Detective Delgado drank the last of his coffee and crushed the cardboard cup. He looked around for a place to dispose of it, shrugged his shoulders and dropped it on the ground. He looked at the officer guarding the door to the house and posed a silent question.
“Yeah, it’s bad.”
“Same MO as last time?”
The officer nodded. There was no need to ask if he had viewed the murder scene. He was green around the gills. Delgado’s partner got off the phone and walked over.
“Another one, eh?”
“Yeah, this guy is a busy little beaver. Must have some kind of hard on against the world. Or middle aged suburban housewives anyway. Let’s go do what we gotta do.”
They entered the house, a hive of activity. Photographers, fingerprint experts, and the medical examiner, all moving about doing their jobs. Delgado approached the medical examiner.
“Any variation on this one?”
“Nope. Same sick shit as usual.”
“No chance it’s a copy cat then?”
“No, this guy is very precise. It’s a ritual with him. I gotta tell ya, Al, I’ve seen some twisted things in my time, but this guy takes the cake. You gotta catch him soon. He’s on a rampage.”
Delgado and his partner Franks entered the bedroom and surveyed the scene. Very little of the bed didn’t have blood on it. Franks looked away and dry retched. Delgado walked over the to body and got down close to examine the face and hands.
“She hasn’t been turned over yet?”
The officer in charge shook his head. “Go ahead.”
Delgado put on some latex gloves and turned her over on her side and there was the usual message carved into her stomach. ‘I have sinned’.
He put her back facedown and studied her for a moment longer. He looked up at Franks, who was looking miserable.
“Go outside and wait for me on the porch Bill. I’ll be out in a minute.”
He walked around the bedroom looking for clues. The crucifix the killer had used was from the wall above the bed, just as usual. How did he know it would be there? He had to have been in the house before the actual event. Either that or he knew these women from a place where it would be certain they had one. A church? A social group perhaps? He needed to find out.
He went outside and lit a cigarette. Bill looked at him and shook his head.
“How do you do it? I’ve been in homicide for seven years, I still can’t get used to it. Especially this. This is one sick bastard. We’ve got to find him, Al.”
Delgado crushed out his cigarette and looked up at the sky. Thunder heads rolling in.
“We will. He’s going to slip up. I just know it. I’ll be there when he does. If we could just figure out how he chooses them. Another blond. They’re always within about a five year age range.”
“You think they remind him of someone?”
“That’s what I think, yeah. Mother, girlfriend, teacher? Who knows? Somebody did this creep’s head in and now he’s off and running. You know what though? It doesn’t matter. We’re going to get him.”
“But what’s the deal with the crucifix? I mean, that’s just sick.”
Delgado said nothing. They headed back to the car.
“You drive, Bill. I’ve got some thinking to do.”
Part 4 Tomorrow