Gabriel Ross Series: Recaps Dead For Now: Chapters 3, 4, 5

Chapter Three–Unknown Known: Dorothy Kilgallen

Aside from a mysterious death, Kilgallen was also one of the U/K who had documents or a manuscript that disappeared. If only the internet and PGP dropboxes existed then. I take from this if you have a hot tell-all blow-the-lid-off set of documents, keep them in a safe place with copies hidden elsewhere, and don’t tell anyone.


Zest does not want to further Damon Clement’s interest in Gabriel. But Damon is insistent, and he wants to bring his assistant, code named Encausse, in on the investigation. Zest hasn’t met Encausse yet, and although Clement clearly feels a relationship between him and Zest, Zest attempts to get Clement to back down–arguing he’s trying to protect Clement.

We get a preview of a book Walter writes in the future (2012, we’re currently in 2011). A history of the Tertullian Society.

Back in 2011, Gabriel and Veronica and working with Chiang. They are in a warehouse Chiang owns, in Queens. Joel and Chris are there too, watching with Walter. Gabriel wants to Chiang to train Veronica in martial arts. Walter notes how Chiang is the only person he’s seen Gabriel accept orders from, and Chris notes how Joel watches both Gabriel and Veronica in action.

Later on, Gabriel and Veronica discover that a reporter at the Standard has been making up information for his stories. Gabriel engages him in an interrogation and gets him to confess. Alex is very grateful for that, as the paper can now contain the damage. But in a private conversation after the interrogation, Alex tells Gabriel that his source (whom Alex described in TBOJ) Zach Mesereau, has disappeared.

Gabriel knows that Mesereau is somehow connected to the Tertullians. He never told Alex that, although he warned Alex to leave the story alone. But Alex presses Gabriel now; he’s concerned over Mesereau’s well-being. Gabriel reluctantly agrees to look into it.

Gabriel prepares to have a pleasant evening with Joel–until he tells Joel that he’s going to see what happened to Mesereau. Joel is not happy about that. But not unhappy enough to allow it to ruin his plans.

Gabriel starts looking for Mesereau, but his attention is more on finishing his thesis to complete his Masters. At the CUNY Midtown campus, where his uncle used to teach, Gabriel is researching late at night. He gets the sense he’s being stalked.

Chapter Four

Unknown Known: Karen Silkwood

Silkwood is one of the first conspiracies I remember my mom talking about, outside of Watergate. She was also a whistleblower regarding safety in the nuclear energy field. Back in the Seventies, concern over nuclear facilities was much more prominent in the news than today. Whistleblowing was considered noble, whereas today it’s grounds for prosecution and personal attack. Check out this story from Project Censored last year, about various whistleblower cases:


Gabriel has a cat and mouse situation with whoever is tracking him in the library, but manages to get outside. The mysterious person is following him. He doesn’t see Gabriel outside, but he speaks to him. Gabriel is absolutely unnerved.

Gabriel and Joel are supposed to have dinner with Joel’s mom, but Joel wants to cancel after what happened at the CUNY Campus. Gabriel refuses to cancel. They go to Wayne NJ to Gloria McFadden’s condo. Joel and Gloria still have a good deal of tension between them, which is aggravated by Gabriel’s concern that someone may have been in Gloria’s condo. He goes outside to see if he can detect any stalkers. Nothing seems to be there. Meanwhile Joel is ready to leave after another argument with Gloria. Gabriel wants some protection for her–inviting her friend Det. John Dell to check in, but Joel is dismissive of that.

Nonetheless, Gabriel asks Dell to watch over her, sparking a confrontation with Joel. They manage to get over it, as both are stressed from the situation going on.

Although things improve in general, Alex doesn’t want to let go of Gabriel trying to find Mesereau. So Gabriel and Veronica go to Queens to check out Mesereau’s house. As they go in, we find out Clement and his protege Encausse are watching via camera.

Chapter Five–Unknown Known: Gary Underhill

Underhill was one of the many JFK collateral happenstances–mysterious deaths, intelligence connections. His was another suicide that had strange circumstances (wrong hand). While a few JFK-related U/K are used, I used the more distant (Kilgallen, Underhill, Boggs) than the ones directly related, which have been picked apart more incessantly.


Gabriel and Veronica search the house while under watch from Clement and Encausse. They find a hidden compartment in the kitchen, and remnants of photos, a list, and a key. Clement and Encausse are unable to see exactly what they find. Gabriel determines that they are being watched, and scrubs the compartment clean.

In Battery Park City, Zest meets with Clement. Clement is again very fond of Zest, and doesn’t notice the feelings aren’t returned. Clement rhapsodizes about his mentor long ago, and his experiments, and why he’s interested in Gabriel. He also happens to mention that with every ‘agent’ in the Tertullians, he’s implanted a post-hypnotic ‘tell’ that will cause the agent to expose themselves should they dare try to break away. As Zest had been considering doing just that, he’s highly distressed.

We then have another excerpt from Walter’s book, which has some info on Clement’s mentor and his experiments.

At the Standard library, Gabriel is lost in thought about more spiritual matters, but Alex interrupts to press him about Mesereau. Gabriel tells him that Mesereau is likely injured, and something bad may be going on that involves the Tertullians. Alex seems impressed for once.

The next day Gabriel plays with Jason’s band. Then while Joel socializes with Iz and Chris, Gabriel goes to smoke with Jason and Danny at Danny’s apartment. They enjoy that until there’s a knock on the door–somebody wants to speak to Gabriel.  

Between the Pages:

  • The troublesome situation Alex approached Gabriel about in TBOJ is back. Remember that Mr. Zest had warned Gabriel that the case was connected in some way with the Tertullian Society.
  • The dinner with Gloria follows up on Joel beginning a new relationship with her in TBOJ. Gloria gave Joel a hard time then about what Meese had told her (about Joel’s past work). They have a touchy connection, which Gabriel suffers through–the third party who has to act as a buffer. Family stuff is just the worst. I don’t judge Gabriel or Joel in this situation; they both have good points and both have flaws. The good thing is that they can get past it.
  • In Mesereau’s house, Gabriel quotes Robert Muldoon in Jurassic Park: “Clever girl.” It’s what Muldoon says to the raptor before he’s torn apart by it. 

Beyond the Pages:

  • The Babalon Working story Walter Churchill recounts is true. Hubbard and Parsons did attempt to tap into other dimensions–part of Hubbard’s interesting history pre-Scientology. I recommend the following book: Inside Scientology, by Lisa Reitman. Also a Village Voice article here
  • The questions Gabriel uses to interrogate Scott Roman are based upon some described by CIA experts in Spy the Lie.
  • Veronica is very much into magic, both old-school magicians of past centuries and the more hermetic kind. Encausse was indeed a 19th Century magician.

Questions for Readers:

Being the buffer for a couple of difficult people (Joel is difficult when he’s around his mom) is a thankless job. Has that ever been your role? How do you cope?

Playlist: Thom Yorke, Black Swan. So I’ve started getting into Radiohead and Thom Yorke, about 20 years or so after they came out. Pandora, bitch! Anyway, I like the low-key but darkly intense music. I also like the chorus of Cause this is fucked up, fucked up which seems natural rather than gratuitous. Also, the line:

This your blind spot, blind spot
It should be obvious, but it’s not

That fits the quiet uncomfortable action in this chapter, leading to Gabriel’s being stalked in the library.

INXS: Listen Like Thieves.  INXS, whom I saw live in the Eighties, is one of those bands I turn to regularly for a soundtrack.

Everybody’s down on their knees
Listen like thieves
For the end results
But who needs that
When you’ve got it
All in your hands

Might as well be INXS again, Devil Inside. In both melody and Michael Hutchence’s vocals, even their most positive songs still has a dark streak. And the darker songs have a witchy malevolence.

Words as weapons
Sharper than knives
Makes you wonder how the other half die

Copyright 2012-2017 Alex Fiano