"Hello, my name is Paul Carbone Jr., did you know my father well?"
He looked like his father only thirty-five years younger, about the age Senior was when I first met him.
I’m Peter Goddard and I was attending the wake of Paul Carbone, Sr., my personal nemesis for that thirty-five years.
Briefly, a little over thirty-five years ago a New York banker, Ralph Portman, who had stolen $400 million dollars from thousands of hard working people, bankrupting hundreds, many of whom never recovered, was quietly murdered on the doorstep of his mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The murder got a lot of press at the time and there were very few tears shed over the crook.
I was one of those his theft bankrupted and …oh, by the way, I was the one who murdered him.
I got a lot of heat early on from Paul Carbone, Sr., the father of the guy now talking to me. The case went cold and obviously they never nailed the killer, me, but Carbone never let up. He told me he knew I did it and if it was the last thing he ever did he would prove it.
I told him over and over again, “The guy was a bastard who deserved killing and no one missed him.”
Every year on May 20, the anniversary of the murder, Carbone would call me and remind me that although the case was cold and forgotten by most, he was still on it. And every year when he called I would encourage him to get on with his life.
The last time he called, this past May 20, the thirty-fifth anniversary, I told him that we were both old men and since nothing new had come up in all the years that had gone by that we should go our separate ways and enjoy what life we had left.
Actually I had been enjoying every moment of life since I whacked the piece of garbage but I knew Carbone wasn’t. I was somewhat saddened when he told me that I wouldn’t be bothered much longer by his obsession since he was dying and would probably be gone by the next anniversary.
Well he had always created a gnawing feeling in the back of my brain for a few days after each phone call. What if the old bastard happened on something I had overlooked so many years ago? What if one day he, together with some active cops (Carbone was retired about ten years) knocked on my door and read me my rights while putting handcuffs on me?
Well, no more gnawing feeling.
“Not well, but long, more than thirty-five years,” I answered Carbone Junior.
“Wow and I’ve never met you. Were you on the force with dad?”
“No Paul, I was your father’s prime suspect in the investigation of a very old murder. Since the murder was never solved I remained his prime suspect… I guess up until his death.”
“What did you say your name is?”
“I didn’t but it’s Peter Goddard.”
“Goddard, Peter Goddard! Now I remember, you were the guy pop was convinced killed that crooked banker, Ralph Portman. Man was he ever sure you did it. He wouldn’t even let it go after he retired.
“He stopped talking about the actual murder long ago, just that you lost millions and went broke and you had the perfect motive and no alibi. But I kept pointing out they couldn’t find anything specific and a thousand people had the same motive and half of them had no alibi.
“Remind me how did Portman get murdered?”
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