Sometimes I will miss the most obvious things and I realized that I had made a very significant oversight. Why in the world had I not followed up on that Hotel Ambassador maid found strangled in the Church parking lot? "D*mn, what was her name?" It took some searching through my stack of notes, reminders and other forgotten things that I keep in one neat pile on my desk, but it surfaced. Sally Murphy.
"Hotel Ambassador. Boston Police Department. Lieutenant Ian MacKenzie. Who might I speak to about a matter with one of the housekeeping staff?'
The voice on the other end of the phone call was a lady with a rather stately English accent. "That would be Mr. Beeson, the Hotel Butler. Would you like me to put you through?"
I began thinking that they had to go next door to retrieve the butler. I gave the phone a couple of those, "Hello. Is anybody there?" But my patience did finally get the long lost Mr. Beeson. I was expecting to get another Brit on the phone, some immigrant from merry old England named Jeeves, but instead I got a voice right out a Jimmy Cagney movie.
"Yeh, this is Scooter Beeson. What's ya need?"
I took a moment to smile at the surprise of that Jersey accent.
"What's I needs, Mr. Beeson, is some information."
Old Scooter continued in his perturbed tone, "Who am I talking to?"
"Mr. Beeson, this is Lieutenant Ian MacKenzie, Boston Police, Homicide Division."
"Look, Officer, is this about the Murphy woman? Well, I don't know anything about what happened to her."
"Easy, Mr. Beeson. I know. I simply need you to tell me if Miss Murphy was working Sunday night."
I heard the rustling of papers in the background before Mr. Beeson's voice returned with the words, "Yea, she worked Sunday afternoon. Got off about five."
I followed up, "And could you tell me what rooms she cleaned?"
"Ah, yea. Just a second... ah, third floor, rooms one to sixteen. Six check outs and five turn downs and five carry overs."
"So Mrs. Murphy cleaned room 312?"
"Yes, and she readied it for room service."
I asked, "Mr. Beeson, what does readying for room service entail?"
"Oh, she readies a small dining table so that they can have dinner when it is delivered by food services. Then she tidies up afterwards."
"Does she then put away the table?"
"Usually, no. We get it in the morning."
"Thank you, Mr. Beeson. You've been most helpful."
Before the hang up I heard, "Yea, yea."
I didn't remember any dishes or table from her room. I checked for the notes from the responding patrolmen. "Deceased found by patrolman answering an anonymous call. Call received 11::20 p.m. Deceased found at 11:43 p.m. Room unlocked by bellboy by the name of Tito Lopez."