The victim's shoulders tensed. She was bracing herself for impact. Her life was being challenged by a wild-eyed derelict. Oblivious to her begging, he continued the assault. He saw something beyond her that wasn't worth saving. He grabbed her by the neck with both hands and pulled her off the floor. She flung her arms up and down and was clutching at the air. Her back arched, and she collapsed. The derelict let her hit the floor and waited a few minutes. He didn't see her move so he kicked at her several times, but still he saw no movement.
Her seven year old daughter watched in horror. Her world was spinning and there was nothing she could do about it. Her mother's death would stay with her for the rest of her life. It was a permanent mental scar.
That same derelict was being questioned the next day as a suspect to the many stay at home mom killings. There was a serial killer who would murder mothers in front of their children as a sport. He got a rise watching the children witness the death of their mothers.
The derelict was a professional killer, a misfit, trained in the shadows, and that's where he did his killings. Kimber and Chambers knew that an absence of remorse would probably be coupled with rationalization in the derelict's mind. The suspect behind the two-way was not intimidated by the attempt of getting a confession.
Detective Laura Kimber was inches away from his face as she felt his warm breath warming her cheeks. The derelict's smile went away for a moment, and both of the detectives' faces looked sad and perplexed.
Detective Nathan Chambers wanted to slam the derelict's face into the wall, and beat a confession out of him, but that was not possible. Even though he was suspected of killing, he was still protected by law. He was innocent until proven guilty.
“Interrogations should be done by a chair, chains and two hungry pit bulls,” said Chambers.
The image of the derelict chained to a chair with two hungry pit bulls just inches away from his face put a smile on Kimber's face, although it didn't last, it was a smile nonetheless.
Kimber and Chambers really had nothing on him, but rumors, suspicions and a psychological profile.
“Killing those women doesn't bother you?” Kimber shouted as spit splattered all over the suspect's face. He ignored it, and didn't even wipe it off.
He just flashed all of his teeth and replied with a smug expression. “I honestly don't care about those women. Their deaths do not impact me one way or another. They're just victims, but not by my hands. I couldn't kill in front of children. I don't think I could.”
“You don't have a conscious,” Kimber said through clenched teeth.
The derelict was shaking his head. “Probably not.”
Chambers was on the case for almost nine months and this was the closes he got. His life became miserable. His private life was being compromised and his relationship with his wife was reduced to sex once every month, and arguments which increased to twice a day. Either by cell phone or texts. He loved his wife and she loved him, but cases like this really put a wedge in their marriage.
Kimber needed to keep the interrogation going until he asked for a lawyer. If she kept talking, he might just forget to do so. “Sit there and play dumb. I know you're smart as hell.”
“You have the wrong guy,” said the derelict. “I think maybe murders are not your bag a tea. You may just be in over your head, little girl.”
Chambers lost it after that remark. He punched the derelict in the face knocking him backwards off the chair. The derelict got up slowly, straightened up the chair and sat back down. He rubbed his chin where he was punched and said. “Yeah, that's going to leave a mark.”
“He attacked me,” said Kimber. “But you clocked him before he got his hands on me.”
“That will work.”
Chambers glanced back over to the derelict, who seemed to be enjoying the interrogation. The smile on his face seemed exaggerated which suggested amusement. It was so difficult to comprehend the situation. He would murder a mother in front of a crying child, used and discarded. It was a monstrous sacrifice to an unmistakable evil.
Detective Peter O'Brien entered the interrogation room without knocking. He had some exciting news that he needed to share.
“Pete, we are in the middle of something,” said Kimber.
“We caught the crazy son of a bitch,” O'Brien continued. “He was stabbed by the child while choking the mother.”
“What?” Chambers' eyes were wide.
O'Brien handed Chambers the file with everything needed for an arrest including warrants and a full confession. Chambers opened the file and somewhere in the midst of the fifth page, he paused long enough to think about a few things.
“Let him go?” Kimber asked.
He nodded slowly.
“You're free to leave,” Kimber said without even looking at the derelict.
The derelict stood up and stopped in front of Detective Laura Kimber. “You know little girl.”
“Don't push your luck,” she said softly and slowly.
“You know that he could be a copy-cat,” the derelict started. “I mean, if I were going to kill that mother, I certainly wouldn't give the child the opportunity to get a knife and then stab me. I'd make the choking so violent that it'll freeze the child in place. Think about that. Of course I am innocent, but if I was the serial killer, that's how I would do it, little girl.”
Kimber held her cool, but the anger rose.
“Aren't you going to tell me not to leave town?” said the derelict as he slowly paced toward the door.
Kimber bit her lower lip. “Don't leave town just yet.”
The derelict smiled and walked out.
© 2016 Frank Atanacio