A Different Type of Torture
An arson murder was considered a different type of torture because the police department was stuck with whatever the fire department’s investigator says is arson. Detective Laura Kimber and Nathan Chambers took an unmarked car and drove to the crime scene with fear and disgust in their hearts. The crime scene was a six family run-down on the corners of North and Colorado Avenue over on the west end of Bridgeport. Once there they walked toward the crime scene, which was almost directly under a massive pine tree that didn’t know whether it was alive or dead. Half of the tree was brown and the other half green. There were no witnesses, just a bunch of burned furniture and one charcoal human form wrapped in a plastic tarp. That completely melted on him when the blaze turned his way. The human form was a young guy, maybe early twenties. The poor bastard was lying there like a piece of meatloaf someone left in the oven too long.
The fire marshal was showing Kimber a dark splotch on the living room floor in apartment 1636 B calling it a textbook example of a pour pattern. Sure enough, when they cleared all the soot away, the splotch really did look darker than the surrounding area. Kimber and Chambers had to deal with a dead guy and a pour pattern and a Puerto Rican crack head that jumped out the third floor rear window with nothing to break her fall but asphalt.
“What do you think?” Chambers asked.
“Looks like someone forgot to take their to-go order,” she sighed.
“They wrapped this sucker and he watched himself burn,” Chambers added.
She nodded when she noticed breathing holes in the tarp.
Having satisfied themselves that this was indeed a homicide made their worst nightmares come true; an investigation without witnesses or motive.
“O’Brien, any other casualties?” Kimber asked Detective Peter O’Brien.
“Nope, just the jumper,” he answered. “Seems to me that everyone had something to do at the same time with the exception of these two.”
So much for the door-to-door canvass, if the murderer took great pains to make the victim suffer, the detectives couldn’t blame the neighborhood for its reluctance to volunteer information.
“I’m sorry, that’s all I got,” said the fire marshal as he closed his note book. The phony, apologetic act seemed to work okay for Chambers, but Kimber saw right through him. He had better things to do, and he didn’t want to waste his time hanging out in this part of town. His actions just gave the people in the community the lack of faith in the public servants. Kimber also realized that the dead man will probably get two shakes from the homicide unit, one or two go rounds then the system would set the file aside. However, she decided she wasn’t going to allow this case to evaporate into the ether. Sadistic murderers who can create such nightmares should be hunted down. The homicide unit would have considered it dead weight, but she wasn’t going to allow that dead weight to get any heavier. She wasn’t going to give this a go around, she was on the hunt.
Chambers glared for a moment and then said, “Count me in Laura.”
She half smiled.
© 2014 Frank Atanacio
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