Detective Stans took me out to his unmarked police car and opened the door on the front passenger side. So I sat down and looked around while Stans circled the car and got in on the driver’s side. This cop car boasted the crime-fighting equipment of the modern age. No metal screen separated the back seat from the front. Instead of a shotgun, a laptop computer mounted on a swivel occupied the space between the two front seats.
Another detective opened the back door and slid in. “This is my partner, Detective Carney,” Stans said. I twisted around in my seat and nodded to him. He was younger than Stans and tougher looking. Like Stans and all the uniformed cops at the scene, he sported a mustache. Unlike Stans, he didn’t have a soft belly straining the buttons on his white shirt, and his sports jacket lacked the permanent-press wrinkles. Possibly he was more of an action-type cop and didn’t spend a lot of time in warm cars questioning witnesses.
Stans got my address and phone and asked me all the expected questions. I found myself repeating almost word for word the story I’d told the uniformed officer earlier. I’d just found the body when Joe had appeared out of nowhere. He’d spoken to me briefly, then knocked me down when the garbage truck showed up.
“I’ve known Stevie Number and GI Joe for about two years, through my volunteer work at the Mobile Clinic,” I told them.
“Where’s that?” Carney asked.
“Lots of places. It’s a converted Winnebago. We drive it to different parts of Berkeley and Oakland. Nurses and physicians donate their time to provide free medical care to those who need it.”