“Secrets Behind A Wedding Cake” Chapter Sixteen

“Sarah let’s talk for a second before Glanville Vance and Parker Knowles show up for the interview.”
“Too late Max, they are seated quite comfortably in interview room 2,” Sarah said. “So what did you find in your night of dumpster diving?
Max nodded towards a less noisy corner in the detective’s room. Sarah and Max moved over to a corner. Sarah leaned against the wall and crossed her arms.
“Shoot partner, what do we have?”
“I found two black garbage bags. Both were about half way down in the two dumpsters. Each dumpster had one of the bags. I would bet my bottom dollar that Parker picked up a few of those nasty bags and shoved them underneath the other garbage. In the first bag, I found bloody towels that match the set we found on the towel rack at the Knowles House.”
“Oh, that’s good news. This is the break we have been looking for.”
“Rolled up in the towels I found a hammer. It had fragments of tissue as well as hair stuck to the hammerhead. No doubt we have the murder weapon.” Max said.
“Did you find anything else in the bag?”
“Yes, in the rolled up towels with the hammer, I found a pair of men’s leather work gloves. The kind you see on the shelves in any hardware store. There appeared to be some blood and DNA potential on those gloves. The lab says they will look on the inside for any skin cells. My guess is we will find proof that Parker wore those gloves when he strangled Hallie. He probably thought by wearing gloves he could cover up fingerprints or any DNA transfer on Hallie’s neck.” Max said.
“What did you find in the second dumpster?” Sarah asked.
“Again about half way down in the can I found the same type of black plastic bag. In that bag, I found Hallie’s purse.”
“Car keys?”
“No, none.”
“Was her wallet there, any cash or credit cards missing?” Sarah asked.
“This was no robbery, the purse, and its contents were all inside. It was plainly dumped.” Max said.
“Hmm, why would Parker get rid of her purse but not her keys? Sarah whispered.
“I’ll bet you he panicked, and once he got her loaded up in the car, he grabbed her purse and keys and just got her the hell out of there. It never dawned on him he would have to drive home,” Max said.
“Did we get a DNA test on Parker?” Sarah asked.
“Yes, Parker surrendered his DNA before Vance showed up. Victoria also gave us permission to take her DNA.”
“After this interview, we need Parker to take a lie detector test,” Sarah said.
“If Vance allows it, yes. We probably should have done it earlier,” Max added.

*****

Sarah and Max opened the door to interview room 2. There in the metal chairs sat Parker Knowles and Attorney Glanville Vance. They stopped their whispering and stared stone-faced as both detectives sat down.
Max dropped two folders on the table, then rolled his chair up to the table and rested his arms over the files. He folded his hands. Sarah picked up the remote and started the recorder.
“This interview is being recorded,” Sarah said.
“Mr. Knowles, we canvased your neighborhood and found that no one knows you personally. We had a lengthy phone interview with Julian. We interviewed your employees, and we even asked Victoria’s employees if they knew you. Those that know you did not say anything bad about you at all. You seem to be a good guy. We gathered you pretty much are focused on your company and apparently on your wife. So the question remains, what happened to your wife?” Sarah asked.
“Look, detectives, I will say it again. I fell in love with Hallie. We got married. I had no idea she was pregnant until after our wedding when Julian called me and said go pick up Hallie, she is walking down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.”
“Why would she do that? I mean walk around a dusty road in the desert. She must have felt all alone.” Sarah said.
“We have been over this detective. Move on.” Glanville Vance said.
“You said that you came back from a business meeting and went straight to work Wednesday late afternoon and into the morning hours of Thursday. So your statement is you did not see Hallie on Wednesday afternoon or evening; is that correct?” Sarah asked.
“That’s right.”
“Have you ever driven Hallie’s Honda car?” Max asked.
Parker seemed confused for a couple of seconds. “Yes, we bought that car for her about a month before our wedding. Of course, I test drove it. I might have driven it once or twice–I don’t remember–but it was her car.”
“Silly question detectives, let’s get to the point here.” Glanville Vance said.
“Do you have your own set of keys for that car Mr. Knowles?” Max said.
“There are two sets of keys. I do not carry a set of the Honda keys with me if that is what you’re asking.”
“Do you know where the second set of keys are? I mean if Hallie accidently locked herself out of her car and she called you, you must know where these keys are?” Sarah asked.
“Yes, of course,” Parker added.
“Where would those keys be right now, sir?” Sarah asked more forcefully.
It was quiet for a few seconds. Max figured that Glanville Vance would intercede, but he said nothing.
“With the circumstances as they are right now, I couldn’t tell you where either set of keys are. That is the farthest thing from my mind right now. I have to bury my wife detectives, not worry about some damn keys.
“What’s the point of these questions anyway detectives?” Glanville Vance asked.
“We cannot find either set of keys,” Max said.
“Well that is a mystery now isn’t it? Vance said. “What other questions do you have for my client?”
Sarah said, “Do you own a pair of leather workman gloves?”
“Yes.”
“Where do you usually keep them?” She asked.
“They are in my toolbox. I only use them rarely, but they are there if I need them.” Parker said.
“Have you used them in the past, say in the last couple of weeks?” Sarah asked.
Parker looked befuddled, “Not that I recall.”
“Have you seen your gloves recently?” Sarah asked.
“No.”
“Do you own a hammer, like a claw hammer?” Max asked.
“Yes.”
“Would that be in your toolbox as well?”
“Yes.”
“When did you last use your hammer?” Max asked.
Parker shook his head, “I have no idea.”
“Do you know where your hammer is right now Mr. Knowles?” Max added.
“I assume it is in my toolbox where it belongs.”
“What drawer would we find that hammer in, sir?”
“I don’t know, probably the bottom drawer on the top section of the toolbox.”
Max moved on. “Are you familiar with your towels, say in the master bathroom?”
“Familiar?” Parker said.
“You know what color, how many different sets of towels you own, things like that,” Max said.
“I have no idea. That was Hallie’s department. Whatever she hung on the rack is what I used. Never gave our towels two thoughts.”
“Where are we going, Detectives?” Glanville Vance asked puuling up in his chair.
“We found several of these items in the dumpsters behind Knowles Imports last night.”
“What!” Parker said.
Glanville raised his arm and reached across Parker’s chest. “Parker, do not say another word.”
“Mr. Knowles, we found what we believe is Hallie’s blood on the workbench and on the floor of the garage near the toolbox. Someone attempted to clean up a large pool of blood. As we stated before, Hallie had blunt force trauma to her head, and she was strangled to death.” With that said, Max opened one of the two files and pulled out seven 8×10 colored photos of Hallie lying in the ditch. He fanned them out one by one like sizable playing cards. It was shocking and quite graphic even for a detective. Parker saw the pictures, and when it registered what he was looking at, he pushed his chair back and looked away.
Glanville Vance pulled the several pictures together and lightly tossed them back at Max.
“You did not have to do that to my client. That is a really unprofessional tactic detective.” Glanville Vance snarled in a low guttural voice.
“There is blood evidence in Hallie’s car, we are testing right now, but we believed that car moved Hallie to the dump site in the dairy country. Last night we found bloody towels that matched a set still hanging in the master bath. A hammer was wrapped up in those towels and found in the dumpster behind Mr. Knowles business. We found Hallie’s purse and Mr. Knowles leather gloves with blood on them. All of these items are in the lab right now. When the DNA comes back, we will be arresting Mr. Knowles for this horrific crime.”
“Bullshit, detective. None of this has anything to do with my client. You are fishing and pointing the finger at him with no proof. It is clear to me this is a setup to close this case and make you look good.” Vance hammered his index finger on the table to make his point.
“Can’t hide from DNA Mr. Vance. The lab will tell the story, and we are as sure as we can be that Mr. Knowles murdered his wife.” Sarah said.
“Are you arresting my client right now detectives?” Glanville Vance asked.
“No, not at this time, but soon,” Max said.
“Parker, we are leaving now. This is all circumstantial evidence, and because these fine detectives say they found all this evidence behind your business proves nothing. These two clowns are fishing, for all we know they planted it in those dumpsters. Let’s go.”
“Well when that DNA comes back, it will be our pleasure to cuff you sir,” Sarah said.
Glanville stood up and shimmied his pants up higher on his waist. Parker got up, and saying nothing more, they left.
Both Sarah McFadden and Max Drake sat there in silence thinking for a few seconds. The door to interview room 2 opened. The desk officer on duty walked in. “Detectives, there is a call for you from the lab.”

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