"Detective Holmes?" She listens. "What? You're kidding. Junior Seau, Oh my Gawd." Silence. "Shot?"
She looks up. The Captain waves, and points toward the door. His voice loud, "Call me soon's you get there. Go."
Holmes waves back. "Watson, come on. We gotta go. You'll never believe who's been shot."
Watson, half a jelly filled hangs from his mouth, "What? Come on, I'm on my break, here." He looks over at the Captain. "Okay, okay." He grabs his coat. "I was going to the tanning salon later..."
"You already look like a deep fried prune as it is...Come on. This is big. Bigger than Big."
On the dead run, they're out of the building, and in their unmarked. Up Vista Way, up the hill toward Seau's home.
"Junior Seau," says Watson. "This isn't happening. The best defensive player The Chargers ever had, the League ever had. Concussions gotta be the reason." Watson checks his on-board computer. "Priors... domestic violence... never charged, from the girlfriend. He fell asleep at the wheel, crashed his car. That's about it." He sits back. "Concussions gotta figure into this, someway. Guys hitting each other, so hard. That's what football is all about. Takes it's toll, but..." He pokes at the keyboard. "Never reported he had a concussion? No way...had to suffered concussions...kinda player he was."
"Cops on the scene say it looks like suicide," says Holmes. "Gun shot to the chest. But let's wait. See what it looks like."
With siren, and foot to the floor, they pull up to the house with all the cars. "Hope the scene's not destroyed, all these people. Let's get going before the News Vans show up."
She waves her badge, and the crowd parts. "Get the yellow tape up, right now, " she says. She looks at an older cop, "So, show me."
He just points to a back bedroom, his eyes red, he looks away.
The body lies on its back, in a bedroom, a hand gun within reach. Blood all over his chest.
"Just like you see him, detective." says the uniform standing above the body. "Nothing seems out of place. Doesn't look like a break in. We checked."
"This is terrible," says Watson. "Such a waste. Right in the chest." He looks around. "Probably the girlfriend, or wife, one out there crying. I'll talk to her." He leaves the room.
While CSI clicks pictures, Holmes snaps on rubber gloves, and kneels by the body. "Bag his hands, please. I'm looking for any GSR. See if he shot a gun recently. Still...someone could have stage this. Two shots gone from the gun. One shot to get the residue on him, and the other one in the chest." She glances around the room. "Looks normal, I guess. Nothing torn up."
"Talked to the girlfriend," says Watson, at the door. "He never said anything to her about football injuries. He was a happy guy, she says. Strange though, she calls 911, and says he's shot himself, not he's been shot? She tells me he never said anything about concussions."
"Impossible," says the uniform. "Ever see him play? It was like he didn't care. He must have had a ton of concussions. No way his body didn't suffer."
"But he was only 43," says Holmes. "And nobody found a note. That's strange?" She looks up at Watson. "No, we're not writing this off to a suicide caused from playing football, until we fully investigate all this."
"Not the first time, Holmes," says Watson. "This concussion thing is really bad for these guys, and it doesn't seem the NFL helps them with much therapy afterwards." He taps his iPhone. "I got it right here, last fifteen months, two other NFL players, Dave Duerson of the Bears, and Ray Easterling, defensive back for the Falcons, both committed suicide. So..."
"No yet, Watson. We've only been here twenty minutes. I don't want to just say suicide."
"Huge lawsuits against the NFL about it. Hundreds of players having problems. Human brain can take only so much, you know?"
"So, what do we have, so far," says Holmes.
"Okay," says Watson. "There doesn't seem to be any break in. So if it was somebody, if he was attacked, he probably knew who it was. We'll make a list and talk with them. We'll also take an inventory, see if anything was taken, but according to the girlfriend, she doesn't think anything is missing. She'll let us know when she can think straight."
"I spoke with both neighbors," says the uniform. "One wasn't home last night, the other says he heard something, early this morning, said it sounded like a gun shot, but only one. No, he didn't report it. And there were no cars, he remembers, in the driveway, or anything."
"Girlfriend says there was no warning," says Watson. "He was okay, no problems." He shakes his head. "Hard to believe he would do this, shoot himself?"
Holmes stands up and looks around the room. "Gawd, what a thing to happen." She takes a deep breath. "Points to suicide. But...how can you ever really be sure, something like this. Blame it on playing too much football? Every guy that plays doesn't up and shoot himself."
Watson's iPhone goes off.
"Watson...Hey Boss...Sorry, forgot, kinda wrapped up...looks like suicide, all the evidence...Okay...Holmes? She's right here."
"Hey, captain," says Holmes. "Yeah, looks that way. Okay, I'll wait for Dr Moriority to signs off on this poor guy. No, no, nobody gets by me...okay...okay..."
To Watson, "Captain says his lawyer says he wanted his brain to be left for study at some institute for brain research. Can people really do that?"
The uniform stands over the body, while CSI snap pictures, and yellow tape is spun around the house. Holmes and Watson move outside, sit in the unmarked, doors open, and wait for the Moriority, the Coroner.
"Seems he knew," says Holmes. "He wanted his brain to be left for research. He knew something was wrong. But..."
"He was one of those guys who never complained," says Watson. "Must have been a killer playing though all that pain. Linebacker, head first on every play. He suffered his whole life. My Gawd."
"Okay. Before we get back. What have we got?" says Holmes, sitting back in the seat. "Give me only what we saw. Say we don't know who he is."
"He was playing just two years ago? 43 years old, but...okay," says Watson. "So far here's what we got. Check list. A man found shot in his bedroom, the gun right there. Suicide. No sign of illegal entry. Suicide. Nothing is missing. Suicide. And we know that the man was thinking about is life...wanting his brain to be studied. He was worried about something. Suicide. Okay, but the girlfriend says, he never complained about anything like this. Not suicide. No note found. Not suicide. This being so sudden, without notice to anyone we've contacted. Not suicide. But...we do know how violent his life was."
Coroner drives past, so they head back to headquarters, Holmes in the slow lane, thinking. "Get the CSI report. Do the bank search. Talk to his friends. But...Looks like it. Suicide. But..."
"Not convinced?" says Watson.
"Getting there. Once I know how many shots were fired from that gun. Residue on his hands. Take a look at his bank account. See if it looks normal, you know, no large deposits or withdrawals lately."
Watson looks at his iPhone. "Get this. Timmy Brown, the Oakland Raider. He says he played golf with him, just two days ago." He thumbs the screen. "Here's what he said, '"The same guy I've known for the last 20 years, I saw Monday. I didn't see a guy who was depressed. I didn't see a guy who was trying to hide something. I saw a guy who was affable, who was very friendly with his golfing teammates.' That's what he said."
Holmes looks at Watson. "We better find out how those other guys died."
"They'll be pressure on us," says Watson. "NFL will want this over with fast. Another player shoots himself. Get it off the front page. But, like you say, let's make sure."
"No note, the man was not depressed, playing golf, all of a sudden shoots himself. Could happen, I guess, but...something just seems fishy."
They pull into the police parking structure. "Don't know what it is...a feeling." She stops and sits back. "Yeah, I got a funny feeling about this."