Two Kinds of Truth
A Bosch NoveleBook - 2017
From Library Staff
Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando police and is called out to a local drug store where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch's LAPD days comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him and see... Read More »
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Bosch’s relationship with the LAPD since his forced retirement three years earlier had been strained at best and his attorney had urged him to protect himself by documenting all interactions with the department.
Officially it was a missing-persons case but it had gathered three feet of stacked files over fifteen years because it was classified as such only because a body had never been found.
a unit that would respond to the seeming groundswell of cases where new forensic technologies had led to hundreds of exonerations of people imprisoned across the country. Not only was new science leading the way, but old science once thought to be unassailable as evidence was being debunked and swinging open prison doors for the innocent.
More inmates died of suicide than the needle on death row in California.
They did a protocol thirty years ago,” Bosch said. “But back then, they looked for ABO genetic markers instead of DNA.
For at least the past couple of decades, the department had been using red evidence tape that cracked and peeled if tampered with. Back in 1988, white rectangular stickers with LAPD ANALYZED EVIDENCE printed on them along with a signature and date line were used to seal evidence boxes.
… he had also clearly marked on the box “187”—the California penal code for murder—which in the evidence room meant “Don’t throw away.”
“We have an obligation. ‘Better that one hundred guilty men go free than one innocent man be imprisoned.’”
“Spare me your bastardized Ben Franklin bullshit,” Bosch said. “We found evidence connecting Borders to all three of those women’s disappearances, and your office passed on two of them, some snot-nosed prosecutor saying there was not enough. This doesn’t fucking make sense. I want the nine days to do my own investigation and I want access to everything you have and everything you’ve done.”
“I’ve seen it before. On a case where we talked to a profiler. It’s an angry shot. It has payback written all over it.” “He knew the shooters?” “No doubt. Either he knew them or they knew him. Or both.”
There was not a single computer in the Robbery-Homicide Division in 1987. Reports were either handwritten or typed out on IBM Selectrics. Most of the time chronos were handwritten.
Unlike Danielle Skyler and thousands of other would-be artists who roll into L.A. each year with the certainty of the tide on Venice Beach, Borders didn’t have to work in hospitality or in phone sales or anywhere else. Borders was from a suburb of Boston and was staked by his parents in his efforts to become a movie star. His rent and car were paid for and his credit-card bills were sent to Boston.
Danielle Skyler’s story was the universal story of Los Angeles, with an added irony of origin. Raised by a single mother who worked as a motel maid in Hollywood, Florida, she filled the holes in her life with applause that came with success in beauty pageants and on the high school stage. Armed with her beauty and fragile confidence, she crossed the three thousand miles from Hollywood to Hollywood at age twenty. She found, as most do, that there was one of her from every small town in America. The paying jobs were few and she was often taken advantage of by the leeches who were part of the entertainment industry.
The truth revealed that he was an idealist who saw something wrong and was blindly trying to do the right thing. And it cost him his life.
It was similar to the psychology that often led a murderer to volunteer to join the search for the missing person they had actually killed and buried. They had to get close to the investigation to learn what was going on, while hiding in plain sight also brought them psychological fulfillment.
Courts across the country had long approved the use of deception and trickery by police in an interview setting with a suspect, holding that an innocent person would see through the deception and not falsely confess to the crime.
“In this country, there are two million people in prison. Two million. If the system gets it wrong one percent of the time, that is twenty thousand innocent people in jail. Lower it to a half of a percentage point and you’re still at ten thousand people. This is what keeps me awake at night. Why I always say, the scariest client is the innocent man. Because there is so much at stake.”
Soon they were driving along the south perimeter of Whiteman Airport, a small general-aviation field ironically named, considering that it was surrounded by a community that was overwhelmingly brown and black.
...the forced relocation of an entire Latino neighborhood to make way for the baseball stadium near downtown. The bitterness of the move—including many tearful and violent evictions recorded on news cameras—still blemished the history of the much-loved team.
You might think sitting up here all day is boring but you try spending a summer in a double-wide with a single-wide AC unit, you want hot and boring.
“What kind of clinic doesn’t have a sign out front?” “The illegitimate kind.” “And those are patients?” “Maybe pill shills. Jerry, the medical board investigator, called them that. They go to the so-called clinic, get a prescription, and then go collect the pills at the pharmacy. They’re paid a dollar a pill. I guess it’s not bad if you’re picking up sixty pills a pop.”
Oxycodone scrips usually come in thirty-milligram pills. But he said the holy grail of hillbilly heroin these days is the eighty-meg dose. Also something called oxymorphone. It’s the next big thing. The high is supposedly ten times as powerful as you get with oxycodone.
“Jerry said old people make the best shills. They’re prized.” “Why’s that?” “Because they want people who look old enough to be on Medicare. They give them counterfeit Medicare D cards—they buy the names of legit cardholders—and then they don’t have to pay full price for the prescriptions they fill.” Bosch shook his head in disbelief. “So Medicare pays the pharmacy back for the drugs,” he said. “In other words, the federal government finances the operation.”
“If you think the days are wide open here, you should check this place out at night,” O’Connor said. “We close the tower at eight. It’s an uncontrolled field after that. People can come in and out as they please—and they do.” “You just leave the runway lights on?” Bosch asked. “No, the lights are radio controlled. Anybody in a plane can toggle them on and off. The only thing you have to worry about are the drag racers.”
It was said among cops that a true test of a partnership came when there was an officer-needs-help call. The response is to drop everything and go, pinning the accelerator to the floor and blowing through traffic lights with the siren blaring to get to the officer in need. True partners each take one side of every intersection as they speed through. The driver takes the left, the passenger takes the right, each calling out “Clear!” as the car screams through red lights and intersections.
Opiate addiction, in case you don’t know, clogs the pipes. It stunts the gastrointestinal tract. Bottom line is, you can’t shit. So one of the big pharmaceutical companies comes up with a prescription laxative that does the job and costs about twenty times what your over-the-counter laxative runs.
We are talking big money and with big money comes big danger. This kid had no idea what he was bringing on when he decided to stand tall.
“They call the people involved in the mills ‘cappers,’” he said. “They run the show and you need unscrupulous doctors and pharmacies in the mix to make it all work.” “The cappers are not the doctors or pharmacists?” Bosch asked. “No, they’re the bosses. It starts with them either opening a clinic or going into an existing clinic in a marginal neighborhood. They go to a dirtbag doctor, somebody just this side of having their license revoked. A lot of docs that worked in the medical marijuana joints are perfect candidates. The capper goes in and says, ‘Doc, how’d you like to make five grand a week for a couple mornings in my clinic?’ That’s good money for somebody like that and they sign up.”
Remember what they used to say about the banks and Wall Street being too big to fail? It’s like that. But too big to shut down.
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