Saturday, November 24, 2007

Chapter Sixty-Four

Stuart Jaffe was silent during the short ride from the Fifth District Station to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was placed fingerprinted and photographed. “Remove your shirt, please. The young officer removed the camera from the tripod and walked across the room. “Turn to your right please.”

Jaffe realized he was taking close up photographs of the tattoo on his left shoulder.

“Hold still, Senator. We’re almost done.” He took a few more pictures, checked the monitor and returned the camera to the table. “Okay, sir. You can put your shirt on. We’re done.”

Another officer came in and took him to a private holding cell. “Normally you’d be required to wear a pair of orange coveralls, but since you’re a Senator they’re letting you wear your own clothes. You’ll have to give me your belt and shoelaces however.”

Jaffe looked up at the grinning, round-faced officer. He couldn’t have been more than twenty-two. He was probably going to enjoy telling all his buddies how he locked up a United States Senator. Jaffe remove his laces and his belt and handed them over. He still hadn’t uttered a word - not since Jacoby had told him about his wife’s visit.

At that moment Jacoby and Barry Jones were waiting impatiently for the photographer to email Jones the pictures he had taken of Jaffe’s tattoo. Jones was holding photo of the dead girl’s body, waiting to compare her tattoo to the one on Jaffe’s shoulder. Jones’ computer beeped, indicating the file had been received.

“Moment of truth.” “Jones clicked on the attachment and the two men waited while the image of a tattoo slowly opened up on the screen. “What in the hell is that?”

“It’s an eagle, Barry. I am going to kill Ellis.”

“Not so fast, Jacoby. What’s that?”

Jacoby watched as Jones zoomed in on the bottom right hand corner of the tattoo. “Correct me if I’m wrong, Jacoby, but I see a symbol there at the bottom of the tattoo. Like a signature. Does that look like a dog to you?”

Jacoby looked where Jones was pointing. Damn if he wasn’t right. “We need to find out if Dennis Doggett - better known as ‘Dog’ - had a habit of signing his work.”

“I’ll be right back.” Jones left Jacoby to study the tattoo. He found the officer who had taken the photograph still at his computer. “Sam, I wonder if you can do something for me.” He handed him the photograph of the dead girl’s tattoo. “Can you compare that to the picture you just took of Jaffe’s tattoo?”

“Sure, but they’re totally different. What am I looking for?”

“It’s just a hunch, Sam, but I have a feeling that buried somewhere in that eagle, you’ll find a little cherub.”

Jones decided not to share his speculation with Jacoby until he found out whether he was right. When he got back to his office Jacoby was hanging up the phone. He looked concerned.

“Is something the matter?”

“I’m not sure. I just called my office to get someone to check on whether Doggett signed his work and I talked to the guy that took Bonnie Jaffe home.”

“Yeah? She got home okay and he brought the letters back, right?”

Jacoby nodded. “It’s probably nothing but he mentioned something about her thinking the lights were different from the way she left them and the letters weren’t on the desk they were upstairs. I just have a bad feeling in my gut. Bonnie Jaffe isn’t the kind of woman who gets that kind of stuff mixed up. Do you have Jaffe’s home number handy?”

Jones bent over his computer and punched a few keys. “Here it is.”

Jacoby dialed the number. Bonnie Jaffe picked up after two rings. “Hello?” She sounded like she’d been asleep.

“Bonnie. Don’t say anything. Just listen. I want you to get out of the house as fast as you can. I’ll be there as quickly as I can. Just get out of the house.”

Jones look puzzled. “What’s going on?”

“Come on, let’s go. I’ll explain on the way.”



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