Motive, means, and opportunity – Episode 8

A deep dive into Bergman’s Timeline

Bryson rubbed his eyes and leaned back in his chair.  This was going to be a day that never ended.  For some, the day ended while the sun was still shining, for others, they might as well be vampires.

There were so many potential suspects in the Bergman case, it was rapidly become a case of where to start.

The medical examiner’s report was sitting on his desk when he got back, and it didn’t say much more than he already knew other than the time of death had moved to a more specific window of between 10:30 and 11:00 pm.  It might be a little later, but the cold weather played havoc with the body.

But the time fitted the fact he had a meeting at 10pm, according to Wendy Anderson.  Who was he meeting, and how had it been set up, and why in the car park of the Brooklyn Zoo?  The broken CCTV camera could not be the only reason.

Still determined to be a close shot, through the window of the car, fragments of glass were found in the wound.  Death was instantaneous, a blessing perhaps.  He was in the driver’s seat, keys in hand, so he was preparing to get out.

The weapon could be a Glock 19, and 9mm ammunition.  One bullet was all it took to kill him.  Up close and personal, it was most likely the shooter someone he knew.

So Bergman’s timeline so far looked like this:

09:00 Bergman comes in for a half hour and then leaves

12:00 or thereabouts, pick up a rental car from Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn

Home perhaps in Jamaica?

19:03 Calls Wendy as he is leaving his residence, on his way to James Anderson’s

On average takes 45 minutes to drive from Jamaica to Prospect Park Zoo a few minutes more to Anderson’s

20:30 Bergman arrives at James Anderson’s

21:05 Text message from Bergman to Wendy after leaving Anderson’s.

22:30 Approx, Bergman murdered in carpark

Then the questions:

Why did Bergman rent the car in the name of Megarry?  Was it because he used that name to pick up women, and had he arranged a liaison?  They wouldn’t be the first people to drive to a certain spot, meet, one leaves their car, and they go off to someplace else.

Who was Bergman meeting and how had the meeting been arranged?  The second phone?  The search would have to be widened to near the carpark, though the chances of finding it discarded were little to none.

They would now need the phone records of Wendy Anderson, James Anderson, Stacy Bergman, and Richard Hollingsworth.

More was needed on the relationship between brother and sister Hollingsworth.  Both could want him dead for various reasons.

That was as far as the scribbled notes got when Worthey walked in.  He looked tired and jaded.

“I’m sure the world is mostly populated by assholes,” he said, throwing himself into his chair.

“And this assumption has been caused by?”

“Hotel concierge.  They see everything, know everyone, and yet are happy to cite confidentiality ad their credo when it suits them.  If I offered them a few hundred dollar notes they’d sing like canaries.”

“We don’t have that kind of money.”

“But Stacy Bergman does, or at least her team of PI’s.  He’s had six different women he’s taken to dinner in the last month, and the favourite, Wendy Anderson.  And a week ago they had a very loud bust up in the restaurant.  She stormed out, they haven’t been back since.  Her that is, not him.  He was back two nights later with another woman.”

“How did you come by this tidbit?”

“One of the front counter staff took pity on me.  She didn’t like the concierge, reckons he’s a little handy, so the price of information was to warn him about being more circumspect around the female staff.”

“So, all was not well in paradise.  Probably the photos and veiled threats.”

“A viable suspect, too.”

Worthey looked up at the whiteboard Bryson had been writing on.  “OK, I came up with this brainstorm, that the rental should have a GPS, so I went to the rental office and, success.  We know where the car was from the moment, he picked it up until the moment he parked at the Zoo,”

He pulled out his notebook.

“Left the rental office at 12:08 pm.  Arrived at 84th Avenue Jamaica at 12:43, with one-stop, presumably a gas station, I checked the coordinates.  Left Jamaica at 19:23, stops to get takeaway at 19:40, leaves there at 20:04, and arrives at Anderson’s at 20:43.  He’s there until 20:58, then leaves, drives to the Zoo Car Park arriving there at 21:21.  He doesn’t take the direct route, he just seems to be driving in circles, killing time.”

“Good.  Fill in the timeline to reflect those times.  Then check his phone records for calls, in or out for the time he was home, the time he was getting takeout, and the time after he left Anderson’s.  Any word on the CCTV camera between Anderson and the Zoo?”

“Not yet.  There doesn’t appear to be anyone home.  I’m in the process of finding who lives there so I can track them down.”

“Excellent.  First thing tomorrow, you and I will visit Bergman’s lawyer.”

“Mrs Anderson?”

“She can wait a little longer.  I want more information before I see her again.  she’s going to be the type who needs to be served with a fait accompli.”

© Charles Heath 2019-2023

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