Single Mom (2)

Here is the first entry on this particular story.

The issue is who did kill Taylor, since Angela is such an obvious suspect. One small change from the previous post: Taylor’s lawyer has both the drafted but not sent cease’n’desist letter, and also a sealed letter from Taylor, which is really a phone video on a data stick, where he cheerily says that if he gets killed in the next few days, it’s Angela. He doesn’t think it will happen, but just in case. It should also be noted that Taylor was stabbed with a left hand, and Angela is a righty.

While they’re waiting for evidence enough to arrest Angela, another woman comes forward; we’ll call her Harriet. This woman long ago dated Taylor, only Taylor used a different name back then. She saw him on the Jezebel blog post that announced the book’s publication, recognized him as her long-ago ex, and looked him up. She works for a staffing company, and has a pretty easy time doing a basic background check to find him. She had gone over to his house, but had been stopped at the caution tape and turned back; only now does she know it was he who got killed, and in the interest of full disclosure she wants the detectives to know she was looking him up. “I needed some closure.” Yeah, whatever: there’s so much evidence on Angela.

Larry Quinn the DA wants to arrest right away, but in a reversal of their usual roles, it’s Mustapha this time who thinks the whole story is too pat, while Diana, who is a single mom and knows lots of desperate ones, figures the hoofbeats are horses rather than zebras. They delay enough to meet another ex of Taylor’s and the women’s studies lecturer who hated the blog and was forever screeching on it and who now has to come to terms with its being essentially a feminist performance art piece.

The crucial piece of evidence comes from the ME, who in giving them the routine details on the stabbing mentions that there are already two requests for paternity tests from Taylor’s body: one leads them to the ex in the paragraph above, but she’s got an alibi.

The other is from Harriet, who, when confronted, admits that the real reason she wanted to look Taylor up was to get him to admit paternity of her now-teenage son. She didn’t say it then because she thought it would give her a motive, which of course it does. But she’s also a righty, and she was at home shortly before the killing, and there’s nothing to prove her wrong. Diana doesn’t like Harriet right away, because Harriet is kind of cold, and to kill Taylor and frame Angela takes that kind of sociopathy. But if Angela’s guilty, it’s a crime of passion, and this has all the hallmarks of same. Angela is a narcissist but Harriet is a sociopath, and Diana can prove it via some sort of conversational test that Mustapha’s willing to buy but Quinn is now gun-shy: arrest either one without proving the other innocent, and she can always point at the other at trial.

So now the question becomes: what crucial mistake does Harriet make that enables the detectives to prove her guilty or Angela innocent?

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