“911, what’s your emergency please?”
“Erm, I’m not sure how to say this but…um...I…er…think I’ve discovered a body.”
“Okay, transferring your call to the police department.” Within minutes the call handler had taken the details and dispatched a patrol car to the scene. But, what she didn’t know at that point of time was that this would not be the last call of this nature.
“Hey Sam, its Hank. Look partner, I got something you have got to see.”
“Where are you Hank?”
“Corner of 44th and Broadway. It’s a body.” Detective Sam Johnson closed his eyes as he ended the call and stood up from his desk. Some days being a homicide detective was a great job but other days, he really hated it.
You would think that after so many dead bodies, you would have seen them all, but nope, there was always something new popping up. And him, and his partner Hank Harvey, were just experts on serial cases. He forgot the number of files that have crossed his desk for those alone. So with a shake of his head, Sam grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair and walked out of the building and out to his car.
15 minutes later, he parked alongside the yellow caution tape, calming his twisting stomach. It wasn’t the death that got to him; he got over those nerves on his first case. But this felt like the start of a brutal case, and he learned long ago as well, to trust his gut. He got out of the car and walked over to his partner who was kneeling close to the ground, looking at the scene before him.
“What have we got Hank?
“Young man, college student by the looks of things. No clothes found yet but head repeatedly smashed against the tree. Blood splatter for several feet. Looks pretty fresh to me, but we’ll know more once forensics take a look.” Sam walked around the scene that Hank just told him about. Odd, no clothes, not a normal thing.
“Does it look like the body was moved?”
“No Sam. No drag marks and the pattern on the tree match those on his head.”
“And no trace of any clothing?”
“None. He was naked when we arrived.” Sam ran his hand through his blonde locks and sighed.
“Does it look like a rape case?”
“No sir. Outside of the death wound, looks like no touching. No lipstick marks, no nail marks, and his lips aren’t swollen as per kissing.” Why kill someone and then strip him? Or strip him and then kill him? No, there was no blood on the chest, so whoever did it, killed him and then stripped him. What kind of sick fuck would take bloodied clothing as a souvenir?
Sam walked around the scene yet again as his trained eyes took in every angle. Once he felt he had seen enough, he looked around at the various, rundown buildings in the area; none of which would have cameras to see the scene. And given the time of night, no one would be around for questioning; a dead end on that lane. Talk about a perfect murder. But Sam Johnson had been in this game too long, he knew there was no such thing. For him though, he was against the clock. He couldn’t afford to have serial killers on his hands, and he hoped that this wasn’t the case.
He sighed as he walked down the pathway a few more feet, seeing nothing. Well shit, he had wanted an easy day so he could go home and relax with his wife, guess that was out of the question with this landing in his lap. He jotted down a few more notes and then walked back to his partner, listening to his mumblings. They were an odd pair, but in some way, they worked really well together. And yes, they were the duo to solve some of the hardest homicide cases. This wouldn’t be any different.
Sam and Hank had just dumped the last of their meal when they got the phone call, a body found and violently beaten. They shared a look as they got in the car. It wasn’t quite a serial killer if there were only two dead bodies found the same way. But the chances of it being anything else were running slim. And at this point, copycats weren’t quite possible as the media has stayed off of this for the moment.
Hank drove them to the spot and they both slowly got out of the car, both detectives surveying the scene before walking towards the body. Sam felt it within his gut, without a doubt, and without looking, knew the body would be similar to the other. Both men dropped to their haunches and looked at the body before looking at each other, Hank letting out a deep breath.
“I don’t like it Sam, I don’t like it at all,” said Hank, shaking his head. “It looks way too much like the one on 44th the other day.”
“I know,” Sam replied, “I know,” while taking a giant gulp of his coffee, almost burning his throat as he swallowed it. The two detectives stared at the body of the lifeless man who lay before them naked as the day he was born and whose head had been smashed so severely and violently against the tree you could actually see parts of his brain peering through the masses of blood soaked tangled clumps of hair.
“You don’t think....”
“Unfortunately Sam yes, yes I do. I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that day and I have the same feeling now. Even worse I don’t think this is going to be the last we see of this either.” His body began to tremble as he processed this information. A serial killer? Really? Here in Resmar.
Ok, it was home to a nationally renowned college but otherwise was just a small quiet little town and he had thought he had left all of that behind when he moved south but here they were and this was clearly a repeat offense and he knew exactly what that meant. Whoever this poor sod was he wasn’t the first to die in this way and every instinct he had told him that wouldn’t be the last either
Back at the office they both studied the files trying to make some kind of sense of it all.
“OK so what have we got to go on?” Sam asked.
“Not much,” said Hank, “both male, about the same age, both found naked, both died from head trauma.”
“Yeah we know about that but what about evidence? Hasn’t forensics found anything?”
“Well there was a hair sample,” Hank continued, “nothing from it as yet but it definitely didn’t come from either of the victims.”
‘Wow,’ thought Sam, ‘is that it? Two dead bodies and all we know is that we’re looking for someone who has hair?’ As grateful as he was that wasn’t going to help. That was not going narrow it down much at all.
Barry burst into their office, an excited look upon his face. “Good news guys, we got the lab reports back from the first case, however the autopsy didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know but,” at this, Barry paused, which made the detectives only shake their head, “the toxicology reports show there was a trace of a muscle relaxant sedative in his bloodstream. Wouldn’t have helped our poor victim much because he would have been fully aware of what was happening to him and would have felt every single blow but unfortunately for him he wouldn’t have been able to put up much of a fight”.
A God damn muscle relaxer? Whoever this killer was wanted their victims to feel the pain, wanted them to be aware. This usually meant that someone had a mission, a reason behind it. These weren’t random killings from a serial killer, this were special reasons. And that narrowed the list down, although sadly, not by much. It was better than nothing!