I wasn’t successful in getting information from the police or access to Guy. I decided it was time to call my old friend Kathleen. At one time, she and I were inseparable. We were room mates and party buddies. Eventually she met Mr. Right, settled down, married, and had kids. She invited me to kid’s birthdays and tee ball but our lives were so different that our paths seldom crossed anymore. Yet, when we did get together it only took five minutes to catch up and feel like we had never been apart.
Kathleen married Herbie Carmichael who could pass for a young Denzel Washington. Within one year, the couple had a new baby and Herbie had graduated from the Public Safety Training Academy in Sitka. His previous military police training helped him land a coveted position as a State trooper in Kodiak. Herbie seemed to be an honest, loving family man and Kathleen seemed happy with her life.
“Excuse the mess. It’s tough keeping an eye on three kids and a house” Kathleen apologized as she moved toys and laundry to clear the sofa. She spoke the truth.
“No problem. I really appreciate you making time for me with no notice. I have a huge favor to ask of your husband but first, how are you?”
“Busy with the kids, of course, and Herbie is still working on his pilot’s license which should help him with promotions in the department. What are you doing these days?”
I brought her up to date on my life, including the part about Guy.
“My understanding is they must have some sort of evidence to hold him” she said with a question. “But, Herbie will be home in a minute so you can talk to him.”
I played with the kids as Kathleen sat the table for dinner and right on cue, Herbie appeared through the door. We hugged and exchanged greetings before Kathleen whisked us to the table. We enjoyed a spaghetti dinner before Kathleen took the kids upstairs for baths.
“So you have some questions about Guy Hanson?” Herbie was nothing if not direct.
“Yes. What can you tell me?”
“Well you understand that I can’t talk about evidence or any specifics of the case that I may know but I can say the investigation is ongoing. And, I can explain procedure.”
“Kathleen mentioned that she thought you would have to have evidence to retain someone. Is that true?”
Herbie suggested we go into the living room. I suspected he was stalling as he formulated an answer. I did consider that I might be putting him in an awkward position but I felt my knowledge of Guy’s innocence validated my actions. I had to figure out a way to prove he was innocent.
“To answer your question, yes there should be adequate evidence to hold a person.” He chose his words carefully. “However, evidence that the police use to hold a person for additional questioning may not be as strong as evidence used in court.” He was being truthful with me.
I shocked Herbie with my next question. “Can I see him? I just need to talk to him for one minute. Then I can tell you for sure his involvement level with Cecil’s disappearance.”
Herbie was stunned.
“I want to know if I can trust you” I asked him as I prepared to go out on a huge limb.
“You are Kathleen’s oldest friend in Kodiak. I know she has enormous respect for you and I know that you are a law-abiding citizen and seem to care about the quality of your community; however, this is could easily become an inappropriate conversation because we are on opposite sides of a situation. Please do not tell me anything that involves breaking of a law unless you want to make an official statement.”
“What I have to say is something that I want to keep between us. It does not involve the breaking of a law. Oh boy, this is difficult for me. OK, let me do it this way. Tell me something about yourself, true or false, but present it as true.” Herbie raised his eyebrows and looked as though he did not want to participate in this exercise. “Please, just do it” I tried not to sound like I was begging but I was.
“OK. I graduated from Kodiak High School.”
“Come on Herbie, give me something I don’t know about you so I can judge if it is true or false.”
Herbie thought for a minute. “I have a denim jacket in my closet”
“False. Give me another one.”
“My Dad’s name is George and my mother is Delores.”
“True” I said, “go ahead and give me several at once”
“I make $90,000 per year, I have an enlarged prostate, and I had a fight with my wife last night because she lets her gas tank get too low.”
“False, false, and true” I said. Now I had his interest.
“I have two siblings, I was born in San Francisco, and I am opposed to abortion.”
“False, true, and true” I said as I processed his last revelation.
With the last two test results, I had Herbie’s complete attention. He tested me several more times before asking me how I knew these things about him. I explained the difference between knowing about him and knowing if he was telling me the truth. He sat back in his chair and contemplated my words. Finally, I explained how I have lived with this ability my entire life and some of the ways it has impacted me.
“OK, I can arrange for you to see Guy but just for a couple minutes. Let me make a phone call” and he left the room.
On the way to the police station he explained that our conversation could be monitored. He reminded me that if I said anything that appeared to give information to Guy the meeting would be over.
It was difficult not to touch Guy when they brought him into the room. He looked tired and confused by my presence. The officer in charge asked Guy’s permission to talk to me.
I explained to Guy that I was there to help him and asked him if he trusted me. “Yes” he replied. He was telling the truth and I was happy to learn he trusted me despite the circumstances.
“Then you have to answer these question for me without hesitation and without question.” He nodded in agreement.
Did you kill your Aunt Cecil?
“No” that was the truth.
“Did you do something to cause Aunt Cecil’s death?”
“No” that was also the truth.
“Do you know what happened to Cecil?”
“No” that was a mixed answer.
“Did you, for any reason, want Cecil to die?”
“Absolutely not” he replied with complete honesty.
At that point our interview was interrupted and Guy was taken away. In the ride back to my car I told Herbie that Guy was innocent. He asked me if I could prove it.
“I believe I can” and jumped from his car into mine.