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3S Round Robin

Chapter 9

by Goldie Jones

 

When Diana arrived at the station, Mohr was waiting for her in his office.  “I had to let that Hunter guy go, Bennett.  There was really nothing I could hold him on.  He seems to be a reliable witness, so I told him we'd be in touch if there was anything further we needed from him.  But I sent a squad car to pick up the blind guy in the park.” 

 “That's good,” Diana said, breathlessly, “He seems to be the prime suspect at the moment.  But I will say this.  He's a sneaky one, so it's not as though he will be out in the open, waiting for the cops to find him.  Chances are he will be wearing a different disguise by now.”

 Mohr shook his head.  “I doubt it.  There would be no reason for him to wear a different disguise or to run.  He has no idea anyone suspects him.”

“Okay, okay, I'll buy that.  But why was he wearing a blind man's disguise tonight, when all the other times it was a hooded cape?” 

 

“Don't know exactly,” Mohr said, “But he may suspect that we suspect him, as there have been reports in the media, with the description given prior to tonight.”

 

Diana pondered this for a moment.  “Yeah, I guess you're right.  You'll have to excuse me.  I 've been on this case far too long, and I'm dead tired to boot.  I can't even think straight.

 

“Here, have some coffee,” Mohr said, shoving a cup in her direction. “This stuff is 40-weight motor oil.  It'll keep you awake and alert.” 

 

Diana took a sip and grimaced.  “Gads, how long has this stuff been standing?” 

 

“Made it this morning,” Mohr laughed.  “Gets stronger by the minute.” 

 

Just then the phone rang, and Mohr picked it up before it even finished.  “Yeah.  Mohr here.  What? 

“Fantastic!” 

 

Diana practically choked on her coffee.  “Did they…“ 

 

“They got him.  They're on the way!”

 

***

While the slasher was sitting in the space formerly occupied by Diana, he was alternately cursing his luck in not having the opportunity to overcome and grab her, and patting himself on the back because of his ingenuity regarding the disguise, and throwing any possible witnesses off the track.

 

Damn!  I could have had her, but there were too many people around, and I couldn't take the chance.  I did throw the cops off my trail, though.  They ain't gonna be lookin' for any blind man.  They still think it was that guy wearing a cape.  I don't know who that poor sucker is, but he coulda been the perfect patsy.  There was so much frickin' news on the TV and in the papers, they could have arrested him, but I ain't seen much of him around lately.  Somebody must have tipped him off, so I couldn't rely on that disguise anymore.  But a blind man!  Ha!  Nobody would suspect a blind man.!  I guess I'll have another opportunity, but I really wanted that redhead tonight.” 

 

At that moment, an unmarked car pulled up, and three plainclothes officers got out.  One of them shouted, ”Okay, mister.  Let's see some I.D.” 

 

“I ain't got any on me.  I'm just sittin' here, minding my own business.  What do you fellows want of me?”

 

“If you're blind, how do you know there’s more than one of us?”

 

 “I don't.”

“You said, 'fellows,’ plural.  Stand up and put your hands behind your back.  Do as you're told. Now!”

 

“But what have I done?” 

 

“You're wanted for the murder of several young women.”

 

“You got the wrong guy.  How do I know you guys are cops? You ain't got uniforms.”

 

“We're in plain clothes.  You ought to know all about deceptive clothing.” The officer produced his badge.

 

While the killer continued protesting his innocence, the other two lifted him and threw him against the car.  Holding his hands behind him, they put the cuffs on him and read him his rights.  Then they shoved him in the car and headed toward the police station. As the vehicle sped away, on the ground lay a pair of dark glasses, and a blind-man's cane. 

 

***

When the news that the killer had finally been apprehended, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, particularly, the most vulnerable, young women who were no longer under the threat of violence.  Also  Vincent was no longer a suspect, if indeed he ever was.  But he had to admit that since he had been spotted by a jogger in the park, and a description of a man in a hooded cape had been reported to the newspapers, he was very uneasy, fearing a possible exposure would pose a threat to the Tunnel dwellers.  He cared more about them than his concern over being wrongly tagged as a serial killer.  Diana was relieved, knowing she was free to visit Vincent as often as she wished.  Everyone was happy, including Mohr, who, with the aid of his favorite detective, had finally cracked a case that had eluded him, and put him in the spotlight. 

The killer's name was Byron Metger, aka Butch.  After much interrogation, he finally confessed to the atrocious murders of these women.  While his modus operandi was similar, his targets had only one commonality, and that was young women.  He hated them.  A psychological evaluation revealed that he had been raised in a dysfunctional family.  His father was an alcoholic who drank himself to death.  His mother was a paranoid schizophrenic who for some reason, favored his sister.  He always got the blame for everything she did, and was beaten and ridiculed by his mother.  He swore to himself that someday he would get revenge on the sister who taunted him, and for whose actions he always bore the brunt. 

In school, the girls always made fun of him, which only added to his hatred of young women.  And when he tried to get a job, it appeared to him that young women always superseded him.  He started using street drugs when he was a teenager, and during a short employment period at St. Vincent's Hospital, was able to steal drugs from the lab he worked in as an assistant.  It was then that he formulated his plan to murder young women by rendering them helpless with the Haldol, and then slashing their throats. Metger's preliminary hearing was set for a month from the day he was captured.  He pleaded not guilty, and the trial date was set for six weeks after that.

 

Shortly after Metger was apprehended, the following conversation took place in Mohr's Office:

 

***

“Well, Bennett, I gotta hand it to you.  You did an outstanding job tracking this creep down.  I never thought you could actually do it, but you did a wonderful job, worthy of a promotion, in my humble opinion.” 

“I can't take all the credit.  I had some help.” 

 

Mohr leaned back in his chair and took a deep drag of his Marlboro.   “I know.  We all worked on this together, but you were the shining star.  Don't be so modest.  You put in a lot of hours and a lot of shoe leather.” 

 

“And a lot of angst. But I did have help,” Diana insisted. 

 

“Okay.  So who helped you the most? Sergeant Jackson, Officer Freedlander, Ortiz?  Who?

 

“None of the above.” 

 

“Who then?” Mohr persisted, tapping his fingers on the desk. 

 

“A three-year-old boy who had a vision in a dream.”

 

“What?  Have you gone bonkers?  I guess I musta been workin' you too hard.” 

 

Diana turned to leave.  “It's a long story, and you'd never believe it.  Just give me a heads up when you have another case to solve.  Meantime, I'll be thinking about that promotion.”

 

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