Incriminating Evidence(9)

By: Amanda Stevens

“You mean to the Twilight Killer case,” Nick said.

“Orson Lee Finch’s victims were all young women from well-to-do families. They didn’t just disappear from the street. He put their bodies on display. That generated a lot of attention. A lot of heat from the powers-that-be.”

“I’ve heard Dad talk about that case. He was on the task force.”

“Yeah, before the feds took over. Then Raymond and I left the department to open this agency. But you already know that story and, anyway, this is all ancient history. Personally, I’m a little sick of hearing about those old cases. I look forward to the time when Delmar Gainey and Orson Lee Finch fade back into the dustbin of history where they belong.”

“I doubt that’s going to happen anytime soon. Serial killers fascinate people. The fact that two were active in the city at the same time adds a new level of enthrallment.”

“People are nuts,” Emmett muttered.

“No argument there.”

“So, this March woman.”

Another abrupt transition. Nick gave his uncle a wary glance. “What about her?” He felt uneasy but he wasn’t sure why. Maybe because his uncle was acting strangely. Showing too much interest in Catherine March while dismissive of the two old cases that had taken the city by storm. If Nick didn’t know better, he would almost believe something had struck a little too close to home for his uncle.

He cast another glance down into the lobby where Jackie pretended to type away on her keyboard. She didn’t look up again, but Nick had no doubt she was listening to their every word. She was good at her job, efficient and loyal to a fault, but at times, she seemed to have eyes and ears everywhere.

“Let’s go into my office,” he said.

Emmett followed him down the hallway, but instead of taking the seat across from Nick’s desk, he walked over to the window to stare down at the street. He folded his arms and leaned a shoulder against the frame, seemingly absorbed in the patter of rain against the glass.

“You wanted to know about Catherine March,” Nick prompted.

Emmett turned. “I like to keep apprised of all our open investigations. Just because Raymond has distanced himself from the business doesn’t mean I will. I still have a vested interest in the reputation and financial well-being of this agency.”

“I know you do. That’s why we have our weekly briefings. But since you asked, she came to see me about her adoption. Her mother died last week and she has reason to believe her birth father is Orson Lee Finch.”

Emmett visibly started. “What?”

Nick nodded. “I had the same reaction.”

His uncle just stared at him for a moment. “That’s why she was here? Damn, Nick. What exactly is she asking you to do?”

“She insists she wants to know the truth about her birth, so my recommendation is that we contact the attorney that handled Finch’s last appeal and try to set up a meeting. If Finch will see us, I’ll press for a DNA test since I no longer have access to any databases.”

“Let me get this straight. You’re asking a man who murdered all those women and is now serving consecutive life sentences for a sample of his DNA? Good luck with that, bud.”

“It’s a long shot,” Nick agreed. “But what’s he got to lose?”

“Are you going to tell him why you want the test?”

“I’ll tell him as much as I have to. Catherine doesn’t want to see him, though. She doesn’t want him to know who she is.”

“Smart woman. And if he insists?”

“I’ll walk away. No deals. Protecting the client’s privacy and safety is paramount.”

Emmett gave him a reproving look. “I think you’re being dangerously naïve. Psychopaths are by nature cunning, and as you just said, Finch has nothing to lose. He’ll do whatever he has to in order to gain the advantage. If he does agree to see you, then you can bet he’ll already have worked out an angle. You won’t even see it coming until it’s too late.”

“I’ll be careful. I’m not exactly a novice at this, you know.”

Emmett turned back to the window. He looked glum as he watched the rain. “If Finch says no to a DNA test, what then?”

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