August 17 – Desk duty wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  Don’t get me wrong, it was boring as hell, but it actually gave me some time to do a little digging into Chellick Starling’s house that Amancia warned me to stay away from.  I’ve been spending my lunches at the Hall of Records tracking down old tax records and land titles.  I think one of the clerks there has a little bit of a crush on me, and I’m not exactly dissuading him.  At some point I’m probably going to have to let him know he’s barking up the wrong tree, but if it wasn’t for him, it would have taken me months to track down all this stuff.  I’ll try to let him down easy when all this is over.

I’m hoping that poring over all these plat maps and easement applications isn’t something I’ll have to do regularly if I ever make detective.  Absolutely mind-numbing.  But I did uncover something truly frightening. . .the Starling house was built over an old Indian burial ground!!!

Just kidding.

I kinda wish it had been built on an old Indian burial ground.  That would have at least made some kind of sense.  But the truth is even stranger.  Because there’s no record the house was ever built at all.  Starling’s house is an information black hole.  The lot it’s sitting on should be empty based on the records I could dig up.  For that matter, I can’t even find anything on Starling himself.  From a legal standpoint, him and that house don’t exist.

I can believe that someone can scrub their identity.  I’ve run into enough folks in this town to know there’s a cottage industry of fake IDs.  But ain’t no way you can tell me that as old as that house is that nobody noticed property taxes haven’t been paid on it basically ever.  I’ve seen a few things in this town to question if death is inevitable, but taxes?  Bet your ass the city’s not turning a blind eye to that.

Sorry, Amancia, but I need to see just what the hell is going on with this house. . .

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