“SO, WHAT CAN YOU tell me Ken?”
Dr. Kenneth Wilson, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, i.e. the Coroner, for the Washington, DC area FBI and the Metro Division Police, held a PhD in Forensic Pathology from the University of California at Irvine. He’d graduated tops in his class from John Hopkins University, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Internal Medicine. Upon which, he was matched with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. At Rush, he’d done a two year residency in their Internal Medicine Department before transferring to John H. Stroger Hospital’s Emergency Room treating mostly traumatic gunshot wounds. It was his experience at Stroger that had motivated him to return to school, the University of California at Irvine, where he’d obtained his coveted PhD in Forensic Pathology. The FBI had come calling before the ink had finished drying on his diploma.
And he’d been infatuated with Marlene Loudoun from the first day she’d walked through his laboratory doors. Six years ago.
“Well, for starters, he’s dead.”
Marlene pursed her mouth and rolled her eyes skyward.
“The facts, Ken.”
“Well, the facts are, that I think you’re one of the sexiest women I’ve ever met. And he’s dead.”
“Ken. Am I going to have to write you up on sexual harassment charges,” she asked, knowing full well that she’d never actually do it.
“You can’t blame a guy for trying,” he said, smiling at her. Moving around to the other side of the cold gray steel autopsy table, so that he couldn’t smell the crisp clean scent of her perfume that mixed perfectly with her unique body’s pheromones, he pulled the crisp white sheet down revealing former President Daniels’ ashen gray face.
“As I said earlier, you were right. Almost.”
“Almost?” Marlene questioned.
“Our distinguished gentleman here, is, in fact, former President Noah Daniels. The DNA confirms that. But, he continued, stepping away from the autopsy table over to a long bank of steel gray counters and picking up a small clear plastic baggy, “he did not die from drowning,’ he emphasized, dangling the clear plastic baggy.
“No. Former President Daniels – the man who almost started World War 3 – Dr. Ken said, winking at Marlene, “took a beating before he was killed. Note the tell-tale bruising on the face and upper body. But the actual mode of death was a single shot to the back of the head with a Sig Sauer 226. Which, I’ve confirmed, is not the one registered to the victim. Ballistics confirms that,” he said, once again holding up the clear baggy so that the FBI Director could see the bullet he’d, personally, removed from Daniels’ head.
“Humph,” uttered Marlene as she wondered who had motive enough to kill a former president. That is, besides the present President.
“As I said, earlier, you were almost right.”
Marlene ignored his obvious attempts at stroking her ego and asked, “Could a woman have done this?”
“The shooting to the back of the head. Most definitely. But the beating, no.”
“How can you be sure?”
“I’m assuming that you’re asking me if the woman he was accused of helping to avoid capture could have been the one to deliver the blows that caused the bruising.
“Yes. That is what I’m asking you.”
“From what I understand she is a somewhat petite woman.”
“Yes. Around five three about a hundred and ten pounds.”
“And you my dear Marlene are five six about one hundred and twenty –five pounds.”
“About that,” Marlene smiled, knowing that he’d weighed and measured her every time she’d had occasion to visit his lab. Which these days, was often.
“If you’d form your beautiful and delicate right hand into a fist and place it over the bruise on his cheek, you’ll see why it couldn’t have been that particular woman.”
Marlene did as Dr. Kenneth Wilson, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, i.e. Coroner, for the Washington, DC area FBI and the Metro Division Police, asked, and saw for herself that even her hand was too small to have made the large bruise on the left side of Former President Noah Daniels’ face.
“It was a man. And a big one at that,” Marlene ventured.
“I’m very sure it was,” answered Dr. Ken.
“Were you able to pull any DNA from the bruise?”
“No, I’m afraid he was in the water too long for that.”
“Then why are you so sure it was a man? It could have been a big woman.”
“Could have, but Ballistics confirms that the owner of the Sig that killed former President Noah Daniels belongs to Colonel Jim Madison, who, according to his medical file stands six-two.”
“Are you sure,” Marlene asked. Stunned to her core.
“Yes. Says here, he’s six-two,” Dr. Ken answered again, tapping Madison’s open medical file with his index finger.
But Madison was a patriot and a hero, Marlene thought. There had to be an explanation.
“Thanks Ken,” Loudoun said, turning to leave.
“Marlene. When you’re ready for us, let me know.”
“I will,” she said smiling, before hurrying from the room.”
Powers Boothe as Noah Daniels on the TV Series 24