Good Morning my dear, and yes I do apologise for keeping you waiting for the piece of news I’m about to divulge, but as usually happens, life gets in the way. Having said that death can sometimes get in the way too!!
No, I’m sorry but I’m not going to be rushed. Alex, you’re usually so polite, but this morning you’re like a bull in a china shop. There’s no need to start wittering on that I’m deliberately keeping you in suspense. You don’t actually know any of the people involved in this long and convoluted saga. Fortunately for me, I only know one of the relatives of the main criminals involved and that is only a passing acquaintanceship.
The standard of residents moving into these retirement apartments has been going steadily downhill – and I’m sure I am not alone in thinking that the management of this complex leaves an awful lot to be desired. I think that Head Office may have contributed to some of the dreadful events which have happened over the past year by their lackadaisical approach to the residents here, particularly with regards to security.
Of course, as mere tenants we don’t have any say about the calibre of new applicants for the flats. At one time not so long ago it was nearly impossible to be approved for a long-term tenancy and now they are being handed out to all and sundry!! We know that “health and safety” isn’t up to the required standard and I’m sure that many other legal requirements are either at the minimum level or only just above it. It will be so good when this complex gets some competition. That will make it “buck its socks up” or at the very least, put a rocket behind the work which is currently outstanding.
Yes, I sound a little negative today, and I really must apologise for that. I must admit that I’m worried about Mrs. M who only arrived home at the weekend. That is one of the reasons I haven’t managed to speak with you till today. I think the various goings-on, both here and in Scotland have finally started to affect her. I knew she had hurt her wrist in the accident when we were at Loch Lomond, but it was just a sprain. Yes, it was a nasty one and they can take as long to heal as a break, but it’s still causing her some considerable pain. I think I’m going to suggest that she contacts the surgery tomorrow and arranges to see the practice nurse, or alternatively she could go to the pharmacy where the staff members are very helpful indeed. They will know whether she needs further hospital treatment or if it’s likely to settle down on its own accord. It has stopped her knitting – which I’m sorry to say – I’m quite happy about, as her efforts were getting worse not better. I’m sure it’s because she gets distracted far too easily!
Now look what you’ve made me do – talking about Mrs. M getting distracted and I’m doing exactly the same thing. Incidentally, and thank you for asking, we have had our first knit and Natter of the year yesterday. It was very successful and the group has expanded again, with a total of twenty-two women enjoying themselves through nearly two hours of chatting and laughter. It was lovely to hear – although it did seem to me that very little knitting actually went on. I suppose that doesn’t really matter – the important thing is that the café at the library was over half-full on a Monday morning, and it was obvious to anyone passing that everyone was having a good time. It was fantastic to see the café staff joining in when they had a moment, and they kept bringing the teapot round and also asked when anyone was ready for another coffee or hot chocolate to wave their arms in the air and their mugs would be replenished. I have had a little word with the staff as I was concerned that they were likely to be out of pocket, but they said that after everyone in the group had left, the café was full for the rest of the day, with customers commenting that it was nice to see the place busy on a Monday.
I understand that nearly everyone ordered a snack – mainly toasted teacake and butter – in addition to having their drinks so the profit levels were higher than I feared! However, the staff and I agreed that the group really needs to have two sessions now, as it is obviously proving popular, so in addition to the Monday morning 10 am to 11.30 am slot we will be starting a Friday afternoon group from 2 pm to 3.30 pm. I think that the few young mums will need to keep to the morning group as the afternoon session won’t finish till 3.30 and the primary school children complete their lessons earlier than that time. I’m sure that the mums won’t want to be clock-watching all the time they are here. The other point though is that many of the older members are rather slow to get their day started, and will be happy to enjoy an afternoon out – particularly as they can then change their library books while they are there.
My goodness, why didn’t you stop me from rambling on? Yes, OK I understand that I’m a little tetchy today, and may well have muttered at you. What you really want to know is who killed Gordon, Peter and his sister. In all fairness I think the whole episode got out of hand and shouldn’t have ended up with the resulting deaths of three people.
As you were aware, Gordon and Peter were mixed up with some criminal activity. We had already come to that conclusion because of the amount of cash found in the safe in both Peter and Gordon’s apartments. There were also a number of burner phones in Gordon’s apartment, and another burner phone which seemed to be used exclusively for communications between Peter and Gordon. As they were next door neighbours why they didn’t just pop round to see each other I really don’t understand.
Now bear in mind that I haven’t had the official story as yet, but Teddy was kind enough to give me edited highlights, as she know I was still very concerned by these events.
Previously Gordon held a fairly senior position within the police service. He was the Commander over the major crimes department which covered the whole region. Gordon had started life in the police as a trainee, and then went to Hendon for training, as is the normal route into a full-time role within the service. He met a good number of people over the following years, some professionally and others on a social basis. At the same time Peter, after leaving University came into contact with Gordon when he started working as a junior Solicitor many years ago. They kept in touch at the golf course and at various social events which they were both invited to and then a few years ago, Peter moved much nearer to where Gordon was now working.
By this time, Gordon had something of a reputation within the criminal fraternity for oiling the wheels when little bits of evidence miraculously disappeared without warning. Of course, recently this became much more difficult, because of CCTV and computers and spy cameras everywhere.
Gordon was exceptionally clever at providing disinformation, so no-one actually realised that it was him who managed to misappropriate little bags of heroin or pieces of jewellery etc. He was adept at being in the same room when evidence disappeared but as there were several other officers of senior ranks also there the dots weren’t ever connected, until one day early last year when his sleight of hand wasn’t quite as good as it should have been – and when some pieces of evidence were missing, several officers were tasked to look over hours and hours of CCTV footage.
It eventually became evident that it was Gordon who had secreted the items into the pocket of an overcoat he was carrying – apparently he was on the way out of the building at the time – his reason for carrying the coat over his arm, when he was in the property deposit.
One event of misbehaviour wasn’t deemed sufficient for the powers that be, so these same officers had to trawl back through six months of camera footage in the property room. They checked the recordings for every time that Gordon had signed himself in and out and then it was discovered that on a few days there hadn’t been a duty officer present outside the store. This was when there had been a lot of illness and many officers were away over about a six week period. Of course, the items in the property store aren’t checked regularly – obviously when a suspect is questioned and charged, and again at any court case – but then items can be archived and not looked at again, for years or sometimes not ever again.
However, the police at this particular regional headquarters didn’t transfer property into the regional depository which normally happens when a case is closed. This can be for several reasons – the simplest one it that everything in the box has to be logged in, tagged with a reference number, and then signed and countersigned and it’s a terribly time-consuming business. On some occasions items are mislaid on their way back from a court hearing, or left ready to be documented and filed the following day, and then they can be completely forgotten.
It eventually became apparent that the firm of solicitors acting for the defendant(s) in cases where evidence disappeared was always where Peter worked and funnily enough he became the duty solicitor who always arrived when a solicitor was requested by a suspect in a case that Gordon had had some involvement. I’m sure you can see where all this is going…
Eventually Peter and Gordon, when presented with overwhelming evidence did the only thing possible and pled guilty, on the basis – certainly for Gordon, that he would take early retirement, lose his pension, but not serve a prison sentence, as he certainly wouldn’t be safe in any jail. I believe that something similar was agreed with Peter, who also took an early retirement.
Now you are wondering how this ended up with them both being murdered. The clients they did most of their “criminal activities” for were none other than the very close relations of Albert who moved into a flat on the first floor after his wife died last year. Although Albert had managed to keep his immediate family members away from anything criminal – his brother and their side of the family weren’t as squeaky-clean. It would appear that a younger family member saw both Gordon and Peter when they were chatting in the corridor one day.
I believe they were very concerned that two and two would add up to four and they didn’t want to keep looking over their shoulders wondering if Gordon was going to “tell tales” about them. As it transpired, the police were only too well aware of the situation and were putting together a solid case against several members of the family.
In the meantime these “criminal masterminds” decided that Gordon and Peter needed to be put quietly out of business on a permanent basis.
I know, you’re dying to ask me loads of questions, to which I don’t have the answers. There are lots of pieces of the jigsaw which need putting in place and as soon as I have seen the officer from the Intelligence Services, who hasn’t as yet been to see me because he has been struck down with flu!!
I’m still not terribly sure how I fit into the plot, but it has been suggested that at the time Peter and Gordon were seen discussing something or other, I was searching out Gordon to press him about something or another – probably to do with the Talent Contest. If you remember I was quite annoyed with him, and wouldn’t have noticed if anyone had been watching and listening to us. However, Teddy seems to think that one or more of the senior members of the criminal fraternity had thought that I may be connected to Gordon and possibly involved with his criminal plans.
I would have expected that Gordon had completely ceased being involved in that little side venture of his, but owing to the amount of money found in his safe and the burner phones the police now believe he had continued, but wasn’t expecting to see any of his “former clients” here. I believe he was rather well-paid for his efforts over quite a long period of time, although the loss of his pension must have hit him rather hard financially.
Anyway Alex, I really must get on now. This conversation has been far too long, but we’ll have a catch-up again in a couple of days when I hope to have more of the details for you, although one never knows!! Please give my love to Chrissie and the girls and let them know I’m really looking forward to seeing them again soon. As Always –
With Love – Jan xx