Nathan made several calls as they sat by the side of the road. He clicked off the phone and turning to Emma said, “Interesting. The property was owned by Jessop. Apparently, he recently sold it to a guy called Lamott. He has no connection to Jessop, none I’ve found so far but that obviously doesn’t mean there isn’t one, it could be hidden. I’ve only scratched the surface so you can rest assured I’ll do some more digging into Lamott, find out what he’s into.”
“Perhaps Jessop was responsible or at least involved then…”
“It’s certainly possible. If he thought an enterprise were in jeopardy considering his newly acquired position, he wouldn’t want that information coming to light.”
“He has an awful lot to answer for!” Emma’s eyes glowed with anger.
“It’s a possible starting point since he has been linked to questionable activities. The ultimate solution will be catching him with his hand in the cookie jar. When I nail this perp, I want a slam dunk, no loopholes and no way out.”
“Any idea what kind of crime he’s been dealing in?”
“So far, it appears it’s mostly bribes, under the counter activities, paid with cash so no paperwork to follow up on. He’ll slip up. They always do, and it’s usually something minor that cracks the case wide open.”
“What sort of bribes?”
“Bribes pertaining to contractors mostly, looking the other way or widening his land onto someone else’s property. That’s what I’ve found so far. We need to talk to a George Lumbly. Apparently, he was the loudest antagonist against Jessop. I’d like to hear first hand what he has to say.”
“So what was his concern?”
“His beef as he put it, was Jessop usurping his land. He claims Jessop built on his land, two feet inside the property line, for the full length of his property well over two miles. That’s a lot of land!”
“Has he talked to City Hall, Appropriations, I’m not sure who you talk to. Must look into that as a sidebar.”
“It’s gone beyond City Hall, he’s taking his case to court.”
“Then he must feel he has a solid enough case to win.”
“That or he wasn’t getting any satisfaction from city hall, imagine that!”
Emma agreed, “Jessop probably has his fingers in all kinds of pies in that arena.”
“I’m still working on those connections, but in the meantime, let’s go see what Mr. Lumbly has to say.” Nathan headed the car toward the University Area District in North Seattle.
They stopped in front of a beautiful house with plenty of land surrounding it and massive trees hundreds of years old. Although not ultra modern, it was a modern design home complete with massive square windows allowing plenty of light. The mixture of wood and brick covering the facade gave it an almost classic feel. It was minimalist in style, but luxury all the way.
Mr. Lumbly was a tall well-built man with graying hair and deep blue eyes. His expression was one of interest. “You are Emma and Nathan?”
“Yes, Mr. Lumbly. Pleased to meet you.”
“Come in, we’ll head to my den, it’s quieter there. The kids are home and it’s usually rowdy.”
Taking their seats, Nathan began, “I’ve been doing some investigation into Mr. Jessop.” The second Jessop’s name was mentioned, his expression became angry. “I understand you’ve been involved in a serious altercation with him. Would you mind explaining what that was about?”
“For the moment, what I have to say remains off the record as this situation is now before the courts.”
Emma nodded, “Agreed.”
He then explained in detail what Jessop had done, and how. Since he’d received no satisfaction from City Hall regarding the matter, he’d had no other recourse open to him. He wasn’t about to let it go since it involved a large track of land, land he’d been prepared to sell and turn into two level track homes. Since that entire investment was on hold, he wasn’t at all happy.
“So,” leaning back in his chair he asked, “what is your interest in all this?”
“We’re investigating a young woman’s death.” Emma detailed some of what they knew and went on to explain about the young man who had been attacked near Jessop’s property.
“So you think there’s a tie-in?”
“There’s got to be more or you wouldn’t be interested.”
“Emma was also attacked and later her home broken into.”
“So it’s personal then.”
“To some degree, it has become more personal, but my concern is finding and resolving what happened to Miss Westwood.”
“I’ve heard via the grapevine that Jessop has some hired help. Other contractors told me their property was vandalized prior to selling which dropped the price considerably and some sort of conglomerate walked in and scooped it up.”
“Any idea who that was?” Nathan asked intrigued.
“No, they clammed up real tight, but I imagine if your interested, it’s a matter of public record. Whoever owns the property next to Jessop’s over where that young woman died, obtained the land. It will take some digging because I went at it for awhile, but hit a dozen roadblocks. It’s incorporated.”
“Thank you for your time, Mr. Lumbly. Appreciate it.” Emma leaned forward offering her hand.
Taking her hand warmly in his and clasping it tightly he said, “You be careful, young lady. Jessop is not someone to fool with. He’s devious, smart, cunning and mean.”
“I have her back,” Nathan remarked.
“See that you do, young man, see that you do. She’s too precious to lose. Her life won’t matter two bits to Jessop.”