Picture Perfect 108
He left the FairVista location with an assurance to Linda that Dell and Strong would review the particulars of the lease & how the Jamison Corporate changes would affect it. He had been counting on a more relaxing few days but realized that the past month of his city life on hold had to be attended to whether he wanted to or not.
When he got back to the house he grabbed a beer from the fridge & sat on the sofa in front of the TV. Peter woke him when he returned from work.
“I didn’t realize that shooting this series would age me so quickly.”
“Then maybe I should wait till morning to give you this.” Peter dropped a large envelope on the coffee table. “It was by the front door.”
On the front of the envelope was a handwritten note from Stephanie. “I’ve texted you a dozen times. This is the material I was talking about.”
“Oh shit. I turned my phone off at FairVista.” He tore the envelope open. Out fell a newspaper clipping about the disappearance of Jasmine McKillop with a photo of the child as a part of it. The clipping was from the Cape Breton Post. Dan had recognized the photo as one of his dad’s school pictures. “Listen to this.” he read a post-it note with the clipping.
“Dan. Baxter wants you to act on this asap. Check your texts. There will be a bonus for you. Enjoy your flight.”
“Flight! What the fuck!” Dan scrolled through his texts. “Fuck.”
“They got this tip by courier this afternoon. Baxter thinks it’ll be a good final episode. I’m flying back to Cape Breton on that early morning non-stop.”
“Six a.m. Which means I have to be at the airport by 4 for checking in which means I’ll have to leave here by 3 a.m. to get there. Fuck.”
“What’s the bonus?” He texted Stephanie. The reply was almost instantaneous. “Oh!”
“How much?” Peter asked.
“A hundred an hour starting with her first text! Two hundred an hour when I get off the plane.”
“Wow! They must expect this show to do real well.”
“Launching QTel channel with it.”
“You better get packing, sir.”
“Starting with this.” Dan pulled Peter into his arms. “I love it when you smell of espresso & almond croissants.”
On the flight he went though the notes on this case. It was not one of the original cases. The tip had come to light as a result of the press coverage the show had generated. There was no living family in the area for Cold to interview. The house in Glace Bay where they had lived no longer existed either. With no family to speak to Stephanie had set up an interview with someone at the Cape Breton Post.
Cameron met him at the Sydney Airport.
“I was already here.” Cameron explained. “Getting more local colour with Brenda. How was your flight.”
“I slept. Or at least I think I slept.” Dan said. His eyes ached & he longed to stretch out with a a damp cloth over them. “How long do we have before I meet his this guy from the Post?”
“He’s expecting us at noon. So there’s time to eat.”
“I’m good but I need a dark place for an hour or so. I didn’t check what hotel in my itinerary.”
“The same as last time. You liked La Promenade?”
“As good as any forgettable hotel. What crew do we have?”
“Brenda deCosta is here. I expected Jennifer Devereaux on the flight with you.”
“I’m here in Sydney, Nova Scotia, at the corner of Dorchester and George Streets outside the Cape Breton Post building.” Dan stood so Cameron could get a shot of traffic passing behind him and then over his shoulder as he walked into the building. “I’m here with Jennifer Devereaux to follow up on a recent tip we received.”
“You know Dan, I have a strong feeling that this is going to point us something important.”
“We’re meeting Kyle Hayley. Archivist for the Post.” He reached out to shake Kyle’s hand. “Good afternoon Kyle nice to meet you again.”
“Thanks Dan. It’s quite exciting when our archives get some use. Not that I mean they are useless, but … is that okay? I mean I don’t know what to say.”
“Doesn’t matter Mr. Hayley.” Brenda said. “It gets ironed out in post anyway.”
“I’m just so nervous.”
“You’ll be fine, Kyle. I was worse than you my first day, wasn’t I Cameron.” Jennifer said. “It gets easier.”
“Uh … okay.” Hayley shrugged.
“How long have you been archivist for the Post?” Jennifer asked.
“I’ve worked for the Post since I was a boy. I started with a paper route, did some reporting too and … they cut back some and I …. started working in here when the new building opened …. Blanch, Blanch Jacques, the former archives, died sudden, she was looking after these old files and I took over.”
“Can we go down to see them now?” Dan asked.
“Oh yes, yes. This way.”
Dan and Cameron with his camera crowded on the elevator with Hayley and went down one floor. Brenda & Jennifer took the stairs.
The elevator stopped with a thud.
“To your left. I’ve got the files ready for you. Some on paper but most on fiche. Some of the fiche have been digitalized. That’s been my prime job the last couple of years. I hate to see paper disappear. mind you, but it can’t be helped.”
“I know.” Dan sighed. “Original documents make a big difference to me. A scan is never as good as the actual.”
“I agree.” Kyle typed a passcode into the door and ran his id card through the lock. He opened the metal door. “Climate controlled and fire resistant.”
“Very nice.” Dan said. There was a wood work table in the middle of the large room. Along one wall were three computers in cubicles.
“This is what we were sent.” He took the article out.
“How exciting.” Kyle rubbed his hands together as he read the item. “I mean, seeing it in the flesh not about the unfortunate child. I see it was filed by D. Rich, she’s Deirdre Marshall now. She’s still with us. I mean alive, not that she still works for the Post.”
Dan glanced at Brenda.
“I’ll get on it right away.” Brenda stepped out into the hall.
“Deirdre mainly covered local events. Showers, fairs that sort of thing. We don’t get much real crime in this area other than drunk drivers. Any way. I checked the editions after this article and there are only two other mentions of it. Strange. It’s not as if there was ever much out of the ordinary to cover. The Steel plant dominated the news. As it always does.”
“Can you pull up the issue this one appeared in. I’d like to see it in context. As well as the one before.”
‘Oh, yes. It’ll take a few minutes.” Kyle wheeled out a microfiche reader and connected it to one of the computer terminals. “We haven’t scanned this far back.”
“This’ll have to do.” Dan scrolled through the pages of the on screen newspaper. “I want to see what else was going on at this time.” The article was on page 3. “The fact that it was on page 3 and not the front page shows its relative importance. But it is the top item with a headline.” He enlarged areas of the page. “Fire in Ashby district. That would mean police had this to divert their attention for the missing child. Which would be more relevant had she been a Sydney child, though.”
“That’s right.” Kyle said. “I never would have made that connection.”
“Lets see what was going in Glace Bay two days earlier. Which was when she was first reported missing.” He quickly found the right file and the right page. “Can you print this out for me Kyle? Full size if possible.”
“That’ll take about an hour. Full size means we’d have to pull it from the big press. There’s no office printers for that page size.”
“Is there someplace that prints posters nearby?”
“Office Depot on Charlotte St.”
“Send it to them as a jpeg and have them print it as a poster.”
Kyle took Dan’s place at the consul, created the file and sent it via email. “It won’t be the best image quality.” He said.
“That’s fine. Contents is more important. This is one of the things I do when examining any photograph. In a crime scene picture the body can take focus. That’s why we get pictures of the whole room. In one I see a vase on one end of a mantle piece. I wondered if was there two? We checked dust patterns on the mantle. Sure enough there was. Where did the other vase go it?”
“Was it the weapon?” Kyle said.
“Maybe. So putting this story into a context of events around might reveal more about it. How long will Office Depot take do you think?’
“They are always fast for us.” Kyle said. “I’ll give them a call.”
“What did you see Dan?” Cameron asked.
“That weekend the mayor got married. The Rankin Family performed at the wedding. There would have been lots of people in town for this. Rev McKillop performed the ceremony. I’m assuming he was her father.
“Rummage sale … meeting to address increase in public drunkenness … Must have been some increase for anyone to notice that … Happy Hippo’s last days in the area … small town stuff.”
“Which tells you what?” Jennifer asked.
“We have to keep digging not speculating.”