Short Stories by: Anthony Davis
last edited on Friday, July 15, 2005, 12:59 AM, CDST
The Ice Killer Mystery
Tony Franks was not prepared for what was going on in the west side. And his two other colleagues, David Swanson and Mike Dexter were both entertaining themselves at a local bar and were totally oblivious of the danger lurking in the night. But, in spite of the reverie of their fellow party goers and Tony Franks own distractions with video surveillance tapes back at the precinct and hot coffee waiting to be swallowed, Somewhere deep in the center of the lower west side of the city a man in black walked the night.
He carried a brief case, and wore a black suit and had dark hair. He first entered an apartment called Cedar Creek Manor, wherein his first victim would be. Jake Tanner, a college student, who often took late night jogs about the local park just after classes and after sundown.
Jake was showering when the front door came open, and the man with the suitcase made his move. Nobody saw what instrument was used, but forensic told Franks, chief detective of the Southwest Division, it was sharp, and it was wide, and it was long. The cut was deep and fast.
But, since the crime took place near water nothing remained but traces of broken slivers of ice on the floor, that were almost entirely melted at the scene.
After hours of questioning residents, Swanson, and Dexter came up with no pertinent evidence except for one. A single elderly woman, who was looking out her window to see if it looked like rain, as she walked her dog every evening, but for health reasons was laid up for several days in her room. She claims to have seen a man carrying a black suitcase enter, and shortly after, her dog Spanky barking, she looked down from her third story window and noticed the same dark figure walking south on Barrow Street.
Tony and the forensic department were at a dead end for the time being. A phone call came in on his cellular, and it was Chief Morrison. " I need you and your teem to meet me at 633 Shreveport Avenue in half an hour. We have another homicide."
situation was similar, but not exactly the same as the first one. For
days five tenants were dead of multiple stab wounds and all found
in a jacuzzi on a six story apartment of the Motor lodge Inn.
they were having a party and were all extremely drunk. Forensics found
heavy levels of alcohol, and cocaine in their blood, and each of the
were members of the University Faculty Club of Monroe University.
Apparently the suspect, was reported having entered the residence two days early according to reports from other tenants questioned tonight, and it was the same thing: A man, wearing black and carrying a black brief case, and what alerted the police to the crime scene was the landlord wanted the key to the room back because their lease had expired and a couple of newly weds were inquiring about a room for their honeymoon. When the manager saw them all laying in the Jacuzzi, he instinctively called the police.
"Now, we're looking at a serial killer. And he's hit the neighborhood at least two times in the past five days with 6 confirmed dead."
"I guess I will be needing some stronger coffee Chief!," replied Franks.
With the situation under control, and with the last body taken from the scene, Morrison requested Franks, Swanson, and Dexter to stay at the Stakeout location and carry all the usual equipment and keep their radios on for any new reports. In other words it was another all night stand by for the three of them, and the only thing free would be, of course, the doughnuts and coffee.
The evening came to a close and there was little more to do but set, listen, and wait. Franks had a feeling it would not be too long before they heard again from their mystery killer.
Tony went to sleep and had the most terrible dream. He could see the face of a man, laughing, as he walked around carrying a briefcase, with needles piercing his body, his arms, and his head, and his chest. He was asking Tony to help him push the needles all the way in, but couldn't while holding onto the case, so Tony woke up from the dream, sweating, to the sound of a helicopter flying low overhead, and bright light coming from it's search lights.
"What's happening Mike?" "I don't know. There's some prowler out there and the helicopter has been circling the block for the past fifteen minutes." The radio was on but nothing much was being reported. "Well, if it isn't in our jurisdiction and it isn't we don't need to bother with it. I need more sleep." They all agreed, so they pulled the shades down to keep out the glaring lights and tried to get some rest, because the next day would be a long one.
copter flew away after five more minutes and all was silent. You could
hear the snoring. Seconds later, there was noise on the roof top. It
like a person, or maybe, an animal walking about in the night. Tony got
his clothes on and went right up the stairwell to the tenth story roof
of the apartment. "Who's out there! We're trying to get some sleep!"
was more bumping and scurrying about. It was a homeless man. The man
acting pretty frightened of Franks and began to shout, "Please,
throw me off like the last one. Please don't hurt me!"
Tony reassured the destitute bum that if he didn't make any more noise, he would get him some doughnuts and pizza. Moments later the poor old guy thanked Franks and began to eat like there was no tomorrow. (The kind of shit that goes on at night. No wonder the city never rests.) Tony Thought.
Franks went down stairs, he decided to stay awake the rest of the
since his insomnia had taken over. He figured he could set in the
car and listen to the latest news and weather and sip on a hot thermos
full of coffee. Turning the knob on the radio, he picked up a channel
some pleasant music, so he set back and took a moment. (there was a
when this city was safe to walk around at night, and the school kids
late nights hanging out at the drive inn movie house, and when parks
full of young couples, in love necking to their own favorite tunes.)
reflected. (Then, as time elapsed, and the moral decadence and decay
this once beautiful city into a drug and prostitutes and gambler's
full of child molesters, thieves, gangsters, and serial killers.
but surely, the street corners were changing and one by one houses
to go up in smoke.) Just then, Tony's thoughts were distracted by the
He trained himself to focus immediately on news reports since his early
days in the academy. "This just in. We have breaking news. John Hensley
reporting. Earlier this morning at about 3:30 in Trinity Park Fair
two children, who were riding bikes late in the neighborhood, reported
having discovered the remains of two bodies laying underneath a large
billboard that was laying on the ground and covered all but the feet of
the two, named: Mark Patheny, and Norel Coball, both were street
known to the local community as regulars to the rehab center for the
Mark and Norel spent most of their time as volunteers at a local food kitchen for the homeless, and both bore the fatal wounds of what appears to have been some kind of large, jagged knife. Mark Patheny was stabbed to death three times in the abdomen, and Norel Coball, was so severely cut in the neck that he almost was decapitated. This is KDPD FM radio, I'm John Hensley. more news later as it becomes available."
This guy's a maniac! Tony protested as he reached for the handle to the door. Now, I'm not the only one who's gonna loose sleep the rest of the night!
got a call Tony," said Mike. "The forensic team is already at the
We have 15 minutes."
Postman was a loner. He spent much of his time rummaging through old
at the local thrift store. Usually, he lived off his Social Security
and ate out of cans and watched tv. He spent some of his time setting
the local park, staring at the people as they ran or walked by on their
daily exercise route. Many times Ron was taken in for drinking in
He was a psychiatric out patient from Park Lane County Hospital and he
was always on and off his medication.
He was sitting on a park
bench, and as usual, trying to conceal the fact he carried a rather
bottle of beer, in an insulation sports container, when he had his
encounter with the man in black. He sat there, sipping quietly on his
and the man in black sat on the other end of the bench. He took a brief
case and sat it on his lap. He opened it up and took a look. So did
Ron asked the man what he was doing, selling knives? The man politely
No, I am a collector. Then the man closed the case, and got up and
away. That was the last Ron saw of the man for several days.
He couldn't help be curious about how shinny and clear the knives looked at quick glance. He noticed also, that there was an electric line leading out from one end of the briefcase, that suggested that it had some kind of charging unit built into it. Ron wasn't stupid. He knew he might be a bit crazy and an alcoholic, but never before in his life did he ever see anything quite like that.
An entire day went by and there was no new information on the mystery man in black. And also, fortunately, there were no news reports of additional slayings in the city. Tony Franks was with Mike Dexter and David Swanson at the University. Professor Van Hoogan, a German Professor of Medicine and Forensic Science, was there. There on a metal table, one of the corpses was being examined and the Professor explained a few details to them. "There is evidence of water in the blood. There are deep stab wounds in the abdomen, and there is no clear evidence as to what specific type of knife was used, but it's unlike anything I've ever seen."
"Water in the blood?" Asked Tony. "Of course, fresh water, no fluorine, or chlorine, more like pure distilled water and the result was premature coagulation at the entry site of every wound, indicating that a very cold substance may have somehow slowed the bleeding process. I submit to you, based on the conclusions of my findings, that the individual lying here has been stabbed by blades made of ice, left to melt away as the victim lay there, slowly bleeding away."
There is no evidence in recorded homicide records of such a murder instrument, and this made Tony say "Then, our serial killer is using knives made of ice to kill, and is doing so to prove to police he can't be caught?" The Professor replied "It is more like he is using ice as a weapon that is unique, as you just said, no evidence in recorded records. But, I suggest you talk to a Profiler with the experience to give you a better clue as to what may be motivating our Ice Killer."
thanked the Professor, and he and his two companions in law
Homicide Division, that is, strolled to the car and directly to
Division. David and Mike were impressed with Franks clean and simple
of deduction, that is, with a little help from the Professor.
This was the tenth time Ron Postman was arrested on Public intoxication charges and it was time to throw the book at him. "Please, I have some information I can give you, if you are willing to negotiate not putting me away in the slammer tonight." David replied, "What kind of information could you possibly give us?" Ron was quick to come up with an explanation: "Look, I've been listening to the radio and I know you're looking for a guy who has killed lots of people this week. I know because I got a scanner and I am an insomniac so I listen to lots of radio stuff." David asked, "Well, what's your big story? and make it quick, cause it's booking time in ten and I'm awful hungry for lunch."
Ron explained about the man at the park and told him about the strange briefcase he carried, and told him that he would be able to point him out if they met him tomorrow at about ten am at Ten Mile Park. The idea would have seemed pretty silly to them a day earlier, but considering what others had said about a man carrying a briefcase and the oddity of such an individual hanging out in the park, much less conversing with Ron the wacko Postman is enough to be worth a few hours of police tax dollars, David believed. So, He let the man go and told him to be at the park, just in case the tall dark stranger might show up again, which would give Tony a chance to introduce himself, just to get a reaction.
"No way David. That is not such a good idea. We can't go around profiling every Tom, Dick, and Baldy that a drunk says looks suspicious. Besides, Ron is nuts. He's been in Hills dale so many times for public misbehavior that anything he has to say is pure, unadulterated Cow manure! I give you an A for effort though, but my experience on the force has taught me many important lessons and one of them is don't bargain with a guy like Ron." David was taken aback but replied, "Well, I still think we are backed up against a wall and right now, with the Captain breathing down our backs any lead is better than a dead end." Well, it just ain't happening. We will be better prepared to face this killer when we have more facts. We meet in three hours at the Vernon Coffee Shop to go over the details with a profiler, a guy named Pert Damon. He's worked with the FBI and is highly available since he's in semi retirement and won't cost the department any money."
"What will I do about Ron?" Tony shrugged and said, "Oh, we'll be seeing him later on when he screws up again with that Heineken!" Talk about first class alcoholics. Only the best for Ron.
"Heck, when I'm off duty, I go for a cold Heineken over a cheap brew anytime!" Tony nodded in agreement. "Now, let's get this paperwork finished and break for an hour. I'll meet you at the Coffee Shop at 7 sharp!"
Meanwhile, unknown to the both of them, Mike Dexter was laying on his sofa at the stakeout, listening to some lite jazz and drinking a lite cola, and thinking about his last days on the force, when he would retire to the Ocean View Bay Area and spend the rest of his life looking at knock down gorgeous ladies beach combing day and night and drinking tequila sunsets. He day- dreamed until he soon fell into a deep sleep. He missed the meeting with David and Tony, by the way.
Later, at around 7, at the Coffee Shop, Swanson and Franks, (sounds like a cold pack variety meal), met with the Profiler, Mr. Damon. Damon was unusually dressed. He wore a tee shirt bearing the words 100 PROOF black denim jeans and a blue baseball cap. You can't get any more casual than that now can you?
there officers. Glad you all could make it." Tony ordered a round of
lite and began the conversation with, "Mr.Damon, I appreciate you
coming to our aid on such short notice and under such unprecedented
Damon replied, "It's a pleasure to help out. Now, can you give me
all the paper work and go over with me, briefly the situation of the
scenes?" David handed over the fifty some odd page documents to him and
Tony not too briefly described some of the post morbidity attributes of
the three crime scenes. After several minutes of silent observation,
they sipped on their beer in anticipation, Pert Damon exclaimed, "Looks
like we have a clever sadistic serial killer here. Let me go over the
aspects of this particular individual. One. He's original, Two, He's
Three, He's deadly, and He's unpredictable." Tony asked, " By
what exactly do you mean?" Damon replied, " I mean the individual you
looking for has not set any real pattern.
yes, indeed he has a
method of killing people that is consistent, but the kinds of people he
has killed and the time periods suggests a random outburst of sudden
that could reflect the conduct of a psychiatric patient who has
become overwhelmed with an abnormal brain chemistry. We see things like
this all the time. The only real difference here, or rather specific
is that the individual has access to industrial molds and is either
by a knife manufacturer in the area or has some in depth knowledge of
molds, therefore he may have access to the field of special effects
in the movie industry.
He is highly intelligent because he has made certain there is no absolute weapon at the crime scene, and the fact most of the cases involved more than one or two individuals, meant that he attacked up close. They may all have known him, or he may be able to pose as a business man. After all he has been seen carrying a brief case and wears a dark colored business man's suit." Tony was impressed.
"Tell me more Mr. Damon." Tony asked. "Well, the fact that he struck fast and hard, would also suggest that there was either an element of heavy sedation that prevented any of the victims from putting up a fight, and the fact that no screams were heard by any of the local tenants. It seems as if the killer not only might have known them, but he was so careful that he never left any finger prints, and the deaths were all cased by a lethal dose of sodium cyanide."
"We have to stop this lunatic!" Cried David. "You have my full cooperation gentlemen. Now, let's finish these drinks and I'll see you both at your stake out place tomorrow at about 9." Tony and David were alarmed as well as impressed by this Mr. Damon's abilities. He maybe dressed shabby but by no means a shabby intellect.
was still in a slumber and by now it was nearing 9 and Franks and
were dropping off the paper work at the precinct. They would be back at
the stakeout by around 10. But, Dexter was awakened by a thump. He was
aware that some one or something was nearby. He grabbed his magnum and
shouted, "Who's there?" Silence. the radio was off frequency and there
was only static. Mike realized he had missed the meeting with Tony and
David at the coffee shop. But, he now had other matters to tend to. He
got up quickly, and walked around in the street light room.
Nobody. Nothing. Just noise, he thought. Usually Mike could sleep through a rock concert, but tonight he was a light sleeper. He shrugged the sounds as having been mere back ground city noise and figured there was really nothing to worry about. If every time a person panicked in the night when a sudden noise woke them, the city would be jumping with insomniacs and boogie man fanatics. But, with a serial killer in the immediate neighborhood it was a healthy paranoia for Mike.
At around 10, David and Tony arrived and gave Mike the lowdown on the meeting. "Hey, you missed the best part. The beer. Thanks to you not showing up that left more for us to drink my friend." "Funny!" Mike was glad to see his companions in law enforcement and told them he woke up to a strange noise about an hour earlier. Tony explained there was a homeless man living on the roof and he wouldn't be a problem. "Well, what do we have on the agenda tonight?" Tony replied, "Wait, watch, listen, and eat take out. We got burgers and fries, tacos and coke. Dig in. Tomorrow we will have a visitor, a certain Mr. Pert Damon, Profiler for the FBI, retired."
all hoped there would be an end to the rampage and that they could
to the safe haven of the precinct putting push pins of all shapes and
on huge wall maps and drinking coffee and flirting with the secretaries
and talking small talk with the guys. But not tonight.
that night, all seemed calm and normal, and soon, after another night
stake out, they would close the books and refer the case to the FBI. If
they were able to crack the case before tomorrow, the FBI would be left
out of the picture. If the brief case stabber got found, it would mean
a pay raise, a bonus, and a much needed vacation for the three
of the Southwest Division. But, nothing works out in reality, like it
in the movies.
There was nothing heard of the mystery man in black for a period of over a year, and The case had been referred to the FBI, and Tony learned that the case had been closed and listed as another unsolved case. There was no raise, but there was a vacation. Tony took off sick for an entire month so he could spend all that time in his home, reading research books on case history reports of unsolved serial murder cases. The most recent book Tony had been reading, as he sat at the sofa, drinking coffee, and nibbling cinnamon twists, the book entitled: 'STILL AT LARGE'. It became his sole obsession. He became so engrossed in it that he quit the force and joined the FBI to help start doing more investigations in strange and bizarre serial killers and their unsolved cases.
Meanwhile, somewhere, in the city, the man in black, walks the night.
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Short Stories by: Anthony Davis