Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rue: The Shattering Part 1


 (Snipped before the jump due to a crime scene.  No sense subjecting folks to it if they aren't ready.)

There are some crime scenes you never get used to walking into. Some of them stick with you, and never let you go. That's what this one was. Murdered prostitutes are nothing new. I've been seeing them as long as I've been a cop. This was different. I probably would've reacted the same way no matter who we found like this. It never was anyone else though. It was always a prostitute. Their mouth was always held open by hooks in their gums, tied off to the wall. That happened post mortem. Their tongue being sliced out and their eyes being deposited in its place was not. The cut was always clean, but their teeth would be chipped as they struggled. They were never bound. Whoever had done it always overpowered them. Their elbows, knees, shoulders, and ankles were always shattered, a great hand print over each joint. It was ridiculous, but someone had done by hand what many couldn't do with a hammer. Their bellies had pentacles cut into them. The cuts were always perfect. Too perfect. The symbol was a lie to make cops like me think it was religious. It could still be religious... but I doubt the killer really wanted to protect their stomach with a circled star. Every finger except for their thumbs were broken as well and pinned against their hands to form squares.

Semen was always found in random places. It was never the same location, even though everything else was the same, right down to the missing pinkie toe. To complicate things, the semen was different every time.The profilers had worked sleepless weeks trying to build a psych profile for the killer. They never found anything that matched the exact profile. They were too self-important, too dense. Well, I suppose I was being a little harsh. I had Amy to help me. It was because of her that I knew the most important piece of the puzzle.

Their conscious mind was missing.

Murders almost always spawn ghosts. These did too. Their children were always mindless, unreasonable poltergeists. They were turned into raw seething hatred and stripped of their mind. There was never any rape, not of the body anyway. I had already been watching the case when it went across other cops desks. After the first couple dozen, they started calling me instead of the profilers because it gave the profilers nightmares. It gave me nightmares too, not that they gave a damn.

Still, it needed solving. None of them were willing, so I always took a stab at it.

Now it was my baby.

"Good work at the museum Rue. Too bad we couldn't catch the little bastard before he burnt the place down. He was into the city for a lot of money in grants. Still, at least we don't have to deal with a live prisoner."

"Glad you approve."

The captain had just waved at me to be quiet and thrown an envelope at me.

"That's the case file for The Broken Hooker killings. If you're so interested in dead prostitutes, you deal with it."

"I thought you didn't care about this case? You usually point me at work you need done to make yourself look good."

"I don't care less about a bunch of dead tramps that couldn't keep their legs together. But it's been going on too long. I want it closed, one way or the other. Either we need to write off the deaths as something that we can't fix, and start ignoring it and losing paperwork, or I need the sumbitch caught. You with me Rue?"

I stood and slapped him with the envelope. He sat there, staring at me. I turned and walked out. It swallowed most of a pack of ProTabs and rubbed at my temples. It was time to leave and get some real work done. That was something these fools would never understand. First, I went to the crime scene. Everyone but a single beat cop had left. The poor kid had been puking in the seedy hotel room toiler about every half hour since he had gotten there. As if it hadn't stank enough with just the body in there. I took the necessary crime photos, dusted for prints, everything I was expected to do. When I finished packing up my tools and nodded to the beat cop, he thought to ask me a question.

"You got any idea who's doin' this?"

"Not yet. There won't be many more."

He laughed uneasily.

"That's what the other guys said after number nineteen. What's she? Thirty nine?"

I glared at him and he was quiet. He made the call for the coroner to come clean up the mess and I left. I was heading to the library.

As I drove, I printed a picture of the crime scene out in the car. I sticky-tacked it to my dash. She had been seventeen when she had been broken, trying to earn enough to pay her way into an arco and a job with the Corps.

So, it seemed long overdue that I do a bit of breaking myself.

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