Death List

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Chapter 8

They all sat around the table in the incident room. A couple of days had passed since Chloe’s body had been discovered but to the team it already felt much longer. They had been regrouping daily at 5pm as requested by Cain to review progress in the investigation. The case had not moved forward much since the initial findings as Cain had feared. The evidence was pointing to the fact that they were dealing with a pre-meditated killer. Someone that knew their craft, but as yet had no other cases linked to Chloe Goodhall’s death to corroborate his theory.

Cain knew the main questions that needed to be answered. What motivated the killer to kill? If he had killed before, who had been his previous victims? Was it a man or at an outside chance a woman? Female murderers were rare but they were definitely out there. At the moment nothing could be ruled out. Once he had heard all they had to say he would give them his theory on a possible new direction for the case, and one that he hoped, in reality, was not true.

First, Cain needed to know their progress. At this point everything was relevant. He needed to review what they had found so far, however trivial. It was the small insignificant facts that could start the formation of a pattern. But what he feared the most, was when the killer strike again?

The team went through what they had been doing during the day. Rigby had re-interviewed Valerie again for the second time and found nothing new apart from the fact that Chloe Goodhall was a clean freak. She liked things to be kept spotless in keeping with the minimalist design of her flat. Extensive searches had been made but they still had not found the murder weapon or the hammer. The coroner had not found anything new or significant to add to her preliminary findings. They were told that the tox screen would take more time, but they were hoping to have something soon. The forensics team had not found any fingerprints that matched Antonio’s to confirm that he had even been in Chloe’s flat. He had stated that he had slept in her bed, used the bathroom and that they also had sex in her lounge. They were checking the flat for traces of his DNA. Was this significant, Rigby did not think so. He was still a suspect but Rigby did not believe he was responsible for Chloe Goodhall’s death.

Rigby then took the lead on detailing the team’s conversations with the office staff that worked in the vicinity of Chloe’s flat. Again nothing of any value. No one knew her or were even aware that she had lived there. Many people had worked in the offices for years and not even known that there were private flats in that location. Rigby elaborated Simmonds earlier information about the lack of CCTV footage again on Carter Lane.

Simmonds was up next. He had been to Chloe Goodhall’s office. He had spoken to her boss first, an arrogant twat who had spent most of the time trying to make sure that he was not going to be implicated in anything that was going on. Once Simmonds had got through all the man’s bullshit he found out that Chloe’s boss thought very highly of her. She was a good worker, very methodical. He said she would sometimes immerse herself in projects and would book time away from the office to get some peace away from the phones and office chatter. They thought that was what she had done this time. He admitted it had been unusual that she had not informed anyone in advance or checked in. He had, in fact, asked his secretary to chase her up. She had been very popular with her colleagues but to his knowledge, she only socialized with a small number of them outside the office. Simmonds had made a shortlist consisting of three female names. He then met them all individually. They said that Chloe was fun to be with. She never got out of hand or rolling drunk. No, she did not have a boyfriend or one they were aware of. Apart from going for drinks with the group, she went to “Power Box”, the gym located in the basement of their building. Weekends, no they did not know much about what she did but they thought she sometimes saw her old university friends. In general, they had the impression she had quiet weekends. The last thing Chloe had mentioned was some sculpture exhibition that she had tickets for. Simmonds said he would check it out. He also had been given access to Chloe’s work email inbox. He found nothing of interest or anything that sparked his curiosity. He told the office manager that he had secured her computer for further examination and placed a cover over the desk. A member of the forensics team would be down to collect the computer and whatever they felt relevant. He also confirmed that the smartphone that they found was Chloe’s personal phone. The office reimbursed her for any company related calls she made. Therefore she only had one phone.

Finally, a uniformed constable was asked to update the team. He had been drafted in by Rigby to assist with all the office-based data checks. Via the court orders, he had discovered Chloe had both Facebook and Twitter accounts. He had checked both for any unusual activity or arrangement of any meetings. He had drawn a blank. He had been supporting Rigby calling all the phone numbers in the address book found at her home and in the contacts in her smartphone. He had managed to cross off most but he still had a few more he needed to follow up on. He had identified a few male contacts that would need a visit to verify their movements over the last two weeks. Cain asked Simmonds to action that.

Rigby continued. Regarding forensics again nothing had come back to rock the boat. The fingerprints had been rechecked. There were also no fibers that could not be attributed to garments already found at the flat. Cain noted that to get this verification so fast, the forensics team must have worked 24/7. He must drop a note of thanks.

The team now looked to Cain.

’Well we are basically where we were yesterday. All we seem to have done is reconfirm what we already knew, which was needed but it has not taken us forward. Antonio, the supposed boyfriend can be ruled out unless new evidence emerges and I think at the moment it is safe to say her co-workers also, but Simmonds please keep on probing other potentials in her office and people she may have come in contact through her work. To me, the lack of evidence indicates a pre-meditated killer. I think that we are dealing with a single individual and a male due to the brutality of the injuries to the body, but I have been wrong in the past. I think he must have done this before given the level of sophistication and attention to detail, and that he will kill again. This means our work is cut out. We need to get to the killer before that becomes a reality. If I am right, the clock will already be ticking inside his head as he prepares for his next victim.

On the basis that I think this person has killed before, I asked Tammy to do a search on murders with the same murder signature. At first, she came up with nothing. By kill signature, I mean the use of the nails and way the body was mutilated, no sign of forced entry, age of the victim, and marital status. But Tammy being Tammy ran the search again and threw everything into the mix including the leeks. This time she got a hit and could have discovered something very significant. I asked him to expand the timeline. She did this and she may have found links to previously unrelated and unsolved murder cases. The link was tenuous, so rather than distract you, I did a quick review of the files myself. I now think that we may have a disturbing pattern. I spent today on the phone talking to some of the detectives who led those investigations. It was a risk but my gut tells me that Tammy has found a link that has been missed for a few years in a number of previous murder investigations. Our job now is to prove my theory is correct and that the cases are linked.

He got up and walked to a wipe board. He picked up a marker and started to write dates and locations of five unsolved murders.

’Okay, this is what we have. But do we believe the pattern is real? These are the dates that the previous murder victims were discovered. It is believed that they died two to three days after they went missing. Decomposition meant an actual time of death was hard to pin down. That is apart from a Grace Tomlinson who was found the morning following her murder.

October 19th2010. Alice Timmons. Strangled. She lived in a house in Battersea. A large amount of chopped aubergine found in the oven.

September 6th2011. Grace Tomlinson. Throat cut, all fingers broken and punched repeatedly in the chest. Found beside a railway track in Feltham, a five-minute walk from home. She had a carrier bag full of broccoli found beside her.

June 13th2012.Brenda Matthews. Stabbed in the stomach and had both arms broken. She lived in a flat in Whitechapel. Carrots had also been thrown all around the lounge floor.

December 18th2012. Ely Warner. Strangled again. Evidence of torture with cigarettes. She had her left hand severed and placed between her legs. She lived alone in a flat in Islington. Her fridge was stuffed with a large amount of garlic.

May 7th2013. Deena Shoals. Drowned in her own bathwater. She had been beaten around the head with a rolling pin, found at the scene. Prior to death, she had been restrained with rope and three nails had been hammered into her chest. She lived in a house in Docklands. A comment from the report stated over ten bunches of kale were placed in the laundry basket. A total of 3 lbs in all.

All the buildings where the victims lived had been accessed without a window or door being forced. So if you add Chloe Goodhall and the leeks, we have a pattern of murders with escalating violence with a vegetable link. The other thing that drew my attention was the dateline. Taking into account Chloe Goodhall’s body being discovered on the 11th September you can see the intervals between the murders are shortening.

What other factors do they have in common? From the files, I have ascertained that they were all single women at the time of their deaths. Known to be sexually active, but not working as prostitutes. They were all working within the Square Mile at the time of their deaths. They were all below the age of thirty at the time of death. They all lived alone, no flat or house shares. They were all found dead at their place of residence apart from Grace Tomlinson. All had been mutilated in some way. What everyone missed was the vegetable link. I know it’s tenuous and unusual but it is a recurring theme.

There are other things that suggest that it could be the same killer. When you group these murders together, apart from the shortening timeline there is this escalating pattern of violence. We also have a few other coincidences that make me feel we are onto something. When I wrote the names of the vegetables on the board next to the appropriate victims a pattern started to appear. If you accept that the vegetables are the link then we may have something. Whoever is killing these women seems to in general working down the alphabet although they have missed out a few letters. Guys, any thoughts. Do we think that this is real or am I imagining it?’

It was quite for a few moments and then Simmonds spoke.

’I remember some of these cases. In fact the last three, I think we all do. They were headline news. Crazy as it seems, but I think you may have something.’

’Now, Tammy actually found six files with vegetable links. The last file I read was a closed case from 1987. Trevor Mingle, a building labourer strangled a young prostitute behind a supermarket. He was caught and banged up for a minimum of twenty years. Why am I interested? Well, he should be out by now. I want his status checked. He tipped a bag of vegetables over the body before walking away. All the vegetables found with our six victims, Chloe included, were listed as being in that original bag. So I am not sure if I am going mad and seeing connections where there are none. That’s on top of the alphabet listing.’

Cain looked at the board again. ’Okay, so tracking a potential serial killer is now our focus unless something else trumps it. I want to look at two lines of inquiry. First, Trevor Mingle. I want him tracked down. If it’s him, let’s build a case and lock him up forever this time. The second line of inquiry is that we are dealing with someone new.

Either way, if it’s Mingle or another person we need to know the following. How do they choose their victims? Why the vegetable link? Where does the killer buy the stuff from? They are obviously buying it in quantity, but how? One purchase point or multiple? So we need to ask forensics to find out if all the leeks are from the same batch or multiple sources? Trevor Mingle could have been sitting in prison for the last twenty or so years planning these murders or maybe it is just a coincidence that these vegetables are starting to match the contents of that bag, so keep your minds open. We need to check his DNA and fingerprints that we have on file against those found at the past crime scenes without delay. I know he is on the system already but I want them rechecked in case something went wrong. We need to interview his previous cellmates from his period of incarceration. Rigby, I want you and Simmonds to go through these files again and see if you can find any other links. Let’s get a list of all fruit and vegetables from the bag that Mingle threw over his victim on the board. I want the rest of you out again and re-interviewing all the people listed in the statements held in these past cases. With this new trial killer angle, we may get something new out of them. We will need to re-visit all the murder scenes to determine any visual link. Looking at the intervals between the murders, the next one is already being planned. The shortening timeline shows a growing loss of control. The killer needs to keep feeding the urge they feel and the thrill of ultimate dominance over another human being.

Now we work quietly on this. I don’t want the public to be panicked that there may be a serial killer out there. If it is confirmed, then we need to control what the press receives. No mention of the vegetables. There must be no leaks to the press, no pun intended. So be careful and measured with the words you use even, with our own colleagues. I am off to see the Super to tell him the potentially bad news. Let’s get to it.’

Cain had just come back downstairs from the Chief Superintendent’s office. His boss had not been best pleased with the update on the case. The last thing they needed was a serial killer operating on their patch. The Chief was at least placated that they may have a suspect already, dependent on when the man was released from prison. Cain just hoped that Mingle had not emigrated or died since his release. The overtime levels were already going sky-high with the extra resources needed to manage the observation teams for the upgraded terrorist threat. This case would just push his budget over a cliff. But the Chief had been logical and pragmatic for once. If there was a serial killer out there he wanted them found and taken off the streets. The powers that be would just have to find the money.

As Cain walked back into the office he called over to Rigby.

’Have we found Mingle yet?’

’Yes, he was released on the 3rd May 2010 with good behavior which is six months before the first murder on your list. I have an address. Uniform are on their way there now to pick him up. But it’s only four o’clock. If he’s working he may not be back for a while.’

’We'll ask them to sit and wait and get over there yourself. I want him in for questioning.’

’Yes Gov,’ she replied.

Cain called across to Tammy as he picked up his jacket.

’Tammy. I’m off out. Need to think about the case. Can you help with some of the background checks into Chloe Goodhall?’

’Sir,’ she replied in acknowledgment. She knew it was no use asking exactly where he was going or for how long.

Cain just needed space to think on his own. But to bring this killer to justice he would need the whole team working together including himself.

DS Rigby sat in a car waiting outside Trevor Mingles house. It was a dilapidated Victorian building that was halfway between Feltham’s Cinema Megaplex and Feltham High St. It probably used to be a quiet street inhabited by the more affluent of Feltham’s residents, but since the opening of the Cinema Megaplex further up the road, foot and auto traffic had increased tenfold. So now what was once a sleepy street that no one really knew existed was now a cut through to the borough’s largest entertainment center.

Rigby looked again at Mingle’s front door. Its windows stood in darkness. When they first arrived she had knocked and got no reply. She had walked down the house’s side passage and peered over the garden wall. Again darkness. The man was obviously not in. It was now eight in the evening. She wondered how long they would have to wait.

She opened the case file again on Mingle and looked at the picture taken on his release. Time in prison had not aged him well. He was still a large well-built man but the picture showed a sloping of the shoulders from years of sitting down and a lack of exercise. His face was jowly with a walrus mustache to hide his sagging features. As she started to read through a list of the evidence collected at the murder scene in 1987 she saw a figure stumbling down the road in their direction. It was Mingle. Time for action.

Rigby and her colleagues approached Mingle and identified themselves as police officers. From her observation he seemed to have drunk so much she wondered if he could understand anything that they were saying. She explained that they needed to speak to him in relation to a recent case. He looked at them through blurred eyes as they spoke. He swayed a few times before grabbing the closest gatepost to stop himself from falling over.

’We need to bring you in Trevor so that we can have a chat.’

He said nothing for a moment as he seemed to digest what was being said.

‘I’m working tomorrow morning. Need my sleep,’ he managed to finally mutter.

’Well you can come and sleep the beer off with us and then we can speak to you early in the morning. Then when we're done you can go to work,’ said Rigby offering no other options.

Mingle realised that he was not going to sleep in his own bed tonight. He shrugged his shoulders and started walking towards the waiting police car. As they drove back to the station Rigby called ahead and asked the Duty Sergeant to prepare a cell for Mingle. She then called Cain and told him that she had picked up Mingle and that he was drunk. She would have everything prepared so that they could start interviewing him from 7 am in the morning.

When Cain received the call from Rigby he had just come off the phone from speaking with DCI Wainwright at Feltham station. DCI Wainwright had been part of the arrest team that apprehended Trevor Mingle back in the ’80s. At that time he had been in uniform. He could not remember much about Mingle apart from the fact that he was an arrogant young man with a wanton disregard for the rights of anyone, especially women. DCI Wainwright was not even aware of his release. If there had been a memo about it at the station it was buried in his paperwork. And on that point, Mingle must have kept a clean sheet since he was released because Wainwright had not heard Mingle’s name mentioned for years.

DCI Wainwright by coincidence was also the detective in charge of the Grace Tomlinson case whom Cain had spoken to on his call around the day before. Cain had chosen to say nothing about the involvement of Grace as a possible link to Trevor Mingle when asked by Wainwright why he was calling again. Cain explained that he was calling in connection to another case he was working on. He wanted to hold off on making that link until he had established a real connection. DCI Wainwright might think something was up as Cain’s team worked through the files and contacted past witnesses, but he would deal with that situation when it arose.

DS Simmonds had managed to track down the man who had been Trevor Mingle’s cellmate for the last five years. A long period in anyone’s book. The guy was released a few months before Mingle and was now living in Portugal. The call did not last long as the man was very short on words. Maybe the reason why they had lasted so long in the same cell together was they never really spoke. Simmonds asked if Mingle ever discussed his life before being inside. The ex-cell mate said they had a few chats and that when they did Mingle had no anger left in him. Simmonds asked if Mingle had ever talked about revenge or of a hatred of women. He said no, in fact, the opposite. He said that Mingle told him that, that one morning of madness fuelled by smoking hash and drinking too many cans of Red Stripe had destroyed his life. As far as Mingle was concerned that person was dead and the new person was now doing the time. He had said he was just trying to do his bird the best way he could so that he could get out early on good behavior and restart his life. Was he remorseful Simmonds asked? Maybe, maybe not. It was a long time ago but he said Mingle did regret fucking up his own life.

A call to another two of Mingle’s previous cellmate’s basically confirmed the same. Simmonds requested their movements on the murder dates over the last two years. They all had concrete alibis.

Trevor Mingle was sitting in the interview with his head in his hands and a half-drunk cup of black coffee in front of him. He had refused any food saying that it would only make him vomit. He looked a mess. He hardly looked like the control freak that could have murdered all these women. But a projected image of a habitual drinker and a drunk could be part of the control that he needs to exert on all parts of his life to avoid detection. In Cain’s mind, no one could be overlooked until someone was proven guilty.

Recalling the image of Chloe’s torn body, Cain wanted this case solved. He wanted the killer to be Mingle. He hoped that this would not compromise his thoughts and the analytical review of the facts. Cain was adamant that no more women should suffer the degradation and pain that Chloe Goodhall had suffered.

Cain and Rigby were cross-checking their notes before they entered the interview room. Cain would lead the questioning. Satisfied that they had everything covered they entered.

Mingle looked up from the table with bleary eyes.

Rigby clicked the tape recorder and read Mingle his Rights. For the benefit of the tape, she stated the date and time, the names of those present and that Mingle had declined legal representation.

’Morning Trevor, I hope that you slept well,’Cain offered.

’Depends if you regard sleeping on a slab of concrete with a two-millimetre foam mattress as the basis of a good nights sleep.’

Cain paused and looked over at Mingle without an ounce of concern.

’So, what have you been doing recently?’continued Cain.

’Bit of this, a bit of that. You know the normal stuff you do after you have been banged up for years. My options are limited but I can assure you I have kept myself out of trouble. My conscience is clear,’Mingle replied defensively.

’Banged up for years, and whose fault was that Trevor?” asked Cain.

’Agreed it was mine, but I have a life now. I am not going to do anything that will put me back inside. That I can assure you.’

’Depends if you are telling the truth or not. Have you really been keeping out of trouble Trevor? Maybe you have been up to your old tricks again?’ Cain pushed.

Mingle stared at Cain and said nothing.

Cain stared back at Mingle for a while and then opened up the file in front of him. He said nothing as he read the covering page, which listed the main points of Chloe Goodhall’s murder, not that he needed to. They were ingrained in his brain.

’So that’s what this is about? You have a case you want to clear or a case with no leads, so now I am looking good for it. Well go fuck yourselves, I ain’t done nothing to no one.’

Cain and Rigby looked at each other and both raised their eyebrows. They made it long enough to give the impression to Mingle that the previous answers were a form of confirmation of guilt.

’Wankers, both of you,’ Mingle muttered under his breath.

’Well prove it. Start talking Trevor and tell us what we want to know and then we can let you go,’ Cain said looking down at his notes. ’First, where are you working?’

‘McGloven’s the Builders. We have a couple of building sites near Twickenham. One, a new development and the other is an old house where we are adding a third floor. I’m a hod carrier for them. I flip between sites where I’m needed.’

’So there are times when you are not under anyone’s supervision?’

’Piss off. I’m not a child. And anyway, the sites are five minutes' walk apart. If I am asked to go to the other site, it would be noticed fairly quickly if I was absent.’

’How long have you worked their Trevor?’Cain questioned.

’Since my release. It was set up by my parole officer. McGloven’s are a company that doesn’t mind giving lads like me a job for a couple of months after our release. The initial wage is low but it’s a job. Win-Win for both sides. Anyway, for me, it’s all worked out good. They offered me a full-time job. I get on well with the other lads and the boss is okay as long as I turn up on time and work hard. So today, for example, will piss him off.’

’I am sure he will understand. Comes with the territory of employing an ex-con shit head like you,’ Cain said with a smile.

’Fuck you,’ Mingle fired back as he placed two clenched fists on the table.

For a minute no one said anything. They just stared at each other.

Cain was looking at his notes. ’Taken any time off recently?’ Cain asked.

’No, I prefer to work. We have lots of deadlines to meet with both projects at the moment. It’s been like that for the last few months. We only get time off if we book it in a long time in advance.’

Cain paused again and read his notes.

’Okay, where were you at the beginning of September this year. Did you stay in Feltham and Twickenham or did you go wandering off around London?’

’I went nowhere apart from home to my work in Twickenham and back again. I may have stopped off for an odd jar in between the two. But that’s it. A boring life. No family anymore you see. So no one to visit.’

’No family that wants to see you at least,’Cain corrected.

’Whatever!!’ Mingle replied glaring at him.

’So you are positive, no little outings in Central London or the City?’

’No, I told you already.’

’Can you prove that?’

’Don’t need to.’

’So you are you saying that you are offering no verification for your whereabouts at the beginning of September this year apart from the days you were at work?’

’Give me a date and a time Cain and I will try and remember but as I have done nothing that needs an alibi, I don’t really give a fuck.’

’Where were you between the 1stand 11th September?’

’What, no exact date? Pretty hard to pin me for that one. Well if you must know as I have said either at home, at work or somewhere in between the two getting pissed. Satisfied?’

Cain wrote down Mingle’s reply. A heavy silence hung in the room.

’So Trevor, have you been outside of London since your release?’

’No, just here in the smoke.’

’And just again for the records have you ever been up to The City?’

’Maybe, when I was first released. I used to travel the tubes on Sunday, you know, go places and see how things had changed over the years. But not now.’

’Can you verify that? Did anyone go with you?’

‘No, no one,’ Mingle said frostily.

’I am going to mention a few dates. I want you to tell me where you were on these dates. So, 11th October 2010?’

’No idea, probably at work. You can check I am sure,’ replied Mingle.

’ 6th September 2011?’ asked Cain.

’Same answer.’

’ 13th June 2012?’

’Same answer Cain.’

’ 18th December 2012?’

’Same answer.’

’ 7th May 2013?’

’Same fucking answer.’

’And again the 11th September 2013?’

’And again the same answer, work,’Mingle spat the words.

’Perhaps some of those dates were at the weekend?’

’Okay Einstein, if those days fall on a Saturday or a Sunday then the answer is my local pub on Feltham High St. Call the place and that useless cunt who works behind the bar and he will tell you I am there all weekend, every weekend.’

All the while Mingle answered the questions, Rigby studied him. She looked for a change in his eye movement, his body language, and his breathing. Nothing. No internal rage that she could see, just anger towards the police and frustration at being kept away from his work.

’Okay, now I would like to ask you about a few names.’

’If it helps me get out of here you can ask me how many times I wank a week. I don’t care. Just get it over with.’

Cain read the names out slowly one by one.

’Alice Timmons. Grace Tomlinson. Brenda Matthews. Ely Warner. Deena Shoals and Chloe Goodhall.’

Nothing. Mingle shook his head to the negative at each one. Rigby watching his every move.

’Them is all women that has been murdered Cain. I reads the news papers as I got fuck all else to do in the evenings apart from getting pissed and watch TV.’

’So you do know them.’

’Everyone knows them who reads papers. They were all murdered. But have I ever met them, no.’

Cain looked down at his notes from the interview. Mingle fidgeted with his coffee cup.

’So I hope for your sake that your employer keeps good records,’ said Cain looking at Mingles hands.

’Yes. Meticulously. Go check.’

’We will. I have to ask, why don’t you take more time off? It’s not as if you have got much longer to enjoy what’s left of your life?’

Mingle scowled at the question. Cain liked pressing the buttons repeatedly to see if he could get him to trip up over his words.

’I can’t afford it. I need all the money I can get. I have not had much of an opportunity to build a private pension you might say. We have deadlines to meet that pay well, so I work.’

’Do you ever think about Marlene Stringer?’Cain fired in quickly to the conversation.

For a moment Trevor was caught off guard. He looked between both Cain and Rigby. He paused before he answered sensing a trap.

’What this all about?’

’I ask the questions Mingle. So tell me, do you ever think about Marlene? How she fucked up your life?’

’Not so much now. That was a different me.’

’Do you want to take revenge on women for what she did to you?’

’Mate have you not been listening. I am clean. I work hard, stay out of prison, and save money for my sad little future. That’s it.’

’Like last night Mingle. Saving hard were you? Getting that pissed doesn’t come cheap.’

Mingle’s face started to glow red as his impatience grew inside him. His fists clenched again and the knuckles turned white.

’It was one of the lads birthday so we had a few more than usual. And yes I like a beer, but after being banged up for years so would you. You really are a complete fucking tosser.’ he said banging his fists on the table.

’Getting angry Trevor? Have I upset you or are you trying to hide something?’

’Fuck off Cain. I have done nothing wrong. Yes, I do think about her when I think about the part of my life that I never want to go back to. I made a mistake. I paid for it. So unless you got something on me, release me.’

’It seems to me Mingle that a woman died by your hands and even from the grave she fucks with your life. I mean being a hod carrier is not going to provide you with a great pension, is it?’

’Yeah and I live with that fact every day Cain. So what’s your story you sad twat? Something happened to you as well, I can see it in your eyes.’

Cain stopped and just stared at Mingle. He knew what Mingle meant. Cain’s pain was even more raw than his. In his case, he was the one that had lost someone close by someone else’s actions. This time it was Cain who clenched his fists.

Cain pushed his own personal thoughts away and continued. ’Do you ever think about what you did to her that day?’

’No, why would I? I have tried to forget about that part of life and who I was.’

Cain nodded.

’Do you like vegetables Trevor?’

’What kind of fucking question is that?’

“Just answer the question,’ Cain insisted.

“To eat, yes. I know what you are getting at. That part of the case was blown out of all proportion. I would have tipped or thrown anything over her at that moment in time. It just happened to be her shopping.’

’Are you sexually active Trevor?’ Cain asked, changing the direction of the interview.

’What has that got the fuck to do with you, Cain? Depends if you call wanking being sexually active,’ Mingle said smiling. ’You got a hard-on for me, Cain? Do you fancy ex-cons? Fancy a bit of dick do you…you ponce!!’ Mingle said spitting the words, his smile disappearing.

’You see Trevor, I don’t believe you. I think you are a very angry man. Marlene Stringer ruined your life by offering herself to you. I think that you blame women for your loss of freedom for those lost years. I think that you want to make women pay for this. I also believe that at the beginning of the month you went to the city and took this anger and the need for revenge out on a young woman called Chloe Goodhall.’

’Bollocks Cain. Where is the fucking proof? That’s right, you have none.’

No one said anything. Cain and Mingle stared at each other in defiance. Finally, Cain looked down at his notes. He knew he had nothing on him, at least for now.

’Trevor that will be all. I am going to release you. We will be checking up with your employer on your working hours and any dates you may have been absent. This is an ongoing investigation, so don’t go far. We may need to be in touch again.’

’You fuckers are all the same, just trying to fit people up. You wouldn’t believe how many guys in the nick fell for tricks from your lot just so that you could clear your caseload. The reality is the real criminals are far too clever for you lot.’

’Like you Trevor,’ Rigby threw in.

’Look, lady. I admitted my crime. Never fought it. Never denied it. So when someone does deny something it is not an automatic sign of guilt. So which way is it out from this shit hole,’ Mingle said standing up and pushing back his chair.

’Officer, show him the way out,’ Cain said closing the file and watching Mingle walkout.

Trevor Mingle collected his personnel items from the duty sergeant and left.

Cain and Rigby stood looking from their office window as Mingle wandered off down the road.

’Why did you release him Gov? Simmonds needs time to sort things out for his surveillance.’

’We had nothing on him. If it’s him, we’ve spooked him. I want him to walk away thinking that he is in the clear..’

’I hope you are right.’

’It’s him. I can feel it,’ said Cain. ‘He’s playing dumb.’

’Simmonds thinks that surveillance will be set up by the time Mingle finishes work today. Nothing could be arranged before that. It is a safe bet that he will go straight there if he wants to keep his job. It works out well as Simmonds needs to go down to their offices anyway to check Mingles attendance sheets. So he will have that added pressure when he arrives at work today.’

’Good. He will drop the ball soon and I want our boys to be there when it lands.’

Rigby had to admit she did not have the same feeling about Mingle, but Cain had been doing this job longer than her. She had to respect his intuition.

Rigby stood back and looked at the list of vegetables from Marlene Stringer’s murder on the board.










Runner Beans


The vegetables did match the ones listed against the six murders, but equally, they could be part of most families' weekly shop.

Rigby and Simmonds split the files from the unsolved women’s murders. Simmonds took the first three murders and Rigby the last two as she already had Chloe’s. They re-checked all the forensics evidence and started to compile everything into a spreadsheet. They needed to see if they could find any more common details that could be linked. The main aim was to create a profile of the killer. Cain made it clear that he wanted it to provide evidence he needed to arrest Mingle. Rigby was still not convinced. She hoped by collating the evidence they may be able to start working out a possible physical description by taking into account the height of the victims and the angle of the injuries. This would then either help to strengthen Cain’s view on Mingle or eliminate him from their inquiries. They for example already knew that by the varying methods used by the killer they must be physically strong. So now if they took the height of Chloe Goodman and calculated the angle she had been initially hit on the head, they should be able to work out the killer’s approximate height and also if they were left or right handed. It was going to be a long day.

The rest of the team had also split the cases in a similar way so that all the previous people that had given statements could be re-interviewed. Unfortunately, they found that some of the witnesses had moved which was to be expected in a metropolis like London. So it was going to take a few days to track everyone down and complete all the re-interviews.

By late afternoon with seventeen interviews completed between them, there was nothing new to report.

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