CATCHING UP OVER COFFEE
Hank looked at the overstuffed backpack and the large plastic Sears bag, which seemed to contain everything Donnie owned. There were some dirty looking clothes busting out of a front pocket of the backpack and an assortment of notebooks and pens sprouted from another pocket. Hank noticed Donnie’s tiny black LED flashlight, which hung from an equally minuscule D-ring from the pack. It also had an extra reflector on it so others could see Donnie more easily as he walked through Seattle at night.
“When you say you are going deep undercover, you don’t fuck around do you Donnie?” and he laughed gently revealing a beautiful set of teeth.
“I’ll do anything to help my brother. The police can’t spend a lot of time on one case and I am afraid if I don’t, he for sure is going to get hosed at the trial.” Donnie took a sip of his still hot coffee and exhaled with a sub-audible, “Aaaah.”
“You are right on that Donnie. With this rash of other homicides this year, the department is stretched thin. I heard the Chief of Policed ask for help from the Seattle Branch of the FBI. That is serious shit. No local police force wants to have others involved unless it’s unavoidable. Let me grab a coffee and I’ll be right back.”
Donnie used the time that his Dean was waiting for his coffee to pull out some of the notes and findings. He also got some of the pictures ready queued up on his cell phone. Within a couple of minutes, Hank came back with what smelled like a Mocha Latte. He sat down and took his coat off.
“Hit me, Donnie.”
Donnie opened one of his notebooks. He had taken detailed notes of his whereabouts, key findings, people, etc. He was able to describe his journey like a tour guide, but one who was looking back in time.
“Of course, at first, I looked relatively civilized and clean, while I was transforming into what you see today. I thought early on my appearance might blow my cover, but there are homeless people in Seattle and everywhere who actually can hide it well.”
“That’s true,” interjected Hank.
“I have spoken with so many people, but one of the things I did for the first several weeks was just to visit all the places these seemingly related murders took place.” Donnie opened his Greater Seattle Street Map Book to pages 52 and 53. It looked like a military map from a war movie. There were stars and different colored ink markings and circles, notes, etc.
“Wow, you’ve been busy. I am impressed and tired at the same time.”
“I’ve about wore out this pair of shoes, but I think it’s the best way to do this type of investigating. You are talking about a ten-square-mile radius here in Pioneer Square and up into Belltown. Whoever has been doing this has been pretty meticulous and hasn’t really never left any major clues, and, almost all of the victims have been killed in different ways.”
Hank took another sip of his mocha. “Are there any patterns at all?”
“In reading the key findings in the newspapers and from what the Adam’s Public Defender, Angie, has been able to discern, just a few. All of the victims were homeless. Most of the victims had police records related to drugs and in many cases pimping and pandering.”
“Hmm. Someone has a beef with those crimes, a vendetta for some reason it sounds like. Maybe someone who was abused or sold into the sex trade. There are several motives for serial killers, for example, visionary, hedonistic, power or control. The way you have described this makes me believe this killer’s motives are mission-oriented. This type of killer is motivated to ‘rid the world’ of certain types of people they believe to be undesirable.”
“That makes sense. There is something else.” Donnie leaned over the table so he could whisper the next statement. “I saw something weird in Occidental Park the other night.”
Hank leaned in also, “Oh, really?”
“Yes. I saw this tall shadowy figures several times run and pick up freshly-tossed cigarettes and in one case gum.”
“Fuck, Donnie. I bet that’s your guy. No evidence. No clues. I wonder if this guy is contaminating the victims with DNA from other people. It would be an ingenious way to throw everyone off him as the perp. Plus, if he is using lots of different methods, it further clouds the investigation.”
“I literally almost stopped breathing when I saw this guy. I had the same instinct. But I haven’t seen him again,” said Donnie, excitement and volume growing in his voice.
“Don’t confront this guy if you see him. If he isn’t the killer and just a whack job, he might have no issues threatening or hurting you. If he is the killer, well, he’d have no qualms about killing you either, especially given his meticulousness to date covering his tracks.”
“I know. And one last detail.” Donnie’s Adam’s Apple seemed to go up and down in slow motion as he swallowed and got ready to speak again. “I am pretty sure he saw me.”
(c) 2013 – 2016, Darin Hartley