“Hey Russell, you got a visitor,” the uniformed guard announced.
“Hey man!” he got up from his bed. “I got hardly an hour or so before I’m released since you cops are so efficiently fast with paperwork… must be some other Russell you’re looking for,” he said, sarcasm dripping from his voice.
“Prisoner number 381?”
“So get your ass into your jumpsuit and follow me.”
The officer took Russell to the visiting room. A glass separated the visitors from the convicts. Wooden partitions made up for ten booths, each housing a phone on either side. Russell entered, saw Kate’s face on the other side and grinned. Gotta be careful though, kiddo. They record everything. Could be a trap.
“Hi Kate,” he said, picking up the phone without breaking eye contact. “The classic confession? You watch a lot of T.V.”
She stared at him, staying quiet.
“Have you forgotten babe?” Russell continued. “I won the case. I was declared Not Guilty. That means I did not rape you… and that I’ll be free soon.”
Her face showed the slightest of emotions, a look of absolute hatred, but it disappeared a moment later, settling back into calmness.
“I’m really sorry though, for what happened to you,” Russell continued, slightly amused. His face held a smug smile.
“No you’re not,” Kate said softly before adding, “But you will be.”
With that, she placed the phone back, stood up and walked away.
Back in his cell, Russell felt cold. Bloody paperwork! Still got an hour to kill. Deciding a nap might calm his excited nerves; he covered himself with his blanket and lay down.
Forty Five Minutes Later…
Detective Peter Burke turned to the officer sitting across his desk.
“What is it?”
“Number 381, Russell,” the officer handed him a file. “Gotta release him; the paperwork is finished, and the judge’s order just came through.”
“Let’s see,” Burke opened the file. “Not guilty of rape, assault and sexual harassment of one Kate Beckett.”
“Boo!” the officer cried out. “The SOB is guilty as sin; he just had that scoundrel Lynch and his team of lawyers. They wound the case so tight, it fell apart.”
Burke smiled a sad, knowing smile. It wasn’t the first time a criminal had walked away free. Or the last.
“Innocent until proven guilty- so much for the grand American system… Bring the guy- we gotta do what we gotta do,” he sighed.
Three minutes later, the officer returned to find Burke immersed in another case file.
“Sir!” he exclaimed. “Russell’s dead. Died in his sleep.”
“Serves him right,” Burke closed the file. “But that’ll be one hell of paperwork to file for.”
He fished a form from the drawer and scribbled the name and other case details. Under the ‘Cause of Death’ he wrote: Natural Causes.
The officer turned to Burke again. “Sir, we gotta inform the prosecution as well as defense lawyers about this.”
“Mr. Montgomery?” Burke said into the phone. “I’m Detective Peter Burke, 12th precinct, NYPD… yeah; I’m calling about Andrew Russell… Yeah-no, I mean… What?… I see… I’m sorry… Oh-Okay,” he put the phone down.
“What happened?” the officer inquired.
“Kate Beckett died two hours ago; committed suicide after the court ruled against her.”
Twenty miles away, enjoying a cigar, Adam Lynch, the lawyer felt a chill.