The election stories and wrap-ups that ran almost daily in the Times had kept Bosch up to date on other contests as well as the Maizel-Irving contest. He knew all about the fight OShea was involved in. The prosecutor was in the process of bolstering his candidacy with high-profile advertisements and prosecutions designed to show the value of his experience. A month earlier he had parlayed the preliminary hearing in the Raynard Waits case into daily headlines and top-of-the-broadcast reports. The accused double murderer had been pulled over in Echo Park on a late-night traffic stop. Officers spied trash bags on the floor of the mans van with blood leaking from them. A subsequent search found body parts from two women in the bags. If ever there was a safe, slam-bang case for a prosecutor-candidate to use to grab media attention, the Echo Park Bagman case appeared to be it.
The catch was that the headlines were now on hold. Waits was bound over for trial at the end of the preliminary hearing and, since it was a death penalty case, that trial and the attendant renewal of headlines were still months off and well after the election. OShea needed something new to grab headlines and keep momentum going. Now Bosch had to wonder what the candidate was up to with the Gesto case.
Do you think Gesto could be related to Waits? Rider asked.
That name never came up in ninety-three, Bosch said. Neither did Echo Park.
The phone rang and he quickly picked it up.
Open-Unsolved. This is Detective Bosch. How can I help you?
Olivas. Bring the file over to the sixteenth floor at eleven oclock. Youll meet with Richard OShea. Youre in, Hotshot.
Well be there.
Wait a minute. Whats this we shit? I said you, you be there with the file.
I have a partner, Olivas. Ill be with her.
Bosch hung up without a good-bye. He looked across at Rider.
Were in at eleven.
What about Matarese?
Well figure it out.
He thought about things for a few moments, then got up and went to the locked filing cabinet behind his desk. He pulled the Gesto file and brought it back to his spot. Since returning to the job from retirement the year before, he had checked the file out of Archives three different times. Each time, he read through it, made some calls and visits and talked to a few of the individuals who had come up in the investigation thirteen years before. Rider knew about the case and what it meant to him. She gave him the space to work it when they had nothing else pressing.
But nothing came of the effort. There was no DNA, no fingerprints, no lead on Gestos whereaboutsthough to him there still was no doubt that she was deadand no solid lead to her abductor. Bosch had leaned repeatedly on the one man who came closest to being a suspect and got nowhere. He was able to trace Marie Gesto from her apartment to the supermarket but no further. He had her car in the garage at the High Tower Apartments but he couldnt get to the person who had parked it there.
Bosch had plenty of unsolved cases in his history. You cant clear them all and any Homicide man would admit it. But the Gesto case was one that stuck with him. Each time he would work the case for a week or so, hit the wall and then return the file to Archives, thinking he had done all that could be done. But the absolution only lasted a few months and then there he was at the counter filling out the file request form again. He would not give up.
Bosch, one of the other detectives called out. Miami on two.
Bosch hadnt even heard the phone ring in the squad room.
Copyright © 2006 by Hieronymus, Inc.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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