Read The Second Shooter Online

Authors: Chuck Hustmyre

The Second Shooter

BOOK: The Second Shooter
8.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
The Second Shooter

By Chuck Hustmyre

Published by
Salvo Press

Copyright © 2016 by
Chuck Hustmyre

Warning: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 (five) years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Names, characters and incidents depicted in this book are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author or the publisher.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

ISBN: 978-1-68299-431-3

Cover Artist: Kelly Martin
Editor: Miranda McLeod

Printed in the United States of America

Table of Contents

"From Dallas, Texas...President Kennedy died at one p.m. Central Standard Time, two o'clock Eastern Standard Time, some thirty-eight minutes ago."

-Walter Cronkite, CBS News

November 22, 1963

Chapter 1


Jake Miller stared at the two men seated across the table from him. He could barely tell them apart. They wore nearly identical dark suits, crisp white shirts, and unadorned dark ties. Both had short hair and were clean-shaven. They even appeared to be about the same age. Jake pegged them as late thirties or early forties. They hadn't introduced themselves, nor had they shown him any identification.

The table was government issue: gunmetal gray with a scarred Formica top, also gray. The three of them were in a nine-by-nine interview room, barely big enough for the table and three matching chairs. The door was solid and had a lock that could only be operated from the outside. No two-way mirror, but a tinted glass dome in the corner of the ceiling concealed a camera.

"Do you know why you're here, Agent Miller?" the one on Jake's left said. Since they hadn't offered their names, Jake decided to give them names. Smith and Jones. The one who had spoken first was Smith.

"Special Agent Miller," Jake said.

"Excuse me?"

"As long as you're using my title, I would appreciate it if you used it correctly. I'm Special Agent Jake Miller, Federal Bureau of Investigation."

"Do you know why you're here, Special Agent Miller?"

"I have no idea."

"Tell us about the book," the other one said, the one Jake had dubbed Jones. And they kept going like that, shoulder to shoulder, like a two-man firing squad, one shooting off a question or a statement, then the other. Back and forth.

"How about you tell me who you are," Jake said.

"We'll get to that later. First, tell us about the book."

"What book?"

"The book your father is writing."

"If my father is writing a book, maybe you should ask him about it."

"We can't find him."

"But we intercepted an email he sent to you, so you know about the book."

"Intercepting private electronic communications is a federal offense," Jake said. "I hope you had a warrant."

"We were operating under FISA authority," Smith said, pronouncing the acronym for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. "We didn't need a warrant."

"So does that mean you think I'm a foreign spy? Or a terrorist?"

"Not necessarily. But we do know that you had extensive contact with one."

"One what, a spy or a terrorist?"

"You know who we're talking about."

Jake shrugged. "He's dead."

"We want to know everything he told you."

"Told me about what?"

The two men stared at Jake for a long time. He wasn't sure they even blinked. Then Smith said, "Are you a patriot, Special Agent Miller?"

"I guess that depends on your definition of patriot. If you mean the my country right or wrong kind of patriot, then no, I'm not. But if you mean the support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, then yeah, I am. Which is why I took that very oath when I became an FBI agent."

"We're patriots too, Agent Miller," Jones said, and when Jake didn't bother to correct him, he added, "And we need your help."

"Help with what?"

"Closing something out. Once and for all."

"Are you with O.P.R.?" Jake asked, referring to the FBI's internal affairs unit, which went by the rather vague, non-threatening name of the Office of Professional Responsibility, but which some agents casually referred to as the Rat Squad.

"We're not with the FBI. But we do work for the United States government."

"So that means you're CIA," Jake said.

"We didn't say that."

"You didn't have to. You both have spook written all over you." Jake glanced down at his watch. It was 8:00 a.m.

"Do you have somewhere else to be?"

"You mean like work?" Jake said.

"We'll write a note for your boss."

Jake didn't say anything.

"What's the book about?"

"It's about the truth," Jake said.

"Whose truth?"

"The truth is the truth. It doesn't belong to anybody."

"But who says it's true?"

"I was there," Jake said.

"Just because you think you saw something, or somebody told you something, doesn't make it true. That's just your perception."

"My perception? Is that what we're talking about?"

"Tell us what's in the book."

"Why don't you guys wait for it to come out and read it for yourselves? I don't want to spoil it for you."

"That book will never get published," Smith said.

"Then why are we talking about it?"

Jones leaned closer and rested his elbows on the table. "Tell us how you got involved."

Jake stared at Jones for a moment. Then at Smith. They were Agency, just as surely as if they'd been wearing ID badges around their necks. But the truth was the truth, right? He'd just said so. And wasn't the truth what everyone was always chasing? In fact, the CIA itself was so dedicated to the power of the truth that carved into a stone wall inside the Agency's headquarters building just across the Potomac were the words:

And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

"Okay," Jake said. "I'll tell you." Then he pulled a pack of Lucky Strikes and a battered Zippo from the inside pocket of his suit coat. He took his time shaking a cigarette from the pack and sticking it between his lips. He raised the lighter.

"You can't smoke in here."

Jake flicked the Zippo's thumbwheel. A flame leapt from the wick. He held it still a moment, just in front of his Lucky Strike, then touched the fire to the tip of the cigarette. The paper and tobacco crackled. He sucked in the smoke and held it. He'd promised his wife he was going to quit. Maybe this was his last cigarette. Maybe not.

"It's illegal to smoke in a government building."

Jake blew the smoke at them. Then he leaned back in his chair and got comfortable. "What are you going to do, arrest me?" Then he started telling them the story.

Chapter 2

"It started November 20, 2013, two days before the 50th anniversary. I was the duty agent that week. I was brand new, straight out of the Academy, and it was my first time in the duty rotation. I figured the guy was a nutjob, but I knew I had to go through the motions, even if it was going to make me late for the game."



FBI Special Agent Jake Miller hurried down the crowded street in Northwest Washington, D.C. The air was much colder now that the sun had set, and he was glad he'd brought his heavy jacket. By the fourth quarter it was going to be freezing up in the nosebleed section of RFK Stadium.

At the corner of H and 7th, Jake pulled his Blackberry out of his pocket and punched the preset button for his roommate, Chris Stanley. Jake and Chris had been classmates at the FBI Academy, and when they graduated six months ago and both landed the Washington Field Office as their first assignment, they decided to save money by splitting an apartment.

Chris answered on the first ring. "Where the hell are you?"

A gust of wind whipping down the street made Jake shiver. "Chinatown."

"Chinatown?" Chris said. "Fuck are you doing in Chinatown?"

"Duty agent call."

"The game starts in an hour."

"It's the first duty agent call of my career," Jake said. "I got to make a good impression."

"My first week in the barrel I got nothing but crackpots," Chris said.

"That's what this one is."

"Let me guess, he knows where Hoffa's buried."

"Worse. He knows who killed Kennedy."

"So do I," Chris said. "My seventh-grade history teacher told me."

"Except this guy says he knows who really killed Kennedy."

"Oh, Jesus," Chris said. "Still, what's the big deal? Take down the information, write up a three-oh-two in the morning. We got a game to get to."

"He's insisting on a face-to-face."

"Christ on a stick."

"Don't worry," Jake said. "I'll make it fast."

"You tell Stacy you're going to be late?"

"I'm about to call her." Stacy was Stacy Chapman, an intelligence analyst with the Bureau whom Jake had been trying to persuade to go out with him for two months. They were friends, pretty good friends, in fact. But Jake was hoping for more. Word was, though, that Stacy did not date agents, not since she broke up with her last boyfriend, who was, or so rumor had it, a member of the elite Hostage Rescue Team, the badass, gunslinging FBI tactical unit, many of whose members were former Special Forces, Navy SEALs, or Marine Recon. A few, or so yet another rumor went, had even been members of Delta, the ultra-secret Army counterterrorist team. But no one could ever seem to confirm that because Delta operators didn't even admit there was such a thing as Delta.

Jake dreamed about one day getting on the HRT. But with no prior military or police tactical experience, he was a long shot at best. HRT didn't take a lot of accounting geeks. Still, it would be really cool.

"Don't worry, I'll tell her," Chris said. "And keep her warm until you get there."

"Hey—" But the line clicked as Chris hung up. The nerve of that guy joking around like that. Still, Chris might bear watching. It had been hard enough to get Stacy to agree to go to the game with him, and he had only succeeded after stressing just how much of a non-date this outing was going to be. After all, Jake had said, his goofy roommate was going to be there. He didn't need Chris messing things up now that he was finally making some progress.

As Jake walked down the crowded sidewalk on H Street, he pulled back his coat sleeve and checked his watch, a Rolex Submariner his stepfather had given him when he'd graduated from the FBI Academy. Jake still got nervous just wearing the $8,000 timepiece. His stepdad, an FBI agent who had retired a few years ago, called it a career watch. "It's got automatic movement," Lee Miller had said at a restaurant near Quantico during a celebratory lunch with Jake and his mother right after the graduation ceremony. "Means no winding and no battery. If you take care of it, it'll still be running when you retire in twenty-five years."

BOOK: The Second Shooter
8.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Soulcatcher by Charles Johnson
Morte by Robert Repino
The Patriot by Dewey Goldsmith
Life on Wheels by Gary Karp
Aliens for Breakfast by Stephanie Spinner
E.L. Doctorow by Welcome to Hard Times