K. Ceres Wright

Here’s another speech I wrote for Toastmasters based on a character, Rayne Lyncott, in my story, Leaving Seadover. Read below:

Rayne Lyncott joined the Police Department in 2050 and I’m sure you have all heard the stories of when she cracked the cases of the capsized yacht, the amputated leg, and the scorned priest. 

I first met her in 2065, when she took pity on a lowly Detective Constable and allowed me to shadow her on the amputated leg investigation. When I first saw the body lying on the kitchen island, my dinner almost made a return trip. I was going through a hard time back then, but Superintendent Lyncott took note and showed me the ropes. I got to help interrogate witnesses, read the CSI node, and even pick an old-fashioned lock. It got my mind off my troubles. She possessed a wealth of knowledge…which criminals frequented which pubs, which cabbies gave the best information, and, based on the day’s news, who was going to commit which crime that night. I remember once we showed up at a warehouse one evening and staked it out. You see, earlier that day, we were investigating the death of a man who was rumored to be skilled in the art of the short con. Name of Russell McCrary. A search of his flat turned up camouflage Army uniforms, a single working mobile rail gun, and a trunk full of fake rail guns. A deal was obviously going down with someone who wanted to buy military weaponry. But there was no evidence as to who, when, or where. But knowing McCrary’s past MO, the Superintendent knew that he never obtained the props without setting up the entire con first. She suspected the deal was going down that night. After she scoured incoming flights from Zimbabwe, she found that a member of their army, Jabulani Chiwenga, was landing at Heathrow that afternoon and leaving the next morning. So we took up position in, say, somewhere outside our jurisdiction, at a place McCrary used before. Needless to say, by night’s end, after two pints apiece and three bags of crisps, the Calais police in France were in custody of an anti-Chinese rebel after a tip from a couple of inebriated citizens doing their “civic duty.”

In the case of the capsized yacht, a rich man, Alistair Crowe, had one son, Kevin, and had recently remarried after his first wife caught him cheating and left him. Cut to the new wife playing fast and loose with Kevin’s inheritance, getting weekly manicures, buying new yachts, and jetting all over the world. Then, one day, the father disappears, along with one of his new boats, The Bounty. Security cameras from the dock picked up the father and a blonde in a flowered dress heading for The Bounty. Everyone assumed they were lost at sea, but about a week later, The Bounty rolled up on a beach in Morocco. Superintendent Lyncott researched the ocean currents, interviewed experts, and determined the only way the boat would have been picked up by the current was at a point far distant to where boats of that size would normally sail. After interviewing the household staff, an underpaid butler let it be known that Crowe never sailed without a full ship’s complement of crew. Also, there were several bottles of expensive wine missing from the wine cellar. Bottles that the son had had his eye on for years. After tracking the wife’s whereabouts, the Superintendent found that a mysterious car had rammed into the wife’s on a side road from the video of a house doorbell. She traced the license back to a rental in the father’s name, but video at the rental facility showed Kevin. Turned out he had kidnapped his stepmother, killed her, and dumped her body in a vat of concrete at a building site. Then he drugged his father, put on a flowered dress and blonde wig, and pretended his father was drunk as they headed toward the boat at the docks. He drove the boat out to sea, then jumped ship and swam to a companion remote-controlled boat and headed toward a private harbor. The Bounty sailed on, toward the ocean, until it got caught in a storm and washed up in Morocco.

In the case of the scorned priest, a bishop was suspected of having embezzled 10 million dollars from his diocese, and also having an affair with a nun. The nun had been squirreling away the money the bishop had given her and they both had planned to leave the clergy on the same day and run away together. But the nun was also seeing a young real estate investor, and quit the clergy the day before she’d planned. Instead she ran off with the real estate guy and the bishop’s ill-gotten gains to Florida in the US. Well, the bishop stayed in the clergy, but hired an investigator to track down the nun and her lover. When he’d found them, he shot them and dumped their bodies in the swamp, where alligators promptly ate them. Superintendent Lyncott worked with computer forensics to hack the bishop’s phone and a cryptologist from MI5 to decode the messages the investigator had sent, and bang, Bob’s your uncle. Case closed.

Superintendent Lyncott even helped get my mother into rehab, which allowed her to live longer than she would have if she had remained an alcoholic. For that, I’ll always be grateful to Superintendent Lyncott.

It is stories like these, ladies and gentleman, and countless others that epitomize the tenacity, perseverance, and old-fashioned detective work that Superintendent Lyncott has done to further the aims of the Bexhill Police Department.

We at BPD are indeed fortunate to have had the privilege of sharing the Superintendent’s expertise, work ethic, and commitment. As you may recall, she achieved countless goals and accolades – too many to mention now, but allow me to share one such example with you. She received a call one day from the Palace, informing her she was to be honored as a Dame Grand Cross for her years of service. Being a republican, and having Irish heritage, she promptly said, “If I don’t get a castle in Ireland and a salary of two pints a day, you can keep yer cross.”

Superintendent Lyncott, you have left a remarkable legacy behind and one that will remain with us for years to come. You are leaving Bexhill a better place than when you found it, and that in itself, will remain a lasting tribute to your professionalism. 

We will miss you our colleague, a consummate professional, a confidante, a friend, a wise counselor, a shoulder to lean on, a visionary, a leader, and indeed a lady of note.

Remember us fondly and may the years that lie ahead be filled with laughter, happiness, and even more dreams achieved. This is our wish for you as we say “so long,” but not farewell.

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