Charlie O'Brien, Private Investigator II

Submitted into Contest #128 in response to: Start your story with someone making a cup of tea — either for themself or for someone else.... view prompt


Mystery Suspense Crime




Charlie’s secure satellite cell phone rang, and as always it rang to “Private Eyes”, of course, what else would a real-life private eye have for a ring tone? Charlie always loved “Hall and Oates” the fantastic singing/songwriting duo from Philly!

“I see you, you see me, watch you blowin’ in the wind, when you’re making a scene, oh, girl, you’ve got to know, what my head overlooks, the senses will show to my heart, when it’s watching for lies, you can’t escape my Private Eyes.” On the ring tone were these words:

“You play with words, you play with love, you can twist it all around, baby, that ain’t enough ‘Cos girl, I’m gonna know if you’re letting me in or letting me go, don’t lie, when you’re hurting inside ’Cos you can’t escape my Private Eyes.”        

Charlie just loves that tune, he really does. He also loves Philadelphia, and he calls his gorgeous model like looking wife, his ‘Philly girl.’

On the other end of the phone was Don Barnes, the OCSD Sheriff and Chief Coroner. He was just checking in with Charlie and Sarge and wanted to know what kind of condition our condition was in with regard to our investigation.

Charlie responded to the Sheriff, “Sadly, Sheriff, we have not taken down the bank- robbery gang yet, but trust me Sir, Sarge and our A-Team, and I shall, and you can take that to the bank.”

Just as soon as Charlie got off of the phone with the good Sheriff, ‘Private Eyes’ began singing to him once again. It was Captain Danks, Sarge and Yvette’s boss at the OCSD on Santa Ana Street, in Santa Ana.

The Cap wanted to know the same thing as did the Sheriff and he got the same answer from Charlie, that is to say, “Nothing yet Captain, but I will definitely keep you posted, rest assured of that.”

Charlie just had a thought, a brainstorm as it were in his opinion anyway, he decided to call the excellent RCSD (Riverside County Sheriff and Coroner), Chad Bianco. He and the good Sheriff had worked on several criminal cases in the past. And Charlie held him in high regard.

Charlie spoke just as soon as the Sheriff answered his personal cell phone, “Sheriff I was wondering if I could borrow one of your good deputies, perhaps a weapons expert, to assist us with our nightmare bank-robbery investigation?”

Sheriff Bianco, replied immediately, “I’ve heard and read about the heinous bank robberies in L.A. It is very high profile out here in the I.E. (Inland Empire) because we are right next door to L. A. County.”

Then he hesitated, then he continued, “Of course, anything for my old P.I. compadre. And I will let you have my undersheriff for up to six months, he is the best man that I got amigo, how about that?”

Charlie was shocked, he really was, then after he gained his composer, somewhat, he said, “Sheriff I cannot thank you and the RCSD enough, and I shall return the huge favor sometime in the future when you need a hand with one of your investigations.”

He also told Sarge, “You know my son, everybody needs milk. You and Yvette and your whole family should be drinking milk every day. Look at how healthy I am and I have been drinking lots of milk my whole life. But I still like a good cold Coke or Pepsi Cola every now and then.”

Then just before he took his first bite of a French Curler (or his Chocolate Long John or his jelly-filled glazed donut) his cell rang once again, it was ‘Sergeant Kevin Lybrand’ and he was calling his man Charlie to get an update on their investigation.

Charlie very quickly took a bite, a big bite of the cruller, and a big gulp of milk and replied, “Hey Kevin, what’s happening my friend?” Then he added, “Kevin I am right in the middle of an important phone call, can I get right back to you after I finish my three donuts, oops, oh, I mean my long distant phone call?”

Kevin, laughed and then laughed some more, then almost gagged with laughter and then finally spoke, “Charlie ole man, go right ahead and finish your three donuts, oops, oh no, I mean your important phone call, and then call me back, OK?”

Kevin added, “I just talked to Hong Kong ‘Triade’ gang members, scary, very scary individuals with lots of tat’s (Tattoo’s), all over their bodies as well as their faces and on top of their shaved heads.”

He then added some more, “The leader of the gang, which had five members, was named ‘Vicktor Karchenco’ and he was big, and he was vicious and, he was most definitely deadly.” Then he thought for a second, and added some more:

His nickname was the ‘Fisherman,’ and the reason for that name was that if you cheated him, or disrespected him, or if he just did not like the way you looked, ‘he would put you to sleep with the fish.’

Then Kevin asked Charlie, “Do you remember the God Father movies, Charlie?” And Charlie replied, “Yes, Kev I saw all of them, actually several times.” Then Charlie said, “Good work Sergeant Lybrand, very good work. You just got us our first concrete lead on the bank robbers.”

Then, “Hit some ‘hot spots’ while you are still there in Chinatown and turn-over some rocks and see if any low life illegal Ruskies (or Commie Pinkos, as I like to call them) turn up. Remember Kevin, ‘head on a swivel,’ like Sarge always says.”

After Kevin’s call, and taking some, or a lot, of his stomach medicine for his GERD, Charlie called Sarge. He was down in Korea Town, around Pico and Alvarado area. Charlie told Sarge that he loved Korean people as they were almost always very honest and honorable individuals. However, “Just ‘sniff’ around a little bit and see if anything, or anyone, ‘smells.’”

Sarge quickly responded, “10-4 Jefe, you know that I am on the job, and remember old man, be careful out there and watch your back.” Sarge loved our man Charlie but he just could not help himself teasing him every chance he got.

Then Sarge thought, and decided to add, “Charlie, old man, sometime let’s, you, Yvette ‘Marie’, your lovely wife, Lynn, Kevin and his wife, and Captain Danks and his wife, all get together and fly down to my and your favorite place, Ensenada, Mexico.”

And, he also stated, “And, Jefe, we could all sing ‘Kum ba Yah’ on the way down there. And eat a ton of excellent real Mexican food (comida) on the jet plane. Also, you could tell us some of your well known ‘war stories.” Then he laughed, again.

Later that same day, Charlie caught a call from Billy Thieme, an old friend who lives out in the Valley (San Fernando Valley). He used to work for the LACSD (Department) in the ‘rough and tumble’ Firestone Division in the Norwalk, Dairy Valley, Hawaiian Gardens, and Bell Gardens.

Charlie knew that there was a very large Russian enclave who lives in and around North Hollywood. Most of them were here legally and they came to the U.S. to get away from the Godless Communists, however, lots were not, and they were former FSB [KGB], same people, same faces, just a different name.

The restaurant’s name was the ‘Little Odessa’s Russian Community Lounge.’ Billy knew some Russian friends who frequented that place. His friends overheard some tough and nasty looking guys in the corner one night.

According to Billy’s friend, the leader of the ‘pack’ was a scary, very scary, looking man named ‘Vicktor Kharchenko,’ cousin of the very infamous ‘Decebal Stefan Emilian Matasareno’ half of the North Hollywood ‘Shoot Out’ meth-head duo back in the 1990’s. .

The other half of the quite deadly duo was “Larry Eugene ‘Murph’ Phillips, Jr.”

And it just so happens that he was one of the infamous ‘meth-head’ bank robbers back in the 1990’s that took down the Bank of America branch in North Hollywood. That was the worst botched bank robbery in US history.

Charlie turned on his cell phone to the itune feature and looked up one of his all- time favorite blues songs, “Boom, boom” (boom, boom) by the incredible Mississippi Delta bluesman, ‘Mr. John Lee Hooker.’ It started out like this:

Then our man Charlie called Jan Smoker, and asked her to call her old CIA friends and see what they could find out about our ‘Fisherman’ and his Crew. Jan is so fast and efficient, that she called Charlie back in only four hours.

She started out by saying, “Charlie my good Hijo, my CIA contacts at the ‘Agency’ said that the Fisherman and all five of his evil cohorts, were all former FSB (formerly known as the KGB) members.

The same mean and violent type people, same scary looking faces, same snake-like whisper voices, but just different names.” And then she looked at her notes, and started speaking again, “These are bad dudes, real bad dudes, Charles, so ‘keep your head on a swivel’ as Sarge likes to say.”

Charlie was shocked at how much Jan found out in so little time, he replied, “Thank you ever so much, very important news from ‘your voice to my ears. And remember careful is my middle name.”

Jan laughed, and laughed, and then laughed some more, then answered, “Sure, Charlie, sure you will, old man.” Then Jan had a big smile on her face, and hung up her secure cell phone.


Charles Warner Kennedy (Charlie) O’Brien, is a Dreamer, he truly is!


On weekends Charlie drives his Classic 1964 Chevy Impala two-door hardtop. This beautiful ride has been completely restored to the original condition. He just loves classic cars and he has owned several of them over his life time. 

Do you remember that great old 'Motown' song, "Charlie Brown" by the fabulous Coasters? Charlie just absolutely loves Barry Gordy's Motown Music, he truly does. 

Charlie and his lovely, model-looking-like wife, Lynn, just saw the fabulous 'Smokey Robinson.’

It was just an unbelievable performance and just to make it even more memorable, Mr. Berry Gordy (yes, the man himself) was in the audience. How cool is that? Smokey and Barry live in the same theater. WOW.

 People love to sing, "Here comes Charlie Brown," whenever they see him. 

 Once again, and out of the blue, Charlie was hailed by his ever present and always within easy reach, cell phone. As you already know, his welcoming ring tone is “Private Eyes” by fantastic Philly boys, ‘Hall and Oates.’

On the other end of the line, was LT Yvette ‘Marie’ Murrieta, Charlie’s beloved Mija (adopted daughter). He was always so, so very happy whenever she called him, he really was.

She was also known, when not ‘on the job’ as Mrs. J. J. Hernandez, the Sarge’s wonderful and very brave, wife. She was, as you know, a Lieutenant at the Orange County Sheriff’s department in the O. C.

Also, Charlie likes to tell everyone, and I do mean everybody, that she is the better half, a much better half, and then he always adds “by far.”

Whenever anyone tells Sarge what Charlie says, he always responds, “Charlie is right for once in his life, Yvette is the better half, no disagreement on my part about that, none at all.”

LT. Yvette was doing some R and R (Research and Reconnaissance) on the ‘Fisherman’ his Russki thugs, for the A-Team. And she ran across some very interesting ‘dirt’ about them and she thought that Charlie would want to hear about it, a-sap.

 Yvette spoke as soon as he answered his cell and she said, “Pappy how are you doing? Good I pray, Sarge and I want to have you and Mama Lynn, over for dinner soon, real soon.”

“And I will make my famous tamales, enchiladas, and burritos, and tacos too. Of course, with Mexican rice, beans, Sarge’s BBQ corn, and lots, and lots of hot flour tortillas.”

She continued, “Plus as usual, I will make you a big family style taco salad, one of your favorites I know.” LT. could almost hear Charlie salivating over the phone (he is such a foodie, she thought to herself), so she added quickly, “Calm down Jefe, we got a vicarious bank robbery crime to solve first, then we eat, fiesta, and then eat some more, alright?”


And this is what the’ three ‘Amigos’ (Yvette, Sarge, and Charlie) found out that most of the good and law-abiding citizens of Los Angeles County do not know.

Alex Villanueva, the Sheriff and Chief Coroner, of all of Los Angeles County, which is one of one of the greatest and largest Sheriff’s Departments in the whole country, the LASD Department, told Charlie and Sarge and LT Yvette, the brief (very brief) history of his excellent and dedicated department, and this is what he told them:


LASD Alex Villanueva, Sheriff, LAPD Michael Moore, Police Chief, and our man, Charlie the world famous, PI, were driving on the 10 (Santa Monica) Freeway, as it intersects with the log-jam 110 (Harbor Freeway) near downtown Los Angeles.

They were riding in Charlie’s new BMW, which he likes to call Black beauty III, because he has had three of this particular model 750IL, and they were all beautiful black in color.

Alex said to Charlie, “Hey, my amigo, let’s turn on your car stereo and listen to some tunes. I think that my compadre here, Chief Moore, likes the blues just like I do, and I recall you telling me that you love ‘John Lee Hooker,’ the great blues master.”

Michael leaned over and turned the volume up loud, real loud and at the same time opened up Charlie’s cool sun-roof so that everyone in downtown LA could hear the great Blues music along with them.

Then Alex said to Michael, “If we get pulled over for loud music, by the LAPD, can you flash your badge so that our friend Charlie does not get a ticket?” The Chief laughed really loud and then responded, 10-4 Sheriff.”

And Charlie yelled to Alex, louder Sheriff, turn it up louder, let the gang bangers know that the new L.A. Sheriff and the new L.A. Police Chief are in town.”

L.A. Bank Robbery Suspects

Charlie called Peggy and Ron Edwards, Jan Smoker, and LT. Yvette Marie, and asked them who were the prime ‘person (s) of interest’ in the terrifying and accelerating Los Angeles (the bank robbery capital of the world) robberies?

This is the list that they came up with, and told Charlie that this was just a preliminary list, and that there very well might be several more criminal organizations and or individuals to be added at a later date.

1. The Russians:

Vicktor Karchenco (aka the Fisherman); Alexandar (Alex) Kopiyka; and, Boris Omsk ‘Big’ Tvershaya.

All of these despicable, and murderous individuals, were ex-FSB (formerly the hated and greatly feared- KGB) officers. They stole a lot of money, gold and silver, and a ton of weapons when they left their former ‘handlers.’

2. The Deadly Hong Kong Triad:

Formerly known as the “White Lotus Family” (San Ho Hui). And thought to be over 250 years old!

3. The North Korean Criminal Organization:

Known as “Kkangpae Communist Society”.

Also, they are said to be part of the North Korean Mafia, and the Japanese Yakuza.


Charlie told LT. Yvette Marie, that he really liked Korean (South Korean) people. They have a great, honorable and very ancient culture, are very polite, and very respectful. They are also highly intelligent people and their children love to learn and excel at school.

Then Yvette said to Charlie, “My favorite Jefe ever, I love Korean people just like you do. And also, I love and I know you do too, the Korean people in the North. They are treated so inhumanely and terribly, and yet they endure and they survive.”

4. The world roving Romanian Gypsyies:

Known all over the world by the name, “The Emil Matasareanu gang.”


Charlie said to OCSD LT. Yvette Marie, “Mi’ja, wonderful daughter of mine, do you remember the very popular hit song by Randy Newman, ‘I Love L. A’?” Yvette immediately replied, “Si my great Pappy, I remember it well, me and all of my friends in school, went around singing it all of the time, back in the day.”

Charlie said let’s play it on my iPod just for the fun of it, get Sarge on your cell phone speaker so he can sing along with the two of us, alright?” She laughed and then laughed some more. She has such a marvelous laugh, Charlie thought.

Yvette started to laugh, again, and Charlie asked her what was so funny? She responded, “My Jefe, do you know how bad my beloved husband’s voice is? I love him dearly, as you know, but he really cannot sing very well.”

January 10, 2022 21:55

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