Sherlock Holmes used to say if you have looked at everything, and you can’t figure out what you’re missing, look again at the obvious. That’s not an exact quote…but it’s right along those lines. My mentor, Mel Glass, had an incisive and penetrating mind that would have rivaled that of Sherlock Holmes.
From the book, ECHOES OF MY SOUL, I’d like to give you a glimpse into Mel’s mind and the way his deductive wheels turned.
“Of the street people the detectives talked to, one in particular interested Mel Glass. He was an old small-time crook named Leo Wallace, who, like Fagin in Olver Twist, claimed to have taught Robles the art of being a cat burglar. His specialty had been the “daytime stepover” — using a ledge or windowsill to reach over to climb in through open windows at times when the apartment dwellers were likely to be at work.
“However, Robles apparently wasn’t too worried about the residents, particularly if they were y0ung females.
“‘Wallace once saw him on East Seventy-seventh and Park Avenue waiting to hit an apartment,’ Lynch reported to Glass. ‘Wallace asked him why he wasn’t going in, and Robles said he was, and I quote — waiting for the chick to come back to the apartment first.‘
“Hearing about Wallace’s comments, Glass thought about what Downes had said regarding Robles’s entering apartments through windows during daylight hours, and Lynch’s report from the crime scene of seeing the kitchen window open. One of the big questions regarding Whitmore’s confession was that he said–with Detective Bulger’s prompting–that he entered the service stairwell leading to the apartment through the door in the lobby…
“But Glass had gone over to the building himself and established that the door in the lobby leading to the service stairwell always clicked and locked shut, and could only be opened from the stairwell side. Yet, according to Bulger, Whitmore had somehow managed to open a locked door, bearing no sign, and leading to God knows where, all the while slipping past the doorman. It seemed questionable.
“Occam’s razor again, Glass thought, the simplest explanation is usually the right one.”
ECHOES OF MY SOUL is my tribute to Mel Glass, as well as DA Frank Hogan and John Keenan. Three men with impeccable character, integrity and brains.