A journal entry by Sergeant Lindsay Boxer, San Francisco
Police Department, and a transcript of her interview with
reporter Cindy Thomas for The Costco Connection (5/2/05).
I was dressing for work when Conklin called to say that
there’d been a drive-by shooting on Clyde Street and that he
was waiting for me at the scene.
I secured my Glock in my shoulder holster, grabbed my
jacket, shouted goodbyes to Joe and my dog, then ran downstairs to where my Explorer was parked at the curb. I had a
new hood ornament. It was my pal Cindy Thomas, girl
reporter, pretty in pink. She was leaning against my car with a
tape recorder in her hand.
LB: Cindy, what are you doing here?
CT: We have an interview, remember?
LB: Not now. There’s been a shooting. I’ll call you later.
CT: You’ve blown me off three times, Linds. This is my
freelance job for The Costco Connection, like I told you. I’m
LB: I’ll call you later. I will.
I unlocked my car, and by the time I got behind the wheel,
Cindy was in the passenger seat, strapped in. I looked at her in
exasperation. She was a bulldog. If I had a wooden leg and she
had her teeth around it, I would have to take the leg off in
order to ditch her.
To be fair, this very tenacity had brought Cindy into my
life. A few years back, while on an assignment for the Chronicle,
she’d busted into a crime scene I was working and refused to
back off. In the end, she helped me solve the crime.
She was glaring back at me now. Bulldog-style.
I said, “When we get to Clyde Street, you are getting out of
this vehicle if I have to forcibly evict you.” I’m 5-foot- 10 and
fit. Cindy is 6 inches shorter and no match for me.
“OK,” she said. “OK, OK, OK.”
I flicked on the grille lights, and, with siren screaming,
I tore up Lake Street and headed toward the scene of some
“I’m answering three questions,” I said. “That’s all.”
Cindy held the microphone up to my face as the car flew
up Bryant Street.
CT: Your father was with the SFPD. Did he inspire you to
become a police officer?
LB: I don’t want to talk about my father. That’s personal.
CT: Why do I love you?
LB: Same reason I love you. A force of nature. Next.
CT: That doesn’t count as a ques—Lindsay, truck.
LB: I see it. Hold on.
I dodged the delivery van, spun the wheel and took the
corner onto Second Street on two wheels. I smelled some-
The Costco Connection
James Patterson’s The 8th Confession is available
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thing burning. Cindy was panting, and her face was white.
She bulled on.
CT: Jobwise, what’s your biggest regret?
LB: Regrets? None so far.
CT: You’ve been called to a shooting. What are you think-
ing? Let me into your head. Just talk to me.
LB: I don’t want to see young kids dead. I’m afraid a bad
situation could get worse. That something will happen that
I’m not prepared for. That I just said goodbye to Joe and it
could be the last time I’ll ever see him.
CT: Oh my gosh. I didn’t know that, Linds.
LB: You don’t know that I’m afraid?
I sped through the light at Townsend Street and braked at
the corner of Clarence Place, three blocks from the shooting.
“This is your stop, Cindy.”
“Let me come with you. I won’t get in the way.”
Cindy exited the car. I grabbed the handle and pulled the
door closed, shot away from the curb and minutes later met
my partner on one of the worst blocks in the ’hood.
One gangbanger was dead, a baby-faced teenager who was
armed and wearing his colors. His mother was a witness. She
told us the shooter’s name, and, after kicking in a door and a
chase through abandoned buildings and crooked streets, we
made an arrest.
I saw Joe that night and slept in his arms.
What I couldn’t know was that 24 hours after I’d left Cindy
on Clarence Place, I’d be involved in a crime that would make a
drive-by shooting seem routine. That in the days that followed,
Conklin, Cindy and I would be touched by a chain of events
both terrible and sinister, a mind-bender to end them all.
As I dressed the next morning, it was about to go down.
It would start with a bang. C
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