Lone Wolf #5: Havana Hit

BOOK: Lone Wolf #5: Havana Hit
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OTHER TITLES BY MIKE BARRY

Lone Wolf #1:
Night Raider

Lone Wolf #2:
Bay Prowler

Lone Wolf #3:
Boston Avenger

Lone Wolf #4:
Desert Stalker

Lone Wolf #5:
Havana Hit

Lone Wolf #6:
Chicago Slaughter

Lone Wolf #7:
Peruvian Nightmare

Lone Wolf #8:
Los Angeles Holocaust

Lone Wolf #9:
Miami Marauder

Lone Wolf #10:
Harlem Showdown

Lone Wolf #11:
Detroit Massacre

Lone Wolf #12:
Phoenix Inferno

Lone Wolf #13:
The Killing Run

Lone Wolf #14:
Philadelphia Blowup

The Lone Wolf #5:
Havana Hit
Mike Barry

a division of F+W Media, Inc.

Going through those back streets then, seeing all of the aspects of the night, watching the forms heaving their way through those streets or standing, doomed, broken against the stones, their faces the geography of damnation, the insight came to me clearer and clearer yet: the country had been under bombardment for a long time and now it was a free-fire zone. Now the enemy was coming in freely. Now the territory had collapsed to its perimeters. It was a war and America was occupied … and America had lost.

—Paul Von Partin,
Ascension

They’ve delivered death by the inch through the veins of this country. It’s time to turn the needle around. Kill the brutes. Kill all of them.

—Martin Wulff

Contents

Prologue

I

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

VIII

IX

X

XI

XII

XIII

XIV

XV

XVI

XVII

Also Available

Copyright

PROLOGUE

TO THE COMMISSIONER: Supplement to our earlier report and containing a further description of the subject’s activities since that time. Your request for “further information,” however, puzzles me because I thought that background on the subject in that earlier report was fairly complete … and was based upon the same access to confidential PD files which is held by your office. Are those files now unavailable?

Incorporating, then, information embodied in the earlier statement and carrying it forward: the subject, Martin Wulff, thirty-two years old, was until August 1974 a ten-year veteran of the NYCPD. (Two years spent in US Army, most of them in Vietnam combat, were credited as per procedure to working time for the purposes of pension rights, seniority, etc.) Wulff served as patrolman, TPF member and in various other areas and upon his return to active PD duty in 1967 was assigned to the Narcotics Division where he remained for several years until, in August of 1974, for reasons which are still being investigated, lower echelons abruptly removed him from Narcotics Division and transferred him to local patrol car duty pending further hearings.

On the night of 8/15/74, files indicate that Wulff was ordered by radio unit to report to an upper floor of a single room occupancy dwelling on West 93rd Street where a girl, subsequently identified as one Marie Calvante, was found dead of apparent heroin overdose. Source of the call was anonymous and has never been identified. Wulff’s partner on patrol car duty that night was David Williams (see file) a rookie patrolmen who was the driver and who reported that immediately upon parking in front of the dwelling, Wulff left the car rapidly and in a state of high agitation. When he did not return to the car for several minutes Williams followed him upstairs to find him kneeling by the corpse. It was at this point that Wulff, announcing his intention to quit the PD, left the apartment, giving Williams no word of his plans or destination. Later that day Wulff telephoned in his resignation. Proper forms were never filed, procedures were not followed and subject was not located at listed address.

It is indicated that Marie Calvante was affianced to Wulff and
that her death—the circumstances of which remain mysterious, be it suicide or murder—was somehow connected with Wulff’s duties in the Narcotics Division. No further information can be developed on this. Certain crucial files which would be expected to contain information on Wulff’s difficulties with narcotics division are unavailable and may be presumed to be missing or stolen.

From this point on, only hearsay information may be developed, some of this information obtained from a mixture of informants who range in degree of reliability. It appears that Wulff—whose background in PD and combat gave him an excellent working knowledge of ordnance and guerilla techniques—embarked almost without pause upon a campaign to “destroy the international drug trade,” which he saw as directly responsible for the death of his fiancée and against which he felt his efforts in the ND to be completely ineffective. Beginning in New York, traveling then to San Francisco, back across the country to Boston and back yet again to Las Vegas—all within a period of less than four weeks—Wulff appears to have been solely responsible for the deaths of several hundred operatives involved at all levels of the national and international drug trade. At least three of them, Albert Marasco of NYC, Louis Cicchini of Revere Beach and a man identifiable only as “Lazzara” who was murdered in Las Vegas, appear to be at the highest perceptible levels of the network. In San Francisco, fire aboard and subsequent sinkage of a large freighter seems to be Wulff’s work. So does the destruction of a townhouse in NYC, a series of residences in Boston and the gutting of the Paradise Hotel, a major resort and gambling center of Las Vegas. And, one of our informants has indicated, Wulff may have appropriated a major shipment of heroin that arrived on the San Francisco-bound freighter. Even more significantly (but here the informant is particularly unreliable and the level of inference is quite great), something over a million dollars of hard drugs taken, as you know, from the evidence room of the NYC criminal division, may have been traced to Las Vegas by Wulff in the wake of the mysterious disappearance of Lieutenant Bill Stone who might have been tied in with those thefts. These drugs
may
be in Wulff’s possession.

It cannot be sufficiently emphasized, however, that all information on Wulff’s activities past his resignation from the PD are contrived wholly from hearsay information and any of the specific details listed above may be erroneous.

What is clear—and memos intercepted by our informants do make this beyond dispute—is that Wulff’s “war” against the drug trade has had or is having significant results, that he has already severely damaged the network of supply and distribution in this country, and that the many murders have demoralized suppliers and distributors at key points.
Nevertheless there is no truth to the allegation that Wulff may have the sympathy and covert assistance of law-enforcement personnel
. Certainly the man is a felon, engaged in criminal conduct, and no efforts will be spared by reputable officers and departments nationwide to arrest him.

He is, in the bargain, apparently marked for execution at all levels of the network and despite the apparent success of his initial shock tactics, cannot go on much longer. It is sincerely hoped that legitimate law-enforcement personnel will apprehend him before employees of the network, since only in that way are we liable to interview him to obtain specific details.

On the other hand, the subject is extremely sophisticated in all phases of weaponry and is not only extremely dangerous but probably would not permit himself to be taken alive.

A fuller report is being prepared and will be on your desk within the next day or two but in line with your request to deliver an “informational noting the highlights,” the above is submitted.

We remain in the closest contact with usual informants, of course, and will pass on further information when and as it develops.

I

Crazy. The detector at the passenger gate was supposed to find weapons in hand-luggage, but Wulff doubted that probability very much; these things were full of shit anyway and there was no such thing as a dependable detector at this early stage of technology. But whether or not they could find weapons they were certainly not attuned for drugs; a million dollars or close to it of pure heroin had passed through the detector without a blink, and now the valise was up front, on the rack behind the first class section and he was sitting at the end of coach, airborne, drinking, safe.

Well, it had been risky of course; putting a million dollars of pure shit through the X-rays had been nervous-making for Wulff but then again what else could he do? He had to get out of Vegas fast and he had to have the shit with him. Between those two poles of the equation there was only the understanding that he had left a blasted hotel behind him, six men dead in the desert, half a hundred more perhaps dead in the vicinity of that hotel. But this most lethal of all the death-injections he had given the enemy could only be a temporary fix itself. They would be coming after him now no longer in squads but in battalions. He had maybe an hour of time or a little more before the fresh troops rolled in from west and east and the great wars would begin. They were beginning anyway. They would show him less mercy than he had them and that was little enough. He had killed maybe three hundred since his Odyssey had begun and only with the feeling, all the time, that he was just clearing the way for the great confrontations, the more serious business of his war.

But for the moment it was not necessary to think of this. He was airborne; they would be in New York in five hours or a little less and he would take the valise with him off the plane and disappear, for a little while anyway, into the ragged periphery of New York, deciding what he would do next. He guessed that he would take the valise to Williams, though. Yes, he would like to do that. He would like to take this valise into pure, comfortable, secluded little St. Albans in Queens where Williams was. Willaims, the black man who was all for the system because the system was holding them off him. Wulff would open it and shove it into his face.
There’s your system
, Wulff would say,
there’s your fucking system
. It makes death and it shares death and it pumps death all through the country but you want it to go on just this way so that you can pay your fucking mortgage. Well what next, Williams? When your shitstorm comes and half of your people are walking around with the death inside them—where are you going to be?

Enough of this. He settled back and into a thick sleep, heavy waves of recollection coming through him: dead faces staring up at him from a field like flowers, pulped bodies turning inside out in the opening bursts of fire, the look of the town house on Eighty-Third street as it had gone down, the look of the casino as it had gone up, buildings impacting and fragmenting like grenades and memory became apprehension, the waves turned thick and moist, shaking him inside out on the seat, the voices of the dead overtaking him and he opened his eyes then, strangling from the dream, to find that it was not a dream at all and that he was confronting an open, spreading artery of terror. The plane was shaking in the air, shaking and shattering like a child’s rattle and moving up and down the aisles of the coach section was a man holding a revolver, flicking it over the faces of the passengers. The passengers, what few of them there were—this was off-hours and a thinly-populated flight—were in the usual postures of air-travel, some looking out the windows, others looking through newspapers, only a very few risking short, sidelong glances at the man who more than anything else seemed bored, not really in possession of the cabin so much as merely considering it.

Wulff felt his muscles tense against the hard, slick edge of the seat. His first impulse was to spring at the man but that was inconceivable; the man had him in full range and was looking directly at him now with an expression which seemed to take in not only the moment but that series of actions which might come from it. He had ditched his revolver on the way to the airport, of course, presuming that New York would yield him a better one. No point in taking chances. He was, Wulff realized, almost entirely helpless.

The passengers were beginning to realize their own helplessness. Wulff had no idea how long all of this had been going on; not too long at all, obviously, because the passengers were just focussing, one by one, into a kind of attention goaded by the pacing of the man and the shaking of the plane which started again now even more ominously; the plane coming up, the plane going down, moving like a roller coaster on the first series of dips, and now, for the first time, a young girl across the aisle, a couple of rows ahead began to scream. She screamed delicately, mouth behind hand and this seemed to kindle the others. Instantly the coach section was in chaos, passengers putting aside newspapers to grip the seat backs ahead of them, the sounds of retching coming through. The stewardesses, huddled up in the galley were holding on tightly; a sound of clattering coming from there as things shifted, then the plane took another nauseating roll, dipping forty-five degrees wing to wing, banked deeply, shuddered and came out of it.

Only the man in the aisle seemed untouched. Through the trembling he had kept his balance, spreading his legs slightly, balancing on heels, holding the gun before him with that curious, absent grace which Wulff had noticed already, his eyes very keen, poised, sweeping through the cabin, the gun hand steady. Everything was focussed on that gun. Wulff could see from long instinct that the man was a professional. You might kill him but you would not otherwise stop that steady hand on the trigger from driving death home.
All right
, he conceded to himself at some level where he could think almost without words,
we’re in for it now. Nothing to be done
. There was nothing to be done. He wedged himself back in the seat as the plane steadied, as the girl’s screams arced to whimpers and then went away, and he made no move.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” a flat voice said through the amplification system, the gunman’s head swinging toward the public address system but that hand, steady, continuing its sweep, “we’ve encountered a few difficulties as you should surely know by now. We’ve had to rapidly adjust our altitude and flight plan. There seem to be a couple of people aboard who don’t want to go to New York and until we can work things out with them we’ll be heading in a different direction.” The speakers whined, there was the sound of someone yammering in the background, the captain—Wulff guessed it must be the captain—cleared his throat and said, “I can only advise you to relax as much as possible; we’ll try to keep it steady up here now and get you down as quickly as possible.”

The gunman smiled at this. Something in the announcement seemed to have granted him an obscure relief; if the passengers were not relaxing the gunman was, visibly, and with the steadying of the plane he began a measured, even pace up and down the corridor, his pace as detached and exact as if he were a prison guard casually working out the moments of his duty. Wulff, battling impulse, forced himself back into his seat yet again, drawing deep even breaths, willing himself to control while around him he could see the scattered passengers responding in their own way. The girl who had screamed now curled in upon herself in her seat; a businessman across the aisle lit a cigarette with a hand that fluttered, the rest of him very composed, almost rigid in place but the hand telling all; the stewardesses, still huddled in the galley now consulted one another. The plane flew on with slow grace. Wulff lifted his head and caught the gunman’s eye.

The man came over slowly, shorter than a hijacker ought to be, perhaps in his early twenties although the long sideburns, the thin mustache were deceptive; he might have been older than that or then again only struggling for maturity. Below the level of the eyes the face was very peaceful now, even detached. Probably on uppers, Wulff thought, uppers or downers it did not matter but something was cooking through the man giving him this calm. “Take me up front,” Wulff said carefully.

“You stay in your seat, mister,” the gunman said in a quiet, flat voice, “and don’t get taken anywhere.”

“You don’t understand,” Wulff said, “don’t be a fool. I want to go up front. How many of you are there? I want to talk to the others.”

“You know what a bullet can do in a pressurized cabin?” the gunman asked. “It can blow the plane up. Take a tip from me, just sit back in that seat of yours and shut the fuck up. When you’re ready to be told something you will hear it.”

“Leave him alone,” the businessman said to Wulff, leaning across the empty chair on his side. “Don’t you understand what we’re in? For God’s sake—”

“We’re in a hijacking,” Wulff said. “I know all about it,” and as he spoke he stood, bracing himself by the calves against the seat rear, rising to an uneasy posture. The gunman’s eyes blanked. He backed off a pace or two in the aisle and levelled the gun.

“Now
you
don’t be a damned fool,” Wulff said quietly while the passengers turned and looked at him with the expressions of people who were now seeing either the beginning or the end, “you don’t want to shoot any more than I want to get shot and you don’t have any instructions. You’re not going to put a bullet in this cabin until you feel that I’m attacking you and I’m not doing that.” He began to move slowly, balancing himself in the aisle, the trip rockier than he had thought, the plane adding a slight side-to-side motion against the persistent rocking, the uneven pounding of the jets as it sought more altitude. “I just want to talk,” he said, “I want to see what the hell is going on.”

The gunman settled in behind him. Wulff felt the prod of the gun deep in his pelvis, but that was all right, then, the gesture was its own completion. He was not going to be shot. If the man was going to shoot him it would have been done already, when he had been in the posture of rising, the bullet thudding into him from that angle, destroying his organs and lodging harmlessly on exit into the seat. He walked, holding on for support, the stewardesses, bland faces now riven by uncertainty watched him go, past the luggage section where his own valise sat, that valise untouched which was either significant or not … but meant, probably, only that they had not had a chance to ransack the luggage yet but would. In first class there were only three passengers, a fat man with a briefcase on his lap, his eyes glittering wildly as he rubbed his hands over them and he was saying over and again, “I wouldn’t have believed it, who would have believed it, this can’t be happening,” but indeed it was, Wulff could have pointed out to him; and a young couple, newlyweds perhaps although not to sentimentalize they might only be a whore and her pimp bound out of Vegas with the proceeds, sitting, holding hands, their faces against one another. And he walked, the gunman behind him, into the cabin where the captain, copilot and flight navigator, all of them looking strangely young were being watched by a heavy, dishevelled man who was holding a rifle on them, sweeping the confined spaces of the cabin with the same gesture as had the one with the pistol.
They must have a school for hijackers
, Wulff thought foolishly,
teaching them the motions; I wonder if it’s a correspondence course
, and the heavy man looked up at him, raised the rifle; in that instance Wulff thought his head itself might be coming off but, no, the man lowered the rifle, his motions suddenly ponderous and he looked toward the gunman behind with a quizzical expression.

“He wanted to come up front,” the gunman said, “I took him up front.”

“Listen,” the pilot said, his voice not the flat, controlled tenor heard through the loudspeaker but rather a high, almost wispy sound in the cabin, “I’ve got to concentrate on flying this plane. I can’t—”

“Shut the fuck up,” the heavy man said almost casually and the pilot turned back toward the console. Neither the co-pilot nor the navigator looked up. “What do you want?” he said to Wulff.

“That’s not the question. What do
you
want?”

The gunman said, “Let me take him out of here.” It must have occurred to him that there was no control back in the cabin section. There were only the two of them, then. That was something on his side, Wulff thought, although not very much. Not too damned much. They had the guns, he had none, they were in control of the plane and any attempt to shift the balance was not worth the risk. A lot of people could get killed, the plane itself could be lost. As if in confirmation of this, the cabin shook again hitting a stream of turbulence, dived convulsively like a beast caught in a trap and then came out of it reluctantly, the pilot struggling with the controls, bright little droplets of sweat coming off the co-pilot.

The pilot looked up and said almost desperately, “Could you let me fly the goddamned plane? Could you just leave the cabin, all of you, and let me concentrate on this? I can’t take much more.”

The gunman who had escorted Wulff in, exchanged a look with the heavy man, muttered something which Wulff could not hear and then left the cabin. The heavy man turned toward him holding the rifle loosely, easily, his free hand dangling at his side. He had the kind of fingers that looked as if they had strangled men.

“Who are you?” he said.

“You know who I am,” Wulff said, watching the other man carefully.

“You tell me.”

Wulff looked at the cabin, the three men jammed up against the controls trying to move a plane against panic, looked behind him to catch a glimpse of the stewardesses, like birds, fluttering down in the galley. He made a rapid set of calculations, so quick as to be subconscious, and at the end of them he knew that the decision had been made for him. There was just no other situation possible.

“I’m Martin Wulff,” he said.

The heavy man sighed with pleasure, showed his teeth, held the gun on him. “I thought you were,” he said. “It’s a pleasure.”

“What do you want?”

“What do we want, Wulff?” He tapped the rifle with his free hand almost meditatively and then pointed it again. “What do you think we want?”

BOOK: Lone Wolf #5: Havana Hit
2.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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