Social Target – Chapter 3

Jack Nolan was proud of his career. He was responsible for cracking tough cases and putting many criminals behind bars throughout his career. He felt his effort was always 100+ percent and it bothered him that the psychiatrist was implying otherwise on the Anna Hanson case. It was a pretty cut and dry case he thought. A girl made up a story, received a lot of negative attention for it, refused to back down, and therefore ended up in a psychiatrist’s office to get help.

I have had one visit with Anna and read her file, and I feel like there is more missing to the story. This is a very odd story  for an adult female to make up.

Her words burned through him and wouldn’t stop. Did I do a half-ass job on this case? Was I too important to investigate it thoroughly? Did I miss something obvious? Jack knew he didn’t want the case to begin with, but he took every case seriously, and this case was investigated thoroughly. He just couldn’t get the questions to stop in his head after talking to the doctor, and he knew what that meant. This closed case was not over.

“James! Come in here.” Jack commanded out of frustration.

“What’s eating you?” James Hagston replied as he walked into Jack’s office.

“The Anna Hanson case. I..”

“I thought we closed that one?” James interrupted.

“We may have closed it too soon. Did you ever get answers back from the people at Facebook? Can we get Anna’s history for the past year, and confirm what we found is correct on her account? That she has had no activity since 2014?”

“We were told that providing that information was an invasion of privacy.”

“Did you ask if there was a way for Anna to sign a release so we would have access to her account?”

“No. I didn’t. You were ready to close the case, and we didn’t have any information to argue that decision.” James offered defensively.

“Well, I think we need to find out. The psychiatrist believes there is more to this story, and that we blew this one. I am starting to think the same. I have this nagging feeling we didn’t take this far enough, and that we wasted time in the 80+ hours dedicated to this one. Find out if Anna can sign a release ASAP. The ability to confirm her activity may give us all the answers we need.” Jack offered while rubbing his forehead and grimacing about what might happen.

James went online to find the answers about Facebook. Facebook offered users can download their own history on Facebook, but that was done already, and no activity was reported since 2014. Next he found an online submission form for law enforcement. James filled out the form and then decided it best to call Anna and advise her of the inquiry. No need for her to distrust the force more than she already did. At the same time, he remembered his interactions with Anna well, and he would rather someone else make the call.

“Detective Nolan?” James asked in a deep but playful tone when standing just outside his office.

“What? Was the assignment too tough to handle?” He barked humorously.

“I submitted an online form for the information. We should have a response within 72 hours. I was thinking it may be best to let Ms. Hanson know what we are doing. You know, since she has already concluded we are simply out to make her look crazy.”

“Fair idea. Let me know if there are any problems.” He said dismissively.

” I was thinking you might want to make that call to her.” He offered not knowing which he dreaded more – his response or hers.

“Why the hell do you need me to make that phone call?”

“The case is technically closed. If you are re-opening it – it might be best to tell her that. She might respect the decision more from someone who calls the shots. And – I got married so that I am only verbally abused by one woman.” James winked to soften his attempt to deflect the call.

“Fine. I will call the princess. Out!”

Detective Nolan was praying he wasn’t going to regret his decision, and that this doctor hadn’t created doubt in his mind unnecessarily. The seeds of doubt were already planted and so he had no choice but to follow through and find the answers. Picking up the phone he made the dreaded call.


“Hello. May I speak with Anna Hanson, please? This is detective Nolan.”

“Yes, Mr. Nolan. I remember your voice. To what do I owe this pleasure?” Her sarcasm unchanged from months ago.

“Ms. Hanson we have made another inquiry into your Facebook account. I appreciate that you allowed us to see your history voluntarily before, but we wanted to take a different look. Your doctor believes there is a missing piece to this case, and I believe that may be possible too.”

“You are kidding me right? I am crazy, remember? Your team made sure a judge agreed with you!”

“Yes, I remember that all the facts we could find did not back up your claims. However, I am willing to take one more leap to make sure we haven’t missed something. Our thinking is that maybe there is some quirk in your account, and the history the company can provide on your account may conflict with the history you were able to provide when accessing it yourself.”

“So why are you telling me this? Did you already make the request?” Annoyed didn’t begin to cover what she was feeling.

“We did. But, given how this case ended, I wanted to give you a courtesy call. We are not trying to find more information to prove you made up a story. This is a closed case. If Facebook cannot provide any new information then there will be no change in the case. The company will reach out to you, and I am hoping you will not block our request. Your doctor is trying to understand your case. I am trying to make sure we didn’t make a mistake. Will you work with us?” He asked fearing her answer.

After what seemed like an hour of silence she finally answered.

“Yes detective. I will work with you. I am working with you because I didn’t make this up. Clearing my name is important and I would never block the opportunity to do that. I have one request though. As soon as you have the results I want a copy of them sent to Dr. Jefferies.” She offered rationally.

“That was already the plan, Ms. Hanson. Thank you for taking my call. We will be in touch.” With that he disconnected the call.

Just then James walked back into his office as the curiosity was killing him.

“So… how did it go?” James asked while fidgeting with his feet along the door jam.

“If you wanted to know you should have made the damn call!” Jack offered trying to sound more angry than he was.

“That still doesn’t answer my question, Sir. How did it go.” James smiled waiting for the next reply.

“It went fine. She won’t cause any problems with the request. She asked for a copy of what we get back be sent to the doctor, and that would have happened regardless. Now we wait and see what happens next.”

“It’s always the simple cases.” James offered.

“Or the quiet ones.” Jack replied.


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