Javier Tirado, a detective, worked for the local police department and lived alone quite comfy. He enjoyed a good life and surrounded himself with fine furniture, art pieces, and some goodies like an interesting gun collection that had been confiscated from criminal groups and recently bought at an auction.
From his parents, he had inherited this house which was near his job site, a compelling reason for him to stick around the area: a pauperized ghetto close to San Bartolo Naucalpan, north from Mexico City. This wide plot was located at a corner, delimited by an enclosing wall 3 meters high.
The structure was at the center of the plot which made for open spaces all around the house including a parking space. The building contrasted with the neighboring shacks inhabited mostly by the poor and the working folk, but also by lowlifes like criminals and petty thieves, a product of the speedy and uncontrolled urban sprawl that had sprung from territorial invasions.
Javier, or “the Poli”, stood out from that crowd by being a person employed, in contrast with most of his neighbors, anti-social vagrants, addicts, and bums who frequented the house always intending to win Javier over, thus benefiting from his generous disposition with which he went along feigning kindness, even if only to keep them at bay.
Intelligent and an expert on criminal behavior, Javier focused on maintaining good relations with his friends of the colonia; knew he had to be as emphatic as possible to keep things going smooth with his fearsome neighbors by concealing mistrust, but not by lowering the guard even for a second, due to their dangerous nature.
They crashed the house frequently, excited at the newly acquired gun collection, particularly a dozen pistols of high caliber displayed over a glass counter, admired by the visitors like famine survivors facing a sumptuous banquet.
They unctuously showed up at the detective's home where beer and food galore were served by “the Tira” with apparent friendship, although with some reticence; especially toward a duo of dubious tramps who didn't inspire trust and who, as far as Javier was concerned, would have them dismissed for good. Unfortunately, they were a medullar part of the neighborhood and that made him captive of a precarious situation of perilous balance.
This, became quite evident when various objects, most of them worthless junk, kept disappearing progressively from around the house. Javier suspected these two by the greed on their faces, mainly when facing the displayed guns, perhaps anticipating all they would be capable of lest they possessed them; the sheer power they would wield.
The house, almost always empty, thus in constant danger of becoming the target of thieves knowing of the treasures it held, had become now more attractive by the new collection of pistols. An ever-growing menace could be felt in the air during each interaction with this group, despite the fact they were the ones who stood behind keeping an eye on the property each time its owner went away.
Javier Tirado knew he had to buy his integrity and immunity through gifts and affable treatment to avoid, or as in this case only prolong, the dreaded moment that could unleash events adverse to his safety and even to his life.
No sooner said than done, that occasion came around when back from work one night Javier found that two valuable guns from the collection were missing. Of course, this caused alarm, but no surprise. Deep down, he always knew something like this would eventually happen; in fact, he wondered why it hadn't happened sooner.
After some reflecting that night, he had time to come up with a response to this contingency. The first thing he resolved was not to disclose anything to the group; not to show that something was amiss. Instead, he decided to feign familiar joviality, equally cheerful and confident as always, nothing to disturb his interaction with the crowd.
From his apparent serenity, he'll have plenty of time and room to scrutinize the mood of each of his visitors through body language and by venturing a couple of tricky questions that'll help confirm suspicions. Even though the entire group seemed wary, the pair acted a bit cockier and insolent, besides more nervous and elusive, and also unable to give proper answers to open questions.
Almost sure they were the culprits of the robberies, Javier decided to set up a trap that'll trick the whole horde. A scheme requiring lots of patience and forbearance plus great police sapience that'll keep it all secret; and lots of bravery, too, since it was a matter of life and death that will seek to unmask the traitor or traitors.
The Tira started by announcing his imminent business trip, a routine known by everyone. He blatantly rested importance on the fact of leaving the house unattended one more time while half-jokingly entrusted his friends with the house, as it had been on previous occasions, although the gun collection had yet to be a temptation in the living room.
He made sure they were all present before making the announcement official by stating the time and day he'll depart plus the length of the trip; he asked to please keep an eye on the property until his return and to seal the deal they toasted and dined on the house.
The final countdown started ticking and soon the Poli could confirm his suspicions correct; he could notice that now Chito and Xocoyote had become more insolent and daring, a sign that foretold an imminent new incursion as soon as the house were empty.
A couple of days before the trip he could see that their jumpiness and greed were in crescendo to the point of making the blunder of suggesting he shorten the wait and start his trip before time since there was nothing to worry about, for the entire group would be watching the property. This was the confirmation that only a dumb criminal would let out voluntarily.
The night before the trip, the group went to say farewell. Everyone knew he'd leave early the next morning and no one would be there since everyone slept until late into the day. As always, there was plenty of beer and snacks on the house until he asked them to leave because he had to rest.
Once alone, Javier readied a couple of pistols by oiling and loading them with ammunition and proceeded to build a trench in the middle of the living room. He remained hidden the entire next day to make believe he was gone and prepared himself to wait for someone to show up, but nothing happened. No one came around.
Nevertheless, the detective stuck to the plan while tension augmented as time went by. Javier didn't leave his ditch knowing that the bad guys would appear at any moment now.
As he had anticipated, just after midnight he saw some obscure silhouettes suddenly emerging over the wall aided by the lamppost outside. They descended rapidly over the home in darkness, but when they saw the car still there, they knew, too late, it was an ambush. Xocoyote ran to circle the building through the right-hand corridor while Chito rushed to the front, French door.
He had barely stepped across the crystals when Javier fired twice, wounding him. But, surprisingly, Chito fired back a fusillade. Javier felt the bullets flying by his head missing the target in the dark. Aiming steadily, Javier shot once more sending Chito into a convulsing agony.
Xocoyote was now by a lateral window as Javier exited the house through the front door to finish off Chito putting a bullet through his nape, which put an end to the convulsions. Next, quickly moved to meet the other one in the ally who was uselessly peering inside a darkened room as Javier swiftly approached over his flank shooting hastily until leaving him dead at the fifth or sixth blast.
Not wasting any time, in semi-darkness Javier undressed the duo to place them inside jumbo plastic bags all the while waiting for any reaction from the barrio or fresh group intent on taking over the attack; or the police attracted by the shootout, but everything remained calm like a tomb.
With extreme care, he put the bodies in the trunk and stashed the garments in different bags. Then, rearranged the house exactly as visitors had seen it the last time, making sure not to leave any traces of blood.
He put the pistols used by him on the counter, but the ones used by the bandits in a bag along with the clothes (if seen there would reveal Javier had recovered them). Opened the gate and took the car out. The street was deserted which facilitated the getaway without being noticed.
He took the solitary road to Toluca, quite shaky since he had two bodies still warm in the trunk. Suddenly, he froze by the sight: up ahead, at the end of a straight segment, right after the point called El Guarda, a police patrol alongside the road signaled him to stop.
Terrorized, but coolly, he pulled over. – Good day, sir, aren't you going a tad too fast? - Asked the police officer peeking inside the car. – Good day, officer. Please, excuse me, but I need to make it to Toluca in a hurry to conduct an investigation- While producing his detective's badge.
Once he saw it, the agent stood to attention as he said: - In that case, keep yourself going – without trying to conduct any further inquiry. Yet fearful, Javier moved on toward a seemingly bottomless abyss he knew from a recent case.
A couple of kilometers down the road he detoured over a dirt road and after a 10-minute drive stopped to unload the compromising cargo over an endless abyss. He burned down the clothing and dropped the guns into an interminable pit. Got back to Mexico City and stayed in a hotel for a week.
Back in his place, he found the house intact. He immediately knew the relatives of Chito and Xocoyote had been asking around for their missing ones with a doomed look on their faces; hurriedly, they went to knock at Javier's door as soon as they knew he was back.
Putting up his best face, Poli let them in surprised they had gone missing and said he didn't know a thing about it. They posed many more questions, but Tira was careful not to trip himself or contradict his statements, until not too convinced, they left to join a small mob waiting for them in the street, solidary in the search of their children
From that point on, Javier had to watch over his shoulder since most suspected he had, using police techniques, disposed of the duo, but couldn't make any claims openly because that would prove them not only guilty but abettors of a robbery which hadn't even been expressed.
However, Javier feared for his life since his formerly jolly friends were now asking questions when he the least expected looking at him with mistrust; also, no longer were they interested in drinking beer or stopping by for a chat.
After many weeks of the same doses of tension and stress, Javier finally broke down, and out of sheer anguish asked his friend and coworker for help. Without hesitation, he confessed what his dilemma was.
The friend, nonchalantly simply asked: "Why don't you move to a different address and quit your job?" Taken aback, Javier said that would be out of the question; he had inherited that house from his parents, and leaving it would equal a betrayal, to a forsaking act on his part.
His friend took upon him to dissipate those childish feelings and confronted him with the unavoidable reality: he faced now an entire barrio of mean people who wouldn't hesitate of stabbing him in daylight and that the best bet was to get the heck out of there right away.
After some resistance, in the end, he agreed. That same week Javier moved to a far-away city after being discharged. He commissioned the sale of the house to a real estate firm and up until now, after 50 years, seems it was the perfect multi-homicide.