Back on Burthe Street the woman who lived across the street from where all the action had taken place had already called the police. She had been alerted when Polly screamed and gotten to her window just in time to see Biggy running out the driveway towards Carrollton. At first the sergeant at the precinct tried to make her out to be another paranoid old woman who called the precinct every time she heard a noise on the street but as she was able to describe the volume of the scream and had repeatedly called it ‘blood curdling’ he decided not to take any chances and told her he would have a patrol car there in a few minutes.
Fortunately, for Polly, at least, there was a car only a few blocks away and the officers were there within two minutes. The woman who had called them came out and yelled frantically signing for them to go down the driveway of the house across the street from her.
As soon as they came round the old Datsun they saw first Paul’s body and then Polly’s. Both lay in a pool of blood. One officer ran to Paul and the other to Polly. Paul was dead. Polly, however, was still breathing. The officer reached up and keyed the microphone that was clipped to his shoulder. “Dispatcher. Send an ambulance and the homicide squad to my location on Burthe Street as soon as possible. We have a possible homicide victim and a woman with a severe head injury who may become a second victim any second. She’s breathing, but I believe she’s just barely clinging to life.”
When his partner heard him he said. “You stay with her. I’ll go keep that crowd back.”
“Thanks, Jack.” he said and turned back to Polly.
Jack kept the several onlookers who had gathered at the end of the driveway at bay with threats against them. He kept them back until the ambulance arrived. They quickly loaded the unresponsive Polly onto a gurney and whisked her away. Both of the officers were needed to keep the crowd at bay until the homicide squad arrived. They quickly cordoned the area off with yellow tape and set up a command post on the front porch. Now there were plenty of police cars to block the entrance to the house and keep the gawkers at a respectable distance.
Within minutes they were able to identify the dead man as Paul Bonificio, an occupant of the front, downstairs apartment. Polly Duplessis, who had been taken away in the ambulance, lived in the rear apartment. Her keys and her purse had been laying beside her when the officers arrived on the scene.
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The streetcar Biggy had run in front of continued out Carrollton, reversed at Claiborne and rumbled back towards Riverbend. As he approached Burthe, the carman could see all the blue lights and knew something big must have happened. He remembered the fat man who had run across the tracks right in front of him. He had had to put on his brakes to keep from hitting him. He hadn’t been able to get the license plate number of the truck he sped away in and wasn’t even sure that it was a Louisiana license. All he could remember was that it was dark blue. He radioed the information to the public transportation office and it was quickly relayed to the incident commander on Burthe Street.
An APB was put out for the truck but no sightings had been reported by the time the command post on Burthe street was dismantled and the investigation moved downtown. That was about four in the morning. The only thing they had to go on was the information from the neighbor across the street who had called the incident in and all she could tell them was that she heard the scream and then saw a behemoth of a man running away towards Carrollton. And that when he sped away out Carrollton he was driving a dark blue pickup truck.
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