Zigs sat at his desk pouring over the report from the Crime Scene Unit. No Fibers, except from the monkey. No DNA under the fingertips or in the teeth, meaning the monkey hadn’t fought back. It either knew the attacker and trusted them, or the attack happened too quickly for the monkey to be prepared. Nothing from the pictures screamed to him, nothing pointed to motive.
Zigs lapped up a bit more water as his mind worked. Nine murders in all, each committed in the open streets of Valentine City. This told him that the killer was bold and brazen, perhaps even frenzied as the act was occurring. The way the bodies were discarded surely pointed to frenzied. There was no care taken to hide the body. The corpses were simply left behind, as if the killer had taken what they wanted and no longer needed anything. It showed a lack of remorse and artistry. Serial killers got off on the murders, and preferred to have the scene set a certain way. For them, it was a production, and their crime scene in itself was a message to the cops. There was no message with these murders aside from rage.
His thoughts were interrupted by the thud of the newspaper hitting his desk. He looked over and saw Chief Weiss standing over his desk, the fury in her eyes apparent. He knew what was coming, and tried to forestall it with the puppy dog eyes routine, but it didn’t work.
“What the hell is this?” she asked, pointing to the headline. Valentine City in Panic. Monkey Murderer Still at Large. “I can’t afford headlines like these. The Department doesn’t need any more bad press!”
“It’s not like I’m not trying,” replied Zigs. He stood. “Guy leaves no evidence behind, and I’ve got no witnesses. How do you expect me to catch a ghost?”
“By doing your damn job. That’s what the good tax-paying citizens of Valentine City are paying you for.”
Zigs opened his mouth to respond, but knew it was futile. She was right. It was his job. He had to try to look at this a different way, see it from an angle he hadn’t considered. He nodded his head.
“Good,” she said. She snatched the paper back from his desk. “Just let me know what resources you need. Unlimited overtime until this is solved, or till the Feds take over. There hasn’t been much interest right now, it’s just monkeys, but we get more headlines like these and they will intercede.”
“I got you chief, and believe me I’m on it.”
She left his desk, and he left the office. He had to do something he had put off doing for awhile. To catch a criminal, he’d need to talk to criminals. They always seemed to know things they didn’t want to share with other folk, and Zigs knew just where to start.
He hadn’t made it halfway to his destination when a call came over the radio. Another murder. Zigs pounded his fist against the steering wheel and turned the car around, flipping his light on as he weaved through traffic.
Another murder. This was new. This was escalating. The pressure behind his eyes returned, and he squinted against the pain. Usually it would take weeks between killings. Now two in less than two days? The thought made Zigs nervous. He didn’t want to think about what the body count would reach if this guy was unraveling.
The spectators were already around the scene, and the officers on duty were desperately trying to establish a perimeter. Zigs hopped out and walked over, flashing his credentials to one of the officers. The sight was one of abject horror.
The look on the monkey’s face said it all. The pain, the torment, the torture of the execution was visible in the wide-open, unseeing eyes. It’s mouth was partially open, as if it had been about to scream. Its limbs were askew, its body contorted, and blood oozed from every wound.
Pain shot like lightning through Ziggy’s head, and he doubled over from the suddenness of it, nearly vomiting. It was the bloodiest crime scene the killer had left. It was also the first time something different had happened.
Zigs regained his composure and walked closer to the victim. It was wedged partly under a table-like box. It was the first time the killer had tried to hide the body, or conceal it in some way. Perhaps there would be something incriminating on the hidden parts. He’d have to wait for forensics, and hopefully a break in the case.