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G ene G rossman
Peter Sha rp Legal Mystery Number 13
How to Rob a Bank
How to Rob a Bank
Peter Sharp Legal Mystery #13 The Ultimate Locked Room Mystery by Gene Grossman
From Magic Lamp Press Venice, California
Magic Lamp Press ™
If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported ‘unsold and destroyed’ to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
HOW to ROB a BANK
Peter Sharp Legal Mystery #13 The Ultimate Locked-Room Mystery
All rights reserved Copyright © MMVIII Gene Grossman
This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author. For written permission, contact: Gene Grossman c/o Magic Lamp Press, P.O. Box 9547, Marina del Rey, CA 90295.
ISBN 1-882629-05-1 www.LegalMystery.com
How to Rob a Bank
.Introduction. If this is the first Peter Sharp Legal Mystery you’re reading, it might help you to know a little background information about the characters. Peter Sharp’s wife threw him out of their home (which she actually owned), due to a conflict of their philosophies about legal representation: Peter being a defender of those poor, unfortunate people ‘wrongfully’ accused of crimes, and his wife Myra, a prosecutor with the District Attorney’s office, who railroads them to conviction. Peter ultimately wound up living on a dilapidated old boat in Marina del Rey, and when his former classmate/employer Melvin Braunstein died in a plane crash, Peter inherited a failing law practice, an office manager (Melvin’s twelve-year old stepdaughter Suzi, a Chinese computer genius) and her huge St. Bernard. Peter was appointed her legal guardian, and through a series of misfortunes that miraculously worked out, wound up living with Suzi and her dog on a beautiful 50-foot Grand Banks trawler-yacht. When Peter isn’t swilling Patrón Margaritas at one of the marina’s local watering holes, he’s usually involved in some losing legal case that little Suzi will inevitably solve, leaving Peter with the impression that he’s really as good as he thinks he is . 4
’ve been out of town for the past couple of weeks, hanging out at the Lahaina Yacht Club in Maui. As with all other members, they’ve put an updated picture of my boat, complete with the LYC flag flying on the bow in the most recent club mailing, and because it’s a nice 50-foot Grand Banks trawler yacht, members of the club seem to have the mistaken opinion that I actually know how to start the engines and drive the darn thing.
How to Rob a Bank
The Suzi B With my new-found yachting reputation, I seem to be getting a little more respect here at the club, and since the bar has finally acceded to my pleas and they now stock Patròn Tequila, I believe the margaritas taste much better - notwithstanding the fact that they cost a little more than ones made with the stuff they pour from that mysterious ‘well’ behind every commercial bar. Ever since reading Jacques Futrelle’s The Problem in Cell 13, I’ve been hooked on ‘locked-room’ mysteries, and this situation with Brodini the magician has certainly attracted not only my attention, but also that of most thinking people who watch television. 6
A little while ago I was involved in another locked-room mystery that took place in the steel-encased panic room of a paranoid rich guy who lived out here on the Peninsula, an exclusive ocean-side neighborhood that adjoins Marina del Rey California, where my yacht is parked - and from where I operate my small law firm, assisted by little Suzi, a 12-½ adorable Chinese computer genius who I let help me out with solutions to my criminal cases. But this one seems a little more intense than the last one, because here we have a witness who saw the defendant enter the vault, and many other witnesses who watched the defendant commit what looked like crimes on the vault’s camera monitors. The fact that the supposed defendant was nowhere to be found when the authorities entered the bank’s vault have no bearing on the matter, other than to raise the question of how he escaped. Legally speaking, either a crime was committed or it wasn’t: the defendant’s escape or non-escape doesn’t erase the fact that a crime may have taken place. All I can say at this point is that the plane ride back to LAX is a pleasant one, and I’m glad I’m not involved in this vault mess. As the matter stands, here’s 7
How to Rob a Bank
everything I’ve heard about the case, and it’s about the same amount that everyone else in the world knows, with the exception of the Great Brodini. This is an excerpt from a local news reporter’s article. She happened to have been on the scene at the time these events took place and also interviewed persons present to prepare her article. The Great Bank Robbery: The Great Brodini is a creature of habit. He gets up at the same time each day, calls the Scharf Limousine Company for a Lincoln Town Car to be sent to his condo building, and after dressing impeccably is driven to his office, or wherever else his career requires that he appear. On this particular day, Scharf’s best driver, Raul Wainer, pulled into the Beverly Hills Wilshire Boulevard underground parking garage beneath Brodini’s luxurious condo complex at 8:45 AM, called his client to let him know he was waiting near the elevator, and several minutes later took the magician on a 15-minute drive to the Marina del Rey branch of Myerson Savings & Loan… one of the few lending institutions that is still financially healthy, because it avoided getting involved in the sub-prime lending 8
mess. Jules Beider, the bank’s CEO, just didn’t understand the new way that real estate finance worked: He couldn’t figure out how to make a profit by making lowinterest adjustable-rate mortgage loans to people with no down-payment and no substantial reliable income or other means of making payments when he loans would re-set with new higher rates, on the inflated and over-priced property that they just were not qualified to purchase... but he knows of many other banks that did understand how things worked – and he’s now entering into negotiations to buy one or two of them at their bankruptcy sales. -----Brodini goes to this bank several times a month for two reasons: first, he wants to visit his safe-deposit box to either pick up or drop off plans for an illusion he’s working on or updates to the book he’s in the process of writing – and secondly, to drop in at Rottman’s Haberdashery next door to the bank, where he will purchase a new silk tie to wear later that day during whatever luncheon he’s been invited to. Due to his celebrity status as a popular nightclub act in Las Vegas and many west 9
How to Rob a Bank
coast venues, Brodini is afforded some perks, in an attempt to avoid awkward situations that usually crop up whenever people of his fame are thrust in the general populace. One of those perks is being allowed to enter the bank at 9:00 in the morning, when Bryce Chalem the manager opens the front door to go in. At first the bank was reluctant to grant this privilege to the magician, but Chalem and Beider finally came to the conclusion that it would be better to let Brodini conduct his safe-deposit business well before the bank’s employees and general public were present. Their thinking was that the fewer disturbances during business hours, the better. Thanks to this perk, Wainer was allowed to park the Town Car right in front of the Bank. As usual, their timing was perfect, because just as Brodini got out of the car, he met the manager opening the front door. They both went inside together and Chalem then locked the door behind them, not planning to open it again until 9:30, when the bank’s employees would be arriving for the day’s work, and also to allow Brodini to exit. While Wainer waited outside the bank, he 10
sat there grumbling to himself about what he considered to be terrible landscaping around the building. The only reason that Scharf kept him on is because of the wellknown secret that Raul always carried a small loaded gun – and Brodini, who was aware of this, enjoyed the additional security. When Wainer wasn’t driving, he was exercising his gambling habit, and felt better being armed after frequent large Texas Hold’em winnings at private card games. Inside the bank, Chalem went to his desk, removed some keys from a drawer, and then changed into his Myerson blazer, a bright green hopsack item bearing the Myerson crest - a required garment for all bank officers. Myerson’s founding partner, Jules Beider’s father, was a stickler for formality and his son kept the tradition going. Fancy dressing was always a family trait, and both Beider’s wife, and his Cuban mistress appreciated their separate times being out with the generous, big-spending, well-dressed businessman. He loved to spend money on his women. Chalem and Brodini walked to the rear of the bank, where Chalem used his key to open a lock and slide open a steel gate, a 11
How to Rob a Bank
security measure about ten feet from the vault entrance. The time-lock on the vault door allowed it to be opened at 9:10 AM, and when the large thick door was swung open, the manager and the magician both walked into the vault. Once inside the small 7-foot wide by 20-foot long room, Chalem used another bank key and along with Brodini’s key, they opened up the small locked cabinet door behind which was the magician’s safe-deposit box. At this time, Brodini made a strange request. “Bryce, I don’t think I’ll be going into one of the small rooms outside the vault this morning, so if it’s okay with you, I’ll just stay in here and do my box business. I’ll call for you in a while, when it’s time for you to come in and lock the box compartment.” The manager agreed and Brodini was grateful. So grateful in fact, that he put his arm around Chalem and thanked him for his cooperation over the many months that the box was being used. As the manager was leaving the vault, Brodini shook his hand vigorously and made one other request: “Oh, by the way, since I’ll be staying here in the vault for another few minutes or so, would you please slide the 12
metal gate closed on your way out? I’d rather not have any early-arriving bank employee wander in here while my box is open and some of my magic trick blueprints are out in the open.” Chalem didn’t mind this second request either, and after leaving the vault, he slammed closed the security gate behind him as he entered the main bank lobby. It locked automatically. About 20 minutes later, the bank’s security guard was let in the front door, and when he went to his station and turned on the small set of monitors, one of them caught his attention and he called Chalem over to look at it. It was the vault camera, and to their amazement there was a beautiful, clear view of Brodini holding a ring of keys, and systematically opening one safe-deposit box after another and emptying their contents into a large sack. Chalem excitedly told the guard to call the police, as he hit the alarm button that automatically notifies the authorities and the FBI, who also investigate crimes against federally chartered institutions. He then rushed to the sliding metal gate, and when reaching into his pocket for the key, he 13
How to Rob a Bank
discovered that it was missing. In its place was a small computer-printed note: Bryce: Sorry to inconvenience you for a while, but I’ve got some things to do here in the vault this morning. Brodini Chalem then realized that Brodini had picked his pocket earlier, and that now everyone was locked out of the vault until they could get the security gate open again. Towards that end, Chalem called Beider, who tried to get him to relax. “Bryce, take it easy. Brodini may be up to some shenanigans in the vault, but where’s he gonna go? He’s in the vault now, and the steel gate behind him is locked. Even if he’s got the key, when he tries to unlock it to leave, you’ll have a whole squad of police and FBI guys waiting for him. We can’t lose with this: there’ll be no loss of client assets, and the publicity of us foiling a robbery attempt will enhance our security capability in the mind of the public. It’s a win-win for all of us.” The vault camera’s image was put up on the large screen monitors placed in various strategic locations around the bank lobby, 14
and the bank employees, police, and FBI were all entertained for while, waiting for the locksmith’s crew to arrive and open up the sliding metal gate. The one thing on everyone’s mind was ‘what the heck is he thinking?’ They couldn’t figure out why Brodini would risk his career and his freedom with such a dumb stunt. There would be no getting away, no profit from the theft, and nothing left of his career… absolutely no upside. He’s got nothing to gain and everything to lose.
It took about a half hour before the vault company’s locksmith crew arrived, and then another half hour for them to use welding torches to break through the metal security gate’s lock. When they finally got the metal gate open, the law enforcement people used a bullhorn to communicate with Brodini. “Mister Brodini, this is special agent Wilkinson, with the FBI. We don’t want any problems here, and certainly don’t want you to be hurt in any way, so please pick up the telephone in the vault so we can discuss your safely coming out of the vault. I’m sure you know there’s no getting away from here, so please, let’s do it the easy way. No one will be hurt, and we 15
How to Rob a Bank
can all leave here safely.” Silence. No response from inside the vault. Everyone looked over towards Chalem, who was sitting behind his desk with the private vault phone extension to his ear. He looked toward the cops and nodded from left to right, indicating that Brodini hadn’t picked up the vault phone. The law enforcement contingent decided that they would rather not rush into the vault. Instead they made arrangements to fire a tear gas grenade into the vault and force Brodini out to them. To avoid the gas affecting people outside the vault, they set up some fans blowing towards the vault door, to keep the gas vapors concentrated inside the vault. As a last result, they tried to coax Brodini out again with the bullhorn. “Mister Brodini, this is special agent Wilkinson. If you don’t come out of there with your hands in the air, in about 30 seconds we’re going to be firing a tear gas grenade into the vault. I suggest that if you decide to stay in there for a while that you get as close to the ajar vault door so that you won’t be injured with the gas grenade is fired in there.” Still no response. They looked over to 16
Chalem, and once again he nodded in the negative that the vault phone wasn’t being used. Bang! The rifle was fired and the grenade flew into the vault. The fans were turned on blowing towards the vault, and even though a small amount of gas seeped out, no one outside the vault was affected by it. The SWAT leader motioned to his crew, and completely covered in their armored uniforms with gas masks on, five of them rushed into the bank vault, guns drawn. A second or two later, we heard the SWAT team’s leader tell the sergeant in the lobby the word that stunned everyone, as it was broadcast on his walky-talky: “Clear!” Everyone there exchanged looks of amazement as the five SWAT officers came back out of the vault, removing their gas masks and holstering their weapons. They told their sergeant that the bank vault was empty. Brodini was gone. There was no one in there.
That was the end of her article
had been removed from the safe18 . if anything. all interested parties entered the vault. and no way to know what. There was no sign that anything had been tampered with.How to Rob a Bank 2 C halem was thankful for the videotape showing Brodini inside the vault. because without that tape and the note that Brodini left in his pocket. it’s likely that not one person would believe Chalem’s story about Brodini ever having been there. After the vault’s ventilation system had completely removed the gas vapors.
the reason why they decided to use their own transportation is evident… a stretch limo is much nicer than anything the bank would have provided. assuring a full bank staff in house at all times. we will send a car to pick you up and provide your transportation to and from the bank. A letter was drafted and sent out to every box holder: Dear Myerson S & L Safe-Deposit Box Holders: It has come to our attention that there may have been some minor security breach in our bank. politely declining the bank’s generous offer of transportation. to assist your effort in examining your box. After a few days and a few inspections. We been removed from the vault. When those clients do arrive at the bank.Gene Grossman deposit boxes. The letters are sent out and little by little. The 19 are confident that no box-holder’s contents have . a few people respond. Please also be advised that we have made arrangements for the vault company to send out a special crew to change the time-lock so that the safe cannot be opened until 10:30 AM. but if you care to inspect your box. it is estimated that jewelry worth upwards of 30 million dollars is missing from the safe-deposit boxes.
If there was ever a high-profile crime. and the vault camera’s videotape. Downtown in the Criminal Courts Building. and how the SWAT team fired the tear gas and then found the vault empty. 20 .J. it can be returned to the rightful owners. and the local news shows have no shortage of guests willing to tell their stories about how they watched the video monitors show Brodini rifling through the safe-deposit boxes in the vault. Forget about O. District Attorney Myra Scot Sharp is reviewing the bank manager’s statement. the public will be able to actually see a real high-profile crime being committed. Sooner or later. Robert Blake. the actual security video footage will no doubt appear somewhere on the internet. the Melendez boys and Phil Spector. so if and when anything is found. Brodini’s note. the victims’ statements. Simpson. and for the first time.How to Rob a Bank victims all are insured with the same carrier . and they have bills of sale and photographs of the missing items. this case is a press magnet. the security guard’s statement. this is it. There were a lot of people in the bank when the SWAT team came out.Uniman Insurance.
are demanding that Brodini be brought to justice. and a warrant for Brodini’s arrest has been issued. there will be an uproar in the press. She has instructed her investigators to be as courteous as possible with the suspect. especially some basic cable news harpies.A. and a law-and-order segment of the public. it matters not. There’s already been a leak of some footage from the vault’s cameras.Gene Grossman District Attorney Myra Scot Sharp has no choice. D. It looks like there’s no longer a need for trials anymore. It’s hard to tell what gets the public’s dander up more – the fact that a celebrity magician may have committed a crime. Sharp has made her decision. if she doesn’t bring him in. because the botoxed bunch of female prosecutors who always pop up as guests on those cable shows have already made up their minds: Brodini is guilty – the heck with a trial or evidence. Either way. Even though there is no evidence of Brodini having taken anything that belongs to the bank or the victims. and inform him that even though he will be 21 . Find a tree somewhere and get some rope. or the fact that nobody knows how he did it.
that because of his celebrity status. but he puts on his best suit and is waiting outside for the investigators. and after a quick booking procedure with prints and a mug-shot being completed. the District Attorney’s office will not object to a motion that he be released on his own recognizance. with a smile on his face he waves at the approaching 22 .How to Rob a Bank arraigned on a charge of grand theft. that if he will waive his right to a speedy trial. and Brodini was tipped off that the investigators are on their way. an unmarked squad car is dispatched to his residence hours earlier. Just to play safe. and just in case they don’t know what he looks like. he can be arraigned and released. no bail will be required.A. A contrived leak from the D. The investigators perform as instructed.’s office is allowed to get out. Brodini must have appreciated the tip-off because not only does he not make an attempt to escape. The investigators have been told to pick up Brodini in the morning on a weekday. to make sure that he makes no attempt to flee the jurisdiction. so that he may be brought into court that same day.
23 . and Brodini hops in for his ride home in a slightly more fashionable vehicle… with fewer antennae. he declines their offer to drive him home and instead walks over to one of Scharf Limo’s Lincoln Town cars that pulls up. Dressed in true chauffer garb complete with small black cap.Gene Grossman unmarked sedan with all those antennae sticking up out of the roof. the new highprofile criminal is filmed by TV news cameras as he walks out of the courthouse and is escorted to the investigators’ vehicle. Less than an hour later. opens the rear passenger door. To their surprise. Raul Wainer gets out.
Somewhere deep in the back of her mind. Another thing about her that amazes me is how well she gets along with my ex-wife. both Myra and I agree that the kid is scheming to get us back together again.How to Rob a Bank 3 N otwithstanding her age of only 12-½. District Attorney Myra Scot Sharp. Suzi is the brightest person I know. Her talents for logic and computer expertise are staggering. so she can have a real family – plus two lawyers she can hire for her law firm 24 .
‘Bernie’ will have to do.Gene Grossman when she breezes through Harvard or Yale law school. Here comes the messenger. but because I have difficulty with Szechwan pronunciation.000 boats. 25 . and a couple of blocks around the corner is the Marina Ritz Carlton. I might as well get used to things the way they are – which aren’t really that bad. with more than 7.’ I know that’s not his real name. the weather is great. As a result of some very lucrative cases. where I can get a perfect blended. I can think of worse ways to spend the rest of my life. Suzi has a pet beast… her 200-pound Saint Bernard. we now live on this luxurious yacht here in lovely Marina del Rey. but since that’s not going to happen until a pig flies past the boat’s front windshield. who answers to my call of ‘Bernie. topless (no salt on the rim) margarita. And in addition to the boat. the largest smallboat marina in the world.
How to Rob a Bank Much like a well-known senator from Alaska who referred to the internet as a ‘series of tubes.’ here on the boat we have a primitive. back to the bigger person on the boat… me. I hear the pitter patter of huge paws and see that the messenger has arrived with a 26 . but effective means of sending messages from the foreward stateroom suite that serves as Suzi’s private enclave.
Mister Isadore Brodsky. The message is quite simple: We have a new client. but her communications to me are usually limited to what we call dog-mail. 27 . read it. and a biscuit from his private stash in an upper cupboard that’s a little higher than Bernie can reach when he stands up. She can spend hours on the phone with her girlfriend Jasmine. a ‘good dog’ compliment. He will be visiting the boat this evening and joining us for dinner. reading them has become a lot neater. and then either respond or not – but either way. Bernie gets a pat on the head. or in the evening with my ex-wife Myra. Now that we’ve trained him not carry the messages in his mouth. The usual procedure is for me to remove the message.Gene Grossman note tucked in his collar.
How to Rob a Bank I have no idea what type of case this might be. but because the client is being invited to the boat for dinner.’ When not working at the restaurant during the evening hours. and the four young men who work there as busboys and dishwashers have been nick-named the ‘Asian Boys. like kasha varnishka. and some other tasty delights that don’t look too good. However. I presume that he’s not one of those usual dirtbag criminal clients we usually wind up with. and includes some things I’m not too familiar with. Another task they perform quite well is following Suzi’s instructions and picking up and preparing what pass for gourmet meals here on the boat – and tonight is no exception. Suzi’s late mother was the manager of a local Szechwan restaurant. they also keep busy sanding and varnishing some of the boats here on our dock. but 28 . tonight the cuisine isn’t Szechwan: it’s from Jerry’s deli.
the only thing we haven’t gotten around to discussing at all this evening is his legal case and what type of assistance he’s looking for from our law firm. Now that the table is set. To my surprise. the boat rocks slightly as someone is coming up the boarding ladder… it must be our new client.” The dinner conversation goes on even past the dessert course. I’m Isadore Brodsky. and Mister Brodsky is a pleasure to talk to.Gene Grossman taste delicious. we’re ready for our guest to appear. he introduces himself: “Hello. called matzo balls. including soup that contains some items that could be used as small boat anchors. 29 . He seems well-read and isn’t an ideologue when it comes to talking about politics. and as we shake. Strangely enough. holds out his hand. and right on schedule. he steps into the boat.
“Mister Brodsky. if you don’t mind. I’m sorry Mister Sharp… I thought you knew. but I think that it’s time for us to get to the ‘commercial. would you please tell us exactly how we can help you? What type of legal advice are you seeking from our firm?” He looks surprised that I’m asking this question… almost as if I’m out of line for even bringing it up. Isadore Brodsky is my birth name… I’m the Great Brodini.How to Rob a Bank Since the kid isn’t bringing the subject up.’ So. “Oh. this has been a pleasant evening. I assume it’s my duty to broach the subject. 30 .
Gene Grossman 4 T his is a double surprise. I’m surprised that she would invite this magician to the boat. surely part of her master plan to get us back together again. Secondly. First I’m stunned by the fact that the kid has once again roped me into a high-profile case that my ex-wife is involved in. she’s been complaining about the publicity he’s been 31 . because over the past year or so.
or my being beat in court by Myra.How to Rob a Bank getting by assisting law enforcement agencies in solving some tough crimes. as long as there’s a decent fee. Suzi was the one that the local cops all flocked to for computer help . The main problem I have with her motives is that I can’t figure out what would be a better outcome for her – my getting the guy off. I still get to sleep home that night – which is more than I can say for some of the clients I’ve represented. The only reason I can think of her getting us involved in this case is for her to once again revive her reputation as a crimesolver by beating anyone else to the punch and closing this case. as a result of her staying overnight a Myra’s house once in a while.for solutions to their cases. 32 . No matter what happens the last day of trial. and ‘borrowing’ some of her private District Attorney access codes. Before this guy came to prominence. Oh well. I’m sure that they would think differently if they realized that she had access to all their private law enforcement websites. I might as well jump in.
the only parts of his story that match up with what I’ve already learned from the television news is that the Scharf Limo Company did send a Lincoln Town car to pick him up. signed some autographs outside for some people who recognized him. at the same time that Bryce Chalem the bank manager was opening up the bank’s front door. and about ten minutes later Chalem escorted him out to the front door of the bank and let him out. they shook hands and exchanged some small talk. where the owner. and then got back into the Town Car and was driven home. he left the store. He claims he never stole anything from any 33 .Gene Grossman The client’s story: According to Mister Brodsky. Brodsky then says that after Chalem let him into the vault. The magician says that he then went into Rottman’s Haberdashery. After he put the necktie on. a store next door to the bank. and driver Raul Wainer dropped him off at the bank at 9:00 in the morning. Kyle Rottman helped him select a new necktie.
How to Rob a Bank safe-deposit box. I tend to believe the cops most of the time. I’ve had cases before where there was a direct conflict in testimony. having been let out the front door by none other than the bank manager. and has absolutely no idea how the video of him breaking into those boxes appeared on the bank’s monitors. Bryce Chalem. In the first case. sitting there on the front seat between the driver and the passenger: the driver and the passenger say that the drugs must have either been planted or hidden somewhere in the car and they were unaware of it. because they had no drugs… but this case is different. He also states as being obvious the fact that the reason the SWAT team didn’t find him in the vault was because he was out of there for at least a half-hour before they arrived. because they’re usually too inept to conspire to plant drugs on two stoners – and stoners have even been known to ask the cops for a light for their 34 . The cops say that the drugs were in plain sight.
“Hello Peter. I call Myra at home.” “Why is that Peter? Are you going to commit another crime?” “No.Gene Grossman joints. While I finish another piece of apple strudel ala mode. what do you want?” “I’m fine. I know that Brodini is a hypnotist. Once he’s off the boat. but it’s a lot easier to believe than the idea that this skinny little Jewish magician was able to penetrate a bank vault’s walls to escape. That sounds pretty far out. She’s in her usual cheerful mood. But this time. so maybe he had the bank manager under his spell. I really don’t know what to believe. thanks my dear… I just want to let you to know that we’re going to have the wonderful opportunity of meeting in court again soon. Suzi extracts a nice fat retainer check from the Great (but suddenly a little poorer) Brodini. I’m going to see your lips flap like a fish out of water when I ask for dismissal of 35 .
so better finish your interviews while you can.How to Rob a Bank your complaint against my new client – Mister Isadore Brodsky – the Great Brodini.” “We’ll see. I have about thirty million reasons to oppose your motion. And you’ll have no reason to oppose my motion. How about a plea of not guilty by reason of hypnotism? The bank manager was under his spell and doesn’t remember letting him out of the bank ten 36 . I’ve got so many alibi witnesses you’ll have a hard time even proving that he was ever in that bank.” “You asked for it.” “Okay honey. Petey. The preliminary hearing is set for next month. I’m going to make a new bail motion. and I expect to be as successful in rejecting you this time as I have been during the past two years in fighting off both your judicial and prurient attempts. and when he’s bound over. unless you can come up with something new.” “Au contraire. but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
After a few audible shakes. Someone’s a nut job. I toss him a tidbit and put a note under his collar. and it’s either the bank manager or our client. they’ll give our client the benefit of the doubt that he was able to escape. the beast comes bounding in to my section of the boat. got on those monitors. and if the jury believes their eyes. or Brodsky. I go to the galley and pick up the box of dry dog food. My next move is to call a staff meeting. or whoever he is. Is that what you want? Is this whole thing a plan to let Myra win a case against us?” 37 . “What?” “That’s it? ‘What?’ That’s all you’ve got? What’s going on here? I thought you knew that I didn’t want anything to do with this case. and they’ll reward him with a guilty verdict. Suzi speaks.Gene Grossman minutes after he got there.” Her response is a dial tone. the both of them are standing in front of me on the other side of our coffee table. I have no idea how the video of Brodini. A few minutes later.
How to Rob a Bank She’s glaring at me now. and Kyle Rottman. The assignment is for her to use the purloined software and access codes to run some people through the criminal databases to see if we can shake some skeletons loose. tuck it under his collar. “I don’t care what you do with the case. and send him after her. Here it comes. as long as you make it last long enough for me to figure out how this fakir did it. The dog stays behind blankly staring at me. He’s obviously as confused about this case as I am. Maybe she’ll even say something. Raul Wainer. she executes a perfect military right-face and marches to her forward domain.” Having said that. I write out a quick note. 38 . I tell her to check out Bryce Chalem.
Larry King. and Geraldo Rivera. and all I’m waiting for now are the results of Suzi’s assignment.Gene Grossman 5 I ’ve been busy on the phone today and have already turned down interview requests from Nancy Grace. Greta Van Sustren. When the info comes in. I see that there’s nothing remarkable about these people. The bank manager. has had some emotional 39 . Bryce Chalem.
The limo driver Raul Wainer was busted a couple of years ago for possession of a firearm. owner of the haberdashery next door to the bank has no criminal record in this state. just some troubles with his wife trying to kill him. He obviously has some sort of issue with landscaping. because he’s still alive. Maybe he still is. Kyle Rottman. I don’t know. Nothing serious. and was on anti-depression medication. he beat that rap and didn’t have any other trouble with the law until he got into an argument with his neighbor about some ugly landscaping. and socked the guy. They must have patched things up. but he did have some trouble in the past civilly – something about him practicing medicine without a license. but he did see a shrink for a couple of months.How to Rob a Bank problems in the past. His secret to success in the clothing business is supposedly credited to knowing 40 . but since he was working as a pick-up man for some bail bondsman and claimed he was on his way to pick up a bail jumper.
so I’ve decided to use a trick that I learned several years ago… a method that almost always guarantees success: I pick up the phone and call a private investigation firm.Gene Grossman how to measure for a made-to-order suit. and mentally preparing a list of questions you want them to answer on the stand during the trial. no doubt picked up from some mail-order medical school. cross-examining him or her. I always like to know the answers to the questions before I ask them during trial. assigning them the task of interviewing the witnesses. Like any good trial lawyer. I guess my next job is to lock down the testimony of these alibi witnesses. Nothing is better than sitting down with a potential witness. coupled with his alleged knowledge of anatomy. The job of nailing down witness testimony can be quite difficult at times. Quite often a client or witness will ask the standard question: “If you already know the 41 .
’ 42 . It’s a lot like producing a play. why ask it in court?” Simple. “I’ll meet you at the courthouse. Then. Therefore. you should analyze the story you want told and compare it to the answers you already know that the witnesses will give.How to Rob a Bank answer to the question. and then hope that on opening night everything goes according to plan. The jury will play the part of critics. You first read the script. A flop means that your client may not be riding back to the marina with you. and a good review means acquittal. and thereby have your story told to the jury in a cohesive manner.” I think that’s a lot easier than telling them to ‘bring a toothbrush. you can compose a list of questions and solicit the exact answers you want. Because the purpose of calling witnesses to the stand is to have them tell a story to the jury… and you want the story told in the manner and order that will be most effective for your client. That’s why I make it a practice of telling my clients that on the day of sentencing. then do your casting.
Gene Grossman Incoming dog-mail. because I doubt if the noncolor police Xerox machines make copies with certain sections highlighted in yellow. There’s no way to prove that the prints were put there on the morning of the alleged robbery.A.’s office with photos of the purportedly stolen items. Good thing it’s in a Tyvek envelope. along with purchase receipts. so it’s in his mouth. That can be 43 . Next section: the alleged victims have provided the D. It’s the police report. He’d been in there many times before. I use a handy drool-rag (you have to keep one near at all time when there’s Saint Bernard around). here it is: they dusted the vault and found my client’s fingerprints on the safe-deposit cabinet door cover of only certain boxes in the vault. dry it off and open it up. Darn! It was too big to fit under his collar. Okay – I can live with that. Fine. Let’s see what she thinks I might find especially interesting… ah. Myra must have gotten to it before they mailed it to me.
several alibi witnesses. some fingerprints with no way to date them. Hey. so good. and maybe a reason for the jury to give the benefit of doubt to my client. Plenty of chances to create confusion. but put a bunch of those together. So far. No victims with definite iron-clad proofs of loss. and violà – you have reasonable doubt.How to Rob a Bank handled too. They both go in and manager locks door behind 44 . There’s no way to prove that the items were in the box before the alleged victims claim that they were discovered missing. All of those jewels could have been removed in the past by the boxes’ owners. and probably more if we can find the people Brodini signed autographs for outside the bank just before getting into the Town Car and leaving for his condo. this is looking better than I thought. who now might be trying to scam the insurance company – also a weak argument. Let’s see how the timeline lays out: 9:00 AM: Defendant meets bank manager at bank’s front door. no loot found.
10:30 AM: Locksmith crew gets security gate open. 9:30 AM: Police and FBI are notified. Manager goes back into bank lobby. 9:12 AM: Defendant is left alone in the vault. closing and locking the security gate behind him. 9:25 AM: Security guard comes in bank’s Front door 9:28 AM: Security guard turns on the monitors and calls manager over to see what looks like Brodini going through some of the safe-deposit boxes.Gene Grossman them. 10:40 AM: After several failed attempts at 45 . opens security gate and ushers defendant into vault. 9:32 AM: Manager realizes his pocket was picked and finds Brodini’s note. 9:45 AM: Police and FBI arrive. 9:10 AM: Manager puts on his green blazer. they watch the monitors and see defendant going through the safe-deposit boxes 10:00 AM: Locksmith crew arrives. and while waiting for the vault company’s locksmith crew.
9:35 AM: Defendant leaves haberdashery store. about 10 minutes before the police and FBI arrive. SWAT team enters the vault. A check of the records at Scharf Limousine Company shows that Raul Wainer’s trip record for that morning’s coincides with his testimony and also that of both Brodini and Rottman. but we also must look at it with respect to another timeline that was allegedly going on concurrently with this one – and this new timeline is constructed from the defense witnesses’ testimony: 9:15 AM: Manager unlocks front door to let defendant leave the bank.How to Rob a Bank communication. next door to bank. California law requires all charter vehicles to file daily trip reports. and leaves in Town Car. signs a few autographs outside on the street. This is a nice timeline. only to find nobody inside. 46 . 9:16 AM: Defendant enters Rottman’s Haberdashery.
there’s a good chance the jury will be confused enough to acquit. looked out into our beautifully landscaped back yard. there isn’t a wife in the world who didn’t want to kill her husband.Gene Grossman Everything seems to be falling into place for me. and discovered that during the day I had an old. Also. I’ve got two independent witnesses who back up the defendant’s timeline and maybe more if we keep searching for those people who got Brodini’s autograph on the street that morning. I personally experienced that on the day that my wife came home from work. there’s been no loot found. rotting Chris-Craft cabin 47 . and the only thing working against my guy is the word of a bank manager who has had some mental problems in the past and believes his wife was trying to kill him. she also has that videotape. Granted. I believe that at one time or another. but since it’s impossible for Brodini to have been in two places at once – inside the vault and also outside signing some autographs. All that Myra has is some probable victims. who the jury will not like because they’re so darned rich.
How to Rob a Bank cruiser brought in by truck and crane. and unlike Chalem. Little did I know at the time that less than six months later I would be out in the back yard living on the damn thing when my wife decided to downsize the household… but at least I’m still alive. I never believed that such a 48 . prescription-drug-free I’ve heard of good things like this happening to other people. but outside of some old television shows like Perry Mason and Matlock. for me to use as a restoration project.
you know what they say… if it’s too good to be true… Let’s see… am I missing anything? Wait a minute: what did the defendant do that afternoon. exactly what did he do for lunch… and with whom? We can rule out his taking public transportation anywhere. or he entertained someone in his condo. because that’s below what he considers to be his station in life. then why did he feel it necessary to buy a new necktie at Rottman’s Haberdashery? Too many unanswered questions.Gene Grossman good defense could be constructed for any case that I would get. At this point I believe he’s as 49 . but the trip record didn’t show a Town Car being sent for him. Brodini doesn’t own a car and claims he never learned how to drive. I don’t like unanswered questions. That means either someone picked him up. For the past half an hour I’ve been sitting here on the aft deck going over this case and explaining it to Bernie. Well. And if he entertained in his condo. so if no Town Car or Cab picked him up. He said he had a luncheon appointment.
a private investigation service that specializes in uncovering insurance fraud. an armored car rented out to funeral processions with the large painted inscription He’s taking it with him. I don’t really understand how that worked. designed to help Muslims know which direction to face when praying. but he accepts things better than I do… he’s now lying across my feet. but I know he made big bucks from it until 50 . First it was the importation and sale of recovered stolen Toyotas from New Jersey. Stuart Schwartzman is the most entrepreneurial person I’ve ever met. then it was a small GPS unit modified to be a ‘Mecca’ finder. and for a while was even making a large amount of money in some betting scheme whereby he would use separate bookies to bet on ‘away’ teams in the home team’s city. In the past few years he’s made millions of dollars creating businesses for some of the most uncommon purposes.How to Rob a Bank puzzled as I am. and vice-versa. My cellphone’s display indicates that Stuart is calling. sound asleep. He’s even dabbled in a mail-order bride venture in Thailand.
He was once sued by a woman who claimed that the weight-loss stuff he sold her increased her sex drive. because she’s tutoring him with his law studies from some correspondence school somewhere. In addition to being a friend. I press the call button to answer. The cause of action in her lawsuit was for the infliction of ‘negligent nymphomania. or there’s someone he wants to sue.LegalMystery. and was chronicled by an author in a book entitled Single Jeopardy. curious to learn which of the two reasons he’s calling 51 .’ That was a record-setting case.Gene Grossman the FBI politely suggested that he refrain from that activity while they were in the process of solving the murder of some bookmakers. because of his penchant for litigation – as a plaintiff and as a defendant. The fact that he’s calling on my line means he’s either starting a new business he wants to tell me about. I believe it’s still available at www. Stuart is also a frequent client.com When Stuart calls the boat he usually uses Suzi’s number.
Costco. Sears…” “Whoa.” “Oh.” “It’s not going to be every retail merchant in the country. Pete. “Hello Peter? We have to file a class action suit. “Okay. He doesn’t waste any time.” So much for small talk. who are we not going to sue this time?” “Wal-Mart. Target. Exactly how are you selecting the defendants?” 52 . my cellphone plan only gives me 1. that’s good.000 ‘anytime’ minutes a month. why don’t you just slow down and give me some idea of where you’re going with this. so I’ll have an idea of how to properly talk you out of it. wait a minute Stu. so instead of spending the rest of the afternoon naming every large retail merchant in the country.How to Rob a Bank for. Stu.
and he gladly accepts. and are out picking up the necessary supplies to cater our meal. “Here’s the deal. I give Stuart the go-ahead. In Los Angeles. I invite him to dinner – and find out that he’s already accepted Suzi’s invitation: he’ll be here on the boat at 7 PM. so instead of wasting both of our time on the phone. Stuart is always punctual. The mere fact that an invitation has already been extended by the princess in the foreward stateroom means that the Asian Boys have received their instructions by now. we 53 . conducting business within the state of California” I’m happy to see that Stuart has narrowed the group of defendants down like that. Pete. It’s now 7:15 and we’re all sitting around the table waiting for the first course to be served.Gene Grossman “I’m only going after the ones with brickand-mortar locations.
not at the prescribed eight-and-one-quarter.” Suzi is getting bored.” “Stuart. You’re being charge sales tax on that purchase at a rate of nine percent. the vendor will add eight dollars and twenty-five cents to your purchase. the sales tax should be eight and one-quarter cents… but I’ll bet that the cash register will show that you’re being charged one dollar and nine cents.” “You’re right. but think about this: what if you buy something for one dollar. You see? They round it off up to the next cent. Peter. That means if you buy a one-hundred-dollar item. making it a total of one-hundred-eight-dollars and twenty-five cents. I don’t see any grounds for legal action. In a case like that. that we ask the government to start minting quarter-cent coins?” 54 . please tell us something we don’t know already. because with what you’ve just told us. She finally joins the conversation “What are you suggesting Stuart.How to Rob a Bank have a sales tax rate of 8¼ percent.
but when Suzi comes up with a complaint. “No. Even though Suzi and I don’t speak to each other that 55 . it’s a different story. Suz. Stuart politely smiles at her and us gives his response. I’m not suggesting we change our basic coinage system. I’m just saying that it seems unfair to me that us consumers are probably paying an average of about eight and a half to eight and three quarters of a percent sales tax. That’s probably because she’s a lot cuter than I am. because of the ‘rounding’ out that the cash registers do… but when those same merchants report their total sales to our state’s Franchise Tax Board. He’s made a valid point. And my question is. the amount they owe is only eight and one quarter percent of their sales. he just responds with another argument.Gene Grossman Whenever I object to something that Stuart says. and what they pay to the State?” Okay. what happens to the difference between what the merchants collect. But whatever the reason is.
We get it. Peter. What’s your solution? You know. In order to be taken seriously. you can’t solve everything with lawsuits. I’m glad you asked. they could disclose the difference between what they collect and what they pay to the State.How to Rob a Bank much. there should be some way to deal with that excess. Second. at the store’s actual cost. you should be able to offer an alternate solution to the way things are being done. 56 . Do you have one?” “Well. this time we both exchange glances of understanding that Stuart has made a valid point – one that begs the question: “Okay Stuart. That will give us an idea of exactly what amounts we’re working with. because I do have a couple of suggestions… and here they are: one. like either refunding it to their customer base in the form of a discount – like selling some essentials like milk. The merchants seem to be getting a little windfall each reporting period when they keep the change made from rounding up the sales tax percentage.
on certain amounts it could also be rounded down.” “I don’t get it Pete. Admirable. or something else that would benefit society. There could also be a fund that the merchants contribute their excess charges to. that would provide charitable services. in the form of emergency medical care. How else can you expect to get the big corporations to act without 57 . feeding the homeless. “Stuart. and have also come up with some viable solutions… but I don’t think that a series of class action lawsuits is the way to solve the problem. I think you may have discovered an actual anomaly that exists in retail sales. I guess Stuart has finally reached a level of financial success high enough that he now can afford to start thinking about helping someone else other than himself.” Interesting. That might help to balance out the inequity.Gene Grossman “Another way would be for them to readjust their cash registers so that in addition to the sales tax being rounded up.
they may come around and try to get out in front of the controversy by coming up with a solution that might be better than anything you’ve thought of so far. so Stuart and the kid are each diving in with both hands and loading their plates. How about talking to them? How about getting some people in the press interested? Those corporations are not only concerned with their bottom line. At first I thought it was because my last response was spot-on.” I might have pushed some of the right buttons. My suggestion is to talk to some local newspapers and see if you can get someone there interested in your cause. If not. but on second thought. because there’s not a peep around the table. you might also ask if they’ll accept an op-ed piece from you on the subject. If a few critical articles appear. they also care about their public image. but 58 .How to Rob a Bank threat of lawsuits?” “I don’t know. the lack of conversation is more probably due to the fact that the Asian Boys have just served dessert. Stu.
59 .Gene Grossman making sure to leave some room for the ice cream that will no doubt be brought out shortly.
and towards that end. Stuart was talked out of his class-action lawsuit intentions. I can now go back to doing some research on the Great Brodini’s case. I’ve been conducting internet searches to learn everything about past unsolved bank robberies that Google can tell me. but more importantly. Not only was the Italian cuisine delicious.How to Rob a Bank 6 L ast night’s dinner was a success. 60 .
Gene Grossman Once particular case is particularly interesting. because its facts can be transposed to fit into what may have taken place at Myerson Savings & Loan: not with respect to the empty vault. but the question is: if someone can hack into a bank’s computer system to steal 10 million dollars. but concerning the videotape showing my client inside the vault. shouldn’t it also be possible to hack into a bank’s security system to control a vault’s security camera feed to monitors? If the answer to that question is ‘yes. The case I’m now learning about concerns a computer hacker who successfully got into a bank’s computer system and before getting caught transferred almost ten million bucks into accounts that he controlled. I’m going to have to ask the kid about this one.’ then the next question is ‘why?’ Why would anyone want to put video of my client inside the vault pilfering some safe-deposit boxes. at the same time the client actually was in 61 .
this is Uniman. expecting to hear some underling tell me that Mister Uniman wants to speak to me. “Hello Peter. I do know who you mean. but instead I hear the man himself – and he doesn’t waste any time. what could the hacker’s motive possibly be? I don’t know the answer to these questions. and more importantly. Just as I’m about to leave the boat. but there’s no need for you to retain me – I’m already on the case.How to Rob a Bank the vault? And if it was done. I answer.” “Yes Mister Uniman.” 62 . but there is one thing I can do while trying to figure things out – actually take a look at the scene of the alleged crime – and maybe buy a new necktie. the phone rings and I see on the caller ID display that it’s the big boss at Uniman Insurance calling. I want to retain you to represent that magician who was in the bank’s vault… I’m sure you know who I mean. how did the hacker know exactly what day my client would be there.
money solely dependent on the outcome of a case – whether it’s a good or a bad outcome. yeah. there’s a fifty-thousand dollar bonus in it for you. I’ve already been retained – by the defendant.” “It’s all money. Second of all.” “Yeah. First of all. I don’t believe the State Bar would appreciate my having an outside party offering additional money to me. but I want you to know that if you can get him off completely. but I don’t think I can accept it.Gene Grossman “Yes. as I just mentioned. If he gets convicted of stealing thirty million dollars worth of 63 . They don’t favor betting on cases any more than major league baseball didn’t like Pete Rose betting on games he was playing in. I’ve heard that.” “That’s a very generous offer. I thought you might turn ethical all of a sudden. Peter. Isn’t there some other way we can work something out?” “First of all. I’d like to know why you’re so interested in seeing guy getting acquitted.
and stall honoring the claims until someone finds the real culprit or recovers the stolen stuff. then I’ll cut you a trust account check for a full refund.How to Rob a Bank insured jewelry. The check will be there in an hour.” I tell Suzi about the deal.000. Then. I get to keep the money and we’ll send you a receipt for consultation services. On the other hand. I’ll deposit it to my trust account. the money will be deposited to our trust account.” “Okay. if for any reason this defendant is not held liable for stealing the insured jewelry.” “Deal. knowing that she’ll be sitting outside the boat waiting for Mister Uniman’s messenger – and that less than fifteen minutes later. Mister Uniman. then there are victims who will want to collect on their insurance policies. it may mean that we can contend that no crime took place. 64 . if he gets off. On the other hand. if he gets convicted. how about this: you send me a cashier’s check for $50.
they’re building a new apartment building. and was specially built in the space of two large adjoining storefronts. which explains the background noise on video from the bank’s outside ATM security cameras. When I tell him I’m an attorney working on the robbery case and here to inspect the vault. I had my office staff (Suzi) call ahead. In back of the bank and across the alley. is Rottman’s Haberdashery. It’s located on the end of a group of retail shops. They’re a little more careful now than they were last week. so there’s a constant din of pneumatic hammers on the street next to the construction site. he picks up his walkie-talkie and asks a ‘Mizz’ Kirk to come out to the front desk and escort me back to the vault. 65 . And right next door to it. at the corner of the block. so the bank’s manager. Bryce Chalem should be expecting me. so upon entering the bank I’m stopped by a security guard who politely asks if he can help me.Gene Grossman Myerson Savings & Loan is not in a standalone building. as I expected.
after you’re through with work today. they walk perfect. Kirk reminds me of an Italian National flag. because her hair is flaming red. wrinkled green blazer. a nerdy guy with grey curly hair. They look perfect. Just then. My first thought is to say something to her like. would you like to get a cup of coffee. my mind comes almost back to reality as she approaches and offers me her wonderful soft hand. her skin is pure white. ‘hey. and a poorly fitted. and there seems to be a constant stream of pheromones pouring out between us. trying to figure out how to get away with hanging on to it for an hour or so longer.How to Rob a Bank Ms. or get married. wearing the strangest eyeglass frames I’ve ever seen. and hopefully Mizz Kirk’s too. 66 . I grab it and gently shake. interrupts my fantasy. they smell perfect. and her blazer is bright green… and she’s gorgeous. or something?’ Fortunately. Every once in a while you come across a member of the opposite sex that stuns you.
Chalem notices my actions and informs me that there’s an eighteen-inch thick concrete wall behind that tiled wall. who has been stationed there on a permanent basis until the crime and mystery have both been solved. My life has just taken a new turn. I knock on the tiled portions. with some small 2-foot sections of tiled wall separating the groups of boxes. 67 . Chalem escorts me to the vault.Gene Grossman “Hello. We spoke on the phone earlier. I’m Bryce Chalem. “I’ll take over now Miss Kirk. There are groups of safedeposit boxes on three of the walls.” Fantastic.” He looks over towards my new dream girl. much like a car-shopper kicks a tire. which is still taped off by the authorities as being a crime scene. As I was previously informed. You must be attorney Peter Sharp. I’m told that any safe-deposit box clients wanting access to their valuables are each escorted into the vault by both a bank employee and a law enforcement officer. She’s a Miss. the vault room is about seven feet wide by about twenty feet deep.
to verify the fact that the thick concrete wall behind the tiles was still in place. He explains that those are the places where the FBI drilled a series of test holes. so tunneling under the bank would be just about impossible. They confirmed that it was. They can tell by the feel and the sound where a stud is located. To further confirm my belief. Some experienced carpenters don’t need ‘stud-finders’ when working on a wall: they know how to find the studs by simply knocking on the wall. And it sure feels like it. I’m not even an un-experienced carpenter. Being built in a small strip of stores. or back wall 68 . there is no basement. but knocking on the tiled wall sure sounded and felt solid. so I have no doubt that those eighteen inches of concrete are behind there. Chalem points to a few small holes in several of the tiles.How to Rob a Bank separating the vault from any business next door. Getting out through the roof.
so if you really want to speak to that weird old bird. should Uniman ask – and second. Old man Beider is here today. to see my future ex-wife. “Don’t even think about it. Yes. Unfortunately. I’m in love again. Chalem sees me looking at it and clues me in. you’ll have to 69 . so I’ll have to come back for some more inspection trips. Near the front of the bank lobby I see a closed office door with an engraved ‘President’ sign on the door. and when that door is closed. Either way. would be tough with all the people around. Making this inspection trip only serves two purposes: one. whoever disturbs him when that door is closed will be summarily fired – on the spot. so that I can say I came here. so I’m still at a loss as to how anyone got out of this vault – if anyone really did. it means he’s either watching one of his financial shows on TV.Gene Grossman to the alley. I don’t see her on the way out. or he’s ‘interviewing’ some new female teller for a job that she’ll never get. and the air vents are only about six inches in diameter.
I’ll have to do him some serious harm. My visit to the bank concluded. and as I get near. she agrees to have dinner with me. She must have sensed my presence.” I sure hope he never ‘interviewed’ the new love of my life like that. a half-hour after they close. because if he did.what’s her problem? A girl who looks as good as that still single? There must be something terribly wrong with her. but not to worry – Peter is on the case. he doesn’t appreciate being ‘dropped-in’ on.How to Rob a Bank call for an appointment. and enough time for her to finish her end-of-day paperwork. After some meaningless small talk that I nervously stumble through. now it’s time to buy a new tie. 70 . and I’ll be picking her up at the bank at 6:30. because there she is near the front door. she looks up at me – and smiles! She smiles! That means she’s glad to see me. The only thing I can’t figure out about ‘Red’ is . I’ll help her find the cure. and whatever her problem is.
and looks healthy. He claims that he made them himself. Not a good image for a pastry chef. His necktie selection is atrocious. thin. bearded. Rottman’s snack table contains some goodies I can’t remember ever seeing before. but I doubt that… he doesn’t exactly resemble what you’d expect a gourmet chef to look like. to check out the condition of the common wall that he shares with the bank’s vault. so I can’t see forking out more than sixty dollars for one of his least expensive ones. You can always tell when you’re in an expensive store: they have nice treats set out for the customers to enjoy. because someone is always calling out my name and letting me know that I’ve done a good job on a case they were following in the papers. unless you have a ‘flaming’ feminine side. Instead I settle for permission to visit the back rooms of his store. 71 . It also means that I’ve lost the ability to do any ‘undercover’ work. He’s tall.Gene Grossman Kyle Rottman recognizes me when I enter his store. Being a well-known attorney has its upside.
Rottman shows me a copy of the time-stamped credit card receipt for Brodini’s purchase on the morning of the alleged robbery – and it confirms my client’s alibi even further. fruit and yogurt smoothies on the boat. so my work here is finished too. so instead of a Gran Patròn Burdeos margarita at the Marina ‘s Ritz Carlton. it’ll be one of Suzi’s healthy protein. That goes over quite well. I let him know that he’ll probably be subpoenaed to testify.How to Rob a Bank A casual knock on the wall confirms what I learned while in the bank vault – it must be at least a foot thick. as requested. letting me know that we’ve got another new client. and he offers his complete cooperation. My cellphone is buzzing: a new text message is coming in from Suzi. I then call Hector at Pollo Meshuga to make 72 . I get back to the boat and report to the kid that so far I haven’t found any of the missing jewelry. And. Yummy.
Gene Grossman sure that my favorite window booth is available at 6:45 this evening. His type of injury is not uncommon with people doing similar work. Stosh Berland. notwithstanding the fact that manufacturers of these devices have done everything possible with the new models to incorporate the latest technology in shock-absorbing qualities in those tools. Our new client. you have to realize that no force goes without some resistance. without the 73 . has a workmen’s compensation claim for injuries allegedly sustained on the job. He’s a hardworking construction guy who is claiming injury to both of his shoulders. But no matter how much you try to soften the blow to an operator of one of these things. and it’s no wonder: he spends most of every day working one of those obnoxiously loud pneumatic jack hammers. It’s not logical to believe that you can hold a device that’s breaking concrete.
articulating auxiliary handle to maintain the best working posture possible. The new equipment boasts a forty percent vibration reduction over its closest competitor. the concrete won. that they’ve still got some work to do on these things to make them a little easier on the operators. 74 .How to Rob a Bank concrete fighting back in some way. and contrary to my previous understanding. And in Stosh Berland’s case. The equipment Stosh was using weighs 35 pounds and had an optional shockabsorbing. I would say from Stosh’s injuries. the hammer is not pneumatic: it’s powered by 1750 watt motor.
Gene Grossman Workmen’s compensation claims are pretty straightforward. there’s no chance of a windfall fee to be earned. Fill out the proper forms. They walk in there with a batch of files under their arms and do a volume business. and then pass the file off to one of the attorneys who spends every day of his or her life at the Workmen’s ‘Comp’ Board hearing rooms. Each claimed injury fits into some special 75 . document the injuries claimed. The reason those claims are handled en masse like that is because to the best of my knowledge.
and to avoid the cost and inconvenience of a trial and a fatwa. not wanting to offend the Muslim community. but the defense firm got the mistaken impression that Stuart was a Muslim.How to Rob a Bank schedule. He sued to recover for injuries received in a rear-end collision. and depending on the claimant’s age and type of injury. and to my surprise all he came up with was a receipt for treatment from a faith healer. for some reason. to make a long story short. a settlement is made and the lawyer’s fee is determined by statute. whose religion kept him from traditional medical treatment. but… it’s just not worth handling a case like this. it might have been something Suzi may have said. like when we handled one of the cases for my friend Stuart. So. I talked them into a seven-hundredand-fifty-thousand-dollar settlement. Aahh. Well. I’m not saying that it isn’t worth handling a case like this. the good old days. I long for the good old days. Suzi will keep a copy of our new client’s information on file and refer the case out to 76 .
I shake her hand. sans the green blazer. Everyone in the bank knows he’s writing it. At 6:30 sharp I pull up in front of the bank. This is definitely a good sign. and she mentions that he promised her a signed copy of the book he’s writing – when it gets published.Gene Grossman a Work-Comp firm we usually do business with. but nobody has an idea what it’s about 77 . When she climbs into the Hummer. And I’m sure that some time in the future we’ll also get more cases like this. Maybe someday in the future we’ll receive a professional one-third fee referral check in the mail for this case. because Stosh mentioned that several of his brothers and cousins all share the same occupation. say hello. During our brief ride east down Washington Boulevard to the restaurant our conversation turns to Brodini. and my red-haired beauty is waiting outside for me. and am pleasantly surprised at her leaning over and kissing me on the cheek.
I play the ‘man of mystery’ type. since we’ve just met. but she laughs at it a little harder than I ever thought she would. then I’d have to kill her.How to Rob a Bank but she thinks that updates to the manuscript are what he puts in his safedeposit box during his frequent visits to the bank. but there’s an important question I’d like to ask you. “My goodness Peter.” Good: she’s got a sense of humor. As we pull up at the restaurant I can see through the front window that our table is empty and waiting for us. letting her know that I’m bound by privilege to not talk about anything I may have learned about my client’s private business… and if I did tell her any secrets. and once seated at it I have a question to ask her: “I hope you don’t think this is too forward of me. We both realize that’s an old joke line. She knows that I’m representing him. this is rather sudden… we hardly know each other. 78 .” She smiles. and tries to find out if I have any ‘inside’ information as to what the book’s about.
They are definitely out to destroy me. I have no other choice but to introduce them to Nan. and I’ll call you whatever you want.” Suddenly. my legal ward and office manager. And on our honeymoon.Gene Grossman “Please… if you don’t think it’s too personal.” “Myra Scot Sharp” the kid also adds 79 . and the big one is Myra… the District Attorney. It’s a conspiracy. and now it’s out in the open. “Sure. you can call me whatever you want. but my friends call me Nan. “Nan. .could you tell me your first name? I hate to think that on our honeymoon I’ll still be calling you Miss Kirk.” I don’t believe it. and her devious little mind went to work. Standing up next to our table are Myra and the kid. “He really likes to be called Petey. a voice comes in from behind our table.” She laughs. this is Suzi. resulting in the two of them showing up here. it’s Nanette. She must have heard me calling to reserve the table.
we can’t have that. She’s looking at Nan with an expression on her face that closely resembles that of an abandoned orphan cocker-spaniel puppy at the pound. and this is no exception. please Señor.How to Rob a Bank “Petey’s ex-wife” to Myra’s introduction. At this point. slides in next to me. and tells Hector.” Myra looks at me with that ‘gotcha’ expression. You both must join us. so I guess we’ll just try another place. Myra takes over. and is begging to survive. Come on. and a Suzi Temple for the little one. It works every time. and tonight we thought we’d try our favorite Mexican Restaurant… but it looks like there are no tables available. Suzi is up to one of her tricks.” 80 . Suzi sit here next to me. Nan looks at them both. who has an impending feeling he’s going to be put down soon. slides over on her side of the booth. We usually go out to celebrate each quarter the evening before Suzi takes her Board of Ed exam. and says “Oh no. “Patròn margaritas.
I am now sitting here trying to get drunk while listening to the plight of women in the workplace. What’s say we take in a little entertainment?” 81 . If you ever have a chance to have dinner with three females – turn it down. diet results. Nan even goes so far as to offer all the help I need in my attempts.Gene Grossman It’s amazing how what could have been the best evening of my life instantly turns into one of the worst. and fashion tips. recipe information. I make a mental note to keep my dinner plans more confidential in the future. After dinner. and she comes up with a great suggestion. The only decent part of the evening is when Myra brings up the fact that the missing jewelry hasn’t yet been recovered. “Hey. the evening’s still young. we both laugh off the events that took place back at the restaurant. and all three of them suggest that I solve that mystery and find the stuff. while driving Nan back to her car parked by the bank.
82 . I have to pay for the attendant for two parking spaces because my Hummer is almost eight feet wide. but what the heck. and I found one he left a week or so ago during one of his trips to the bank. I’m going nightclubbing – in Torrance. and we go into the club.How to Rob a Bank “What do you have in mind?” “Guess who’s working in a little club out in Torrance? Your client. The Great Brodini. I couldn’t forget the name of the place… it’s ‘Yussel’s House of Magic. about 20 minutes later we see the club’s sign and parking lot.” I’ve always been a sucker for magic. He always passes out brochures that give his booking schedule. so we hop on the 405 and head south. The car gets taken away. Sure enough.’ and I remember where it is. because you can see its sign from the freeway.
with a blue light shining down on the bartender’s white shirt. A large man with no neck would show you to 83 .Gene Grossman If I didn’t know better. a velvet painting hanging behind the bar. I’d think I was back east in Chicago. in one of the ‘outfit’s’ nightclubs. because this place has all the trappings of a mob joint: those places all were dark. so that it looked like it was glowing in the dark. had.
hurriedly get their instruments ready. about one minute before the busload of tourists was ready to get up and leave. per show. In Chicago. and start to play a lively arrangement of Fine and Dandy. the boss would stick his head backstage and yell “Showtime!” . we used to call these places ‘clip joints.’ This place is a little higher class than the old clip joints. Instead. There aren’t any folded ‘tents’ on the table.How to Rob a Bank a table.’ because during the intermission. there’s an aging hooker by the velvet rope collecting 84 . where there would be a small cardboard tent with the announcement that there’s a cover charge of ten bucks per person. while the emcee would grab the microphone to announce that a new show has just begun… thereby ‘clipping’ everyone who didn’t succeed in getting out of their chairs before the announcement into paying another ten bucks per person for the new ‘show.signaling the musical trio to put out their joints and rush out to the bandstand.
it looks like they still remain the same.’ After a young. cleavaged girl – obviously the owner’s squeeze – sings a couple of songs. Yussel’s House of Magic proudly 85 .for each show. Considering the fact that in his own mind Brodini thinks he’s a living legend. A mob joint is a mob joint is a mob joint. it’s a little surprising to see him working in a dive like this. But what do I know? I guess it’s still ‘showbiz. the emcee waits for his drum roll and emotionally announces “and now. all facing stage. ingeniously managing to end each one with a sustained note that’s about a quarter of a tone sharp or flat. No matter how much things change around the country. which is just a large room with deuces (tables for two) and chairs. announcing a two-drink per person minimum . because I see that there is a small notice on each table. I may have made too quick of a judgment about this place.Gene Grossman the cover charge of fifteen bucks per person as we enter the ‘show-room’ area.
you’d think you’re watching a live episode of the Tonight Show. and they give my client a nice round of applause. television star and soon-to-be best-selling author. the place has a pretty decent crowd. and them magically puts it back 86 . he calls a volunteer up to the stage.!’ The small band springs into action. First. I was right. ‘Let’s get ready to rummmble. this audience looks like the entire cast of The Sopranos. Upon closer inspection. the place is ‘mobbed up. and if you don’t know any better. the world famous Great Brodini!” Wow.’ Brodini opens up the show with some pretty routine tricks.How to Rob a Bank presents our featured artist. The tone of this introduction ranks right up there with Michael Hubble’s famous ring announcement. and someone like Jay Leno or one of his successors will soon be walking out onto the state to do a cleverly understated monologue. when he shouts out. cuts the guy’s tie in half. Notwithstanding the fact that it’s a weeknight.
he makes them go through the usual antics of pretending they’re animals. making them swim through an ocean. Next is that old stand-by. all to the delight of their dates. hypnotized Asian girl so 87 . His act finishes up with the ‘A’ routine: he hypnotizes his petit female Asian assistant into a state of being stiff as a board. plus some other humiliating stunts that they won’t remember when he wakes them up. who will make fun of them about this evening for the next month or so. Nothing new with this part either. He finishes up the magic portion of the show with some card tricks and then asks for a few volunteers for the hypnotism portion of the show. After putting everyone under.Gene Grossman together again. and place the pole end of one of them into a hole in the stage. the Magical Rings trick. leaving the broad whisk part facing up. just like I used to do it when I was about eleven. They then bring out two whisk brooms. Two other assistants then position the stiff.
The girl is now stiffly suspended atop and between the whisks of two brooms. but the next thing that happens is really the surprise trick of the evening. while one assistant lifts up the girls legs. Then. with a wonderful flair. with only her shoulders resting on the remaining broom. This is one heck of a good trick. Then. leaving her legs still suspended out in the air. This in itself is not too mind-boggling. to prove that there are no wires or anything else holding her up. grabs onto the broom pole supporting the girl’s feet. the other assistant places the other whisk broom’s pole end into another hole in the stage’s floor. he invites members of the audience to come up onto the stage and pass large hula hoops all around the suspended girl and the remaining broom. The Great Brodini. After the volunteers are ushered off the 88 .How to Rob a Bank that her shoulders are leaning against the whisk part of the broom that’s been stuck into the floor. and removes it.
about sixty-five dollars later. Brodini’s assistants slowly and carefully lower the girl’s legs and she then stands up. and the grand finale is really a great trick. and the audience gives them a standing ovation. On the way back to her car at the bank. over a couple of blocks north of me 89 . So. Brodini snaps his fingers. we make plans to have dinner again soon. I must admit that the show is entertaining. she comes out of her hypnotic trance. we’re now heading back to the parking lot. as they all bow and then skip offstage to the trio’s brisk repeat of their theme song. but at a place not to be disclosed.Gene Grossman stage and everyone is convinced that a true miracle has occurred. On my way to the boat. I have to pull over at least twice to let fire engines speed by. Fine and Dandy. for security reasons. and after a quick visit to the star’s dressing room to say hello and tell him how great we think he is. And. I get a good-night kiss on the cheek. and off in the distance I see a glare that must be coming from where the fire is.
We’re divorced. I can tell she’s in her usual good mood. and I’m out with a beautiful woman. you’re not seeing anyone. I’ll probably read about it tomorrow. It’s a little late in the evening.How to Rob a Bank on Abbot Kinney. towards Venice Boulevard. which is really easy to identify. what are you talking about? Why not just admit what’s bothering you. because as soon as I press the call button on my cellphone she starts in: “Are you crazy? She’s an employee of the bank. I can only imagine what spy just informed her that I was back on board. I see that it’s Myra’s home number. the kid wants us back together again – something you’re afraid to admit that you’d like too. sabotage my investigation?” “Myra. What the hell are you trying to do. because it used to be mine too until she decided I would be much happier living in the back yard. You’re 90 . but I’m not back on the boat more than two minutes before the phone rings. If it’s anything important.
But that’s okay – I understand. in this world. Be as angry as it takes to ease your pain and feel a little better. “And whoever his partner or partners are. and how to hide the stuff. No matter how good he was. because in an attempt to save your rear end if that dame is involved.Gene Grossman jealous. you are really living in another world. and if that comes out. they’re not nice people. there’s no way that Brodini could have known what boxes had the good stuff. They’re vicious felons who I’m sure won’t hesitate to murder anyone in their way. please be advised that I took a big chance this evening. And I did that all for you. Listen dummy.” “Boy. it will be very embarrassing for my career. 91 . I also consorted with her. “And if it makes you feel any better. anyone with a brain knows that the theft of that jewelry was an inside job. at the kid’s insistence. that’s all. so let me have it. and how to get out. and how to get into those boxes.
you’ll have nothing to do with her again.How to Rob a Bank “If you have a brain at all in your head. So Peter. when are you seeing her again?” “Friday evening. which I doubt.” 92 . until this case is over.
because the odds are greatly against getting a felony case kicked at the ‘prelim’ phase. 93 .Gene Grossman 7 B rodini’s preliminary hearing is rapidly approaching. but that won’t be the place to introduce alibi evidence. The purpose of a prelim in California is to show that a crime has been committed and that there is probable cause the defendant is connected with the crime.
as if I didn’t remember being reminded about it last night at the restaurant. and as a result of her mail-in test results scoring off of the charts. has to do.How to Rob a Bank That’s it. along with some high-profile witnesses claiming that stuff is missing from their safe-deposit boxes. A year or so ago when I was a mere associate. and with that mysterious videotape of my client ‘working’ inside the vault. when they were there celebrating the eve of her exam day – an event that has never been celebrated like that before. the bureaucrats downtown at the Board of Education demand that she now appear each quarter to take her tests in a 94 . That’s all the D. we’ll surely get bound over for trial – and that will be the time and place to try and establish reasonable doubt about the client’s guilt by presenting alibi witnesses. working for Suzi’s stepfather’s small law firm.A. she became enrolled as a home-schooled student. Suzi sends a dog-mail reminding me that this morning is her examination day.
and then we’d all ride downtown. Everyone in the west side of Los Angeles knows that she’s a genius. She still scores off the charts. attended to by his friend . so they can make sure she’s not cheating. and the 95 . drop Suzi off for her tests. and they can’t figure out how she does it. smaller versions).Gene Grossman proctored setting. We’d pick up Myra at her office. and then go to The Pantry. the kid loves having an opportunity to sit in the back seat holding hands with Myra. Whenever we’re all in the car together.the newspaper vendor outside. I would take the kid and her dog in my huge yellow Hummer (the original one. while the dog would scarf down a bowl of the restaurant’s famous coleslaw. but those idiots downtown can’t seem to believe that simple possibility can exist. a popular restaurant on Ninth and Figueroa for lunch. not the newer. Before Myra became the District Attorney. we made a habit of getting together once each quarter.
’ whose real name was Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen. can you give me any good reasons why I shouldn’t go ahead with the 96 . “Honey. With his Doggles on and his ears flopping in the wind.’ reminiscent of a WWI German Air ace called the ‘Red Baron. and as usual. There’s an uncommon silence in the back seat. and we’re on the way back to Myra’s office to drop her off. he looks like a World War I ace flying in an old bi-plane. so she ordered a special pair of ‘Doggles’ – specially designed goggles for dogs. Lunch is also over. Suzi was worried about injuries to his eyes from small pieces of road debris. she aced them.How to Rob a Bank dog loves having the opportunity to sit next to me in the front passenger seat with his head sticking up out of the opened sunroof. The tests are over. Myra breaks it by asking Suzi a question. and every pedestrian we pass by who has a camera seems compelled to take a picture of who has been nicknamed the ‘Brown Baron.
Therefore. means.and the videotape evidence. your office has absolutely no evidence against our client. “In other words. First of all. and there are numerous witnesses that place him outside of the bank a short while after he first went in there with the manager.Gene Grossman prosecution of your magician client?” I’m shocked by this. or opportunity. And thank you for asking. aside from the bank manager’s story – and God knows he’s had his emotional problems . I think that the only 97 . which I believe to have been put there by a sophisticated hacker. but I the dog and I just keep our mouths shut and let the kid do the talking. “As a matter of fact I can. Miss District Attorney. you can’t show the court how our client had the motive. “You haven’t found any stolen items – after thoroughly searching his residence. and I’m working on that solution now. It would have been impossible for him to get out of that vault.
I know when she’s being serious – and says. and in the best interest of justice. Then. Myra looks at me with a serious expression – and believe me.” I look back to the rear seat and congratulate Suzi on her first legal success. I’m convinced.How to Rob a Bank thing you can do in all fairness. I really intend to drop all charges against your client. I’m going to completely dismiss this complaint once and for all. “no Peter. You’ve won. and she gets out of the Hummer. with prejudice. “You know she was only kidding. I look in the rear view mirror at the kid and try to let her down easy. You beat me.” Suzi thanks her. and as soon as I get upstairs to my office. That was a very compelling argument.” As we pull up in front of the Criminal Courts Building to drop Myra off. don’t you?” 98 . I’m not kidding. to my amazement. she quite calmly says: “You’re right counselor Suzi. and I admit it. is to completely dismiss all charges against him.
the only sound uttered in my car was by the Brown Baron.Gene Grossman The kid answers with a bit of anger in her voice. I see that once again it’s surrounded by police cars and TV news vans. and the case will be dropped in about ten minutes. and am sure that at least ten rolls of film are used. taking picture of our World War I ace. I am careful to drive by as slowly as possible. 99 . on the way back to the boat I take a special route past a large restaurant that caters to the busloads of Japanese tourists brought there for lunch and to take pictures of the Marina. All the way back to the Marina. and as we get close to it. who barked to attract the attention of a large poodle we passed by. and to satisfy his ego.” She was right about that. The street I’m one is a little out of the way. Coincidentally. Conversation over. it’s also the street that Myerson’s bank is on. but I take it for Bernie’s ego. He can’t stand when other dogs don’t pay attention to him. “No she wasn’t! I won my argument.
that magician charged with robbing the bank was found in there. Her late mother used to manage a local Szechwan restaurant – the one where the Asian Boys work – and she still goes there several times a week and works the cash register. She asks one of them what’s going on. making sure to give all uniformed cops a fifty percent discount on their lunch checks.” 100 . I have no problem getting through the police lines. “when the time lock allowed them to open the big vault door this morning. dead. A couple of them approach the Hummer to say hello to Suzi. because every cop in the neighborhood recognizes her.How to Rob a Bank With Suzi in the car. and his answer is.
the smug grin on the kid’s face lets me know that I’ve been had.Gene Grossman 8 O n the way to our boat. The silence in our back seat after lunch must have been both of those evil females reading a text message on Myra’s Blackberry that our client was no more. 101 . so they cooked up that little charade about dismissing the case.
We’ll be sending you a receipt for consultation services paid for in full in this matter.” I better straighten her out. our senior partner specifically stated.” She then turns to me. when we recover the missing insured items. ‘…if for any reason it is determined that this defendant is not to be held liable…’ and that is exactly what happened. and that will also probably require solving the murder of our client. you will be given full credit for this fee. but the one piece of clothing missing from my wardrobe is a 102 . We have to find the missing jewelry. Suzi’s phone rings. “We just made a fiftythousand-dollar non-refundable advance on a recovery reward. it has been deposited . as you remember. “Yes sir. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not.and cleared.How to Rob a Bank As we’re walking down the dock. And. so I’m sure you know what that means. He is not to be held liable. as an advance towards our reward for saving you millions in claim payments. I can figure out exactly what this call is about by her answer. And if it makes you feel any better.
And by the way. I am not a crime-fighter out to save the world. if I’m successful. you’re right. but that might entail some slight expenditure that may be recovered. why are you so concerned about catching this guy’s killer? I seem to remember that every time his name appeared in the paper as being instrumental in helping to solve a case for the cops. you used to get really ticked off – like he was a competitor of yours. You’ve even gone so far to say that he’s a fraud. but this is different. It deprives us of a chance to celebrate another victory in court and enhance our reputation in the legal and law enforcement communities. if it makes you any happier Peter. I feel no responsibility to find the killer. and just because one of the victims happens to have been a client of ours.” “Yes. and that with the clues present in those cases.Gene Grossman cape. I take offense at someone killing one of our clients. I’ll try to solve the murder case. But. Is that okay with you?” 103 . I have never been a fan of his. even Bernie could have solved the crimes. There are a lot of murders going on.
we’re a team: you spend what you have to spend to solve the murder and I’ll look for the jewelry. With the robbery case against Brodini gone. and judging by how our relationship has been going. I should now at least make what looks like an apparent attempt to find the jewelry. and that provides me with the perfect excuse to devote full time to concentrate on Miss Kirk. 104 . kiddo.” Her response is the typical young girl’s sign of frustrated disgust: the eye-roll. I figure I’ve got a pretty good chance. Now my task is clear.How to Rob a Bank “I’ll tell you what.
but if I’ve learned anything about judging character from my years of practicing law. 105 . but Myra’s right about the possibility of Nan being a suspect.Gene Grossman 9 I hate to say it. I find it hard to believe she’s involved in this mess. I don’t even know if there was a mess to be involved in. And before Brodini was found dead.
In my line of work I’ve come across professional killers before. No interruptions. I’m starting to learn a little more about her each time we get together. but from what the cops say. she asked the busboy for some more water. the video could have been hacked into. Next weekend we have plans to take the big Catalina ferry over to the island for an overnight excursion.so my pretty little redhead looks like she can be ruled out. Of course the finding of Brodini’s dead body changes things a little. Our dinner on Friday went off great. No Myra – and. he was killed by someone who he must have known well enough to trust. and I can tell when I see one .How to Rob a Bank The bank manager had some past mental problems. No Suzi. and 106 . and the alleged victims could be trying to scam the insurance company. and was shot in the head at close range with a small caliber gun – often a choice of professional killers. when I dropped her off at the bank. At the restaurant Friday. a little more than a kiss on the cheek at the end of the evening.
hoping that one of these times I’ll see her outside in the parking lot. going to her car for some reason. The kid checked local 107 . it’s gone. I’m driving over there again. or on her way to lunch Wait a minute. This is strange. I think I noticed something a little different. Yep. The last time I drove by her bank. I’ll have the kid check things out. Just as I thought. to avoid making my feelings embarrass her at work – but I still drive past there every time I’m close by. just to make sure. I’m making a conscious effort to not go to that bank during business hours. There was no ‘Rottman Haberdashery’ sign lit up on the outside of the building just above his store window.Gene Grossman her Spanish sounded really good. And so is all the stuff inside the store. And now that we’re seeing each other. at least what I can see through the front plate glass window.
108 . one of my witnesses declares bankruptcy. But there’s something about this that bothers me. I guess that when our economy goes into the toilet. with the eventual outcome sooner or later a foregone conclusion… bankruptcy.How to Rob a Bank business news and court filings: Rottman filed for bankruptcy. Maybe he should have asked the federal govern-ment for a bail-out. Too bad. Brodini may have been one of his last bigspending customers. Maybe I should have a cape in my wardrobe. people stop spending $60 to $200 for ugly silk neckties. there was probably no sense trying to keep the business going on a downward spiral. It seems like a coincidence that shortly after an alleged bank robbery and a murder. and with the magician gone. folds up his shop. and all the fixtures left in the store will be auctioned off by the Court-appointed Trustee. and disappears. And one thing that experienced crime-fighters like me don’t appreciate is coincidences. he was a pretty nice guy.
109 . I know in my heart that it’s an effort in futility. I don’t know why he’d be coming back to the boat since we’ve referred his Workman’s Comp case out to another firm.Gene Grossman I wonder what kind of fool will be bold enough to rent that space and try to get started in this business climate. As much as I secretly harbor a desire for her to succeed with her plans. I’ll keep my eye on the place each time I drive by there. I also noticed our former client Stosh Berland here once. I guess the kid’s research hasn’t stopped with Rottman’s store. and most probably trying to tie Nan Kirk in to the crime. Out of curiosity. if for no other reason than to break the two of us up and leave the path clear for Myra and I to get back together again. She must be working on the murder and jewelry case. and Stuart dropping off reports about something or other. Poor kid. because there seems to be a steady stream of mail coming in from our attorney service.
’ It’s tough enough when the kid sends dogmails to me asking for favors. ‘Please do me a favor for a friend of mine. I think it’s time for a staff meeting. I see that the office manager is standing here. what’s this all about? I got Bernie’s note and assume that you’re his mouthpiece. Her house burned down and she’s in danger of losing her property. so spit it out. “Okay. I don’t have to send a message back to call for this one.” “Bernie has a girlfriend that he’s been seeing for a while. but the one glaring thing about it is that it’s signed ‘Bernie. because as I turn around and look down. and her house burned down. but when the dog himself is now soliciting my help.” 110 .’ The note itself isn’t strange.How to Rob a Bank The next morning I get a dog-mail that simply states.
Gene Grossman “I don’t know how to tell you guys this. the mortgage is due and payable. I get it. This is serious. but my license to practice law only applies to humans. Thanks for the real estate lecture. He’s a senior citizen who owns a house a couple of blocks away from here. and because he’s over sixty-two years of age. When you either pass away or want to sell the house.” “Stop it Peter. so Bernie’s girlfriend will have to find someone else – maybe a veterinarian who’s had some courses in law school might be a good choice. the man and his dog had to move to a relative’s 111 .” “Fine. or move out of it. when the house burned down. What exactly are you asking me to do?” “Well. he qualified for a reverse mortgage: that’s of those deals where the bank gives you either a lump sum or a steady monthly income for the rest of your life. The female dog we’re talking about is owned by a human. while you live in the house.
He doesn’t have the money to give back. but you tell him to call the bank and get copies of the loan papers for that reverse mortgage.How to Rob a Bank place. so I’ll tell you what. and they’re stopping the monthly income that the old guy depends on to live. until the legal mess that the fire caused can be straightened out. He’s between a rock and a hard place. because they claim that he’s moved off of the property.” I can’t help thinking that my law practice just took another step towards ‘going to the 112 . I’ll look them over and see if there’s any loophole we can find that might help him out. and about his dog.” “So? What’s the problem?” “The problem. Peter. and in this real estate market. he can’t sell the land. I understand your concern about the guy. is now that the house is gone and all that’s left is a driveway and an empty lot.” “Suzi. the mortgage company’s bank wants their money back. I can’t make any promises.
I’ve already called and made a reservation at one of the island’s nicest hotels.’ The only really bright thing I’m looking forward to is my upcoming weekend with Nan. 113 .Gene Grossman dogs. so I’ll show her all the standard tourist places. Nan said she’s never been to the island. and also planned a couple of fun things for us to do. over at Catalina Island.
outside observation area on 114 . Fisherman’s Village. over to Catalina Island in a little over an hour.How to Rob a Bank 10 T he Catalina-Marina del Rey Flyer is a 149-passenger high-speed catamaran that makes the 40-mile trip from our Marina’s tourist stop. The 85-foot hydrofoil-assisted jet-drive vessel also has an onboard galley and bar. plus a 60 seat.
so we don’t even have to walk up the hill to our quaint hotel. a delicious Italian dinner in one of Catalina’s favorite restaurants. but is a lot more potent. We each have some snacks. Thank goodness she doesn’t get seasick. and get some fresh air up on the observation deck. ultimately walking up the hill to The Landing. Our morning trip is delightful. 115 . We finish up our afternoon with a tour on one of the island’s top attractions – the glass-bottomed boat. where we have a beautiful view of the entire harbor. There’s a small van from our hotel waiting for us when we leave the ferry.Gene Grossman the upper deck. while we each sip on a Buffalo Milk – an Island specialty drink that tastes better than a chocolate milkshake. a couple of glasses of wine. and then after freshening up in our room. where we stow our small bags and then start a strolling tour of the main waterfront street.
before checking out of our hotel room and boarding the Flyer to return to Marina del Rey. his family owned the island. the Wrigley Monument at the top of the hill in the Garden honors the memory of William Wrigley. of Wrigley’s Gum and also Chicago’s Wrigley Field. for fear that the Japanese wouldn’t stop at Pearl Harbor. 116 .How to Rob a Bank Of course the sleeping part of the evening is also remarkable. and might get to Catalina Island. but it was then bequeathed to the Catalina Island Conservancy. and the large monument contained his tomb – which was removed in 1941. home of the Cubs. Mister Wrigley died in 1932. Jr. At one time.. From what the brochure tells us. where they would no doubt keep on with their plans to steal Wrigley’s body. and the next day we complete our exploration with a visit to the island’s Botanical Gardens.
The one thing I especially enjoy this weekend – aside from you-know-what-else is being completely unattached from the practice of law. conflicts. and if I don’t screw this relationship up like I have all the others to date. but all good things must come to an end: I just hope that I can make this good thing last a little longer.. by this time next year I might be married again. murder. Wow – what hubris. I’m starting to believe that Nan is the real thing for me. legal problems. and everything else that keeps me from enjoying myself while on the mainland.Gene Grossman because that must have been the reason they started World War II in the first place. 117 . missing jewelry. It’s tough to drop her back off at her car in the bank’s parking lot. just to rob his grave. notwithstanding several of the inevitable sabotage attempts that will surely be made by Suzi and Myra.
According to the terms spelled out in a half-inch-thick stack of legal-sized pages. • All of the Borrowers have sold or conveyed title to the property. • No Borrower maintains the property as a principal residence for a period exceeding 12 consecutive months because of physical or mental illness. Suzi has some faxed documents waiting for my inspection – the legal paperwork for that reverse mortgage on the house in Venice that burned down – that I now know is on what is technically called an HECM.How to Rob a Bank Back at the boat. 118 . the lender can terminate the mortgage and demand immediate payment of the balance if one of the following six conditions applies: • All of the Borrowers have died. • The property is in disrepair and the Borrower has refused to or is unable to fix the property. • The property is no longer the principal residence of at least one Borrower. or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage.
but there might be a way around that one. No problem. An acquaintance of mine took out one of these reverse mortgages and told the lender that he intended to do some extensive travelling that might last for months at a time. Which one of these might apply if the house is burned to the ground? The only part that might cause some trouble is the not living there. Hmm. he’ll be okay with the mortgage company. has a telephone number at that address.Gene Grossman • The Borrower violates any other Covenants of the security instruments and Has refused to or is unable to comply with The violated conditions of the security agreements. let’s see. Here’s the advice I tell Suzi to give to our human and animal clients: 119 . the lender let him know that as long as he physically sleeps at the property at least one night a year. and utilities there in his name. From what he tells me. keeps receiving mail there.
How to Rob a Bank First. and ‘live in it. park it in the driveway for a couple of days. where they can rent a nice. and keep copies of the RV rental agreement. keep a mailbox on the property and receive mail there. d) Once or twice a year. I also suggest that they take a couple of pictures of the van on the property’s driveway. livable one for only a couple of hundred dollars for a week-end. b) Keep paying for a phone line onto the property.’ I also refer them to a couple of RV rental places in Orange County. c) Keep paying for utilities to the property. 120 . and simply put callforwarding on to your cell phone. rent an RV.
but we both understand that sooner or later. or at least have another one moved onto the property. Suzi agrees that the advice is prudent. but I’m sure that he can find a place to board the dog for those few days. the client’s insurance proceeds should be used to re-construct a replacement home on the lot. I just hope it’s not on our boat.Gene Grossman One downside to this advice is that the RV rental places usually have some strict rules that prevent you from bringing animals into the vehicles. There’s always 121 .
the lender’s nose would be bent quite out of shape knowing that funds were being advanced on an empty lot. She says that technically my advice might be correct. Just to make sure I’m on the right track with this advice. and many people actually make a good living buying ‘freeway’ homes at a tremendous discount. I use this case as an excuse to call Nan at work and get her opinion. The only saving feature is that empty lots are so rare in Venice. the developer would save thousands of dollars in permits and demolition to remove the existing house. but actually.How to Rob a Bank some freeway construction going on in Southern California. because the first thing a developer who bought that house would do is ‘scrape’ it. and with the house already gone. Suzi and Bernie are 122 . that the ground itself is probably worth more than if it had the house on it. and then having them moved to an available empty lot and refurbished. sometimes for only a couple of hundred dollars total. Mission accomplished.
Peter.Gene Grossman now temporarily off of my back for advice about the burned down home. But my problems still never seem to end. and I have to tell you: not only 123 . and I don’t care if you are an ex-wife or the District Attorney. I couldn’t care less about your marrying her.” “Myra. We’re investigating all of the bank’s employees. I promise not to marry Miss Kirk until your investigation is completed. I’m not speaking about your feelings for her… for her being the real thing… I’m only commenting on the facts. she’s the real thing. but as to her being the real thing. You’re out of line. But believe me – as far as I’m concerned. You’re crossing the line. “All right.” “Slow down. kid. because the phone is ringing and I see that it’s Myra calling. I have my doubts. how can you possibly have any doubts about my feeling towards someone? You have no right to say she’s not the real thing.” “Peter.
She doesn’t exist anywhere outside that bank” I knew it. She’s got to be somewhere in the system. She surely must have a social security card on file at the bank. “I don’t believe what you say can be true… not until you run her prints. I’m sure there’s some explanation for that. the kid will find her. Did you look into that?” 124 . These dames always find a way to break up my love life. somewhere.How to Rob a Bank is she not the real thing – for you or for anyone else – but she’s not any kind of real thing. If it isn’t one way. If she exists. Some system.” “That’s already been done. Peter. Let Suzi run her through.” “Well. it’s another. We ran her DNA too.” “You mean Suzi ran her through? How did she get a set of prints?” “From her margarita glass at Pollo Meshuga – after you guys left. and it’s a federally chartered organization. She works there and gets a paycheck.
Nan could also be an undercover federal investigator. It was issued to her the same time she was fingerprinted to be a bank employee. sent in there to find out about alleged bank irregularities. Whatever the reason. Do your own investigation.” There can be a lot of reasons why a person has a new identity and social security number. Just last week I was watching an episode of Law & Order. I don’t care.” “Sorry. please let me know. lady. she dropped onto this planet from outer space three years ago… and if you can find anything else about her.Gene Grossman “Yes we did. which makes you a child molester. stalking husband. Special Victims Unit. That was done three years ago. and they helped an abused wife get a new identity to protect her from a brutal. All that 125 . so unless she’s only three years old. Her social security number is real. I’m not part of your law enforcement gang.
How to Rob a Bank concerns me is how good I feel when I’m with her. then that’s okay too. so maybe a little personal privacy can be a good thing in our relationship… something we can joke about after our thirtieth anniversary. There are things in my past that I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling her about. If not. fine. 126 . And if she ever decides to confide in me about her past.
Sears and all the other big retailers in our state.Stuart is calling.” “Peter. Costco.” 127 . “Hello. I want to thank you. Just what I need.Gene Grossman 11 O h good . Stu. I took your advice and held off on pursuing a class action against Wal-Mart.
There are numerous public interest law firms specializing in things like that. and that they pay all the tax monies collected to the state when they file their returns. and he doesn’t think the retailers are keeping the overage. that’s just great. Stu.” It never seems to end. I’m glad we’ve finally put that issue of suing the retailers to rest.” “Yep. I’m glad to see that you’ve finally come to your senses. I’ve talked to an accountant friend of mine. He says that each retailer’s cash register separates the merchandise amounts from the sales tax amounts.” “Good. there are groups that will file what they think are meritorious cases to protect 128 . I don’t think every cause that Stuart comes up with is completely without merit.” “That’s right.’ we have to sue the State of California.How to Rob a Bank “Well. Peter… It’s not the retailers who have been ‘keeping the change. Just like the ACLU files actions to protect the rights of people.
who are always happy to have ‘new blood’ coming in. My membership in the Lahaina Yacht Club entitles me to entrance and use of the dining rooms and bars of the local clubs. It’s been a couple of weeks since our romantic weekend over at the island. Fortunately. My selection process is usually based on the talent of the bartenders. I still maintain my regular routine of keeping up with the latest boating gossip by frequenting the local yacht clubs. most of the clubs are within 129 . She usually calls me when she gets home from work. with some new money. and because both Nan and I believe we should cool things while Myra’s investigation is in progress. our communications have been limited to telephone calls during the evening hours. and their ability to make a margarita that I will enjoy.Gene Grossman consumers and other segments of our society.
I never could figure out why they cover up empty windows of an empty store. The message informs me that the marina will be doing some repair work on our dock. Due to the fact that I don’t even know how to start the engines on 130 . but on my last trip past that bank. always hoping to catch a glimpse of her outside. I noticed that Rottman’s Haberdashery has had all its identifying signage removed. for some reason I usually find myself driving down the street that Nan’s bank is located on. It never happens. Here comes a dog-mail. Seems like a wasted effort.How to Rob a Bank walking distance of our boat. and tomorrow afternoon we have to move our boat to another slip they’ve reserved for us a few docks down. and now an ‘AVAILABLE’ sign is hanging in one of the two tan paper-draped large front windows. so there’s never a problem of my driving while under the influence of tequila. Whenever I leave the boat by vehicle.
the state’s Vehicle Code has some minimum age requirement for driving a car.Gene Grossman this boat. I feel certain that 12½ years would be way under the minimum legal operator’s age.’ of this thing. where I sit up on the flybridge pretending to drive this beast of a boat. we keep up the pretense. I know that on land. this charade wouldn’t be necessary. This is truly one of those situations where ‘ignorance is bliss. actually maneuvering the boat out of the present slip and over to the new one. but I don’t know if there’s any similar type of law that applies to the operation of vessels.’ because if there is an applicable law about operation of vessels. we’ll have to do our usual dog & pony show. but since nobody in their right mind would ever believe that I can’t drive a boat and Suzi is actually the ‘skipper. 131 . while Suzi sits behind the tinted glass windows of our lower steering station. If it wasn’t for the fact that the dockmaster might be out there watching.
Of course it goes without saying that I couldn’t have done it without the able assistance of my crew. Now that the boat business is completed. It’s done. I see the transmission levers up here being pulled back into reverse.How to Rob a Bank It’s a strange feeling sitting up here on the flybridge. making sure that the dock lines were secured properly. and then feeling the vibration. one after another. including the Asian Boys. hearing the engines crank over. Hmm… that’s interesting. thereby maintaining my reputation as a competent yachtsman. and the boat slowly starts to back out of the slip. The ‘AVAILABLE’ sign has been removed from Rottman’s old 132 . I think I’ll drive over to the bank to hit the ATM for some margarita cash. who performed their duties as deck-hands. As usual. The boat is moved and I didn’t bump into anything. Once the Asian Boys release the dock lines. It’s an unreal experience being up here as this big thing moves around in the water. she does a great job.
so instead of hitting up my personal account at the ATM. Unfortunately. and for a second there. I could swear I saw a Saint Bernard. while driving down past Nan’s bank. Both large windows of the store are still covered with that tan paper. so it’s back to the ATM for me. This time. it couldn’t have been what I really saw. 133 . I think I see out of the corner of my eye something that’s so impossible. Just then I remember that we’ve received a nice check from Uniman on the Brodini case. I turn around and go back to the boat to get a check from Suzi.Gene Grossman location next door to the bank. she’s off the boat and her electric cart isn’t in its parking space. but they never bothered to cover the glass door between the windows. I thought I saw something behind the glass door that’s too unbelievable to be true. I wonder what sucker is going to pay exorbitant marina storefront rent in today’s weakened business economy.
How to Rob a Bank 134 .
I call her private number at the D.’s office.A. Having access to that number is the only perk I received for being instrumental in convincing her opponent to drop out of the race. but when it comes to the kid.Gene Grossman 12 M yra and I don’t exactly get along that well on just about every issue that could possibly affect our daily lives. thereby making it a 135 . we’re both on the same page.
“Sharp here. The store that was previously occupied by the bankrupt Rottman. of Rottman’s Haberdashery?” “I don’t have time for guessing games Peter.where my client was found dead the same day you agreed to drop all charges against him.” I respond in kind. You know which one – the murder scene .” “All right Peter.How to Rob a Bank shoo-in for Myra to be elected as District Attorney. “Same here. “What have you put the kid up to now?” “What are you talking about Peter?” “I just drove past the bank. what do you want?” So much for small talk. 136 .” “So?” “So? Guess what I saw behind the glass door of the shop next door. She answers tersely.
137 . What did you see?” “I saw a Saint Bernard.Gene Grossman I give up. She finally gets her thoughts together. even if it’s only to contradict me. She’s got a mind of her own. go home. you think you’ve got the only Saint Bernard in the world? What’s the matter with you? Do yourself a favor and go to the American Kennel Club’s website and find out how many Saint Bernards are registered to owners in Southern California. You know her as well as I do.” No response. “So. and we both know it’s impossible to put that kid up to anything. because getting information out of her before she’s ready to part with it is an effort in futility. It’s a rare occasion when she can’t come back with an instant answer to whatever I say. and forget about ever calling me again with a nonsense question like that. have a drink. And I haven’t put her up to anything. take a nap. Then.” There’s no sense mentioning my sighting to the kid.
it’s Peter. so I call Stuart. No luck. It’s a matter of curiosity for all the other bank employees too. “Stu. whether it be a Laundromat. I know what I saw. it’s no sense beating myself up about this any longer. but no such luck. making several passes by the bank to see if the vision will be repeated. and others all hoping for their favorite selection. I’m tired of waiting for an answer. Is your private investigator’s license still active? Because if it is. and I’m totally convinced it was Bernie. Maybe she knows what’s moving in next door to her.” 138 . I’m calling Nan at the bank. some hoping it will be a coffee shop. I’ve got a case for you.How to Rob a Bank I think about it for a couple of days. or another type of business that might offer some convenience to the bank’s employees. Something must be done to satisfy my curiosity.
but it’s a lot easier waiting when you know that something is being done to find an answer. so I tell him to find out who the new tenant of that store next door to the bank is.Gene Grossman He tells me that his P. They run the Marina for the County of Los Angeles. letting him know that I think that the side of the street that bank is on is part of the county beach properties. telling me that he can’t find any place where local business leases are filed. This forces the businesses to file 139 . all marina businesses have a clause in their rental agreements whereby a small portion of their gross revenue is an integral part of their rent. business is still taking assignments. so he hasn’t got an answer yet. and from what I’ve been told. This means that any lease of a new business must be on file with the Harbormaster’s office and then forwarded on to the Department of Beaches and Harbors. After a couple of days goes by I get a report from Stuart.I. I know it may take him a couple of days to find out. I think about that for a couple of minutes and then call him back.
the post office. the bank. and other local spots of interest… and I’m certainly not about to start following her around to see if that empty store is on her route. because that wouldn’t be the right thing to do. She often gets up onto a high chair and operates the cash register. the cleaners. but she’s always back at the boat by around 4:30. And she’d surely find out about it and there’d be hell to pay. Another day or so goes by. the market.How to Rob a Bank income statements with the County. I’ll just wait to see what Stuart comes up with. “You know 140 . “What have you got. Suzi and the dog usually leave the boat each day at about eleven in the morning so that she can get to the local Szechwan restaurant that her late mother used to manage. Stuart finally calls. and it should all be public information. and I’m sure that some of her stops are at the UPS store. Stu? Any answer on that store?” Stuart doesn’t sound too happy. I don’t know what she does the rest of the afternoons.
Okay.Gene Grossman Peter. That store is going to be occupied by a law office. Take a look at the twin Tri-Star Towers. There must be hundreds of lawyers in those building. now that we’ve settled that issue. and we can then straighten out whatever you think is some sort of game-playing on my part. Peter. I’m not afraid of competition. I have no idea what you’re talking about. you might as well satisfy the rest of my curiosity.” “All right. Why don’t you just tell me what’s going into that store next door to the bank. What’s the 141 . I feel confident that you’ll be paying our regular rate for this assignment I’ve just finished for you. but I really don’t appreciate your attempts at playing a game with me.” “Stuart. What does another lawyer in the neighborhood mean? I’ll tell you what it means: absolutely nothing.” “That’s it? So what’s the big deal? Did you honestly think I was afraid of a competitor setting up shop in my neighborhood? That’s ridiculous.
Please answer it. Attorney at Law.” 142 .How to Rob a Bank name of the idiot lawyer who wants to set up a storefront office between a bank and a yogurt shop?” “You’re really asking me that question. Peter?” “Yes Stuart. I’m really asking that question.” “The store is being leased to Peter Sharp.
and intends to illegally practice law in this state without a license to do so… or. brought his Saint Bernard with him. That means one of two things: either a guy with my name has come in from another state.Gene Grossman 13 I do a quick check on the State Bar’s website and confirm the fact that I’m the only Peter Sharp licensed to practice law in California. It was Bernie in 143 . I was right.
no prize. so please stop with your baloney and tell me whatever you want me to know.How to Rob a Bank the window. the lawyer’s name is Peter Sharp.” 144 . I use the speed-dial on my phone.” “Peter. and I’ve really got a lot of things to do here today.” “The lease filed with the county is for a law office to go into that empty store.” “So?” “According to the lease. and the kid’s off on another one of her wild adventures that she won’t say a word about until she’s ready. just guess who it is.” “Is there a prize for the correct answer?” “No. She answers. it’s me. “Myra. Guess who’s renting that store next door to the bank. I love her.” “Ha! She’s wonderful. you know this is my office.
Fortunately. you get richer.” Myra’s right. she doesn’t ask me. but every time it does work out. You and I both know that whatever she’s got planned will probably work out just fine. the logic. She doesn’t ask you. she just goes ahead and does it. There’s no stopping Suzi when she wants to do something. am I curious to know what she’s got up her sleeve this time. Fortunately. I’d just sit back and stay out of her way. she just goes ahead and does it. nobody else knows about that store being leased under my name.Gene Grossman “You mean you knew about this?” “No. If it took Stuart several days to uncover that 145 . but boy. I had no idea she would do a thing like that. but if past performance is any indication. I have no idea what her plan is. The thing I love about her is that when she wants to do something. if I were you. silly. she’s got the brains. the business sense and the bankroll to do just about anything she wants. and I hate to say it.
Eighteen thousand dollars? What could we possibly have bought for that amount? Boy. who’s calling please?” “This is the business desk over here at the Argonaut Newspaper. While casually browsing through the statement.How to Rob a Bank information. “Hello. it’ll be much harder for anyone else to find out about it. Mister Sharp?” “Yes. The mail has just been delivered. The phone rings and my caller ID shows a number I don’t recognize. I’ll take a chance and answer it anyway. Are you familiar with 146 . in the sum of eighteen thousand dollars. I see that we gave a check to some business called Epsilon Property Management. so I have no downside exposure to being involved in whatever the kid is doing there. and I see that our law firm’s bank statement is included in this batch. the kid’s gonna have a bit of explaining to do about this one.
no… that’s not what this call is about.” “Oh yes. 147 . Nice work.” “No. Well. no sense trying to make denials. I remember that. if that’s what you’re calling about. Culver City and Santa Monica. Will it be staffed by an attorney. or is it merely for interviewing potential clients and setting up lawyer appointments?” I knew it. What we’re calling for today is to get your comments about the new satellite office you’re opening up next to Myerson Savings & Loan. I might as well give this dame some sort of non-answer. the kid has once again tossed me into the pit with one of her wild schemes. we’ve done some articles about your law firm in the past… some of the high-profile cases you’ve been involved with. We don’t think it’s proper for attorneys to advertise for business. Just when I thought we could go un-noticed. but we’re not interested in taking out any ads at this time. In fact.Gene Grossman our weekly publication? We’re distributed all over Marina del Rey.
Our office manager thought it might be useful to at least tie up the location for a while to give us some time to decide whether to open up an office. This evening’s dinner is Indian food. It said ‘Peter Sharp.How to Rob a Bank “To tell the truth. but I think we already know about your decision. Once a decision is made. we haven’t made any decision yet as to how to put that space to use. you’ll be the first to know.” So much for anonymity.” “Thank you Mister Sharp.’ with a telephone number to be called for an appointment. I’m trying to control myself about the eighteen 148 . or sub-let the space to some other business entity. One of our reporters drove by there this morning on the way to work and noticed a signpainter doing some very nice gold-leaf lettering on the glass door. and the Asian Boys are doing the catering. Attorney at Law.
” “Is there anything else you’d like to tell me about? I happened to notice that our bank statement arrived in today’s mail. I’m glad you noticed the new sign. Six months at three thousand dollars a month – all paid in advance. Have we bought something I should know about?” “No. how are things going at our new office next to the bank?” She answers without skipping a beat or even looking up. and there was a rather large check make out to some property management company. I give up. Something has to be said before she leaves the table and disappears into her foreward enclave.Gene Grossman grand the kid spent out of our business account. “By the way. Peter. to avoid the necessity of us filling out all sorts of financial forms so that strangers could 149 . that was payment for the store’s rent. “My plans are right on schedule. but it’s getting harder and harder to pretend like it’s not a big deal.
” “Well. that certainly was worth the expense. do you have a work schedule for me at our new office? I surely wouldn’t want to make any plans that might conflict with the hours you would want me to be there.How to Rob a Bank investigate our credit. If it makes you feel any better. It wasn’t just eighteen thousand dollars. It also cost us three hundred dollars to have your name painted on the 150 . eighteen grand is a cheap price to pay to avoid someone spending 10 dollars to run us through one of the three credit-reporting agencies. because I intend to close it down in the next week or so. silly. And while we’re at it.” “The next week or so? Are you serious? You mean to say we’ve spent eighteen thousand dollars just for the privilege of being in that store for a couple of weeks?” “No. you will never be in that store. Have we also made any expenditure towards a time-clock for me to punch in on?” “No. My goodness.
and she is now successfully on her way to being just 151 . this is Attorney Peter Sharp’s main office – not to be confused with the eighteen-thousand-dollar satellite office that I won’t be using. You should have called the brat in the foreward stateroom. I just want you to know that she idolizes you and wants to be just like you when she grows up. because she and the dog are now headed for the foreward stateroom.” With that. “Hello. The phone is ringing.” “Well. I see Myra’s home phone on the display. it appears our meeting is over. I thought I was calling a sane person. I must have a wrong number. because it’s being closed down in the next week or so.Gene Grossman door in gold leaf lettering. all right. you’ve called the wrong number. and I know my information-seeking efforts for this evening are over. How can I help you?” “I’m sorry.
and for no apparent good reason. she is a little darling. isn’t she? I take it from your little rant that she’s spent some of the firm’s money on something that you’re not too happy with. Doctor Frankenstein. I won’t have to waste any time sitting in a store-window like some hooker in Amsterdam. She paid for six month’s rent in advance on that storefront where I saw the dog that you’re so sure belongs to someone from out of state. Large expenditures. Congratulations. without the benefit of consultation. and had my name painted on the door. I was wondering if you 152 .” “All right Peter… and now for something completely different. all I have to do is try to get her placed in a military law school somewhere before she cleans out the rest of our bank account.How to Rob a Bank like you. But not to worry. she’s the spitting image of you. Now.” “Yes.” “You got that right. because she’s already tired of the store and will be closing it down next week.
In one case. The jurisdiction back there would really like to see him again.” “Sure. you know that I bond with all my alibi witnesses. and he’s got an interesting history. and I have no idea where he is. It seems that he’s got several current wives looking for him in Illinois and Indiana. it’s just that our office has just received the background information on him from the Midwest. and he was convicted on four counts of fraud and grand theft. Don’t you know that it’s his old store that my new law office is located in? According to my information. he went belly up. Myra. They held his trial in absentia. he was arrested and skipped out on the bail bondsman. 153 . Why? Did you want to buy me a new necktie for the holidays?” “No Peter. No. I haven’t kept in touch with him. He ran a gourmet cooking school and romanced all the rich divorcees. and there are some warrants out for his arrest.Gene Grossman were still in contact with one of your former alibi witnesses… Mister Kyle Rottman. We play poker every Tuesday evening.
How to Rob a Bank “It’s a good thing for you that the Brodini case ended the way it did. there 154 . the only description that appears there is ‘Attorney at Law. And I see that these con men are never really such good-looking guys.’ It does not say anything about aiding the authorities in the apprehension of people wanted in other states. Looking at my business card.” I tell Myra that if I run into Rottman I’ll be sure to have him call her. they talk glowingly about ‘how nice he was’ to them. because if Rottman was going to be your main timeline alibi witness. Every once in a while some ‘magazine’ television show runs a story about some guy who romances lonely women and then cleans out their bank accounts. and when those women are interviewed. They usually have about two wives at a time. I’m constantly amazed at the kinds of things that will attract women. we would have torn him apart on the witness stand. Boy.
Too bad I don’t know where he is. 155 . lonely women out there – and Rottman was one of those con men who played them like pinball machines.Gene Grossman sure must be a lot of desperate. because I’ll bet he’s got some hum-dinger stories to tell. if he ever feel like confessing.
my second favorite place to be is right here in Marina del Rey. If you’re so inclined. walking around the boats. there are miles and miles of sidewalks up and down the marina’s basins. also on the Pacific Ocean.How to Rob a Bank 14 W hen not on Maui at the Lahaina Yacht Club’s terrace that hangs out over the Pacific ocean. with a great view of the more than seven thousand boats docked in 156 .
What can you possibly want from me?” 157 . I’ve been told that he gets in the way of Suzi’s workers over at the new law office.Gene Grossman slips here.’ so I am the appointed dog-sitter. but today is one of those days when Bernie has decided to join me. “I’m over in ‘A’ Basin. But with the dog following me. The kid is calling. It’s a leisurely pace and gives me plenty of time to look at the other walkers… the female ones. walking with Bernie. My normal walk covers a little more than two miles and usually takes me about fortyfive minutes. I prefer to walk alone. the walk should take over an hour. who are very busy helping Suzi burn up our law firm’s funds getting the place ready for our ‘grand closing celebration. because every small child we encounter seems compelled to hug Bernie and pose for a picture taken by a parent or nanny.
” “What the heck is a drag-away?” “Myra’s men were just here. I saw their cars parked outside in front of our new office. I know. This isn’t a walk-in. “Yes. it’s a drag-away.” “Okay kiddo. he yelled out to me that I should please call you to represent him.” I see Myra’s number on the display. Where’s he being held and what’s he being charged with?” 158 . it’s my turn to skip the small talk. He saw me standing outside and just as they loaded him into the unmarked police car.” “You mean we’re already getting walk-ins at the new office?” “No. When they came out there were ‘dragging away’ Bryce Chalem. Peter. I gotta go… another call is coming in and I don’t know how to answer it without hanging this one up. so for once. the bank manager.How to Rob a Bank “We have a new client.
we were able to keep the case away from the FBI. but I’m sure he’d gladly take the blazer over the orange jumpsuit they’ll be giving him at County Jail. and the charge is grand theft. scattered all over the city.Gene Grossman “He’s over at Pacific Division. at least not yet. Pacific Division is our local station.” There are numerous ‘divisions’ in the Los Angeles Police Department. It hasn’t been set yet. Chalem looks a lot better without the terrible green blazer that Beider makes him wear in the bank. I check with the jailer and learn that because he has no prior record. Peter.. but a soon as we can get in front of a 159 . At least she’s not trying to pin Brodini’s murder on him.. the recommended bail is only twenty-five grand. so after my walk today I’ll be stopping by there to see our new client. Because the jewelry he’s charged with taking didn’t belong to the bank. from out in the San Fernando Valley all the way down to Harbor Division in San Pedro.
R. You get him into court this afternoon. but if I make the bail any lower than twenty-five thousand for an alleged theft of millions. has been working as a bank manager in a bonded position for the better part of the last twenty years. I call Myra to discuss it.” “Listen Peter. This guy is as clean as a whistle. I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I hope she’s thinking of some way to help me out with this. I’ll try to get it reduced so that he can get out pending trial. “Okay Petey. “What type of bail are you looking for.How to Rob a Bank judge. Peter?” “I’m looking for an O. I know we don’t have the loot and we’ll have a difficult time establishing how he got into those boxes. I’ll look like a fool.” Silence. is a family man and owns his own home in Culver City. and I’ll forget 160 .
We’ll leave it up to the judge to decide. and the bail bondsman I asked to be there has already interviewed Chalem’s wife and is prepared to post the bond. I want him to have a chance to speak freely without his wife being present. That’ll be my shorthand to the calendar deputy to not object. About a half-hour later Chalem meets us outside in the parking lot and I instruct his wife to follow us in her car to the boat.” I can work with that. The judge lowers it to ten thousand.Gene Grossman to put any note in the file about strenuously objecting to a bail reduction motion. We get him transported to court and I make my plea to the judge – but even more emotionally than the way I presented it to Myra over the telephone. The judge sees that the D. Chalem rides with me. so he catches on to the fact that nobody cares much about this guy’s bail. That’s the best I can do. I even arrange to have the bank’s assistant manager show up as a character witness. 161 .A. isn’t objecting.
I don’t know how he did it.” “Mister Sharp. We get to the boat. I don’t know anything about this robbery. because if for any reason I don’t believe you’re leveling with me. but I tend to believe him. and then tell them go home and get some rest. This is your last chance to get out in front of this thing. I take down all of his personal information and history. but he got out of that vault some other way than through the door. I swear I let Brodini into that vault. honest to God. I’ll dump your case and you can deal from inside the county jail with an inexperienced public defender.” I don’t know why. so here’s the deal: you’ve got some time right now to tell me the absolute truth about everything you know about Brodini and the alleged bank heist.How to Rob a Bank “Listen here Chalem. we’ve got about ten or fifteen minutes before we get to the boat and your wife will be with us. so don’t screw it up. get some details about the bank’s security systems. and I never escorted him back outside. He’s on suspension from the bank 162 .
no doubt having gotten in there the same way he got out on the day of the alleged theft. the lead investigator. do you honestly believe that Brodini is not the actual thief? All the witnesses agree that the finger of doubt more accurately points at the late Brodini instead of the present defendant. Here’s the judge making his decision: I hope he doesn’t start out by complimenting me on my argument. because that’s a sure sign I’m going to lose. the security inspector. I have nothing to say at the preliminary hearing other than to ask the same question of each of Myra’s prosecution witnesses – the bank guard. and – in light of the fact that Brodini was found dead in the vault. 163 .Gene Grossman while this case is in progress and his preliminary hearing isn’t set for another week or so. and two alleged victims: has any of the alleged loot been recovered. but we’re probably going to get bound over for trial anyway.
and back inside the vault on the day of the murder. But you never can tell with juries. you’ve presented a good argument for creating reasonable doubt of this defendant’s innocence. but this is only a preliminary hearing and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt isn’t necessary. I think the jury can be confused enough to go along with my standard reasonable doubt argument. coupled with the unsolved murder and missing loot. Both sides can check with the clerk for a trial date. With the mystery of the magical disappearance and re-appearance.How to Rob a Bank “Mister Sharp.” The trial will be held in Santa Monica Superior Court in three weeks and I think there’s a decent chance of an acquittal because Myra won’t be able to explain how Brodini got out of the vault on the day of the theft. 164 . so I’m going to bind this defendant over for trial. and I’m sure that at trial you can do a good job of defeating the prosecution’s presentation of the ‘means’ portion of their case.
Here’s all I want you to do: when the prosecution is putting on their case in 165 . The one that doesn’t drool hears my complaints about once again being dragged into representing a client against my free will. I have absolutely no intention to get anywhere near the witness stand.” Oh-oh. to present her solution to the case. This time she knows I’d be hesitant to go along with her plans if it entails bringing her in as a witness. I think I can wrap this whole bank job up in one fell swoop. but in order to do it. When it comes to court appearances. “I know you and Myra aren’t too happy whenever I testify in court. and I inquire as to how she’s doing in finding the missing jewelry. so I want you to know that if you agree to follow my instructions. here it comes. you’ll have to do one thing for me.Gene Grossman I call for a staff meeting and they both show up on time. Her answer is amazing and encouraging: “Peter. she’s a real ham – always trying to finagle her way into becoming the star of the case by being called as a witness.
That’s the only way we can win.” “Sure. So – do you have an answer as to how he did it?” She doesn’t say anything for a little while. I’m getting close. but you’re going to have trust me on this one. we’ll have to show the jury that it actually was possible for Brodini to have done the impossible. and I’m pretty sure I can solve this thing before the trial. don’t fight them when they try to show that it must have been your client who stole the jewelry merely because it’s impossible for Brodini to have gotten out after the theft. I will have given the whole case away. And then I get the only encouragement I ever get from her. But. In order for your plan about my conducting the case to work.How to Rob a Bank chief.” 166 . and it’s a big ‘but…’ if you don’t come up with a solution as to how Brodini actually did get out and then back in again dead. Peter. that’s easy. “Not yet. Lock them in tight to the fact that their entire case rests on it having been impossible for Brodini to have gotten out with the loot.
If I solve this case. I’d rather it not be on a high-profile case that makes headlines. but if I’m going to lose. the press will be there en masse. and because of the mysterious ‘locked-room’ element. and an unsolved murder. Brodini’s miraculous vault stunts. I’ve already gotten numerous inquiries from several manufacturers in competition with the company that made the bank’s vault. and just about every magician in town has sent me an email with suggestions on how to solve the mystery. Every locked-room mystery fan on earth is closely watching to see how the most secure locked-room ever was breached by a magician. the large amount of jewelry involved. I know I can’t win every case I take to trial.Gene Grossman This is a serious felony case. This one is even on blogs all over the world. they want me to appear in DVD sales presentations they send out to prospective vault customers. and they’re all so completely off the wall that I now erase their messages without opening them. One of them even suggested that Brodini used mass 167 .
It’s ridiculous. notwithstanding the fact that I once considered it myself after watching his act in that Torrance dive. 168 .How to Rob a Bank hypnotism on the bank staff.
Instead of using the Hummer. In actuality.Gene Grossman THE TRIAL T oday’s the day. Suzi doesn’t mind the extra expense coming out of our firm’s budget because the TV news cameramen eat up her arrival and slow exit from the limo. giving the impression that this frightened little girl is hanging on to her legal guardian’s hand for safety. She even goes so far as to hold my hand as we walk into the courthouse. nothing could be farther 169 . we hire a stretch limo. We have a standard procedure on the first day of a highprofile trial. as she feigns awe at the media attention.
so this first day is spent selecting a panel. She’s constantly scheming to be the center of attention. telling him that we intend to waive the defendant’s right to question or object to the seating of any juror on the panel. so I follow her advice and once all the prospective jurors are present in the courtroom. and if she can come up with a solution as to how Brodini got in and out of that vault. This must be the first time that any attorney has tried a dumb stunt like this here in Santa Monica.How to Rob a Bank from the truth. and the judge has to bang his gavel several times to quiet down the noise made in the courtroom by every reporter present frantically using both thumbs to text-message my blanket juror 170 . and that we will accept any jury that the prosecution will allow to serve. then I’m onehundred percent in favor of her getting all the attention she wants. I believe the kid has something spectacular up her sleeve. I make a bold statement to the judge. In accordance with Suzi’s instructions we have requested a jury trial.
and every time I follow the kid’s advice I’m violating that Hole rule and instead keep asking for a bigger shovel. I know how the kid hangs on to me when we walk into a courthouse before each trial starts. but if we go down in flames.Gene Grossman acceptance to his editor. stop digging. the new time set by the vault’s security team 171 . Another one of her instructions that I managed to put into place was getting Myra and the judge to agree to let the jury see the vault. to fully observe the procedure involved in the vault door being opened at ten-thirty. Not with me.” Unfortunately most people never even realize they’re in a hole until it’s too late. I know the hole I’m digging for myself here. I’ll bet anything that she’s hiding in the limo before I can even get out of the building. The standard ‘rule of holes’ states that “When you’re in a hole. we all stipulated to be in the bank at twenty minutes after ten in the morning. In an attempt to duplicate the events that took place on the day of the alleged theft.
notwithstanding any of his contentions to the contrary about the magician having been in there. Myra calls the same witnesses she used at the preliminary hearing. but I’m only waiting for one particular one: the vault company’s security expert… the guy who reset the time-lock so that it now opens at ten-thirty in the morning. If Suzi is correct with her strategy. between nineten and nine-thirty without being seen by the bank employees.How to Rob a Bank for the time-lock mechanism to allow for opening. who all come in and report for work at nine-thirty. the defendant is alleged to have had the vault all to himself. and she 172 . The witnesses build up Myra’s case that no person other than the defendant bank manager could have gotten into the vault on the morning of the theft. then it’s Myra who’s digging the hole now. For those twenty minutes. This visit is scheduled to take place on the first morning after the trial begins.
Myra puts him through his paces.Gene Grossman just keeps making it deeper and deeper with every witness… and here comes the vault security expert. so I’m going to cross-examine him and stall for as long as possible. and reputation as an expert in his field. He comes across like ‘mister vault genius. 173 . his experience in the bank security business. It’s now about three-thirty in the afternoon. When he’s through testifying. Mister Albert Rudd. Myra does her job well. and definitely guilty. his educational background in engineering and vault design. the jury believes there’s no way on earth that Brodini could have gotten out of that vault without the defendant’s help. I want him to be the last witness of the day before tomorrow morning’s jury visit to the bank vault.’ and the jury eats it up. The more important a witness is made to appear. thereby establishing Chalem as a liar. the more serious his or her testimony will be taken by the jury. Myra spends some time establishing Rudd’s pedigree.
Now it’s my turn. there having been no objection to your request from the prosecution.’ Now that it’s my turn to cross-examine Mister Rudd.” Fine.” The judge looks over towards Myra’s table with a questioning look on his face. The judge makes his ruling. we would ask the court to accept him as an expert witness so that we might ask his opinion on some matters relevant to the issues at hand. in view of the fact that the prosecution has already done an excellent job of establishing the qualifications of this witness. Myra looks back at him and answers his gaze with a shrug. does the vault’s time-lock have a ‘closing’ time – a point on the clock 174 . Opinions are not usually accepted unless the witness has first been qualified before the court as an ‘expert. “Your Honor.How to Rob a Bank Witnesses testifying in court are limited to give evidence only as to what they know to be true. “Mister Rudd. go ahead… he’s now your expert. I make a request to the court. “All right Mister Sharp.
and that time coincides with my wristwatch.” He looks up at the clock on the courtroom wall and then verifies the time by checking his wrist watch. I see by the clock on the wall that it is now a few minutes after four.” “But you’re here in the courtroom Mister Rudd. it does. It is set by radio control. “The vault door must be locked by four in the afternoon. How can you be so sure that the bank vault’s door is closed and locked right now?” “Very easily sir. “That means the bank vault door is now closed and locked. which is extremely accurate. an alarm is automatically transmitted by satellite to 175 . using the same mechanism that the vault’s time-lock uses.Gene Grossman at which time the vault must be closed and locked?” “Yes sir. If for any reason the bank vault’s door is not closed and locked between the hours of four in the afternoon and ten-thirty the next morning.
the acting bank manager answer.How to Rob a Bank my office. In law enforcement. An alarm of this nature is immediately investigated by local law enforcement and treated as a code three call. code three means that the responding officers must proceed with lights and siren. I then request that he use his cell phone on the ‘speaker’ mode to call the bank and confirm that the vault door has in fact been closed and locked. 176 . In most jurisdictions. and the jury hears him dial. and also to my Blackberry.” “Do you have your Blackberry with you at this time? And if so. would you please look at it to make sure that no alarm has come in?” The witness complies with my request and states that no alarm has come in. there are several common abbreviations for the type of radio message being sent.” “Would you please tell the court what you mean by a ‘code three’ call?” “Yes. and the type of response required. He does so.
I’m going to finish up soliciting an answer from this witness that is the exact thought I want to leave in the juror’s minds when they go home this evening. I’m sure Myra is convinced that I’m digging a deeper hole for myself. is it your expert opinion that the subject vault at Myerson Savings & Loan was empty and securely locked on time this afternoon. so the judge just sits back and watches the show. I might as well prepare to leave town for a while. and she’s happy to give me as big a shovel as I need. she doesn’t object to any of my requests of the witness. The judge keeps looking down toward Myra. “Mister Rudd. because if not. but surprisingly. My final question to him is one prepared for me by Suzi. and its door has in fact been closed and locked since about ten minutes before four this afternoon. in view of the testimony you have offered here today. and I sure hope she’s got something up her sleeve. and cannot be opened 177 .Gene Grossman and the confirmation that the bank’s vault was inspected and found empty.
Everything seems to be going according to schedule. do you agree that it is highly improbable.How to Rob a Bank until the appointed time tomorrow morning? And if so. and per our previous agreement. for someone to get inside of that vault before we all get there tomorrow to witness the day’s first door-opening?” He doesn’t let me down. and that tomorrow morning we will all be thoroughly convinced of his expertise. if not impossible. Court is adjourned for the day. to meet in the court parking lot tomorrow morning at ten for us all to board a county bus together and ride to the bank for a view of the bank’s vault when its timelock allows it to be opened at ten-thirty tomorrow morning. His unequivocal answer lets the jurors all know that he’s ‘the man’ when it comes to the security of Myerson’s vault. 178 . It’s now past four in the afternoon and I ask the court to adjourn for the day. and the validity of his testimony. So far so good.
It’s now twenty-five minutes after ten. All persons directly connected to the trial. board the bus and we start our slow procession to the bank’s location. the jury is escorted down from their private meetingplace in the courthouse and outside to the bus. there is another contingent of reporters and camera crews waiting for us. and the bank’s acting manager opens up the locked sliding security door leading to the vault’s entrance.Gene Grossman The next morning at ten. so when we pull up in front of the bank at about ten-fifteen. and news 179 . including Suzi. Word of our visit to the bank has been all over the news. There’s been so much commotion surrounding this trip that no one notices Suzi slip away when we get off the bus. which is already surrounded by newspaper reporters and camera crews. followed by a series of news vans. The judge. who smiles for the cameras. jury.
Two husky male bank employees grab the big vault door and swing it open. with Bernie standing next to her. we all hear the loud click of the time-lock opening up the tumblers.’ Sitting on a small stool in the middle of the bank vault is Suzi. and at precisely ten-thirty.How to Rob a Bank people surround the bank vault’s door. to reveal a sight that stuns all onlookers into silence. All that’s heard is one large collective gasp as everyone looks into the vault and sees what can only be described as ‘impossible. 180 .
Suzi picks up her little stool and starts to walk out of the vault with Bernie following close behind. The onlookers part like the Red Sea as she and the dog both casually strut out towards the bank lobby. Myra has already run outside to 181 .’ where she uses her key to open the front door. When she gets to where I’m standing she looks up and says “I’ll be in my office. Myra doesn’t know how she did it. Mister Rudd doesn’t know how she did it.” She and the dog then stroll out the front door of the bank and next door to ‘her office.Gene Grossman 15 I don’t know how she did it. but she did it. Before anyone can catch their breath.
I want you to tell me exactly how you did that. I’d suggest that you get back on the bus and go back to work. she then steps inside the office and locks the door behind her. the daggers that have 182 . “Miss District Attorney. We’ve now returned to the courtroom. “Young lady. since I haven’t been subpoenaed as a witness. I want to come into this store of yours with my investigators and thoroughly examine it. this is an official visit agreed to by both sides. If you research the phrase ‘egg on your face.How to Rob a Bank catch up with her. and if looks could kill. starts in with Suzi. and technically.’ you should see a picture of Myra. and since you don’t have a search warrant. I’d like to remind you that even though you’re not in the courtroom. and now in full realization that her case against Chalem has been destroyed. So. And. the court is still in session.” Followed by the dog.” Suzi looks up at Myra.
Bryce Chalem. The courtroom erupts.” Myra is too irate to talk. as claimed by the defendant’s statements made to the police and entered into the record. due to the fact that the prosecution seems to have based the State’s entire case on the fact that this defendant is guilty solely on the fact that no person could have gained access to or exited from the vault in the manner that Brodini did. I stand up to address the court to make the motion that everyone in the room knows is coming. I motion to 183 . it appears by this morning’s view that even a 12½-year-old child and a Saint Bernard dog were able to gain such access. “Your Honor. we feel that reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt has clearly been established and we therefore ask that this court dismiss all charges against this defendant. with prejudice.Gene Grossman been continuously coming my way from Myra’s table would have already done me in. She just sits there at the counsel table with her red face glaring at me while the judge grants my motion.
We make our escape. the kid has outsmarted us all. We’re also in agreement that she’s really better than both of us combined. We both agree that once again. She was standing next to me when that vault door opened. but the phone is ringing. but her attempt to question me doesn’t yield any results. It’s Mister Uniman calling. you haven’t helped me much. When I get back to the boat I see that Suzi hasn’t returned yet. and she agrees. and she saw that I was as shocked by what I saw as everyone else was. and we’ll just have to wait until she’s good and ready to tell us how she did it. probably realizing that it’s the only way she’s going to have a chance to question me. “Peter. I’m still facing claims for thirty million dollars 184 .How to Rob a Bank Myra that we should make our escape through the private courtroom door reserved for the judge’s use.
have gotten together with a second-rate magician to hatch a plan to defraud my company. no theft has been established by anything other than the claims of the alleged victims. all unknown to each other. I thought you’d be pleased that as of this point in time.” “You’re right Peter. I know that the standard recovery reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators is usually ten percent. but during the past few weeks I’ve been quite busy handling a couple of clients. I have gained a little time.Gene Grossman in missing jewelry. I can’t believe that several people. but in this case I’m not interested in anyone 185 .” “I don’t know if you’ve noticed. but the claims are still there and the jewelry is still missing. Mister Uniman. “Look here. who coincidentally keep their valuables in that bank vault because it’s close to where they live. Now that both of them have been cleared of stealing that jewelry.
but you’re not a law enforcement authority – all you want to do is recover the assets and avoid paying the claims. I’ll tell you what: I’ll have you talk to my office manager and maybe the two of you can work out some arrangement whereby if you get off of the claims.” Speak of the devil.How to Rob a Bank getting arrested and convicted – all I want to do is avoid paying out thirty million in claims. She and the beast just came back on board.” “Good. Have Suzi call me. Now if you can help me out. we’ll all be happy. I’ll make some sort of discounted deal with you. I can see that up on the small driveway above the seawall is a group of news cameras that followed her as she and the dog rode back here from the 186 . but I’m afraid you’re a little wrong on the way things should work with respect to recovery: we both know that the reward from authorities for information leading to arrest and conviction is like you stated.” “Thanks for the offer Mister Uniman.
I remember the first time I saw it. and I almost wrecked my car when I saw what looked like a large Saint Bernard driving a cart. I know you’re not about to reveal the answer to your magic trick.Gene Grossman office in her electric cart. kid. but 187 . “Listen up. her complete body was blocked by the dog sitting next to her. From the angle I was looking.
and one percent of the rest. We guarantee to recover all the jewelry before he has to pay the claims. we have no idea where to start looking for it. If we get it all back in time. you’re so behind. and he pays us a discounted reward. and I told him that the two of you would get together and work out a deal for our recovery reward. our firm can earn close to four hundred thousand.’ Do you think we can really recover the jewelry before he has to pay the claims? I mean. He called just now. but that’s a big ‘if.” “Yeah. “Here’s the agreement I’ve already prepared for Uniman to sign.” 188 . I worked it out so that we get ten percent of the first million.’ “Speak for yourself Peter.How to Rob a Bank we’re still in the running to make some money off of Uniman if we can recover that jewelry.” She pulls out what looks like a legal agreement and waves it in the air. I already know where it is.” “Oh Peter. based on the large amount involved.
but.Gene Grossman 16 O nce again.but this case is getting so involved. Sure. she’s pulled the rug out from under me. how can she know where the missing jewelry is? Did she find it while she was in the vault this morning waiting for us to open the door? And how did she get in there? I can’t deal with those questions now. . she was right about how to manage the case so that we won. that we both have agreed to 189 . and one of the reasons why is because I really miss seeing Nan.
He teaches a course on Trial Practice at a law school. he usually invites some local trial attorneys to join him for a discussion about trial horror stories. a former law-school classmate on a panel. I think I’ll just stand back and keep out of her way. and being the last day of this term’s classes. Today’s the day I promised to join Bob Channing. and then to participate in a Q & A session with the students. From what the kid tells me. so in view of the miracles she’s already pulled off on this case. The mere fact that she says she knows where the stuff is doesn’t necessarily mean that she can put her hands on it. A week or so has passed by and still no answer from her about where the jewelry is. 190 .How to Rob a Bank cool it a little longer. Uniman signed the recovery reward agreement and we now have a little less than thirty days to fulfill our end of the deal.
after the conclusion of the Second World War in 1945. almost none of the students were able to pass the State’s Bar examination after completing their four years of schooling. and as a result. books.I. the State Bar created a new class of schools – the ‘nonaccredited’ ones – those that sprung up after 1945 and accepted all who applied.’ from which the State Bar requires all of its students to pass a First Year Law Students’ exam before being permitted to go on to the next three years of schooling. bill – a program that provided them with funds for school. To remedy this situation. The reason for this exam is because many years ago. a bunch of storefront law schools popped up to drain tuition money out of returning veterans on the G. All 191 . and other things they so richly deserved. the instruction was sub-standard. there were no requirements to get into these schools.Gene Grossman Channing’s school belongs to a group of schools that has long been referred to as the ‘non-accredited ones. Unfortunately.
and the several remaining ones tried their best to improve the instruction and periodic testing. so that nowadays. The first year law exam that was given quickly acquired the nickname of the ‘Baby Bar. Over the years. the schools that did the worst jobs were weeded out. thereby leaving a group to continue studies that at least had a slight chance of ever passing the regular bar exam. their graduates’ Bar passing percentage is about two-thirds that of students from the ivy league ‘accredited’ law schools.’ and it served its purpose very well. or pass an ‘equivalency’ exam that gave a lot of credit for spelling your name correctly. I would rather mingle with the students at this non-accredited law school then the rich spoiled brats at any of the big 192 .How to Rob a Bank you had to do to qualify as a student was to be over the age of 21 and either have completed two years’ college credits. Personally. by weeding out a large percentage of the students.
the four years of students each take three classes a week. so the school has 4 classrooms – one for each year of students. covered with a hundred years’ worth of ivy growing up on the outside of their brownstone buildings – some of them are here in California. They have an idea what the outside world is like. in modest stucco-covered structures that specialize in giving an opportunity to students who can’t afford or don’t qualify for those high-class schools. and the students can take their classes during the afternoon or in the evening.Gene Grossman accredited schools. Not being a full-time school. Not all law schools are on the east coast. usually having to work for a living and not merely surviving on an allowance from their parents. to be more convenient to their work and family schedules. The curriculum takes four years instead of three. This particular one occupies the entire floor of an office building on Sepulveda Boulevard. in Culver City. allowing for the entire student body to be 193 . Most of the students here are older than the teachers.
and to get some idea of what it’s really like out there in the real legal world.How to Rob a Bank present on the same evenings. each of the five attorneys on the panel takes a turn relating an embar194 . and sitting for the next Bar Exam. where the students can receive some instruction as to proper attitude and procedure. If the students want to socialize before. Today’s group is comprised of fourth-year students who have all passed the Baby Bar exam they took three years ago and have now completed their law school curriculum. after. these panel discussions take place twice a year. One by one. there is this large room which has been converted to a mock court. should they ever actually make it to a real courtroom. To get them used to conversing with other lawyers. It’s sort of like the cable program Inside the Actors’ Studio. the building has a small sandwich shop on the floor below the school. or in-between classes. In addition to the small administration offices. but for law students. They’ll be graduating soon.
waiting for his case to be called and for him to state his name for the 195 . and agree to a trial date in the near future. his firm had arranged for him to make an appearance the very next morning after being sworn in. The case he was there on was scheduled to be first one called on that morning’s calendar. The most humorous ‘first court appearance’ story was about the attorney who had clerked for a law firm for a couple of years while going to law school. so he left his home early enough to beat the traffic.Gene Grossman rassing event that happened to at the beginning of practicing law. and got to the courthouse at least a half hour early. he decided to sit down for the first time of his life at one of the counsel tables. so after he properly checked in with the court clerk. just to show up in the courtroom with a calendar of free dates. and upon passing the bar. The attorney wanted to make sure that he got to court on time. It was a simple appearance. and gives a brief lecture on how everyone in the student audience can avoid that happening to them.
dummy!” The ‘dummy’ is now an experienced trial attorney with hundreds of felony jury trials 196 . unknowingly sat down at the Plaintiff’s table. he never learned that the moving party to a legal proceeding always occupies the counsel table closest to the jury box and witness stand. “other table. without a jury box or witness stand. The plaintiff’s attorney arrived in court just as the case was being called. and as he walked up to the tables.How to Rob a Bank record. it was taught in a regular classroom. the young lawyer. Unfortunately. As a result. as he angrily looked at the young lawyer and said. being there to represent a civil defendant. he looked at the young lawyer and uttered the first three words that appeared on the transcript of that day’s hearing. Not knowing this. the evening law school he attended did not have an actual courtroom set up for their trial law course. The judge took the bench and called the case.
prominently displayed in an expensive frame hanging on his wall. In his office. Having been in this master calendar courtroom so many times. The story I tell is about one day when I got to a criminal master calendar court in which I appeared regularly. There were over 50 cases on the calendar that morning.Gene Grossman under his belt. All you have to do is wait for your case to be called. One thing that the students are learning today is that you don’t have to be new to make stupid mistakes in court. where your trial will take place. I never even stop to look at the posting on the outside door – I just usually go inside and wait for my case 197 . with those three wonderful words of instruction neatly highlighted. give an estimate of the time you think it will take for your case to be tried. each one being called in order according to the list scotch-taped to the courtroom’s outer door. and then get sent out to one of the many courtrooms in the building. is the court reporter’s page of that morning’s transcript.
198 . The judge apologized for the error. the clerk stood up and rapped his pencil on a glass. and promptly assigned me to a courtroom. and then formally announced: “Chopped liver. demanding silence in the room.How to Rob a Bank to be called. The judge. I thought it was over until the next time I walked into that crowded courtroom on another morning.” Needless to say.’ The judge told his clerk to check the calendar and sure enough. chopped liver?” – An old expression meaning ‘hey – I count too. looked down at me with a questioning expression on his face I looked up at him and said “what am I. it took at least three or four more formal announcements like that until they finally allowed me to try and recover my dignity in that courtroom. After about an hour of hearing everyone else get assigned to a courtroom. my case was accidentally skipped over. Upon my entering the room. I’m the only attorney left standing there. who I was quite familiar with. for the Defense.
Gene Grossman The main thing that all of us try to get the students in that large classroom to understand is that you are going to make mistakes. The judge. and you are going to be embarrassed. Being a class of adult students. One student in particular comes into the classroom a few minutes before our onehour session is about to end. you won’t get laughed at. and today’s session being an informal one. but there isn’t a judge or lawyer in any courtroom who hasn’t gone through the same thing you’re going through. and over ninety nine percent of the time. court personnel and even opposing counsel will try to help you out and set you straight… and when you’re a more experienced attorney. other members of the student body keep wandering in and out of the classroom during our panel discussion. you’ll do the same for the young newbie goofing up and turning red in front of you. and he 199 . trying to listen in to the ‘old pro’s’ up there on the panel.
because there are an infinite number of possible situations you can come face-toface with. and I’m a senior here. Do you have any type of example you’d like to ask about? Jim Wilson then holds up a copy of the neighborhood’s local newspaper that he must just have picked up outside the school before walking into this classroom. My question is this: now that you’ve been practicing law for at least twenty years and have had so many interesting experiences. my name is Jim Wilson. he starts out. Everyone in the class turns to look at he’s 200 . do you think you’ve finally reached a point where so much has happened to you that there’s just about nothing that surprises or embarrasses you?” “Thank you for the question Jim.How to Rob a Bank participates in the Q&A session. but to honestly answer your question. After raising his hand and being called upon to stand up and ask his question. I’d say that it really depends on what the situation is. Mister Sharp. “My question is directed to attorney Peter Sharp.
It says: DEAD BODY FOUND IN ATTORNEY PETER SHARP’S NEW SATELLITE OFFICE 201 . The paper’s headline is in such a large typeface that I can easily read it from all the way up here at the front of the room.Gene Grossman holding up.
Ms. I don’t have to ask to see the newspaper. all being led by none other than our District Attorney. because the rear door of the classroom has just been flung open and a group of people are coming in. 202 .How to Rob a Bank 17 O f all the people in the room today. I think I’m the one who learned more about being surprised and embarrassed by a new situation. Myra Scot Sharp.
that concludes our Trial Lawyer Panel for this term.” 203 . make sure you do a thorough inspection of the property first. I quickly regain my composure and start thinking about making a statement to the eager reporters.Gene Grossman She is followed by one or two of her investigators. He stands up and says “Well. and some local news people. it should be that when making your decision to rent a storefront office to practice out of. asking “Is she okay?” At that point Myra realizes that it was possible I might have believed that the dead body found was Suzi’s. to discover anything that the previous tenant may have left behind. and if you’ve learned anything today. She assures me that the kid is okay. and we continue towards the street exit. each accompanied by a cameraman. I grab Myra’s arm and bring her close to me. While we’re leaving. who are frantically waving microphones in my face and shouting questions at me. I hear Bob Channing showing how to keep one’s cool.
When we get there I see that the place is surrounded by squad cars and the coroner’s van is also present. The wall adjoining the bank has an adornment I don’t remember seeing the last time I was in here to interview Rottman. In the middle of the floor is a large chunk of 204 . making a statement.How to Rob a Bank My mouth feels pretty dry. covering the entire wall. I have yet to even enter that location. and if you watch the news this evening when you get home. but Bob’s clever remark and Myra’s assurance that the kid is okay has taken the edge off of my shock and I manage to get out what I hope is a coherent sentence for the press: “As of this date. but if the District Attorney isn’t here to arrest me. It’s a fulllength blue velvet drape. We go to the back room of the store.” Myra makes sure to join me on the ride to my new office. then I’m sure I’ll learn what this all about. Thank you. I’m sure you’ll see her again.
” Myra and Suzi are both mildly surprised that by just looking at a hand I can make an ID. Look at the cuff of his shirt that’s sticking out by his hand. It’s not rocket science you know.” For some strange reason. I look down at it and speak. but I’m sorry for the circumstances. I might find out some day what she liked about this dead body being identified. “C’mon. it’s nice seeing you again. it’s monogrammed with a KW. That’s the same type of cuff monogram he was wearing the day I interviewed him. give me a break. “Hello Mister Rottman. With the current suspect and witness death rate as high as it is. so I put them to rest. all we may have to do is wait a little while longer. Suzi appears to be pleased that we’ve found Rottman. 205 . except this one has a human hand sticking out of it. I didn’t kill him. Hopefully. And another benefit to having Rottman out of the way is that finding the solution to the bank robbery is becoming easier.Gene Grossman concrete that looks just like any other chunk of concrete.
He set up shop near Pasadena. like the one she created in her famous mystery Ten Little Indians. instead of a Ten Little Indians type of caper. and now has a mobile lab that’s fully equipped 206 . also commonly referred to as And Then Were None. and then decided to go out on his own. She may be right on this one. According to her thoughts. this might be more like a Murder on the Orient Express situation.How to Rob a Bank The last person alive will no doubt be the guilty party – unless we’re in an Agatha Christie situation. where there were multiple defendants accused of the same crime. A few cases back we made the acquaintance of Victor Gutierrez. who used to work for the County of Los Angeles Coroner’s office. Suzi disagrees with my solution theory. because the mere fact that two people are already dead leads to the inevitable conclusion that there are at least one or two more co-conspirators still out there.
1(800) AUTOPSY has expanded.’ His business is appropriately named 1(800) AUTOPSY. Deaths that occur without appearance of any intentional act do not trigger autopsies paid for the by the county. so the services Victor can now offer also include numerous forensic tasks – one of which is the dusting for fingerprints. and from what we understand. Most of his post-mortem business is requested by insurance companies and medical malpractice attorneys not happy or satisfied with the official cause of death stated. so Victor’s business is as constant as youknow-what. The Myerson vault is still guarded as a crime scene. and now has at least a half-dozen people on staff. all formerly employed in one way or another with government and/or law enforcement agencies. To better serve his many clients. which is also his telephone number. 207 .Gene Grossman to do autopsies out in the field – although the preferred location is in his San Gabriel Valley ‘workroom.
This means that the crime scene should still be ripe for the cultivation of fingerprint evidence – and since the security videotape showed that Brodini wasn’t wearing any gloves. Suzi contacts the bank’s acting manger. We already have ‘ten-cards’ on file for each employee of the bank. It’s easy to get his permission to allow Victor’s people into the vault to dust every box’s outer cabinet door. (police jargon for the cards containing prints from all fingers on each hand) so when Victor’s work is done we should be able to eliminate them. and old man Beider goes along with the plan as a way to further let his customers know that security at his bank is their number one goal. there should be some good results if Victor’s team does a thorough job of dusting.How to Rob a Bank very few bank customers have come to inspect their safe-deposit boxes. This means that the remaining prints will probably belong to either the Crooks or the 208 . since it was revealed that the only items of value targeted for theft were expensive jewelry.
Gene Grossman Customers. and in less than a week his report comes in. We’re given a list of every box that Brodini’s prints appeared on. and the bank has provided us with a complete list of all the boxes. and compared them to the Brodini list. which was opened 209 . the customers will cooperate in helping us to place them into the more favorable category. It doesn’t take Victor’s people too long to complete this task. It’ll then be our job to try and figure out who falls into each of those two categories. Myra has given us a copy of Brodini’s card. There was a perfect match. of course. Brodini’s prints appeared only on the boxes of each and every bank customer claiming a jewelry loss… and. plus all of the customers’ names We also obtained a list of claimants from Uniman Insurance. also on his own safe-deposit box. because those would be the most recent. so we’ll know which boxes he touched too. The prints we’re most interested in are the ones on top of the others. Hopefully.
apparently driven by a large dog – because as usual. It meant nothing to Victor. “to the bank.” That is all the explanation I get.How to Rob a Bank and examined by the police after his death. she lets out an excited “Yes!” and disappears into her foreward stateroom. One particular item found in Brodini’s pocket was quite interesting: a small suction cup with a six-inch string attached. The only other identifiable sets of prints were those of Bryce Chalem and Nan Kirk. Victor was also able to pick up Brodini’s personal effect for us… things he had in his possession at the time his body was found in the vault. but when Suzi sees it. the two bank employees who did almost all of the escorting of customers into the vault. and in response to my question as to where she is going. and found to contain none of the missing jewelry. and even less to me. with the dog sitting 210 . she shouts back. as the electric cart speeds away from the parking lot. When she comes back out. she’s carrying a large magnifying glass.
Gene Grossman next to her. you’d think she’d be blurting out ‘come. all you see is dog. the game’s afoot. Watson.’ I make a mental note to get her a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap for her next birthday 211 . The way she wielded that large magnifying glass.
but now. because he specifically targeted only those boxes containing expensive jewelry. all that employee would ever do is use the bank’s key along with the customer’s key to unlock the cabinet door. We suspected it before. The customer would always then take the box into one of the small private rooms 212 . we know it for sure.How to Rob a Bank 18 W e’re now convinced that Brodini had help from someone inside the bank. who was his inside contact. and second – and even more mystifying – how did anyone in the bank know which boxes had jewelry? No matter which bank employee escorted a safe-deposit customer into the vault. allowing the customer to slide the actual box out of its cabinet. But that brings up another two questions: first.
Gene Grossman before opening it to either add or remove contents. No bank employee ever gets a chance to see what’s in any of the boxes. I utter a question. she gives me a breadcrumb of information: “RFID. and I’m now an RFID expert. Taking a wild shot. This must mean that her magnifying-glass expedition has yielded some modicum of success. Suz. so even if there was an inside contact who helped Brodini. how did they know which boxes to target? Suzi has just come back aboard. and she has a smug expression of success on her otherwise inscrutable face. any success?” Just as she enters her foreward domain. 213 . hoping to get some answer tossed back at me. and then close the box before being escorted back so that the box could be inserted and locked into its separate vault cabinet.” RFID? What the heck is that? Thank God for the internet. A quick trip to Wikipedia. “Hey.
214 . so I’m now guessing that if Suzi didn’t mean that the chips were on the jewelry or the bank employees. Some tags can be read from several yards away and beyond the line of sight of the reader. animal. I’ve never once heard of an actual safe-deposit box being removed from a bank. not the boxes themselves. or person for the purpose of identification and tracking using radio waves. All that the thieves are ever after is the contents of the boxes.How to Rob a Bank Radio-Frequency IDentification (RFID) is an automatic identification method. Further research reveals the fact that these RFID chips are in use for inventory purposes on most items at Wal-Mart Stores. relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is an object that can be applied to or incorporated into a product. it means that they must have been on the safe-deposit boxes. But why? In all my years of reading about bank thefts. The technology requires some extent of cooperation of an RFID reader and an RFID tag.
The mere fact that his case was dismissed didn’t remove the cloak of suspicion that lingers over his involvement in the theft. it has to do with the bank. He’s happy to hear from me and knows that if our investigation is successful he stands an excellent chance of being re-instated to his position as bank manager. “Bryce. Beider has refused to take him back. I call Bryce Chalem at home. Mister Sharp? RFID?” “That’s it Bryce. Mister Beider hired a firm to put an RFID chip onto each of the safe-deposit boxes. Here it is: RFID.” “That’s it. and I want you to tell me what. Does it mean anything to you?” “Sure it does. and so far. I’m going to say only one word to you. Some time ago. if anything.” “Why would he do a thing like that? Was he 215 .Gene Grossman I finally get a brilliant idea of my own.
and that each safe-deposit box has one of those chips. where the customers would take their boxes. So what? I can’t see how it can help our case in any way at all. where it could have been hidden in someone’s desk. so the reader was set to sound an alarm if any box was taken out of the vault. Beider didn’t trust his employees very much.” I thank Chalem for his input and let him know that the only people who distrust everyone else are those who are thieves at heart and believe that everyone else is too. I now know all about RFID chips. that Beider is. past the security gate. and why Suzi seemed to be so pleased that she found out about the 216 . and into the main bank area. And it wasn’t too good for employee morale. The main RFID reader was installed on the metal security gate. in a way.How to Rob a Bank worried that someone would be stealing the boxes?” “Well. how suspicious a man Beider is. either. outside of the vault area and privacy rooms. He sure is a weird one. Fine. Evidently.
Gene Grossman chips. “Peter. The Chalem case is over. The Brodini case is closed. And if her not being unhappy about me seeing Nan isn’t enough to surprise me. She accepts. You can call and thank him tomorrow. Maybe we’ll give him a couple of hours of free legal 217 . He was acquitted. He’s dead. So here. I have something that you and Nan can use this evening. and she seems pleased. When Suzi comes out of her stateroom suite a little while later. please be his guest. I let her know that I won’t be around for dinner. she comes up with a real startler. and she’s not angry or look like she feels her attempt to get me back together with Myra is being endangered in any way. She must know I’m going to see Nan this evening. and he can’t use it because of a scheduling conflict. Now there is no good reason for me not to see Nan. We don’t have to ‘cool it’ any longer. That’s a surprise. I call her up and ask her to join me for dinner. One of my clients was given a gift certificate for dinner at Spago this evening.
On one of my last trips to Maui I was invited to join some people who were going to Spago in the Four Seasons Resort there. but wants to change into some nicer clothes than the ones she’s wearing at work.How to Rob a Bank advice sometime. This is really a pleasant surprise. I call Nan to give her the good news about our dinner this evening. The one this evening is at their Beverly Hills locations. and we make plans for me to pick her up at 7:00 PM. She gives me the address of her condo in Mar Vista. and it was one of the best dinners I’ve ever had in my life. and she is extremely happy. If we were to go to Spago this evening on my tab instead of the complimentary dinner. Suzi informs me that the reservation is for 8:00 PM. on North Cañon Drive.” Wow. drinks from the bar will also be included with the complimentary dinner. which includes beverages. I would think that this evening would cost me anywhere from two to five hundred. so I 218 . but if we get there early.
This beauty is a four-door convertible with gull-wing doors. We did some legal work for Budget Rent-a-Car in the Marina. driving this half--million-dollar car. and stops traffic wherever you drive it. 219 .Gene Grossman might as well put on the dog. and I’ve seen some pretty fancy cars on that lot. I am impressed by myself. and Nan is too. so I drive my Hummer over there and for only two-fifty. I rent a nice Bentley Armage 300 convertible for the evening.
and there seems to be a slight delay for our table. so as to make sure we’re seen by as many people as possible. we’re seated. and after a tremendous dinner. We get to the bar at 7:45. with plenty of paparazzi and onlookers lining the street. but we find out that we just seem to fit it with our Bentley: nothing special about it here… there are plenty of them being driven by the restaurant customers this evening.. The Beverly Hills Spago is a great restaurant. and even the celebrities stop to look at it. so we’re forced to sit here for almost an hour.. but we’ve got the only Armage 300 four-door. They 220 . sipping delicious exotic drinks. we’re waiting outside for our Bentley at a little after ten. with every course known to mankind. trying to figure out if either of us is ‘someone’ worth taking pictures of.How to Rob a Bank We decide to take our time getting to the restaurant. A little before nine. we put the top down and spend an extra half hour cruising up and down Rodeo Drive and some of the other chic Beverly Hills streets.
an unbelievably delicious dinner.Gene Grossman don’t want to take any chances. and when double-door is kicked open. and topped everything off with some yogurt. she jumps up into my arms 221 . She fumbles a bit with the key. so as we get into the Bentley. Having finished some great drinks. when they find out they’ve wasted their time on a couple of nobodies… but apparently wealthy nobodies. We’re both a little woozy as we hold each other up and wobble down the hallway outside her condo’s door. we’re both now looking forward to getting to her condo and making up for the time we lost while we were ‘cooling’ it and not seeing each other. plenty of flashbulbs go off. It’s a beautiful warm California evening and the car’s top is still down. in Santa Monica. They can always look at the photos later and toss them. Schatzi on Main . We decide to stop on Main Street at a yogurt shop next door to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s place.a fancy restaurant.
Peter. Two investigators with handcuffs in hand join Myra as they walk over to us. and some of Myra’s investigators. Suzi.How to Rob a Bank and I wind up carrying her into the condo. I’d appreciate it very much if you’d put her down. “Good evening.” 222 . The cast includes Myra. She belongs to us now. I swing her around so she can reach the light switch. a couple of uniformed cops. There’s a welcoming party in her living room waiting for us. she flicks the lights on and to our surprise. and while we both giggle. we see that we’re not alone. two FBI agents.
And I certainly 223 . Myra comes back upstairs to the condo and tries to revive me from my state of shock.Gene Grossman 19 N an is escorted outside and no doubt driven away to for interrogation and incarceration. “A Bentley? Maybe I should have added your name to the arrest warrant.
I look down at her. Once downstairs. please drive us home.” Maybe Myra can act tough with me. allowing me to breath in some fresh air and clear up a little. I should arrest you for driving under the influence.all of it. if you’re feeling up to it. It’s been a long day and I have some 224 . but she knows that she’s no match for the kid.” “Murder? Are you serious? Who did she murder.” Suzi to the rescue. and what did she steal?” “She killed Brodini and her partner… Rottman — and she was the mastermind behind the whole bank caper. because if you were behind the wheel. Suzi and I sit in the car. “All right Miss District Attorney. He’s mine. And we’ve also recovered the stolen jewelry . So. so I’ll take over now. “Would you please tell me what is going on? What has she been arrested for?” “One count of grand theft and two counts of murder.How to Rob a Bank hope that she was driving.
because there’s no way she could answer all my questions in the ten or fifteen minutes it takes to get back to the marina. “Suzi. but could you at least give me a little hint as to how you and Brodini got in and out of that vault? Just a little hint?” She sits there quietly.Gene Grossman paperwork to do before going to bed. and how stupid all the adults were to miss the same clues that she used in her deduction efforts. I know you’ll tell us all about how you solved this matter when the time is right. she usually likes to have a nice big audience around when she reveals how easy it was for her. at the end of a case when Suzi gets to the solution before the combined efforts of law enforcement agencies. I’ve got to try just one question before we get to the boat. and it’s a good thing. I can’t help it.” The ride home is a quiet one. thinking over whether or not to toss me a bone about the 225 . hopefully during a nice dinner with Myra and some other interested parties present. Besides.
whatever remains. however improbable. and in Chapter 6 of The Sign of the Four. Finally. must be the truth. 226 . who I hope will be me. Myra is riding with Nan in the back seat of one of her investigator’s unmarked vehicles.How to Rob a Bank locked-room portion of the mystery. I’m sure she’s not home yet because she’ll no doubt want to have a crack at Nan before the shock of getting nabbed wears off and her brain clears up enough to know that she should keep her mouth shut and ask to call her lawyer. Who wouldn’t? Sherlock Holmes said it to Doctor Watson a couple of times." Of course I recognize it. she utters a famous quote from one of my favorite detectives: “"It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible. As soon as we get back to the boat I call Myra’s cell phone. and any serious member of the Baker Street Irregulars could probably also tell you that Sherlock said it in The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet. I was right.
Let’s wait until tomorrow to talk about this. but that’s not a bad thing.” There’s no response for a couple of seconds. It looks like I’m out of the picture for a while. I want you to know that you’re not to interrogate Nanette Kirk without me being present. “Peter Sharp’s on the line. I’m representing her. I’m a little busy now. He says he’s your lawyer and that we shouldn’t talk to you without him being present. but I can hear Myra talking to Nan. After I make my telephone call you’ll see who’s representing me.” “No way. kid. This is a business call. Is he your lawyer?” I also hear Nan’s answer to Myra: “Tell him thanks.” Myra confirms what I heard what my almost-client say. and our conversation is over.Gene Grossman “Peter. Just like it’s never a good idea for a doctor to perform surgery on a patient that the doctor is 227 . but no thanks.
You didn’t ask her any questions. did you beat a confession out of her?” “No Peter. a lawyer should back off from representing a loved one. “Well.” “I don’t understand.How to Rob a Bank emotionally involved with. second-chair at a trial. I’ll just sit this one out and offer my cooperation in any way she or her lawyer requests. I heard her say she had representation. whether it be as a witness. and I know you didn’t do that voluntarily. You must have at least spoken to her lawyer. We don’t even have her in custody. First thing this morning I call Myra at work. When we got back to our 228 .” “Did you find out who her lawyer is?” “Nope. we don’t do that anymore. Who is it?” “No to all of the above. or our law firm’s research and investigative facilities.
but we can’t prosecute someone we don’t have. Department of Justice guys were waiting for us. and they took her away. You should be prosecuting that one. and without a federal victim. so I’ll talk to you later. I’m sure Suzi will want me around when she does her usual dramatic ‘reveal’ of how she solved the case… probably during dinner soon. Some word came from above – and I don’t even know from where ‘above. She always has a problem waiting too long for well-deserved glory.” 229 . so for a while it’s out of our hands. but none of the two murder victims were federal employees of the bank. She’s been taken away and I’ve got other things to do.’ but it doesn’t make any difference.” “Yeah. and they said because a federally chartered institution was involved. murder in itself isn’t a federal crime.Gene Grossman office last night. bank robbery is a federal offense.’ “You think? Same here. it was their jurisdiction.
How to Rob a Bank I tell Suzi. I need a favor. it can mean another client and some publicity for our law firm. but no mention anywhere of Nan’s arrest.” 230 . because I’m not about to start guessing. who as usual already knows. She looks at me quietly for a few seconds. “You might just as well tell me what you’ve found out. followed by the beast. Several days have gone by with no information from Suzi and no call from Nan. Aahh. “Listen kid.” I get what can only be described as a ‘grumbling acceptance’ as she munches on some breakfast snack and heads back to her foreward stateroom suite. the princess is now entering my area. I go through the newspapers quite thoroughly every morning and search the internet. who is always on ‘crumb’ patrol. Would you please put your computer to work and find out where she is? This isn’t just a personal request.
about the U. Marshals Service – the people who carry out. Some research on the internet gives me about as much information as I can get from watching a television show entitled In Plain Sight. The Witness Security Program.’ was authorized by the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 and amended by the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. and she’s gone back to her domain. relocated and given new identities by the Marshals Service. followed by a short march foreward. 231 .Gene Grossman “Your former girlfriend is in the Justice Department’s Witness Protection Program. or ‘WitSec. watching over protected witnesses. Since its inception.500 witnesses and over 9. more than 7.500 family members have entered the Program and have been protected.S. among other things.” A quick right-face executed with military precision.
they will be coming to arrest me.” “Take it easy. and the FBI was nice enough to give me a courtesy call with the advice that if the behavior doesn’t immediately cease and desist. What are you so hot about?” “That kid has been using my law enforcement access codes to hack into the federal government’s websites. telling them that it must have been some overeager member of my staff. I’m telling you. Myra is calling. because right now I’m too angry to tell her. kid. and that I would 232 . Since the program's inception. it has obtained an overall conviction rate of 89 percent as a result of protected witnesses' testimonies. “Peter.How to Rob a Bank The successful operation of this program is widely recognized as providing a unique and valuable tool in the government's war against major criminal conspirators and organized crime. “I used a little plausible deniability.
” Well. But my question now becomes under which category did she qualify for the program – innocent witness. which I’m pretty sure you are. From the information we had on Rottman’s past. but reality points to the latter. Innocent witnesses in the program aren’t likely to commit double murder. and besides. if your little devil manages to figure out how to do it aqain.Gene Grossman immediately change my access passcode so that they can rest assured it won’t happen again. the next time the feds call. he spent 233 . The evening they arrested Nan. or guilty criminal? My heart tells me the former.’ Rottman. Myra mentioned something about her murdering ‘her partner. that answers another question: how Suzi found out Nan was a protected witness. it also makes me look bad. And Suzi. but they really don’t like it. And. I’ll just give them your address and tell them to look for a small girl standing next to a big dog. if you’re listening to this conversation. They’re not too bright. stop hacking the feds.
so I sent a dog-mail to the kid with an assignment: get Nan’s current drivers license photo from DMV files and put it into our facerecognition software. most probably killed by another inmate. It doesn’t even take the kid a full day to come up with a result.How to Rob a Bank quite a bit of time in Indiana. but with a different name: Jeanne Pasquini. She shows me a picture of a woman arrested in Indiana that has a striking resemblance to Nan. It looks to me like her death was faked. Then compare it with pics of females involved with criminal cases in Illinois and Indiana during the past five years. and was reportedly one of the few successful female ‘hitters’ involved with organized crime. Miss Pasquini was arrested for suspicion of murder. Another article mentions that the jailers in an undisclosed federal facility found her dead in her cell. to stop her from providing testimony against organized crime figures. in order to cover up the fact that she went into 234 .
and also the people in the other drivers license photos. and four other states. Her answer is simple: “The first time she agreed to go out 235 . Nan is definitely Jeanne Pasquini. California is about as far away as you can get from the midwest. They also probably grabbed her away from Myra’s custody because they’ll be needing her testimony in organized crime cases that are still pending. Now convinced that Nan. I have to ask Suzi when she first suspected. or whoever she is. Illinois. was a professional killer. and even though the facial recognition software definitely found a match with the newspaper photo and also with the drivers license pics Suzi was able to ‘lift’ from motor vehical departments in Indiana. plus whatever else they could get out of her about criminal activities she knew anything about.Gene Grossman the Witness program. after being held for a while at a secure ‘safe’ prison while she gave the feds enough information to get some convictions of the people who hired her.
As soon as I feel like getting involved with a female. I guess that Nan is now a closed chapter in my life.How to Rob a Bank with you. From the activity I see around the boat now. with the Asian Boys bringing in food supplies and scurrying around to prepare a dinner table for this evening. 236 . along with Stuart and Victor Gutierrez. so about the only thing I have to look forward to about this case is the dinner we’ll be having when Suzi reveals how she solved the case. I understand that Myra will be here.” Boy. as will Bryce Chalem and his wife (if she hasn’t killed him yet). Well. who has been cautioned about holding back on telling any stories about his business during dinner. that kid really knows about my streak of bad luck. We’re also celebrating Beider’s reinstating of Chalem to his position as bank manager. from 1(800) AUTOPSY. it’ll probably be tonight. Suzi’s radar lets her know that the new one is bad news.
237 .and how she solved them. Suzi starts to fill us in on the crimes .Gene Grossman It’s now 7:30 PM and all of our guests are here. and while we’re waiting for dessert to be brought out. We’ve just finished the main course.
I’ll just relate what the important facts she gave us are. She thinks it may have partly been the fault of the FDIC. When this happened.How to Rob a Bank THE SOLUTION T o avoid the dramatics included in her presentation. the FDIC started out the whole chain of events by raising the amount of depositor funds from one-hundred-thousand dollars up to twohundred-fifty-thousand dollars. Strange as it seems. Jules Beider believed that many 238 .
so he hatched a plan. enacted at the start of the financial crisis of 2008. He installed tiny surveillance cameras in each of the three small private booths where safe-deposit box customers brought their 239 . I don’t know how he was planning to deal with the FDIC’s ruling that this expansion of the insured limit from 100 to 250 grand. but that was his problem – not ours. Beider offered a plan whereby they could add to existing CD’s and obtain a new maturity date without any penalty for early withdrawal of the first hundred thousand. Beider presumed that the box must have been where a lot of cash was stashed. was set to ‘sunset’ in December of 2009. To make that option more attractive.Gene Grossman of his wealthy depositors would be bringing in more money and adding it to their current savings plans – especially the ones who had taken up permanent residency in the nearby Ritz Carlton Hotel. He noticed that the first customer to increase his CD up to two-fifty first stopped at his safe-deposit box.
so that they would know exactly which boxes to order opened. because no box holder would ever be able to suspect that the tip came from the bank. Beider wasn’t worried about recrimination. and whenever someone was in one of the private rooms with a safe-deposit box. The small cameras were hooked up to a group of monitors in Beider’s office. with not much success. to find the holders of bank accounts in ‘tax-haven’ 240 . They would simply reason that it was impossible for anyone in the bank to know that cash was being hidden in the box. Our government has been trying for some time. Beider would then prepare a list for the IRS. after auditing the owners of the boxes. His secret agenda was to cash in on the monies being paid out by the IRS… a plan he knew about from reports on the internet.How to Rob a Bank boxes. Beider was able to zoom in on the box contents and see if there was a bundle of cash stashed there. If a lot of green appeared in the box.
he had those RFID chips installed on each of the boxes. Beider figured that if they can do it over in those banana republics. but he didn’t know exactly which boxes they were… so. why couldn’t he do it here? And he was right. because those governments have strict rules that prevent releasing information like that to foreign government investigators – but. Beider was able to see boxes with cash in them. but the plan had a hitch. and a separate RFID ‘reader’ installed in each 241 . to anyone providing information that results in recovery of tax money by our government. During busy periods in the bank. This reward offer didn’t change the policy of any tax-haven’s banking community. and a lot of reward money being paid to lowly bank employees in those tax-havens.Gene Grossman countries’ private accounts. the IRS got around those rules by offering a big reward . a lot of taxes being collected. but it did give an incentive for some of the bank employees to give ‘anonymous’ tips to our government – tips that resulted in a lot of cash being found.up to thirty percent of what’s collected.
His plan was going fine. She discovered the secret monitors in his office and knew what they were probably for. whenever Beider saw cash in a box. she planned on making a list of the boxes loaded with jewelry. and he was then able to tell exactly what boxes had the cash. but he made the mistake of letting his Cuban mistress find out about it. A small gem can be worth a lot more than a large bag of cash. With that smart little addition to the plan. While Beider was making a list of the boxes loaded with cash. he let slip that the title of his new book was going to be How to Rob a Bank and Get Away With It.How to Rob a Bank privacy booth. They then decided on a victimless prank that would get publicity for the bank and also spur sales of the book: their plan was for 242 . Everyone in the bank knew that Brodini was writing a book. but she wasn’t interested in the cash . his monitor displayed the RFID reader’s info on the screen. and one day while he was talking to Beider.she was interested in the jewelry.
Beider made sure to warn Brodini to avoid any of the boxes that Beider knew that there was cash in. they would both reap the profits. and then for Beider to catch him. because from what I’ve heard. she knew exactly which boxes to target. As I noticed several times when she addressed employees at restaurants we visited. being a professional killer and con-artist. it was no problem for her to convince Beider she was Cuban. Miss Nanette Kirk. she spoke fluent Spanish. She devised a plan to turn the phony robbery into a real one. When the publicity stunt was over. And. his 243 .Gene Grossman Brodini to pretend to steal something from the vault. At this point it’s probably time to reveal who the Cuban mistress was… none other than my intended future ex-wife. The only problem was that the Cuban mistress had another idea. He wanted to save those for the IRS and his reward. and to get her hands on all the jewelry she knew was in those boxes – and with the help of the monitors and the RDIF chips. and also to bed him.
She recognized Rottman as a low-level con man 244 . someone who had been suspected of crimes in the past.How to Rob a Bank only requirement for a female sexual partner was the presence of a pulse. the same organization that owns the shopping center where Beider’s bank is located. State of California corporation records revealed that Beider was a major stockholder in Epsilon. Further proof of their affair was established when Suzi found out that Nan’s condo was financed by Epsilon Investment Properties. Nan also convinced Beider to let her handle the staged bank theft. and she was living in the condo he bought for her. She was his mistress. but with no recent convictions. she needed the help of an accomplice… someone who she had used in the past on jobs. That would give him the ‘plausible deniability’ he should have when the investigating authorities question him. To put her plan into effect. telling him that it would be better if he didn’t know about the plan.
Sherlock Holmes was correct with his famous quote.Gene Grossman she’d known back in Indiana. It was a lot simpler than anyone imagined. giving Beider an opportunity to explain that he ‘solved the crime:’ they weren’t worried about Brodini being convicted. because they were both forced into a mutual trust arrangement – neither one wanted their past revealed. He thought that he would only be removing items from some safedeposit boxes and then putting them back a few nights later. The interior of the vault was lined with safedeposit boxes. and decided to let Brodini and his ego take all the credit. The next requirement would be how to get Brodini in and out of the vault. because of the alibi he would have. except for some two-foot wide areas where there was nothing but a 245 . who had helped her finger a couple of her targets. It wasn’t too difficult to recruit him for the plan. and Chalem’s past mental problems acting to discredit his testimony against Brodini. They made all the plans for the robbery.
How to Rob a Bank tiled wall. and his crew didn’t start using their hammers to break up concrete until about two weeks after the date stamped onto the ATM’s security video . noticed the date stamped on it. backed up by an eighteen-inch thick concrete barrier that separated the bank from the back of Rottman’s store.but the video contained the distant sound of a jackhammer – and Stosh verified that it was in fact the sound of a jackhammer. and told Suzi that she must be looking at the wrong day’s video. She was reviewing security video from the ATM camera outside the bank. That was about fifteen minutes before I arrived there to meet him. Suzi got a lucky break one day. This gave Suzi the idea that someone not 246 . our workmen’s comp client. Stosh watched the security video. By chance. Stosh Berland arrived at the boat to discuss his case with her. because he was part of the team that was hired to use jackhammers on that apartment building construction site in back of the bank. Just then. because he definitely knows what they sound like.
chipping away at the concrete wall that was behind the tiled portion of the bank wall. to be heard in that volume on the ATM camera. And they didn’t even have to worry about being heard. Their concrete-busting work done. was either in the bank or very close to it. The construction company had a huge dumpster parked in the alley right behind Rottman’s store.Gene Grossman involved in the construction of that apartment building was using a jackhammer around there somewhere. because jackhammer noise is not at all uncommon around construction sites. so it was easy to get rid of each day’s broken cement in the evening. and was surely being used for the only thing it’s good for: breaking up concrete. all that remained to be done during the bank’s closing hours was to cut through the tile wall and install a hidden. Nan and her crew were working in the back of Rottman’s store. and according to Stosh. And he was right. springed piano 247 . The most likely place for its use.
to open inside. and then automatically swing shut. and up to the ceiling height of the vault interior. into the bank vault. This would give anyone inside the bank who wanted to knock on the tiled wall. would swing open into the vault. but not behind the bottom three feet – well below ‘wall-knocking’ height by any adult more than about four feet tall. The problem that then presented itself was getting back out. the feeling that there was quite a bit of concrete behind there… and there was. through which they could simply push lightly and force the tiled section of the wall.How to Rob a Bank hinge on one side of it. The end result of their project was a threefoot high by two-foot wide opening. back into its original position. They then poured a replacement batch of concrete about two feet from the floor. The springs on the hinged wall automatically closed the wall behind 248 . which by then had been turned into a spring-hinged door. This means that it could be easily pushed open from Rottman’s store.
All Brodini had to do was affix the suction cup to the tiled wall and pull the string. so they devised a simple little mechanism to open the door from inside the vault. 249 . to affect an escape – a small suction cup with a string attached to it. By using the RDIF chips. The wall would then be pulled open.Gene Grossman anyone crawling into the vault. so that he could open up the targeted boxes. he also had a ring of keys and a copy of the bank’s master key. we also know how Brodini knew exactly what safe-deposit boxes had the jewelry. and with Nan’s help. We now know how Brodini escaped from the vault after he picked Chalem’s pocket and the sliding security gate was locked shut separating the vault from the rest of the bank… and how Suzi got in there with Bernie that morning of the trial. revealing the doggy-door exit opening. and allow him to crawl out of the vault. The door would then automatically close and no one would know anyone had been in there.
this didn’t jive with Nan and Rottman’s plans to keep the stuff. it was his last night alive. Unfortunately. and one of them was slightly outside the vault camera’s viewing range. she then knew the vacant one was where the jewelry would be – and she was right. The bank’s list showed that only a few other large ones were vacant. Rottman didn’t realize that being a witness to Nan’s killing of Brodini was the signing of his own death warrant. so when Brodini showed up at the shop that evening. so he called Nan to make arrangements to come back to Rottman’s store in the evening so he could get back into the vault and put the jewelry back into the rightful owners’ boxes. and Nan made sure 250 .How to Rob a Bank When Suzi went over the bank’s list of safedeposit boxes. so they must have told Brodini to put it inside of his own box. so when they found Brodini’s was empty. Brodini wasn’t a real thief – he was just in it for the publicity. she reasoned that they couldn’t stash the loot in a customer’s box.
so after the place became vacant. because the concrete was not completely cured. She knew that the robbery was probably conducted from the back of Rottman’s store. That jackhammer noise was the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle for Suzi. 251 . No one likes to leave loose ends around. leading Suzi to discover the opening at the bottom – the way she got in there to be discovered by the judge and jury – and also the not-fully-cured place in the floor where Rottman’s body was found.Gene Grossman of that. They told her that the sample core was comparatively new. My satellite office was a perfect cover for her whole operation. This led to a further examination of the entire wall. she made sure to lease it and then got Stosh Berland’s two brothers to bring their jackhammers to the store. so she had them do a test drilling through the upper eighteen-inch-thick portion. She didn’t know about the bottom half of the wall being an access point.
jury. and new cameras would find her and the dog inside the vault that morning during the trial. I remember that I joined the rest of the crowd that morning. with a gasp. Suzi needed to save that secret entrance for her grand finale. when the judge. When Suzi and Stosh’s crew noticed that the concrete on that portion of the floor hadn’t yet cured either.How to Rob a Bank That also explains why there was a blue velvet drape hanging on the wall of the store when Rottman’s body was being examined by Myra’s crew – to cover up that wall opening near the floor. when that vault door was opened. they investigated 252 . so she merely covered it with instant concrete mix and poured some water on. filling up a hole that Rottman had dug in the floor to use as a makeshift winecellar. but she still had a plan to be the center of attraction another way – and it sure worked. Nan didn’t have time to get Rottman’s body out of there. She promised not to hog the spotlight as a witness in the courtroom.
and that all he wanted to do was create some good 253 . All signs pointed to Nan. Suzi felt a little guilty making me look like a fool.25 caliber automatic. but they needed more proof. everyone but Myra. because if she found out about it.Gene Grossman further – and found Rottman. she wouldn’t want any extra bulge in her purse or on her person. We found out that the only decent thing Nan did was to let the authorities know that Beider wasn’t involved in any way with her and Rottman’s plans. and everyone believed her. she might disappear. They figured that on a date to a nice restaurant. but it couldn’t be executed in the daytime. That is. so she led everyone to believe that I was in on that part of the plan. They decided it would be best if they had a couple of hours in the evening… when she wouldn’t be likely to carry her small . They had already obtained a search warrant to get into her condo. hence the ‘free’ gift certificate for us to use at Spago. They were right.
and am just happy that I didn’t get in the way of her plan. Then I’ll offer our firm’s assistance in the defense. We can always use another wealthy criminal client. The only problem with Beider’s security will be when his wife founds out about his mistress. 254 . We still don’t know where Nan is. but Suzi has promised to give up trying to locate her. because I don’t think I’d look very good in concrete… grey isn’t my favorite accessory color – but Myra still has hope that the feds will turn my redheaded gal back over to her for murder prosecution once their trials are over and they don’t need her for testimony..How to Rob a Bank publicity for his bank’s security system. I’ll keep my eyes on the headlines for his body to turn up somewhere. Putting the final touches on the case was Myra’s team finding Nan’s small caliber gun that ballistics matched to the bullets found in both Brodini and Rottman. I’ve never received a message from her. But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen. and her arrest.
255 . disputes between broker-dealers and customers. plus some wax mold equipment she used to make duplicate keys to the safe-deposit boxes.Gene Grossman They also found the laptop computer she used to hack into the bank’s video system. After the case was completely closed. whose practice is limited to securities regulation. And here’s a coincidence – he also lives on a large powerboat here in the marina. I’ll have to stop by one of these days and say hello to him. He assumed all responsibility for the remaining rental period and succeeded in finding another attorney to move in there – a fellow named Tom McGuire. Suzi told me that she also succeeded in getting Uniman to reimburse our firm for the monies we expended for the lease on that vacant store. securities fraud and enforcement – certainly no competition to our firm.
LegalMystery.com 256 .How to Rob a Bank 12 more Peter Sharp Legal Mysteries Single Jeopardy …By Reason of Sanity A Class Action Conspiracy of Innocence …Until Proven Innocent The Common Law The Reluctant Jurist The Magician’s Legacy The Final Case An Element of Peril A Good Alibi Legally Dead All now available at www.
You can see them all at the website www.MagicLampDVDs.com. bail bondsman. welder. Pictures of attorney Peter Sharp’s boats. where he also taught several classes on Criminal Law and Legal Writing. The film and video company he started while working in the motion picture industry produced over fifty special interest DVD titles on everything from Boating. and law school as a shoe salesman. tire changer. Gene writes aboard his yacht in Marina del Rey. Now retired from the practice of law.com. and other local sights are at www. during which time he also served as Dean of a small local law school. California. 257 .PeterSharpBooks.Gene Grossman About the Author Gene Grossman worked through high school. Suzi’s e-cart. Graphics of the other twelve books in the Peter Sharp Series are there too.’ appearing in seven motion pictures. saloon piano player and ‘extra. yellow Hummer. to Sign Language. process server. college. along with descriptions and ordering info. He then spent 20 years as a trial lawyer.
How to Rob a Bank Author Gene Grossman hard at work writing this book – in his Marina del Rey dinghy 258 .
on Catalina Island 259 .Gene Grossman More hard work writing – in the city of Avalon.
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