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Blood on the Potomac


BLOOD on the POTOMAC
Copyright ©2012 Joseph J. Albert
Smashwords Edition
Chapter 1
Murder is a heartless crime one person executes on another. With all the modern equipment our law
enforcement agencies have at their disposal, you would think that this crime would be useless to commit.
Itseemsthoughthatthenation’scapitalWashingtonDCisthemurdercapitaloftheUnitedStates
Withsomuchbloodshedonthecapital’sstreetsyouwouldthinktheDistrictofColumbiawasacombat
zone, not one ofthenation’sbeautifulcitiesThisisthechiefreasonwhythehomicidedivisionofthe
Washington, D.C. police department is one of the busiest in the country. You earn your money on this
force.
The homicide department, located on the second floor at police headquarters, is composed of ten
working detectives, four lieutenants, one department captain, and a dozen clerical service workers. The
team of Ciminelli and Hannigan is one of the best in the whole department. Steve Ciminelli, a Yankee from
Boston who joined the D.C. force after serving three years as an Air Force special cop at Andrews Air
Force Base, is a veteran with nine years on the force, with the last three as a homicide detective. He
earned his promotion the hard way—by hard work on the job.
Linda Hannigan is a second-generation police officer on the Washington force. Her father was a cop,
her uncle was a cop, and her two brothers now serve in the Secret Service and FBI, respectively. She
became a detective in four years, and many of her male co-workers resent her ability to achieve her rank
so fast. Every day she must fight wise-ass sexual remarks made by her colleagues, but she handles them
in an expert manner.
The squad room is always active, with people working at their desks or hurrying to other destinations
inthebuildingThecaptaindoesn’tliketoseeanyonestandtoolongnearthewaterfountainorhave
more than two cups of coffee. He believes that with all the workloads our department has to deal with, no
one has the luxury to be idle unless he or she is out of his sight.
Steve Ciminelli is over thirty years old and a Yankee transplant from New England. Born and raised in
the East Boston area, he attended Boston University for four years. After serving three years in the Air
Force, mostly at Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, he decided to join the D.C. police force to
stayintheareaTheSecretServiceortheBureaucouldn’tpromisehimthatWhydidStevewishtolivein
the capital? Her name is Maureen Stevens, co-anchorononeofthelocalTVstationsSteveandMaureen’s
relationship goes back to his Air Force days at Andrews.
Maureen is from the Long Island area of New York and attended the University of Buffalo School of
journalism. She worked in some minor jobs in Buffalo until she earned her co-anchor post at WKWL. She
met Steve at a student beer party at the U.B. campus when he traveled to Buffalo with an Air Force buddy.
His buddy was getting married. Steve was his best man, and Maureen was a college friend of the bride.
Their romance has flowered for the last ten years, with off-and-on periods.
“Ciminelli and Hannigan. In my office immediately,”the captain shouted from behind his office door.
The sound of his voice brought the movement in the squad room to a halt, and everyone knew something
big had happened. As Steve and Linda walked through the door, the captain ordered it closed. With his
unlit cigar in his mouth, he picked up a message sheet and handed it to Steve.
“This is a big one, Steve. A prominent socialite by the name of Laura Smith-Hughes was just found
murdered in her condo bedroom. I want a very complete and thorough investigation of this, and you
report to me directly with everything. Understand?”the captain commanded with a tough voice.
“Laura Smith-Hughes?She’sthetopofWashingtonsocietyboss”Steve remarked after glancing at the
name on the message sheet. “She’sloadedwithdough—one of the top five hundred in the nation,”he
continued.
“Get over to the murder scene and make sure that none of our people screw this one up,”barked the
captain of the homicide division. With that last order still ringing in their ears, Steve and Linda left his
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