Number 21 – Part 3

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Short story
Tags: , , , ,

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Chapter 3

(Read Chapter 2 here: https://essdeeauthor.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/number-21-part-2/)

It was almost 6 in the evening. The John Doe had been identified from the missing reports as a small business owner named Howard Bracken. His wife had reported him missing 2 days ago. His wife was contacted and asked to come and confirm if the body was indeed her husband’s.

Alan was sitting on the chair looking at the white board. It had been put up with the photos of the victims and had arrows pointing to the previous cases they matched. He couldn’t understand how he was involved in all this, and if  the letters A, C were indeed his initials or meant something else completely. But the similarity to his first two cases and his initials were very hard to ignore. He was so engrossed in trying to unravel the mystery that he didn’t realise someone had come up beside him and was standing next to him looking at the board. The guy suddenly remarked upon the singularity of the case, making Alan jump out of surprise.

Conrad Higgins was his old partner. And his mentor. Higgins was with him on his first 7 cases and had trained him on how to interrogate and read people, where to look for clues, etc. On their eighth case together, Higgins had taken a bribe and destroyed evidence against the guilty, and Alan had reported him to his seniors. Higgins was suspended from duty and official proceedings were started against him. Alan went on cracking case after case, getting many applauds from the department, whereas Higgins got caught up in the bribery charges. Higgins did not speak to Alan for almost a year, and then one day, just called to meet up. They had beer together, talked about old days, and all was forgiven and forgotten.

Alan was glad to see his old partner here. Maybe he could shed some new light in the case. And as Higgins was involved in Alan’s first two cases as well, he could find an angle perhaps. Alan told him about the evidence and witness reports. Higgins opined that it might be someone who had tracked Alan’s success in solving homicide cases and wanted to challenge his abilities. Maybe the murderer was trying to create the perfect murder, a murder without motive or reason. In that case, it might be very difficult to catch him. This disheartened Alan, but he decided to pursue the thread nonetheless. He thanked Higgins for his help, and Higgins left, asking to be kept updated about the developments.

At around 7 PM, the CSU report on Mary newton’s apartment came back. A silver button had been discovered near the door in the CSU sweep. There was a partial fingerprint that matched the victim, but no other evidence on it. The button did not match any of the dresses of Mary, neither did it match any of those of her parents or her boyfriend. This was a new clue, and Alan assumed it belonged to the murderer and had torn off in the struggle to remove Mary from her house.

Alan returned back home at around 9 PM. He wasn’t feeling very good. The thought that he might be responsible for innocent people’s death was weighing him down. He was utterly depressed, and prayed that he would be able to catch the killer before he could claim any more victims. But Alan was without any clues that would help. He decided to analyse the whole case from the beginning again.

He had dozed off in the sofa in the hall, when vibrations of the phone in his pocket woke him up. It was Jerry, another deputy. They had discovered the bodies of two little twins in a dumpster near the children’s park. Alan said he was on his way. It was 11 PM, and he couldn’t believe the murderer would strike so soon. Three murders in 24 hours was too much. He sent a text to detective James and reached the park in 15 minutes. A lot of people were crowded there, and a number of women were sobbing quietly. Alan took a peek in the dumpster. His eyes welled up. Two little infants, around 8 months of age were lying there as if in sleep. But they were dead.

Suddenly a woman came rushing towards them, crying that her babies were stolen, and if they could help her find them. She said she had been shopping in the nearby supermarket when the pram holding her kids went missing. Then she looked inside the dumpster, screamed and fainted. They were her babies. The emergency guys took her to the hospital to recover from the shock.

Alan asked the deputy to move people away and cordon off the area. James also reached the spot at the time. She looked shaken after witnessing the scene. Alan took the tape recorder out of his pocket and started recording.

Alan: There are two bodies in the dumpster. That of two identical twin infant boys of about 8 months of age. There are no cuts or bruises on the face, chest, abdomen or on the hands and legs. Both the boys are blue in colour that seem to be the result of choking or asphyxiation. There are no marks on the neck. Maybe a pillow was used. The bodies are in open black plastic bags. The mother of the children was still looking for the kids in the park, so it wasn’t long that they had gone missing. The murders seem to be done hurriedly and the bodies dumped here.

Alan noted that this twin murder was similar to this third case. That case was of the murders of two identical twins of about 6 years of age. He had found out that there was a romantic angle of the baby sitter with the father and she killed the kids to make the mother insane with grief so that she could have the father to herself. It took him almost 2 months to crack the case, only after he got the news that the father had asked to divorce his wife.

Alan hoped this was in no way related to the insane chain of murders. With consternation, he slowly turned the bodies over . There was an A and a C inscribed on either of their backs.

***********************************End of Chapter 3*****************************************

To be continued on Chapter 4

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