I approached Detective Alsup and mentioned that someone really needed to find both Mike’s wife Kathleen and Patricia to break them the news. “Would you do that” he asked “You know them both and it may not be as hard coming from you”. I got in my car and found a phone and called Jody and told her that I needed her to meet me at Patricia’s apartment and then for her to go along with me to visit Kathleen. She asked the question and I briefly filled her in and told her not to mention it to anyone and to meet me at Patricia’s apartment. I told her that we would stop at Patricia’s on the way and break the news to her first.
I knocked on Patricia’s door and she answered and was all smiles when she saw me at the door. “Bob, this is a surprise. Come in, come in”. I followed her into the apartment which was very clean and tidy as I would have expected from her. “Patricia, I have some bad news” I said “We have found Mike’s body in the Jones Warehouse. He has been shot and you were right, it does look very much like a gangland slaying” Patricia looked at me and the tears welled up in her eyes and down her cheeks. She came to me for comfort and I opened up my arms and hugged her as tight as I could as she bitterly sobbed. “I knew Mike liked to walk a tight line but for him to end up this way is terrible”. About that moment, there was a knock on the door and Jody was in the doorway. She immediately went over to Patricia and sat with her to comfort her. “Pat” I said “The police are going to want a statement from you and will probably be over a bit later. Can your sister come over to keep you company for a bit”. Jody made the call and we waited for her older sister, Mary to appear. I brief explanation from me and we took our leave promising to stop in a little later. Jody left her car and rode with me to see Kathleen. “Does Kathleen have any family close by” I asked “Yes, she has her mother who lives in the next town over. I can try to call her when we reach Kathleen’s” she said.
We arrived at Kathleen’s house and she met us at the door. It was around 6:00 pm in the afternoon. “You have some news about Mike don’t you and its going to be bad news isn’t it” she said. I led her back into the house where the three kids were home from school. Mary was the oldest followed by Jimmy and Mike Jnr. Mary was about 14 and I pulled her to one side and suggested that she take the other two out in the yard for a while. She must have known something was wrong but she did as I asked her. “We have found Mike” I said to Kathleen “He is dead I’m afraid”. She sat down with a blank look on her face and Jody went over to comfort her. “What happened, do we know” she said “He had been shot in the back of the head gangland style and we believe that it was something to do with drugs. He was friends with Patricia’s new boyfriend, Antonio Suarez, who it appears may be the instigator of Mike’s participation. Probably made Mike an offer he couldn’t refuse and then became Mike’s supplier”. I thought that even in a small town of about 5,000 people, drugs were making headline news and what the hell was wrong with our country or with people themselves that allowed themselves to either get mixed up in this dirty business or get hooked themselves.
Jody had made the call to Kathleen’s Mother and we were waiting for her to arrive. Kathleen called the kids in and then explained to them that their Father was dead. Mary cried and hugged the other two, Jimmy was very stoic about it all and Mike Jnr was probably too young to realize that he would never see his Dad again.
We sat around and Kathleen made coffee more to give herself something to do than the need of the drink itself. Kathleen’s Mom pulled up and Kathleen went out to meet her and break the news. Her Mom, Mrs Snyder, who was a large aggressive woman with a soft heart hugged her daughter and the two stayed close together for a couple of minutes before coming into the house. The Grandkids led by Mike Jnr threw themselves on her and she collapsed into a heap with the kids hanging all over her. I looked at Jody and said that we needed to leave as we had a lot to do and I wanted to check on Patricia one more time.
I turned to Kathleen and said we would talk tomorrow and bid everyone farewell. We stopped at Patricia’s on the way home and everything appeared to be OK with her and her sister so we took our leave. Jody jumped in her car and said, “I need a drink, Meet me down at the Royal”.