Gordon pounded his fist down on the desk. “After you killed her!”
“What?” Irving asked. “No!”
“Stop jerking us around, dildo boy,” Gordon said. “The Countess figured you out. You somehow caught wind of that and you put her on ice.”
“And as you just freely admitted,” Sharon said. “You covered your tracks by erasing material evidence.”
“I’m not admitting anything,” Irving said. “I just know for a fact that those printouts cant be real.”
“Unless they represent files printed off of a device that was turned over to us by a concerned citizen,” Gordon said.
“One with a freshly inked immunity in exchange for testimony deal,” Sharon said.
Irving’s mind raced. He sat up. “That nerdy little stalker!”
“We can’t confirm or deny that,” Gordon said.
“I…I…I…” Irving stammered. “I can fight this. Those transactions are debatable. Justifiable, even. A good lawyer will be able to argue that they were owed to me based on a reasonable interpretation of the various contracts held between the Countess and myself. At best, they were legal payments to myself and at worst, they were accidental withdrawals based on a misunderstanding, one I’m truly remorseful for and I’ll gladly reimburse the late Countess’ estate immediately.”
Sharon and Gordon were silent.
“I went to law school at night too,” Irving said.
“The theft beef is the least of your worries,” Gordon said. “We get why you whacked the Countess. We just want to know why you killed Hogan and Becker. Give us the skinny so their families can have some closure.”
Irving looked at the agents with stone faced defiance. “I didn’t kill anyone. I kill with my charm, my good looks, my business savvy but with my hands? No. You’ve got the wrong guy.”
“Do we?” Gordon asked.
“Why would I kill the Countess?” Irving asked. “She was the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg and she laid a ton of ‘em, right out of that big gluteus maximus of hers. You think I ever wanted that gravy train to stop?”
“You strike me as the kind of pussy that would kill a woman because you know you’re too delicate to last five minutes behind bars,” Gordon said.
“What about Hogan and Becker?” Sharon asked.
“What about them?” Irving asked. “Who are they?”
“Your victims,” Gordon said. “If you’re going to go around and around with stupid questions you know the answer to…”
“Wait,” Irving said. “Are you talking about the other two people who died on the can the same night as the Countess?”
Gordon leaned back in Cole’s chair. “For a guy who says he doesn’t know much about it, you seem to know a lot.”
“Everyone knows about it!” Irving said. “It’s been all over Network News One!”
“How do they fit into your twisted little game?” Sharon asked.
“Bullshit!” Gordon shouted.
“I have no idea who they are!” Irving said. “I’ve never met them. But I’ve been glued to the coverage like everyone else. Look idiots, do you really think I could have killed the Countess, even though her guards where with me the entire time, then spoke to you two that night in her dressing room and then, what? I magically transported myself with lightning speed to a nursing home in Boca Raton and then to a college in Sitwell? Only the Flash could move that fast.”
“You’re a wealthy man, Mr. St. John,” Sharon said.
“You’ve got pull,” Gordon said. “Connections. Power. Combine that with money and I’m sure you could have found a way to have others do your dirty work for you.”
“First, a cover up murder,” Sharon said. “Then two random murders committed by hired goons under similar circumstances in order to make the Countess’ death appear as though it was one part of a mysterious serial killer’s bizarre master plan.”
“OK,” Irving said. “You two have gone gonzo. Batshit bonkers. I’m not saying another word until I can speak to my lawyers. I want my Jews.”
“Mr. St. John,” Sharon said. “If you…”
“I want my Jews!” Irving said. “And I shall have my Jews! No more questions.”
Gordon stood up, walked around the desk, and helped Irving to his feet. He then grabbed the perp by the arm and led him out of Cole’s office. Sharon followed.
While Gordon led Irving to a holding cell, Sharon looked around the room, her mouth agape at the sheer number of loonies who had shown up with something to say about the Toilet Killer.
“Wow Maude,” Sharon said. “Looks like your hands are full.”
“Yes,” Maude replied. “Anytime you want to spare some of those agents you’ve got running around, installing this and that and tearing up the place, and put them on nutcase detail, I’d appreciate it.”
Natalie Brock, who had been sitting next to Maude’s desk, stood up. “Agent Walker?”
“Oh, right,” Maude said. “Sharon, this woman claims she’s a Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties from Network News One with some important information for you.”
Sharon squinted at Natalie and moved in for a closer look. “That can’t be right.”
“Why do you say that?” Natalie asked.
Sharon struggled to find the right words. “Because you aren’t…and you don’t have…”