فصل 03

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فصل 03

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Chapter three

Early investigations

What a good idea it was to send a text message to that journalist! Of course, he won’t know who it’s from. I used a special website - aliamail.com. You can use it to send emails and text messages without anyone knowing where they come from. You have to give a name and an email address when you start using the website, but I gave a false name and I used an internet email service. I also sent the message from an internet cafe, not from my own computer. Smart, eh?

Naturally, the police will want to talk to everyone who knows the journalist’s mobile phone number. That could be hundreds of people. And anyway, the police won’t find my name. The journalist has no idea that I know his number. How, in fact, do I know it? Well, that’s my secret.

So, soon I will have what I want. The information about the playing cards will be in tomorrow’s papers. Then the whole country will know that these achievements are the work of one person. The whole country will see how good I am at what I do, how successful I can be. And then eventually, when I reach my final goal, I will show them that they were wrong. Who are ‘they’? They are the people who stopped me realising the one burning ambition I had in life. They are the people who wrongly and unkindly took away the chance I had to achieve something real.

But I’m talking too much and, as the saying goes, ‘Actions speak louder than words.’ I must get on and plan my next adventure.

First I need some new clothes and boots. I burned the clothes I used last time - as I said I would - and the boots are at the bottom of the River Swale with a heavy stone in each one. I don’t want to buy new clothes. Second-hand ones will be much better. There are plenty of shops around selling second- hand clothes. For a start second-hand clothes are cheaper - and after all I’m only going to wear them once; but also no-one will recognise them as being mine. That should confuse the police if they ever get a description of me.

Then I’ve got to decide the ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘where’ for my next adventure. The ‘how’ is easy This time I want to get up close and personal. A strangling, my hands around the throat of my ‘helper’. I want to experience the physical closeness that comes from using my hands rather than a stone or a knife. So far I have always watched life go. This time I want to feel it leave.

As for the ‘when’, it must be soon, I think. I can’t wait much longer. The police are no closer to finding me. I don’t have to worry about them. And I have a growing hunger for the excitement of the kill. Or is it a thirst - for blood? To be honest, I don’t care. For me it has become like a drug - one which I need more and more.

So there’s only one thing left to decide: the ‘where’. I’ll have to study my map. The Yorkshire Dales is a large area, but fortunately I know it well. It will be easy to find somewhere suitable. You might want to know where, but I’m not going to tell you. You’ll find out soon enough. A quiet place for a private meeting.

‘I tell you - I don’t know who sent it to me.’ Jonathan Greene searched through his pockets and finally pulled out a mobile phone. Greene, Neville and Scott were at the back of the Reeth Memorial Hall in a small room which Neville had decided to use for interviews. There were four chairs and a table; the walls were a dull cream colour with some tourist photos of Swaledale on them, and there was a window that looked out onto the back of Reeth Garage.

Greene put his phone on the table and pushed it across to Neville.

‘Check for yourself,’ he said rather crossly. ‘There’s no sender’s number.’

Neville pushed the phone towards Scott. She picked it up, opened it and started pressing buttons.

‘You didn’t think it might be a good idea to come and talk to me, the senior officer, about it?’ Neville’s face was still red with anger, and there was a sharp edge to his voice.

‘Come on, Inspector,’ replied Greene. He put an elbow on the table and turned his hand over. ‘I’m a journalist. I get a text message with information about a murder inquiry - information that the police must already have. Do I go and tell the police something they already know, or do I send in the story so that the Evening Post is first with the breaking news? Come on, Inspector! Get real!’

‘Don’t tell me to get real!’ exploded Neville. His fist hit the table hard, his face grew darker. ‘This is a murder investigation.’ Neville spoke slowly, his voice low and angry, his eyes locked on to Greene’s. ‘You have what could be, in fact probably is, a message directly from the murderer. You have no idea how important that might be to the investigation. It might lead us straight to the murderer. It might help us save a life, lives even. And yet you don’t think that the first thing you should do is bring it to the attention of the police? No, Mr Greene. You get real. Keeping information from the police is a crime - and you know it.’

Neville stopped speaking, but continued to stare at Greene. There was silence in the room. Eventually Greene looked away, embarrassed, even a little shaken by Neville’s anger.

Scott looked up for a moment and then continued to examine the phone.

‘He’s right,’ she said to Neville. ‘There’s no sender number on that message.’

‘How easy is it to get your number?’ asked Neville. ‘How many people have it?’

‘Not that many,’ replied Greene, looking happier now that the questioning had moved onto easier ground. ‘Probably just the people in my phone book. I don’t give my number out to that many people. And the newspaper won’t give it out.’

Neville looked at Scott.

‘We’ll want that phone then,’ he said. ‘Make sure you give Mr Greene a receipt for it and get someone to check everyone in his phone book.’

‘But, hey, you can’t do that,’ said Greene. ‘I need my phone.’

‘Tough,’ said Neville, turning back to Greene. ‘It’s part of a murder inquiry. Now get out. You’re lucky not to be spending the night in jail. And next time - if there is a next time - make sure you do the right thing.’

Greene stood up slowly and, shaking his head, left the room. As the door closed, Neville looked at Scott.

‘Check him out too,’ said Neville. ‘And actually, do it yourself. I want someone experienced on it. I want to know how long he’s been a journalist, if he’s any good, how long he’s been at the London Evening Post. Everything. I want to know why the murderer chose to give the information to him. If, in fact, he did.’

Scott looked up sharply.

‘You don’t think he’s …?’ she began.

‘Probably not,’ replied Neville. ‘But it doesn’t hurt to be careful.’

Late afternoon the following day, with the second murder less than forty-eight hours old, Russell was called into the interview room to talk to Neville and Scott. A lot of noise was coming through from the main hall. Officers were making phone calls, asking questions, checking information, writing reports. Neville closed the door and the noise level dropped.

‘Right,’ he said, pulling out a chair and sitting down heavily. ‘Fiona, you’ve been here twenty-four hours now. And you’ve been through everything. What can you tell us?’

Russell sat down. Scott took out a notebook and kept it in her hand. Russell had a pile of papers, which she put on the table.

‘Well, I don’t want to raise your hopes too much,’ began Russell, ‘but there is a line of inquiry that might be useful. Though “might” is the important word here.’

‘Go on,’ said Neville.

‘The Bristol police have been very helpful,’ continued Russell. ‘They’ve searched Kenworthy’s house, spoken to a lot of his friends and to his employers. Kenworthy worked at one of the universities in Bristol. He was a lecturer in medicine at Avon University.’

‘And Sheila McFadyen was a nurse,’ said Scott.

‘Exactly,’ replied Russell. ‘But there’s more. She actually did her nursing training at Avon University.’

‘So she could have known Matthew Kenworthy?’ said Neville.

‘Well, yes.’ Russell sounded unsure.

‘But…?’ asked Neville.

‘Like I said,’ Russell went on, ‘I don’t want to raise your hopes. Sheila McFadyen was at university twelve, fifteen years ago. I don’t yet know if Kenworthy was there then. He lectured in medicine; she studied nursing. OK, the subjects are similar, but they’re completely different courses, so even if they were both there at the same time, they might not have known each other.’

‘I see what you mean about “might” being the important word,’ said Neville. ‘However, it’s certainly a line of inquiry that’s worth following up.’

‘Right,’ replied Russell. ‘I’ve emailed the Bristol police a list of questions that they can find answers to there. First thing tomorrow morning I’ll have another list of questions that your officers can follow up here.’

‘Good,’ said Neville. Anything else?’

‘Not really,’ replied Russell. As I said yesterday, the killer is organised and intelligent. He’s left us very little so far.’

‘What about McFadyen’s ex-husband?’ asked Scott. ‘Is there any chance it could be him? He kills someone else first, then his ex-wife, then a third person maybe - so it looks like a serial killing, but actually all he wants to do is get rid of his ex.’

‘An unpleasant thought,’ said Neville. The smallest of smiles came and went in his eyes. ‘But one that’s certainly worth considering. Why don’t you look into that possibility?’

‘OK,’ replied Scott and wrote in her notebook.

Neville sat back in his chair.

‘Now then,’ he said, still looking at Scott. ‘What about Mr Greene? Tell us what you’ve found out about him.’

Scott turned back a few pages in her notebook.

‘Apparently Jonathan Greene is a well-known journalist. He works mainly down south on the London Evening Post, which explains why I’ve never heard of him.’ Scott looked up from her notes. ‘He usually covers crime stories, but he also makes his own investigations into areas where he thinks people have been breaking or bending the law.’

‘Such as?’ asked Neville.

‘I’ve got a list of some of his more recent stories,’ replied Scott, turning over a page in her notebook. ‘A lot of his stuff is just straight crime reporting - what happened, who did what, who went to prison, that sort of thing. But at the end of last year he wrote a couple of big pieces. One was on crime in the health service - cleaners stealing drugs and equipment and selling it all on the black market. That resulted in a police investigation.’

‘I remember that,’ said Neville. ‘I didn’t realise it was Greene.’

‘The other piece was an interview with Jerry Anderson,’ continued Scott.

‘Who’s he?’ asked Russell.

‘One of the big players in organised crime in London in the 1980s,’ answered Neville.

‘He’d just come out of prison after fifteen years for bank robbery and murder,’ continued Scott, ‘and Greene persuaded him to do an interview. He talked all sorts of rubbish about how he had seen the light, given up his life of crime and was going to go straight.’

‘Mind you,’ added Neville, ‘I’m told there’s a few million that still hasn’t been found from his last bank job, so he can probably afford to go straight.’

‘Anyway, I guess that’s why Greene’s phone number is difficult to get hold of,’ explained Scott. ‘You wouldn’t want Anderson calling you up in the middle of the night. He’s not a pleasant character at the best of times.’

‘Absolutely,’ replied Neville.

Scott looked down at her notes again.

And there’s another big story that he’s been working on recently,’ she said. ‘Unfortunately it hasn’t made the newspapers yet, and as a result I haven’t been able to find out anything about it. He was away for a couple of weeks at the beginning of the year working on something, but… well, the people I spoke to either didn’t know, or didn’t want to tell me.’

‘I think you should investigate that further,’ suggested Russell. ‘It might be worth finding out if that’s why he’s really up here. I mean, it seems odd for a journalist from a London evening newspaper to be here.’

‘He might have come because of the text message,’ said Scott.

‘I don’t think so,’ replied Russell. She looked through some of the papers on the table in front of her. ‘No,’ she continued. ‘He only received the message a couple of hours before Charles spoke to the journalists. I made a note of the time.’

‘Well, I agree with Fiona,’ said Neville. ‘You need to find out more about this story of Greene’s.’

Just then there was a knock. A woman with short blonde hair opened the door and looked into the room.

‘Sorry to interrupt, sir,’ she said to Neville. ‘Another body’s been found. An oldish man. On the Harkerside road, near Scabba Wath Bridge. There was a three of spades in his hand.’

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