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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 725 Response

Opening the Dead Bin

with Gary Clifton

The Dead Bin” begins in issue 725.

  1. What physical characteristics do Harper, McCoy and Wilson seem to have in common?
  2. How might Harper and Wilson deflect or defuse the aggressive tactics of Mr. Grifford, the ubiquitous defense attorney?
  3. Why does McCoy go along with the Internal Affairs interrogation when he knows the sergeant is exceeding his authority?
  4. Does Maggie Wilson’s human-trafficking case suggest corruption at higher levels?

A. Both McCoy and Harper are big, tough, streetwise guys, made a bit more so for fictional purposes. Many cops are not big and tough, and few are as physical as the story makes the pair here.

That both are athletes has a ring of familiarity because police agencies reach out to ex-Marines and athletes. In Texas, it’s literally hard to find a male graduate of the school system who did not play football at some level. McCoy is from Kansas City in this story. He’s big and physical, and he has an illustrious athletic background. Maggs, the female cop, is also a jock.

B. The lawyer Grifford is an antagonist here, requiring him to be nasty. Defense lawyers tend to be kryptonite to cops. Remember, their mission is to spring their client. Guilt or innocence is all too often irrelevant, and the American system awards the defense counsel extra ammo. Criminal defense is a tough corner of the legal business. If the lawyer fails to get Muggsy off for murder, Muggsy and his pals become, too often, enemies the lawyer doesn’t need. Grifford is a special case.

C. Internal Affairs is to cops as McCoy is to an armed robber: an equation that causes considerable friction and often leads to the IAD guy treating the cop as a criminal. In the case of the IAD sergeant ragging on McCoy, it’s no more than McCoy would do to a bank robber, even though he knew the robber was about to walk.

I have been read my rights by the Federal IAD probably 15 times and twice by big-city police departments. Each case, as are the great majority of IAD complaints, was false and unfounded lies by some thug trying to improve his situation.

Worse, when “wolf” is sounded too often, if a dirty cop falls into the crosshairs, he or she can often walk because of the averages. The IAD sergeant is going to appear again soon.

D. Maggs’ dead girls in the container definitely smack of something organized. They did not get in there by themselves.

Copyright © 2017 by Gary Clifton

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