Kim’s head had no sooner hit the pillow when her cell phone went off, playing the ominous ringtone she’d selected for her ‘on call’ number. Gotta change that music until the killer is caught. It’s too creepy, she thought while blindly reaching for her phone. Exhausted and achy, Kim muttered into the phone that she was on her way. She pulled on some clothes, bid goodnight to her friends, and drove to the latest crime scene. She knew the killer struck again even without seeing the body though her heart had wanted to believe otherwise. One look at the scene confirmed their nemesis was back in action, taunting them.
“Guess it was wishful thinking to hope our killer had given up, huh?” one of the officers muttered by way of a greeting. “Hasn’t there been even the slightest clue on the bodies? If only we had something to do go on we could catch this monster!”
“So far, nothing,” Kim replied. “But I’m still looking. One little slip-up ... that’s all we need and we’ll get ‘em. Hey, where’s Detective McDonald? I need a few words with her.”
“Dunno, I haven’t seen her. We left a message on her cell but no one’s seen her since the fire at the morgue.”
Kim shrugged. Assuming her friend had finally taken a night off, she pulled on her gloves and knelt beside the body. Unlike the other victim’s, the female body sprawled face down in her own blood lived in a tiny, one-bedroom apartment. Also different, the victim dialed 911 from her cell phone. Clearly there had been a struggle but this time, the victim knew her attacker. She’d let the killer inside of her own accord; there were no signs of break-in or forced entry. Puzzled by the change in M.O., Kim wondered if they’d stumbled upon a copycat or if the killer decided to strike a familiar face.
“Hmm, this is different,” one of the officers muttered. “The whole place was wiped down. Usually, we find prints but they’re from the victim. This time, everything has been cleaned. We lifted a half smudged print of the victim on the TV remote … that’s it.”
Sighing, Kim scribbled every detail onto her clipboard then reached to roll the victim onto a gurney.
“Oh shit! No, it can’t be!”
“What’s wrong? Do you know the … oh damn! This is bad.”
“Call Detective McDonald and get her down here ASAP,” Kim demanded. “I’m not doing anything else until she gets here.”
Twenty minutes later, Detective Marie McDonald sprinted through the door, hair disheveled and clothing rumpled. Her bloodshot eyes were shrouded by heavy eyelids that hung at half-mast.
"This can’t be possible. I’d just dropped her off several hours ago. As if the mayor wasn’t already breathing down our necks as it is; now his niece is a victim.” Marie knelt down next to the victim’s body and rested a gloved hand on the corpse’s head. “Why did it have to be you? Please, Kenj, please tell me you left us a clue somewhere.”