Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 348 - Which Category?

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:16:53]
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Darren came into work with a headache the next day. He had hardly gotten a wink of sleep because he couldn\'t stop thinking about that anonymous tip.


At least he had been able to forget about it for the duration of his wife\'s birthday dinner. But once the presents were open, the cake was consumed, and everybody went home it crept back in like an itch he couldn\'t scratch.


He had received a lot of anonymous tips in his day. Some were quacks who wanted to feel a part of a big case. Others were people who probably wanted to be helpful but didn\'t have very useful information. Still others were criminals who were actually involved but didn\'t want to go down with their bosses or partners.


But which category did this tipper fall under? He had been oddly specific, remembering a license plate like that, even if it was a weird one.


Most people couldn\'t remember full plate numbers. They also usually had a hard time distinguishing between similar letters like "V" and "U" because they tended to see the plates in passing.


The delay between the murder, the offer of the reward, and the tip being given was suspicious as well. Who waited weeks after a murder to report something and still remembered it clearly?


But the thing that bothered Darren most was that the tipper contacted him when a precinct in a completely different part of the city was in charge of that investigation. Why him? How did the tipper even know who he was?


He said that a friend had called Darren \'the only trustworthy cop he knows.\' It was both flattering to be thought well of and insulting to have his profession looked down on.


The friend of this tipper must have been involved in one of his cases somehow but there had been so many over the years it was impossible to remember them all. If he saw the tipper\'s friend on the street he might vaguely recognize them but that was probably the extent of it. Human brains could only retain so much memory.


If this tip was legitimate and led to an arrest, the mystery might be solved. Figuring that part out was more important than his burning curiosity.


Darren looked at his notes from the phone call and tried to piece things together. The tipper was male and of an indeterminate age; that sort of thing was hard to tell by voice alone, especially because people often sounded different on the phone.


He was supposedly afraid of being found by the killer; which meant it was highly likely he had seen the killer\'s face and who he was at a glance. This man could have some position of authority over the tipper. A boss, perhaps?


Either the tipper knew the killer personally or it was someone both recognizable and powerful within the city. The victim had been a socialite…the murderer could be rich and well known too.


This would be a lot easier if he had access to Lacy Knighton\'s case file. Detectives were often territorial about their cases; it was unlikely that whoever was in charge would just let him look at it since he was from a different precinct.


He would need to be in contact with them anyway once he figured out if this tip was worth anything. He should focus on the license plate number. With any luck, he could figure out who had gotten into the cab that way.


Running plates was a simple task and Darren had a name in minutes. The cab was registered to a Taxi Star driver named Harry Ramone. He would need to go over to Taxi Star\'s offices and see if they were willing to talk. If they weren\'t, he would have to get a warrant.


===


The owner of Taxi Star was a wizened old man who had surprisingly bright and clear eyes for his age. Darren was lucky—when he explained that he was investigated a murder and that a suspect had been spotted getting into one of his cabs, the owner was willing to cooperate.


So few people were civic-minded these days. Getting warrants become more and more common over time for even simple tasks.


"You\'re looking for someone who got into Harry\'s cab, right? If I remember correctly, he was testing out a new hidden dash cam…we\'ve been having some vandalism problems lately," Mr. Wilson mumbled as he typed away at a computer.


Darren tried to remain professional and hide his excitement. But a hidden dash cam?! That was more than he could have hoped for! He might have clear footage of the killer\'s face. At that point all he would have to do was run it through facial recognition software.


"Ah, here we go. Harry dropped someone off in the Flatiron district at 12:48…let\'s see…his next fare didn\'t give a name and paid in cash. Let me find that footage for you."


Mr. Wilson fast forwarded through a bunch of the day\'s footage, stopping it at 12:48. He turned the screen for Darren to see it and pressed play.


A man in his forties stepped out of the cab and Harry quickly started the car again and kept going for a couple minutes until someone presumably flagged him down. The dash cam only showed what was happening inside the car, not outside.


Harry pulled up to the curb and immediately a woman with long black hair was roughly shoved inside. Lacy Knighton. A man matching the description the tipper gave climbed into the car right after her, seeming annoyed even though half his face was hidden by sunglasses.


Lacy tried climbing onto the man and planted sloppy kisses all over his neck. He shoved her off and fastened her seatbelt, which limited her motion somewhat, but she couldn\'t be deterred completely. She stuck to the man like Velcro.


The man huffed and told Harry to take them to the Bronx without giving a specific address. Lacy tried multiple times to undo the seatbelt and keep kissing the man but he wrestled with her for control of the mechanism keeping it clicked shut.


This sort of thing went on the entire ride. The sunglasses remained firmly in place, which was disappointing. Darren really thought this might help once he first saw the man and Lacy get into the cab.


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