“Cells Can Be Rooms with Bars, or…”
“Inside the pocket of a clown
Is a sad place to hang around
Just watching smiles turn into frowns
Inside the pocket of a clown
Inside the heartache of a fool
You'll learn things they don't teach in school
And lessons there can be real cruel
Inside the heartache of a fool "
-Sung by Dwight Yoakum
(“Pocket of a Clown”)
When we got there, I was greeted by one of my police-computer-geek friends who had not only done face recognition, but had all the info he could gather on Mr. Pressman
It looked like a small book.
I was going to read the whole thing before I stepped into that room. I was going to arm myself.
I was right about Pressman having just gotten out of lock-up. The other guy had been in the same cell as he, name of Marv Hutton. But there was another guy in the same boarding room. The former “Reverend” Walter Simonson!
Simonson was the leader of the church we had brought down: “The Holy Order of the Promise of the Soul Purge.” That order had as its goal the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent drinkers of bottled water called “Perfect Spring.” They were going to send them all to heaven, just not on their own schedule.
Had Simonson converted them in stir? Were they “true believers,” joining their jihad to kill me by any means necessary?
Why the elaborate ruse of the clowns? Was he making a statement? Was it just his cracked brain jumbling a clever way of bringing me into the thing and then killing me?
Did he just want to kill a lot of people, with me as a bonus?
Neither Pressman or Hutton had evidenced any previous religious inclination. But then lots of cults were peopled with those who had finally found the “True Path.”
Then I found another interesting fact. They ran his financials and found that, unlike most who join a cult and give away all their worldly goods, Pressman and Hutton were both much better off cash-wise than they were before their involvement with the Church. And the money traced right back to Simonson’s holding companies, this discovered by the FBI only after he had left prison. A good couple of million in overseas accounts.
Suddenly there was a lot of noise in the lower level of the station.
I had just about gotten ready to go down to the cells and start questioning the prisoner.
I felt dire uncertainness about what the commotion might be, so I hurried down.
When I got there I found a madhouse of activity.
Two EMTs were working on a cop, who was on the floor.
There was also a dead detective in the cell.
Pressman was huddled on the bunk. He was sporting several facial lacerations and looked to have a broken left arm.
He saw me and shouted, “They tried to make it look like I had committed suicide!”
He held out his hand, showing a large capsule of what I assumed was poison.
Curiouser and curiouser.
© C. Wayne Owens