Just as mentioned earlier this will be the first portion of Fatal Introductions come back each week to a new entry. Please enjoy
“Just what I needed, a few hours of standing around holding back reporters and people who have an itch to see a dead body.” The deep voice went with the large body of the veteran officer. Addressing everyone and no one at once, the displeasure was vented. The clean-shaved ebony skull added to the displeasure. Northeast Ohio winters were dreary and punishing even when the sun was rising. He had a knit cap just for weather like today. In the rush, it was abandoned in the front seat of his cruiser. Clemmons should have known he would need the apparel. No snow on the ground was deceiving. The thought of abandoning his post and retrieving the item tempted him.
That temptation grew stronger with every gust of wind. Relief came when a detective tapped him on the shoulder. “Sergeant come in with me, I don’t trust these rookies at the actual crime scene. They all want to play detective and be the hero instead of doing the right thing.”
It was an assumption that Clemmons was too seasoned to wander from where he was told that was insulting. Clemmons had spent more time in briefings than this detective had spent on the force. These detectives always looked at the uniformed officers with a bit of smugness that helped create a bigger divide. They all had their role to provide order. It just amazed the shift sergeant that the ones in suits could do it way from their desks.
As a young man from the Snydertown part of the city, Clemmons had witnessed firsthand atrocities and injustices. He was going to remedy that for his neighbors. Areas such as Snydertown always seemed to be the last ones to benefit from city budgets. Invisible cordons kept any economic upturn from entering but allow downturns to run amok. To keep the external discord from destroying all, the community faced it united. Each family knew their connection to their neighbor, shouldering through the bad times together.
Another dead body and another Bible found left open beside the victim. Clemmons, felt he could do more than just be a glorified hall monitor, keeping people out of the office building. Investing his intellect into solving problems such as this separated Clemmons from those just here for a pay check.
A promotion to detective had been avoided like it was an illness. For a man like Clemmons it was. Problem solving was his gift, doing it behind a desk would be a curse. Time on the streets as opposed to desk detectives gave Clemmons a sense of accomplishment. On the street, his gift would help those in HIS city directly. Others turned their duty into a job becoming uncaring and complacent. Some took the opposite reaction, increasing their fervor not allowing any crime to go unpunished. The sergeant’s drive was not to fill cells with bodies. Clemmons had doubts that some of his colleagues felt the same. He did not doubt the men and women who wore the uniform had good intentions. There were just some who strongly believed that every offense should lead to jail.
The detectives had dubbed the killer the ‘Biblical Butcher’ because he had always left a Bible open beside the body. Clemmons often wondered if other than giving the killer a somewhat catchy nickname, had they made any real progress? The paycheck did not include a bonus for caring, so no effort was expended toward concern. There was consensus of the patrol officers that these men were not part of Barberton’s finest. The detectives this crime deserved were placed on the back burner to prove a point. The detectives placed at this crime scene were recruited not promoted to their position. College kids from the local university that knew how to interview well. Stolen opportunities from those who were paying their dues enhanced a divide.
The killer was clever enough to always avoid being caught on camera. The victims never seemed to have similar qualities. The first victim was a pimp. The second was a large store owner. The third was an addict, who had several pending domestic charges awaiting adjudication. The current victim was an investment banker who risked much with others money. Clemmons wondered if the killer in this case was someone who had lost money in one of his schemes. The Bible could just be a plant to throw investigators off the true trail.
Clemmons noticed the killing blow must have been delivered quickly. It was a clean strike that would not cause the victim any pain after the initial blow. It was almost like he had shown a bit of sympathy to the victim. The other bodies that Clemmons had a chance to see showed the same. Whoever the killer was, they were efficient with a sense of dark mercy. Clemmons had seen murders of hate and passion, where the bodies were mutilated beyond a killing blow. Those types of killers wanted the victim to suffer. He had seen death because of self-defense. The bodies of those victims held the look of the struggle. The victims of this killer were clean. No mutilation or struggle had been present in any of the deaths.
Clemmons regretted the things he had become a subject matter expert. He regretted seeing enough dead bodies to be able to recognize the killer’s intent during the act. The veteran officer regretted that there was knowledge of true evil and sometimes due to the law, they were not punished. Instead, they were the ones who were protected. Clemmons had a long-held belief his duty was to provide justice to all as defined by the law. It was the only way he could live with himself when he knew that evil had won.
A single small scrap of paper had stood out to the veteran’s eyes. Different and intriguing, it pulled Clemmons away from his post. The desk of the victim was covered in blood and paper. The scrap of paper though spotlighted in his attention. No other paper on the desk would have been the source of the scrap. It was a yellowish hue in comparison to the crisp white, now blood stained, stationary on the desk. “Hey detective, look at this,” how could the educated minds miss something so obvious?
“You know whenever you wander away from your post I fear someone will sneak up on us.” The detective chose the wrong officer to play hall monitor. They all had a duty there and it made the detective nervous when Clemmons did more. It meant something was going unattended.
“Just shut up and look!” Clemmons did not really have time to let the detectives to keep meandering around the crime scene praying for a break. Clemmons was sure he had something. “I bet you anything, if you can pull a fingerprint from that paper, we would know our killer.”
“What on earth gives you that idea?” The detective had no time for half-baked ideas or theories from a beat police officer. He had already judged the man in front of him as inferior for being a street cop.
“When you want to mark a certain page, what do you do?” Clemmons knew he had to spoon feed his theory.
A face of displeasure was the answer.
“Seriously, when you were in school, how did you make it easier to find a page?” This was not the time to play the old dog verse young pup game.
“You book mark it with something. What does this have to do with anything?” The detective was too perturbed to see anything that Clemmons was showing him as anything more than a waste of time.
“I bet you anything our killer had bookmarked the Bible with this particular scrap of paper for speed in placing it on that page.” The veteran officer could see the connection being made in the detective’s eyes. “It does not match anything else in here.”
“Let’s get someone to bag this!” The detective was quick to take the credit for finding the clue.