What DID happen on White Chapel avenue? That is a very good question, and Detective Nick Mendoza is trying desperately to find the answer. This is the third brutal homicide in as many months that the young detective has been called in to work on.
This is a work in progress who done it story.
In this post you will find The prologue and Chapter one.
If a desirable result follows an action, it is more likely that the action will occur again and again. The feeling of euphoria a junkie gets when they first take a hit. The numbness an alcoholic feels once they’ve passed out. The feeling a surgeon gets while his scalpel glides through human skin with ease. An orgasm.
Addiction stems from actions and results. Once a person has experienced the desired result, that action becomes a compulsion. They are constantly chasing that first high, wondering how they can make this time feel as good as it did then. How does one do that? How do you manage an addiction or a compulsion. You up the stakes.
The junkie seeks out harder drugs. The alcoholic drinks more. And the surgeon? The surgeon finds more people to dissect.
His coffee had gone cold, but he barely noticed. He knew he would need the caffeine, so he gulped it down as fast as he could.The day had been long and it was about to become an even longer night. Police cars and crime scene unit vehicles filled the narrow street in front of the White Chapel apartment building. Rain fell softly and reflected red and blue across Detective Nick Mendoza’s windshield as he idled to a stop. He quickly jumped out of his car, pulling the collar of his rain coat up around his ears.
“Where’s our witness?” Nick called to his partner, Detective Jenkins, who was standing on the sidewalk barking orders at anyone that would listen.
“She’s in the ambulance,” Jenkins said, meeting his partner in the street. “I figured you’d want to take a shot at her first, so I’ll be up at the scene. I heard it’s nasty.”
“Don’t move anything until I get up there,” Nick said.
“You got it, partner.” The detectives parted ways and Nick made his way over to the ambulance.
This is big, he thought to himself. He and Jenkins had been tracking this case for two months with little to go on. The detectives were frustrated to say the least. The only thing known about this guy was his shoe size and that he liked to dissect pretty women. This killer was clean and meticulous, leaving barely a trace of evidence – but now there was a witness. A witness could change everything. A witness could break this case wide open, and Nick was desperate for that to happen. His captain was showing a lot of faith in him by letting Nick handle this investigation. He knew if he screwed it up he’d be on traffic duty until retirement. Although it had not been confirmed that this was the same perp, he had a gut feeling that it was. Cases like this made careers, and the young detective could taste the victory coming. He was going to get this guy come hell or high water.
He rounded the side of the ambulance, stopping abruptly when he saw a slender brunette sitting in the back. Her big green eyes were red and puffy from crying. She was wrapped in a blanket despite the warm night. An EMT stood in front of her as he worked on a gash on her forehead. She looked so small in the ambulance. The detective pushed the image of this young woman fighting for her life out of his head.
“Miss Maynard?” he asked, checking his note pad.
The woman sniffed and wiped a tear from her cheek. “Yes, I’m Jacqueline Maynard.”
“I’m detective Mendoza,” he said, moving his coat aside so she could see his badge. “I’d like to ask you a few questions, if that’s okay.”
“I’m not sure what happened.”
“That’s okay,” he said reassuringly. “Anything you remember could be helpful. Was he tall? Did he have a tattoo? Did he say anything?”
“You weren’t supposed to be here,” Jacqueline whispered as another tear ran down her face.
The EMT turned to the detective. “We really need to get her to a hospital.” Nick nodded. “Miss Maynard, I’ll meet you there and we can continue once you’re feeling a little better.”
She looked up at him, completely exhausted. “Please, call me Jacqueline,” she said softly. Her eyes were full of emotion despite her obvious fatigue. Nick could swear he saw a thousand thoughts dance across her eyes as he spoke to her. He thought she must still be reeling from what happened.
Gently placing a hand on her shoulder, he said “You’re safe now, Jacqueline.” She gave him a weak smile as the EMT helped her up into the ambulance. Nick shut the door and put his note pad back in his pocket.
He bounded up the stairs, taking them two at a time to get to the crime scene. There was a body in the hallway in front of the victim’s apartment. He got closer and saw that it was an elderly woman with multiple stab wounds. Nick knew immediately that she was not this guy’s type. He liked them young and beautiful.
“Collateral damage?” he asked the medical inspector who was standing over the old woman’s body. She nodded as she took down notes. The detective stepped around the body to reach the apartment door.
“Any sign of forced entry?” he asked the CSU technician inspecting the apartment door.
“Nope, just like the others,” the young man answered. Nick knew the answer to that question before it was given, but he liked to make people feel necessary. It came in handy when he needed a favor.
Once in the apartment, he took a look around. CSU were everywhere taking pictures and collecting evidence. In the middle of the living room on a plastic tarp was the body of a redheaded woman. Her abdomen was sliced open with her organs exposed, and her neck and limbs were severed from her body. Nick circled her body like a shark, mentally going over the evidence in front of him.
“He didn’t finish,” Nick called to his partner as he crouched down next to the body. “She’s still got all of her insides.”
“Looks like little Miss Maynard interrupted him,” Jenkins answered, taking a puff of his cigarette. Nick caught the scent of tobacco and his head shot up.
“Jenkins! Put that shit out!” he yelled. Jenkins rolled his eyes and threw the cigarette out the open window. He walked over to his partner, pulling his notepad out of his pocket.
“Our vic,” he began, indicating the woman on the floor. “Mary Kelly, 32. She was a yoga instructor.” He looked at Nick and wiggled his eyebrows.
“You’re seriously messed up in the head, Jenkins.”
Jenkins shrugged and continued. “No sign of forced entry so she probably knew the guy. Her friend, Maynard, came over while the guy was doing his thing and he cracked her in the skull with this.” He handed Nick an evidence bag containing a silver candle holder stained with blood.
“Why didn’t he kill her?” he asked, inspecting the candle holder.
“He must’ve thought he had,” answered Jenkins.
“And the woman in the hall?”
“The neighbor, Ms. Harvey, was stabbed to death. She must have heard all the commotion and came over. She bled out before anyone could get here.” Jenkins flipped his notepad closed. He pulled a straw from behind his ear and put it in his mouth to chew.
Nick walked to the door mat where he had noticed wet boot prints. “Same boots?” he asked Jenkins.
“Same boots. Too bad that brand is a dime a dozen,” Jenkins confirmed, shaking his head.
“Detectives!” A CSU technician burst into the apartment holding a small evidence bag. “I think we got something!” The tech exclaimed.
“What is it?” Nick asked, quickly walking over to him. He yanked the bag from his hand and inspected it. “Jenkins, if this bastard left his DNA, I’m getting a lottery ticket!” he said with a smile. “Where was this?”
“On the fire escape,” the technician explained. “The window that leads out to it was open when we got here.”
“And we’re sure it’s not Jenkins’s?”
Detective Jenkins grabbed the evidence bag and looked closely at the cigarette butt in the bag. “Nope, not my brand. Are we sure it’s not Mary Kelly’s?” Jenkins asked.
“She was a yoga instructor. If she smoked, I’ll buy you a lottery ticket.” He took the bag from Jenkins and gave it to the CSU tech. “Get this to the lab ASAP!” The tech nodded and left the room.
“We need to get to the hospital to talk to our witness,” Nick said, unable to hide his excitement as he turned to leave the apartment. Jenkins found himself having to jog to keep up with his partner. “Her head was banged up, but she seemed pretty alert.”
Jenkins chuckled and shook his head as the two men walked down the stairs and back out to the street.
“What?” Nick asked, confused by his partner’s reaction. He didn’t realize he had a huge smile on his face.
“You look like someone just handed you your first dirty magazine.” Jenkins laughed as they got into the squad car and took off towards the hospital.
Read the next installment HERE