Detective Laura Kimber stood shivering in the early morning emptiness on State Street extension near the train station, staring at a bill board that advertised, See Something, Say Something.
On the ground directly in front of her was a homeless man flat on his face in blood soaked clothing. He was still holding on to a half eaten Subway sandwich. There were two gunshot wounds at the lower part of his skull and a switch blade sticking out of his back.
Kimber then started scanning the length of the train station platform and the parking lot looking for any trace of a witness. It was very early in the morning, and the streets were empty and the parking lot was covered with garbage and seaside seagulls.
Finally a black and white drove up and parked in back of Kimber's unmarked cruiser. Officers Victor Cruz and Alfredo Fuentes stepped out of the car and glanced over at the body. Before anyone said anything, Fuentes looked at Kimber and she looked back at him, each of them wordlessly communicating the same thought.
“Dead upon your arrival?” asked Cruz.
“No, he was alive,” she half whispered.
“Did he tell you who did this to him?” added Fuentes.
“I spoke to him before he died,” she started. “He told me he would tell me what happened in a few minutes after he regains his composure. The poor bastard didn't realize he didn't have a few minutes. He had about twenty five seconds.”
The uniforms grimaced simultaneously.
“Why is he soaked?” Cruz asked.
“They peed on him,” she replied slowly.
Kimber knew that this wasn't going to be a bastard of a case, there were parking lot cameras that caught everything. She had ordered them pulled, and the train heading for Grand Central Station would stop until she gave the move order. The murderers were on that train heading for Manhattan. What she couldn't understand was the absence of remorse, and the murderers would probably submit some type of meaningless rationalization to why that homeless man was murdered in cold blood. There were no eye witnesses, but she had the cameras, and that would satisfy any jury.
The justice system had to give them their day in court, and they would have to listen to a group of savages who would have no out to offer a jury. The crime was genuinely psychopathic. The court will take months to listen to their side of the story while the homeless man's body decays. Something seemed extremely flawed to the detective.
“Meat wagon coming?” asked Cruz.
“How do you know they are on their way to Grand Central?” asked Fuentes.
“Saw the tapes,” she said. “Saw those punks peeing on him too.”
“What's to gain by doing that?” asked Cruz.
Everything went deathly silent for a moment, then came the whistling of a train as it passed the platform. The ground shook and the train whirled by. It was a nonstop to Grand Central Station.
“Like that, “Kimber whispered. “A come and go, very quickly.”
“What do you mean?” asked Cruz.
“Days after this murder, the media coverage will fade away. The John Doe murder wouldn't get the red ball, red carpet treatment. The excitement will start because of the killing and the video tapes, but fade when they realize he's just a nobody, killed by nobodies. Just like that train passing by quickly.”
“Because he is a nobody, the newspapers and television stations won't stay on the case as the trial takes place. There will be no deluge of calls to the congressmen and the courts about swift justice, and maybe there just might be leniency for the young guys who killed the nobody. There is no mystery in this case, but when everyone turns their back, we'll get more bullshit.”
Victor and Cruz felt her pain as they grimaced.
The meat wagon finally pulled up and parked in front of the body.
“There's nothing to gain, only loss,” she said as she turned her back to the body. “Only loss.”
© 2016 Frank Atanacio
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