Thursday, May 29, 2008

By the Book, Part II

A jab in the side that ranked somewhere between hard and painful brought me out of my head and back into the courtroom. My lawyer was giving me a less-than-friendly glare. “Don't drift off. You'll alienate the jury.”

I considered asking Johnnie Cochran here if he thought a detailed description of how I had supposedly slaughtered seven teenagers and mutilated their corpses wouldn't alienate the jury. Nate had assured me that this guy was the best defense attorney in the county. I grudgingly turned my attention back to the trial.

The DA was questioning his first witness, the SBPD detective who had investigated the first four murders. I had been a bit upset when I'd learned that he was testifying against me. He seemed like a decent guy, and we'd gotten along pretty well when he was working the case. If he thought I'd committed the murders, it didn't bode well for me with the jury. But then, we hadn't met under the best of circumstances. After Nate had told me the killer's MO, I had become somewhat obsessed with learning as much as I could about the murders. I visited every crime scene, talked to every witness, friend, and policeman who would give me the time of day, and generally made a nuisance of myself. The more I'd learned, the more things lined up with my book. Besides the greek letters carved into the palms, every victim had been killed and disposed of in a manner and location that almost perfectly matched the scenes I'd written. Single diagonal cut across the femoral artery, leading to death by exsanguination. Bodies wrapped in a shower curtain and dropped in four different dumpsters in four different parts of town.

All four victims (another murder occurred a week or so after I started looking into them) were in their late teens, recent graduates of the local high schools. One was a student at the local university, while the other three were working entry-level jobs at local companies. All four were male, but that was where the physical similarities ended. One was Hispanic, the rest white. Two blonde, two with black hair. Three were average height, the other tall but not remarkably so. No two victims lived in the same neighborhood. With no hard evidence to go on, the police were working day-in and day-out to find a common thread linking the four young men, and they weren't having much luck.

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