case for JJ and Jackson. An RTA starts a murder
“Right! That’s the third time this week.
someone’s balls for this.”
three CID officers in the room looked like Meerkat’s as their
heads popped up
over the office dividers to look at their leader. DI Jennifer Jones,
only be five two but she certainly ruled her roost of two Detective
and four Detective Constables.
bastard on the nightshift has used my mug again. The thing that gets me
anyone would want a pink mug with ‘The Best Mum in the
World’ written on it.”
pink mug had been a joke present a couple of years ago when she was
still a DS.
The three DC’s she looked after had given it to her as a
affection. Like all good “parents” JJ was firm but
and they really liked
her. She had joked back that “mum” was fair,
all behaved like
kids. Not that she had any real experience on that front!
at her desk, she reflected on the day ahead – after the bad
with the mug
it was only going to get worse. Admin all day. Reports, statistics,
when would she ever find the time for real police work?
duty sergeant came into her office with usual sarcastic comment about
life was for CID compared to the uniform boys. And girls, he added
got an RTA to go to”, he told JJ.
off it, Phil. Car crashes are for Traffic and you lot, not
someone’s dead in this one.”
refer the sergeant to my earlier answer. Job for the Black
I’ll tell the Traffic cops at the scene that CID
interested in the dead
body in the boot.” The Sergeant’s twinkling eyes
watching her reaction.
har! Come on Jackson,”
she shouted across the office to one of the Meerkats that had all
conversation and jumped up again. “You’re the
expert, let’s go!”
colleagues both looked seriously hacked off. Ever since DC Jackson had
Dennis Evans’s murder, he seemed to get the plum jobs. So
that he had
even lost his Jackass Jackson nickname.
galaxy of flashing blue and red lights was visible from some distance,
police cars, a Fire Engine and an Ambulance were all present. As she
under the Police tape cordoning off the area, JJ could see why. The
car, a 55
reg Vauxhall Vectra, was crumpled under the weight of a lamp post. The
hand side of the car, where the driver had been, was completely
heavy post had crushed the car so the boot had distorted and opened up
a gap at
the left hand side. That’s how the body had been discovered.
senior traffic cop came over and introduced himself.
driver was cut out by the fire brigade and sent to hospital, but the
are pretty sure he’s a gonner. They checked the one in the
and the fire
brigade will have to lift the post off before they can get him, but
dead. Looks like he has been for a while.”
do we know about the car and the driver?”
to Daniel James Foxton, and the driver’s wallet implies that
turned to Jackson
about to tell him to contact the station and get searching, but he had
dialed and was asking for the Duty Sergeant.
boy’s coming along, thinking for himself! Whatever
she thought, but she was
quietly pleased. He may have lucked out on the Evans case, so this
him the chance solve something by methodical police work.
the time the Fire Brigade had lifted the concrete lamp post, the low
arrived. But before they moved the body and the car JJ asked the Police
to take as many photographs as possible. That done, the paramedics
body out of the car to take it to the morgue for a Post Mortem. For the
time everyone got a good look at the naked man, and at the large patch
matted blood and brains on his head.
like the cause of death was Blunt Force Trauma,” Jackson
no-one in particular. The
Traffic Cop looked at him:
my day they called it being smashed on the head with a baseball
in my day they call that jumping to conclusions.”
tone was pensive rather than a
reprimand. Truth was, she was damn sure the poor guy had been hit over
with something like that, and that the blow had killed him. Still,
are paid to tell us the definitive answer. She turned her colleague:
tell me about the crash. Do we know what caused it?”
look like it’s foul play if that’s what you mean.
over there saw the
whole thing. Dog ran across the road, he swerved to miss, so instead of
a dog, he killed himself.” JJ nodded:
can you let me have the preliminary report asap? Treat it as a
priority, and if
your boss has a problem with that, then tell him to call me.”
nodded and turned away, clearly not at all happy about being given
orders by a
female version of Napoleon.
the exchange with some amusement. He knew what the Sergeant in his
yellow jacket was thinking, but he’d seen enough of his DI to
know that inside
the hard exterior was someone who had got to her rank and avoided
stereotypical cynical, bitter officer and she still cared about people.
only had to have seen the way she reacted when they found Mrs Evans to
they arrived back at the station, they found Duty Sergeant Phil
waiting, with a knowing smile. JJ turned to Jackson,
and asked him
what he could deduce from the Sergeant’s demeanour.
I suspect that the
Sarge has uncovered
something interesting about the recently departed driver.”
grinned and said that as she’d missed her early morning cup
coffee, he could
break the news to them in the canteen. As they sat round the plastic
table, Hodgkiss produced Foxton’s file.
no kids – next of kin his mother who lives in Birmingham.
off he’s no major criminal,
but he has been arrested on quite a few occasions. He’s a
figure in the
local animal rights group. Been done for Criminal Damage, Threatening
– all the usual stuff associated with groups like
assume he’s been involved in the recent stuff.”
referring to the recent activity, not targeting the Animal Research
themselves, but targeting the individuals who worked there. The local
had picked up on it – bricks through windows, car tyres
and even children threatened on the way to school.
yes, cautioned twice, and charged once. He was due in court next week.
probably have got a custodial sentence. Though given the new sentencing
guidelines, maybe not.”
shook her head.
sure I agree with you on the major criminal comment. In my book anyone
threatens schoolchildren is an arsehole and should get put away. Okay,
keep digging – known associates in the animal rights group,
that stuff. Can
you get us a warrant for his house? I’ll get someone to talk
the neighbours and his workmates. But the highest priority has got to
be figuring out who our friend in the Vectra’s boot was. So
you go to the
and see what they’ve found out. And don’t come back
a good photograph.”
her as if to say “any other obvious requests?” but
mouth shut as he
set off. JJ finished her coffee and resigned herself to admin until
started to come in.
was late afternoon when information started to materialise. First back
team that had been to visit neighbours and work colleagues. It seemed
Foxton was not particularly popular, and kept himself to himself. The
neighbours hadn’t noticed anything unusual but they did
that he often
had people round and they often left in the middle of the night. To JJ
sounded like the Animal Rights group coming and going. No-one seemed
particularly upset to hear he had died.
particular friends? Girlfriend? Boyfriend?”
was one couple that seemed to be there all the time. A bloke and a
described as tall and weedy looking, whereas she’s short and
back was Jackson:
of death confirmed as a massive blow to the head, and they’ve
samples off to the lab at Abingdon for analysis.” He threw a
photographs onto the desk. JJ picked up the face on view of the cleaned
this out and about and see if anybody recognizes him.” Then
picked up the
photo of the left side of the victims head – God it was a
The skull had
been smashed from just above the ear, and the hole in the back half of
skull was deep.
idea of the weapon?”
like the Black Rat was right, Most likely a baseball or cricket bat.
not untreated wood, as there weren’t any splinters. Oh, and
did say that
whoever did it was either a very strong woman or a man. It was a very
that moment Sergeant Hodgkiss appeared, grovelling an apology that it
so long to get a warrant for Foxton’s house. JJ shook her
and raised her
eyes in mock disappointment, turned to Jackson
and asked him to lead a team in searching the house. She told them to
especially look out for signs of blood or anywhere that had recently
cleaned or bleached. She turned to Phil and handed him the photo of the
face view of the murdered man, and asked him to do the usual with
persons and find out who the hell he was. Unidentified bodies were
epidemic – this was turning into a regular Midsomer
and Phil – there’s a couple in the Animal Rights
– he’s tall and skinny
and she’s smaller and stocky. They seem to have been
Foxton’s. Can you see if anyone recently arrested fits that
was knocking off time when the two CID officers who had been trying to
interview various known Animal Rights members came back.
speak to all but two of the group, Andy Townley and Jo Beecham.
bunch of tossers! Really unco-operative until we explained Foxton had
died in a
car crash. They pretty much spoke of him as the group leader. They were
pretty upset. All seemed really shocked that he’d had a body
the boot. They
knew he was a bit wild, but all of them said the line would be drawn
of murder though.”
the fact her admin was barely half complete, JJ felt the urge to do
police work. She asked for the other two contacts’ details
managed to speak to. She’d go and interview Townley and
– then come
back and nail the admin. After all, there was only an empty flat and a
go back to. And she strongly suspected the cat was in the process of
cultivating the couple next door for a new home.
she was going out of the door to the car park, she heard Phil calling
turned to see him beaming proudly.
really lucked out – got an id on your victim.”
Hell that WAS quick. I am impressed.”
one of the lads realized he’d spoken to him a couple of weeks
ago. Some Animal
Rights nutter had thrown paint over his car. Turns out he is, or was,
Martin, quite a senior bloke at the Research Lab, not a dancing
enough to drive a Mercedes 500SLK!”
else do we know about him?”
38, married, no kids – wife called Amanda –
the address. You want a WPC
to come with you?”
then she looked up and smiled. “Good job, I love it when a
and WPC Atkins parked at the front of a very nice five or six bedroom
slowly walked up the drive. The first thing their trained eyes noticed
two alarm systems. Atkins pointed up to the small TV camera that was
the front of the house:
a lot of security, even for a nice house like this.”
bet you’d add extra security if you’ve had a brick
your window and
paint thrown all over your car.”
rang the bell, but there was no movement inside. All was dark and
tried the side gate – locked.
on Atkins, you’ve got trousers on, hop over and check round
DI was very impressed that she didn’t even have to give her a
up. The WPC
easily pulled herself over the wall and JJ heard her footsteps fading
the back. A minute or so later her head, followed by the rest of the
young woman’s body reappeared over the wall. On the way down
one home. All quiet and peaceful back there.”
nodded, and set off to check with the neighbours. The residents of the
houses either side all said the same thing – essentially the
themselves to themselves and were nice enough, but the neighbours all
they would move away and take the animal rights idiots with them. No
seen Amanda Martin for a couple of days, though someone remembered
car leave yesterday morning.
was the house across the road that bore fruit. Although not close to
the people there did hold a spare key for them, and knew a little bit
They knew how to disable the alarms etc, and knew when they went on
long trips. Mrs Martin had left a couple of days ago to visit her
sister in Canada
week. They didn’t have a contact number. JJ asked if they
let her and the
WPC into the house.
will, but I’ll ring the police station first to check who you
are. You can’t be
too careful. Just because she’s got a uniform
WPC congratulated them on their fastidiousness while JJ allowed herself
smile. A few minutes later they were in the house across the road.
seemed okay. JJ wished her house was half as tidy. The only surprise
that anything may be out of order was in the study. A small digital
on top of a sheet of A4, which had a handwritten note on it:
the event of my disappearance, please view the video on this
camera.” The note
was signed “James Martin” and dated yesterday. JJ
WPC for a couple of
evidence bags, put on some gloves and popped both items into bags and
over the other side of town, Jackson and his colleagues had just got
Foxton’s small semi-detached house. Jackson
allocated areas of the property to each and started the methodical
First he located the ‘phone and dialed 1471, noting down the
had called – a mobile at 11.05pm. He then dialed 1571 and
listened to the only
message, one from Foxton’s mother two days ago, complaining
from him in a week. She’d have to wait a whole lot longer was
flashed through Jackson’s
was a call from the garden, where one of the DC’s was
was still some light, Jackson
could see the DC was using his torch. The DC was stood with his torch
at the ground. There were patches of what looked like dried blood in
spot, Wardy. Get some uniforms down here to cordon off the site.
out until we get some lab boys and plastic suits down here then we
accused of contaminating a murder scene.”
might be that the neighbour’s cat just killed a mouse
him and shook his head.
at the station, Jackson and JJ sat in her office. Everyone else had
The admin was still not done.
wanna watch it again.” Jackson
clicked the mouse on the “Play” button.
timestamp on the video read 7:19 last night. It showed an empty chair
office in the Martins’s house. James Martin entered the
and sat down facing
the camera. His voice was Oxford English, precise and clearly spoken.
you are watching this tape, it means something has happened to me on or
May. An hour ago I had a call from a man named Daniel
who claimed to be a member of the Animal Rights group that threw a
through my window, and paint over my car. That doesn’t worry
too much, but
anyone who threatens children – and some of my
children have been
threatened – might do anything. Foxton said he wanted to meet
to see if he
could convince me peacefully. He said if I agreed to come then I would
spared further harassment. So I have decided to go. When I asked him
assurance of my safety – he suggested writing a letter saying
where I was
going. I have done that, and posted it to Dr Andrew Wilson, a friend
colleague. But I have also made this video.”
if the blood on the patio is Martin’s, then I’d say
an open and shut
looked at Jackson:
“You reckon? No, things are wrong all over everywhere. If you
going to kill
someone, why do you tell them to leave some evidence incriminating you?
find out who called Foxton at 11:05 last night?”
as you go mobile bought two days in Stratford.
I’ll send someone to the shop tomorrow to see if they
anything. Bet it
was paid for by cash. As far as telling Martin to leave a note
probably gambling on Martin trusting him.”
but this was a research scientist. Belt and braces. Note and a video.
tomorrow I’ll go and see the other two Animal Rights
made small talk for a while and then left for their respective homes.
got there she found a note from her neighbours:
“TRIBBLE seems to have adopted us. Feel free to come and
him as soon as
you like. He is no trouble though.”
looked at the note, read it for a second time, and with an air of
thought that even her cat had now deserted her! She was a real Billy No
She couldn’t even hold on to a male cat, never mind a male
next morning was bright and clear, the kind of May day that gives a
hint of the
possibilities to come in midsummer. Despite losing Tribble, and despite
looming shadow of her mountain of admin, JJ felt pretty good as she
the door of the terraced house. The Anti Fur Trade poster in the window
her this was the right place. The six foot tall, grubby looking twenty
that peered round the edge of the door asked her what she wanted. JJ
her Warrant card, checked he was Andy Townley, and asked if she could
inside of the house was as untidy as the man in front of her. His tatty
tracksuit bottoms and Alice Cooper T shirt had clearly seen better
woman’s voice called out from upstairs asking who was at the
a cop. I guess she wants to talk about Dan.”
really sorry about your friend, but we do need to ask you a few
started off with more routine scene setting questions, how long had he
Foxton, what was he like? After a couple of minutes a short stocky,
looking woman came into the room. Her eyes were red, and she had
crying. JJ smiled at her:
must be Jo, I’m really sorry about your friend. I know this
time, but we need to get to the bottom of this.”
tiny DI could tell that on another day, these two would be a nightmare
question, but they were both clearly emotionally drained, and
didn’t seem to
have the will to embark on an argumentative interview.
they talked about themselves and Foxton, to JJ’s surprise she
starting to like them. Then they got onto the subject of the Animal
movement, and it was as if a switch had been thrown, and JJ recalled
two would be in court next week for Threatening Behaviour –
two had been
getting at parents through their children. They both became animated,
emotional. Like most people JJ had some sympathy and respect for their
but not for their extremist actions.
let them rant for a while, and then asked about Daniel
the lengths he’d go to. Andy Townley shook his head.
why Dan was such a good leader. There are some real basket cases in the
you know, the kind of idiots that want to plant bombs – treat
like a war. Dan
was great at keeping them in check. He’d even thrown two
of the group.”
Beecham glared at her partner, still full of emotion from both their
comments of a few moments ago, and also from the loss of her friend:
always were a whimp when it came to real action. Dan was the best, but
are getting drastic, and we need to be even more active.”
had been around enough bereaved people to know when things were a
just lashing out, and when they were something from the heart.
comments definitely fell into the latter category. She asked them about
characters Dan had thrown out, and got them to talk a little. But they
know much, except they thought they came from the Solihul area.
she asked about when they’d last seen Foxton. He’d
their place the
night before last, the 15th,
and Jo gave him a lift home
he’d been drinking. They left around ten or ten-thirty. It
habit thing –
every Wednesday he came round and had a takeaway curry and a beer.
thanked them both for their help, and asked them not to travel too far,
write down their various contact details. She watched carefully as they
wrote down a list of people, places and ‘phone numbers,
Townley looked up:
know, helping you lot like this is the last thing I’d
do, but I don’t
believe Dan did it, and I want you to clear his name.”
just smiled a non committal smile, thanked them and left.
that’s one suspect eliminated”, was her thought as
off to knock on a
few neighbours’ doors to check their stories about the
the time she’d got to the station, it was mid morning. Jackson
waiting for her.
you get it?” she asked.
on it’s way to be processed. And
got the Path report. He puts ToD at between 9pm and 11pm on the 15th.”
the Home Office managed to find Mrs Martin’s sister in Canada
yesterday, and she got the flight back last night. She should have
now, and she’ll be coming in this afternoon.”
can tell there’s something else. Out with it!”
in the garden shed at Foxton’s – a baseball bat.
have been wiped down
recently. It’s at Abingdon being checked for blood and
maybe it is open and shut after all.”
like you said – something’s not quite
assault on her admin was interrupted at lunchtime when the report on
came back. There were no prints but tiny traces of blood had been
found, but not
enough to make a positive match to the victim.
the Duty Sergeant poked his head round the office door a couple of
and announced Mrs Martin had arrived, along with a Dr Wilson. JJ
was the colleague and friend who had been sent the letter by James
Martin as a
back up to the video recording.
Amanda Martin was in her mid thirties, very well spoken, very well
in a designer suit, and in very good shape. She also wore tinted
cover her red eyes. Dr Wilson was a little older, probably early
was dressed in a Savile Row suit, collar and tie. JJ felt like she was
something from the Oxfam shop in comparison to these two.
off, Dr Wilson held out an envelope:
think you ought to see this. I think once you have, then what happened
smiled and asked him to place it on the table, then she turned to Jackson
get some gloves and an evidence bag. Then she turned to Dr Wilson:
thanks for bringing it in. We already knew about the letter and what it
turned to Mrs Martin and smiled:
husband definitely wanted to make sure we would find out if anything
informal interview continued, with JJ and Jackson asking all the usual
questions. After about half an hour, Dr Wilson interrupted:
why are you wasting our time? It’s been all over the news
James’s body was
found in a car belonging to one of the animal rights idiots that was
for harassing us at the lab. All you’re doing is making
even more upset,
and I think I’d better take her home now. Remember
suffering from jet lag
and is very tired, and this is very stressful.”
nodded her agreement:
you are quite right and I apologise. I’d like to chat again
tomorrow. Are you
staying at the house Mrs Martin?”
Martin and Andrew Wilson glanced at each other.
and I have known Andrew for years. I’ll be staying with him
the next few
days. I don’t think I could bear being in the house
Dr Wilson can you jot down your address, and you need to sign a receipt
and Jackson watched from the first floor window as the couple crossed
park to Andrew Wilson’s BMW.
do you reckon Terry?”
you see the way he held her hand throughout that interview. It looked a
than good friends to me.”
look at that eye contact as she got into the car… maybe
I don’t blame him. I would.”
raised her eyebrows and shook her head.
as there aren’t any cold showers available, there’s
couple of things I’d like
you to do.”
know, I know. One – go to Foxton’s workplace and
two, go to
the mobile phone
make a detective out of you yet. Well, what are waiting for?”
hours later he was back.
you were right about Foxton.”
– the statistics were on my side. What about the
the sales assistant did remember simply because it was a really cheap
and hardly anyone ever gets a bottom of the range phone like that. She
was a woman, and when I asked her to describe her, you could have
down with a feather.”
so. One more thing; dig out the contact details and ask the mobile
company and get them to check where the ‘phone was when it
couple of hours to get the information and respond. So it was gone
when they drew up outside the house, with the BMW parked outside. Jackson
Andrew Wilson appeared in his dressing gown. JJ apologised for the late
said there was something important that needed to be cleared up.
reluctantly said that they had better come in. He shepherded them into
pleasantly furnished, and softly lit lounge, where they found Amanda
an expensive silk dressing gown.
were just having a nightcap,” explained Wilson.
just like to ask you a couple of questions. Mrs Martin, a woman
your description bought a mobile phone on Monday.”
his pocket hit the green “Dial” button on his phone
then he crossed his
fingers and hoped.
What mobile phone?”
somewhere in the hallway came the unmistakable sound of a Nokia
mobile phone”, smiled Jackson.
that, Andrew asked me to buy him one. I have no idea what it was
Seeing as Mrs Martin was very conveniently three thousand miles away on
Wednesday night, can you tell us why you were making a call using that
the vicinity of Daniel Foxton’s house at around
is ridiculous. I want to see my solicitor.”
wise, I think you should too Mrs Martin. Jackson?”
Jackson cautioned them both, then suggested they both go and dress as
a long night ahead at the station.
Wilson cracked with comparative ease. He’d held out until
before dawn, but
he crumbled when presented with the evidence of James
clothes that had been found in a black bag in his loft. He insisted
that it was
all Amanda’s idea, that they were in love and she wanted her
husband dead so
she could inherit his wealth. She had signed a pre-nuptual agreement
would get nothing in the event of a divorce, so that was out of the
Martin was a much cooler customer though, insisting that she and Wilson
only friends. As for the phone, it was as she’d said. Andrew
she was going
do some antiques shopping, and asked her to pick it up for him. In the
they released her through lack of evidence.
8am Jackson and JJ sat in the office having a celebratory cup of
was in full flow,
flushed with their success:
once you’d eliminated any right handed people that left only
that blow could only have been delivered by a left hander. Must admit
there was strong circumstantial evidence against Beecham.
hardcore than her partner.”
the two possibilities were that Foxton had arranged the meeting, and Jo
had disapproved and hit Martin. Then in order to protect his friend and
the Animal Rights movement’s name, Foxton was going to
the body when
the dog ran out.”
nodded helpfully and Jackson
in fact, it was nearly a perfect murder. When the lab had been under
attack from the AR mob, they had hired a security firm to keep tabs on
group. Andrew Wilson had read the report and knew Foxton was out every
Wednesday night. So he pretended to be Foxton, invited Martin over and
him. He hid the bat in the garage and took the clothes to plant later
further evidence if he needed to. He then waited for Foxton to return,
using the mobile, and told him he’d been framed and that he
should get rid of the
body. Enter the dog, because without the crash Foxton might well have
successfully dumped the body.”
sipped their coffee in silence, then Terry Jackson asked:
do you reckon of Mrs Martin?”
she fixed it up. No doubt in my mind about that. She just used Andrew
and he fell for it! Going to Canada
was brilliant. That’s one hell of an alibi! I
surprised if in six month’s
time she’s not living in Spain
with her Personal Trainer. Anyway, enough of that - now for the other
think you need to make this arrest. Come on.”
walked over to the kitchen area where the remnants of the nightshift
talking – mainly about the day’s football fixtures.
Bennett, you look glum. What’s the matter? Missing your
mug?” and JJ
held up her mug in an evidence bag.
see I had it checked for fingerprints, and yours were all over it. So
like your balls being attached to your body, you’ll not touch