CTTK – Chapter Four

Chapter Four

9 February 2005

Wednesday

New York

“I’m still running her prints through the system and hoping for a match, but I have a few things figured out besides that,” Brian Brown said. He flipped through a notebook in search of the right page as he started talking, “Umm, let’s see… She was killed on Monday sometime around six in the evening. No drugs in her system, but she was definitely chloroformed sometime before she died. I imagine she wasn’t killed in her own home, so, uh, this CGK chloroformed her so that he could easily transport her somewhere else, somewhere much more private, I would assume.”

“Like a kill room,” Holden Cruz said.

Brian offered a nod. “That’s the idea, yeah. For obvious reasons, nowhere but a designated kill room would be prepared for what this CGK planned to do to her.”

“Do you have anything on the… mutilations?” Holden asked.

Brian sighed. “Not much. Not yet, anyway. I’m getting there. I know that, more than likely, the cut up the torso and the one beneath her rib cage were done with the same knife. The one from her eye socket to her jaw was probably done with a smaller knife. He would’ve needed something easier to twist, easier to drag over the curve of the face without losing the control he had over the blade.

“I honestly believe a pair of scissors was used for the tongue. It looks more… blunt than it does sharp,” he said. He cleared his throat, rubbing at the back of his neck. His gunmetal blue eyes looked dull; he hadn’t been able to sleep the night before. He had seen a lot of bad in his line of work, but what this CGK had done was on an entirely new level. “The hip carving… That’s, like, one of those loop tools that’s used in a pottery class, and I’m pretty sure her eyes were taken out with a grapefruit spoon, based on the scraping pattern on the top of the orbital cavity,” he said.

Brian scrubbed a hand over his face. “But I’m still running tests on her, and I’m working through some trial runs to see if I can find out what kind of tool was used for every mark on her body.”

Kathleen Engvall looked at the victim’s corpse for only a moment before Brian reached out and pulled the sheet over the young woman’s face. “She wasn’t his first kill… was she?”

Brian shook his head. “I’m afraid not,” he said quietly. “The only difference between Jane Doe here and the other victims is that we haven’t found the others.”

Or we found them back before he started signing his work,” Holden suggested.

Brian seemed to consider the idea for a moment before he simply nodded. “Holden, you may be onto something.” He smiled faintly, and it almost felt like relief to the analyst. “I think that could be a lead. I guess I would start going through old case photos if I were you.”

Holden nodded. “We will. Good a place to start as any. Thanks, Brian.”

***

The man leaned back against the counter, listening to the coffee drip into the glass pot of the coffee maker. He reached out and turned up the volume dial on the small television sandwiched into the corner of the kitchen counter. He didn’t much care about the news when it revolved around him. He loved his work, but not enough to be one of those killers that cut out newspaper articles and made a scrapbook of their evil.

Still, it was interesting to see the media continuing to obsess over his kill. They had a source in the police station, as far as he could tell, one that was feeding them information regarding the woman’s autopsy and time of death and state of undress.

Poor Christine hadn’t been identified yet.

He shook his head, reaching out to turn down the volume again. The last time he had watched the news in New York, footage of the planes and the Twin Towers had been on every single channel, practically stuck on continuous loop. It had been impossible to get away from.

Now he was the thing impossible to get away from. Now he was on every channel.

He smiled. He wasn’t obsessed with himself by any means, but seeing his work on New York’s televised front pages was… thrilling.

***

“We’ve already been over this a million times with you guys.”

“Yes, I know. I know it can be irritating,” Holden said. “But we need you to tell us how you found her one more time.”

The boy sighed. “Me and my friend were gonna jump into the water, see who could stand the cold the longest.”

“Even though it was still partially frozen?” Kathleen asked.

“Look, when you’re gonna do something dumb, you do something dumb, frozen lake or not,” the boy said.

“And what made you change your mind?”

“Saw that woman in the water. I pulled him back and ran to the payphone ‘round back to call the cops.”

“And you didn’t touch her?” Kathleen asked.

“God, no.”

“What about your friend? Did he touch her?” Holden questioned.

“No, he stayed on the damn bridge.”

“So neither of you checked to see if she was alive?” Kathleen asked.

“We could see her damn face and body from the bridge. We didn’t…” The boy trailed off, shivering. “You guys saw what someone did to her. I didn’t have to go down there to know she didn’t survive that.”

Holden nodded. “Thank you. That’s all we need.” The boy nodded and headed back inside, closing the door behind him. Holden let out a breath, tucking his notepad and pen back into his suit jacket. “We should question his friend again.”

“He’s gonna say the same damn thing.”

“I know. Gives us something better to do than sit on our asses until she’s ID’d,” Holden said.

Kathleen nodded. “Yeah, yeah. Let’s go.”


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