“Arrogance and ignorance are horrible states of mind.”
She sits across from him in the uncomfortable metal chairs, separated by nothing, at her request. “Mr. Davidson, can you tell me why you are here?”
“And whom did you murder?”
“My daughter and wife.”
“My sister and my mother.”
“Can you tell me why you killed them?”
“Listen, Rhea, is it? I don’t know what you’re looking for here, but you aren’t going to get it, I’ve already told them everything that happened. It’s not like you can get me more years in this hell,” the man, Mr. Davidson, spits. Rhea looks at him with a lifted eyebrow and looks into his eyes, no shift.
“It’s Officer Haven to you, but what makes you think I’m looking for something?”
“I’ve met hundreds of people like you, but I must admit, you are by far the most impressive,” Mr. Davidson grins, teeth gleaming in the artificial light hanging from the ceiling.
“Well, we’re not here to talk about me. What was it about your family that drove you to kill them, and why to torture them first?” she inquires, hands intertwined under her chin, eyes blazing their normal blue, bright as Larimar.
“I want the cameras off and the Officers out of the room,” he demands.
“I hardly think you are in the position to demand—”
“Cameras off and Officers out or I don’t talk,” he interjects and leans back in the chair, manacles clanking with the table.
Rhea keeps her face still, not giving off any emotion as she has trained to do her whole life and stands to go to the door with the guards. When she relays Mr. Davidson’s demands, the guards blanch, clearly not trained in remaining lifeless.
“No, we can’t do that. It’s a setup,” the officer holding the gun snorts.
“Well then set me up,” Rhea responds, voice as cold as ice.
“If something goes wrong, it’s on you. Don’t let him escape whatever you do,” the same Officer snaps, exiting the room with the other Officer; Rhea doesn’t respond.
Mr. Davidson looks at the door to make sure the guards are out and watches as Rhea strides to the camera, ripping the cord from the camera and wall. “There. Now talk.”
“Do you want to know the reason I made that compromise?” He leans forward, arms crossed on the table.
“Because I know how people like you work. You feed off of every word said, every eye twitch, and you do it in front of an audience to make them think you are a legitimate hero when all you are is a human with great senses. This prison is my turf, if I’m going to say anything it won’t be on some Officer’s, but rather on mine. You see, I’m a fan of winning, and I don’t fancy losing,” Mr. Davidson divulges, not a flaw in his cool demeanor.
“That is where we have something in common, I don’t like to lose either. I have always had to fight battles and I always brought them to me, you can’t lose on your land, right?”
“Exactly. So what is it that you want to know?”
She places her hands on the file that sits atop the table and opens it, staring at his face the whole time. When she slides out the pictures of his murdered family members no emotion crosses his face until the picture of his daughter, his face slightly ticks, this, of course, doesn’t go unnoticed by Rhea.
“Why did you kill them?”
Mr. Davidson takes a long breath and stares at her before he answers. “There are some things in life that you just have to do.”
“Being cryptic is getting you nowhere. They want you on death row, I am the only thing preventing that, so I suggest you work with me here,” she warns, sliding the picture of his wife closer. “What about your wife, Celeste? Why her?”
“I remember when I first met my dear Celeste. It was 2928 when I was fourteen and she was twelve. Her family moved across the street from mine, at first I was wary of them and I stayed away from them until something about Celeste drew me to get close to them. I still, to this day, don’t know what it was about her that intrigued me. We were friends for three years before we dated, we dated for four years before I asked her to marry me. I was twenty-two when our son, Jonathan, was born, Celeste was twenty. Our daughter, Amelia, was born six years later, in 2956. She just turned twenty on the fifteenth of July—”
“Three days before you killed her,” she supplies, gauging the way his face tightens.
“Yes. My son turned twenty-six on February 19th. Celeste turned forty-six on July fifteenth—”
“The day you killed Celeste.”
“Yes. My sister, Rachel, was ten when Jonathan was born, she turned thirty-six on July—”
“You really know how to irk a man,” he grits out, teeth making an awful sound; Rhea doesn’t move.
“My apologies, but I hate monotony. And I’ve read over your file enough to know when you killed them, how old they were, when their birthdays were, and how you killed them, so yes, I do interrupt because you keep evading my questions,” Rhea mocks, lips pursed to a fake pout. Mr. Davidson glares at her, the first openly shown emotion today.
“Shall I continue or are we done?”
“By all means continue.”
“My mother, bless her soul mi mamá, was born July 15th, 2904. She just turned 72,” he smiles faintly, a sigh escaping his lips, not one of grief, but one of joy.
“So why did you kill them?” Rhea coaxed, her hand jotting down observations on the lined yellow paper attached to the clipboard she’s had in her hands the whole time. Every few seconds her eyes glance fully up, but with the way she has positioned the clipboard, she can see him at all times. Clever, she thought to herself.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” he replies, manacles clanking against the table.
“I don’t know.” The man grins, a grin of victory. Oh, how wrong he is, Rhea thought.
“Fine. We’ve played your games, now we play mine,” she smiles. “Would you happen to know a Jennifer Ashton?”
Mr. Davidson pales but quickly recovers, smirk back on his face. “Never heard of her.”
“Lying isn’t your friend. If you won’t tell me what happened, I’ll tell you what happened. Two years ago there was a court case, Ashton v. Davidson. Ms. Ashton accused you of raping her and in the case, you were found guilty and sentenced to one year in jail, but you were released after four months. You resumed your normal life until you ran into her four weeks ago. Three days later she was found dead, on June 19th. Autopsies showed she had been dead for three days by the time we had found her, June 16th, the day she was killed, was also the day she took you to court, two years prior. We knew who she was and that she had a history with you, made you a pretty suspicious suspect. You were found innocent. Here is something I noted: her birthday was July 15th. I was the lead investigator on the case, but my partner interrogated you instead. SO when I heard there was another murder, Celeste Davidson, I was right back on the case; the last name rang a bell.
“We found her body the day she was killed, a day later Rachel’s body was found. A day later, your mom, Diana. One more day later: Amelia. Here’s how Celeste was murdered. She was at the piano in your room, at 7:10 pm, her designated thirty minutes of piano time. Her throat was slit from behind as well as her being stabbed through her tattoo of the date of your wedding. There was no sign of struggle. She was used to you coming up behind her to hug her or wrap your arms around her, you always followed the same path, always hit the same places on the floorboard. So when she heard you, she thought nothing of it. You didn’t want to get caught or risk Amelia seeing her, so you went to the backyard to bury her, your dog barked and tried to come after you; you locked her inside. Celeste was buried six and a half feet under. You left the house and drove somewhere. Amelia came home later around 8 and went outside to lay her boots on the patio and Luna, your dog, got out and went directly to the spot where Celeste was buried. She dug and dug until Amelia came over to see and she smelled the body first, then saw her mom. Of course, she tried to call you, but you didn’t answer. She called us.
July 16th Rachel was killed. You left to go to her house, Amelia was at college, living in her dorm room. You arrived at your sister’s. She wasn’t expecting you, but she had been calling you and texting you for weeks that she wanted to see you to show you something important. She thought you were finally there to see it, so she took you into her bedroom to show her the hand-crafted piano stool she had made for Celeste, her throat was slit from behind and she was stabbed through the right shoulder, same as Celeste. Her body was found on the floor, facing the door where you left from. July 17th Diana was killed. She was 72 so she was still mobile but not enough that you had to strain. She was in the kitchen making cookies for you when you came up behind her and slit her throat and stabbed her in her right shoulder, her body fell and her face was towards the stove where there was a mirror next to it, reflecting the door in it. July 18th Amelia was killed, and this is where it gets interesting. All of the previous murders were clean-cut and almost flawless, perfectly straight cuts. Oh, I forgot to mention that! On each of the bodies there, arms were all cut up and their femoral arteries were slit through their pants. When you finally came home Amelia was waiting there for you and she went to confront you, she came up to you and you slit her throat head-on, missing the arteries. She didn’t die. You took her into the basement and laid her on the table, by now you were panicking, this wasn’t supposed to be this hard. You did the same cuts on her arms but then you added something, you cut up her stomach. The cuts were nowhere close to flawless as her relatives were; you got sloppy. Here’s how she actually died: you tied one curtain in the basement around her neck and another around her waist, she clawed at it, but you wouldn’t loosen it. There are two hooks on the ceiling. The closest one to the wall is where you slipped the curtain on her waist through and tied it. The second one is where you fed the curtain through and had the metal bar from the back hang next to her, you placed the back of her neck on the metal beam and you yanked on that curtain, snapping her neck. You fled the scene after you left her tied up there, not even bothering to do anything with the body,” Rhea explains, eyes flickering shades of blue mixed with emerald highlights. Mr. Davidson stares, jaw clenched tight, as he waits for her to continue her findings.
“Shall I continue or are you going to tell the rest?”
“Okay then,” she sighs, “Here’s the motive for the murders. Jennifer had blonde hair, was female, was an even-numbered age, born July 15th. All the same as your family. You were so angry that Jennifer got you arrested for selling her for sex that you killed her when you found her again. Look at all these photos: Celeste, Diana, Rachel, Amelia, and Jennifer. They all have the same color hair and same features, same brown eyes, same love for dark makeup. They all reminded you of Jennifer and how it felt to get revenge on her, it only fed that bloodlust, you couldn’t get enough of the high from killing so you kept going. You were always so close with Amelia, the combination of your love for her, and the resemblance to Jennifer overwhelmed you, you lost control and got sloppy with your work. When we saw her body we found all kinds of prints and DNA from you all over the scene. The similar patterns let us believe you were the killer of the other four as well, but of course, we had to have proof. I’m going to ask this one time and one time only, did you kill Celeste, Diana, Rachel, and Jennifer?”
“I’ll have to ask my lawyer,” he whispers, eyes colder than the stone.
“Okay. Well since that means you won’t talk without a lawyer, I’m going to finish up here. You did kill them. You dropped your phone in the basement where you killed Amelia and we collected it for evidence. Our forensic scientist went through it and looked through locations from the past five days. When our coroner estimated the time of death the phone put you at the location of each death at the time of death, we even found traces of blood on your phone. Not yours. Celeste’s and Rachel’s blood were on your phone,” she added. Pressing the button on her Com, she told the guards that Mr. Davidson has requested his lawyer. Fifteen minutes later, a man in a suit and a briefcase enters, the lawyer.
“Officer Haven,” he nods, “My name is Thomas Corten, Mr. Davidson’s lawyer.”
Rhea nods back. “I only have one question for your client: did you kill Celeste, Diana, Rachel, and Jennifer?”
Mr. Davidson looks at his lawyer and Mr. Corten begins to answer. “Do you have evidence pointing the murders to him?”
“We have all the evidence we need, but a confession would make things easier for both parties.”
“And what would that evidence be—”
“Why don’t you tell me that I killed them? You seem to know every detail of what happened, so please, tell me,” Mr. Davidson interjects.
“Thank you, Mr. Davidson. Do you remember when I said being cryptic isn’t getting you anywhere and that lying isn’t your friend? Neither is pride. You let your ego in the way because a woman figured out what happened, I knew that you were guilty from the moment I walked in, before you even spoke. But of course, we needed proof to arrest you. From your body language to your words, you admitted that you killed them. Do you realize what you just said?” she smiles.
“Mr. Davidson said noth—”
“You said, quote ‘You seem to know every detail of what happened’. I do know every detail and you just admitted that I got it right, that this all happened.” She reaches up and pulls one of her eighteen earrings off and holds it out to him. “This is a camera and a microphone designed to look like an earring, it has filmed and recorded this entire meeting. And this is legal because you signed the consent form. It said that you are allowing this to be filmed and recorded, did you really think that we were going to let this happen with no recording? So do you still think you know people like me? I can guarantee there is no one else like me, you may know others, but you do not know me.”
“Take him back to his cell. Mr. Davidson, you are hereby found guilty and are subject to a final trial to decide your fate,” she announces as they drag a wide-eyed Mr. Davidson out of the interrogation room, Mr. Corten left dumbfounded. “Nothing personal Mr. Corten, I just happen to be very good at my job.”
“I see,” he mutters and quietly exits the room, case in hand and a scowl on his face. Rhea exits the room as well and heads back to her office to file the report when a knock interrupts her thoughts. “Come in!”
Chief Bailey walks in, a smile present on his lips. “Well Rhea, you did it again. I will never understand how you do it, every person you get.”
“Chief, I’m only doing my job,” she laughs.
“Speaking of job...I have a promotion that has your name written all over it. I want you to be the Captain, there is no one better to lead this station than you. After all, you’ve put away the most wanted criminals, not just on a local level, but on federal too.”
“Me? Captain?” she blanches.
“That’s amazing, but the Captain doesn’t go in the field and doesn’t interrogate. My skills lie in the field and interrogation room, doesn’t that seem like a waste?”
“I can see your hesitation. You have impeccable skills, completely strange, imagine what you could do training others in your mind games!”
“I appreciate the offer Chief, but I need to stay where I am,” she restates.
Glumly Chief Bailey responds, “Fair. How do you feel about going on a trip?”
“I would love to, when and where?”
“Don’t you want to know what it is for?”
“Doesn’t matter, I’m in no matter what,” she grins, pride filling her stomach.
“You’ll be going down to Mazatlan, Mexico to help monitor the gang activity. The others are leaving tonight at six.”
“Tonight? Yeah. I’ll be ready,” she declares, an unknown feeling residing in her.