The Eerie Exploits of Ranger Co. X: This Star Says I’m a Texas Lawman. Pt 3
Chris eyed the size of the file, “There’s no reason to duplicate any of the legwork Detective Sorenson has already done. Yeah, Jack, lunch sounds like a good idea.” Looking back at the detective he added, “You got a spare conference room around here?”
Jack replied, “Alright then. You lot get settled in and I’ll go get us a pie.”
Detective Sorenson led the Rangers to Interrogation Room B, where they found a table, four chairs, a single light over the table and no windows. Jack slipped out to track down lunch, and the others hunkered down to pour over the notes, photos, and other documents. Eventually Jack returns with sandwiches and cokes (ed.: In Texas, all soft drinks are ‘cokes’ regardless of the actual brand). At the end of a couple of hours, the team was able to glean the following information:
• Three nights ago reporter Michael Palmer was found dead on the sidewalk outside of the hotel. The case was ruled a suicide.
• Palmer’s body was found by a porter on his way to work at the depot.
• Detective Charlie Sorenson was assigned to the case. He did not agree with official report, and requested assistance from Ranger Co. X to investigate.
• Prior to death being investigated all criminal activity was limited to vagrants and vandals.
• Hotel is owned by the Parr Group (George Parr, aka the “Duke of Duvall County.”)
• The Hotel was opened in 1912.
• A murder allegedly took place in 1922. A young socialite was killed (allegedly by her fiancé). No one was ever arrested for the crime, and there is no official record of the crime.
• A number of underworld figures were reported to have stayed at the hotel
• It was closed in 1951 when the former owner was arrested for tax evasion and was purchased by the Parr Group.
• Parr is content to leave the hotel vacant as “for tax purposes.”
• Palmer was investigating a story about a two Boy Scouts who were spending Halloween in an effort to prove that the hotel wasn’t haunted, but ran out before midnight claiming they had witnessed a ghost in the Panama Hotel.
Jack goes looking for a patrol man to direct him to a good pizza place. On his return he remarks to the team, “I was advised to pass on the pizza. Hope everyone likes ham. What is it with us American’s and not being able to agree on what these beverages are called?”
Now, with Ranger DeHart’s question, he moved closer to the table. “I don’t think so. Said his name was ‘Buddy Jefferson.'” Then he looked at the Crime Scene photo. “Wait the guy on the right side of the picture looks like him, but its pretty fuzzy.”
“But there was also no real evidence of foul play. With other crimes on our docket,” he waved his hand wearily in the general direction of the squad room, “the decision was made to wrap this one up quick.”
The Ranger then looked over at the detective, “We all came in my car, can you rustle up some transportation back to the depot?”
“One last question, Detective. Is there anything hinky about the Parr Group? off the record of course.”
“Well, the Parr Group is a property management company set up by the Parr family out of Duval County. If by ‘hinky’ you mean not completely above board, that describes the Parr family. They pretty much control the county down there, but they tend to deal more in political maneuverings than in murder, and we’ve never had any rumblings of illegal activity out of the Parr Group.”
“OK then, let’s saddle up fellas,” Chris the looked at Gabe, “One more thing before we split up. Gabe, you and Rod meet us over at the Panama when you’re done questioning the porter.”