Unusual Suspects [part one] (bp coyle)

A heavy August day in London, 1989.

The tube was crammed, breathless. He needed to change at Hammersmith and chose to take the above ground route to get out in the open.

He didn’t noticed the plain clothes officer until the badge was in his face. He felt a moment of panic. Not that he had done anything wrong, however he was Irish and it was risky time to be Irish in England. He thought of the Birmingham Six. The Guildford Four.

‘Would you mind volunteering to be in a lineup?’ the officer asked. ‘Won’t take a minute and you get two pounds.’

‘Why not?’ he thought. ‘It’ll be an experience.’

They went to the nearby station where he joined the other men in a small room. They were a disparate lot. At twenty he was the youngest, the oldest looked to be at least seventy.

A sergeant came in, did a quick head count. ‘Nine. Great, follow me.’ They were led down several flights of steps, deeper and deeper underground and into the bowels of British justice.

The air grew cool and damp. That was when he began to feel a hint of real fear.

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