2.2 Red Herring
Vanco found some folders in the drawer of the table and shuffled through the pages tearing them down and stuffing them in his jacket pockets. He wore a white jacket, with a half bald head, a round reddish face with brows joined together, a short thickset guy.
Miloš was taller, around five-ten, with a trimmed rough beard and a strong jawline, black hair, black eyes with a scar across his face and the looks of a crook in a black hoodie. Miloš glanced out of the door to find Jaco walking up the corridor. He gave a shout, “Jaco!”
And Jaco saw him. He turned around and ran out of the corridor. He ran out of the hotel entrance.
Vanco dropped the folders and followed Miloš running up the corridor and down the stairs and pass the lobby out through the entrance.
Jaco could not run very fast with that heavy bag on his shoulder. He ran to Szentháromság Park. Tackled the pathways winding through the trees and fallen leaves down the hill. At one point, he treaded on Hunyadi János út looking behind to see if Miloš was following between the walls of the Old Town. He entered another park and negotiated the flights of steps, Király Lépcsö, and crossed half a mile to arrive at Clark Ádám tér and ran to Lánchíd Park at the end of his breath. Jaco wondered whether he should hide in the tunnel alagút or dash for the bridge or grab a cab.
Miloš stood amidst the golden autumn shades of the trees in Lánchíd Park with a Mauser in his hand.
Jaco Ferre ran towards the Budavári Sikló fence; funicular railway shut down since it was destroyed in the Second World War. He could not make it. Miloš shot him in the back.
Jaco dropped his shoulder bag and ran north to cross Clark Ádám tér when he was shot again nearby the ‘worker statue’ that stood there at the time. Pedestrians took off in different directions to hear the shots echoing in the air.
Vanco appeared from nowhere, picked the dark green bag and disappeared.
Jaco staggered on leaving behind a blood trail as people watched from behind the trees. He dropped dead at the foot of the 115-year-old Széchenyi Lánchíd.
Miloš was the first one to reach him and briefly paused on a knee beside his dead body and did what he did as if he was checking on his pulse.
Pedestrians began to gather and Miloš dissolved into the crowd fleeing from the scene in a green Trabant saloon that hopped on time to assist him just before the police arrived.
An investigation was launched. Jaco Ferre came from Spain, a 34-year-old representative of Catai Tours based in Barcelona who arrived a week ago and booked at Nyolc Hotel.
The Rendörség discovered an FBI identity card in the breast pocket of his jacket. It was a laminated card with ‘FBI’ written in blue and bore the name and signature of a Robert D Maxwell, ID Number 9053, with Jaco Ferre’s photo on it. They found nothing on his body, not even his wallet or passport or any other identification and his bag was removed by a man wearing a white jacket according to eyewitnesses at the scene.
Sasa at the reception described a thin man with a scratchy beard at the lobby browsing the brochures and he disappeared for a moment. Then she saw this man and another guy in a white jacket chasing Jaco Ferre who ran out of the door. Sasa dialled Room 21 knowing the escort was in the room but there was no response. She went up the stairs to Room 21 to find the door open and the girl tied on a chair. Everything else dumped in a mess on the bed. Sasa called the police.
The Rendörség arrived and begun an inspection even before Jaco was killed at Clark Ádám tér.
Sasa passed a copy of the telex that led to Alexey at Hotel Nemzeti. This telex came from the Grand Hotel Savoy in Genoa, Italy – police found out quite efficiently. And when the Rendörség learnt that it was Alexey behind it, the Russians, all investigations stopped.
Sasa had no idea of a connection between Alexey and Jaco or who Alexey was and where he came from. She only knew Jaco was a frequent customer at the hotel and that Catai Tours used to book this hotel since it opened.
The Rendörség arrived at the crime scene with this knowledge and quickly cordoned the area but by this time, some local newspapers managed to obtain a picture or two. Next day, some articles did appear on the papers to bring about different narrations of the incident. Some papers even mentioned Gábris Hajnal involved in a hold up at the hotel where the decedent was staying.
None of these stories would leave the Pest or the Buda until few days later an article appeared on the social paper, Népszava, that an FBI agent was assassinated in a foot chase from Nyolc Hotel by two gunmen who fled the scene in a getaway car. Both sides of the FBI identity card were printed on the paper with the photo on it obscured in black. A photo of Jaco Ferre appeared on the paper and some images of the crime scene included. Furthermore, a US passport main page printed with Jaco Ferre’s photo on it. Nothing said about the call girl in the hotel room in Népszava.
It wasn’t a normal death but through diplomatic means, information being shared by both parties and the Spanish Consulate accepted the body and identified the person without a passport. Catai Tours was bankrupt and Jair Sivils was a fugitive to several countries although the Spanish authorities were able to reach him. Information he passed was inconsistent to the information obtained from Budapest. Then came the issue of repatriation and both parties appointed funeral agents to follow with the transfer however, Hungary kept delaying the process by saying that the Rendörség had still to certify the release of the deceased since it was a matter of national security violation.
Eventually, the sealed casket of Señor Jaco Ferre left Budapest on 23rd October 1964 by train via Paris.