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Книга EchoPark. Страница 85

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“We’ll get this back to you as soon as possible,” she said. “Thank you, Mr. Osborne.”

“Wait a minute! You said you were going to look at it here.”

Rachel was heading toward the office door, gathering that momentum again.

“There’s no longer time, Mr. Osborne. We have to move. You’ll have the file back by tomorrow morning.”

She was already through the door. Bosch followed, closing it behind him on Osborne’s final words.

“What about the court ord-”

As they passed behind the clerk, Walling asked her to buzz them out. Rachel kept a two-pace lead on Bosch as they headed out into the hallway. He liked walking behind her and admiring how she handled herself. Command presence in spades.

“Is there a Starbucks around here where we could sit and look at this thing? I’d like to look before heading back.”

“There’s always a Starbucks around.”

Out on the sidewalk they walked east until they came to a tiny luncheonette that had a small inside counter with stools. It beat looking for a Starbucks, so they went in. While Bosch ordered two coffees from the man behind the counter Rachel opened the file.

By the time the coffees were put down on the counter and paid for she had a one-page lead on him. They sat side by side and she passed each page to him after she was finished with her review of it. They worked silently and neither one drank their coffee. Buying the coffee had merely bought them the work space at the counter.

The first document in the file was a copy of Foxworth’s birth certificate. He was born at Queen of Angels Hospital. The mother was listed as Rosemary Foxworth, DOB 6/21/54, Philadelphia, Pa., and the father was listed as unknown. The mother’s address was an apartment on Orchid Avenue in Hollywood. Bosch placed the address in the middle of what was now called the Kodak Center, part of the Hollywood renovation and rebirth plan. It was all glitz and glass and red carpets now, but back in 1971 it would have been a neighborhood patrolled by streetwalkers and hypes.

The birth certificate also listed the doctor who delivered the child and a hospital social worker involved in the case.

Bosch did the math. Rosemary Foxworth was seventeen years old when she gave birth to her son. No father listed or in attendance. No father known. The listing of a social worker meant the county was picking up the tab on the delivery, and the home address did not bode well for a happy start for baby Robert.

All of this led to a picture developing like a Polaroid in Bosch’s mind. He guessed that Rosemary Foxworth had been a runaway from Philadelphia, that she hit Hollywood and shared a flop apartment with others like her. She probably worked the nearby streets as a prostitute. She probably used drugs. She gave birth to the boy and then the county eventually stepped in and took him away.

As Rachel passed him more documents, the sad story was borne out. Robert Foxworth was removed from his mother’s custody at age two and taken into the DCFS system. For the next sixteen years of his life he was in and out of foster homes and youth halls. Bosch noted that among the facilities where he had spent time was the McLaren Youth Hall in El Monte, a place where Bosch himself had spent a number of years as a child.

The file was replete with psychiatric evaluations conducted annually or upon Foxworth’s frequent returns from foster care homes. In total the file charted the journey of a broken life. Sad, yes. Unique, no. It was the story of a child taken from his one parent and then equally mistreated by the institution that had taken him. Foxworth floated from place to place. He had no real home or family. He probably never knew what it was like to be wanted or loved.

Reading through the pages brought up memories in Bosch. Two decades before Foxworth’s journey through the system Bosch had charted his own path. He had survived with his own set of scars, but the damage was nothing compared with the extent of Foxworth’s injuries.

The next document Rachel handed him was a copy of a death certificate for Rosemary Foxworth. She died March 5, 1986, of complications stemming from drug use and hepatitis C. She had died in the jail ward at County-USC Medical Center. Robert Foxworth would have been fourteen.

“Here we go, here we go,” Rachel suddenly said.


“His longest stay in any foster home was in Echo Park. And the people he stayed with? Harlan and Janet Saxon.”

“What’s the address?”

“Seven-ten Figueroa Lane. He was there from ’eighty-three to ’eighty-seven. Almost four years total. He must have liked them and I guess they liked him back.”

Bosch leaned over to look at the document in front of her.

“He was on Figueroa Terrace, only a couple blocks from there, when he got pulled over with the bodies,” he said. “If they had followed him for just one more minute they would’ve had the place!”

“If that’s where he was going.”

“It’s got to be where he was going.”

She handed him the page and moved on to the next. But Bosch stood up and walked away from the counter. He had read enough for the time being. He had been looking for the connection to Echo Park and now he knew he had it. He was ready to put the book work aside. He was ready to make a move.

“Harry, these shrink reports from when he was a teenager-he was talking about some sick shit here.”

“Like what?”

“A lot of anger toward women. Young promiscuous women. Prostitutes, drug users. You know what the psychology is here? You know what I think he ended up doing?”

“No and no. What?”

“He was killing his mother over and over again. All those missing women and girls they’ve hung on him? The one last night? To him they were like his mother. And he wanted to kill her for abandoning him. And maybe kill them before they did the same thing-brought a child into the world.”

Bosch nodded.

“That’s a nice shake-and-bake shrink job. If we had the time, you could probably find his Rosebud memory, too. But she didn’t abandon him. They took him away from her.”

She shook her head.

“Doesn’t matter,” she said. “Abandonment through lifestyle. The state had no choice but to step in and take him away from her. Drugs, prostitution, the whole thing. By being an unfit mother she abandoned him to this deeply flawed institution where he was trapped until he was old enough to walk away on his own. In his brain chart, that constituted abandonment.”

Bosch nodded slowly. He guessed that she was right but the whole situation made him uncomfortable. It felt too personal to Bosch, too close to his own path. Except for a turn here or there, Bosch and Foxworth had made similar journeys. Foxworth was doomed to kill his own mother over and over again. A police shrink had once told Bosch that he was doomed to solve his own mother’s murder over and over again.

“What is it?”

Bosch looked at her. He had not yet told Rachel his own sordid history. He didn’t want her profiling skills turned on him.

“Nothing,” he said. “I’m just thinking.”

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost, Bosch.”

He shrugged. Walling closed the file on the counter and finally raised her coffee cup to sip from it.

“So what now?” she asked.

Bosch looked at her for a long moment before answering.

“Echo Park,” he said.

“What about backup?”

“I’m going to check it out first, then call backup.”

She nodded.

“I’m going with you.”


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