If you can't remove a page, burn the book
Present day / 326 days since the first murder
It’s hard to have hope when so many people are dying around you. Don’t you think? I am ready. Ready to end it all. When perfectly cut body-pieces are showing up at your doorstep, drained of blood – and neatly wrapped inside birthday wrapping paper, you would want the pain to go away too. Oh, and I mustn’t forget, these ‘packages’ were all addressed to me personally. For Ezra xo. He was trying to scare me, or it was his way of saying, ‘I can do anything, and you can’t stop me’, or both. The xo on the end always got to me, it’s what Elle used to text me after every message. Oh how I miss her. If she was here now, she’d probably tell me to get up off my sorry ass and catch this sick fuck. But she’s not. No one is. And it’s all his fault.
Every 3 months, for the last year, there has been a body found in the boot of a car. The victim always marked with the killers signature touch, a missing head and two missing legs. The right leg was for me, the left for the victims family, and god knows what he done with the heads. The torso lacerated as if it was cut thousands of times with a serrated knife, contusions across both sides of the cheek, rope marks around the wrists and eyes wide open. He has practiced it so many times that he manages to get the cuts and marks almost identical on every victim. I think about the people he has killed a lot; I try to picture what they must have been through, what they must have felt, what they must have thought about in their dying moments, but I am sure nothing comes close to what actually happened. It’s the stuff from horror movies, the things you watch late at night and think ’thank god this doesn’t happen in real life’. For 4 innocent women, these horror movies came to life, and their ghosts have haunted the lives of the mourning families ever since.
As I walk into my garden that was once filled with joy, now a wasteland of weeds, I stop and look up into the perfect black sky twinkling away as if the world was a perfect place, rid of hatred and violence. I take a deep breathe, close my eyes, and gently exhale. For in this moment, I want to cherish the clean air one last time. The killer was about to take his next victim, this time it wouldn’t be a women, and he wouldn’t even have to do it himself. I turn around and head back into the house, it’s late, dark, and silent outside. I think to myself, ’you can’t remove a page from your life and forget about it, but what you can do is burn the whole damn book’. I open the kitchen drawer, find the sharpest knife and pull it out as slowly as I can. I wanted to reduce the sound of the cutlery clattering against each other, that sound reminds me of family. I didn’t want to be reminded. I draw the knife like a sword and press it against the cephalic vein, one of the two main veins in the arm. I was ready. It was my time. But that moment, the moment which should have ended it all, all the pain, all the torture, turned out to be one of the most crucial parts of the investigation. A discovery was made, a discovery that saved my life.
What followed was four loud bangs on the front door. One knock, a pause, then three in a row as quick as your hands will allow you to knock. I knew exactly who it was. What was she doing round outside of work hours? I suppose with the job we have; our work hours are 24/7. But either way, she had rudely interrupted my plans for the night.
I reluctantly pull the knife away from my arm, put it back in the drawer and slam it shut.
“Who is it?” I jokingly ask with a half-smile.
“You know who this is, let me in, I have some information for you”
“This better be good Hanna, I’m…. tired”
“Oh its good, trust me, make me a cuppa’, let’s sit down and I’ll tell you”
As I head over to the cutlery drawer once more, I am left standing there, staring blankly at the knife that just moments before would’ve taken my life. A light tingling feeling shoots through my body as if to say, it’s not your time yet.
As I brew the kettle I look back at Hanna and smile, she smiles back, slaps her knees and gets up from the sofa.
“so, what are you doing up at this time anyways? I told you, you need your rest”
I laugh softly and come in with the teas in an attempt to ignore the question, I’m usually good with my words, but I just didn’t have an answer for her. Not one that she would want to hear anyways.
“what’s the news then? You can’t keep me waiting for too long, the suspense is killing me”
“the dna came back from forensics about an hour ago, we got a match from the sample of blood we took from the latest victim – don’t get too excited though, there’s good news, and there’s bad news”
“give me the good news first, let’s see what we’re working with”
I needed some good news in my life, all these months of negativity, one more bit of bad news would set me over the edge. And besides, its been a while since there has been any ‘good’ news regarding this case so we may as well start with that.
“so, the dna came back a match in the database, we’ve managed to link it back to an abandoned warehouse about 2 hours out of town, we have 4 patrol cars arriving there in an hour to scout the place out from afar but have orders not to enter”
“and… the bad news?”
“that’s all the information we could find, it was weird, we could trace the warehouse back to the blood but there’s no data for the suspect, no photo, no name, no DoB, nothing, I think- we should be careful about this Ezra, we don’t want to walk ourselves into another one of his traps”
I quickly interrupt her “we agreed-”
“I know what we agreed, I won’t mention it again, I’m just saying, we needa be careful this time”
This was the first time for a long time that we have had something to go on, we can’t mess it up. He’s slipped up, he doesn’t want us to know about his warehouse, and he probably doesn’t know we know either, we need to use that to our advantage. He’s a professional killer, that’s all we really know about him, he makes sure he’s untraceable, he is a ghost… my guess has always been that he has a military background, Hanna doesn’t agree, but I mean, how else can someone go undetected for so long, on top of that he’s never once in his life been to a hospital, or if he has, he’s used an alias and managed to not have his blood taken. In my opinion, he’s got to be high up in the public sector, no ordinary man can do all this, kill all these women and get away with it.
But now we have a piece of the puzzle that he doesn’t want us to have, and my god does it feel good to have the upper hand for the first time in what seems like forever.
“we can get him” I say with an optimistic caution, I didn’t want to be confident, but it’s hard not to be when there’s another life at stake in 2 months.
Hanna smirks “yes, yes we can, if we play it right, we can catch him, we need to analyse the fuck out of this warehouse, go over every single corner, wall and insect we find three times over, this is the first time we’ve been this close, so let’s not fuck it up” I haven’t seen Hanna happy in a long time. Whenever she’s happy about something, she does this weird thing with her eyebrows. The right one stays the same, but the left goes up likes it’s doing a Mexican wave. It’s always made me laugh, and this occasion was no different.
“let’s go get this guy, get the car started, I’ll meet you outside in five”
From one little bit of luck, one little piece of evidence we could so easily have missed, the hunt for the most wanted criminal in the UK begins. And the best part, he doesn’t know we’re on to him.
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