Picture Perfect 111
The afternoon’s shoot in Glace Bay was simple. They talked to the curator at the Miner’s Museum, & later, the current minster at the United Church. There the minister had a file cabinet of photo albums of the church’s actives that went loosely through the years since it had been opened. They were disorganized and many of the pictures were unmarked.
Dan, Brenda & Jennifer spent a couple of hours sorting the pictures of various weddings, funerals, church picnics, Christmas shows. Thanks to hairstyles, cars and clothes he found several that were from 1984. Jasmine appeared in two of them, while either the man or the woman with her appeared in the others.
As they searched he described the process for Caron to record as filler for the show.
“This is fantastic stuff.” Brenda. “It will allow the viewers a chance to really see you do what you do Dan. It still flabbergasts me. You’re like a photo Sherlock Holmes.”
“Yeah. I feel more the coroner on describing a body as he cuts into it.”
“Can you tell anything from these?”
“About the McKillop’s ? A little. About what became of Jasmine? Nothing.”
“Jennifer do you sense the abductor be in one of these pictures? Like the one of the out-door service?”
“That’s possible.” Jennifer said, but only if the abductor or Jasmine had handle the photos too.”
“If we had similar pictures for the other cases it would be possible to do a facial recognition analysis of all the faces in them to find any matches.” Dan added. “But we don’t.”
“On first glance the pictures tell me they dressed within their budget. Modest in keeping with his profession. They appear well fed. Jasmine is happy, though in this one she looks a little … embarrassed about being there.”
In the shot Jasmine was presenting flowers to a tall, well-dressed woman.
“The wife of a visiting dignitary I’d say.” Dan ventured. “I’m sure Deirdre would know who it is. But I don’t think it’s relevant. At least we have some decent pictures of her though.”
He thanked the minister.
Back in Toronto later that week he met with Jennifer in the lounge of recently opened QTel Studios. Along one wall were photos of Jeremy Moxham with various celebrities, some of his glory days with various hockey teams & one of him on the podium with the Canadian team getting their Olympic gold medals.
“You think it was the Hockey Hall of Fame.” Jennifer said.
“True but we do get our own wall.” Dan pointed to a corridor wall lined with photos of the hosts of the new QTel programs. The largest being of him in the glare of the Amethyst Court explosion. Under his name was printed ‘Back to you, John.’ “I wish they’d give that rest though.”
“You look like you’re covering a war somewhere.” Jennifer said.
“Sometimes that’s the way it felt.” Dan said. “You were there.”
Stephanie stepped off the elevator.
“Hi guys.” She said. “We’re waiting for you on soundstage three on the fourth floor.”
They got on the elevator.
“I would have texted you but the Studio assigned us this stage about twenty minutes ago.”
Once off the elevator they followed her down a short corridor to the soundstage. It had a Cold East poster on the door.
“Cold East is it now?” Jennifer asked.
“For now.” Stephanie said. “PR has been testing names to see which would have the most appeal. Don’t worry there’ll be a final one by tomorrow. May be Cold East with Daniel James.”
“Hmm.” Dan said. “why not with Devereaux & James?”
“Too many words & too many letters. Plus it makes you sound like a firm of lawyers.” Stephanie said.
The studio set was a duplication of the war room they had used on the road. Right down to Tim’s cups littering the desks. The walls had the various photos of missing children pinned, the map with the push pins was there, only the pins were larger now. There were stationary cameras for each of their chairs & three mobile operators. Cameron waved to them from behind a glassed in console.
Baxter was already at his seat at the table. He stood as they came in.
“Welcome to our new home.” He reached out to shake Dan’s hand then air kiss Jennifer. “The paint is barely dry. I love the smell of a new studio in the morning.”
“Before you start I want to pass on some good news.” Harold Carmichael the Quintex representative said. “Though there have been some very unfortunate events during the east coast shoot there is a silver lining. Thanks to the press that has generated subscriptions to QTel are much higher than anticipated. We’ve have sold the show to some new markets.”
“Does this mean more money for us?” Brenda asked. “Only if there’s a Season Two.” Baxter said. “Okay let’s get down to business.”
For the first episode Dan was to mention each case, point to the right photos, say a few words on analysis about some of them to display his unique forensic ability. There would be a clip of each of the interviews. Jennifer explained what impressions she picked up with her sensitivities. He would talk with Jennifer as they summed up with the unanswered questions that future episodes would look at.
His commentary was littered with ‘assumed’, ‘probably’, ‘leads one to conclude’ – words that didn’t clarify – even the fact that these disappearances were somehow related was a logical conclusion not a proven fact. As long he sounded definite even when stated as speculation audiences would be satisfied.
“We haven’t actually solved the mystery.” Jennifer said.
“Not our goal.” Baxter said. “We shine the light.”
“Thanks to this the cases are now active.” Dan said. “The local forces are going over everything we shone a light on.”
“We can step back so the RCMP task force can do its work.” Stephanie said. “We’ve contemplating a show that’ll keep the public updated. Dan will be hosting it as well.”
“I will!” Dan said.
“With public interest so high for this case we’ll have to follow up as their investigation continues.” Harold said.
After the day’s work Dan took Baxter aside.
“Curtis I have to speak with you. Privately.”
“I didn’t mean to spring that follow up show on you. It’ll be ….”
“No. It’s not that. It’s about Roberto Hajla.”
Baxter paled. “Okay we can go to my office. Down one floor. In five minutes?”
Dan had no trouble finding it as it had the same black lacquered door with ‘Baxter Bits’ on it in red glitter letters that he had seen the first time he visited Baxter. Lin was sitting behind the same reception desk when he went in.
“New location,” she said. “Same old same old. Can I get you something. Coffee perhaps?”
“No thanks Lin.”
“Boss’ll be here is a moment. You go in & get comfortable.”
He went in & had just sat down when Baxter came in.
“Great day Dan. Great day. I thought this would take three day but you & Jennifer are easier to work with than Kilpatrick ever was.”
“Thanks. How did Roberto Hajla come to work for you?”
“What are you insinuating? That he fucked his way into the job?”
“I’m aware of the rumours. Yeah we were … involved but …”
“That’s not my question. How did he end up as your personal assistant?”
“Bits placed an ad on several job websites. He was one of the applicants. As I remember he had impressive qualifications.”
“That’s not what I meant. He had been working with me for a month or so before I … I mean before we …”
“By how I mean references not his dick.”
“I really liked Roberto. He never took advantage of our friendship. He did his job so well. Lin is good but … Why are you asking? You can check his file through HR. All his reference & background would be there.”
“He was responsible for the sabotage to the rental.”
“What! That’s impossible. Why would he do that to the car we were driving?”
“Remember I was the one supposed to be one driving that car. You switched them before setting out that morning.”
“It … how do you know Roberto did anything to the car.”
“Camera footage from when I had parked it at the Circus Museum.”
“Fuck! So that’s why he was so nervous in the car that morning. I thought it was because of driving in the rain. He was so nervous I had to take over the driving. Fucker! Why did he do it?”
“Inspector Warszawa is looking into his background. Roberto was most likely responsible for the tip that sent the RCMP to Waterside. He knew the room assignments.”
“When did he have time to, you know, plant the dvd’s? Why?”
“He wasn’t working alone.”
Baxter stood, walked around his office rubbing his eyebrows with the fingers on one hand.
“What’re you thinking?” Dan asked after a few minutes.
“That we have an hit on our hands. We’re the news. Yes.” Baxter snapped his fingers. “The making of Cold East is now the star of its own show.”