“Joe, we just got a call. We got an anonymous tip about that serial killer of yours. We were told he was at a bar on 125th Street. We sent a patrol car to check it out and when they walked in a guy ran past them out the door. They chased him to a building down the street. He picked the wrong place to enter. Rear exit is blocked. We sent more cars and now backup is in place. He’s trapped. It’s a small four story building with offices in it.”
“How do you know it’s him? Nobody knows what he looks like.”
“This guy made like a bat out of hell when the uniforms walked in.”
“Okay, give me the address, I’m on my way.”
He threw the car into gear, put on the siren and headed out. Four months he had been after this sick son of a bitch and now he finally had him. He screeched to a halt in the cordoned off street and made his way to the front door.
One of the cops guarding the door smiled. “Joe, we got him for ya. He’s inside somewhere. We’ve got some men inside going floor-to-floor looking for him. He’s trapped.”
“What about employees? He’s bound to take a hostage.”
“Nope, we got them all out while he was busy hiding. Everyone is accounted for.”
“So who’s in there?”
“Guys from our precinct and a couple from the 83rd. Oh, and a detective from the 47th.”
“The 47th? What was he doing here?”
“One of our guys came down and told us he had joined the search. He was here to interview a witness for a case he was working on.”
“Okay, I’m going in. Thanks Al.”
Detective Lambert drew his service revolver and headed up the stairs. He saw a couple of his guys and stopped to talk to them.
“Any sign of him yet?”
“Nope. We’re just finishing up this floor. We’ve got men on two and three and there’s a detective on four searching.”
“Thanks. I’ll go up there and help him.”
He climbed the stairs two at a time and was winded by the time he got to the top. He held his gun in the ready position and started checking rooms. Halfway down the hall he saw the detective from the 47th.
“Hey. Joe Lambert, 32cd Precinct.”
“Jim Forbes, 47th.” He flashed his badge. “He’s not up here, I’ve searched all the offices and restrooms. Don’t think he had time to get up here anyway, I was on this floor seeing an employee about a case I’m working on.”
“You sure? You’ve looked everywhere?”
Forbes shrugged. It’s not that big a floor as you can see. We should help them out on three, he must be there or on two.
“No windows he could have gone out of?”
“Nope. Not on this floor.”
“Okay, let’s go.”
They went down to the third floor and helped finish the search there. Nothing. Same thing on two and the ground floor. Lambert was cursing a blue streak by the time the search was called off.
“Just doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. The back exit is blocked. I’m gonna go make sure he didn’t get out with the employees. Thanks for your help Jim.”
“No problem Joe. Hey, I hope you get him soon. Take care.”
Lambert watched him go then went to the Sergeant at the door. “You’re sure everybody you took out is an employee in this building?”
“Yep. We had the supervisors look everyone over carefully as they came out; they’re all accounted for. They’re across the street in that café if you want to talk to them.”
Lambert glanced over at the café and then a got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He raced back into the building and up the stairs to the 4th floor. He went room to room and then opened the door of the restroom. The victim had his throat slashed ear to ear and was lying in a pool of blood. He went back down the stairs feeling like the biggest chump in the world.
“What’s the matter Joe?”
“Get a meat wagon out here right away. I have to call the 47th and tell them Jim Forbes is dead. I know what that sick bastard looks like now.”