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A Burning Cold Morning (Part 84)

That conversation was an eye-opener for Amanda of course, even though Leo did not tell her the entire story of his second life or the complete truth about some parts that he did share.  His actual motivation for the disclosure is not known, as he could easily have just stayed silent as he was once again processed through the legal system.  He would have known of course that his arrest was sure to get back to her as she would certainly have been questioned as part of the investigation.  It may also have been that he actually wanted to be the one to tell her instead of her finding out through law enforcement.  It was noted by the officer who was standing nearby that he apologized to his wife twice and even stated that she deserved to have had a better man than him in her life.  

The Daily Journal Fergus Falls MN 26sep1967
The Daily Journal Fergus Falls MN 26sep1967
The Daily Journal Fergus Falls MN 25sep1967
The Daily Journal Fergus Falls MN 25sep1967

At the conclusion of that call Leo was escorted back to his cell and several hours later turned over to the US Marshal service in Denver.   Then, after the completion of all the necessary legal proceedings and paperwork, Leo was taken via train back to Minnesota on October 12, 1967. Arriving on October 14th, he was processed into the Hennepin County jail as prisoner number 12500.  The following day he was interviewed by a detective with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.  After the usual formalities, the conversation turned to the bank robberies.

“You want to tell me anything about that Grey Eagle job that I don’t already know?” The agent, a tall and angular man with bushy brown eyebrows and deeply set blue eyes, peered at Leo over a stack of reports in his hand as he spoke. 

“Probably not.  I can’t believe I got picked up.  I was almost in the clear, damn it!”  Leo’s voice was terse and bitter although he shook his head in resignation after that outburst.  “I’ve been free for a long time, long time.  Damn sad way for it all to end.”

“So, what else have you been up to all of these years Humbert?”

“You know, you just go ahead and look it up.  I’ve been a respectable business man.  You cops can’t just let a man go, can ya?  Always chasing our shadows around, can’t let a man be free to earn a living.”

“None of us have been chasing you around Humbert.  And I seriously doubt that a couple recent bank jobs are the total of your transgressions since you got out of Stillwater,” the agent replied in a condescending tone.  “How many banks has it been?”

“Listen, you can keep all of those damn fantasies to yourself.  I’m stuck here now and I’m sure you all are going to find a way to pin those jobs on me.  But that ain’t what I’m worried about.”  Leo sat back in his chair, sweat beading up on his forehead and a slight tremor running through his body.

“You ok there?” the agent asked, “you look a bit pale.”

It took several moments for Leo to compose himself and when he did reply it was with a shaky voice. “You’ve got a bigger problem I’m telling you, a bigger problem.  There’s a crazy clockmaker out there, running free, and now I’m going to rot in prison instead of being able to find him.  I was on his trail.  I was going to take care of the guy before he killed more people.”  

Leo fell silent after that, his skin turning clammy and eventually he placed his head down on the steel table in the interrogation room.  Despite repeated attempts by the agent to get him to talk again he stayed silent and eventually was walked back to his cell, a guard having to hold him up by one arm.  

Leo remained in that condition all through the 16th of October, unable to get up to eat breakfast that morning.  The agent from the MBCA did return at 11 a.m. that day and tried to resume their conversation.   Leo though just sat sluggishly in the interrogation room chair, unresponsive to questions, even those about the, “crazy and mysterious clockmaker you were going on about yesterday.”  On the morning of the 17th he called out to a guard, stating that he needed to be taken to a doctor.  When the man approached his cell, Leo stated that he was diabetic and having an attack, demanding to be taken to a hospital.  It was fairly obvious that he was in some kind of distress; however, the guard had not been made aware of any potential medical issue with Leo.  He did go and confer with his superiors and about an hour later the jail commander walked down to Leo’s cell. 

“What’s your beef, Humbert?  You think you need a doctor?”

“I already told them, I’m diabetic.  I need a hospital.”  Leo’s voice was faint, his breath labored and heavy. 

“You know, I looked through all of your records that they brought us.  Ain’t nothing in there about you being a diabetic.  Seems to me like there would be, don’t ya think?”

“I never, I, I didn’t mention it most of the time.  But you look, you’ll find it in there.  I’m sure it’s in there somewhere, you just aren’t looking in the right place.  But I really need to go to the hospital.  I’m gonna die.”

“Yeah well, I’ll tell you one thing I do know Humbert.”  The officer rapped on the bars of the cell with his hand.  “You escaped from Stearns County, you and that other fella.  Maybe you’re just looking for a little ride outta here, get away from the jail, and then you take off.  Seems like an easier plan that all that sawing you went through in Stearns.” 

“I’m not running damn you, I’m just sick.”

“Well, I’ll tell ya what Humbert.  I’ll see about getting a doctor in here to take a look at ya.  But you won’t be leavin’ my jail, I’ll guarantee ya of that.”  As he walked away the jail commander chuckled under his breath and promptly forgot about Leo’s request.  

…to be continued

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