He could tell before he got to the crime scene that the death would be grisly. It wasn’t a sixth sense he had, and it had nothing to do with the location. He’d been working the Monkey Murders since the first, back in the fall of ’17, and the deaths had always been grisly. He knew this one would be no different.
Detective Ziggy “Zigs” Carter put a hand to his head and squeezed. Something about the murders always gave him a headache. Perhaps it was because of the lack of evidence left by the murderer, perhaps it was because he knew it meant another sleepless night pouring over the details of the scene. But it never mattered how much analyzing he did; the killer was too good. He knew, before he got to the body, that there would be nothing left behind but the mangled corpse of the victim.
It lay face down on the ground. The lights overhead cast a macabre shadow that stretched until it blended in with the surrounding darkness. Zigs pushed past the tape and walked over to the lifeless figure. He winced as a sudden pain shot behind his eye, and his hand reached once more to his head. He shook it off, and looked to the officer already on scene.
“Anybody see anything?” he asked.
The officer shook his head. “No sir, no witnesses. Still waiting on forensics, but you can tell from the lack of color that he’s been dead a while.”
Zigs sniffed and nodded, then squatted down by the corpse. The dead monkey was laying face down, as if in a running pose. Zigs briefly wondered if it had died running from its attacker, or if that’s simply how it had fallen as its life seeped away. There were lacerations across the entire torso, and blood seeped from over a dozen wounds. Zigs’ eyes moved up the body, and focused on the neck. It was obviously where the killing blow had occurred.
Zigs looked at the unfortunate creature, and wondered what the motive could have possibly been. He wondered if it had been quick or if it had struggled. He wondered if the murderer killed from compulsion or from desire. His head began spiraling, as it always did, and he found his thoughts returning down the same avenues they’d been down countless times already. The route led nowhere.
Zigs looked around but already knew the answer. “Any weapon? Anything that can give us a clue?”
“No sir,” replied the officer. “Unless forensics can find some fingerprints or fibers that we can’t see, the site is clean.”
“Just what I was afraid of,” sighed Zigs. There’d been eight murders in half as many months, and he was no closer to the killer now than at the beginning. Zigs was the best Valentine City had, but even his best hadn’t proven good enough. His body surged with anger and he had to fight the desire to take the murder personally.
There wasn’t anything else to see at the scene. He wasn’t going to wait for forensics to come and tell him what he already knew. He looked at the growing crowd of onlookers pushing against the tape. If only they’d been here sooner, if only someone had seen. He glanced at the buildings. There were no security cameras. The only windows appeared to be in the staircases. Unless someone came forward, it’d be impossible to track down any potential witness. The killer had a knack for finding the most secluded spots in the city to do his dirty deeds; intelligence seemed to be the only lead Zigs had.
Zigs made his way back to his cruiser. Chief Weiss had been all over his ass for months about wrapping up the case, and tonight would be no different. She’d ask for leads, she’d ask for results, she’d ask for answers. It made his headache flare up again. When it came to the Monkey Murders, Zigs didn’t know much, but at this moment he knew he needed a drink. He started the car and pulled into the street just as the crime scene unit was arriving.