The next morning Oliver awoke very early. The dream was becoming more bothersome. He got up and showered and had a bowl of cereal, thinking through what he planned to do. As he dressed he went over a mental checklist of everything he needed. Today was going to be special. He could feel it in every fibre of his being.
He loaded everything into the car and was on the road at sunrise. He arrived at Maria’s house and parked down the street from it in a spot that gave him a good vantage point. He got out his binoculars and waited. As people left for work he slid down into the seat to make sure no one saw his face.
An hour later Maria emerged and got in her car and drove away. He watched her go and looked at the house. He hadn’t seen her husband leave, but it was likely he had gone early. There were no lights on in the house. Still, he couldn’t take any chances. He went to the door and rang the bell. No answer. He knocked loud with the same result.
His senses were tingling. Something wasn’t quite right. He went back to the car and got in and thought. There was no reason anything should be wrong and yet he had a strong urge to abandon his plan for the time being.
“Al, you’re looking pensive. What’s up?”
Bill had been working with Delgado for five years and could tell when he was holding on to something.
“I keep thinking about the last murder. What do they all have in common, Bill, besides the MO?”
“Well, they’re all blond, about the same age. Live in the same sort of neighbourhoods. I guess that’s about it.”
“Right, they all fit a profile. This guy is going after the same woman every time.”
“Yeah, we established that. They must remind him of someone. An old girlfriend that dumped him, or a teacher or something.”
“Right. Here’s an idea. What if it’s his mother?”
Bill tapped his pencil on the desk and thought.
“Why would he want to do such horrendous things to his mother?” As soon as the words left his mouth he knew the answer. “Holy shit, you think this guy was abused by his mother and he’s getting revenge?”
“Maybe not. Maybe he’s trying to work out why she did what she did. He tortures these women. Could he be doing it to get answers?”
“How would they be able to give him answers?”
“We’re dealing with someone very unbalanced here, Bill.” Delgado stared at his desk for a moment. “We need to pay a visit to the newspaper office. See if we can find any cases of child abuse that had a religious element to them. It’s an outside chance but we have nothing to go on here.”
They left the office and headed over the newspaper.
Oliver was getting angrier by the minute. He didn’t like not being in control. He willed himself to be calm and thought hard. At last it came to him. It was that last line in the newspaper article. The head of the investigation is working on a new angle. He didn’t feel safe about not knowing what that angle was. He had planned to enter the house and wait for Maria to return instead of just knocking after she returned. He hated the possibility that she might recognize his face. Why had he given in the to urge to talk to her?
He thought about it some more and decided to leave. He needed to see today’s paper to find out if there was any new information. He could return later. Best not to take any more risk.
Part 8 Tomorrow