"No," he replied.
"Don't lie to me, Bennie."
"O.K., yeah. It's an Uzi-like machine gun."
"What caliber is it?"
"Where is it?"
"I don't know." Thompson was embarrassed and contrite. "Look, I was scared. I didn't think anybody'd hear about it."
The police searched everywhere for the gun. Heisser acknowledged that she had suggested having Thompson's guns removed from his house, and she said the 9-mm had ended up in Carter's car. Carter denied any knowledge of the gun. It has never been found.
The police dug up half of Thompson's yard and found one 9-mm shell casing. The marks on the casing didn't match those found on the shells at the murder scene. Of course, the cops were bristling over Thompson's lie about not owning a 9-mm. "The perception was that he got rid of the murder weapon," Kelly says.
Nor were the police any less agitated when, in early March, they discovered that phone records didn't support Thompson's alibi; he had made no long-distance calls from home on the night of Feb. 4, and there was no way to document his local calls. "The house was crumbling," Kohnke says. "An arrest was imminent."