Cale Dixon and the Women of Cho (at a glance)

Women of Cho

Victoria parked her car in the precinct parking lot and turned off her engine. She sat for a moment attempting to piece together what she saw at Cale’s apartment, with no resolve. She knew he wasn’t a murderer, but if he was, why would he leave the body in the middle of the room when a small group of forensic specialists were coming right over for a routine theft. She struggled with her love for Cale. How could he do this to her and why now? She had come to work this morning happier than she had been in a decade, full of confidence and relieved that she had found someone of kindred spirit that she was excited to be with, that she hoped would be the one, the one to spend the rest of her life with – and in less than a day that bliss had evaporated into jealous confusion bordering spite and hatred. She got out of her car and walked toward the precinct employee entrance with her thoughts gripping the throat of only one question; where the hell was Cale!?

Victoria walked down the quiet hall towards her office and heard the abrupt laughter of multiple people coming from her office. In an irritated rush she boldly opened the door. Her interns were at their perspective desks wearing residual smiles which she doused with the stern look on her face. She stared at the couch where Martin and Cale sat side by side still chuckling at something she missed. “What is this?”

Martin knit his eyebrows, “What is what?”

Victoria looked at the interns and waved them out, “You two stop what you are doing right now. You’re done for the day. See you tomorrow morning.”

Martin got up, “Ah – oh, time to go,”

Cale looked at the clock on the wall and leaned back slowly on the couch apologetically explained, “Martin was just catching me up on the Cho museum case and we got to reminiscing about when we were interns and shared a couple of funny stories with these two. It’s not their fault.”

“It’s not that Cale. Martin would you give us a minute then we need to meet with you in the Captain’s office.”

“Is it about the Cho case?”

“I think so. I’ve got to talk to Cale for a minute, and then we’ll come get you at your desk.” Victoria watched people move around, the interns tidying up their desks and Martin turning to look at Cale, all in slow motion. Victoria’s impatience was about to explode, “Stop cleaning up and everybody out – right now.”

The room emptied and Victoria closed the door and locked it before moving to her desk to sit down. “What are you doing here?”

“You suggested I come get your key and go to your house so I didn’t interfere with forensics. This way, you don’t have to come get me after work. I thought I’d go to the grocery store on the way home and cook you dinner at your house tonight, since my refrigerator stinks.”

“Oh.” She took a deep breath and gave a stressed out tight lipped courtesy smile, “How was the hospital visit?” She reached in her desk drawer and turned on a recorder.

“Well, I had to get a couple new staples and a couple injections against infections, antibiotics. I had to sit there for awhile because my appointment wasn’t until12:30. How’s the forensics team doing?”

“Well, forensics found blood in the carpet and bloody finger prints everywhere; on the fridge, the windows – all over. They did a very thorough job and they’re down in the lab analyzing some of the findings right now.”

“Yeah, those will probably be my finger prints.” Cale showed his hands to Victoria. Band aides wrapped his finger tips on his right hand pointer, index, and ring finger. I cut myself on one of the glass bottles and opened the windows from the smell in the fridge. Did it still stink when you got there?” Cale recognized Victoria’s body language as negative. “What’s up? You look pissed off.”

“I don’t know what I am Cale.” Victoria didn’t know where or how to start, so she jumped right in, “Alright, who’s the woman?”

Cale knew instantly that Victoria had heard the message on the machine and he wasn’t about to lie about it – but he also wasn’t willing to tell Victoria everything, not right now, “I met her in Rangoon, Burma. Her name is Paula Henderson from New York. She’s been traveling around Asia for the last fifteen years or so. I crossed her path in Rangoon; then again in Mandalay after she had toured Pagan and I returned from Mam myo, Pin o lwin. We had a few drinks, went to dinner a few times, you know, traveling companions – sharing stories. I guess she’s returned to the states and is in LA visiting friends. She said she’d call me back if she came up to the city and hoped we could get together.”

Victoria was seething with arms crossed; knowing the answers to the questions she didn’t want to ask and knew that now wasn’t the time to ask them because the conversation was being recorded. More than anything she wanted to remain professional. “Where is Ms. Henderson right now?”

“I’d guess still in LA. Why? Did she call while the forensics crew was there?”

Victoria shook her head, “No Cale, she didn’t call – she’s there – or was there a little while ago.”

“What? You’re kidding!”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Oh great; Victoria . . . ; let me go straighten this out.” Cale got up tenderly off the couch to leave, “She never even called me back so I had no idea she was going to show up. This is totally out of the blue. I’m as caught by surprise as you are.”

“I doubt that very much.” Victoria was going to burst from within. Her northern Irish rage was acute. Frustrated and growing impatient, “What are you going to tell her?”

“I don’t know yet. I don’t know exactly what she wants, maybe hook up for lunch. She’s not the relationship type. She’s more of a wounded free spirit. If she needs a place to crash, she can stay at my place and I’ll explain that I’m going to stay at my girl friend’s house – if that’s okay with you?”

Victoria was relieved to hear Cale speak like an innocent child, albeit; caught with a rock in his hand in front of a broken window, but still, jealously raged. She could barely control herself. She looked at the recorder again and set aside her personal feelings for now; control – professional. “Cale, she can’t hear you.”

Cale didn’t understand and chuckled apprehensively, “What? What do you mean she can’t hear me?”

Victoria turned off the recorder and took a long look at Cale, “Paula Henderson is dead in your living room tied to a chair and you are a suspect if not flat out accused of murdering her. The cops probably have an APB out on you right now, so let’s get you to the lie detector then to the Captain’s office so he can, most likely, arrest you or suspend you again until this is cleared up.” Victoria’s heart broke inside, not just for herself, but for Cale, “And on a personal note, Cale; I was in love with you this morning, and I really hate you right now.”

“Victoria, I.” Cale was at a loss for words. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

Victoria couldn’t take it. She had to ask, professional or not, “Did you sleep with her, yes or no?

Cale looked at Victoria with the fear of losing her with the one word, “Yes.”


“In Burma, but you’ve got to believe me, I had nothing to do with her murder. I was with you!”

“No you weren’t! God dam it. You went home for awhile, remember. You could have killed her, and then called me, pretending you screwed up a crime scene at your own flat. A woman is found heinously tortured and murdered with your bloody finger prints everywhere imaginable; all while you were conveniently at hospital getting some new stitches in your stab wounds. Jesus Christ, Cale. Listen to the story!”

“You’ve got to believe me. I was at the hospital, I checked in at the reception desk. I have witnesses. You know I couldn’t do this. I wouldn’t do this.”

“I don’t know that, Cale.” Victoria was numb; everything around her faded into a muffled fog. She tried to focus on a paper clip but couldn’t get past Paula’s face drooling blood out of her nose and mouth or the image of her strained wrists cut and bound to a chair, framed in a pool of her own blood. “Let’s go. We have to hurry, your police officer ‘friends’ are coming for you by now.”


“I realize she was before we hooked up, Cale, but, I feel like you lead me on, making me out to be a fool. I feel humiliated and hurt. And now some stray conquest is dead in your living room, or getting prepped for an autopsy, or at the morgue, I don’t know.” Victoria didn’t know what else to do. “Let’s go – or I’ll arrest you myself.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.