“Dave Everett” Interview
Dave Everett, Santa Cruz Police Department Ombudsman, tells us about himself and about solving a case which was written about by Nancy Lynn Jarvis in “The Widow’s Walk League.”
I’m Dave. I lost an eye in a shootout several years back― dumb mistake, but there’s no point going into that. I convinced SCPD to keep me on in a desk job as the media interface, public relations guy for the force rather than just retiring me; I’m in my early-forties and too young to be completely sidelined. I didn’t like my job at first, too many cats-up-a-tree and stuff like that, but I figured out ways to keep a finger in some crime pies. After a while I came up with my personal trademark Hawaiian shirt for TV interviews and realized how bad Santa Cruz, whose motto is, Keep Santa Cruz Weird, needed my interface between the force and the community. Eventually I kind of started enjoying what I do.
Oh, yeah, about my eye: we already have Jack O’Neill, the guy who invented wetsuits as our local one-eyed-patch wearing celebrity, so my eye is a prosthetic. I’m told it’s a perfect match for my good eye.
Officer Everett, tell us about this case. What made this case so special?
We’re used to some gang-related shootings and some one-shot personal murders, but this case, well, Santa Cruz husbands started getting killed in some pretty public places. And then this little TV gal talked to some witnesses who said they saw somebody dressed like Death hanging around when the first guy bought it. The media went nuts. By the time of the second murder, everybody was seeing Death.
Did anyone outside of the police department help you solve this case?
You would ask that, wouldn’t you? See, I’ve got this gal-pal — my wife’s a friend of her husband’s, too, so that makes us kind of extra-tight — who’s kind of a meddler. She’s a real estate agent, not exactly a job profile that makes her well trained to solve murders, but she gets these ideas. It started a couple of years ago when a real estate buddy of hers was top of our suspects list, then it was a client of hers who we had a lock on for a murder, and then she and her husband bought a house and found a partially mummified body in it. Hey, it was a sixteen-year-old murder and what with budget cutbacks, we just didn’t have the personnel to pursue it instantly and she’s, well, she’s kind of push, nosey, and impatient. I confess; I kind of set her up, too; said something dumb like, your house, your murder. Bad idea.
My train of thought is getting derailed here. Regan, that’s her name, Regan McHenry, well, she has a way of doing that to me; she gets me involved in the messes she makes with her amateur detecting. Sometimes she even gets me to tell her things about cases I probably shouldn’t. It’s irritating how she finds things out that she has no right to know. Ah, don't get me started. I worry about her, too. Like I said, she's a friend. She's gonna get herself seriously hurt one of these days even though I try to keep her out of trouble.
Where was I? Oh yeah, this case. All the widows of these dead guys started coming to her wanting to sell their houses — and she realized they all knew one another because they belonged to this walking group called the Widow’s Walk League. She got all worked up ― like she does ― and thought the head of this group seemed suspicious, maybe even had designs on her husband. The case got solved, not exactly because of her, but — don’t you dare tell her I said this because she already thinks she’s too clever by half — but because of some stuff she discovered and because she caught a few lucky breaks.