By 10:45 a.m. on Friday morning after only five hours of sleep, Detectives Max Drake and Sarah McFadden had a full search warrant for Hallie and Parker’s home.
While driving to the Knowles residence, Max turned to Sarah, “The later it got last night the more agitated Parker got. You were pushing pretty hard on him.” Max said.
“I’m convinced he killed his wife. He stood to lose a lot to a woman who lied to him and cheated on him. I’ll bet they had a meeting before the divorce was final. It’s possible the conversation led to an argument, and Parker snapped. I also believe he is done talking to us without a lawyer after last night.” Sarah added.
“I let Victoria go home around 11:30 p.m. I watched you work Parker over until…what time was it anyway?”
“About 1:30 a.m.”
Within a few minutes, the detectives pulled up to the curb at Hallie and Parker’s home. Parker stood on the front porch with another man in a Z Zegna wool suit and tie; from the car, it looked expensive. When Max and Sarah reached the porch neither said a word.
“Detectives, this is my lawyer,” Parker said folding his hands and leaning back slightly closer to the front door.
“Detectives, my name is Glanville Vance. I am Parker Knowles personal attorney. I assume you have a search warrant to enter this residence.”
Glanville Vance, a six-foot-three-inch African-American man, had graduated Harvard Law twenty-two years before. He worked his way through a law firm then decided to start his own. One high profile case won, and Glanville Vance could afford his expensive suits. Max had run into him several years before. Vance was the defense attorney in a case he had no chance to win for his client. Max testified for two days in that trial, and Attorney Vance gutted him like a fish. One oversite lets a murderer go free. That trial still stuck in Max’s throat when he thought about it. So today, Max stands in front of Glanville Vance again looking up at him to the attorney’s perch on the front porch. If Vance recognized him, he did not act like it.
“I have the search warrant right here,” Max said rather snidely.
Max held the paperwork out for him. Vance stepped forward two steps and took the papers. Their eyes met for just a second. Max said a silent ‘fuck you, Glanville Vance.’ For the next two full minutes, no one said a thing while Vance read the warrant.
“I see everything is in place. I would ask that you not completely toss Mr. Knowles home like he was some kind of a drug dealer.” Vance said stone-faced.
Sarah started to say something, but Max nudged her in the ribs slightly. Sarah got the message.
“You have been served, Attorney Vance and Mr. Knowles. Time for you both to go and let us do our job.” Max stuck his thumb out and pointed it over his shoulder towards the street. “No use wasting any more of your valuable time,” Max said pointedly.
“I am convinced you will be here a long time so waste away Detectives,” Glanville said.
“Have either of you entered the home?” Sarah asked.
“With your police officer sitting out there watching? No, my client has not entered the residence,” Vance said.
“Where is Victoria?” Sarah asked.
“She’s at the Hiatt Hotel where we rented a room last night, since being kicked out of her house,” Parker said in an insulting, forceful voice.
“Okay, everything is in order so we are leaving now. Have a beautiful day detectives.” Glanville Vance said. He reached around Parker’s back and gently guided him past both Max and Sarah.
Max watched as Parker and Glanville Vance got into Vance’s S-Class Mercedes Coupe and sped off.
“I first ran into Glanville Vance several years ago. We cannot make a single mistake and not completely trash this house. That guy is a shark and will extort any mishap we make.”
“Ah, he’s just another asshole defense attorney Max. We never make mistakes partner.” Sarah chuckled, but Max knew his partner well enough that she was in a serious mood and had nothing on her mind but finding out what happened to Hallie Cook-Knowles.
Max and Sarah started in the kitchen and worked their way through the house. Room by room they looked for anything that was out of place or odd. Every room seemed to be in order. Max examined the floor looking for scuff marks on the kitchen floor tile. They looked in all drawers and cupboards. Max even stuck the beam of his flashlight down the kitchen sink drain. They looked for anything obviously missing that could have been used as a murder weapon. The CSI investigators would be at the house in an hour and would spray Luminol wherever the detectives determined there could be the possibility of blood droplets or attempts to clean up a murder scene.
“Murderers think they are smarter than we are. They believe that they can clean up a crime scene.” Max said as he searched under the couch and under the cushions. “Sarah do you remember that case where that guy jackhammered up the concrete floor in his living room. He buried his wife there, poured new concrete and set the carpet back in place.”
“Yeah if it were not for the dog picking up that scent of the decomposing body and the one mistake he made. You could feel a slight variation in the floor leveling. I will admit it was a brilliant idea. I hope he is having a good day in his concrete cell for the rest of his life.” Sarah said.
“Maybe in the old days you could get away with a lot, but with DNA and science today, no way,” Sarah said from the master bathroom.
Max stood up. “Shit, Sarah this place is clean as far as I can see.”
“Hey, Max look at what I found,” Sarah called out.
“Max walked into the master bathroom, and Sarah with her gloved left hand on the medicine cabinet door stood there.”
“What do you have?”
Sarah reached into the medicine cabinet, “I found what has to be Hallie’s birth control pills.” Sarah picked up the package. She opened it. “About half the pills are missing.” She dropped the pill container it into a plastic bag and sealed it.
“I am really confused what Hallie was up to. She claims to be pregnant, blows out her marriage to a wealthy man. She sleeps with their best friend. Gets married to Parker without telling him she is knocked up by another guy. What is her motive here? All of this is a lie, and now we find that she is taking birth control. There has to be more to this story Sarah.” Max said.
“Whatever she was up to it got her murdered,” Sarah added.
“I’ve never seen something this complicated and surreal that did not have a logical beginning that led to this kind of a tragic end.”
“No shit partner. I’ve seen a lot of crazy people making dumb decisions. Hallie Knowles takes the cake. I have no idea what motivated her to walk on this path.”
“Let’s move to the garage next,” Max said.
They walked into the garage and Hallie’s Honda Civic was there. Both detectives walked around the garage and looked at everything. Sarah walked over to the workbench were a stackable toolbox stood next to the workbench.
“Hey, Max looks like we might have a spot of blood on the edge of this bench.”
Max walked over and bent down to investigate where she was pointing.
“Yeah, it looks like it to me.” Max stood up and stepped back from the bench, he crouched down and looked at the floor while Sarah opened different drawers in the toolbox.
“This concrete looks like it was cleaned here in this area,” Max said pointing in a circular motion.
“Sure does. This toolbox does not have a hammer in any of the drawers.” Sarah said.
“Is there one on the bench somewhere?” Max asked.
Sarah walked over to the Honda and with her gloves on; she opened the drivers’ door.
“The front seat of this car is clean I don’t see anything or any blood.” Sarah pulled the latch for the trunk, which popped open. She walked to the back and opened the trunk all the way. She turned her flashlight on and bent down sweeping the light slowly through the carpeted area.
“Max looks like maybe a spot of blood or something dark like blood,” Sarah said.
Max walked over and looked where Sarah was pointing.
“CSI people will get a sample of that as well.” Max bent down and looked at both the back tires.
“There are a few small pebbles in these tire treads, and I see some kind of dirt or dried mud.” Max stood up. We need to take this car to the lab. “I got a feeling we may have found the car that transported Hallie’s body to the dump site. I remember the peel out marks in the gravel. I’ll bet you a dollar this car was used.” Max said.
“You know what, something just struck me. We went through the whole house and if Hallie was murdered here, where are her purse and keys? I didn’t see them anywhere.” Sarah said.