The Final Volume, Part 1

Two weeks should have been too short an amount of time for an assassination investigation to hit a brick wall. Assassinations, traditionally, weren’t much of a problem to solve because usually the culprit or group had no problem taking credit. Assassinations were usually political statements, and the kinds of people who made them craved their signature at the bottom of them. So to have a high-ranking official murdered and no one (save the usual bunch who claimed credit for everything) stepping up to boast about the feat was unusual.

This particular assassination was also notable because it was one that had been expected for some time. Ever since Roe v. Wade had passed it was assumed that one side or the other would kill off a Supreme Court Justice in order to tip the court in their favor. With each controversial ruling the possibility had seemed more and more likely, yet had not manifested. Oh, there’d certainly been threats, some more potent than others, but nothing like what FBI Agent Maddie Connors was looking at now.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court hadn’t been killed by some lone nut. He was expertly shot in the head with a high-powered rifle from a distance that implied some expensive tools at the assassin’s disposal. Whoever had done this had entrusted it to an expert, one who had the knowledge and skill to not only complete the job but avoid leaving behind even the subtle clues to his identity.

As for the Chief Justice himself, there didn’t seem to be much to go on. Justice Brown was a respected legal mind who had originally made a name for himself as a crafty young lawyer. His keen mind and persuasive arguments made his star rise quickly until he found himself Attorney General of Florida. There he was involved in a number of high-profile cases, involving finally putting away “Natty Nat”, a well-dressed armed robber who had plagued the state for years. Brown’s vast knowledge of the law identified him as one of the pre-eminent legal minds in the country, and even though he was known for his conservative stance, his nomination to the Chief Justice spot went smoothly. Of course, anyone who could boast the kind of legal career Brown had would also have an accompanying list of enemies: gangsters, crooked politicians, killers, criminals both large- and small-time. Supposedly an entire wing of the Florida State Penitentiary had erupted in cheers when the news of the assassination had been announced.

But the case hadn’t given Agent Connors anything to point to any of these possibly culprits, even obliquely. The President demanded a suspect, but she and her colleagues had absolutely nothing at this point. They were checking on some minor pieces of information, but no one was hopeful that any of them would lead anywhere.

Connors went through the morning’s mail, most of it being progress reports that didn’t report much progress. One envelope caught her eye, though, but only because it was so nondescript. No return address, but it was postmarked in Florida. Her mail was regularly scanned, so it was harmless, but she felt drawn to it. She opened it up and unfolded the contents to reveal only a single word: “IDAVILLE”.

She knew this word. She’d seen it recently, but wasn’t sure where. She did a Google search and found it to be a small town in Florida. That was it: Idaville was where Chief Justice Brown had been born and raised. Someone was suggesting the town may hold a clue, but did Brown have enemies going that far back?

Within a few minutes she handed the letter, now placed in a plastic evidence bag, to one of her lab workers. “I want to know who sent this. It’s now your top priority. Once you know, send me a text. I’m headed down to Florida.”

(to be continued)

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