Death by Parking

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The Lieutenant – Chapter 25 “We Show Our Hand”

With Paul Manning cooling his heels in Los Angeles, Rickie and the rest of the senior team headed for London. They had only a few days to set up a bank that would impress Smith and Cosner, even though the two men would see it for only about 15 minutes. St. John Smythe would be sitting behind his desk and perhaps be a bit nicer to the pair, or perhaps not.

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Death by Parking – Chapter 24 – One Bank Isn’t on Holiday in London

With Paul Manning cooling his heels in Los Angeles, Rickie and the rest of the senior team headed for London. They had only a few days to set up a bank that would impress Smith and Cosner, even though they would see it for only about 15 minutes. St. John-Smythe would be sitting behind his desk and perhaps be a bit nicer to the pair, or perhaps not.

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Death by Parking – Chapter 22 – We Lay the Trap

My bodyguard, Mary Ellen McKinney, daughter of the detective that had been recommended to me as additional help, was momentarily out of the action. Just as she was ready to take down one of the gunsels that surrounded me, someone came out of the bushes and grabbed her. I panicked. She didn’t.

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Death by Parking – Chapter 21 – We Go to a Party

It was two days before the party at Maryann Leyman’s home. This was the first big test of our group. All the players would be present and we had to convince Smith that we were a small British merchant bank that could either invest in his operation, or if he had the funds, be available for purchase. And we had to do this while at the same time convincing him that we weren’t really interested in him or his money. If you are confused, you aren’t alone.

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Death by Parking – Chapter 20 – We Form a Bank

It was two days before the party at Maryann Leyman’s home. This was the first big test of our group. All the players would be present and we had to convince Smith that we were a small British merchant bank that could either invest in his operation, or if he had the funds, be available for purchase. And we had to do this while at the same time convincing him that we weren’t really interested in him or his money. If you are confused, you aren’t alone.

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Death by Parking – The Back Story – read below

When I graduated from high school and the Korean war was at its peak, I simply went down to the recruiting station and signed up. It seemed like the right thing to do. I spent three years in the army. It was a time for growing up, and a time for reinforcing those morals my parents taught me as they raised me.

I was assigned to the military police and spent my year in country enforcing the rules. And therein turns the tale.

One evening, my friends and I went into the ‘ville’ to blow off some steam. You know, a few brewskis and some card playing at a local club. When we arrived the lieutenant in charge of our unit was already there. He was ‘chatting up’ a girl at the bar. She was young, no more than 18, probably closer to 16, and cute. He was putting a lot of pressure on her. Suddenly, he slapped her and knocked her down. I stood up, ready to come to her aid when my friends grabbed me ad forced me back in my chair.

He was a lieutenant; we were grunts. He could destroy us, professionally and personally.

The lieutenant, Cosner was his name, continued to abuse the girl. She was crying and trying to get away from him. Everyone in the bar was ignoring the scene after all, we were in a war. Finally, he grabbed her and dragged her into the back room. The screaming stopped.

I knew if I ever had a chance, I would stop that kind of abuse any way I could.

When I returned to civilian life, I joined the LAPD. It was a good job, although the Los Angeles Police Department was not the most enlightened organization on the planet. It was a group that protected itself at all cost.

I was patrolling with my training officer, Bill Vose, when we came upon a man abusing a woman. There was no question that it would have been rape had we not been involved. I grabbed the man and began clubbing him with my night stick. I remembered that night in Korea and was taking my anger out on him, although there was no question he deserved it, and more.

Bill pulled me off him, and we got the woman to the hospital and this creep in jail. It turns out he was the son of a city councilman and his daddy didn’t see the benefit of a good clubbing for his rapist son. The kid got off, I got fired. If it hadn’t been for Bill, who lobbied for me, I would have been jailed for felony assault.

I got a job at the Bel Air Patrol, the private police force that protects the rich and famous in Los Angeles. Captain Hankins, the patrol’s leader, took me under his wing and taught me not only police work, but detective work, as well. After five years on the patrol, I struck out on my own, and Paul Manning Investigations was born.

My first big case, the one that put me on the map, involved of all things, parking. Seems the local parking operator was using his company as a money laundry for the mob. A kidnapping, a shootout, a chase down Mulholland Drive and some fancy detecting, and I, with the help of the Bel Air Patrol and the LAPD, solved the case. The criminals involved did heavy time.

Although most of my cases involved errant husbands (and a few wives), and folks with sticky fingers that the company wanted caught but kept out of the papers, I did run up against the parking industry, such as it is, from time to time. My next big case was to take me, figuratively, at least, back to Korea and that evening when my Lieutenant went off the rails…

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