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Requiescat in Pace
I slid under the yellow police tape and walked towards the center of the scene where my partner knelt.
My partner, Kasey Hunt, was a head under me at five-foot-two. Her shoulder-length black hair contrasted my short brown hair and could barely be seen in the shadows of the alley, and her light-blue eyes looked at the corpse with no emotion while my dark black eyes looked with fury.
I knew what was going on behind that forty-year-old face. Half of her was crying hysterically and the rest of her was furious. She could not stand this happening to a citizen and will do whatever she could to take the criminal down.
I stood near her and analyzed the area.
Police cars surrounded the area, protecting the crime scene from the “good Samaritans” that love to destroy while trying to “help.” The siren lights continue to flash, but the horns did not blare. People crowded around the police tape, trying desperately to see what is going on. The crowd thinned and thickened as the minutes passed.
There are only three people in the crime scene right now: Kasey, The M.E. (or Medical Examiner), and myself, Ryan Corde (the newest Senior Field Officer). Scattered around the concrete ground are three numbered yellow markers representing positions of potential evidence.
I looked down at the corpse and forced myself not to retch. The body was one of a woman, which took my anger to unspeakable levels.
She looked as if she was around the age of thirty. She had dirty blond hair that was soaked in the puddle of drying blood that came from multiple wounds in her belly and chest. Her eyes were very dark brown, her nose was long and ended at a sharp point, and her mouth was open in a silent scream. Her hands had damaged skin, which I hoped was from self-defense. Her clothing was ripped and shredded at the inappropriate areas. From the remains, I could tell that they were running clothes.
Kasey looked up at me and said simply, “Requiescat.”
“In pace,” I responded out of habit.
We created that greeting just in case something bad happened. The phrase was in Renaissance Italian and the meaning was: “Rest in Peace.” We have used that greeting for years, and so far it has not failed us. Not many people know Renaissance Italian anymore which I think is a bit of a shame.
“What can you tell me so far?” I asked.
“Her name is Kelly Simone. She was thirty-three years of age, single, lived alone at 3271 College Street, just five minutes from here. Her parents live in West Virginia, and do not want to talk with us right now. She worked at Copper and Steel Drafting, and was a member of the Gold Gym across town. The man who found her was on his way to the same gym.”
“Where is he now?”
“We sent him on his way after giving us his contact information and schedule for the next week.” She responded.
“Okay,” I said and moved over to the M.E. who stood by his white truck.
M.E. Burke is slightly taller than me. He had serious grey eyes that missed almost nothing and soldier-cut blond hair. He had his muscular back facing me, but he still knew I was approaching. I think he was an ex-military, but I couldn’t be too sure of that.
“So, now it’s time to tell you all that I know from the preliminaries, eh Corde?” I could hear the smile on his face.
I snorted and said, “If you don’t mind Burke.”
“Very well, the woman had multiple stab wounds all across her chest and belly and one in her neck, which is the one I think killed her.”
“I saw that when I examined her myself. Is there anything else you can tell me?”
“Yes. About five of them were caused post-mortem.”
“Yeesh!” I breathed.
“That’s not all. She had injuries that are popular signs of rape.”
“So,” I muttered to myself, “The perp walks up to her, forces her into the alley, does his thing, and then kills her. After that he isn’t satisfied and continues stabbing her until he is somewhat happy. This guy must be mentally out of it.”
“Or very ticked off at her.” Burke suggested.
“True.” I said walking away in thought.
Okay, time to check the evidence.
I move towards the first marker. It pointed to a receipt that was crumbled. I put on latex gloves and took out my camera. I took photos of the ball of thin paper and pulled it open. When I did, another receipt that was balled with it fell. With a tiny bit of shock on my face, I took more photos and examined both receipts.
One was for a The General Store near the Gold Gym. The purchases on it did not look unordinary. Light bulbs, scented candles, box of matches, a kitchen knife.
Wait a minute.
I stopped at the kitchen knife and stared at that purchase. Normally, it would not be a problem, people replace their knives often. However, the receipt was found at a crime scene that the victim was killed by knife wounds, and people usually buy a set of kitchen knives, not a single knife.
Coincidence, I think not.
I shifted the receipts and looked at the second one. It was for a membership at Gold Gym. I looked at its date: April 3rd, exactly one week ago. I looked at the date of the first paper: April 3rd.
I sighed and called to Kasey.
She was looking at evidence number two, and moved to me when I called.
“Yes?” She asked when she approached.
“Look at these and see what you can find out.”
She looked, shifting her gaze once and a while. After a few minutes, she sighed and said, “Same date, one purchase of a kitchen knife, and a membership at Gold Gym.”
“Yes. Once we are done here, I want to visit these places.”
“Understood, now come with me. I have some things to show you as well.”
We got up and walked to evidence number two. It was a blue gym bag that had the Gold Gym logo on it. It was open and had articles scattered around it.
I knelt down and the first thing I did was read the tag attached to one of the handles:
Name: Kelly Simone
Address: 3271 College St.
Phone #: 587-8688
Please return if found.
“Did you take pictures?” I asked Kasey.
I then started messing with the bag. There was almost nothing in it, just a wallet (that seemed to have nothing taken from it), and a pair of shoes.
I then looked at the articles that were around it: Clothing, and a book.
I then had a thought. Why was the bag open if nothing was taken?
The answer: Something was taken.
I had to think for a couple of seconds before reaching my answer: Kelly’s keys.
“Did you find any keys on the victim’s person?” I asked.
“No. You think the perp took them to get into her house?”
“Yes, I do.”
We moved to evidence number three: an iPod Touch. It was the newer model with 4G capabilities and had a pink rubber case around it. Its white earphones lay nearby, tangled by itself. I tried to turn it on, but a message on the screen popped up: An empty battery.
“The batteries are dead.” I said.
“We can probably get prints off of them.” Kasey said, mentioning fingerprints.
“Yes.” I sighed, “Alright, I want the forensics team here pronto. Hunt, you and I are going to the victim’s house, Gold Gym, and The General Store. I also want Burke to get me his autopsy report as soon as possible.”
Kasey nodded and went to do my implied commands.
A week later, we had all of the information we could get and prepared for the arrest.
What we know is that Kelly was walking home from the Gold Gym after an early exercise and was attacked by a guy (who happens to be the one who “found” her later on) named George Hansten, and was stabbed to death. We also found out that the information he gave us regarding contact was, of course, fake. From the iPod, we found a third set of fingerprints that belong to Hansten’s wife. So, the couple was working together on this hit. From talking to neighbors, we found the usual information: “No-one wanted to harm poor Kelly.” And: “She was the nicest person on the street.” “She gave me candy every day.”
But there was one person that gave a useful tip. “Yes, I knew her. I also knew she had some kind of stalker… Yes, she knew it too, but she thought it was harmless. I did not even expect this to happen… I never saw him or her myself, just saw and heard the signs… For example, a tree branch would be broken sometimes, or there would be slight imprints of shoes or boots on the ground.”
So, either the wife or the husband was getting a schedule of Kelly’s day-to-day plans. I thought it was the wife, because it is easier to find a cover story than if the husband did it and a woman is not as heavy as a man which would explain the slight imprints.
Kasey did not believe me. Sometimes she thinks I can be a real jerk when it comes to blaming women. The thing is, sometimes I believe her.
We found their address and both of their actual schedules, and are now waiting for the husband to get home from the gym.
“Jeez, where is this guy?” I complained. I can’t stand stake-outs.
“Quit whining, here he comes now.” Kasey said looking out the window in a bored manner.
Our target was walking down the street in gym clothing, earphones in his ears, and a gym bag. He was whistling a tune and was horrible at it. I think it was supposed to be “I Want It All,” by Queen, but I couldn’t tell. All I knew was that he sucked at whistling.
We got out of the car and met him at his front door.
“You know,” he jumped and dropped his keys as I said that, “I could help you with that tune, but it is going to be from a jail cell.”
Kasey brought out the handcuffs and snapped them open. She was about to give him his rights, but he then brought out his knife from the gym bag and slammed it into her shoulder. Kasey fell to the ground with a cry of pain, and he started running.
“Get back here!” I yelled, and charged at him. I would’ve stayed at Kasey’s side, but she would’ve slapped me silly with her good arm, and her slaps can cause bruising even with her weaker hand.
We started the chase.
I then realized. He attacked an official officer and was resisting arrest.
I brought out my pistol and aimed down the sights while running. I aimed at his legs, so I can bring him down. The street was clear at this time of day, so I did not have to worry about a bystander getting hit.
Then another thought hit me. It would not be great for the department if the press found out that I shot the guy, criminal or not. The people would riot and the area would go into chaos. So, I lowered the gun and started sprinting.
“Stupid good Samaritans.” I muttered to myself.
He wasn’t looking behind him, so he did not see me lose the distance on him quickly. I did a football-style tackle to him and put the metal rings on his wrists.
“You are under arrest for the suspected rape and murder of Kelly Simone, and for the assault of an officer.” I started reading him his rights as I took him to the car.
At the car, I found Kasey nursing her shoulder and another figure in the back seat.
“Who is that?” I asked as I pushed the criminal into the car.
“Hansten’s wife. She turned herself in after she saw you chase him.”
“Well, that helps. Let’s take you to the hospital; I don’t want you to die on my watch.”
“Worrywart.” She muttered, but she carefully got into the passenger seat and we drove off.
The couple received a lifetime in jail for one count of rape (and accessory to rape), one count murder (and accessory to murder), and one count of assault of a U.S. Field Officer.
The trial itself, I have heard, was very interesting. I don’t know, since I was not there myself. I was too busy keeping my partner company in the hospital. I could tell she did not like it one bit, but she understood and was able to tolerate it for the week that she was in there.
Kasey left the hospital with bandages and an order by multiple doctors of rest for at least two weeks. Being the person I am, I stayed with her for that length of time making sure she was taken care of, especially since she lives alone.
The reasoning was not all from my personality. I almost lost a partner that day, but not just that. I almost lost a friend. This case was my first case as a Senior Field Agent, and I almost screwed it up. Sure, I still got the criminals in prison, but I would have lost the person that helped trained me to become the person I am.
Senior Field Agents are supposed to be leaders, and I did lead, but they also take the blame for any mistakes or casualties that happen. I could not stand taking that blame. I have now truly seen the world as it truly is: a chaotic, dangerous world that needs saviors. We have many saviors and I am one of them and because of me, the world would’ve lost one more savior.
For all of the saviors, past, present and future of the world, U.S. or not:
Requiescat in Pace.
Arlington Heights, Illinois
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