By Tony Hillerman, Rosemary Herbert, Sue Grafton

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They were on many different types and sizes of paper and in many colors of ink or pencil. Crayons, too. For half an hour they looked over the letters. Altman finally divided them into two piles. ") "Ick," said Josh Randall. Yep, definitely icky, Altman thought, but he set that pile aside and explained that they were the discards. "Those're your typical wackos and I don't think they're half dangerous. " He nodded at the second pile. "They're reasonable and calm and cautious .. just like the strangler.

Came a soft, uneasy voice. " Altman identified himself. " "Me? No. That might've been the case detective. " "Right. " So Fletcher had talked to the author last year. There was no reference in the case file to it and he supposed that Carter hadn't provided any helpful information. Maybe now, after this much time had passed, he'd be more cooperative. Though Altman soon found that wasn't the case. He reiterated to Carter what he'd told his wife and the man said immediately, "I can't help you. And frankly, I don't want to.

The handwriting in one of Mr. Carter's fan letters matches the notes in the book. " "You bet there is. Howard Desmond's his name. " A small town fifteen minutes from the sites of both of the Greenville Strangler's attacks. The detective told his assistant to pull together as much information on Desmond as he could. He snapped the phone shut and, grinning, announced, "We've found him. " But, as it turned out, they didn't have him at all. Single, forty-two-year-old Howard Desmond, a veterinary technician, had skipped town six months before, leaving in a huge hurry.

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