The 32nd Instalment in the Murder Squad series.
Death by overdose is a growing concern amongst Politicians, Law Enforcement Agencies and the responsible people of this Nation, especially in light of the burgeoning Ice epidemic. However, another drug of choice for the young party-going crowd is Ecstasy or "E".
Like Ice, it is manufactured in backyard Laboratories were quality control and selection of ingredients to mainly form "fillers and binders" for the tablets is of questionable import. Talcum powder, powdered bleach or even laundry washing powder have been used with these toxic substances having a severe reaction on the human body.
The youth who risk death or serious long term effects are seemingly not concerned with the fact that they are playing Russian Roulette with their lives, no matter how much publicity is given to the existence of toxic tablets being on the market.
With the death of a close friend of his son to a bad 'E' tablet and a week-end stint at a Big Band Extravaganza where Detective Joseph Lind witnesses first hand the results of such a mixture, the Detective embarks on a personal vendetta to identify and arrest the callous, illegal drug manufacturers who maybe making these deadly concoctions. A charge of culpable homicide on these cretins is a questionable outcome, but the anger within the Detective spurs him to at least attempt to lay blame where it is due.
Can there be a more ominous reason for this meddling from on high?
The two deaths at a seventeenth birthday party reveals links between those deaths and the OD deaths and overdose cases at the Sydney Band Extravaganza Concert.
The young Probation Officer Kaleesha Petrova, joins both Lind and Shields in the investigation of this case which brings a frustrating incomplete result for their tireless efforts.
Bill's phone skittered across the glass topped table.
I picked it up to answer, as Bill and Malisa were cavorting about like teenagers in the pool.
I answered and then held it up so he could see that he had a call.
"Who is it, Dad?" He yelled from the pool.
I shook my head. The person had not identified herself.
"OK...one minute." He shouted as he climbed from the pool, grabbing a towel from the glass fencing as he came through the safety gate.
"Yeah. Bill here..."
He listened silently.
The colour draining from his face.
He slumped unsteadily into one of the outdoor chairs opposite me.
Another long moment as the caller replied.
"Shit." He stated, as he held his head in his hand. Elbow on his knee. Bent over looking at the decking tiles.
"Yeah...right...you rang Gordon? No. OK. I will...as soon as we leave off...thanks for letting me know. Yeah...as good as can be expected with the news, I guess...yeah...see you at work tomorrow...it won't be the same, huh? Without the bastard...Ta."
He hung up.
Suddenly he stood and went inside to his side of the house.
An anguished look on his face.
He was in pain.
I caught Malisa's eye and beckoned her over.
"Um, I think Bill may have just got some bad news. He's pretty cut up..."
She nodded her head as she towelled off then walked quickly into the house.
- - - - -
About an hour later, I was out at the BBQ readying it for the standard Sunday Lunch affair.
Marge, my former professional partner, her husband 'Muscles' Sarvich and the triplets were due any moment. Shelley and her partner, Garry had just arrived.
It was our turn to host the meal.
The triplets always looked forward to the fortnightly visit because of the pool. Their visitations more often during the summer and the hot days. The company ran a poor second. I was way down the list past Bill, Malisa and Tellie. Mum and Dad. Even Shelley, with her frequent visits where the triplets had come to recognise her, was higher up the totem pole than I!
Bill came to stand beside me. He stuck a stubbie of beer into my hand. The stubbie wrapped in its cooler.
"You okay?" I asked, as I took the offered bottle.
He shrugged his shoulders.
"Want to talk about it?" I asked, squinting at him. Inspecting his face.
He looked around the yard. The pool. Bowed his head. Tugged at his ear. Sniffed a little. Looked across at me through red-rimmed eyes.
"Brasnick Padovich...I've mentioned him...a work mate...a year behind me...he was in the same intake as Brandy Surrich, Kelly Wade and Kyle Landers...a top bunch...we call him Nick."
He took a long gulp of his beer.
I continued to tend the Barby fussing over the sausages, worrying about the chicken pieces and prawn skewers. This perhaps an Aussie male thing where to turn and listen intently to your son's...your mate's laments or worries is not the Australian way.
An air of ambivalence has to pervade the scene so that no-one would guess that a deep and meaningful was in progress.
"Yeah...he was the Second Assist to Alan Sewick on that DV Homicide Case that Shelley and I had a couple of months back...open and shut case...a bright lad by all accounts...good presence...spoke extremely well for his age..."
"A brilliant bloke, Dad. He had the World at his feet. A really outstanding legal mind with those in the know saying he was meant for higher things...all the way to the top if he stayed with the Prosecution Office...and he was also a bloody brilliant soccer player...he and I... we kind of hit it off when he joined the DPP's Office...I suppose it has to be eighteen months ago now...mainly because I rode the Duke to work and he an 1100 Kawasaki. We were the only two out of the entire Office who rode Bikes to work...a real cool dude...he went to some Rave Party last night. Got a bad 'e' tab. Died in St.Vincents this morning...OD'ed from a bad dose, apparently."
I shook my head.