It was Monday morning. Cain sat at his desk reading through the report that Rigby had prepared on the clothing. It made interesting reading. The underlying facts were that women like to dress well but provocatively. Their wardrobes were filled with expensive clothes, but nothing over the top. They probably could not afford to buy the top designer brands due to the volume of clothes they liked to buy. But one thing was for sure, when these women walked down the road you noticed them.
Was it the clothes? Was that how they were chosen by the killer? It all seemed a little too random for Cain. There must be thousands of women in the City that dressed like this. There had to be another link, something less obvious that they were missing. Were they overthinking this thing? Was it something like body shape? He then chided himself for being sexiest.
The research into the Thames Water passes was ongoing. Every time a pass was flagged it was investigated. The owner was contacted and visited and asked their whereabouts for the dates and times of the latest murder and abduction. All those contacted so far had been cleared. Someone from human resources at Thames water had compiled a record of the lost passes and the locations where they thought the pass had been mislaid.
Research into the vegetables left at the scenes had also proved inconclusive. Soil samples had been analysed in a number of laboratories. They had been linked to various locations around the country. They were, unfortunately, some of the most heavily farmed areas of the UK supplying a multitude of vegetable wholesalers. It was also proven that at the most recent murders the killer had bought vegetables from multiple shops to avoid arousing attention. There was nothing to indicate that this had not been the Modus Operandi in all the previous cases. A laugh had been raised at one point in the ops room when some clever dick said that all the ingredients so far would make a pretty good casserole. They only needed a piece of brisket and some potatoes to finish it off.
That evening Cain and Rigby were going to join Simmonds to visit bars around The City. Simmonds had been looking at the locations where all the women worked. On that basis, he had an area, which covered about half of the City. It was reasonable to accept that over time they could all have used the same bars or nightclubs. So it was a good place to start as a possible search area for the killer to identify his victims. One benefit of knowing that the victims were women was that they could rule out private men’s clubs. So Cain thought, who knows these bars best? It was Kemp, the irritating shit he had met at the security briefing and who had bugged him senseless at Liverpool St Station. Cain remembered the man’s dislike for all the people that got drunk in bars especially it seemed, the ones in the City. Which in hindsight was not a great attitude to have considering that it was his job to license those bars. But needs must, he had a killer to catch. So against Cain’s best instinct’s, he called Kemp.
Cain asked him for advice on which bars well dressed single women liked to frequent in the City. He gave him the search criteria and said they already had an initial list from uniform but could he take a look and add any further locations. Kemp explained that he was out of the office but if Cain sent across the list, he would review and send his comments back later. Cain thanked him. They had enough bars to keep them going that evening anyway. Kemp’s additional suggestions, if there were any, could be added for later visits.
I had arrived early so that I could be at home waiting for Tania to arrive. It was Monday night, a new night for me to do a release on. Following her routine, she would not be working this evening but would attend a spinning class at her local gym. Her usual time to arrive at home was around 9.45 pm. I must prepare everything so that when she returns she can be released quickly. The time when I could spend a couple of days teaching victims the lessons they needed to know had passed. Cain had to take responsibility for that. Was she lucky? I didn’t think so. I know I will have to work hard to make sure she understands everything in the short time we have together.
I have entered her flat the same way as before wearing my Thames Water ID in case I am stopped. Thankfully it was not needed. I had other contractors passes but this one seemed to work the best. I have laid everything out that I need in the bedroom. This time I will tie the whore to her own bed. I have brought the potatoes and stacked the bags carefully by the dressing table. They were not easy to carry I must admit. The large rucksack I used had strained under the weight. But the main problem had been the straps and the weight of the bag rubbing against my scarred and mutilated back. The pain had been very intense.
Checking that everything was ready, I go into the kitchen to wait for her arrival. The kitchen window overlooked the balcony from where she will enter the flat. By my reckoning, I will have to wait at least a couple of hours for her to come home.
A noise on the balcony draws my attention and I see a hooded figure passes the kitchen window. I hear a key being inserted into the door. It is too early. I check my watch. It is only 19.56hrs. Tania should still be at the gym. Maybe she didn’t join her class and has come home early?
The hooded figure enters the flat. I move to a position behind the door to the spare room. I hear shoes being removed and a bag dropped on the floor. I wait, hearing the footsteps approach Tania’s bedroom. The sounds are right outside the spare bedroom door.
It has to be now. I pull the door open and lunge at the hooded figure. I grasp the head with my left arm and cover her mouth. With the right, I circle the neck. I apply pressure. The person struggles. She is strong, I give her that but I am stronger. I squeeze harder. Her struggling becomes weaker and eventually slows down before eventually stopping. Her body has become inert and lifeless.
I drag the body into the main bedroom and throw it onto the bed. As I do so the body rolls over.
Oh my God!! It’s not Tania. But whoever it is has Tania’s trust because she had given them a key. I look down at the face. It is the face of a man. How could this have happened? How could I have not known? Everything had happened so quickly and with the hood, I had not noticed.
Then I recognise the man but from where? He must be important, otherwise, why would Tania give him a key. My mind is spinning.
The shock of it not being Tania has delayed my reactions. What do I do? I have to decide quickly. Do I stay and wait for Tania or do I go? Things change I know that. I am always prepared for change but can I cope with this situation? Will Marlene support me if I release another alongside Tania?
I hold my breath, squeeze my eyes shut, and wait for a sign. My skin starts to tingle on my back. That was positive. Marlene has spoken. I will release this man alongside Tania. They will be released together.
I look down at the man. He must be secured and muted. I use the restraints that I had already prepared for Tania. Arms first, then legs. I take out a shirt from Tania’s wardrobe and gag him. He will, I think, be awake soon. With him tied up and restrained, I stop for a second and think.
Tania is my prize. In reality, this man is just a distraction. An added bonus maybe. I slap my head repeatedly to give myself focus. I still need to be ready for when Tania returns. She must not think that anything is out of place when she first walks in. I walk into the corridor and check to see if I have disturbed anything in the struggle. Nothing must be out of place. I leave the shoes and bag in the hall where that man has dropped them. That must be his usual thing.
I hear a noise coming from Tania’s bedroom and walk back into the room. The man is struggling against his bindings. As I enter, he stares at me. He looks scared and starts to panic more as I approach him. He has noticed some of the items that I have laid out on the dressing table, the ones that I had brought to release Tania. Hammer, pliers, a hunting knife, and scissors. I notice him looking back at me. I smile back and lick my lips slowly.
He is young. Maybe about twenty-six. About Tania’s age, I suppose. He has short black spiky hair. Gelled to the extreme. In fact, he is dressed all in black. Black socks, black jeans, black t-shirt, and hoody. He is scrawny as most twenty-five-year-olds are. He has a pretty face. He looks physically strong, someone that would normally fight back. I am still trying to remember where I have seen him before.
I look into his eyes. He knows deep down that soon he will be feeling extreme pain before the night is over. It’s a human instinct. But I sense that he does not know yet that he is going to die.
I think about stripping him but the idea repulses me. I imagine that he is very lean and muscular beneath his clothes. Men like this have always angered me. Maybe it is because deep down I am jealous.
I need the man to be quiet for when Tania comes home. I think that a little show of force will subdue his spirit and make him more pliable.
I walk across to the dressing table and look down at the tools of my trade. I pick up a lump hammer and turn around to look at the man on the bed. He is now trying to make himself shrink and disappear back into the mattress. But it is useless. His eyes follow the hammer.
’So who are you my friend?’ I ask, but not expecting a reply.
But I am inquisitive to know. Is he a brother? A boyfriend? Or just a casual lover? I think the latter. I see no photos of him around the flat. The main reason for this deduction is that in my checks on her routine I have never seen him before. But I have seen him somewhere. But where?
’Now if anyone comes to the flat, I need you to be quiet. Is that understood?’ I pause to see if he was willing to understand. His head nods vigorously.
’I am not sure that you do. I think I need to prove to you that I am serious.’ I explain in a slow mocking tone.
I raised the lump hammer in the air. I then bring it down crashing on to his right knee. I feel bones in the joint compact together and then give way with the weight of the blow.
The scream muffled by the gag emanates from deep inside the man. It is sustained and long. The man’s whole body seems to tense up and then convulse. As his scream continues and I notice that he is starting to lose consciousness again.
I feel a tingling in my groin, the way I normally feel when I start the process of releasing the girls. I know now that this will be just as rewarding as releasing the women. I will have the same sense of satisfaction and exhilaration.
I return back to the lounge. I am pacing. The plan will remain the same, I just need to double it. I realise that my heart is pounding and my pulse racing. I must calm down. I need to be ready for when Tania returns.
I sit and wait in her lounge again. Time passes by slowly. 9.45 pm comes and goes. No Tania. It is now 10.35 pm. I look towards the bedroom. There was no way the man could have warned Tania. I never gave him enough time. And maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s the opposite. The reason that Tania is not here because he didn’t contact her to say he had arrived so she has not come home. That bastard is the reason she is not here.
I strut back into the bedroom. Anger is rising inside me. My left-hand grabs the first thing I see which is a pair of scissors. I raise the scissors and stab the man in his upper right groin area. Again I hear that pitiful scream. I look into his eyes and see pain and fear. His eyes look as if they are going to pop out of his head. The rims look red from crying. I think that is actually quite funny as I have not heard anything.
I walk across the room and pull open his rucksack. I search but the phone is not there. I turn back to the man lying on the bed. He squirms under my gaze. I start to pat down his trousers, nothing. Then his upper body and jacket. Again nothing.
I stand next to the bed and look him in the eye.
’Where is your phone? I ask firmly.
There is no reply.
I raise my left hand and stab him on the opposite side of his groin. Through his gag, I hear the deep scream of pain. This time I leave the scissors sticking in his body with my hand resting on top.
’Where?’ I demand.
Again nothing. I twist the scissors. He screams again, this time the pitch is higher.
His eyes and head start pointing frantically to the floor by the linen basket. There, partially hidden is the end of a mobile phone. He must have been holding it when I tackled him from behind. It had fallen on the floor when we struggled. I pick up the phone and look at the screen. Two missed calls from Tania and in brackets next to her name (Club). So how close is this man to Tania? Are they very close and he just forgot to remove the word club as they got to know each other better? Is she just a casual acquaintance or does he just know too many women with the name Tania?
I thought that anyone that had too many Tania’s in their phone book probably needed to move up a social class, but I am snob like that. Considering my background, it is a bit rich but who gives a fuck anymore.
So the little bitch has not come back as she thinks that he is not here. Or at least she is not sure where he is. Maybe she was ringing to say she would be late? I look at the time. It is now 10.55 pm. It was pretty late already.
I hope that she will come home soon. I have been thinking about how I will position the bodies together after I have released them both. I was thinking of interlocking the torsos and positioning the arms and legs like beams of sunshine. I would then carve a smiley face on the back of whichever torso was on top. It would require the sawing off of some of the limbs for repositioning but it would be worth it. It would be more suitable to remove the limbs during their release, but if they were alive the blood spray would be far too great. For speed and efficiency, it will be easier once their hearts had stopped beating.
The silence in the flat is broken by the ringing of Tania’s landline phone. After eight rings it clicked to answerphone.
‘Hi Zach, it’s Tania. I have been trying to get you on your cell. But your not picking up honey. So if you are at my place now, sorry, I’m still at Sophie’s. I walked her home. She invited me in for a coffee. I am so snug now I can’t face walking home in all the cold. If you are there you could come over and cuddle up with me here. Let me know what you want to do and I can wait up for you. I want you next to me. Kisses.’ The message ended.
‘Bitch.’I scream. I stare at the man lying on the bed. Now his crying is not hidden. ’You, you little fucker have caused this and now you will pay for it. You’ve ruined my plans!!!’
Tania is a slag. She as much as admitted it on the phone, and a slag that needed to be released. But no, this man had fucked it up. Marlene would be so mad. How would she punish me? My skin suddenly felt like molten lava. I needed to do something to take my mind of the incredible itching that seemed to emanate from inside my bones.
I spun around and grabbed the hunting knife. Walking over to the bed I took hold of a large tuft of hair, which gave me control over the movement of his head.
I looked him in the eye and said calmly. “If you move this will hurt more. Trust me, I have done it before,’Before he could react I stuck the knife into the eye socket and cut in a circular motion so that I could scoop out the eyeball. The idiot jerked his head and screamed. I knew it would hurt more if he moved. Some people just don’t listen to advice. The knife scraped the bone as I moved it around the eye socket. The first eye popped out and rolled onto the bed. Maybe he would take my advice and remain still as I removed the other eye?
The screaming and head jerking told me that again my advice was not taken. What can you do in these situations? You have to carry on. You have done your best to help. It is not your fault if your advice is ignored.
With both eyes removed, I look down. No more eyes to follow me around the room. Perfect.
’Now, isn’t that better? I am just going to pop these in the fridge. I will be back soon,’ I left the groaning form tied to the bed.
I walked to the kitchen and opened the fridge. The egg compartment seemed the most suitable place and conveniently the right shape.
I returned back to the bedroom. I looked down at the man. What to do with him? Again my plans needed to change. This was when I could make mistakes. I had to be careful. But I also needed to be quick.
If Tania was not coming home I needed him naked so that I could release him as if he was Tania. I need him in the state that he has come into the world so that he can leave cleanly. I pull the scissors out of his groin and start to cut away the clothing. He moans a bit but does not struggle much anymore.
Looking down at his naked form and I become even angrier. He is all the things I thought he would be. He has a lean and fit body with a near-perfect six-pack for a stomach. His muscles are well-formed and have the definition of a body that is used to working out in a gym. His cock also looks big even when flaccid. Shit, which just makes me even angrier. I raise my right fist and punch him in his testicles. He groans and tries to curl up but the restraints restrict him. I felt a rush of excitement, so I punched again but harder. This time his body nearly snaps in half.
He starts to gag. I realise that the pain had been so great he is vomiting. I pull away the gag and his puke showers from his mouth splattering on the floor around my feet.
Disgusting. I pick up his hoodie off the floor and use it to wipe my legs and feet.
I look down at his face. I had never really punched a man in the face before. I was always scared that they would hit back harder. This time I had the advantage.
I climb onto the bed and sit astride his chest. I took my first swing at his face. It connects on the right side of his jaw. His head flips to the left. It is okay but I feel I have a better punch inside me. I pull my right arm back and really punch hard as if I want my fist to reach through his head to the pillow. I hear the crunch as my fist connects just above the lip and under the nose. He grunts hard and I feel his nose bone move sideways. Blood spurts out across my left knee. This incenses me and I start to hit him repeatedly. Right then left, right then left, right then left.
I continue for about five minutes until I do not have the energy to lift my arms. I look at my gloved hands. I think from the five pairs of gloves I had put on, the nose bone and teeth have cut through about three pairs. It would be hard to know until I take them off.
I am still raging with anger but I feel exhilarated. I had never felt like this during a release. I was normally so controlled.
I climb off the still form. What else about him did Tania really like? Well, it would not be his face now that was for sure.
His dick. That was it. Tania wants that. I look around for the scissors. Where were they?
“Where are the fucking scissors?” I shout. I find them on the floor by the headboard. I pick them up with my right hand and turn around. I don’t hesitate. Afterward, I throw his severed prick into the corner.
I have had enough. I pick up the hunting knife again. I want to end this now but I am still enjoying the moment.
I lean in and in one motion slice open the man’s belly from right to left. Blood starts to seep out. Some of his internal organs protrude through the foot-long split in his stomach, but it will take him a while to die.
I stand up and start picking up my utensils. I carry them to the kitchen and wash them under the tap. I leave them on the kitchen drainer to dry. What next? The eyeballs. They can have those.
I walk back into the bedroom. The blood has seeped across most of the mattress. His skin is like an opaque grey now. Most of the colour has drained from the body as his blood pools beneath the bed.
I look around the room. Nothing here is mine. I pick up a couple of carrier bags filled with potatoes and start to tip them over the body. I take the next bag and tip them down the toilet without flushing. I take the last bag filled with potatoes and place them in the oven.
Looking around, all seems to be in its place as far as I am concerned. I pick up my rucksack and pack in my utensils. I check the bedroom one last time. The man is dead. He has been released. I have a quick thought. I pick up a couple of the small potatoes and place them in his eye sockets.
I turn off the lights. Checking the balcony for noise. I hear nothing. I open the front door silently and leave.
As I walk away up towards Commercial Road my skin feels alive and fresh