The Body in the Pool
Book One of the Dismember Killer Series
“Doesn’t your guy usually leave the penis on the body?” Doctor Choi asked.
Spence opened his mouth to answer but the Doctor corrected himself.
“Amputated, and on the body somewhere else.”
Tom nodded. “Usually under the victim’s folded hands on his chest.”
“Well, where is it this time?”
Spence and Tom shared a look.
“Maybe this isn’t our guy.” Spence shrugged.
“Maybe.” Tom agreed and snapped a quick picture of the victim’s face with his cell phone. He texted it over to Spence.
Doctor Choi nodded to his assistant. “Zip it up, let’s get him back to the slab.”
“When are you slicing him?”
“Morning okay with you? Or you want me to start him now?”
“If this is our guy, every minute counts,” said Tom.
“If this is our guy, he’s been operating for ten months that we know. Does a few hours sleep for the Doc really matter one way or another?” Spence countered.
Doctor Choi sighed. “How about we split the difference? My assistant will take him back, get him printed, get those in the system, and prep him for autopsy. I’ll be in and slicing by eight.”
Spence nudged Tom. “Identification is really what we need most.”
“Yeah, okay,” Tom agreed.
The assistant and the doctor put the body bag on a stretcher and wheeled it out the path to their van in the parking lot.
Spence watched them go as the thoughts ran in his head. “This is less public than previous events.”
Tom nodded. “Maybe it’s a shock value thing. Upping that portion of it. Shocking moneyed brats?”
“He’s never left a body in a pool before.”
“There was the body in the fountain at Seattle Center downtown.”
“True. Except where I was going was maybe the penis isn’t with the body this time because this is the first time he’s left a body in deep water.”
“That’s some circular ass logic,” said Tom with irritation.
Before Spence could get riled up, one of the crime scene techs touched Tom’s arm. They both turned to look at her.
“You might want to come see. The, uh um, BBQ remains.”
“Remains?” Tom changed his gaze from her face to the BBQ.
“I don’t think it’s last night’s dinner.” Her nose wrinkled and her lips pursed.
Spence snapped on a pair of gloves from his back pocket as he walked across the patio. He called back over his shoulder to the tech, “You got shots already?”
Spence leaned in. The air was warmer. He checked the dial and saw the BBQ was still on. “You get a shot of this?” He pointed to the on light and temperature gauge.
The tech nodded.
Spence turned off the BBQ. What was left in the middle of the grill was cylindrical and about two inches long, charred black. “I need something to collect this with. It’s gotta be too hot to touch.”
Tom walked over to the tech’s supply box and helped himself to a pair of long wooden tongs and a brown paper bag. He crossed to Spence and handed him the tongs. “Here you go.”
Spence gently lifted the material. “It’s not completely charcoal. There’s a bit of give to the…whatever it is.” Spence held it up.
Tom leaned away. “That looks like a burnt hot dog. Are we sure it isn’t forgotten dinner?”
“I’m tempted to smell it.”
“BBQ meat all smells the same.”
“Not always.” Spence said shortly. He held up the questionable meat in one hand and used the other hand to waft the smell towards his nose. “A bit like beef.”
“It’s all beef frank.” Tom laughed. “Kind of short though.”
Spence dropped the evidence into the bag. He took the bag from Tom and rolled the top down. He crossed to the supply box and grabbed the roll of evidence tape. He slapped a piece across the rolled down top and initialed across the tape.
“Here’s the deal. Vaguely beef smelling meat could be beef or it could be human muscle.” Spence stared at Tom until the penny dropped.
“Aw. No way. Tell me you don’t think that thing on the grill was the missing,” he cleared his throat, “from our victim.”
“Only one way to find out.” Spence handed the bag to the tech. “Get it analyzed.”
The tech nodded and took the bag. “I’ll make it a priority.”
Spence pulled off his gloves. “Let’s talk to go talk to the security guy.”
Tom snorted. “If you can find him.”
“The headmaster refused to let me speak with anyone earlier.”
“Then let’s talk to the headmaster.” Spence smiled.