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Camino Winds (Camino Island, #2) by John Grisham Read Online (FREE)

Van Cleve continued, “The sniper was in a tree, and after the killings he somehow fell and snapped his spinal cord. He couldn’t move, so his partner shot him twice in the head, sort of like finishing off a dying animal. The law of the jungle. The police there, along with the FBI, made the smart decision to keep quiet about the sniper, who appears to be a professional. Damned good shot, just not much of a climber. Anyway, not a word in the press about him, so far.”

Van Cleve clicked a button and another video ran through its warm-up. “Here’s where things get good. The sniper is still alive and four days ago he started talking.” The image was of Rick Patterson in a hospital bed, on a ventilator, his head wrapped in heavy white gauze, tubes and wires everywhere, and five stern-faced men in dark suits staring at him. Van Cleve paused the video to say, “That’s him, along with his lawyer, a U.S. attorney, a federal magistrate, and two FBI agents.” On the other side of the bed were two doctors in scrubs. The wide camera angle was from the foot of the bed and it conveyed a scene that was truly hard to grasp.

 

Van Cleve said, “Patterson is not expected to survive. He has two small but steady brain hemorrhages that the doctors can’t seem to stop, and even if he did hang on his life is pretty much over. He knows it. And so he’s talking, or, rather, communicating. Obviously, with all the tubes and crap in his mouth he can’t talk, but he has regained some movement in his hands. He can scrawl out messages and grunt his approval. Along with all the other wires and tubes there is one that runs to an audio unit. It’s all being recorded in the U.S. Attorney’s office across town. Obviously, he’s in no condition to answer questions but he insisted. He’s very motivated. His doctors objected at first, but hell, they’ve given him a death sentence so how much does it really matter?”

The judge could be heard explaining some basic legal principles to the patient, who held a black marker and moved it awkwardly across a whiteboard propped on his stomach.

The U.S. Attorney leaned in a bit lower and said, “Now, Mr. Patterson, I’m going to ask you some questions, all of which have been approved by your lawyer. Please take your time. We are in no hurry.”

No hurry, Bob thought to himself. Two leaky brain hemorrhages and a broken neck and the man is dying by the minute.

“Were you involved in the planning and murders of Linda Higginbotham and Jason Jordan?”

He wrote the word yes, and the U.S. Attorney repeated it for the record.

“Did you in fact kill both of them?”

 

Yes.

“And you were paid for these killings?”

Yes.

“How much?”

Two.

“Two million dollars?”

Yes.

“Who paid for the killings?”

A long pause as Patterson slowly scrawled the words: Don’t know. His lawyer said, “He says he doesn’t know.”