Joy

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nine

“What do you mean, you might not use this footage? Your mind-fucks won’t work with me, you know. Telling me you’re not going to use it won’t make me spill any extra details because I’m more comfortable. I know how it works, I’ve been a journalist for a long time, bucko.”

“Sorry, I wasn’t trying to use any tricks on you. I just meant because you weren’t directly involved in these cases, that your findings might not be as relevant as I need them to be.”

“Then why call me at all? Don’t waste my time, kid. I don’t want to do an interview and not get any credit.”

“Don’t worry, ma’am, regardless of whether I use your footage or not, you’ll still get credits.”

“Don’t ma’am me. I’m not that old.”

“Then don’t kid me, like I’m too young to know what I’m doing.”

“... Sorry. Every asshole with a cell phone these days thinks they’re the next Michael Moore, you know?”

“I do.”

“Okay, well, let’s get on with this, then. What do you want to know about the Queen City Strangler murders?”

“When did you start covering them?”

“Once the third one popped up. I have a friend at the OPP—no, I’m not going to tell you who it is—that told me they’d managed to link three seemingly unrelated murders together via DNA samples. They didn’t know whose it was, but they knew that the same person had been at every scene. The first one they weren’t even sure it had been a murder until the second and third popped up, because that guy had been on a bunch of drugs. Originally it had been ruled an overdose when they found all of his paraphernalia in his apartment, but they rechecked after the others and discovered he’d died of asphyxiation.”

“So this ‘friend’ fed you information throughout the case? Your articles were pretty vague considering your inside information.”

“Yeah, they’re a really good friend. I have to be careful not to compromise them. And besides, the general public doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the technical information. They just want gory details. A story. Something they can read to feel better about themselves.”

“Nice thing to say about your readers.”

“Whatever, they know what they get with me. And they know I’ll give them what they want.”

“So the so-called ‘gory details’ were true, then? You got them from official autopsy reports and case files?”

“Told to me, not shown to me, let’s be clear on that. So I can’t one hundred percent confirm their validity. But based on the photos that were leaked, they seemed pretty legitimate.”

“So the first one was a drug addict. The second was a week later, a high roller tourist blowing through the casinos. The third was an unemployed college dropout squatting in an abandoned house. How did it even come up that they might be linked together?”

“Some hotshot detective ordered forensics to inspect and compare contusions around the victims’ throats. I don’t know why he would have even thought to do that, but he had some kind of inkling, and the results came back that all three victims were strangled by the exact same sized hands.”

“So, that’s when they figured they were looking for a serial killer.”

“Well, no. The detective had his convictions, but it apparently took two more murders and a lot of him pushing to gain any credibility on his theory. I mean when you look at it from a step back, those are some tiny hands. From research on the victims, it was likely that they’d been with a woman. To think that such a small woman had overpowered them to be able to kill by strangulation? Maybe the first one because he was under the influence, but the other two?”

“But wasn’t it a sexual thing?”

“Once they figured out the guys had all died having sex, that’s when they started looking for DNA. I mean, I don’t know what the hell they’re doing down there if they didn’t check that first. You don’t find a guy dead from strangulation without checking whether or not he’s had an orgasm. That’s just common sense.”

“Did you tell your friend that, the first time they talked to you?”

“Of course I did. Now let me ask you a question. Why are you talking to me, instead of the police?”

“They couldn’t work within my timeframe.”

“They wouldn’t talk to you.”

“No, they wouldn’t.”

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