The Black Journal – (Break Room, Over Lunch)

Friday, 5:40 p.m. 
(Ethan and Sarah come up short with their first visit to The Keep. They decide to spend most of the afternoon going over the witness statements from the bar and various other items of interest scattered in a brown file on a lunchroom table)

Awfully quiet, how’s your Chinese food? 

What? Oh, ah…it’s good, it’s good. 

Is that right? Well, you wouldn’t say that by what’s left there on your plate. Sarah, you’ve haven’t eaten a thing. You’re not still mad at me, are you? 

No, Uncle Ethan, I’m not. 
I’m sorry. I just don’t feel very hungry at the moment. God, I’m so upset right now. Why haven’t we found a single clue of who might have killed Kevin? 

I don’t know, Sarah. But, look, our luck is bound to take a turn. This killer screwed up, I can assure you of that. We just need a little more time to reveal what those mistakes were.

I hope you’re right.

(Chief Wilson enters the room from the hallway)

Sarah, Ethan, great…you’re both still here. So, since I haven’t heard from you all day, I’m guessing your visit downtown didn’t stir us up any new information? Were you able to speak to the owner and ask for the security tapes?  

It was way too early, chief. The place was closed. It opens up in twenty minutes, we’re going back after we’re finished up here. The only person we ran into was a resident homeless guy who told us the cameras were just junk stuck to the wall. They don’t work. He also gave us his colorful opinion about the owner of the place, Stan Chubs. I sent the name to Spencer and told him to run it. He should be popping by any second with whatever he found. Oh, and you might want to be sitting down for this last bit.

Let me hear it, Ethan? Save me the suspense, remember my stomach?

Chief, this Keep joint! Turns out it’s a gay bar for men. Gay men like, well…Kevin. 

Kevin was gay? Are you sure about that? 

Yup, pretty sure. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and ask your daughter. 

Sarah, is this true? Why didn’t you say anything about this, this morning, at the briefing? 

Really dad? Do you honestly think I was going to raise my hand and tell a room full of my peers and colleagues that my ex-boyfriend left me for a man. Yeah, OK. Besides, I didn’t think the fact that Kevin was gay had anything to do with his death. After seeing the very place I only heard rumors of this morning, I’m not so sure anymore. 

Of course, sweetie. It’s no wonder you haven’t been yourself these past few months. Your mom and I figured it was your job that ended the relationship. You know, like the rest. 

Thanks, dad. I think?

Alright everybody, let’s recap. We have no leads, no suspects, no witnesses and the victim’s gay secret has created even more secrets. This is just wonderful. Ow! And, now my stomach pain’s flared up something fierce.
Spencer? 

Sir? 

Jesus, I told you to stop doing that. 

Sorry, sir.  

Spencer, did you run the name Ethan sent you? 

Sure did. 
Stanley Gerard Chubs, a forty-two-year-old entrepreneur who owns several worse for wear establishments located in the downtown area. All mostly bars and strip joints, some residential. After running his name in our computers, I did get quite a few hits for drug charges and there were a couple for domestic violence. I also went ahead and checked the city’s database against Mr. Chubs as a property owner, and it lite up like a Christmas tree. This guy is so buried in city citations and small claim matters, I seriously doubt he has the time or motivation to randomly kill some school teacher. He’s corrupt and a slumlord, but I don’t think he’s our killer.

That may be, but I still want someone over there once the doors open to that place to hear what this Chubs character has to say. Get a feel for the guy. He might know something yet. Ethan, you mentioned you both were heading back down there?

That’s correct, chief. In fact, I think we’re ready to take off. Sarah, you good to go? 

(Sarah’s phone beeps signally an instant message. Her face perplexed) 

Sarah? You OK? 

Yes, I’m fine
I…got a text message from Jess. I guess I’ve been too caught up in this case to even mention that she’s in town. Here for a wedding that…I thought was supposed to be taking place…now…actually.

Sarah, what did she say? 

Just says, “Drop by the Burnsville Country Club to say a final good-bye”.

Sounds to me like she might be bailing on the wedding and heading back early. Go on, go and see her. It’ll make you feel better and take your mind off all this.

Yeah, I think I will. We did plan to connect before she went back. Maybe she did cut it short. You fine going it alone?

100%, Sarah. I can head down to The Keep by myself, no worries. Tell Jess I said hi.

Me too, sweetie. Say hi, and Ethan’s right, you’ll feel much better after seeing Jess.

Will do. I’ll check in with you three later. 

(A phone rings in the break room, Chief Wilson, Ethan, and Sarah, all three turn around, Spencer answers and his mouth drops.) 

What is it, Spencer? What’s wrong with your face? Who’s that on the phone? 

Sir, it’s officer Mitchellson, there’s been another murder. 

Spencer, spit it out, boy. Where? 

Sir…the Burnsville Country Club!

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