Sheriff Porter 66
I spent those two weeks alone in Vic’s Villa. I enjoyed the staff there, even if the maid was the only straight member of the staff. The gay guys and I got along fabulously. They had directed me to a red neck bar. I went only once with less than stellar results. Oh I had offers, but none of them were up to my really low standards.
I drank real liquor from the liquor store and chatted on the computer. I kept track of Wilson’s digital investigation. He found three women who had apparently been raped, but were reported as simple assault. Those were within the last two years and all were on Jefferson Island. Most likely there were others, who hadn’t reported it to the police. They would have jacked the numbers had they been reported.
It looked as though I needed to do some checking. I couldn’t think about it at the moment. I needed to keep my mind on what I was doing at the moment. All during those two weeks, while I completed the flight school, it staying just below the surface of my mind.
On graduation day Madison brought a bottle of champagne to the hanger and we drank it. I was happy that it was behind me, but I knew I wasn’t ready for a coast to coast flight either. I needed to rack up a lot more hours.
Someone told the chief mechanic with Hanford Aviation that I had graduated, and might be looking for a plane. He was expecting me when I approached him. “Hi there,” I said extending my hand. “I’m Sylvia Porter, I wonder if I might take you to lunch and talk airplanes?” I asked.
“Actually I was supposed to approach you to see if I could offer some advice. Hanford air is a broker for several manufacturers,” he said. “We also can evaluate a used airplane for you.”
“Well if the company wants you to talk to me then fine, looks like I saved the price of a lunch. So what do you recommend for a first plane?” I asked.
“Depends a lot on what you plan to do with it, and that kind of thing. He said first of all let met tell you they aren’t cheap to buy, operate, or maintain,” he said.
“I don’t know if you knew it or not, but I’m living in a small town. I live down in New Wales,” I explained. “I doubt that I will use it for business. If I did, I might fly 500 miles no more for sure. I know they probably told you I could afford it, but I don’t usually buy things that eat. Sounds to me like airplanes eat.”
“Oh, I never heard it put that way, but an airplane definitely eats,” he said smiling.
“Okay what kind of plane eats the least?” I asked.
“Well here we go again on how you want to use it. A motorized glider is your best bet. You can take off and land in a level grassy field. You probably got a few of those down there. You could use the motor to take off get to altitude then feather the prop and glide as long as the air currents were favorable. It should go a heck of a long way on a teaspoon of gas,” he said.
“I don’t really think I want one of those. How about an ultralight?” I asked.
“Probably get 65 miles an hour in it. That’s pretty much the downside,” he said.
“So what is the upside?” I asked.
“You could land one of those in a field as well. You could get the motor worked on by any competent auto mechanic. It would burn regular gas and oil and would have the simplest of avionics, unless you want more,” he said.
“Sounds kind like flying a Sopwith Camel,” I said.
“Yeah it is,” he said.
“Actually I like the sound of that. Tell your boss to email me the relevant links and prices to have it delivered here. I will fly it the two hundred or so miles home.
After that I drove home in the truck to begin looking at the statistics and cases that Wilson found. Nobody was paying me, but I had to live in the town and I had been a victim, okay a possible victim of date rape. It didn’t take much to motivate me to take a closer look. In my case I would never call it more than a misunderstanding, unless there were drugs involved. If there were drugs involved, someone was going to jail.
“Hey welcome home. Believe it or not I missed you,” Wilson said.
“Why did you run out of money or did you need someone to tell you screwing both a mother and daughter was just plain wrong?” I asked.
“No smart ass, I have a wad of information for you,” Wilson said.
“Can it wait till I get a cup of coffee?” I asked.
“Yes but I don’t know what you are going to do with it, once you have it?” Wilson asked.
“I guess it depends on how bad the problem was. Rape is a hard crime to get investigated and prosecuted. Even when there is good evidence, let alone when the girl’s memory is shit,” I suggested. “I know it was the drugs that destroyed their memory but that doesn’t help when you are trying to put someone in prison.”
“Get your coffee and let’s see what you see,” Wilson suggested. “You see things different than anyone I ever met.”
I did as Wilson suggested. I had a cup of coffee and tried to relax after my long drive. Okay the drive wasn’t that long and the coffee didn’t clear my mind. I was still thinking about airplanes. Sure I could afford a hundred thousand for a restored airplane from the Vietnam era, but I really didn’t want one. I could also buy one of those 30k ultralights and that did appeal to me. I didn’t like the choices I had seen so far. If it had a good looking and serviceable body design, it also had an exotic motor. If it had a motor that was small and reliable, the plane’s design was crap. I was having a problem deciding what to buy.
Then I planned to buy a grass strip somewhere near the marina. I even thought about buying a float plane but they were just too clumsy. The safest plane for me to own seemed to be a small motorized glider. I was going to look into that, in the meantime I had a date with Wilson.
“Well Wilson let’s see what we have statistically first,” I suggested.
“Well start with a generic sleepy little town with a tourist season. We ask ourselves what would be the typical number of rapes per year?” Wilson said.
“I hope you aren’t asking me, because you should already know the answer,” I said.
“There are several towns that fit the population, and have a similar number of tourist on a yearly basis. The random number of rapes reported seems to average two point something a year,” Wilson said.
“We can say that anything statically more or less over a number of years is suspicious?” I asked.
“If it is more than a couple of years yes,” he agreed.
“So don’t keep me in suspense. Where do we fall on the statistical chart?” I asked.
“Who ever is doctoring the stats doesn’t know or care about hiding it. There have been no rapes reported or prosecuted in the New Wales or Jefferson Island area for the last six years. Before that there were an average of three reported and two prosecuted. Just a little higher than the average,” Wilson informed me.
“Okay so I’m going to assume there were too many to report correctly, so what were they called?” I asked.
“I took your advice and looked at the reports of all the simple assaults involving unknown male assailants and women victims. The statistical average should be four to six a year. We had almost twice the normal number during the tourist season,” Wilson informed me.
“Okay I think we have something that at least we should take a took at. What do you think?” I asked.
“Unlike you Silvia I don’t see a conspiracy here, but I definitely think it deserves a look,” Wilson said.
“So how are you going to feel about it, if something comes back to bite one of the people you are involved with?” I asked.
“You never gave anybody a pass because of who they knew and I wouldn’t either,” he said. Then again he had no idea all the things I had done. He and I tried to decide on our next move, but I was just not in the private cop mode at that moment in time. I was still in the pilot mode. I figured I needed a night without thinking of either to get me ready to try to sort out the statistical anomalies.
That being the case I chose to go back to Jefferson Island and the Holiday Inn lounge. It was a more adult place to have a drink and meet a man. Yes I still met men the old fashioned way in a bar. My hormones required immediate gratification, so an arranged meeting on line held no interest for me at all.
That pretty much is why I found myself in the Holiday Inn lounge on Jefferson Island. Well I did choose the Holiday Inn since it was mentioned in one of the assaults. It was the assault which led to a young woman calling the Jefferson Island Security Force.
Jefferson Island had a very small private Security Force to provide quick response security for its merchants and guests. If they deemed an in depth investigation necessary, they called the County Sheriff. From that point it might go on up to the SBI.
In the case of the young woman the County Sheriff was called. By the time the Deputy arrived the woman had calmed down. She had either decided or had been convinced that it was a simple assault. She had been told it be best handled with the help of a lawyer. She didn’t want to be dragged through a rape trial was my guess. If that were true someone had explained what a rape trial would be like for her. A quiet settlement with the Holiday Inn would be a better route.
I didn’t much like it, but there was some justification for her thinking that especially if she met her attacker in the lounge. It only took one guy who went to bars, and who understood a jury’s usual mentality to get away with it.
“Yes I met her in a bar for god’s sake. She agreed to take me to her room. What would you think.” No matter that she didn’t want to have sex with him, the circumstantial evidence was against her. Of course she wouldn’t even know who did it, since she had been drugged. Well if I was right she had been drugged and wasn’t sure what had happened.
But why wasn’t she taken to the Emergency Room by the Security Force? She obviously needed a rape kit done, if she complained about being raped. First on the scene had been the Security Force so they obviously were allowed to make that call. I was sitting at a table in the lounge with a glass of wine and a too weak cup of coffee when I thought I needed to investigate the Jefferson Island Security Force. Since they were to be first to respond to any complaint on Jefferson Island.
I sent a text to Wilson. ‘First thing tomorrow check on status of Jefferson Island & their Security Force.’
“It has really gotten bad, when beautiful women are so bored they send text messages from a bar,” the voice said.
“Actually I just remembered something important. I needed to send my partner a message before I forgot,” I explained.
“Domestic or business partner,” he asked.
“Business,” I said.
“Then may I sit?” he asked.
“Please do,” I said to the man close to my own age. He looked pretty well ‘cared for’. He was either gay or some kind of well to do businessman, I thought.
“My name is John and my last name is not doe,” he said.
“I’m Sylvia Porter,” I replied.
Edited by Walt