• Solomon Goldstein Corpse Part Two


    Solomon Goldstein and the Missing Corpse – Part Two


    As Part One ended, a partially excavated body had been discovered 0n John Gianette’s deep forest land by a neighboring rancher.  An arm of the body had been stripped by wolverines.  The covered corpse was deposited in the Rock Springs morgue, but by morning had disappeared.




    As Jacob bent over his desk, Norene stuck her head through the door.  “Got a minute, Boss?” “Sure, bring me some good news,” said Jacob.  “I need more money,” she said.  Exasperated, he said, “Norene, you just had a raise three months ago, and I told you we would do something about year-end profit sharing.  You and Jeanie do the books, you know that we are not much above breakeven at this point.”


    “Frankly I’m worth more, I put in tons of time, so much so that I have little time to study my business law class at night.  I still want to be an attorney.”  Jacob’s day had been nasty from the get go and he wasn’t in the mood to appease Norene.


    “Look, in another three months if we have significant cases that pay, we can talk about it again, but for now it just isn’t possible.”  “Well, I didn’t want to tell you this, but I have an offer from another firm.”  Jacob thought, “They must have not checked her background very closely.”  “What firm?” he asked.  “It’s the biggest one here in Rock Springs – Oakley and Carpner.  They will give me 30% more than I’m getting here.  If you’ll match their offer, I’d be glad to stay.”  “Nope,” he said, “If someone thinks you are worth that much, I’d advise you to take the job.”  He could see the surprise and disappointment in her eyes – that he would be willing to let her go.  She leaned forward and said, “I’ll be out by 5:00.  You’ll never find anyone like me.”  Jacob exhaled and thought, “That is for damn sure.”


    That night he told Jeanie, his wife, what had happened.  “I’m very surprised,” she said.  “Norene never said a word.  We have our normal kick boxing class together on Friday, I’m sure she’ll bring me up to date.”


    Norene was beaming as their class started, apologizing that she hadn’t confided in Jeanie before now.  Her new firm had twelve lawyers, great offices and her title was special assistant to the main partner – Jay Oakley.  They were giving her a clothing and car allowance and were very supportive of her furthering her efforts to go to law school, in fact they were willing to pay for classes.  She was sorry to be leaving Jacob, but this was a great opportunity.


    After that, Jeanie didn’t see Norene for a week, but then on the next Friday, Norene came in about ten minutes late, looking like she had been dragged through prickly pear cactus by the Mongols’ motorcycle gang. “What on earth is wrong?” asked Jeanie.  “I’ve screwed up,” said Norene.  “I’ve made the biggest mistake of my life.”  “What happened?”


    “When I got to my desk the first morning I found that there was no office for me, just an open cubical.  The whole environment is designed to eliminate individuality; everyone used the same coffee pot – Maxwell House Regular – cheapest brand there is – tastes like the south end of a north bound skunk.  I had some files to go over, but no other instructions.  Around eleven Mr. Oakley came out and asked me to come into his office; he wanted to introduce me to his uncle.  There was no one in his office, but Oakley said,  “Meet my uncle, uncle Jack Daniels.”  “I was surprised, and thought it was a joke.”  “I always have a little pick-me-up around this time and I want you to join me.”  I didn’t want to give the wrong impression so I sat on the couch next to him for a half hour while he drank a full pint and complained about his wife.”


    “The lead paralegal told me that normally they were so busy that everyone just brought their own lunch, but on Fridays the firm bought Pizza.  What a bunch of cheapskates. I would be expected to pretty much work in my cubical unless I was needed by a partner or an associate.  Anxiety was starting to churn in my stomach like a bucket of bolts.  Four days later came the clincher.  Brad, a young, good-looking associate, told me he had an urgent project – please come into his office.  I hurried in only to be met with his thrusting chest and a gorilla grip on my rear.  I doubled punched him in the nose, and shaking, went back to my desk.  From then on, everyone pretty much ignored me; my duties were really that of a secretary, not a paralegal, with no work outside the office, and no input on the cases.  I knew then it was my looks that had gotten me into this situation, not my legal ability.  I decided I wanted out.”


    “Do you think Jacob would take me back?”  “I think he might, but you would need to give him a firm commitment.  He’s pretty angry,” said Jeanie.  “Can you talk to him first?” pleaded Norene.  “No, I think the way for you to handle this is to be at his office when he shows up in the morning and explain exactly what happened, and what your thinking was to make such a mistake – I’d apologize the moment you see him.”


    At 8:15 the next morning Norene was back in her old office, contrite and humble, with a cup of Seattle’s Best Grind on her desk – glad that she had such friends as Jeanie and Jacob.  Her idiot brother was the one who helped convince her to take the job with a bigger firm for more money.  She knew better now – no matter what happened she would never again let Jacob and Jeanie down.


    Rumors about the missing corpse refused to die.  Anytime a body was discovered in southwest Wyoming, there was a mass of people that were sure it was the one from Rock Springs.  Twenty miles south of the town, a small plane reported a body with a black tarp or cloth blowing around it.  Turned out to be a log with human-like branches and black decaying leaves. Then there was the one north west of Gianette’s Big G.  Two teenagers were four wheeling over some rough country when they came across a carcass half hidden on a steep slope.  It smelled so badly that they didn’t get close.  They notified everyone they could think of and before long a helicopter and a full posse of deputies arrived below the rocks.  Turned out to be a dead calf, half eaten and desiccated by the wind and weather.

    The more Jacob thought about the missing body, the more it didn’t make any sense.  Who on earth would bury someone out in the middle of Nowhere, Wyoming.  Then that same body stolen from the morgue.  One evening Jennie said she had a theory.  “I think that the body was buried by someone who was sure it would never be found – not someone local, but someone who knew that area.  It certainly wasn’t Wes Duggins or Case Warren, and the body was buried on Gianette’s land.   I know that the feds have looked into him, but with no success.  And the only reason I can see for the body to be stolen from the morgue, was to prevent its identification, probably by the same entity that buried it. I’m sure John Gianette is somehow behind all that happened that night.”


    The next morning Norene called Jacob from her office.  “One of your favorites is on the phone.”  “Who is it this time?” said Jacob with a scowl.  “It’s the head of the Disciplinary Committee.”  “Sol, how ya doin’?” said Swenson Hardy.  “We’ve got us a live one.  I’m emailing the file to you right now.  Since he’s in your hometown, you might want to interview him before he comes before the full panel.  Whatever you recommend, we will go along.”


    Two days later, Norene let him know Harold Wilson was here for his appointment.  “I grew up with him, said Norene.  “I always thought he must have been dropped on his head as a baby.” Jacob grinned, “Most people believe that all lawyers were dropped on their heads at some time or another.”   “He’s crying,” she said. “I’ll show him in.”  “No, you talk to him and see if you can settle him down,” said Jacob.  “I don’t do well with men in tears.”  “Not in my job description boss, I’d rather have my fingers slammed in a car door.  This is why you get paid the big bucks from the bar association.”

    Wilson, sad-eyed, in need of a barber and a dry cleaner, shuffled into his office and slumped into a chair.  The first words out of his mouth were, ”You’ve got to help me, Sol.”  “Why don’t you tell me what happened?” Solomon said.



    Wilson’s eyes welled with tears and he bit his lip to keep from sobbing. “Apparently I’ve made a horrible mistake. You know that I have a family practice, mainly divorce work.  I started handling the Jensen divorce about two months ago.  Mr. Jensen, whom I represented, has a wife that is quite a looker, and sexy as all get out – she kept coming on to me, but of course, I ignored her.  I’ve got a picture here – any man, including you, would have been tempted. But I’m a happily married man.  I did meet her a couple of times outside the office, but just to comfort her. That was probably a big mistake. The next thing I knew I had a request to meet with the Disciplinary Committee in Cheyenne.  Even before the hearing, Butch Major, the investigator, informed me that they were looking at pulling my license.  Swenson Hardy suggested that I meet with you first.  The hearing is this coming Wednesday.

    “Okay, Wilson, enough BS, I’m a man of wide tolerances, but you’ve given me a very economical version of the truth. Tell me what really happened?  Don’t try to lie, I’ve got the whole file here, including the pictures,” said Sol.


    Wilson tried to choke back a gasp, and then gushed out the real story.   “I started sleeping with her about a month after the divorce started.  Crazy I know, but I couldn’t help myself.  Mr. Jensen got wind and hired a private investigator to watch us and unfortunately he took pictures.”  “Yes, I have copies.” Sol said.


    “Jensen showed up at my office ten days ago, pulled out a long-barreled forty-five and twisted it into my left nostril all the way up to my sinuses. You can still see the red marks.  He dropped the pictures in front of me and made me sign a full confession, including a statement that I freely divulged information without duress.  I’m hoping that his violent action towards me will mitigate my temporary lapse of judgment.  He also threatened to come back and put a bullet up through my other nostril if I didn’t resign from the bar and leave town.  What can you do to help me?  I’m awfully sorry.”


    Sol thought to himself, “I don’t doubt it, fools, scoundrels and other blackguards generally are sorry when they have to take the consequences of their actions.”  “I’d accept a censure, but I’ve got to have my law license to make a living.  My wife is already divorcing me. I’ll end up with nothing without my legal practice,” said Wilson.


    Looking Wilson straight in the eyes, Sol said, “You forgot the part where you gave your client, Mr. Jensen, phony legal advice that would have resulted in a huge financial windfall for the soon to be ex-wife.  Don’t lie to me about this?”  Wilson looked up, large dark circles under his eyes,  “I’m cooked, but can’t you show some mercy?”


    “Here is what I’m going to recommend to the committee.  That you voluntarily surrender your law license, with the opportunity to take the bar again in five years and be reinstated.”  “I can’t live with that, I don’t have any other abilities,” said Wilson.  “You’ll have to find something else; or I suggest you move out of state, and practice somewhere else.  The reason for your resignation from the bar will be sealed, unless you leak the information.”


    Wilson slumped down further and said,  “I’ll be in Cheyenne next Wednesday, maybe the full board will show a little more leniency.”  “Maybe,” said Sol, knowing the full board might kick Wilson out for good.  “One more thing, Norene has told me a bit about the Jensen bunch; if I were you I would think about moving out of town.  As you know Rock Springs is a rough place, with lots of nasty people.  I doubt that Farley Jensen would come up and shoot you in the nose, but I don’t doubt that one day you might come up missing and never be found.”  Harley Wilson shuffled out of the office, moving like a man condemned to the gallows.

    The front page of the Rock Springs News showed John Ginette standing by his Learjet 60XR, surrounded by a large group of men in police uniforms or dark suits.  “THE BUST WAS A BUST” said the headline.  Apparently a tip was received that Gianette’s jet was transporting a load of heroin.  The local judge, his honorable George Tanner refused to grant a search warrant saying that he didn’t support fishing expeditions with out evidence.  Eventually a warrant was obtained from the federal judge in Cheyenne, but only for the plane.  If any sign of heroin was found, Gianette would be arrested immediately.  Not a trace, even going over the plane with cotton swabs, there was nothing.  Gianette laughed the whole thing off, but then filed suit against the federal government for an unlawful search.  Gianette told a friendly reporter that he could probably could be accused of a variety of misdeeds from his youth, but smuggling heroin wasn’t one of them.


    The next morning, Norene rushed into Jacob’s office and said, “They finally found it.”  “Found what?” Jacob replied, only faintly interested.  “You know, of course you know.” “You might as well tell me, Norene, I doubt that a herd of mustangs could stop you.”

    Next Month – Conclusion

    Joseph Ollivier


    February 2017

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