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3S Round Robin

Chapter 4

by Catherine E.

 

 

As the hours passed one by one, Diana seemed as restless as always, not able to calm her spirit enough to sleep. She was so anxious to see the crime scenes and interview the witnesses. She turned over with a loud sigh and peered at her alarm clock. 2:43 A.M. “Errrr.” In a final attempt, she wrestled with the covers at her feet and kicked them away, as though they had been preventing her from slumber. Diana knew she needed to put this case out of her mind, compartmentalize, and think of something peaceful. Vincent. Diana went over the first time she saw him. How marvelous he was. And healing him for those three days in this very bedroom. She marveled at how much her life had changed since Vincent became a part of it, and a little smile pulled across her lips as she closed her eyes to dream.

 

POUND! POUND! POUND!

 

Someone was trying to get into the apartment downstairs! Diana jumped out of bed, grabbed her revolver and quickly ran over to the window. As she looked down upon the culprit, the apartment door swung open and an angry wife grabbed her husband by the neck and jerked him inside. Diana sighed in relief as she stepped away from the window and the sound of Albanian cursing. She steadied herself, sat down on the edge of her bed and sighed. Placing the revolver back onto her nightstand, she rubbed her eyes and let out a little, exhausted laugh. ‘This is ridiculous,’ she thought to herself. Diana picked up a small, brown book at her feet and snuggled into her bedcovers to read a little Jane Eyre. Vincent certainly taught her one thing, reading can soothe all nerves. All too soon she awoke to her buzzing alarm clock. “Ulgh!” Diana retorted to the sound, smacking it with a heavy hand. She flipped the switch on her TV as she stumbled around the loft making coffee and yawning loudly. She opened her cupboard and pulled out a mug that some of the children had made for her at her last birthday. It was deep red and had waves all around it. It was beautiful, and when you looked straight down at it, it resembled a rose. Diana’s thoughts were thrown into deep reverie when her concentration was broken by an urgent news update on the television.

 

“This news just in: more lives have been claimed by the Central Park Serial Killer! The bodies of sisters Erin and Amy Thorton were found around sunrise this morning in Central Park west. It was ten-thirty last night when their parents, Adam and Lydia Thorton discovered them missing. The girls had snuck out of their parents’ condo, just three blocks away, to run an errand. Early this morning, they called the police.

 

“No!” Diana’s thoughts became anxious as she sat down in front of the TV to hear more.

 

“Here is what Detective Jack Mohr could offer about this atrocious crime…

 

“Due to recent and consecutive crimes in the Central Park area, the Park has been searched every hour on the hour for this serial killer. Unfortunately, the bodies of 16 year-old Erin Thorton and 14 year-old Amy Thorton were discovered on the west side of the park around 4:30am. We have had some eye-witness reports describing the person that we believe could be responsible. Large in frame, around 6 foot, 6 foot 2, weighing perhaps 200 pounds, muscular, wearing a long, hooded jacket or cloak. Right now we are doing all we can to find the monster that could do this to all these innocent young women.”

   

With that, Diana hit the power switch on the TV and hurried to get dressed.

 

All during the ride to the park, Diana’s mind raced with what seemed like a million thoughts. Ugh, she wished she’d gotten more sleep. As the taxi pulled up to the newest crime scene, Bennett jumped out quickly, flashing her badge at everyone who seemed to beg the question. Looking over the faces in the crowd of reporters, policemen, and CSIs, she found Mohr.

 

“Jack, why did I have to hear about this on the news?! Why didn’t you call me?”

 

Keeping with his rhythm, Jack kept pushing photographers back. “Get outta here you! Back off, or I’ll cite every last one of ya! Bennett, when I get a free hand and have two minutes, I’ll give ya a call.” Finding a few young policemen to take over, Jack freed himself and took Diana aside.

 

“I told Berardi to give you a call while I was on my way here.”

 

Diana became a little miffed at this news, “So I guess I see how welcome I am by your partner.”

 

“I ain’t nobody’s mother, Bennett. But I’ll talk with him about this later. He’s young.”

 

It was a lame excuse, but an excuse none-the-less. Mohr drove Diana to the site of the first killing and went over all they had found, which wasn’t much.

 

“So, there were no witnesses to the first murder… Is her body still at the morgue?” Diana asked.

 

“Naw, the family wanted to bury her to be able to get some closure, and the examiner said that they had everything they could get.”

 

Mohr opened a satchel he had slung over his shoulder and pulled out a manila file.

 

“You have copies of these.” Jack handed Diana the file. “Christy Jensen, age 22, has an apartment in the Bronx with classmate Jenny Turro. They went to some snooty, design school. Anyway, they came to meet some friends at DuVeau’s around 9 o’clock, were there until 11:15 and decided to go dancing. Took a taxi to Juniper’s Palace, roommate Jenny met up with some guy there and left with him around 1:45 a.m. Security cameras got Christy leaving Juniper’s about 40 minutes later with an unknown guy, blonde, 5’7, also in his 20’s….

 

Diana flipped through each of the statements, still frames, and gruesome photographs as Jack continued.

 

“Bouncer outside said that they started walking east in the direction of the Park. Homeless lady said that she heard two young people, a boy and a girl, walking past her talking about design school and the boy was asking the girl to come back to his place. They got into an argument, she said, and the boy left the girl standing in the park by that statue.” Mohr pointed to a new statue that had been placed in Central Park as part of an art exhibit a few months earlier.

 

Diana and Jack walked over to the large, bronze sculpture. “Then what happened?” Diana asked.

 

“Nothin’. Homeless gal walked away to find a quieter spot, and Ms. Christy gets murdered sometime between 2:45 and 4a.m.”

 

Jack lit up a Marlboro and took a long drag. “I’ll tell ya, Diana, workin’ here makes me seriously think about early retirement.”

 

Diana smiled back at Jack while taking everything in. The trees around them, the litter around the sculpture, the closest high rises and stores in view.

 

“Body was found next to the trash bin 20 yards up. Most likely other bums or streetwalkers saw the victims but just thought they were some passed out kids after a night of partying, or workin’ girls that had gotten beat up by their pimp.”

 

After surveying the landscape again from where the first victim was found, Jack took Diana to The Pool area where the second victim was found.

 

“Numero dos. Adriane Flannigan, 24, substitute teacher, engaged to be married in four months.”

 

Diana looked at Jack and Jack took a moment before continuing.

 

“Ms. Flannigan was found by the jogger, hunched over by The Pool, Central Park, west side.”

 

Diana pulled out his statement: “Says here that he kept running after he saw her because he didn’t know what was wrong with her. About five minutes later he called the police from his mobile phone and told them what he saw…yada yada..” She was mumbling to herself. “...took the 65th St. Transverse Rd. to cut through the Park and saw a large man in a cape with a strange face or mask near the Zoo. Mr. Hunter thought he looked suspicious and then called the police a second time.” Diana stepped in front of Jack.

“Come on, Jack, you don’t believe this crap do ya? A guy just finished a full, long day at work and then decides that he’d love to jog 45 blocks plus through Central Park alone? No. There’s something wrong with this guy. We need to call him in for questioning again, and right now.”

 

“All right, Bennett, take it easy. We’ve already thought of that. He’s coming in today at noon. But for now, we have another crime scene to look at.”

 

 Jack and Diana walked over to the East Meadow of Central Park where the third victim was discovered.

 

“This is pretty close to Mt. Sinai. Kinda populated to murder someone. Either the killer has no fear of being caught or…I don’t know…. Well, not yet, Diana mentioned with a little added frustration.

 

“Medical Intern for Mt. Sinai was takin’ a breather with another intern around 3 a.m. after a 12 hr shift  when they happened upon 19-year old Teresa Gutierrez. Just graduated high school, was about to start that hair and nail academy over on 5th. Mother, Josephina, 42, says Teresa got a call that her cousin was at Mt. Sinai’s, and Teresa was visiting. After visiting hours ended, she talked with an unidentified woman for over 2 hours outside the hospital. A Dr. Rulesto came in around midnight and said that there were no women talking outside when he came in for his shift. Body was discovered a few hours later by the two aforementioned interns taking a walk in the East Meadow. Coroner says that the murder most likely occurred between the hours of twelve and two. There was a difference with this one though.”

 

Mohr handed Diana another file folder from his satchel.

 

“Coroner says that the slash across her throat was deeper in certain spots and at an angle unlike the other victims, which means that Teresa was still struggling when she was killed, with the possibility that the killer had to slit her throat sooner than he or she anticipated - maybe because they saw someone coming, who knows…”

 

Diana looked at the picture taken from the crime scene and the spot where she was now standing.

 

“Do we have the body at the morgue, or is she buried as well?”

 

Lighting up a new cigarette, Mohr replied, “No. We have that one still, but the family’s gettin’ antsy.”

 

On the drive back to the most recent crime scene, Diana’s mind fluttered with thoughts. ‘Each of the women had bruising on their wrists and faces, struggled, slashed throats, all young women, differences though—they don’t look alike, different heights, different lifestyles, so this killer isn’t after an exact type…what are you looking for? What got you started? Or who?

 

Berardi was waiting for them by The Delacorte Theater of Central Park as soil samples were being taken.

 

“Well, it’s about time you got back. The bodies of the two girls are being examined by a second examiner, at the parents’ request.”

 

Diana questioned, “Why? We would’ve done that anyway in this kind of a case.”

 

“Yeah, well, the parents weren’t happy with what the first examiner found.You better get over there, Bennett. I know you’ve done that kind of work before.”

 

Diana looked at Mohr.

 

“Go ahead. I’ll get a copy of all findings to ya.”  

 

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