“ The Homicide Unit!” Prince John stated in surprise as McGuire faced him in the interrogation room.  “Yo, I ain’t killed nobody.”

“We never said you did. You’re not under arrest for murder,” McGuire told him. “It’s just that we could use your help. If you can do that, we won’t tell your probation officer that you sold heroin to an undercover cop.”

“I hear ya, miss. Whatcha need my help with?”

“Well, for starters, I’m just curious,” McGuire began to break the ice. “Why do they call you Prince John?”

Prince John let out a loud, hearty guffaw, revealing gold caps on his teeth. In the few minutes that he was here, McGuire found, a little to her dismay, that she liked the high-profile drug dealer. He had a strangely magnetic personality that made him charming.

“Well, I sho ain’t no Robin Hood,” he said. “I take the money from them po’ mothafuckers and make myself rich. For just a bit of that shit, they be giving me all they money. They be shootin’ and robbin’ and killin’ for a shot of dope. And I just keep pullin the in dat bread.” This was followed by another hearty laugh. McGuire tried her best to contain her own mirth but found herself laughing along with him.

“Well, you must have made a load of bread the other night,” McGuire said. “Two pounds of heroin. And that’s what we need to know. Who did you sell it to?”

“What make you so sho I sold dat dope?”

“Oh, come on, we both know you “da man” when it comes to sellin the dope,” McGuire told him with a fist pump for emphasis. “The thing is, the dope you sold was used in a homicide.”

The joyful laughter went out of Prince John’s face, and he was suddenly panic-stricken. “You talkin’ bout them two girls..Oh, shit!” Prince John buried his face in his hands.

“Yes, and we’d like to know who killed them,” McGuire told him.

“See, I only deal this shit fo’ the money, yo. I got a daughter dat mean everything to me, and I wanna make sho she got the best, you hear me? My sista got into this shit when she was just a kid, you know what I’m sayin? Now she got the AIDS and she gon’ die soon. I sho hope Regina, my daughter, don’t ever get into this shit. I do my best to hide it from her. It kills the body and the soul. I don’t shoot it up, I just sell. I..I..oh, my God,” Prince John was becoming flustered.

“I’m sorry about your sister. Can you tell me who you sold the heroin to?” McGuire asked, genuinely moved to compassion.

“It was some white dude. No one I ever met. Not one of my regulars. He was all dressed, ya know, in a suit. Like he be some kind of businessman. And wearin’ this stupid ass lookin’ mask. I was thinkin’ ‘dis mothafucker gon’ get hisself shot out here.’ And here’s the thing. He was talkin’ in some kind of accent. Talkin’ like he from England or some shit. Like he was actin’ in some play. “Cept I could tell he be fakin’ it. I just look at this clown while he asked me for two pounds of heroin in this accent and I be thinkin ‘who this fool think he is?’ He just be talkin’ like he from England. I just stared at this fool and wonderin’ why he was tryin’ to disguise his voice and I be like “But of course, sir, would you like some tea and  crumpets with your dope?” Prince John mimicked a British accent, which made McGuire burst out laughing.

“What did the mask look like?” she asked.

“It was…a white mask. Looked like the face of a man who be cryin.’ I think it was made of plastic, like the kind the kids wear for Halloween.”

“He didn’t look like this, did he?” McGuire aked, showing him the sketch of Seth Jordan.

“Nah, that man the other night was thick. That dude in the picture, he too skinny.”

“And you’re positive it was a white man?”

“If he wasn’t white man, he was an ugly ass-sounding white woman.”

“And you’ll let us know if he shows up again?” Prince John nodded. “Also, before you go, will you tell us if you recognize this woman?” When McGuire showed him the picture of Christina Anderson, Prince John froze.

“Someone killed her, too?” he asked in a low voice.

“We think so, and we think that the same person who killed her also killed Brittany and Samantha Hicks. Anything you can do to help us would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time, but may I say something before you go?” Prince John nodded. The shock prevented him from responding verbally.

“Just remember that everyone you sell to is someone’s sister, or brother, or parent. What would you want to say to the dealer who first sold your sister drugs? I know you want the best for your little girl, but consider that there might be a better way. And think of the example you are setting for her.”

Prince John opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something, but left the room without a word.


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