from Murder on the Interstate by Jean Henry Mead
This is Sheriff Walter Grayson of Stanislaus County in California. Sheriff Grayson, can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I was elected sheriff after serving as a police dog trainer for ten years in Modesto, when my predecessor was thrown out of office for corruption.
What makes this case so special?
While I was investigating a triple murder in my home territory, Dana Logan, the woman I’m in love with, and her friend Sarah Cafferty, managed to get themselves in a mess in Arizona. They were driving their motorhome along I-40 in Arizona when they found the body of a young woman recently shot to death in her Mercedes convertible. While they were investigating, the killer came back to make sure the woman he shot was dead, and found Dana and Sarah. Thank God he shot out the tires on their RV instead of them. A woman trucker named “Big Ruby” McCurdy rescued them and they all took off in her produce truck to get the killer’s license number, but before long they realized he was stalking them. To make matters worse, they got caught in a flash flood and nearly drown while trying to get to Phoenix to meet my plane. And to top it off, they were kidnapped by homegrown terrorists.
What made the case hard to solve?
I flew in several times to help, but Dana kept pushing me away, telling me they could handle it themselves. Right! I told them they should go home and leave the murder investigation to the Arizona police, but they wouldn’t listen. I did all I could by getting
information about the suspect and his cohorts, who were planning to take down the government by poisoning the water systems, bombings, and short circuiting the nation’s power grids. Little did any of us know that the FBI had been tracking the terrorists and were using Dana, Sarah and Dana’s journalist daughter Kerrie as decoys.
Did anyone outside of the police department help you solve this case?
Dana’s daughter Kerrie works as an investigative journalist for City Magazine in Denver. She had already been investigating the murders of three other young blond women shot to death in their cars at night. The woman Dana and Sarah found made it a four state killing spree. Kerrie was approached by an FBI agent on the case and . . . well, I don't want to give away anything.
Has this case affected your personal life in any way?
It brought Dana and I closer. I think she may even accept my marriage proposal now that she realizes how hard I worked to help her solve the case, although it wasn’t in my jurisdiction.
Jean Henry Mead is a mystery/suspense and western historical novelist. She's also an award-winning photojournalist. One of her fortes is interviewing writers, actors, politicians, artists and ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things. She's written and published 14 books, both fiction and nonfiction. Murder on the Interstate is the third book in the Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series.
Visit her website:www.jeanhenrymead.com/ for more information.
Interviews with fictional cops and other crime-solving characters