They’d told him — 12305 Fifth Helena, the home recently purchased by Marilyn Monroe was a tough stake out.
But it had to be done.
Det. Sargeant Neal yawned, glanced at his watch and figured he’d give it another half hour before pulling the plug. Not that he expected anything would be happening. Or he needed more time to think. Christ, he’d been parked there a good six hours. So he’d done the mental. Done that good.
But another half hour and it would be good and dark and he needed to scope the street out for the night work.
Shit he learned a long time ago.
On a lot of other stake outs.
So you didn’t get whacked by an unexpected nuisance - when it counted.
Fifth Helena was a tight enough, little cul de sac – with seven homes spread around in a semi-circle. A little archipelago of quiet, unassuming residences. Which made it hard to be inconspicuous. Cop car, any car – would stick out – what’s it doing?
Sitting there all day.
Neighbors get a little curious.
So, he’d had to borrow the DWP van – make like there was some municipal work being done. That way there’d be no body wondering.
But the seat in the van was like hell. That was the hard part. Sitting in that god-damn van all day. Christ!
He saw a car approaching, passing the DWP van and pull into the driveway two doors down from Monroe’s. Neal picked up his small notebook and made an entry. That would be the lawyer.
That was the other thing – besides the visibility factor. He needed to get a feel for the come and go of the neighbors. The tick tock of the street. Were there any teenagers likely to come bouncing home in the early morning hours. Or someone needed to take the dog out in the wee hours.
Stuff like that.
The inside out.
Night and day.
You didn’t want the unexpected coming at you when it counted.
Not just the Monroe house needed casing – all of Fifth Helena. Which was stacking up to be your basic, residential neighborhood. Couple of doctors. A teacher. Architect. Some guy did manufacturing in Torrance. And the lawyer.
And, of course, one very famous movie actress.
He checked his watch – almost dark now at 6:15.
Marilyn, he’d been told, was in New York, doing something or other. What did he care. The house was more or less vacant – except for the older lady, the housekeeper, he’d been told. One other lady had visited, somewhat younger – stayed for about two hours. All of it noted in the little book of his. All the routines. That was about it. And one delivery truck – with a couple pieces of furniture.