A regularly scheduled wellness check by the local police department resulted in the discovery of an elderly man slumped over his desk. He had the familiar tell-tale trickle of blood trailing from his left ear, which was becoming a routine find by the local police department.
Detectives Burke and Powell were immediately called to the scene.
The man was identified as Marvin Jackson. Robbery was not a motive as his wallet was in his back pocket and a solid gold watch was still on his arm. There were no signs of a struggle and nothing seemed visibly out of place. No forced entry was detectable so it was assumed as with all the other cases, the perpetrator was known to the victim.
Mr. Jackson was a well-respected businessman who had retired just two months earlier. He was a widower having recently lost his wife of almost 50 years to cancer and had a reputation for being as honest as the day was long.
Mr. Jackson may have had an exemplary reputation in theory but in Burke and Powell’s experience, everybody had at least one skeleton in their closet. As they questioned neighbors, friends and co-workers, to their surprise not one person had a bad word to say about him. He treated everybody with respect, didn’t cheat on his taxes, didn’t cheat other people and never cheated on his wife. If he had anything to hide, it was well hidden.
Mr. Jackson was the ninth victim in a string of recent murders by the person who had become known as “the ice pick killer.” As with the other victims, an ice pick had been driven all the way through his left ear and then removed, leaving no evidence other than a penetrating wound through his brain.
The recent murders had shaken up the small Southern town. Things like that just didn’t happen there. People left their doors unlocked when they went grocery shopping and if their children left their bicycles outside overnight, they would still be there the next morning.
Recently, things had changed and people were becoming more and more afraid, especially since nobody had been arrested and there weren’t any suspects. Hyper-vigilance was being urged, yet the murders continued, leaving law enforcement thinking they weren’t looking for a monster in the classic sense of the word.
Burke and Powell had nothing. No clues. No evidence. No ice pick, which was clearly the murder weapon for this and the other eight murders. They were like pawns stuck on a chess board with the killer mocking them while driving a verbal ice pick into their ear, whispering “checkmate.”
A month later, while sitting at their desks staring at stale information that had been read over and over and over, Josh Dunn stopped by. He was a detective who had been on loan from another precinct, working the vandalism of several warehouses. He said his obligatory “see you guys later. It was nice to have met you” and then leaned over and quietly asked “have you heard?”
“Heard what?” asked Powell. “They’re calling in the big dog,” Dunn said. “Who’s calling in the big dog?” asked Powell. Dunn glanced toward the office and said “Captain Meade.”
“And who might this big dog be?” asked a perplexed Burke.
“Murphy Slaughter,” said Dunn. Burke leaned back in his chair and said “who the fuck is Murphy Slaughter?” Dunn said “all I know is what I’ve heard.”
“And that is?” asked Powell. Dunn said “from San Francisco, I think. Relentless, tough as nails, no bullshit, take no prisoners, juggernaut, pit bull with balls the size of Texas.”
“That big, huh?” mocked Burke. As he plopped his feet up on his desk, he winked and said “as long as he understands that his big city ways aren’t going to cut it around here, we might let him tag along.”
To be continued________________