What began as a simple person-locate festered into a media circus that made 9-11 look like a quilting bee. The target was Deshaundra, a 23-year old Jamaican girl who doctors officially described as “mildly retarded” when she was 14. Problems arose as she developed into a very attractive young woman, who was completely incapable of saying no to anyone, least of all less-than-honourable young men, and ultimately, the inability to understand why she should. Her parents retained me when the police refused to assist, because despite the medical documentation, she was an adult, and it was therefore not a police matter. With my incessant habit of talking myself out of work, I took the mother personally into her local police station, and who was there to greet us, but none other than Inspector Robert J. Pinkerton the third, or “Pinky the Turd”.
“I assure you Madam,” he started as soon as he saw her with me. “If you were hoping that returning with THIS clown would assist your claim, you’re going very much in the wrong direction.”
“Pinky” I said. “Not even you can turn a blind eye to these medical reports. They clearly spell out the girl is retarded, and reflexively says or does whatever she assumes will please the people immediately around her. She can’t offer informed consent to an ice cream, much less a Dirty Sanchez.”
“Shamus, these documents are almost 10 years old. Bring me an adult assessment, and we’ll talk again.”
Vintage Pinky genius. Let’s go borrow the girl from her captors, ask the experts to update their diagnoses, return her to the bad guys and then come back to learn the next of Pinky’s objections.
“Are you suggesting that retardation is something that can be controlled by a pill, Pinky, and that maybe she’s off hers?” I screamed in disbelief. He raised an admonishing finger, but I wouldn’t allow him a word. “Because if you are, I suggest you ask your doctor to double your dosage!”
The officers near the front desk made little attempt to stifle their snickers as I guided the girl’s mother out the front door.
Predictably, I agreed to accept the file, and in subsequent conversations learned that Deshaundra had been taken away twice before, most recently a year ago, and odds were good she may have gone back.
A week, three good leads, a re-injured back and a blinding head cold later, I walk out the front door of Casa Gumshoe to a barrage of camera fire and tracer flashes, and at least 6 or 7 wind-sheltered microphones stuffed within 2 inches of my very angry nose.
“Mr. Fitzpuzzel! I understand you’re looking for Deshaundra Everton! What can you tell us about the progress?” Someone to my left was shoving the morning paper in my direction with an 18- year old Deshaundra on the front page, and the headline, “And the Cops Don’t Care!”
I pushed my way through to Dirty Gerty like cancer through a white mouse, offering only, “And even if I were, why would I share details with the media, when you’re perfectly capable of inventing your own lies?”
Gerty fired up on the first twist, and I turned west to chase down the best lead yet. Within 3 blocks, the news had included a statement from the police chief, the mayor, and even confirmation that “this issue won’t sit lightly on the Premier’s desk”.
At least mine was never the element of surprise to lose.
A plate check on the vehicle she was found in last year gave me an address over in 51 Division, affectionately known as the “sewer”. I walked into the six-story apartment building, its front door wide open, and approached the single elevator. The brass plaque confirmed the building was opened in May of 1951 by Premier Leslie Frost. Who?
I think it was last cleaned in June of 1951. The air was heavy with cigarette smoke, curry, and old body odour.
The elevator opened and I froze in my tracks. Deshaundra smiled widely as she looked up at me, but her mother and the tiny policewoman were much less at ease.
“Officer…” was all I managed. Her nightstick showed the wear from years of dragging on the ground.
“This is Constable Okuwambu, Shamus.” The mother offered. “The one I told you helped me last year?”
“So where’s the captor? Where’s your backup, officer?” I demanded.
“I can’t prove he’s actually committed a crime, sir.”
“No?” I turned to Deshaundra in disbelief. “Sweetheart, I need you tell me the truth. Did you ever have ‘s-e-x’ with the man upstairs?”
She flashed a big grin, and nodded enthusiastically.
“And he FORCED you to, didn’t he?” I added, returning her smiling nods.
She paused only for a second before agreeing, at which I told Deshaundra’s mother to take her out to my car, and then sternly directed the constable to follow me.
“Sexual interference, officer. Section 153.1. You put the mitt on the nogoodnik, and I’ve got your six.”
Less than 5 minutes later, I was pressing a six-inch ‘fro downward into the back seat of Tiny Tina’s scout car, as he bubbled over like 20-minute pasta. “Mind your head, son” came more reflexively than the clatter of his skull off the doorframe.
What I wouldn’t have given to have seen Pinky the Turd’s face as Constable Shatina Okuwambu dragged this nasty into the booking room, his pathetic blabberings attempting remorse like a 2014 Michael Ignatieff revival.
She would have him in custody for at least as long as it would take the specialists to reinforce their diagnoses, and thereby shift the burden to the predator to prove he couldn’t have known she was disabled.
Good luck with that.
…the life of a flatfoot