Chapter III: In the cold of the night
Chapter I: In the cold of the night
Chapter II: You have been served
Mark kept his gaze on the envelope and gazed it for a moment to sink in the authenticity of the envelope and the inscription it had. The same kind of typewriter print. “Is it from the suspect we are after”, Mark asked himself staring at the envelope. May be it could be something to get us off his back, mislead us into a goose chase. May be. Or he thinks himself to be an evil genius and probably showcasing his psychotic side by giving us clues or what he is up to. Is this a game to him? Is he trying to challenge us based on the way we might solve this game of his? The questions kept haunting Mark. But he wanted to be better sure than speculate. He wanted to judge the similarity in the print on the note and the envelope. He took the envelope and got into the elevator to the lawyer’s apartment. When he reached the apartment, the police were just clearing out from the house as they have whatever they wanted. Mark asked for the evidence file in which the note was kept. It wasn’t a big surprise, the print was same and could be concluded that it was the same typewriter print. It was their suspect’s own envelope.
So, what does this envelope have? As this was from the same suspect-killer, it should be legally turned into as evidence? But the suspect in question, he should rather be more interested in making an escape plan, maybe leave the city, hide somewhere where no one could ever find him. But he is somewhere here, somewhere close and keeping an eye on what is happening. He has an ulterior motive and I have got to find it out, Mark spoke under his breath. Does his ulterior motive include creating more crime scenes? The thought itself gave Mark a chill. This was a very sick game he was playing and he should be stopped before more dead bodies surface. This is not how justice should be served. The suspect has been a step ahead of all this while and I have to catch up with him. But how? Mark felt the frustration building up and as a counter, he hit the wall. He had a lot on his mind and the thoughts were getting too much to handle. He hit the wall even harder to silence his rebellious mind. What he still wasn’t certain of was how the killer did this and went away. He sat on the stairs that we beside the elevator and closed his eyes as he took three long deep breaths. The scenes started formulating in front of his mind, a version from his interpretation though.
The killer must have known this lawyer from somewhere. He has followed him for a week or so getting to know what he did in his time and where he lived. But he chose the previous night to step up and execute his plan. Why? May be he thought it was the right time keeping in account the party at Mayor’s house? He later got into the apartment without tripping the security alarm. He knows his way around things. And this was a not an easy thing to crack either. So electronics, check. He probably entered the apartment from the front door itself. The balcony way is not out of the question but it is way too risky and not easy. But if he did, there would be definite clues and there were none. So, balcony, cross. He managed to dodge the security cameras in the floor and there was no log of anyone using the elevator beside the lawyer at that time, before and after. Was he inside the elevator? Impossible, the security camera in the elevator would have shown something. So the only way left was the roof. How did he manage to get on the roof? Let’s assume he did come from the roof. He entered the apartment from the front door and disabling the security before it went haywire, closed the door behind him. And then what? No footprints, no smudges, nothing! He was good at what he did and he clearly knew what he was getting into. He was careful not to touch anything and leave any evidence behind. Where did he hide? He had to hide somewhere not to get caught if the lawyer was to check his apartment. The bedroom? That would have made it quite difficult to make his way back into the living room. But how did he know that the lawyer would be in the living room? The safe place for him was the balcony. It was vast and had a good blind spot and no cameras either. And at that time even I wouldn’t assume to be sitting there and waiting to kill me. The lawyer came to his apartment close to midnight. He was a little drunk, the aftermath of the party he had just attended. But he still had to take another glass of drink? Why? The photo of his wife misplaced on the table. He picked it up to mitigate the pain had to drink. He then sat on the chair facing the balcony and lit a cigar. He might have slipped into sleep as he was tired already. The intruder took that as a chance and entered the living room from the balcony. He woke him up. No. Something woke him up. May be the wind or the intruder’s footsteps. He talked to him as he put the silencer on the lawyer’s revolver. There seems to be a slight struggle from the lawyer while they were talking and to save himself from that panic stood up to grab something. The button on the side of the cupboard. That could have set an alarm, but the intruder was a bit startled by his sudden movement and let out two bullets right in his chest and inch apart from each other, the distance he covered while falling down. Then, the intruder left that note beside him and left the same way he came. From the roof? The roof!
Mark took the stairs and ran up to the roof. It was just any other ordinary roof. But it had gravel around the boundary of the building. He managed to find certain skid marks as if a hard landing which seemed to have been wiped down. He canvased the surroundings to find an adjacent apartment which could be used for a jump. May be the suspect used the adjacent building to enter this. Besides the skid marks, he saw an adjacent apartment nearly ten feet apart. If he had come from that apartment, he had to have some help. It didn’t him much time to locate the hook which was used to hold the wire of sorts. There were traces of footprints. Mark took a picture of the partial footprint on his mobile. He did come from this way but didn’t leave from here. The security camera’s from that apartment could give us more clues. And also, the mode of transportation after he left the apartment. There was a lot of possibilities. That is something to be looked into as well. I will have to inform Sam to canvas through the security footage of three blocks, anything that just could put someone in the time frame.
The rain was heavy that night. Nature might have been furious. It was a simple apartment that any normal middle-class guy would have, rented obviously. The city was expensive in itself and affording even a small apartment would mean that he was Rich. But he managed his expenses. The rain lashed through his helmet as he sped towards his apartment. He reached his apartment which was just on the verge of the city. He was completely drenched in rain. The cold water that bathed him calmed his thoughts. He had almost forgotten what he had done that night. He was at peace. He placed his overcoat to dry beside the window on the hanger. The apartment was small, had one bedroom, a small kitchen, and a living room. It was sufficient for him and under his norms of payment. He stared across the living room onto a wall as he grabbed a beer from the mini fridge in the kitchen. He kept his eyes fixed on the wall as he walked towards it. The wall that he was staring at resembled what would be termed as a collage in layman terms but not the simple good looking collage. Oh, it was looking good alright, but only he could understand. It was the collage of photos, newspaper cuttings, files, reports, print outs, torn out pages, sticky notes, pins, different colored threads and whatnot. The whole office supply was improvised to create this roadmap. He stared at the picture of the lawyer at the bottom corner, took a red sketch and crossed it with two distinct lines across the edges of the photo and tied a red thread over the already existing yellow thread. The red thread had the origin just on the lawyer. He took a few steps back and looked at the wholeness of the collage and assured himself with a half smile that in time he will be able to reach the top of the pyramid. The smile faded on his face a moment later, finished his beer in a jiffy as he stared at the second picture. He went to his bedroom, sat on the bed with his laptop and started his research about the next guy in the list.
To be continued …