فصل 02

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فصل 02

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter two

A serial killer?

I waited ten days before I decided to kill again. I could have waited longer, but I wanted to experience that wonderful feeling again. I wanted to experience it quite badly. That feeling of pleasure, of being successful, and of showing I’m right. I’ve read the papers and the police seem to have no idea what’s happening. I didn’t think there was any danger of being found out. I was right about that.

I decided to use the same basic plan as before. I would park my car in one place and then find an ‘unwilling helper’ somewhere completely different.

However, I had made some improvements to my plan. The first was to leave my car in full view somewhere. Hikers leave their cars all over the North Yorkshire countryside. No-one pays them any attention. But a car that appears to be hidden might now, after what happened ten days ago, be of great interest to the police.

Secondly, I was going to put my plan into action in the late afternoon. I hoped that meant the body wouldn’t be found until the next morning. That would make things a little more difficult for the police.

Another change was to use a knife. I had decided I wanted to experience different ways of killing.

Finally, I was going to use footpaths to get to the place I had chosen. There are so many paths all over this part of Yorkshire it would be difficult to avoid them for ever. Of course, the police might be able to match my boots or my clothes to something they found along the path. But I had thought about that. After this and every future adventure I would burn everything that I was wearing or carrying. Clever, aren’t I? Cleverer than the police, I think.

I drove up the road from Grinton towards Redmire and left my car on moorland about halfway between the two villages. Then I started walking back over the hill towards Reeth. The day was cloudy, but it was warm for the time of year.

The countryside in the Yorkshire Dales is very beautiful: hills and dales, up and down, wild moorland on the tops of the hills, sleepy villages and farms in the dales at the bottom. To Yorkshire people Yorkshire is ‘God’s own country’. But I wasn’t there to enjoy the natural beauty.

It took me a couple of hours walking through completely empty moorland to reach the place I was looking for - a small building. Normally empty, it was sometimes used by groups of people out shooting birds - but not today. It was right beside one of the main paths in the area with wonderful long views each way up and down the valley.

I took my knife and a map out of my backpack and sat down behind the building to wait. There was always a chance that this late in the day nobody would walk past me. However, that was a chance I was prepared to take.

After about half an hour, I saw a man and a woman in the distance, but they turned off before they reached me and walked down the hill to the river at the bottom. That was lucky because it might have been difficult to kill both of them. I was saving a double killing for the time when I would use a gun.

Shortly after that, I noticed a woman on her own coming from the opposite direction. It soon became clear she was going to come right past me. This time I felt very calm. I knew what to do. Time seemed to move more slowly. As the woman walked towards the building, I prepared myself and began to look forward to what I was going to do.

She was still about fifty metres away when I stepped out. I was holding the map in my hand. The knife was in the same hand, but hidden under the map. As I stepped out, I was looking at the map so as not to frighten her. She kept on walking towards me and I looked up. She was medium height, blonde, probably in her thirties.

I smiled at her and looked a bit embarrassed.

‘I’m sorry,’ I said, waving the map a little, but keeping the knife hidden. ‘I seem to be a bit lost. You couldn’t show me where I am, could you?’

‘Of course,’ she said and came over to where I was standing.

She bent to look at the map and I stuck my knife sharply into the left-hand side of her chest.

There was a long, soft noise as the air seemed to leave her body. I looked into her eyes, feeling the moment, enjoying it. A surprised look crossed her face. She tried to speak, but couldn’t. I let go of the knife as she fell to her knees, then onto her side. Her eyes closed and she was dead. I stood still for a moment looking down at her. I had done it again! I felt wonderful. God-like. This was better than sex.

Quickly I bent down and pulled the knife out of her chest.

I cleaned it on the outside of her jacket, then put it in my backpack. I took out a playing card from my pocket and put it in one of her pockets. Just so that the police would know who had done it.

Then I started the two-hour walk back to my car. Two happy hours in which I could relive the moment.

Fiona Russell was in her office in the North Yorkshire Police Headquarters in Northallerton. She had just finished reading a recent report about internet crime and sat back to think about what she had learnt. Although she worked for the police, she wasn’t actually a police officer. She was a crime analyst. That meant she was one of the few people who was likely to see everything to do with a particular crime. She read every piece of paper, every interview, every report. She looked for patterns, similarities, differences. She reported her findings to the senior officer in the investigation, and she would make suggestions about what else needed to be done or what further information might be useful.

Just as she sat back, her phone rang.

‘Russell,’ she said, picking up the phone immediately.

‘This is Detective Inspector Neville, North Yorkshire Police,’ said the voice, coming straight to the point. ‘I’m looking for an analyst with experience of serial killers. Your boss tells me you’re the person to speak to.’

Russell felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. She had worked on two serial killer investigations before. At the end of each she had been exhausted. Each investigation had been a race against time; a race to stop the killer murdering yet more people. Each investigation had demanded long, patient hours; each had stretched her mind more than she thought possible. Each had, in its own way, given her a new and different way of looking at pain and suffering; but each had brought its own excitement and professional pleasure.

‘I guess so,’ replied Russell.

‘Good,’ said Neville. ‘At the moment we’ve only got two murders so, if we’re going by the rules, this person isn’t yet a serial killer.’

Russell knew that for a killer to become ‘serial’ the rule was three or more.

‘But I don’t want to wait for number three,’ continued Neville. ‘There’s no doubt in my mind there will be a third one and more if we don’t find him. You’ll understand why when you see what we’ve got so far. I’d like you on the team as soon as possible.’

Russell noticed Neville’s use of ‘him’. There had been female serial killers - but mostly they were men.

‘OK,’ answered Russell. ‘Where are you?’

‘Reeth, Swaledale,’ replied Neville.

Russell looked at her watch. ‘I can be there in about an hour,’ she said.

Ninety minutes later Fiona Russell was sitting at a table at the back of the operations room. Helen Scott was in a chair opposite, giving her a quick overview of the investigation so far. She was already describing the second murder.

‘The body was found early this morning on the hillside just outside Reeth,’ she said. ‘I’ll show you where on the map in a moment. It was a thirty-two-year-old woman, Sheila McFadyen. She lived in Richmond. She was a nurse. She worked nights at the local hospital and often came over here during the day to go walking. She was divorced. Her ex-husband lives locally, but they seem to have got on well enough. He says he was at home at the time she was murdered. On his own. It seems unlikely he’s our man, but we’re checking him out anyway - just to be on the safe side. She didn’t have a boyfriend - at least not that anyone knows about. She had a lot of friends. Everyone speaks well of her.’

She held her hands out as if to show the hopelessness of the situation.

‘There appears to be no reason why anyone would want to kill her,’ Scott added.

She paused for a moment.

‘What about the crime scene?’ asked Russell.

‘Like the first one, we’ve got almost nothing,’ continued Scott. ‘The killer stuck a knife straight into McFadyen’s heart. We haven’t found the knife. The killer pulled it out, cleaned it on her jacket and took it away. We’ve found nothing at the scene that tells us anything about the killer. We don’t know which way he arrived at the scene or which way he left. Actually, we don’t know if it’s a man or a woman. Nobody seems to have seen anything or anyone strange.’

Scott reached over to a neighbouring table and picked up two small plastic bags. Inside each was a playing card - an ace of spades in one, the two of spades in the other.

‘And then we have these,’ she said and put them on the table in front of Russell. Russell picked one up and looked at it.

Scott sat back in her chair and looked at Russell.

‘Two playing cards,’ said Scott. ‘The ace was found on the first body, the two on the second. You can see why the boss thinks we’ve got a serial killer on our hands. Of course, the cards are a common make. Available anywhere.’

‘Yes,’ said Russell, as she put down the ace and picked up the two. Looking at the two of spades, she noticed two handwritten words in the middle of the card. They read ‘By knife’. An icy feeling ran down her back.

She put down the card and looked at Scott. She was in her late twenties, with short dark hair, smartly dressed and clearly intelligent. A useful person to have in this kind of investigation. Everyone needed to be awake and alive to all the possibilities. She was about to speak when a tall man in a suit came towards them. His face was lined and there was a lot of grey in his black hair.

‘DI Neville,’ he said, introducing himself. ‘Call me Charles. You must be Fiona Russell.’

He pulled a chair out from the table and sat down.

‘Has Helen told you where we’re at?’ he asked.

‘Yes, she has,’ answered Russell.

‘And?’ asked Neville. ‘Any immediate thoughts?’

Russell was unwilling to say too much until she knew more about the investigation. However, being new to the team, she felt she needed to give Neville and Scott something. Having read widely about serial killers, she could make a few general points.

‘We can make some intelligent guesses,’ said Russell. ‘First of all, we’re most probably looking for a man. Most serial killers are men. There have been women serial killers but, interestingly, they usually prefer to kill indoors - inside the home or maybe in a hospital - a nurse killing off patients, for example.’

Russell looked at Scott and Neville.

‘And I’d guess he’s between the ages of twenty-five and forty,’ she continued. ‘He needs to be old enough to plan and organise this. But when they’re over forty, people normally calm down, or they’ve already been caught and locked up.’

Neville and Scott looked at each other, then back at Russell.

‘And he does seem to be organised,’ added Russell. ‘Organised and intelligent. That’s why you’ve found so little at the crime scenes. He’s also carried out the murders well away from any CCTV cameras. We’re the most watched country in the world, but out here in the Dales there are very few cameras at all - not many CCTV traffic cameras in towns, hardly any cameras around buildings. And out in the countryside none at all.’

Neville and Scott were listening and watching carefully. ‘I’d also say we’re looking for someone reasonably local - someone who knows the area,’ Russell went on. ‘I mean, I’m sure you’ve thought of this yourselves. Both the murders happened in places where the killer was unlikely to be interrupted. He obviously knows the area well.’

‘True,’ said Scott, putting her elbows on the table. ‘But why? Why have these people been killed?’

‘I’m not a psychologist,’ said Russell. ‘I just study the facts. But, looking at the playing cards, I agree with you that he’ll try again. I think you’re absolutely right that this is a serial killer.’

She looked at both of them and gave a small smile.

‘And, of course, if he keeps killing, we’ll catch him. We only need to get lucky once. He has to stay lucky all the time.’

That afternoon the restaurant at the nearby Half Moon Hotel was full of journalists, both national and local, from the newspapers, radio and TV. Charles Neville, standing and facing the room, had explained the latest developments - the finding of the second body and how the investigation was moving forward. He didn’t much like talking to journalists - in fact he didn’t much like journalists - but he knew that there were times when they could help investigations. He had given a short report to keep them happy, but said nothing about the playing cards. It was usual for the police to keep back some information. This unreported information was often useful later.

Now he was preparing to answer questions. With two dead bodies and no idea who the killer might be, he wasn’t expecting an easy time. He could see Scott at the back of the room standing and watching. She smiled at him to let him know she was there if he needed her. He nodded his thanks.

‘I’ve just time for a few questions,’ said Neville, looking around the room. A few people asked for more information about where the bodies had been found; someone else asked some questions about the dead man and woman. Then a woman at the front spoke.

‘Gemma Taylor. Radio Yorkshire,’ she said. ‘There have been two murders so far. Do you think this is the work of a serial killer?’

Neville took a breath before answering.

‘As you know, the two people were killed in very different ways,’ he said. ‘However, we’re obviously keeping an open mind on this question.’

A man near the back raised a hand.

‘Jonathan Greene. London Evening Post. Isn’t it true that a playing card was found at each crime scene? Wouldn’t that suggest the same killer for both crimes?’

The room had been reasonably quiet, but now there was complete silence. This was new information. Neville’s neck started to turn red. Scott could see that he was holding back his anger. Neville caught Scott’s attention at the back of the room. She knew what he wanted and nodded at him.

‘I’m afraid I can’t discuss exactly what was and wasn’t found at the crime scenes,’ said Neville.

But Greene wasn’t giving up so easily.

‘Surely playing cards found at each crime scene would suggest the same killer?’ said Greene. ‘Possibly even a serial killer.’

Suddenly all the journalists started talking to each other. Two left the room, walking past Scott, taking phones from their pockets as they went.

‘This second investigation is less than a day old. We don’t yet have a clear idea of how everything at the crime scene might be important,’ said Neville. He looked at his watch. ‘And now, ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid that’s all I have time for.’

He looked at Scott and nodded, then left the room quickly. There was a lot of noise as the journalists stood up and started to leave. When Jonathan Greene stood up, Scott noticed he was short, rather fat, with thinning light brown hair and a big nose. Not attractive. As he walked past her, she turned and walked along beside him.

‘Mr Greene,’ she said. ‘I’m Detective Sergeant Scott. I’d like to have a word with you.’

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