Monday, March 03, 2008

I Fingered The Doc: No Paper In The World Would Print What Went On In That Motel

by Jack Weeks, Police Reporter, Houston Chronicle. Pitt from the Press, a rival newspaper, caught the phone in the press room.

"For you, Jackson." He'll always regret turning that call over to me.

An iron-throated voice rasped: "Listen close. I'm not going to say this twice. You know all about the goofball party three days ago. You want to know the name of the guy who's peddling the stuff?"

Did I want to know the guy's name? Does a monkey have a tail?

"Keep talking," I said, "I'll be right here."

"I can't say too much where I am," he said cautiously. "You got to meet me somewhere."

I told him to name the spot. He picked a drive-in out in the east end of the city. I kept my voice low all the times I was talking. If Pitt tumbled, he had to be a lip reader. He was no lip reader. When I hung up the phone and reached for my hat, he asked, "Where you going, Jackson?"

"To Homicide," I lied, "Got to check a guy's record. That was a new re-write man on the phone. You know new men, they ask a million questions."

I ducked out fast before he got wise. Riding the elevator down from teh third floor of the police station I had time to think things over.

Three days ago the city was shocked when eight teenagers, including several girls, were caught by the Vice Squad in a tourist cabin. Detectives had seized several bottles of pills in the room. These pills, a chemist's analysis disclosed, were barbiturates, known to pillusers as goofballs.

I'll tell you what a goofball does: it'll get you high as a kite and make you lose most of your inhibitions. That's what it did to those eight kids.
That teen-age party was a beaut. Three of the youngsters got trips to the hospital out of it. One girl nearly died. It was more than twenty-four hours later when she recovered consciousness.

What had gone on in that tourist cabin we never told our family newspaper readers. You could have gotten a fair idea just by reading between the lines. The party was the daddy of all juvenile sex orgies.

The newspapers screamed for the cops to find the monster who had sold the pills to the kids. Vice Squad officers grilled the youngsters for hours. They learned everything but the source of the goofballs. It was several years ago that the Texas legislature passed a law forbidding the illegal sale and possession of barbiturates, after a terrific crusade by my newspaper. Now I had a telephone call: A man with a raspy voice wanted to spill the name of the peddler who had sold those pills to the juveniles.(Continued on page 47)

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