Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Three: Case File No. 22-126
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Where We Left Off:
We identified the most likely source of strange furballs found at the edge of the junkyard.
The Fast & The Furious:
Some History of The Wall of Doom
Depending on how long you’ve been following my internet life, it may or may not be news to you that there’s a fortress style wall around the Winchester-Nabu estate. It’s been there forever, long before either the Winchester or Nabu were residents. The thing is, this wall has been the target of motorists many times. So freaking many. We’re not on a sharp curve. We’re on a curve so slight, it’s barely noticeable. Near the more congested cluster of houses, there is a dangerously sharp S curve in the road followed by another that goes over perhaps the tiniest bridge in the state.
We’ve wondered just how intoxicated people have to be to smash into this wall. The previous wall was white. One might think that made it more visible. It got hit plenty of times so perhaps neutral colors weren’t enough. Now it’s cement block grey and also has about a dozen red and yellow reflectors on the corner that is most often hit. That wasn’t enough either.
We do know that in one case, a couple was having some kind of argument so the man, who was the driver, wasn’t paying attention. His passenger was his hysterical pregnant girlfriend. That poor woman was in such a state of panic that I could recognize; she wasn’t prepared to listen to anyone. She needed time to process and calm down before logic could be introduced that she absolutely needed to go to the hospital just to be safe. I think the EMTs did manage to convince her to go.
Another time was a woman in her pajamas with a carload of kids who had missed the bus or something. I guess she was running late. Though she was likely not paying attention, I did her a solid favor and asked if maybe something could have run out in front of her. That happens all the time, I said. She realized what I was getting at and she said, yes something did run across the road. Hopefully her insurance covered at least the minimum. Let’s face it — insurance companies are legally run organized crime families. They take and take and take and then make life a living hell of long phone calls, transfers to other people, arguments, time away from your job/life, and those usual irritating tactics when they were formed to be “insurance”. In case anything happens, you are supposed to be compensated to fix whatever it is. Instead they created things like deductibles which can be in the thousands or argue a lot longer than most traumatized people about what should or shouldn’t be done to their bodies and property. Needless to say, I have an issue with the industry of insurance and can’t wait for all of that to be overhauled some day (hopefully in my lifetime). That’s why I didn’t mind helping that particular driver out. Her day was already shit.
This Week’s Case
So that catches us up on the most recent ones until there was yet another. This time, we needed to open a Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency case file because the driver didn’t even stop.
Can you imagine smashing into a cement wall, scraping up the entire side of your vehicle, and not even get out to look? We have speculated on this and come up with several most likely theories:
The driver of the vehicle was intoxicated and didn’t want to get caught. They would take their vehicle into a body shop if they wanted it fixed at all. Maybe they’re the type to just live with the damage as long as the vehicle runs.
The driver didn’t own the vehicle and didn’t give a flying fuck what happened to it. Perhaps it was even stolen adding some extra excitement to their joy ride.
There was a medical condition where the driver was on “auto pilot” and didn’t realize they even hit something. Basically, the “Ambien” defense. This also applies to people suffering from certain types of seizures.
The driver is wanted by the FBI and on the run. The vehicle was the third one they’d stolen while on the lam. They kept going as long as possible until they could find another easily stolen vehicle without tracking systems or alarms.
We found some evidence at the scene. I also found a large paint chip — metallic black. I didn’t get to take a photo of it, but I brought it inside to show Oliver. This paint chip was consistent with the paint left on the wall from the collision. We also found a piece of plastic that covers the edge of a wheel well. Though it has some information on the inside of it, we didn’t have enough to trace it back to any particular make and model. Based on the height of the scrapes, we believe it was a truck, yet not one of the lifted monster trucks of our neighborhood; most people here buy already enormous trucks or they get lift kits. It could even be an SUV which is pretty common. The SUV theory seems most plausible.
Black SUVs are less common than silver. In fact, you’re more likely to see silver and red before a black one. People in New Jersey LOVE their SUVs and trucks. I was surprised to find out that Ram trucks were slightly more popular than Ford. It seems NJ loves things that are inefficient on fuel except when it comes to basic cars. Honda cars and SUVs are the most popular in the state. Up high on the list are Jeep Wranglers, Cherokees, and Grand Cherokees. I was surprised to see Ford Explorers on there too. I didn’t even know they still made those. Anyway, that’s the list we’re using to narrow down on our suspect.
I don’t about you, but coming up with a psychological profile for our suspect based on this list of vehicles leads me down a different path. People buying a Honda CR-V are probably reasonably responsible in that they shopped for a safe, affordable (by those standards), vehicle to get through the snow to commute to a job that demands long hours, and still be able to pick up their kids from their grandparents’ house. The CR-V doesn’t scream, I’m a person who lives on the edge!
What we have realized from observing the traffic are other vehicles that are status vehicles. People who want that luxury car feeling but also want to drive fifteen to twenty miles an hour too fast in the snow on Route 80. Those are what we call the Of Course It’s a BMW Drivers. It’s almost always a BMW, but sometimes you do spot an Acura or Infinity also being an asshole on the road. The road belongs to them.
How dare that wall have the nerve to jump in front of their luxury phallic symbol of power?
Oliver moved downstairs to the couch and found a laptop sitting there with a game of solitaire open. He sent an email to one of his friends, Simon, and asked him to hack his way into the motor vehicle records. We weren’t even sure if this vehicle would have NJ license plates, but it was a place to start. Simon sent back a list of twenty names, addresses, vehicle data, and even insurance carrier information. He created a wonderful report using the classic Times New Roman because there’s no need to be fancy.
Gus and I had to take a break, but Oliver relocated back upstairs where he continued working quietly. He has created a personal sanctum sanctorum in the “sewing room” (where I haven’t sewn in over year) which is also the butler’s private office space. It’s kind of like the batcave if the batcave were filled with lots of Rubbermaid bins of fabric and costumes.
The list was better than anything we could have hoped for. There was someone suspicious. The name popped out: Rose Butterworth. It was a name we hadn’t mentioned publicly because of her predicament. Rose Butterworth has been an informant to the Resistance against the current White House Administration. She had infiltrated the ranks subtly as a worker at one of the golf clubs. You know the one: Bedminster, New Jersey. Rose was able to get all sorts of information from there. She knew not to trust anyone at the New York Times (except Ronan Farrow); but she was able to make contact with an Associated Press journalist. Rose risked her life to keep the information coming.
We reached out to find Rose, but she had already changed phone numbers. It was going to take old fashioned ways to find out if she’s still alive. First, we checked the obituaries and police reports. Nothing showed up there. That was a good sign. She had probably fled to a safe house in Philadelphia. If Rose’s cover was blown, someone was after her. Someone was following her when she drove by at high speed.
“I bet she did it on purpose,” Oliver said. “She wanted us to know and she couldn’t safely call.”
“I guess that’s one way. She’ll probably ditch the car as soon as she’s in Philly. Maybe leave the keys in it and wait for someone to take it off her hands.”
Oliver assured me that Rose would be able to find safety in Fishtown. The Resistance knew the area better than any uptight conservatives or government agents. They never went down there.
The black paint chip, the debris, and the scrapings on the cement wall were from a metallic black SUV owned by a loyal member of the Resistance, Rose Butterworth. She escaped in a pursuit from FBI and lost them as she crossed over into Pennsylvania.
Case Status: Closed