Matt made his way back into the house, and back into the lounge room where he collectively addressed the occupants of the room. ‘Did anybody touch the west side bedroom window while not wearing gloves?’
All eyes in the room lifted from what they were doing and glared at Matt. They could probably tell by his tone that he had found something. Tom Carter rose from beside the body and approached Matt.
‘What have you got?’ Tom asked with raised eyebrows.
Trying to act like he was focused, he walked passed Tom towards one of the CSOs. ‘I’ve got a latent on one of the windows up the side of the house. I just hope it doesn’t belong to one of the first responder uniform boys out front.’
Matt approached the CSO from whom he had borrowed the torch. ‘Do you have a fingerprint lifting sheet?’
‘How clear is the print?’ the CSO inquired.
‘It’s not too bad, I’d say.’
The CSO grabbed his fingerprint kit and camera and moved to the rear of the house. ‘No offence Agent… but I better do it. Show me the way,’ he said.
Matt raised his hands. ‘None taken.’
What could be better than having an experienced CSO remove the print?
Once outside Matt used the torch light to indicate the print he surreptitiously applied to the window. The CSO took the torch from Matt to examine the print. Matt nervously watched the CSO’s reaction. Without commenting the CSO bent down to his bag.
‘What do you think?’ Matt asked, watching the CSO rummage through his kit.
‘It’s definitely a print, but I’m just not sure how clear the lift will be though.’
The CSO twirled his fingerprint brush lightly over the suspect print, applying a light cover of powder. He shone the torch back onto the now visible fingerprint to examine his work.
He moved his eyes closer to the glass and said, ‘There’s definitely a pattern visible – possibly a Whorl…so we may have something here – at least a partial.’
The CSO returned to his kit bag, removed his camera and took photographs of the print on the window. After replacing the camera in his bag, the CSO lifted the print from the window with a piece of transparent film.
After examining the lifted print by torch light he returned the film to its backing sheet and placed it into a small envelope, which he then placed into his bag.
Matt returned inside with the CSO. His ploy was complete.
Upon his return to the lounge Tom approached Matt and the CSO. ‘How did you go?’ He appeared eager.
‘I was able to lift something…looks promising, but we’ll know more when we get it back and examine it in detail,’ the CSO said.
Tom placed his hand on Matt’s broad shoulder. ‘I never thought I’d be saying this to you Agent…but good job,’ he said.
Matt waved it off. ‘Next you’ll want to give me a kiss, or something,’ Matt said, as he moved towards the lounge. ‘We’ve got too much work ahead of us here Detective to be holding your little love-in,’ Matt said.
Although he was no longer interested in the crime scene, having planted his smoking gun evidence, Matt spent the next several hours acting like a concerned investigator combing the rooms and yard searching for anything that could constitute evidence.
Although it was still dark when they eventually finished, the horizon showed signs of change. The new day had started to wash away the black from the lower edges of the night sky.
The street, previously a hive of activity, was now empty of curious onlookers and reporters. Only law enforcement personnel remained. Everyone working the scene was tired and looked forward to going home to their beds.
Birds chirped in the new dawn as Tom walked Matt out to the empty street, stopping at the front gate. Tom turned to Matt. ‘Thanks again for all your assistance Agent,’ Tom said. The fact he still couldn’t bring himself to say Matt’s name was not lost on Matt.
Matt rested his large hand on Tom’s scrawny shoulder. ‘Hopefully we can get this prick,’ Matt said. He turned to commence the 200 yard stroll back to his car. ‘Probably chat to you next week Detective,’ Matt said over his shoulder as he walked.
While sitting at his desk Matt was pleased with himself now that his master plan was coming together. The ‘discovery’ of the incriminating fingerprint at the last murder scene would be difficult for Jason to explain.
Alicia mentioned to Matt at breakfast this morning that her Wednesday morning training session with Jason would probably be conducted outdoors in a park at 10am. This would leave her sufficient time to have lunch and shower before her afternoon shift commenced.
Matt glanced at the clock on the Bull Pen wall and noted the time was 9.50am. It was almost time. The next stage of his plan was about to come together. He planned to head to Jason’s house while Alicia and Jason were in their one-on-one training session in the park. Once inside, he would plant all the newspaper clippings from the Coastal Killings series of murders.
After the print was identified as belonging to Jason they would definitely search his house. When these articles were located during any future search, the task force would conclude they were mementos of his killing spree. This find, combined with the fingerprint evidence, would be fairly compelling circumstantial evidence against Jason.
Matt slid open his desk bottom drawer and lifted a manila folder containing the collection of the nine murder newspaper clippings. He suddenly dropped the folder and closed the drawer when his team member Brad approached.
‘We’re going downstairs for a coffee …’ Brad said, indicating his colleagues. ‘You comin’?’
‘Ah…Actually I’ve got a couple of errands to run…’ he checked his watch. ‘So I might have to give it a miss.’
‘Oh OK. Anything you need a hand with?’ Brad asked.
Matt lifted his hand to Brad. ‘Nuh, I’m good. It won’t take me long. Go enjoy your coffee and I’ll see ya when I get back.’
‘OK, as long as you’re sure…’ Brad smiled then caught up with the rest of the team as they were exiting the Bull Pen.