Had the Ponytailed Cop been able to continue his interrogation of the Saint, he might have gotten to the truth. We’ll never know, for the Town’s First Selectman came to the police station and wanted to see him immediately. He was the boss and, being the single uniformed officer of the Kenilworth Police force, the Ponytailed Cop had to talk to everyone.
“I hear you have a suspect in custody for the murder of that girl,” said the First Selectman. He was the kind of man you might select in the morning but have second thoughts by early afternoon. He made an effort to be well dressed when he left the house but became undone as the day progressed. It was just after lunch, so his jacket was off, his hair mussed, his tie loose, and a shirt-tail out.
“Yes, sir. I was just interrogating her. I found her moving the body.”
“What do you need to interrogate her for? It looks like an open and shut case.”
“I know this woman, Sir. She could not have committed this crime.”
“I know her, too. It’s true she does a lot of good things no one asks her to do; but, in my experience, people who do that are compensating for something. In this case, she’s got half the town up in arms over some sacrilegious shit she pulled in her landlady’s house. Has she got a lawyer?”
“She hasn’t asked for one. She hasn’t said a word, in fact. She won’t answer my questions.”
“Sounds pretty guilty.”
“Just the same, Sir. I’d like to be sure.”
“Just remember, while you’re in here interrogating this suspect, no one is out policing my town. There are cars parked illegally, people are jay-walking, and running lights with impunity.”
“Those are misdemeanors, Sir. We may have a murderer on the loose.”
“Haven’t you heard of the broken window theory? Prosecute the minor crimes and the major ones will take care of themselves.”
“That’s not what the broken window theory really says. It means you…”
“Who else do you think murdered that girl?”
The Ponytailed Cop would have much rather explained the broken window theory than say he most suspected the First Selectman’s only son, the ne’er-do-well we know as the Drug Dealer. Ever since he got the job, the Ponytailed Cop has had to look the other way with this kid. He always knew it would end like this, with the Selectman’s son doing something completely stupid, the Selectman stupidly covering for him, and the Ponytailed Cop on the unemployment line, collateral damage.
“I can’t comment on an ongoing police investigation.”
An uncomfortable silence followed during which the Selectman begin fussing with his belt buckle. At first, the Ponytailed Cop wondered whether he was pulling out his belt to whip him or taking off his pants to screw him up the ass; but no, the Selectman was only loosening his waist. He had a big lunch.
“You know,” the Selectman said, taking a deep breath. “There’s that homeless drunk sleeping behind the Epiphany Café. He’s mentally unstable and dated the girl. Lord knows what kind of crazy thoughts that guy has going through his head.”
“Yes, Sir. I thought of him.”
“And the new owner of the Epiphany Café. He seems pretty law-abiding; but he dated her, too; and the very night she was killed, he turned up missing. His sister’s been all over town, looking for him.”
“I didn’t know that, Sir.”
“Well, if you got out, started writing traffic tickets, and heard what people were saying, you not only would be helping us balance our budget, you’d know what’s going on.”
It was true, the Ponytailed Cop liked to eat donuts out in the woods where no one could bother him, and he hadn’t written a traffic ticket all week. He didn’t know a lot of things. He didn’t know, for instance, that the Geeky Guy’s sister, the High Street Witch, could also be a suspect. She was jealous of the Geeky Guy and the Lisping Barista and could have murdered them both. I knew that and, thanks you me, Dear Reader, you know that, too; but, the Ponytailed Cop didn’t know that. If he had, at least, been reading this story while he ate his donuts, he would be as well informed as you are, Dear Reader, and you’ve never set foot in Kenilworth.
“Then, there’s that vagrant who keeps coming around. The Frenchman, you know…”
“That’s right. There’s a fellow who’s not right in the head.”
And there’s your son, thought the Ponytailed Cop, the town’s biggest drug dealer, a violent prick who you’ve been protecting all his life.
“Half the town had a hard-on for that girl,” continued the Selectman. “I might have wanted to tap that, too. She was a bit of a skank. It could’ve been anyone.”
“That’s what I’ve been saying, Sir. It could’ve been a lot of people. That’s why I should continue investigating.”
“You caught a person trying to dispose of the body. You don’t need to look any further.”
“Just the same, Sir. I think I will.”
“Well, I wouldn’t if I were you. I just wouldn’t.”
With that last ambiguous line ominously delivered, the First Selectman got up and left the police station, having warned the Ponytailed Cop off his son. The effect might have been mitigated, though, had the Ponytailed Cop noticed the Selectman’s shoe lace had come undone.