Inside the Due Motor Inn, Isis counted ten police officers standing in the lobby. They all were standing around with grim expressions on their faces, and half of them had a handkerchief pressed to their mouths. Some of them were bent over, retching.
Behind the clerk’s desk, a middle-aged man was sitting on the floor. He had an old fashion hotel register on his lap. The man was shaking his head from side to side as two burly detectives questioned him. A female detective approached Isis.
“Excuse me, but can I be of some assistance?” Isis explained to the female detective why she was there and how important it was for her to see the body.
“Well, honey,” the female detective said. “I’m not gonna stop you. The body’s in room 1H, at the end of the hall.”
Isis thanked the detective.
There were no detectives, nor were there any uniform officers in the hallway leading to the crime scene. It was unnaturally quiet. There were sixteen rooms on the first floor: eight on each side. The rooms ran alphabetically. The ceiling and walls were painted brown, and most of the paint was peeling. The carpet was also brown and threadbare. As Isis walked down the hall, she noticed large splatters of vomit on the walls and carpet. She counted seven vomit stains before she reached room 1H. When she got within a foot of the door, she counted two more vomit stains.
Isis heard the clicking sounds of cameras coming from room 1H. She tried to prepare herself for the carnage she knew she would see. Isis took a deep breath and began counting down from three. When she got to one, Isis peeked into room 1H; Isis added vomit stain number ten to the carpet.
Isis threw up the contents of her stomach. For the next sixty seconds, she heaved. A crime scene technician stuck her head past the door jam.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
Tears streamed from Isis’s eyes as she heaved for the last time. She reached into her back pocket and removed a handkerchief. Isis turned her back to the tech, wiped the tears from her eyes, then she proceeded to wipe away the vomit from her mouth, chin, shirt, and pants. “I’m okay. I just ate something that didn’t agree with me, that’s all.”
The technician went back to work.
“Damnit!” Isis muttered to herself. She pulled herself together and marched up to room 1H. The first thing that the detective noticed was the size of the victim’s head. It was five times its normal size. The killers had wrapped so much duct tape around the victim’s’ head that it looked like a giant, gray balloon. Equally shocking was the way the head was displayed. The killers had covered the victim’s taped up head with white powder. The lip section was painted red with the victim’s blood. The nose was made from the tip of the victim’s penis, and his testicles were in the place where the eyes would’ve been. A pair of female panties were stuffed in a gaping hole where the victim’s genitals should’ve been. And a black party hat was stuck to the side of the victim’s head, the victim looked like a deranged mime.
Isis stood by the door, scanning the room as the CSI team took care of business. On the floor were six empty rolls of duct tape and numerous squeezed out, crazy glue tubes. On the bureau was a glass of liquor. Bloody footprints covered the tan carpet. They led from the main room to the bathroom. A CSI technician was meticulously going over a four-poster queen sized bed.
“There’s a treasure trove of DNA here,” he said to one of his comrades.
Isis shot the tech a look. “What? You’ve got DNA?”
“Yeah, we got blood, semen, and hair follicles.”
The release of dopamine flooded the mesolimbic pathways in her brain, and Isis smiled. The detective looked at the body of Derrick Simmons and said, “I’ll get ’em, dude.”
Outside, Isis took a deep breath. She bent forward and placed her hands-on top of her knees. She looked straight ahead. The Chief of Police was making his way toward a podium that was covered with microphones. Questions from the media were being shouted from all directions. Isis stood up and waited for the chief to speak.
Chief of Police Morgan Daniels was a short, tough-looking man from the Bronx. He tapped the mic twice with his index finger, then he cleared his throat. “The body that was found in the motel room has not been fully identified yet. We collected DNA samples, and we also have video.”
Someone shouted, “Chief, is it true that you have a videotape of Derrick Simmons, the son of actor Troy Simmons, coming into the motel, and that his initials were found in the registry, and that he’d checked into room 1H—where the body was found—with a young woman?”
“We’re going to have to go over every piece of evidence before we can make that conclusion.” The chief spotted Isis in the crowd. “We are also working in conjunction with the men and women at the Double 0 precinct in Harlem, who has recently come upon similar murders…” The chief of police paused as he watched the crowd part like the red sea. Academy Award-winning actor Troy Simmons made his way toward the podium. The actor was in full costume. He was dressed as a knight in shining armor.
Troy Simmons must have bolted from his rehearsals at the St. James Theater in midtown when he’d gotten the news. As he approached the podium, every camera and cell phone was pointed his way. A hush came over the crowd when the actor stopped in front of the podium. With his lips trembling, the actor said, “Is that my son you found dead, Morgan?” The chief of police said nothing—and that nothing spoke volumes to the actor.
The anguish that poured from Simmons had affected everyone that was present. The actor slowly dropped to his knees. Chief Morgan approached the actor. “We’ll get them, Troy.”
Simmons looked up at the chief of police. His mouth was moving, but no sound came out. His eyes were bloodshot and puffy from crying. Then, a piercing sound cut through the air. A sound so haunting, so disturbing, that some of the female reporters dropped their microphones and covered their faces with their hands. Simmons’ emotions were palpable. They were manifested in the way his body convulsed. Academy Award-winning actor Troy Simmons, who was down on his hands and knees and in full costume, with the world watching, had a complete mental breakdown.