- The Voice - Part 8
The Voice speaks and demands complete obedience. You better pray it doesn't speak to you!
From Part 8
“I came to learn that God willingly sacrificed His only Son for me. God sent Jesus Christ into the world to pay for my bitterness as well as so many other sins. Jesus was taken, and beaten, and left to die on a Roman cross of crucifixion – all so that I might live. Now my sins are forgiven, and I have a personal relationship with God.
“The blood of that sacrifice was applied to my account; the innocent for the guilty; the just for the unjust; the pure for the filthy. Jesus loves me, and I love Him.
“So you got religion.”
“No, Lance. I got Jesus Christ.”
“And that’s what’s different about you?”
“He made me different, and I wouldn’t change any of my life for any reason – not even Peter. Jesus is my life. Lance, it wasn’t just His death. He was raised from the dead after three days. He conquered death. He conquered the very thing that held me in bondage. He lives, and now I’m free. I’ll live forever with Him.”
“So you got religion?” Lance, asked again.
“No, I told you. I have a relationship, not a religion.”
“Come on. Let’s eat.”
The evening ended quietly. Lance smiled to himself as he pulled out of the McClanahan driveway. This time,Marx was nowhere in sight. His rare day off had ended. Tomorrow would be work as usual.
Lance’s alarm clock began to ring much too soon. He pulled the pillow over his head just for a second. His sweet dreams were rudely interrupted so he got out of bed and went on his way. He yanked the car into the headquarters parking lot just as he heard the chimes begin to strike seven on St. Joseph’s Cathedral. He was at his desk by the time they had finished.
Marx left a full report of the latest killing on his desk. Lance began to thumb through it. “Looks pretty good,” he thought – “for an amateur.” He needed to hurry. It would soon be time for the morning briefing. He half jogged, half walked down the hall to the briefing room. Chief Gordon was getting his notes organized when Lance walked through the door.
“Good morning. First and foremost we have the fourth serial murder to add to our list. Fisher, you take that. Get the ball rolling on it. What we do know is that this murder fits the same MO as the other three recent killings. The vic’s name was Joshua Martin, 26 years old, white male from Morristown. Time of Death was placed at about 8:45 p.m. All the killings took place on rainy nights, all young men less than 30 years of age. All had their throat slashed and a steel-toed boot to the right eye.
“Up to now, there has been so very little evidence to go on. It seems like someone is committing the perfect crime over and over again, but it’s our job as Lafayette’s men in blue to get this killer off the streets, and return our town to safety.
“Your individual assignments are forthcoming, but if any of you hear or see anything that might pertain to this case, as always, see Fisher. Fisher, get on it. Take Marx with you – and Marx, check with Profiling. Have them send a profiler over. They can be pains. Keep on them. We need someone right away.”
That was exactly what Lance didn’t want to hear. He would have much preferred to work the case alone, but if he had to work with someone, Marx would have been his last choice.
“Come on, Bobby. Let’s go over your report. Fill me in on what happened.”
“How was your date last night?”
“Look Marx. We’re here to find a killer. Are you with me or do I send you back to street patrol?”
“Okay, okay. You don’t have to be so grumpy about it.”
“The Martin boy – he worked at odd jobs around town, but he seemed to be well liked. No enemies that I could find. He just seemed to be an average kid who leaves behind a wife and two children.”
“How about marriage problems? Anything you know of?”
“Nope. That all checked out clean, too. His wife said they had been married for almost five years. He was a model husband and a model father. He loved his two girls.”
“How about money? Any to be made or lost? Insurance policies?”
“They were typical middle-class. He had a $50,000 life insurance policy with his wife as the beneficiary, but I don’t think that had anything to do with it?”
“Okay, Bobby. This report could be written for any of the victims. What do you think it means? The murders are committed exactly the same way every time. There really are no leads. The same general descriptions fit all of the victims; all white males less than 30 years of age, middle-class family men, all with a modest life insurance policy. Do you think these factors are part of the triggers for this serial killer, or do you think it’s just coincidence?”
“Lance, your guess is as good as mine for right now. I heard about Peter’s latest hypnosis session. You think you’re on to something there?”
“I hope so. Progress has been made. He shows signs of fear, but he can’t give us any details as to place and preferably to whom. I have no doubt though we will get this guy.”
“Are we sure we’re looking for one guy, or might there be two or even three people involved?”
“That’s a good question, but there’s no evidence one way or another. Unless we have evidence pointing to multiple killers, we have to assume we’re looking for one man. In time, we may discover evidence that points us in the direction of others being involved, but for now, we need to focus on one. If there are others, that one will lead us to them. You better call Profiling and set something up, and then we’ll hit the streets.”
Bobby Marx to the Rescue
“I’m on it.” Marx picked up the phone.
“Profiling – Amy speaking. How may I help you?”
“This is Detective Marx. I mean . . .” He decided to let the Freudian slip slide. “We need a profiler over here right away.”
“Okay Bobby, I have you scheduled for a week from Tuesday at 2:30.”
“No, we need someone right away, as in NOW!”
“Oh, okay. I’ll come over myself. I’ll be there – say, half an hour?”
“Thanks, Amy. You’re a gem.”
Feeling smug, Marx walked down the hall to let Chief Gordon know. “Chief, Amy Bauer will be right over. Lance and I are heading for the streets.”
“No, you and Lance need to be here. You two have the most accurate and first-hand information. Tell Lance the streets will have to wait. Oh, and Marx – good job!”
Amy Bauer soon found herself in the conference room. The rush was on to obtain a working profile of the serial killer.
“Amy, we’re dealing with the serial killer thing. We have so little to go on, but we’ll give you what we have. I’ll let the men fill you in.”
“Okay guys, give me everything you have on this one.”
Lance continued, “The MO is exactly the same for all four killings – and the MO is the same for a murder attempt on Peter McClanahan which took place over a decade ago.
“Every murder was committed on a rainy night. All victims were between the ages of 24 and 28. The crimes were all committed in the evenings very close to 7:45, the estimated time of Peter’s attack. Each was brutally attacked and left with a cut throat and a wound above the right eye apparently inflicted by a steel-toed boot. A clear, plastic bag of cocaine was found on each of the victims.
“There really isn’t evidence left behind; no fibers, no weapons, no DNA other than the victims. So tell me, Amy, what kind of an individual are we looking for?”
“Lance – guys, you know as well as I do I need more to go on than that.”
“That’s all we have, Amy – and besides, I know you’re better than that. So what do you think?”
“Let me ask you this: “What fantasy or plan, or both, did the murderer have in place before the act? What triggered the murderer to act some days and not others?” In other words, we first need to see or attempt to see what caused the murders to take place.
“The fantasy or plan may take longer to uncover, but think about the triggers for a minute. It only happens on rainy nights. I think we’re looking for someone that may not be sure of themselves. They need the cover of rain and darkness to feel secure in their crime. Now look guys, this is off the top of my head. I need more time to study this – much more. But I think this is a place to start.
“Okay, now for the time element. Most murders you say were committed about 7:45 p.m. I don’t know exactly why the murders take place at 7:45, but most serial killers have experienced their own trauma of one sort or another. Chances are whatever that traumatic event was, it took place about 7:45. He could very likely be replaying that event.”
“Marx asked, “So you’re saying this guy was abused the same way?”
“Maybe not the same way, but the event left a kind of time-stamp on him. Along with the rain, the time produces the trigger that sets him off. Now, this doesn’t happen exactly on time. The assailant may have some obstacles to overcome in his attempt. Some of the murders were considerably later. Still, the urge to kill begins sometime in the early evening. So far we’re looking for an insecure person who experienced a traumatic event.
“Now each victim had his throat slashed. Remember that the murders take place at night in the rain. He’s insecure. Let me take a guess. CSI shows the killer approaching from the rear. He grabs the victim from behind and cuts his throat. Am I right?”
Lance said, “That’s what they tell us. How did you know?”
“He’s insecure, remember! This is not the work of a brazen killer. As a matter of fact, the killer may not even want to commit the crimes. He’s driven by his addiction. He can’t face his victim. He has to come from behind.”
“Lance continued, “What do you mean, driven by his addiction?”
“Serial killers act out of addiction. All addiction is a result of a lack of intimate relationships. Somewhere in the addict’s life, his relationships begin to suffer; maybe just a bit at first, but then the relationships begin to unravel. Addiction is a search to fill the emptiness left by failed relationships.
“So we’re looking for someone that has failed relationships in his life. He could be anti-social. Because of the failed relationships, he is insecure, but he’s also seeking control. His life is out of control in most areas. He longs to be able to fix his circumstances, but he can’t. The more he tries, the worse things get.
“That’s why he attacks from behind. His killing is the only thing in life he can control. If he approaches from the front, there’s more chance he won’t be able to control the situation. The victim could fight back. The victim could run. He could call for help.
“He’s also symbolically and literally telling his victim something. That is, ‘don’t tell.’ By slashing the throat he assures his secret is kept. The victim can’t tell on him, as it were. Again, that all goes back to his insecurity and need for control.”
“Marx asked, What about the boot to the eye?”
“The first thing the murderer does is cut the throat. The victim is dead instantly. All the brutalizing and the steel-toed boot take place afterward. It’s almost like an afterthought – ‘Don’t tell. Now remember, you didn’t see anything.’ With the throat and eye damaged, the killer assures symbolically that his secret is kept, and his identity remains unknown.”
Gordon interrupted, “Amy, you haven’t mentioned anything about the age of the victims. Each has been in his middle to late 20’s. Any significance there?”
“Again guys, you didn’t give me much time or information, but I see this killer attacking his peers – not that he knows them personally. I believe these are probably random murders. I don’t believe the perpetrator knows his victims. His insecurities cause him to look for those who can’t identify him. If he knew them, or at least knew them well, he’d be taking too big of a risk.
“Just leafing through the report, it would seem that the victims were very much like the killer. They themselves were insecure, a little backward. The killer probably picked up on that seeing the victims as easy targets, but more than that, he probably saw them as a reflection of himself – and he hates himself.
“I think there’s a good chance the killer is acting out against his victims as another symbolic act of killing himself. Because the victims are a reflection of the killer, I think you’re looking for someone in their mid to late 20’s Also these men were all Caucasian, correct?” The men nodded in the affirmative.
“So let’s sum it up. I believe you’re looking for an insecure, white male in his middle to late 20’s. He suffers from a lack of true relationships – a lack of intimacy. He’s probably very much a loner. His life is running out of control. He seeks control and power by committing the murders. The murders are probably the only thing in his life he can somewhat control. I hope that helps, guys.”
Chief Gordon closed out the meeting with one last question. “Do you think this is a copy cat, or do you think this is the same person who attacked Peter McClanahan a decade ago?”
Amy kept it brief and to the point. “I don’t think it’s the same person. As I mentioned before, serial killing is actually an act of addiction. If addiction is left untreated it will always escalate. If the killer had been murdering people for the past 12 years, there would be many more murders.”
Marx interjected, “Amy, do we know there haven’t been more murders. Maybe we just don’t have reports on them?”
“That may be true, but just as the frequency of the murders escalates, the method grows in intensity. In other words, if the killer had been active for all these years, he no doubt would have graduated to face to face confrontations. He would be more confrontational because with each murder, he becomes more confident. While in his addictive mode, he’s confident, not insecure. That’s what he’s seeking. The more successful murders he commits, the more his confidence grows, the more brazen, and ‘in your face’ he becomes. Even though he’s committed four murders that we know about, the game is still fairly new to him. Well, gotta get back to the office, guys. I’ll study the report, and if I come up with anything else, I’ll let you know.”