EIGHTEEN

The radio went off as Matt Payne and Charley McFadden headed north on South Broad Street.

“William Fourteen.”

“That’s me,” Matt said.

Charley looked around, found the microphone on its hook under the dash, and picked it up.

“Fourteen,” he said.

“What’s your location?”

“South Broad, near City Hall.”

“Meet the Inspector at the schoolhouse.”

“En route,” Charley said, and replaced the microphone. “Well, at least we know where to go,” he said.

“I hope we did the right thing,” Matt said. “I’ll bet your ol’ buddy was on the phone before we turned the corner, telling Foley we were asking about him.”

“Hey,” Charley said, his tone making it clear he thought it was a naive observation. “What’s the difference? Bad guys think there’s a cop behind every tree.”

Fifteen minutes later, he gave Matt a smug glance when the same question and answer was paraphrased by Inspector Wohl and Sergeant Washington.

“Is this going to cause a problem?” Wohl asked. “Foley will know now we’re interested in him.”

“Malefactors,” Washington intoned solemnly, “in my experience, see the menacing forces of exposure and punishment lurking behind every bush. Often this causes them to do foolish things.”

Wohl chuckled.

“I do see a jurisdictional problem,” Washington went on. “On one hand, we are interested in Mr. Foley’s possible involvement with the Inferno job, which would put him in Wally Milham’s basket. On the other, Mr. Boyle suggested Mr. Foley has something to do with Officer Kellog’s murder, which would fall into Joe D’Amata’s zone of interest. Or possibly mine, if I am to follow allegations of corruption in the Narcotics Five Squad.”

Wohl smiled again.

“Going along with your ‘menacing forces of exposure and punishment’ theory, Jason, it seems to me that you are the most menacing of all.”

“I will interpret that as a compliment,” Washington said.

“You and Matt were in on the Inferno job from the beginning. So why don’t you two go see Mr. Atchison first? Right now, McFadden can go see Joe D’Amata and tell him what Mr. Boyle has had to say, and that I suggest it might be helpful if you were there when he speaks with Mr. Foley.”

Washington nodded.

“And then McFadden can go to see Milham at Matt’s apartment-”

“Where I devoutly hope he is having at least a modicum of success in trying to convince the Widow Kellog that she should not regard me as menacing,” Washington interrupted. “And tell me what she knows about Five Squad.”

“-and tell him what McFadden’s friend has told us about Mr. Foley,” Wohl continued. “That will also place Charley at Matt’s apartment, where he can work out the sitting-on-Mrs. Kellog schedule with Martinez and Tiny Lewis.”

“A masterful display of organizational genius,” Washington said.

“And meanwhile, I’ll bring Inspector Weisbach in on all this. Any questions?”

McFadden held up his hand.

“How do I get from here to Matt’s place, Inspector?”

“Take the car Matt’s driving.”

“If I went with him, and met Jason…where are we going to see Atchison?”

“In the beast’s lair,” Washington said. “At his home.”

“I could pick up my car at the apartment, if I went with Charley.”

“Meet me at the Media police station,” Washington said. “Where I will be stroking the locals.”

“I’ll call out there if you like, Jason,” Wohl offered.

“Thank you, no. Lieutenant Swann and I are old friends,” Washington said. He got to his feet. “I am reluctant to say this, aware as I am of your already monumental egos, but you two done good.”

McFadden actually blushed.

“I ally myself with the comments of Sergeant Washington,” Wohl said. “Especially the part about your already monumental egos.”

Detective Matthew Payne had been inside the Media Police Headquarters before, the circumstances of which came to mind as he pulled the Porsche into a visitors’ parking slot outside the redbrick, vaguely Colonial-appearing building in the Philadelphia suburb.

It had been during his last year at Episcopal Academy. He had been in the company of Mr. Chadwick Thomas Nesbitt IV and two females, all of them bound for the Rose Tree Hunt Club. One of the females had been Daffy Browne, he remembered, but he could not recall either the name or the face of the one he’d been with in the backseat of Mr. Chadwick Thomas Nesbitt III’s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.

He remembered only that he had finally managed to disengage the fastening of her brassiere only moments before a howling siren and flashing lights had announced the presence of the Media Police Department.

Chad was charged with going sixty-eight miles per hour in a forty-mile-per-hour zone; with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol; with operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license in his possession; and operating a motor vehicle without the necessary registration documents therefore.

Chad didn’t have a driver’s license in his possession because it had been confiscated by his father to make the point that failing two of four Major Curriculum subjects in Mid-Year Examinations was not socially acceptable behavior. He didn’t have the registration for the Rolls because he was absolutely forbidden to get behind the wheel of the Rolls under any circumstances, not only while undergoing durance vile. He was driving the Rolls because his parents were spending the weekend in the Bahamas, and he thought they would never know.

Everyone in the Rolls had been charged with unlawful possession of alcoholic beverages by minors. The Rolls was parked on the side of the Baltimore Pike, and all four miscreants (the females sniffling in shame and humiliation) were hauled off to Media Police Headquarters and placed in a holding cell.

It had been necessary to telephone Brewster Cortland Payne II at five minutes to two in the morning. Mr. Payne had arrived at the police station a half hour later, arranged the appropriate bail for the females, and taken them home, leaving a greatly surprised Matt and Chad looking out from behind the holding cell bars.

Brewster Cortland Payne II had a day or two later informed Matt that he had decided spending the night in jail would have a more efficacious effect on Matt (and Chad) than anything he could think of to say at the time.

Matt got out of the Porsche and walked into Police Headquarters.

“Help you?” the sergeant behind the desk asked.

“I’m Detective Payne,” Matt said. “I’m supposed to meet Sergeant Washington in Lieutenant Swann’s office?”

“Down the corridor, third door on the right.”

Washington and Lieutenant Swann, a tall, thin man in his forties, were drinking coffee.

“How are you, Payne?” Lieutenant Swann said after Washington made the introduction. “I know your dad, I think. Providence Road, in Wallingford?”

“Yes, sir,” Matt said.

“Known him for years,” Lieutenant Swann said.

Is he laughing at me behind that straight face?

“Lieutenant Swann’s been telling me that Mr. Atchison is a model citizen,” Washington said. “An officer in the National Guard, among other things.”

“When we heard about what happened, we thought it was the way it was reported in the papers,” Swann said. “This is very interesting.”

“Strange things happen,” Washington said. “It may have been just the way it was reported in the papers.”

“But you don’t think so, do you, Jason?”

“I am not wholly convinced of his absolute innocence,” Washington said.

“You want me to go over there with you, Jason?”

“I’d rather keep this low-key, if you’ll go along,” Jason said. “Just drop in to ask him about Mr. Foley.”

“Whatever you want, Jason. I owe you a couple.”

“The reverse is true, Johnny,” Washington said. “I add this to a long list of courtesies to be repaid.”

Lieutenant Swann stood up and put out his hand.

“Anytime, Jason. Nice to see you-again-Payne.”

Goddamn it, he does remember.

“It was much nicer to come in the front door all by myself,” Matt said.

“Well, what the hell,” Lieutenant Swann said, laughing. “We all stub our toes once in a while. You seem to be on the straight and narrow now.”

“I don’t know what that was all about,” Washington said, “but appearances, Johnny, can be deceiving.”

320 Wilson Avenue, Media, Pennsylvania, was a two-story brick Colonial house sitting in a well-kept lawn on a tree-lined street. A cast-iron jockey on the lawn held a sign reading “320 Wilson, Atchison.” There was a black mourning wreath hanging on the door. Decalcomania on the small windows of the white door announced that the occupants had contributed to the Red Cross, United Way, Boy Scouts, and the Girl Scout Cookie Program. When Washington pushed the doorbell, they could hear chimes playing, “Be It Ever So Humble, There’s No Place Like Home.”

A young black maid in a gray dress answered the door.

“Mr. Atchison, please,” Jason said. “My name is Washington.”

“Mr. Atchison’s not at home,” the maid said. The obvious lie made her obviously nervous.

“Please tell Mr. Atchison that Sergeant Washington of the Philadelphia Police Department would be grateful for a few minutes of his time.”

She closed the door in their faces. What seemed like a long time later, it reopened. Gerald North Atchison, wearing a crisp white shirt, no tie, slacks, and leaning on a cane, stood there.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Atchison,” Washington said cordially. “Do you remember me?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“How’s the leg?” Washington asked.

For answer, Atchison raised the cane and waved it.

“You remember Detective Payne?”

“Yeah, sure. How are you, Payne?”

“Mr. Atchison.”

“We really hate to disturb you at home, Mr. Atchison,” Washington said. “But we have a few questions.”

“I was hoping you were here to tell me you got the bastards who did…”

“We’re getting closer, Mr. Atchison. It’s getting to be a process of elimination. We think you can probably help us, if you can spare us a minute or two.”

“Christ, I don’t know. My lawyer told me I wasn’t to answer any more questions if he wasn’t there.”

“Sidney Margolis is protecting your interests, as he should. But we’re trying to keep this as informal as possible. To keep you from having to go to Mr. Margolis’s office, or ours.”

“Yeah, I know. But…”

“Let me suggest this, Mr. Atchison, to save us both time and inconvenience. I give you my word that if you find any of my questions are in any way inconvenient, if you have any doubt whatever that you shouldn’t answer them without Mr. Margolis’s advice, you simply say ‘Pass,’ and I will drop that question and any similar to it.”

“Well, Sergeant, you put me on a spot. You know I want to cooperate, but Margolis said…”

“The decision, of course, is yours. And I will understand no matter what you decide.”

Atchison hesitated a moment and then swung the door open.

“What the hell,” he said. “I want to be as helpful as I can. I want whoever did what they did to my wife and Tony Marcuzzi caught and fried.”

“Thank you very much,” Washington said. “There’s just a few things that we’d like to ask your opinion about.”

“Whatever I can do to help,” Atchison said. “Can I have the girl get you some coffee? Or something stronger?”

“I don’t know about Matt here, but the detective in me tells me it’s very likely that a restaurateur would have some drinkable coffee in his house.”

“I have some special from Brazil,” Atchison said. “ Bean coffee. Dark roast. I grind it just before I brew it.”

“I accept your kind invitation,” Washington said.

“And so do I,” Matt said.

“Let me show it to you,” Atchison said.

They followed him into the kitchen and watched his coffee-brewing ritual.

Washington, Matt thought, looked genuinely interested.

Finally they returned to the living room.

“Sit down,” Atchison said. “Let me know how I can help.”

Washington sipped his coffee.

“ Very nice!”

“I’m glad you like it,” Atchison said.

“Mr. Atchison,” Washington began. “As a general rule of thumb, in cases like this, we’ve found that usually robbers will observe a place of business carefully before they act. And we’re working on the premise that whoever did this were professional criminals.”

“They certainly seemed to know what they were doing,” Atchison agreed.

“So it would therefore follow that they did, in fact, more than likely, decide to rob your place of business some time, days, weeks, before they actually committed the crime. That they (a) decided that your establishment was worth their time and the risk involved to rob; and (b) planned their robbery carefully.”

“I can see what you mean,” Atchison said.

“Would you say that it was common knowledge that you sometimes had large amounts of cash on the premises?”

“I think most bars and restaurants do,” Atchison said. “They have to. A good customer wants to cash a check for a couple of hundred, even a thousand, you look foolish if you can’t accommodate him.”

“I thought it would be something like that,” Washington said. “That’s helpful.”

“And I never keep the cash in the register, either, I always keep it downstairs in the safe. You know that neighborhood, Sergeant, I don’t have to tell you. Sometimes, when there’s a busy night, I even take large amounts of cash out of the register and take it down and put it in the safe.”

“In other words, you would say you take the precautions a prudent businessman would take under the circumstances.”

“I think you could say that, yes.”

“We’ve found, over the years-and I certainly hope you won’t take offense over the question-that in some cases, employees have a connection with robberies of this nature.”

“I guess that would happen.”

“Would you mind giving me your opinion of Thomas Melrose?” Washington asked. “He was, I believe, the bartender on duty that night?”

“Tommy went off duty before those men came in,” Atchison replied, and then hesitated a moment before continuing: “I just can’t believe Tommy Melrose would be involved in anything like this.”

“But he was aware that you frequently kept large amounts of cash in your office.”

“Yes, I guess he was,” Atchison said reluctantly.

“How long has Mr. Melrose been working for you?” Washington asked.

“About nine months,” Atchison replied, after thinking about it.

“He came well recommended?”

“Oh, absolutely. You have to be very careful about hiring bartenders. An open cash drawer is quite a temptation.”

“Do you think you still have his references? I presume you checked them.”

“Oh, I checked them, all right. And I suppose they’re in a filing cabinet someplace.”

“When you feel a little better, Mr. Atchison, do you think we could have a look at them?”

“Certainly.”

“Mr. Melrose said that business was slow the night of this incident.”

“Yes, it was.”

“He said there was, just before he went off duty, only one customer in the place; and that when that last customer left, you took over for him tending bar.”

“That’s right. I did. You have to stay open in a bar like mine. Even if there’s no customers. There might be customers coming in after you closed, and the next time they wanted a late-evening drink, they’d remember you were closed and go someplace else.”

“I understand.”

“The one customer who left just before you took over from Mr. Melrose: Do you remember him? I mean, was there anything about him? You don’t happen to remember his name?”

Atchison appeared to be searching his memory. He shook his head and said, “Sorry.”

Washington stood up. “Well, I hate to leave good company, and especially such fine coffee, but that’s all I have. Thank you for your time, Mr. Atchison.”

“Have another before you go,” Atchison said. “One for the road.”

“Thank you, no,” Washington said. “I think Mr. Melrose said the customer was named Frankie. Does that ring a bell, Mr. Atchison?”

Atchison shook his head again. “No. Sorry.”

“Probably not important,” Washington said. “I would have been surprised if you had remembered him, Mr. Atchison. Thank you again for your time.”

He put his hand out.

“Anything I can do to help, Sergeant,” Atchison said.

“Cool customer,” Jason Washington said with neither condemnation nor admiration in his voice, making it a simple professional judgment.

“You gave him two chances to remember Frankie Foley,” Matt said.

“It will be interesting to see if Mr. Foley remembers Mr. Atchison,” Washington said, and then changed the subject: “Did your father really leave you in durance vile overnight?”

“Swann told you, did he?”

“Your father’s wisdom made quite an impression on Lieutenant Swann,” Washington said. “And you haven’t been behind bars since, have you?”

“No,” Matt said, and then thought aloud: “Unless you want to count the time those Narcotics assholes hauled me off the night Tony the Zee got himself hit.”

“I’m not sure you have considered the possibility that the Narcotics officers were simply doing their job.”

“Taking great pleasure in what they were doing.”

“Well, the tables have turned, haven’t they?” They thought they had a dirty cop. And now you’re going to see if it can be proved that they are dirty.”

“Am I going to work on that?”

“You and everybody else. Compared to coming up with something on the Narcotics Five Squad that will result in indictments, bringing Atchison before a grand jury will be fairly easy.”

“How come?”

“We have a crime scene on the Inferno job, and other evidence. We have two good suspects. I think we can get a motive without a great deal of effort. A good deal of shoe leather may be required, but it isn’t a question of if we will get Atchison, but when. So far as the Narcotics Five Squad is concerned, we don’t know what they have done, only that they have done it, and we don’t know what ‘it’ is, except the Widow Kellog’s definition of ‘it’ as dirty.”

“You can’t get any specifics out of her?”

“Not a one,” Washington replied. “But I believe she believes she is telling the truth that the whole squad is dirty. And to support that, they do own, without a mortgage, a condominium at the shore, and a boat. Their combined, honestly acquired, income is not enough to pay for those sorts of luxuries. And then we have the threatening telephone call.”

“How do you think Five Squad heard she had talked to you?”

“There’s no way that they could have. I think the simple explanation for that is that someone on Five Squad knew that Homicide would be talking to her, and they didn’t want her volunteering any information.”

“And you think that’s why Kellog was killed?”

“It looks to me as if there are two possibilities, one of which no one seems to have considered very much. That he was killed in connection with his honest labor as a Narcotics officer. He knew something-where are the tapes from his tape recorder? — and had to be silenced. And of course it is entirely possible that he was killed by someone on the Five Squad for the same reason. His wife had left him. He might have wanted her back bad enough…”

“Milham and Mrs. Kellog seem pretty tight; I don’t think she was going to go back to her husband.”

“I noticed that,” Washington said. “But neither of us have any way of knowing what Kellog was thinking, perhaps irrationally. Losing your wife to another man is traumatic. If she left him because of what he was doing, or, more to the point, because of what it was doing to him, and thus to their relationship, it’s entirely possible that he thought by stopping what he was doing he might be able to get her back. Whatever was on those tapes that we can’t find might have been his insurance.”

“Excuse me?” Matt interrupted. He was having trouble following Washington’s reasoning; the introduction of the missing tapes left him wholly confused.

“I’m quitting, I’m through,” Washington said. “I’m not going to squeal, but just to keep anyone from getting any clever ideas, I have tapes of whatever that will wind up in the hands of Internal Affairs if anything happens to me.”

“This is starting to sound like a cops show on television,” Matt said. “A very convoluted plot.”

“Yes,” Washington said thoughtfully. “It does. And that bothers me.” He was silent for a moment, then changed the subject. “For a number of reasons, including not wanting Wally Milham to think I’m pushing him out of the way, I am not going with you when you chat with Mr. Foley.”

“OK,” Matt said. “You going to tell me the other reasons?”

“I’ll take you back to the Media police station,” Washington said, ignoring the question. “We will get Wally Milham on the telephone and decide where you are to meet. Then you can get in your car and meet him. Relay to him in appropriate detail the essence and the ambience of our conversation with Mr. Atchison.”

“OK.”

Officer Paul Thomas O’Mara, Inspector Wohl’s administrative assistant, knocked on Wohl’s office door, and then, without waiting for a reply, pushed it open.

“Mr. Giacomo for Inspector Weisbach on Four,” he announced.

Staff Inspector Michael Weisbach was sitting slumped on Wohl’s couch, his legs stretched out in front of him, balancing a cup of coffee on his chest.

Wohl, behind his desk, picked up one of the telephones and punched a button.

“Peter Wohl, Armando,” he said. “How are you? How odd that you should call. Mike and I were just talking about you. Here he is.”

Weisbach smiled as he walked behind Wohl’s desk and took the telephone. They had not been talking about Giacomo. They had been discussing the time-consuming difficulty they would have in investigating the personal finances of the Narcotics Five Squad, and the inevitability that their interest would soon become known.

“Hello, Armando,” Weisbach said. “What can I do for you?”

He moved the receiver off his ear so that Wohl could hear the conversation.

“I wanted you to know I haven’t forgotten our conversation at luncheon, Mike, and that I have already begun to accumulate some information-nothing yet that I’d feel comfortable about passing on to you-but I am beginning to hear some interesting things. I need some time, you’ll understand, to make certain that what I pass on to you is reliable.”

“My heart is always warmed, Armando, when citizens such as yourself go out of their way to assist the police.”

Wohl chuckled.

“I consider it my civic duty,” Giacomo said.

“Armando, perhaps I could save you some time, keep you from chasing a cat, so to speak, that’s already nearly in the bag. In our own plodding way, we have come up with a name. What I’m getting at, Armando, is that it would bother me if you came up with a name we already have, and you would still figure we owed you.”

“What’s the name?”

“Frankie Foley,” Weisbach said.

“He wasn’t, between us, one of the names I heard. Frankie Foley?”

“Frankie Foley.”

“How interesting.”

“Nice to talk to you, Armando,” Weisbach said. “I appreciate the call.”

He hung up.

“Why did you give him Foley’s name?” Wohl asked. “A question, not a criticism.”

“By now, Foley probably knows we’re looking at him. If he told Giacomo, or the mob found out some other way, Italian blood being stronger than Irish water, they may have decided to give him to us to keep Cassandro out of jail.”

“Michael, you are devious. I say that as a compliment.”

“So maybe, with Foley taken off the table, Giacomo may come up with another name.”

Frankie Foley waited impatiently, time card in hand, for his turn to punch out. He really hated Wanamaker’s, having to spend all day busting open crates, breaking his hump shoving furniture around, and for fucking peanuts.

It would, he consoled himself, soon be over. He could tell Stan Wisznecki, his crew chief, to shove his job up his ass. He would go to work in the Inferno, get himself some decent threads with the money Atchison owed him, and wait for the next business opportunity to come along. And he wasn’t going to do the next hit for a lousy five thousand dollars. He’d ask for ten, maybe even more, depending on who he had to hit.

Frankie had been a little disappointed with the attention, or lack of it, paid to the Inferno hit by the newspapers and TV. There had been almost nothing on the TV, and only a couple of stories in the newspapers.

He had, the day after he’d made the Inferno hit, clipped out Michael J. O’Hara’s story about it from the Bulletin with the idea of keeping it, a souvenir, like of his first professional job.

But after he’d cut it out he realized that might not be too smart. If the cops got his name somehow, and got a search warrant or something, and found it, it would be awkward explaining what he was doing with it.

Not incriminating. What the fuck could they prove just because he’d cut a story out of the newspaper? He could tell them he’d cut it out because he drank in the Inferno. Shit, if they pressed him, he could say he cut it out because he had fucked Alicia Atchison.

But it was smarter not to have it, so he had first crumpled up the clipping and tossed it in the toilet, and then, when he thought that the front page now had a hole in it where the story had been, tore off the whole front page and sliced it up with scissors and flushed the whole damn thing down the toilet. He really hated to throw the story away, but knew that it was the smart thing to do.

And anyway, the word would get out who’d done the hit among the people who mattered. That was what mattered.

He knew he’d done the right thing, not keeping the clipping, when Tim McCarthy, who ran Meagan’s Bar for his father-in-law, called him up and told him that a couple of cops had been in the bar, asking about him, and giving Tim some bullshit that one of them was a cousin from Conshohocken.

What that meant, Frankie decided professionally, was that his name had come up somehow. That was to be expected. He drank at the Inferno, and he had been in there the night he’d made the hit. The cops probably had a list of two hundred people who drank in the Inferno. They probably got his name from the bartender. Which was the point. He was only one more name they would check out. And the bartender, if he had given the cops his name, would also have told them that he had left the Inferno long before the hit.

The cops didn’t have a fucking thing to connect him with the hit, except Atchison, of course, and Atchison couldn’t say a fucking word. It would make him an accessible, or whatever the fuck they called it.

He hadn’t been too upset, either, when Sonny Boyle had called him to tell him two detectives had been to see him about him. He had been sort of flattered to learn who they were. One of them was the cop that had caught up with the guy who shot the Highway Patrol captain, and the other detective was the guy who had shot the pervert in Northwest Philly who was cutting the teats off women. What that was, Frankie decided professionally, was that the ordinary cops and detectives was having trouble finding him. He didn’t have no record, for one thing, and the phone was in his mother’s name. So when the ordinary cops couldn’t find him, the hotshots had started looking for him.

Well, fuck the hotshots too. They would eventually find him-it would be kind of interesting to see how long finding him took-and they would ask him questions. Yeah, I was in the Inferno that night. I go in there all the time. I been talking to Mr. Atchison about maybe becoming his headwaiter. Where was I at midnight? I was home in bed. Ask my mother. No, I don’t have no idea who might have shot them two. Sorry.

The dinge ahead of him in line finally figured out how to get his time card punched and Frankie stepped to the time clock, punched out, put the card in the rack, and walked out of the building.

He had gone maybe thirty feet down the street when there was a guy walking on each side of him. The one on his right had a mustache, one of the thin kind you probably have to trim every day. The other one was much younger. He didn’t look much like a cop, more like a college kid.

“Frank Foley?” the one with the mustache asked.

“Who wants to know?”

“We’re police officers,” the guy with the mustache said.

“No shit? What do you want with me?”

“You are Frank Foley?”

“Yeah, I’m Frank Foley. You got a badge or something?”

The guy with the mustache produced a badge.

“I’m Detective Milham,” he said. “And this is Detective Payne.”

Frankie took a second look at the kid.

“You the guy who shot that pervert in North Philly? The one who was cutting up all them women?”

“That’s him,” Milham said.

“I’ll be goddamned,” Frankie said, putting out his hand. “I thought you’d be older. Let me shake your hand. It’s a real pleasure to meet you.”

The kid looked uncomfortable.

Modesty, Frankie decided.

Frankie was genuinely pleased to meet Detective Payne.

This guy is a real fucking detective, Frankie decided, somebody who had also shot somebody. Professionally. When you think about it, what it is is that we’re both professionals. We just work the other side of the street, is all.

“Detective Payne,” Milham said, “was also involved in the gun battle with the Islamic Liberation Army. Do you remember that?”

Payne looked at Milham with mingled surprise and annoyance.

“The dinges that robbed Goldblatt’s?” Frankie asked. “That was you, too?”

“That was him,” Milham said.

“Mr. Foley, we’re investigating the shooting at the Inferno Lounge,” Matt said.

“Wasn’t that a bitch?” Frankie replied. “Jesus, you don’t think I had anything to do with that, do you?”

“We just have a few questions we’d like to ask,” Matt said.

“Such as?”

“Mr. Foley,” Wally Milham said, “would you be willing to come to Police Administration with us to make a statement?”

“A statement about what?”

“We’ve learned that you were in the Inferno Lounge that night.”

“Yeah, I was. I stop in there from time to time. I guess I was there maybe an hour before what happened happened.”

“Well, maybe you could help us. Would you be willing to come with us?” Wally asked.

“How long would it take?”

“Not long. We’d just like to get on record what you might have seen when you were there. It might help us to find the people who did it.”

The smart thing for me to do is look like I’m willing to help. And what the fuck choice do I have?

“Yeah, I guess I could go with you,” Frankie said.

“We’ve got a car right over there, Mr. Foley,” Matt said. “And when we’re finished, we’ll see that you get wherever you want to go.”

Frankie got in the backseat of the car and saw for himself that the story that went around that once you got in the backseat of a cop car, you couldn’t get out until they let you; that there was no handles in the backseat was bullshit. This was like a regular car; the handles worked.

He got a little nervous when he saw the two detectives having a little talk before they got in themselves. They had their backs to him, and talked softly, and he didn’t hear what Detective Milham said to Detective Payne:

“This asshole thinks you’re hot shit, Matt. Sometimes that means they’ll run off at the mouth. When we get to the Roundhouse, you interview the sonofabitch. Charm the bastard.”

“You think he did it?”

“This fucker is crazy. Let’s see what he has to say.”

STATEMENT OF: John Francis “Frankie” Foley

DATE AND TIME: 5:40 p.m. May 22, 1975

PLACE: Homicide Division, Police Admin. Bldg. Room A.

CONCERNING: Robbery/Homicide at Inferno Lounge

IN PRESENCE OF: Det. Wallace J. Milham, Badge 626

INTERROGATED BY: Det. Matthew M. Payne, Badge 701

RECORDED BY: Mrs. Jo-Ellen Garcia-Romez, Clerk/typist

I AM Detective Payne. This is Mrs. Garcia-Romez, who will be recording everything we say on the typewriter.

We are questioning you concerning the murder homicide at the Inferno Lounge.

We have a duty to explain to you and to warn you that you have the following legal rights:

A. You have the right to remain silent and do not have to say anything at all.

B. Anything you say can and will be used against you in Court.

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C. You have a right to talk to a lawyer of your own choice before we ask you any questions, and also to have a lawyer here with you while we ask questions.

D. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, and you want one, we will see that you have a lawyer provided to you, free of charge, before we ask you any questions.

E. If you are willing to give us a statement, you have a right to stop anytime you wish.

1. Q. Do you understand that you have a right to keep quiet and do not have to say anything at all?

A. Yeah. I understand.

2. Q. Do you understand that anything you say can and will be used against you?

A. Did I miss something? Am I arrested or something?

3. Q. Do you want to remain silent?

A. No.

4. Q. Do you understand you have a right to talk to a lawyer before we ask you any questions?

A. Yeah, but what you guys said was just that you wanted to talk to me.

5. Q. Do you understand that if you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, and you want one, we will not ask you any questions until a lawyer is appointed for you free of charge?

A. Yes, I do.

6. Q. Do you want to talk to a lawyer at this time, or to have a lawyer with you while we ask you questions?

A. I don’t have nothing to hide.

7. Q. Are you willing to answer questions of your own free will, without force or fear, and without any threats and promises having been made to you?

A. Yeah, yeah, get on with it.

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(Det. Milham) Frankie, to clear things up in your mind. That’s what they call the Miranda questions. Everybody we talk to gets the same questions.

A: Am I arrested, for Christ’s sake, or not?

(Det. Milham) You are not under arrest.

A: You had me worried there for a minute.

8. Q. For the record, Mr. Foley, state your name, city of residence, and employment.

A. Frank Foley, Philadelphia. Right now, I work for Wanamaker’s.

9. Q. Mr. Foley, were you in the Inferno Lounge the night there was a double murder there?

A. Yeah, I was. Just before midnight.

10. Q. What were you doing there?

A. I stopped in for a drink. I drink there every once in a while.

11. Q. That’s all? Just for a drink?

A. I been talking with Atchison, the guy who owns it, about maybe going to work there as the headwaiter.

12. Q. Does the Inferno have a headwaiter?

A. Well, you know what I mean. I’d sort of keep an eye on things. That’s a pretty rough neighborhood, you know what I mean.

13. Q. Oh, you mean sort of be the bouncer?

A. They don’t like to use that word. But yeah, sort of a bouncer.

14. Q. You have experience doing that sort of thing?

A. Not really. But I was a Marine. I can take care of myself. Handle things. You know.

15. Q. When you were in Inferno, the night of the shooting, did you talk to Mr. Atchison about your going to work for him?

A. I guess we talked about it. When I came in, we went to his office for a drink. I don’t remember exactly what we talked about, but maybe we did. We been talking about it all along.

16. Q. You went to his office? You didn’t drink at the bar?

A. Mr. Atchison don’t like to buy people drinks at the bar. You know. So we went downstairs to his office.

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17. Q. Was Mrs. Atchison in the Inferno when you were there?

A. No. He said she and Marcuzzi went somewheres.

18. Q. You knew Mrs. Atchison?

A. Yeah, you could put it that way. Nice-looking broad. Had a roving eye, you know what I mean?

19. Q. You knew her pretty well, then?

A. Not as well as I would have liked to.

20. Q. Tell us exactly what you did when you went to the Inferno?

A. Well, I went in, and had a drink at the bar, and then Atchison came over, and asked me to go to the office, and we had a drink down there. And then I left.

21. Q. How long would you say you were in the Inferno?

A. Thirty minutes, tops. Ten minutes, maybe, in the bar and then fifteen, twenty minutes down in his office.

22. Q. We’ve heard that Mr. Atchison used to keep a lot of money in the office. That he used to make loans. You ever hear that?

A. Yeah, sure. He did that. That was one of the reasons we was talking about me working for him. People sometimes don’t pay when they’re supposed to.

23. Q. And you were going to help him collect his bad debts.

A. Not only that. Just be around the place. Keep the peace. You know.

24. Q. When you were in the Inferno, did you notice anything out of the ordinary?

A. No. If you’re asking did I see anybody in there who looked like they might be thinking of sticking the place up, hell no. If I’d have seen anything like that, I would have stuck around.

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25. Q. You said Mrs. Atchison had a roving eye. Do you think that what happened there had anything to do with that? Was she playing around on the side, do you think?

A. Well, she may have been. Like I said, she seemed to like men. But I don’t know nothing for sure.

26. Q. When you left the Inferno, where did you go?

A. Home. It was late.

27. Q. Have you got any idea who might have robbed the Inferno and killed those two people?

A. There’s a lot of people in Philadelphia who do that sort of thing for a living. Have I got a name? No.

28. Q. That’s about all I have. Unless Detective Milham…?

A. (Det. Milham) No. I think that’s everything. Thank you, Mr. Foley.

29. Q. (Mr. Foley) Could I ask a question?

(Det. Payne) Certainly.

(Mr. Foley) When you shot that nutcase who was cutting up the women, what did you use?

(Det. Payne) My. 38 snub-nose.

(Mr. Foley) And on the dinge who did the Goldblatt job? Same gun?

(Det. Payne) Yes.

(Mr. Foley) You got more balls than I do. If my life was on the line, I’d carry a. 45 at least. You ever see what a. 45’ll do to you?

(Det. Payne) Yes, I have. But we can carry only weapons that are authorized by the Department.

(Mr. Foley) That’s bullshit.

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(Det. Payne) Off the record, I agree with you.

(Mr. Foley) Sometime maybe, I’ll see you around, we’ll have a beer or something, and we can talk about guns. I was in the Marine Corps. They teach you about guns.

(Det. Payne) I’d like to do that.

(Det. Milham) I think that’s all, Mr. Foley. Thank you for your time and cooperation.

(Mr. Foley) That’s all? I’m through?

(Det. Milham) That’s all. Thank you very much.

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