Motive, means, and opportunity – Episode 12

Bryson and Worthey confer

Detective Worthey arrived at the Bergman residence at the same time as the first team of crime scene investigators.

He had come directly from interviewing Sandra Worsley, Bergman’s daughter.

“The list of suspects is getting longer and longer,” Worthey said, after joining Bryson by his car, having a cigarette, the first in a number of months.

“Why am I not surprised.”

“I thought you gave up smoking.”

“I thought I did too, but this case.  There’s something odd going on here, and I’m sure when I find out what it is, I’m not going to like it.”

“Odd, funny or odd, hairs on the back of the neck?”

“Why does an import/export trader have a rented house in an obscure location with a large basement and a dozen filing cabinets?”

“Can’t be too obscure if his scorned wife knows where it is.”

“She’s been having him followed by a private detective.  Met him just before.  There’s more to him than meets the eye.”

Bryson had dealt with a lot of Private Detectives in his time, and they usually fell into two categories, those that found missing pets, and the photographs of cheating spouses, and those that were proper investigators, ex police, ex FBI, even ex CIA.  Davidson was in the latter category, and he wasn’t simply investigating a cheating husband.

“Will I add him to the ever-growing list?”

“No.  I’ll look into him.  I have a feeling it’s going to end up above our pay grade.”

That was the other thing Bryson noted.  The dynamic between Stacy and Davidson.  It was more than just Investigator and client.  He was either a relative, or they were more than just friends.  Looks and words exchanged between the two were ‘noticeable’ to a trained eye.  How did it go with the daughter?”

“Sandra?  A father’s favorite daughter.  She did not speak badly of him.  Certainly, does not like the wife, Stacey, and speaks kindly of Wendy Anderson.  Appears she had known her for most of her life, in fact, I got the impression Wendy was her mother.  She certainly has some of her physical characteristics.”

“Interesting.  Another question we can put to James Anderson.  I’m willing to bet he knows nothing about her.  What does she do for a living?”

“Schoolteacher, up in Yonkers.  Comes to stay with her father once every few months.  She just happened to be here this week for a conference.  They were supposed to have dinner at her favourite restaurant on the night he died, but he called to cancel, saying he had an unscheduled meeting with a friend who needed to see him.”

“A friend?  Could be the person who shot him.  He didn’t happen to give her a name?”

“No.  We’re not that lucky, but she thought it might be a woman rather than a man.”

“Chances are she is totally unaware of his philandering, other women in his life, and the fact his business was going badly.  Did you ask her if she knew what his business was?

“I did.  She said he told her it was importing and exporting, but she thought that was a euphemism for something else, not necessarily illegal, but she did say he used to be in the army as a Quartermaster, she heard him mention it to another man in a conversation recently.  He never told her what he did, but she assumed that was because he’d been in Iraq or somewhere like that.  When she mentioned his service I did a quick check, and it hit a brick wall.”


“Like there is no record of him being in the military.”

Bryson looked over at the entrance to the house and saw one of the crime scene investigators coming towards him.

He’d worked with him before, enough to be able to interpret the expression on his face as impending bad news.

“What have we?”

“The filing cabinets, John.”

“Weapons, contraband, or artifacts?”

“What look to be artifacts in several, weapons in another, what you might call the spoils of war.  Nothing earth-shattering, but definitely worthy of the real owners getting slightly upset.  Several of the items appear to match the descriptions of items that were supposedly destroyed by ISIS.”

“We’re dealing with black market artifacts then?”

“Quite possibly.  I’m getting an expert to come in and tell us exactly what the items are.  If you’re looking for a motive for his death, then these items would definitely fit that.  There’s a lot of foreign weaponry too, the sort collectors pay a small fortune for.”


“I’ll let you know more later.”

Worthey sighed as he watched the man return to the house.  “Why couldn’t this be a simple case of a jealous husband shooting his wife’s secret lover?”

“Why indeed.”

© Charles Heath 2019-2023

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