Angeles nobodys innocent. You can have been dead twenty years and
still be guilty for murders you didnt commit. It might be due to the
sun. Its Los Angeles edges are so bright it makes an otherwise idyllic
city dark. It cuts through the shit of life and by making you clear to
yourself it shows how much dirt youve got in
your heart and how much blood on your hands.
You dont have to tell me I might be guilty
because I might be. You may think youre innocent when youre in a crowd.
A celebration may lead you to feel gay. Music
puts the pleasure of life in a persons chest, so what. California isnt
the bright edges and happy landscapes a New Yorker might mistake it for.
Its as dirty as Chicago but the dirt isnt
as apparent. And you need to know where to
go to find it. Theres always a hard part. I tell you what you think and
you dont think it. But God started with something or someone and whos
going to knock it. The worst you can say is its fiction and if you look
into your heart youll realize you participate in the same thing every
It was a murder bloody and sad. They wanted me to find the killer boo
hoo. Id followed the papers, I knew the story as well as anyone. But
that doesnt explain why they chose me.
Maybe because I was Easy. Maybe because theyd heard about my work in
times and places past. You dont go looking for reasons unless you have
to and you dont have to unless love or money is involved. I didnt feel
any love for Dirk Stratton but the money was there and who am I to refuse
You take the facts of the case because you dont have anything else: Dirk
was famous; he was loved; and he was the guest
of honor in a stadium of admirers. It was a hit, thats whats sure. The
blood hadnt had a chance to cool and his eyes were popping out of his
head, you could see it on TV.
I did the usual investigating. I talked to those closest to the newly
deceased. I dusted for prints and ran the battery of DNA
tests and mapped out the crime scene. I used the gadgetry available to
me at the proper spy stores and under the counter at gun shops and specialty
dealers and over the Internet. But I knew in advance what Id find. There
were too many clues.
Witnesses said Scott had threatened the man the night before when they
were taking shots of whiskey. Hed gone through a period during which
hed felt increasingly ineffectual, outshined by his former protegé.
What easier way to take the main stage than to kill him. What better way
to restore his self-confidence and writerly swagger.
William was off his gurney when it happened, his coma curiously ending
about the time of Dirks murder. It doesnt take two and two to draw a
connection. There had been animosity between the two. William had grown
angrier and meaner and some said Dirk was to blame. You dont go around
following a cult leader and completely escape psychological damage. Perhaps
Williams physical problems were a mask for his mental anguish. He could
claim insanity in a court of law and get off
with time in the looney-bin, the judge would believe it. Or he could get
away with it the way hed got away with language games in how many stories
and poems, crap that nobody caught until he let them know it was there.
You can hide a motive one day and another its clear what it is.
And Frank, laughing and jumping around onstage. Nobody believed that fucker
with his cagey smile. His motive was that of the child who hates his father.
He wanted center stage and didnt have it. Just like all the others, but
worse; hed been the one who gave Dirk the mind-reading trick when theyd
been on tour, and Dirk had taken it, exploited it,
and used it to get what secretly everybody knew that Frank guy always
wanted: Love from strangers, respect from old friends, approval from a
world he did not know.
There were other suspects. There was a stadium full of suspects and every
one of them could be guilty, but these three stood out among the others,
and I sniffed them like a dog sniffing shit.