11:14 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, MORGUE
Bo tossed his gloves into the garbage and turned on the water in the sink. He washed his hands thoroughly, scrubbing at his fingers just a little harsher than necessary. He shut the water off with his wrist and pulled down several paper towels. He turned, his eyes scanning the room. He’d already cleaned the autopsy tables and the tools. Everything had been put away and Alonzo’s body had been pushed back into the morgue drawer.
With a sigh, he crossed the room and grabbed his notebook and pen. He picked up his empty coffee cup and walked out of the morgue, using his shoulder to shut off the light. In the lab, he nearly walked into Jensen. “Well, hello,” Bo greeted.
Jensen chuckled softly, taking a small step backward. “Hi. I just came down to see how you were doing with Alonzo. Kayla’s been invested in work over there. I don’t even think she knows I exist yet,” he said.
Bo snorted. “Don’t feel too badly about it. You know how the girls work. Earbuds go in and they forget the world around them is even there,” he said. He leaned back against the wall and handed his notebook over to Jensen. “The liver’s totally shot. Just like it was for Miss Gibson’s.”
Jensen nodded, his eyes skimming the notebook page. “Thanks for writing this in a language I understand.”
The younger man lifted his green eyes back to Bo’s face. “Have you figure out what happened to the livers?” he questioned.
Bo shook his head. “I found several different chemical compounds when I cut into them and ran tests, but I can’t figure out what they’d be used for. Truthfully, I’m thinking something illegal.”
“Like something black market?”
“Yes. I thought about calling Jamal again. He deals with enough of that kind of thing on a daily basis to know more about that side of things than I ever could,” Bo said.
Jensen nodded slightly. “You want me to talk to him?”
Bo lifted his shoulders. “Besides turning all of that information into an actual autopsy report for you another for Jake’s files, I have nothing better to do today,” he said. “I’ll call him during lunch. He should just be in his office by then. Last I knew, he had other matters to tend to before actually going in for work.”
“Sounds about right,” Jensen agreed. “When do you wanna grab lunch, then?”
“Eleven-thirty, noon? Anything works for me,” Bo said. “After work, we’ll get Amber, check on Acky and Hati, and then we’ll run to the store so Kayla can pick out a laptop. Once we get home, I’m going to the gym. I feel like boxing.”
Jensen smiled faintly. “Sure, babe.” He leaned down and kissed Bo before handing him the notebook. “Come upstairs whenever you and Kay are ready for a lunch break. I’ll be at my desk.”
“Will do, Jens.”
12:10 PM; CLINSTONE, LITTLE DELIGHTS DINER
“Any brilliant ideas?” Bo questioned, his phone pressed to his ear.
“You said you found an injection site on the first victim?” Jamal questioned.
“Correct. I found one at the back of his neck between… C5 and C6. I checked the second victim again before we left the station, and I discovered one on her, too.”
“Yes. And there were small marks on the abdomen that could have resulted in an injection of some kind into the liver,” Bo said.
“Right. What kind of drugs did you find in the blood and cells again?”
“Painkillers, more of less. Fentanyl, morphine, bupivacaine, chloroprocaine, lidocaine, epinephrine, and clonidine,” Bo said.
“Seems a little overkill.”
“That’s what I thought.”
“The cervical sectional of the spinal cord is a place for epidurals, correct?”
“Yeah, I looked into that, too. It can help alleviate pain,” Bo said.
“Maybe he doesn’t want them to suffer,” Jamal suggested.
Bo glanced over at Kayla. Her earbuds were in; she wasn’t listening. “Why push one off a building and decapitate the other if you didn’t want them to suffer? What’s the point of walking someone to their death, forcing them to anticipate it, and then simply making sure they don’t feel anything the anticipation leads to?” he questioned.
“I’m not sure,” Jamal said honestly. “What was in the liver?”
“A lot of drugs and even chemical compounds I’ve never seen or heard of before,” Bo said. “The killer destroyed the liver, Jamal. The only thing he could’ve done to make it worse is removing the organ altogether.”
“Maybe your killer knows someone who had their liver removed. Black market, possibly. Like kidneys,” Jamal said. “Livers go for over a hundred and seventy K.”
“Why not just remove them, then?” Bo said.
“I don’t know. Think the injection that kills the liver is the painful part of his kill? He doesn’t want them to feel the pain from the execution. Maybe he just wants them to feel the pain from the liver failing,” Jamal said.
“Maybe,” Bo said quietly. “Let’s say you’re right. Let’s say he’s destroying their livers because he knew somebody that had their liver removed for selling and said person died. He wants them to suffer for the liver because the person he knew suffered. Why not let them die from the organ failure that would ensue after the liver was dead? Why the execution?” he asked.
“Why do you think he’s executing them?” Jamal questioned.
Bo frowned. “Is this one of those things where you’re going to wait until I realize I’ve had the answer all along?”
“I hate you.”
Jamal chuckled. “I know, kiddo. So, what do you think?”
“The simplest answer doesn’t make sense, Jamal,” Bo said.
“Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Say it.”
“The executions are serving justice for what was done. I mean, if we’re going with your crazy ass theory,” Bo said.
Jamal snorted. “Right. Why doesn’t that make sense?” he questioned.
“The victims don’t have anything in common. It’s not like they’re hardcore black market organ thieves,” Bo said. Jensen glanced up at the blonde, one eyebrow raised. Bo shrugged his response.
“Do they have anything in common?”
“They would’ve both turned thirty this year,” Bo said.
“Think that’s a prediction on the killer’s age?” Jamal asked.
Bo shook his head, even though the older man couldn’t see him. “I think that two victims is far too few to be able to predict a specific age on the killer.”
“Are they in the same social class?”
“In the sense that they weren’t in debt of any kind, yes, but otherwise, no. The first victim was making a lot more money than victim two ever would,” Bo said.
“That’s what I thought.”
“I’ll throw a few questions Venetia’s way,” Jamal said. “The liver issue. Maybe that’s something she’s seen before. Send me a list of the chemical compounds you found?”
“Sure, Jamal. Thank you.”
“Ah, my pleasure, kiddo.”
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