Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Solus Ipse" Part 1

3am is no time for anyone concerned with their safety to be out. There is nothing but criminals and those that are paid to stop them prowling the streets. And the random victim who has yet to learn these rules.

Sara was one of these victims.

Lured into a restroom at a gas station miles from her home by a friendly face, she was the perfect prey for one such as Albert Dukes. Albert stood 5'11” and weighed 185lbs. His closely cropped hair and style of dress attracted glances from many women. This was all intentional.

“You're not there. I mean, I see you but you're really not there. I can smell you. I can touch you. I can hear every word they you're saying. But...you're not there. You say that I'm hurting you and I can plainly see that I indeed am hurting you, but you see, I really am not hurting you. I see the blood flowing from your wounds and yet...”

Alfred crouched down in front of his victim. A young high school student named Sara Lawrence. Her eyes were wide with fear. Alfred did not care. He slowly inserted the blade into Sara's bound legs and sighed. Her scream was muffled by an old sock and duct tape. Albert dabbed his index finger into the blood now pooling around her arm and put it to his lips.

He smiled for a moment knowing that if he were to look at his reflection that he would appear to be wearing lipstick. He looked into Sara's eyes and pursed his lips.
“This is all so strange to me” he said to her. “Why are you here?” He stood and shook his knees causing them to snap. A childhood injury had made his walk stiff and awkward. Over time he transformed it into a personal walk. “I can taste your blood on my lips but its not real. Does this make any sense to you?”

Albert sat down in the blood that was now all over the bathroom tile. He did not worry about being arrested. How could he be arrested for something he was not really doing? “You look like a person dying.” Albert took the blade and slowly ran it across Sara's throat. He stood and exited the restroom bumping into an attendant who held a bucket with a large brush. “There's a mess in there.”

“There's always a fucking mess in there” the attendant said before entering. By the time he screamed Albert was already gone.


“This is getting ri-goddamn-diculous” Detective Mark Pritchard said as he and his partner of three years Lacey Donovan looked at Sara's body. Mark Pritchard, or “Pritch”, had been a detective for eleven years and a part of homicide for six of them. Pritchard had the look of a man that was one bad day away from a heart attack. He had seen a lot of death in his career but something about the recent string of deaths bothered him more.

There was no pattern. The victims, fourteen so far, have been male, female, young, old, and multiple races. Fourteen bodies in two months. “Fingerprints all over the place. Shoe prints here, here, and there. This guy doesn't give a damn.”

“What makes you think it's a guy?” Detective Lacey Donovan asked. She has been a detective for seven years. Homicide the entire time. She never had the problem of being an attractive woman in a man's world. Lacey knew she was considered unattractive by most men. Her husband, during their divorce, reminded her of this fact. She never minded being called ugly. But she loathe being considered weak based on her genitalia. “There have been plenty of female serial killers.”

“Yeah, but what about last weeks victim?” Pritchard asked. “That guy was 300lbs. and 6'4”. No way a woman killed that guy.” Donovan looked at him and smiled.

“There are plenty of women that are able to take down men larger them they are” she said. “Stop living in the stone ages, Pritch.”

“I don't care what year it is there isn't a woman on the planet can take a guy down that size” Pritchard reiterated. “One unsolved case at a time. Let's focus on this one. What've you found, Coppertop?”

“Everything but the killer” Jonas Luis aka “Coppertop” said. Luis has been the head forensics expert for two years after the retirement of his mentor. His mentor quit during a crime scene after realizing that the victim was his daughter. She had been so badly mutilated that he had not recognized her. Luis got the name “Coppertop” as he was Latino with red hair which made him stand out. “We got her wallet, her rings, her school ID. Killer didn't take anything.”

“And the prints?” Donovan asked.

“All over the place and I'd bet my left nut that they match the ones we have back at the lab” Luis said. “This guy just doesn't worry about getting caught. Look at that?” he said while pointing the a hand print on the sink. “Perfect hand print but we still haven't been able to find out who this guy is. Its like he's taunting us.”

“Or he doesn't think we exist” Pritchard said.

“How so?” Donovan asked.

“These aren't crimes of passion” he replied. “None of the female victims have been raped. Or the males for that matter because I realize the times we live in and anything is possible except for the killer being a female.”

“Dick” Donovan scoffed.

“Thank you” Pritchard said. “This guy isn't worried about getting caught. Even the sloppiest of criminals will make at least a small attempt to cover up. Look at the sink.”

“Killer didn't even wash up” Donovan noted. “Means he walked out of here covered in blood from head to toe with no fear of being seen.”

“Speaking of which we need to get to the station and speak to the employee” Pritchard said as they left the crime scene. “Says he saw a guy just before discovering the body.”

“$20 says he wont be able to describe him” Donovan said.


Back in the lab Pritchard and Luis are going over evidence collected from the latest crime scene. Mostly blood. There is nothing by way of fingerprints, hair samples, or saliva to tag the killer. He doesn't exist except for his crimes. Luis joked on the way to the station that the killer had been surgically altered. Donovan made a mental note to look into that possibility. He was not ready to check anything off the list of probabilities except for the killer being female.

As they stared at the body of Sara Lawrence's Pritchard thought of why he got into homicide. His brother had been kidnapped and murdered when he was 11. Pritchard was 10 at the time. The police had given up searching after three months but his parents had not. One day the body of a young boy had been found buried less than a mile from their home. It turns out a group of teenagers had accidentally beaten him a little too hard and killed him. In fear they hid the body. Pritchard joined the academy as soon as he turned 18.

“What do you think” Pritchard asked. “Mommy didn't hug him enough?”

“Or too much” Luis replied. “Just when you think you've seen every bit of bad shit that people can do to each other something like this comes along. Makes me sick.”

“Keeps us employed” Donovan said as she entered the lab. She sat three cups of coffee down and looked at Sara's body. Two were for Luis. One for Donovan. Pritchard did not drink coffee. “Those are some very clean cuts” she observed while looking at the slices along Sara's wrist, neck, and Achilles' tendon.

“All of 'em have been this clean” Luis replied. “This is not from some knife. Look here” he said as he used a small wooden stick to separate the flesh around her throat. “This was one clean swipe. I'm thinking a blade.”

“But what kind of blade?” Pritchard asked aloud. “A straight razor or something?”

“Perhaps” Luis said as he reached for a cup off coffee. “But the cut on the wrist is what is throwing me off. Look at the bruising from the twine used to bound her. Same with the other victims. I mean, damn. He cut her and then tied her wrists. This guy was in no rush to kill her. She pretty much bled to death.”

“You hope” Pritchard said.

“Mr. Sunshine” Donovan scoffed. “Either he or she killed her quick or not. Either way the victim's dead. Who called her family? Please tell me it wasn't Rob.”

“It was Rob” Luis said as he put on another set of latex gloves. “I think that guy took sensitivity training from Christian Szell. Three points for either of you that get that reference.” Luis waited for a comment, received none, and continued. “Anyway, he spoke to the victims father. I'm sure they took it hard.”

“We can go and speak to them tomorrow” Donovan said. “See if they can shed any light on this whole thing. Maybe she knew the killer.”

“Sure” Pritchard said sarcastically. “We already know what they will say. No one we have been able to speak to have been able to give us anything. This guy is either the smartest killer alive or the luckiest son of a bitch to ever live. Maybe a bit of both.”


Albert stepped over the pile of mail that gathered at his door. Mostly fliers, menus, and coupons. He never bothered to touch them. He reached for the light switch and flicked it. There were dried blood stains all over it including the one from Sara's blood. He undressed on his way to the bathroom and sighed.

“When was the last time I ate?” he asked himself as he turned on the shower. As the bathroom began to steam he inhaled deeply. “I honestly don't remember. Was it Tuesday? Maybe Monday. Am I hungry? No. I'm not hungry. That girl was interesting. When did I eat last?”

Knowing that he would eventually be dry again he stepped out of the shower without toweling off and put on a pair of fresh clothes. He sat down on the bed, is bedroom contained no photos or paintings. One dim light bulb illuminated the garbage strewn about. He looked at his reflection in the mirror and attempted to make the corners of his mouth rise. Albert had seen people smile before. Usually when they looked at him. He knew that there was something about his appearance that made those other people raise the corners of their mouths up when they saw him.

He tried for a few moments before deciding that there was no point to this and laid down to go to sleep. A thump made him open his eyes. Albert stood and listened.

“Hello...?” a voice asked from the kitchen.  

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