After Slaughters’ revelation, it was as if a light bulb had been turned on over Burke and Powells’ heads. They considered themselves to be good detectives but in fairness, these cases were a little outside the realm of their usual investigations. They had been working with the assumption of randomness and not any thoughts of association.
That’s what set Slaughter apart from most. Thinking outside the box. Seeing the big picture. Seeing every angle. Seeing every working part, every parallel line and every curve.
She began the mornings’ meeting with “this is what we know. We have nine victims. We have no motive. We have no murder weapon. They were all killed by an ice pick being driven into their left ear. What does that tell us?”
Powell immediately said “it tells us the killer is right-handed.” Burke nodded in agreement.
Slaughter said “yes, if the perp was facing them but some of these men had some heft to them and remember, none of them had a trace of evidence of having been drugged. Since we have no clue who the perp is, we don’t know their height, weight or strength but wouldn’t it stand to reason that these men would have been able to stop somebody coming at them with an ice pick?”
“These victims felt comfortable enough to turn their backs to the perp, so what if they were attacked from behind?”
Powell said “the perp is left-handed.”
“Exactly,” said Slaughter. “Here’s what we need to do. We need to gather all correspondence, be it emails, texts, phone messages or snail mail. Interview families and friends and find the common thread. There has to be a connection. These people shared something or somebody and if it was a somebody, that somebody is most likely going to be left-handed.”
“We’re going to need warrants and I have an idea that we’ll meet some resistance, but I will get them.” With a rare smile, she said “and detectives, this is going to be a long, arduous undertaking, so we need to be prepared to spend a lot of sleepless nights together.”
In that moment, Burke started seeing Slaughter in a different light. He was man enough to concede that she was one sharp cookie. After she gathered her files and walked out of the room, Burkes’ glance was a little different and lasted a little longer than it had before.
Powell noticed and chided him but Burke smiled as he said “she is a force to be reckoned with. She’s bright, bossy, bold, brash, ballsy, bewitching, beguiling, beautiful and a bitch that would scare the hell out of Satan himself, but Captain Meade was right. She’s exactly what we need.”
Powell smiled as he murmured to himself, “yeah, she sure beat the shit out of us.”
The first victim on Slaughters’ list…was the first victim, Larz Østergaard. Obtaining information about him was going to be difficult since he was from another country. His territory in the States included Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
More than likely, his acquaintances from the States were going to be journalists as his specialty was servicing newspapers. Newspaper journalism is a fickle business and the question was, how many of those acquaintances were still going to be at the papers he serviced? Not only that but newspapers are a dying business and some of those journalists might have since retired, moved on to other papers or other occupations.
She contacted the editors of the Technology Department in every city. Her questions were generic for the most part. “Did you know him? How well did you know him? How would you describe his character? Who were his friends at the paper? Do you know of anybody who might have held a grudge against him?”
They gave her as much information as they could but they weren’t the original editors, so they couldn’t offer much help. Hearing the names of the other victims and trying to piece a connection together would be fruitless.
They were, however able to give her information about the previous editors. In the short span of eighteen months, two had retired, two had taken jobs in other fields and one had died.
To be continued__________