DOGS and worms


“The murders are connected.” Gillian’s diagrams had a new shape. The gallery of the dead was now connected with lines. It all appeared perfectly linear. Five murders, one after the other. And so on, and so forth, until the end. Murder one was outside of Detroit back in ‘03. A twenty-two year old man named Rick Detrich found naked, bound and dumped by an old factory. Number five was Eric Thurman. Found naked, bound and dumped in the trash by a converted warehouse nine years later. “Maybe the killer just had a fondness for industrial architecture.” My joke didn’t go over well. “I don’t know why you can’t take this seriously. There really are such things as serial killers in the world.” “Yeah, and there really are such things as white Goldfish, that doesn’t make it real likely we’ll come across one.” “Goldfish? What the fuck are you talking about?”

He went back to his staring and imagining. A grand hypothesis was in the works. Eric Thurman would herein be referred to as “Victim Number Five.” At least in Gillian’s mind. “If you’re so sure it’s a serial killer, don’t you think you should contact the Bureau?” Gillian gave me the best fuck you look I had seen in some time. I wasn’t about to drop it. “You clearly think you’re onto some sort of pattern. Why don’t you share it with our comrades from Quantico?” I expected him to react with anger. What he did was worse. Sheer stubbornness and determination. “No, it’s mine until I can’t get any further with it. That’s all there is to it.”

I walked away and left him to ponder. It wasn’t that complicated. Gillian was reaching for the exotic. That one in one hundred. The stuff of feature films and talk shows. Most murders were far more mundane. An insult from a stranger. A vengeful lover. A drug deal gone very bad. These were the phrases that appeared on crime reports in files marked “Case Closed.” But Gillian would not be swayed. I believed him when he said he saw patterns. Humans make connections. Even when there are none there to be made. We look for reason in chaos. Create myths to solve mysteries. There is a basic rejection of the inexplicable because it is too unsettling to contemplate a world of “just because.”

The same battle was being fought and lost by those hoping for a quick resolution to the Radovich case. The theory that had gained the most traction was put forward by the rookie, Hersh. He surmised that the Radovich family had been targeted because they were not the nice family that they first appeared. Mr. was into some sort of serious shit. Exactly what shit, involving who, was still the matter of some debate. But they were trying. Every tree was shaken. Every skeleton rattled out of the closet. Radovich was targeted for a reason.

“Our guest has arrived” Gillian said. He gestures across The Cube to two figures. One was a woman around my age, maybe a few years older. The other I knew as much by his slouch as by his face. It was Dave. I’m sure he was none too pleased to be asked back for another interview. I had insisted. Gillian wanted to find Eric’s computer to prove his link to the serial killer. I wanted to find out what else Dave was hiding.

Gillian was all polish and profession, the nice cop sorry to have to inconvenience them. It went without saying that I was the asshole, the bad cop in more ways then one. In fact, I wouldn’t even be in on the interview. I would just be watching it through the glass. Fish in the aquarium. Sharks in the tank. I was hoping Gillian would come through for both of us.

He showed them to their seats and dimmed the lights. No need for high-stress tactics. The woman Dave brought along wasn’t his lawyer but his mother. I would have much preferred the suit. Somehow teen-age boys weren’t very open to talking about sex and drugs with their mothers’ present.

Gillian started the proceedings. The first lines from the play. “Hey Dave, thanks for coming down again. We really appreciate it. Is it David or Dave?” “Dave is good.” “Great. Thanks, Dave. So, we brought you down here because honestly, we’re a little stuck. We’ve had a really hard time putting together a couple of things regarding Eric. We were hoping you could clear them up for us. Do you think you could do that?” “Sure. I guess.” “Eric’s sister, Amy…” “Allison” “What?” “Her name is Allison.” “Right, sorry. Eric’s sister Allison says that he had a laptop computer that he took everywhere with him. We can’t seem to find it. Do you have any idea where it is?” “No.” “Well, just think for a second. Where did he like to use it?” “I don’t know. Home.” “He never took it with him anywhere?” “Sure. I guess. I don’t know.” “Did he ever take it over to your place?” “Just once or twice to play games on.” “But it’s not there right now?” “No.” “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’m sure.”

“Maybe it’s at school” “We checked in his locker. Is there anywhere else at school he might have stored it?” “No. I don’t know.” “Please just take a second and think about it. It would really help us out with our case if we could find that laptop.” “No. Sorry. I can’t think of anywhere.”

“Alright, we’ll leave that for now. Aside from you, who were some of Eric’s other friends?” “I told that other Detective all that.” “Well, I wasn’t here for that. Would you mind telling me again? I would really appreciate it.”

“I don’t know. He had lots of friends. Bill, Tyler, Worm, Derek…” “Slow down, I write pretty slowly. Sorry. Do you have last names for these guys?” “Bill Newman, Tyler Aranasky, Worm is Denis, we just call him Worm, Denis Holcroft, I think…” “Thanks.”

How about anybody older?” “No. He has some other people he liked to hang with but that was his thing. They really weren’t my crowd.” “What kind of crowd were they?” “College kids. They were just totally into themselves just because they had their own places and went to that crappy school.” “Which school?” “PSU.” “Was one of them named Carl Kraft?” “I don’t know. Sounds right. But. Maybe.” “Did you ever meet him with Eric?” “Maybe just once when Eric and I ran into him at Kontrol. I really don’t remember.” “So, you never spent any time with Carl?” “No.”

Lying sack of shit.



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