Authors: Gary Hastings

FORGOTTEN (5 page)

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“The guy’s name is Dr. Edward Cooper. He’s a forensic psychologist who is on the staff of the Secret Service. He’s done tremendous research on suicides and is willing to talk to you about your case. The Service has always been worried about suicide bombers and assassins, and this guy has been very helpful at sorting the real threats from the phony ones. I’ve worked with him and he’s quite good. The only problem is that we’ll have to go to DC to meet with him, since this is not an open case for the Secret Service.”

“That won’t be a problem. Could you drive down with me?”

“Sure, but I need to check my schedule. Next week seems pretty light and we have no dignitary visits, at this point.”

Pat looked at his calendar.

“I could go on Monday and Tuesday. Maybe we could drive down on Monday afternoon and spend the night. We could see Dr. Cooper on Tuesday and drive back to New York Tuesday night.”

“That should be fine. I like the idea of taking a road trip with the Chief of D’s.”

“It’s a new chapter in inter-agency relations.”

Pat thought Maggie probably blushed at his flirty response, but he was sure she was smiling.

“I think we’ve already taken that pretty far, my dear.”






Chapter 10



Monday, January 31 - Day 13

Chief of Detectives’ Office - One Police Plaza

Borough of Manhattan, New York

0700 Hours


he remainder of the week was pretty uneventful. In addition to meetings and endless paperwork, there had been no new developments in the Butelli case.  Pat was in the office early on Monday morning. He packed a suit and an overnight bag for the trip to DC. Maggie was going to pick him up at 1300 hours. He was interested in what the forensic psychologist had to say, but was also excited about a trip with Maggie, even if it was official business.

Pat worked on clearing his paperwork. Mondays were always a little worse, with the tray being full as a rule. At 1000 hours his phone rang.

“Pat O’Connor.”

“Good morning, Chief O’Connor. This is Margaret

“Good morning. How are you?”

“I’m doing well. I just wanted to see if you’ve had the time to look at the files I found?”

“Yes. I certainly have.”

“Do you share my concerns?”

“There are a lot of things about this case that troubles me, Mrs.
Butelli. In fact I’m going to Washington, DC this afternoon to talk to someone who may be able to shed some light on Forrest’s death.”

“Really? I’m so pleased.”

“It’s still very early, but we hope to answer some questions. I have several people looking into various aspects of the case.”

“I’m so glad you’re taking this seriously, Chief O’Connor.”

“I don’t want to give you a false hope, but there are things about the case which simply don’t add up. I’d like to tell you more, but it’s too early. When I get back from DC, I’d like to talk with you further. Are you still here in New York?”

“Yes, I’ll be here for a few months yet.”

“Thank you for calling, Mrs. Butelli. I promise you I’ll do my best.”

“Please call me Margaret. I feel I can finally trust someone.”

“Very well, Margaret, I’ll talk to you soon.”






Chapter 11



Monday, January 31- Day 13

Parking Garage - One Police Plaza

Borough of Manhattan, New York

1245 Hours


at notified his command he would be out of the office until Wednesday morning and dropped a few files in his briefcase, to read on the trip. If traffic was not too bad, the trip should take a little over four hours.

At precisely 1245, Maggie called and told Pat she would be in the underground garage at One PP at 1300 hours. Sometimes Maggie executed her life like a Secret Service operations plan. She was always punctual.

Pat was waiting when she pulled the big black Suburban into the garage. He tossed his bags in the back seat and got into the right front seat. He was glad to see Maggie.

“Good afternoon, Gorgeous, I really appreciate you driving.”

“We could have flown, but it’ll take about the same amount of time by the time you add the security hassles of flying armed.”

“Probably so, and this gives us a little more flexibility.”

“That’s true. Do we have a set time to meet Dr. Cooper?” Pat asked.

“He’s supposed to be at Secret Service Headquarters at 1000 hours tomorrow morning.”

“Sounds good, I appreciate you helping me out with this.”

“This is the least I could do, Pat. I know you have an idea of the thousands of hours the NYPD gives us a year, not just with the
protectee visits, but also on the criminal side. We couldn’t do anything in New York without you guys.”

“We’re glad to help and unlike the
, you guys are real partners.”

Pat and Maggie continued talking, and before long they were out of New York and headed south on the New Jersey Turnpike. Pat was getting a little drowsy and loosened his tie.

“Feel free to catch a nap, Pat. You never get enough sleep.” Maggie suggested.

“Thanks, but I’m fine.”

In less than 10 minutes, he was asleep with his head against the door.

20 minutes later, Maggie shook Pat’s leg and woke him up.

“I’m pretty sure we have someone following us, Pat.”

Pat opened his eyes and looked behind them. He was sure he couldn’t be seen due to the Suburban’s darkly tented windows.

“Which car is it, Maggie?”

“It’s that black Charger. I change lanes, he changes lanes. He got really close and the passenger window was coming down. Another car was close and they backed off. It may be nothing, Pat. But I’m concerned.”

“There is a rest area up ahead with a gas station and some shops. Pull in and park and then leave. Let’s see if we still have company.”

Maggie pulled the Suburban into a parking space near a coffee shop and the Charger also pulled in and stopped on the other side of the parking lot. Pat tried to see inside the car, but he couldn’t tell who or how many people were in it.

“Okay, Maggie, lets pull out and see if we’re followed.”

Maggie backed out and quickly headed back onto the turnpike. The Charger pulled out as well. Pat was now concerned as well.

“Okay, I’m convinced. We need to call the cavalry.” Pat said.

Maggie turned on her mobile radio and tried the New York Office with no success.

“We are probably too far south. I need to try the Trenton Office.”

Maggie changed the talk-group to the Trenton Field Office.

“New York, Parker, Trenton do you copy?”

“This is Trenton, go ahead.”

“I’m southbound on the New Jersey Turnpike passing exit 321. I have a black Dodge Charger that is following me and I need it stopped and checked out.”

“This is Trenton, I copy. Do you have a tag number?”

“Negative. There is no plate on the front.”

“Standby, Parker. I’ll notify New Jersey State Police.”

“Parker copy.”

Maggie knew better than to expect other agents to hear her traffic, because they did almost all of their day-to-day communications by cell phone. However, she knew the field office would monitor the channel.

“Parker, this is Trenton.”

“Go ahead, Trenton.”

“NJ State Police advises ETA of 15 minutes unless you advise this is an emergency.”

As Maggie listened to the transmission, the Charger approached again, with the passenger window completely down.

“Affirmative, Trenton, treat it as an emergency, we are passing exit 323 at this time.”

“Maggie, don’t let him get beside us. I have a bad feeling.” Pat said.

Pat removed one of his .357 Magnum revolvers and gripped it tightly in his hand.

“We have to change this from us being the hunted to us being the hunter.” Maggie said.

“What do you have in mind?”

“A little evasive driving, you better hang on.”

Maggie turned into the next rest area and rapidly headed to the rear parking lot where there were few cars. The Charger followed steadily behind. When she got to the rear parking lot, she turned sharply to the left, screeching the tires on the big Suburban, and was now facing the Charger. She hit the dashboard switches, activating her blue and red strobe lights, and started toward the Charger. The Charger backed up and then spun around, heading south toward the turnpike. Maggie hit the siren and grabbed the microphone.

“Parker, Trenton, I’m in pursuit. Southbound on the turnpike passing mile marker 325, black Dodge Charger, New York plates TRP901.”

“Copy, Parker, I am advising NJ State Police.”

Pat’s adrenalin was pumped. He had been in chases before. But it was worse being a passenger. However, he knew Maggie was extremely well-trained at the Secret Service Academy in Beltsville, Maryland and could out-drive almost anyone. Their speeds were approaching 100 mph.

“Trenton, Parker.”

“Go ahead, Trenton.”

“State Police are attempting to overtake. Can you advise charges on the suspect?”

“Unknown other than traffic at this time, the suspect has been following us for some time.”

The Charger was slightly pulling away from the Suburban and Maggie was afraid to push the speed past 110 for risk of turning it over. As she approached mile marker 330, she saw two New Jersey State Police cruisers barreling down the ramp with their lights and sirens on.”

“Parker, Trenton, State Police units are in pursuit at this time. We will be following at a distance.”

“I will advise State Police.”

Gradually the pursuit went out of sight and Maggie cut her lights and siren off. She turned to Pat.

“Did I scare you?”

“Not at all, but I just wonder why he was following you.”

“I don’t know. I hope they catch him. I wish we could hear what they’re saying.”

“Me too, but pull over a second.”

Maggie pulled over on the side of the road and Pat got out and opened his briefcase. He pulled out a small radio and hopped back in the passenger seat.

“Pat, what’s that?”

“It’s my digital police scanner. I’m pretty sure I have the New Jersey State Police in here.”

After punching a few buttons, the radio came alive with screaming voices with sirens in the background. Pat couldn’t tell what was going on until heard a chilling transmission.

“We have CPR in progress, need medic chopper on exit ramp mile marker 339.”

They were about three miles ahead. Maggie cut the lights and siren on again just as Trenton notified her of the location. She thanked them for their assistance. Traffic was already slowing down.





Chapter 12



Monday, January 31 - Day 13

New Jersey Turnpike - Exit 339

South of Trenton, New Jersey

1415 Hours


pproximately one mile from the scene, turnpike traffic had completely stopped. Maggie used her lights and siren to ride down the shoulder to the exit. Even with the emergency equipment, it took them about 10 minutes to navigate the last mile. There were cruisers everywhere. Most were white New Jersey State Police cruisers, but there were also local police. An ambulance and several fire trucks were also on the scene. The black Charger was in the grass with the door open and there was a huddle around an area about 100 feet in front of it. A trooper was stringing up crime scene tape around the entire area.

Pat and Maggie got out of the Suburban, and Pat instinctively put his fancy gold shield in his suit pocket. Maggie also clipped her Secret Service badge to her jacket. As they approached the crime scene, she was stopped by a trooper.

“I’m sorry, but I’m with the United States Secret Service, and I need to speak to the officer in charge.”

“Of course, the trooper talking on the cell phone by the ambulance is Captain Roberts.”

“Thank you, Trooper.”

“No problem, but I need your names for the crime scene entry log.”

“Maggie Parker, Special Agent in Charge of the U. S. Secret Service New York Field Office and Patrick O’Connor, NYPD Chief of Detectives.”

They both signed the crime scene entry log and approached Captain Roberts.

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