The Body in the Pool
Book One of the Dismember Killer Series
Thudding feet on the stairs and then Tom hit the room with a bag of breakfast burritos in one hand.
“Good man.” Spence reached for the bag.
“I got the security feed, too. I think we should pawn that off on someone who got a full night’s sleep though.”
“Maybe. I want to check out what happened tonight.”
Tom nodded and plugged a thumb drive into the TV in the corner. “At least it’s digital.”
“Music to my ears.”
“And the date is set.”
“I’ll marry you now.”
Tom threw a bunched up napkin at Spence. “Knock it off.”
They settled in with the remote and breakfast. A happy combination, viewing on fast forward.
“There’s jack all. It’s like the cameras were placed to catch irrelevant shit.” Spence crumbled his metal foil.
“From their point of view: kids sneaking out, stealing from the kitchen, helping themselves to bits and bobs from the chem lab, pretty relevant shit.”
“Doesn’t help us.” Spence arced his trash into the garbage can. “Two points off the rim.”
“The gate camera is placed to catch only the driver of the vehicle.”
“Maybe they’re hiding something.”
“I get that vibe about the whole setup.” Tom aimed for the garbage can. “Three points off the wall.”
“You don’t get an extra point for off the wall.”
“I do after the cleaning lady has been through. It’s a total bank shot.”
“Whatever. I’m going to dig into the school until we hear back on the body.” Spence rolled back to his computer.
“Almost six. Anything back on prints or background?”
“I sent background to the team. They don’t even come in until five.”
“Did you send prints to the team, too?”
“IAFIS. Let me check my email.” Spence scanned through the new emails. “Got it. I’ll forward it over, you compare.”
“Looks like nine possibles above seventy percent.” Spence clicked the forward and send buttons and went back to delving into the Academy.
By seven, the two other members of the task force housed with them in the office had arrived. Scott Barnes and Melanie Witlow.
“I hear you two couldn’t be bothered to call us,” Melanie said as she spied the breakfast burrito bag. She took a look inside, found it empty, and growled. “And you ate all the food. Tell me it wasn’t from the bar.”
Tom cleared his throat. “You know I can’t lie to a team member.”
“Besides it’s from like three hours ago,” Spence put in.
“You could have called.” She unwound her scarf and hung it on the makeshift coat rack with her blazer.
“Someone needed a good night’s sleep. There’s a week’s worth of security video to go through.”
“We know who’s dead yet?” Melanie asked.
“Working on narrowing down the possibilities,” said Tom.
“You need a hand with that?”
“Why don’t you and Barnes get started on the security video. We’re still waiting on witness backgrounds at this point,” Spence suggested.
“Do we at least get the details?” Melanie sighed and tried to pour a cup of coffee from the empty carafe.
“Dead white guy in a pool this time. His nether region left to grill on a BBQ,” Tom salaciously provided.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself. We don’t actually know that the bit on the BBQ was nether. It could have been the world’s smallest all beef frank. Lab’s working on it.” Spence cracked his neck and returned to his screen. His cell phone buzzed.
“Wifey?” Tom asked.
Spence read the text. Long shaggy dog fur all over your pillow. “She’s unhappy, I got the call out while I was picking up ice cream last night.”
“She let the dog sleep on your side of the bed again?” Melanie asked with a laugh.
“Pregnancy cravings are heinous. I would have let the dog do much worse than sleep in the bed.”
“Uh huh.” Spence got up from the computer and poured himself a fresh cup of coffee from the pot Melanie had started.
“I think we have a winner winner BBQ chicken dinner,” Tom yipped.
“Oh, that was just wrong.” Melanie groaned but still came around the desk to look at Tom’s screen.
“Harold Paulson, age forty-six. Owns an accountancy firm. Married, no children. Lives out in Shadow Brook.” Tom hit the print function.
Spence crossed to the printer and pulled the page as it slowly cranked out. “He got a record?”
Tom shook his head. “CPA. He’s on file from his licensor exam.”
“For once the IRS done good.” Melanie stirred a fresh cup of coffee. “Want Barnes and I to go pick up the widow for a formal?”
“Nice try. Full night’s sleep equals video duty. You see what you can get on the man, the business, the legend. Tom and I will go.”
“You two get all the fun,” Melanie quipped.
“Right,” Tom said as he stood. “Ten bucks says she’s a crier.”
“You’re on. I say she’s the babbling brook,” Melanie countered. “You want in on this?” She nudged Barnes.
“Sure, I’ll take happy.”
“This isn’t one of your ex-wives,” Melanie retorted.
“What’s that leave me with, stoic?” Spence shrugged. “That would be a nice change.”