A setback for one. A lucky break for others.
Michael was seething. He had contacted the clinic, but they would not make him an appointment and progress his treatment. They said they were closed temporarily. Their Head was on vacation. The other doctors were at a conference and would look at his letter when they came back. More delay, at least a week. Angrily he kicked his dog who cowered and went to the other side of the room expecting more blows to follow.
‘What can I do now to expedite the treatment?’ he asked himself. At least, if the Head of the Clinic was expected to be away his body would not be found for at least two weeks if not longer. He must press on with his plans to find the other parts.
Defoe received a call. Fortune was on their side instead of the U.N.S.U.B.’s for a change. A head of a clinic had been found tied up and murdered in his own home over the weekend. It was only by luck he had been found as he should have been on holiday. In fact, he had arranged for a badly leaking pipe to be sealed and the tradesman had found him a few hours after his death. The air con was full on and he had not decayed too badly. Kate had him on her slab as fast as she could blink and had examined him.
‘‘No violence except for where he had been held tight around his neck and where the killer had sliced deep into his forefinger.’’
‘‘No other cuts?’’
‘‘He might have tortured him to get some information out of him.’’
She shrugged. Speculation on her part was dangerous and led her down invalid paths. She had to read the medical evidence and make accurate judgements based on good science.
Angie went to the clinic. Some things had been lifted from the house but haphazardly, as if there was no rhyme nor reason for their choice. Most thieves who broke into a house of this kind were planners. No opportunistic thieves here. They had to climb a wall and barbed wire fence and get through the security system. They knew what they were looking for! And why slice the man’s finger unless they wanted something from him? The burglary was another red herring which indicated the murderer was looking for something else and was trying to kid the cops again. The torture of the man made this more than a normal burglary.
The receptionist opened the clinic for her. Tear stained cheeks, the shock still on her face, she could not believe her boss was dead. She sat her down.
‘’He was such a kind man. His clients adored him. They knew he cared and he changed their lives if he could help them. He was not just in it for the money, like most plastic surgeons. He took on the difficult cases even if he might not succeed in helping people.
‘‘Not that he would permit surgery for those it was unsuitable for. He drew a line at that and made himself unpopular with a few clients.’’
‘‘Are there any of those clients who were angry and wanted to hurt him Ma’am?’’
‘‘None so obvious that they spring to mind. He rejected a client last week but surprisingly seems to have changed his mind during the next few days. He signed a form permitting the treatment despite the objections of the psychologists here. All our clients must undergo very vigorous psychological analysis and counselling before they are allowed any operations.’’
‘‘Were there any notes on his file explaining his change of mind?’’ asked Angie curious.
‘‘Let me look.’’ She shook her head. ‘’None whatsoever, in fact he wrote this person would be unlikely to benefit from any psychological therapy specific to this operation. Something in the client’s past meant that person was too emotionally immature to cope with the after-affects and socialization process after the operation.’’
‘‘Were there any notes about how the client responded to that information?’’
‘‘None! He may have intended to write the notes later. He was taking work home and sending it by email from his home office. Let me look at his final email.’’
She opened her emails and a file he had sent the night he died. ‘‘Patient x was clearly angry but controlled his anger. He asked me to reconsider but I said he needed more therapy to deal with issues ingrained in his psyche from his formative years and would only consider an operation if a psychologist said he was mature enough to cope with the treatment.’’
‘‘Sounds as if this client could be the killer. Please send me the file and any other information you think that is pertinent. This killing may be connected with others.’’
‘‘The client rang today and left a message on the answer phone asking for an appointment to expedite his treatment. Here is the name he goes by, Michael Helsinki,’’ she said handing over a note with the details.
‘‘Was there anything distinctive about this client?’’
‘‘Only that he had Rhesus negative blood.’’
Angie left thinking they had a lead at last; deaths of girls with parts taken and a plastic surgeon who had a client who was forcing him to give him an operation to change his appearance. She had checked the background of the surgeon. His receptionist had not whitewashed her employer’s reputation. He was an ethical surgeon but took on cases that were socially and politically unpopular. As a result, the religious community had given him a rough ride during the last few years.
His marriage had not survived the vilification. He had continued regardless, helping damaged people who would not otherwise have gained the help elsewhere, funding some of their treatment himself through a charity he had set up. She would pass this information onto Chase. She had interviewed the staff at the clinic instead of Chase whose political and social views were of the conservative persuasion. He would not have agreed with this guy’s actions. He believed the treatment these physicians gave went against God’s words in the Bible. A person shouldn’t interfere with what God endowed them with. Angie respected the doctor’s integrity and persistence despite the demonstrations and abuse he had received.