What Detective Laura Kimber hated most about a crime scene was the long period of silence, and the guessing game. The murderer expected all the detectives at the murder scene to gather in a semi-circle and close their eyes. Perhaps think of the motives first, then wonder where he had run to. It was a cat and mouse game that really struck a chord.
Colin Wright, dead in an alley with a handful of detectives standing over his body with nothing positive to add. That alone might be reason enough for Kimber to quit, but there was Colin Wright, the dead man who wanted his killer to be caught, tried and convicted. Also the dead had no voice and that was a bigger reason to stay on the job.
Laura Kimber was obligated to pursue the killer and starting from scratch was an uphill battle that will just bring in a little light into the darkness.
“Guys,” she started. “Chambers and I will stay here, and you guys go trick or treating at every door in the area. See if you can find something tangible. Turn every stone.”
The detectives nodded and went on their way.
Colin Wright, a middle aged man was on his stomach with an extension chord still wrapped around his neck. His eyes were closed, his mouth parted and his hands were extended as if he just suddenly gave up. Kimber examined the body closer and the cause of death was strangulation. In that there was no doubt.
“Caught from behind?” Chambers asked.
She nodded without looking at him.
Colin Wright still had his wallet on him and all his credit cards. He also had seventy two dollars in cash and a David Yurman wedding band. There were no witnesses and no motive, but still Wright was strangled. The alleyway was well lit between two downtown department stores on Fairfield Avenue. The sides of the buildings were clean and the garbage cans were lined perfectly, one for recyclables and the other for trash. Kimber still found herself looking at the earthly remains of a man that was strangled for no apparent reason.
“He wasn't robbed and there was no signs of a struggle scene. It appears that the killer sneaked up on him and strangled him with the chord.” said Chambers.
“There's always a motive,” Kimber said. “But why strangle him here, and in broad daylight?”
A young woman turned into the alley and screamed, not from pain or love loss, but from the sheer shock of seeing a dead man on the ground with a chord wrapped around his neck. She dropped her shopping bags and ran quickly away from the scene.
“Damn O'Brien isn't doing a great job in holding people back,” said Chambers.
Kimber nodded slowly.
Detective Laura Kimber stood up and surveyed the alley. She felt that insistent regret, that unnerving notion that the case was going to go unsolved. Everything rested on one clue, one eye witness and the hope that the killer would know the fear of a detective who wouldn't give up. She also wondered whether any suspect could even understand enough to feel that kind of fear.
“Can't win them all Laura,” said Chambers.
“I didn't lose this one yet,” she replied.
© 2016 Frank Atanacio
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