Deric pressed his thighs together and squeezed.
‘You can say that again.’ Jim said in his slow, layback manner.
The naked man looked like he was ready for a massage. His massage-table was a crudely made, white, pressed-wood board. The board itself was secured to a sturdy support that looked like a sort of upside-down iron trapezoid. The idea, Deric guessed, so not to tumble over if, or rather, when the man started to struggle. And struggled he did! That was quite plain to see.
This homemade massage-replica differed from the original by having six roughly cut holes. The first one, ala the real McCoy, was for his head. It was cut deliberately far too big to support his head, and as gravity is a bitch, he was forced to watch the horror-show that was happening underneath the board.
Tie-binds held the knees, ankles and feet secure above board, so to speak, whilst his arms were pushed through two holes about shoulder height and then again the wrists were secured underneath the table the same way as the extremities above. A chain of tie-binds, long enough to make a three sixty around his waist and the board, went through hole number four and five to fixed him to his unique “massage-table”. Where a white towel usually covered the modesty, a pair of pronounced bare buttocks carried the words “MONSTER and “MASH” in bolt, white letters. Each wrist had a small cut, just enough for a slow, but constant drip-drip of blood. Round his waist, knees, wrists and ankles were bloody scuff marks - decorated now with flies and a few maggots - as he violently tried to free himself.
The pain must have been excruciating.
But worst of all, and again Deric felt the need to squeeze his groin and legs together, through the last hole the man’s penis - or what was left of his manhood - had been pushed through and it hung, for God knows how many hours or days, into a glass container which in turn was glued to the table. It was filled with some kind of - if the smell was anything to go by - disinfectant!
How long it took the man to die is anybody’s guess, but, it must have been hell!
If this wasn’t enough to put the fear of God into the victim, the poor sod could not only feel the horrible pain, he literally witnessed his manhood dissolved slowly and painfully through his very own private peep-hole.
By the time he was found, the victim was half the man he used to be!
Talk about distributing pain!
The boathouse had a distinct, familiar smell. It smelled of hospital wards and death.
Looking at the state of the corpse, Deric estimated that he’s been dead for over twenty-four hours, maybe even a little longer, for the body was still in a “fresh”– as Doc would put it – stage of decomposition. Flies and maggots already caked like bangles round the scuff-marks. They also started to invade all other open orifices.
‘He looks familiar,’ Jim said, sitting on his haunches, looking at the horror-stricken face. ‘However, he died in a bit of a panic,’ he said in his dryly, which was, as per usual, a total understatement, ‘and lots of pain. His face is fixed in a state of…what would you say…horror, terror, or all of the above?’ he questioned-stated as he turned towards Deric.
Deric gave a short, humourless laugh, ‘Horror, terror, pick a word - not that I blame him,’ Deric shuddered, ‘I’m going to have my own nightmares about this for some time to come.’
Jim was still staring at the face. ‘There’s really something very familiar about him…’ He put a hand out to the face.
’Don’t touch! Forensics will have your balls for that.’ Latisha said warningly.
’Eina!’ Jim exclaimed painfully, fixing his eyes momentarily on what was left of the victim’s penis, ‘No, no, no fuckin’ touching anything, just “movie-framing” with my fingers.’ Calmness embodied again as his fingers made a rectangle in mid-air.
’Ja, people, let that be a good lesson to all ye boys.’ Latisha said, pointing to the jar as she fanned her eyes over the men present. Most gave a little tight-lipped smile, some even nodded solemnly.
Deric tore his eyes away from scene of torture and walked over to Jim. He bent down to looked at the face from underneath. There surely was something familiar about his features.
‘Can’t place him, but you’re right, he does ring a bell.’ Deric said.
‘Yeah, but he wasn’t saved by any bell.’ Jim said laconic.
‘Chuba Jackson.’ Monty said, without taking his eyes from the monitor of the small video recorder. He was kneeling down in an effort to capture the crime scene from all possible angles in all its gory details.
‘Chuba Jackson, THE Chuba Jackson?’ Jim exclaimed with recognition. ‘Yes, yes, you’re right, it’s him!’
’That explains the dick-thing.’ Deric said. ’I’d say we’ve got our work cut out for us people, quite a few people would’ve gladly put his dick in a vice-grip or,’ he pointed to the glass container, ‘bleach, or whatever the hell that is.’ A small shiver went through him again, ‘Shit, what a way to go!’
‘Shit is the right word,’ Latisha said as she scrunched her face, ‘he did shit himself, right here where it says “MONSTER” on the one cheek and “MASH” on the other.’
‘I’m sure his last thought wasn’t about hygiene, Tisha, it might’ve been that he would’ve been better off in jail.’ Jim said as if describing last night’s supper.
Jackson is, no, make that, was a notorious rapist who didn’t show his victims any mercy. Five, in total. Those that could be proven. Five murder-ones he stood trial for. Five women died a horrible death after been brutally raped and slashed by this monster. It could be as many as eleven, but there were not enough evidence to make a case for the other victims. He was suspected since the third rape-murder, however, since the assailant was dressed all in black, including balaclava and gloves, those lucky few who survived the attacks couldn’t describe or identify their attacker. Evidence was scarce and his lawyer shrewd. The only thing they knew for sure was that he was a black man of around six feet. Victim number four pulled the hood off his head and scratched his face amidst a fierce struggle for her life. She was only alive by courtesy of two homeless junkies who fancied the darkened ally as an overnight guesthouse. Nalede Kekana’s throat had quite a few deep slash marks and she nearly met her Maker, but luckily he missed the arteries. Despite her ordeal - and people’s usual lack of attention to detail - she described the rapist well enough to a forensic artist to identify Jackson. The DNA recovered under her fingernails, nailed him once and for all.
He was, early on in his “crime-career”, charged with aggravated assault, however, he was released on bail, only to carry on his reign of terror while awaiting trial. After the concrete evidence from girl number four, an APB was sent out to all stations and vehicles, his face was plastered all over the TV and papers and yet, it took another nine months – and another rape and murder - to capture him. He was charged and duly sentenced to life-imprisonment, just to escape that same day whilst been transported from the court to Potgieterstraat 1 - or Kgosi Mampuru as it was now known. No doubt he escaped with inside help, but who exactly, was hard to pinpoint. All officers involved were consequently reprimanded and suspended (with pay) until the investigation was concluded.
Had he but known what terrible fate awaited him, he would’ve gladly accepted his sentence and punishment.
‘Well, he hit it!’ Deric said as he looked over the dead body of Jackson.
‘Hit what?’ Latisha questioned.
‘Rock bottom.’ Deric answered.
‘Og, here we go again, I bet it’s some or other song by some or other group.’ Jim teased.
‘Not some or other group, it’s sung by Clint and Co,’ Deric said with a smile.
‘Well, he certainly hit it with a bang!’ Latisha added loudly.
True, it could not have gone worse for Jackson. Deric had a faint feeling of justice deserved in his heart but mentioned it to none.
They have to find the killer of a killer!