In December 2013, the once great Behavioural Analysis Unit, first of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and then of its replacement, the Foederatio Borealis Indigatores Imperiale (FBII), was reformed and reduced in size due to damning implications found in the controversial Milner Report. The Report alleged that the BAU's methods had caused unethical practices that corrupted law enforcement operation as a whole across North America, and thus recommended its disbandment. The BAU counters that it has always "followed the rules" and misapplication by lower level officers was really the culprit. Thus, the cases from its last year of operation are presented here, so that the readers may decide for themselves the validity of the BAU's assertion.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Monday, July 15, 2013
“There is no pain greater than the pain of an enemy that refuses to go away.” –Bertrand Washington, The Anglo-Roman Wars (1896)
Why did the car have to break down today? Zoe Parkes thought to herself as she boarded a bus to take her to the Manassas train station where she’d catch the train to Quantico. She took her seat, a single seater next to the wall on the driver’s side, and slapped on her headphones, hoping that the melancholy words of Lily Allen would help her forget about the fact that she’d be wildly late for work today.
The ride along was humming along fine along Grant Avenue until it hit Wellington Road. At that point, the driver stopped the bus and appeared to call a patron to the front of the bus, though her music obscured what she could hear. When the patron refused to come to the front of the bus, the driver got up and confronted the patron himself, causing Parkes to take off her headphones and turn her head to observe the conversation.
“Sir,” said the driver, who had a booming English accent, “I need to see your pass.”
The patron refused, sitting hunched in the left-hand back corner rolled up in a ball, his head buried in his arms. He seemed to be mumbling something under distress, but his mouth was covered so no one could make out what he was saying.
“Sir,” continued the driver, growing annoyed. “You can’t just walk onto the bus without paying.”
“We need to go,” said the patron, cowering in fear. “He’s going to get me.”
The driver took a look outside of the window next to the patron’s seat. He saw that there was nothing out of the ordinary, before taking a look outside of the rest of the bus’ windows. Likewise, there was also nothing out of the ordinary, so he chastised the patron one more time.
“Sir,” the driver barked, shaking the patron with vigour. “Take a look outside of the window.” He kept shaking the patron until he obliged. “Can you see there’s nothing outside? Now, please, show me your pass so we can move the bus.”
The patron rolled himself back up into the ball, not satisfied with the display. He then pulled out a plastic card and showed it to the driver.
“Sir,” said the irritated driver, “That is your bank card! That is not a bus pass! I’m sorry but I’m going to have to ask you to leave!”
“No! No!” the patron squealed, “he’s going to eat me! No!”
The driver threw his hands up in the air as the bus erupted with snickers and laughter out of frustration, though Parkes remained silent. “There is nothing outside! Nobody is going to eat you! Now show me your bus pass or get off of my bus!”
By this point, Parkes had enough. She decided to intervene.
“Sir,” said Parkes to the driver, “I’ve got this.”
“Sit back down madam!” barked the driver, his eyes widening menacingly. “This is none of your business!”
Parkes was infuriated, pulling out her FBII badge. “Sir,” she continued sternly, brandishing her badge in his face, “I’ve got this.” By this point the driver acquiesced.
Parkes bent down to the patron’s eye level and began speaking, softly.
“Hey,” she said, placing her hand on his back. “What’s your name?”
“Kevin,” said the patron.
“Hey Kevin.” Parkes smiled at him and started rubbing his back. “Who’s bothering you, besides Mr. Grumpy Pants that’s driving this bus?”
Kevin chuckled before speaking. “There’s a monster outside…he’s been following me all day, and if this bus doesn’t move, he’s going to eat me.”
Parkes spoke reassuringly. “Well, I have just the thing for your monster.” She pulled out a vial, which was actually empty even though Kevin saw pixie dust inside of it. She then opened the window and then the vial, waving it outside before bringing it back in and closing it. Kevin watched as the monster he saw ate the dust and then bit the dust, reassuring him that he was safe. He then fell asleep instantly from which he could not be roused, despite Parkes’ best efforts. She then went into his pockets and found his wallet, which contained the correct bus pass. She showed it to the driver, who breathed a frustrated sigh of relief before going back to his seat to drive the bus, with Parkes putting the pass back into Kevin’s wallet before returning it to its original poceket.
She then went to reassume her old seat, though as soon as she got to it another man had taken it. She turned to look for another seat before the man, who was only slightly older than Parkes and appeared Mediterranean, gave the seat back up.
“No no,” said Parkes, waving her hands at the man telling him she didn’t want him to get up.
“It’s okay,” said the man, “you saved that man today, you must be someone special…I didn’t mean to take your seat.”
“Well,” said Parkes. “I am most humbled by your charity, but I’m sure you’re an honest man yourself and that you also do work that is very special…so it would not be fair to classify myself as someone who is more deserving of the seat than you are.”
The man put his head down sheepishly, enamoured by Parkes, who was starting to return the favour herself. “My name is Costas Soutzis,” said the man, extending his hand. “By what appellation may I call such a beautiful creature?”
“Zoe Parkes,” said Parkes, shaking Sourtzis’ hand, smiling. “You’re quite the charmer, aren’t you Costas?”
“I’m Greek, Theban to be precise,” said Sourtzis with a smile. “We are a country known for its love.”
“Funny none of your cities can ever seem to get along with each other,” said Parkes.
Sourtzis chuckled. “That’s just politics,” he explained. “One of these days they will understand that we can all get along just fine if we could just get over our petty differences.”
“I blame the Byzantines,” said Parkes. “They still cling to the idea that they’re a dominant power so they play your city states against each other, just so they can appear powerful…just so that the nosy Romans could leave them alone. Never mind their own argument with Rome is petty all the same.”
“I know,” said Sourtzis. “Politicians are sad…but enough of that. What do you have in that vial?”
“Oh,” said Parkes with a small laugh. “It’s just something I carry with me when I see a specific type of schizophrenia…I’ve seen it more than once, so I’m prepared. I slipped my card into his wallet just so that he could get some professional help.”
“You seem like such a professional,” said Sourtzis.
“I work with the FBII,” said Parkes. “I’m a different kind of professional. He needs a doctor, not an agent.”
“Which department?” Sourtzis asked, his eyes perking up.
“I’m with the Behavioural Analysis Unit at Quantico,” said Parkes. “You may have heard of us…we seem to get the strangest crimes, but we solve them.”
“The BAU, eh?” said Sourtzis with a chuckle. “I always liked reading about you guys. Me?” He then lowered his head in shame. “I’m just a simple painter…I could never do what you guys do.”
By this point, the bus had reached the Amtrak station, so Parkes had to hurry to get off. Before she did, she gave Sourtzis a kiss on the cheek and left him her card. “Call me Costas,” said Parkes. “Don’t ever sell yourself short, okay?” She then departed to board the train, as Sourtzis sat, staring at her card before putting it in his pocket and continuing his ride on the bus.
Quantico Train Station, Quantico, Virginia
“Pascal?” said Parkes emerging from the train station into the station’s parking lot. There she saw her teammate, Dr. Pascal Yves, sitting by the curb frustratingly clutching his phone.
“Zoe?” said Yves, turning his attention to Parkes, who took a seat next to him. “What brings you here?”
“My car decided to die in my driveway,” said Parkes, “so it’ll be in the shop for the next week…which means I have to take the bus…I didn’t realize the trip is this long.”
“I like the trip,” said Yves. “I can do a lot of work on the ride, plus if I missed out on sleep, I can catch up on the train.”
Parkes chuckled while grimacing. “I’m not sure how I can put up with four more days of this,” she said, shaking her head. She then paused before continuing. “I thought you’d be at work by now though, Pascal.”
“Coleman is usually my ride,” said Yves, “however, I’ve been calling him for the past two hours and he hasn’t picked up…it’s very unusual.”
Parkes paused, concerned for Coleman before deciding they had the more immediate concern of getting to work. “Have you tried anyone else?” asked Parkes.
“Well Pucci doesn’t drive,” said Yves, “and I don’t know James well enough to ask him for a lift, and he drives Proctor to work.”
“Okay,” said Parkes, thinking Yves was just making excuses.
“JJ,” continued Yves, “she’s my ex, and she always drops Lucas off at daycare early in the morning, so she’s busy at work…and Morales walks to work every day, she never takes her car.”
“All right,” said Parkes, sounding relieved. “So you called Fitch then.”
“No,” said Yves sheepishly. “He’ll likely ask me why my case report for Wilhelm Claes and Decius Tarsus isn’t finished.”
Parkes shook her head, letting out a loud sigh in frustration before getting up and reaching for her phone.
“Hey Fitch,” said Parkes, calling her boss, Aaron “Fitch” Fitchner, urgency tinged in her voice. “Yves and I are marooned at the Quantico train station, can you come and get us?”
Fitchner let out a sigh. “Okay, I’ll be there in ten minutes,” he said, before hanging up his phone. He hated leaving his stack of paperwork, but he couldn’t leave his teammates stranded when he needed their work.
When he arrived, Yves continued to sheepishly huddle along the curb, though Parkes was ready to greet him. Before Parkes could get into his car, Fitchner stepped outside to talk to the two agents. He knew what was troubling Yves.
“No sign of Coleman?” said Fitchner.
“I’ve called for the past two hours,” said Yves. “I keep on getting no answer. I’ve even called his gym…I didn’t get answer there. His family in Chicago don’t know where he is either…he’s just disappeared.”
“That’s odd,” said Fitchner, furrowing his eyebrows. “He told me he’d be fine to return this week.”
Parkes furrowed her eyebrows as well and started to pace, wagging her finger skyward as she did it. “Well,” she said, “it’s in his character to brood by himself. If he’s still suffering from post traumatic stress disorder he won’t tell us. What’s worse is that he’s very temperamental…he could have had a dream or a thought something last night and changed his mind about coming in today. He really could be anywhere now.”
“You don’t think he would…” said Yves, quivering in horror.
“No I don’t think so,” said Fitchner calmly. “He, and I, probably didn’t realize he needed more time to deal with the issues than we thought.”
“Coleman’s a man with a strong mind,” said Parkes. “His sense of duty means he will come back to us…we just don’t know when that will be. I just wish he’d be more open to getting help from others.”
“I had to twist his arm to see a therapist when we landed back in Quantico from Rome,” said Fitchner.
“Wait,” said Parkes, whose mind was sparked by that comment. “You don’t have his therapist’s number, do you?”
“No,” said Fitchner, sighing. “It’s in my desk back at the office. I’ve been too swamped with work to call it.”
“You don’t even need to try it,” said Yves. “I did…and not even the therapist knows where he is.”
“You know his therapist?” said Parkes, puzzled.
“I know all the psychiatrists,” said Yves, as if the answer was obvious. His background in psychology dictated that he have all those contacts, though Parkes was thinking that, even despite that, Yves had too much an obsession with Coleman.
“Well,” said Fitchner, swishing his mouth to one side before continuing. “I’m going to have to look for him…I did it once with Elle Greenaway, so I’ll do it again.”
“Take us with you,” said Yves, cupping his hands together, pleading.
“No,” said Fitchner, authoritatively. “I need you guys on our latest case. I will definitely update you on our progress.”
Parkes then pulled Fitchner aside so that the two of them could whisper to each other, far enough so that Yves could not hear them.
“Fitch,” said Parkes. “I understand where you’re coming from, but Yves is Coleman’s best friend. He’ll be a wreck and he’ll be useless on the case, because all he’ll do is think about Coleman. At least take him with you.”
“You don’t want to come?” said Fitchner.
“Of course I’d love to come,” said Parkes. “Coleman’s my teammate…however, I know I can trust you and Yves, and I have a feeling we’d be undermanned if I didn’t go on the case.”
“Fair enough,” said Fitchner, “but I need Yves on the case too. He needs to learn how to detach himself from Coleman…you picked up on it yourself. Plus, Yves’s knowledge is an invaluable asset…I know you know just as much as he does, but you two work too well together and your skillset is different from his.”
“Fitch,” said Parkes, putting her hands on his shoulders. “I know what Yves’s value to the team is, but he’ll be more valuable finding Coleman. No one knows him better than Yves does. Besides, although Yves is rather clingy to Coleman, it’s not a dangerous or unhealthy.”
Fitchner sighed, but stayed silent.
“Look,” said Parkes, taking her hands off his shoulders and clasping her hands together. “I know you’re not liking the prospect of Yves being a baby and having to ‘father’ him, but if you leave him to the team, we’ll have to do that on top of having to solve the case…and we know how that will turn out.”
Fitchner sighed again before nodding his head. “Okay,” he said. “I’m going to drive you to the headquarters and I’ll take Yves with me to look for Coleman.”
One week ago, 08:43 local time, The Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta
“Georgia Stevenson,” started Constable Gary Matthews, directing Detective Steve Moore’s attention to the dead body that lay in front of the doors to Calgary’s famed arena. “Last seen on Tuesday buying groceries...never got back home.”
Moore crouched down, taking a look at the body. The blonde lady, 32 years old of average build, was laid down on her back with her blouse ripped open, exposing her breasts. The blouse itself looked like it was meant to be tied in the front, baring her midriff, with the look complimented by short shorts and high heel boots, as well as liberal application of makeup. In between the breasts was a large gash, with what appeared to be some white residue mixed with the blood stains.
“Did anyone see the body get dumped?” Moore asked. Although he was a man of 50 years, the stresses of the job caught up to him, causing his face to be adorned with wrinkles making him look much older, with his voice becoming hoarse due to heavy smoking.
“Negative detective,” said the younger, sprightlier Matthews. “He seems to know where the cameras are too...none of them caught his face when he did dump the bodies.”
“Is that semen?” Moore wore a disgusted look while still looking at the body. He widened his eyes momentarily and shook his head before continuing. “Are we swabbing the body for DNA?”
“We’ve collected some samples...it’ll be a while before the test results come back.”
Moore let out a frustrated sigh before continuing. “Are there any more bodies?”
Matthews then pointed to the entrance to another gate. Moore looked up and was horrified, seeing three more women dead women, all also of the same age and body type as Stevenson (though one was blonde), posed, wounded and killed in the exact same manner.
“Not this again,” said Moore in frustration, sighing before wiping his face and taking out a cigarette.
“You worked the case all that time ago, right?” said Matthews, trying to sympathize.
“25 years ago,” said Moore, wistfully. “I was young and naïve…just like you are Matthews…boy was that a wakeup call…and it will be for you too.”
FBII Academy, Quantico, Virginia
“You know,” said Senior Agent Claudio Pucci, seated in his office, with new teammate Oldrich James standing in front of his desk. “Baby blue really does suit you.”
James authoritatively tugged at the front halves of his new blazer, before giving a nod of appreciation. “Now that I’ve got a good job with good pay, I can actually afford things like new clothes and even a house,” he said. “It’ll be fun learning about all this.”
“Have you found a place yet?”
“Looking at a few places...Emily has been great letting me stay with her.” James then continued with a wide smile. “Of course, she makes it really hard for me to leave, if you know what I mean.”
Pucci chuckled. “Oh no, I know what you mean, I don’t need to know the details.” He then checked his watch. “We need to go to the boardroom...we’ve got a case to review.”
James reassumed his serious tone. “No Fitch today?”
“Fitch is with Yves...Coleman is MIA...so they’re out looking for him.”
“I hope he’s okay...he’s too valuable a teammate to lose.”
“I hope so too...but we can’t worry about that. We have to visit my favourite city- Calgary, Alberta.”
“Calgary? Home of the Stampede?”
“...and the Stampede Stabber.”
James chuckled slightly before shaking his head and then continuing. “The Stabber was quite the case- enamoured me as a kid. Won’t this be fun?”
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
“I’ll have two Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese meals and one Happy Meal,” AWOL BAU teammate Zeke Coleman said, making his order at his neighbourhood McDonald’s.
Ah...the solace only McD’s can bring. Before his ordeal, Coleman used to avoid going to McDonald’s, since it contrasted with the healthy lifestyle he chose to live. Eating the food before gave him massive cramps, so much so that one day he had to take the day off work because of it.
Now, it was different. His first day back home after being in Rome drew him in, and the food had strange healing powers for his depression. The healing was only fleeting, but it was so good that it became addicting. Soon, it became all Coleman would eat, which he tried to counterbalance with time at the gym, but not even working out could undo the effects it was having on his body. Although, at first glance, Coleman was still the muscle man he was known for but a deeper look revealed that some of the definition was gone, and that he hadn’t shaved in a while. Gone too were the slacks he was known for, replaced with sweats and a ball cap, and his haphazard tooth-brushing schedule did a number on his pearly whites.
Still, none of that was of concern to Coleman now. All he could think about were those golden French Fries and those mouthwatering, greasy cheeseburgers. Oh how I missed you, he thought, as he took a bite.
BAU War Room, FBII Academy, Quantico, Virginia
“So who likes a Stampede?” Jenna Jayme “J.J.” Cooke, the BAU’s media liaison presenting the case on a blue screen in front of the room, started, with a sarcastic laugh.
“The City of Calgary,” said Pucci, with a wry smirk.
“...and the Stampede Stabber,” remarked Parkes.
“Hey,” said teammate Emily Proctor, wearing a concerned look on her face, “where’s Coleman, Yves and Fitch?”
“Coleman is missing,” said Pucci, “and Aaron and Yves are looking for him.”
“I hope he’s okay,” said Proctor, echoing the concerns of those in the room.
“We can’t worry about that now,” said Pucci. “We need to focus on Calgary.”
“Anyway,” said Cooke carrying on, “yesterday, Calgary Police found four dead women strewn across the entrance of the Saddledome, where the Stampede occurs every year. The Police are worried they have a copycat of Carlo Berti, who became known as the ‘Stampede Stabber’ for his modus operandi and for his most famous crime scene, leaving the dead bodies of four women in front of the Saddledome entrance on the opening day of the 1988 Stampede. Berti, you may know, sliced a large gash in the ‘crack’ between the buttocks of the women he killed, which he would use to engage in sexual intercourse with. It was classic piquerism; with the strange twist that the only way he could feel arousal was if his penis was stimulated by entering the wound.”
“Berti did what he did out of necessity,” said Pucci. “As I understand, this UnSub seems fully functional sexually?”
“There were signs of rape in each woman,” confirmed Cooke, “and he masturbated into the cut of each woman, which, unlike Berti, he inflicted post-mortem. Like Berti, all of these women were strangled to death.”
“So we have an UnSub that wants to evoke the same memory as Berti,” said Parkes.
“I perhaps should already know the answer to this question,” said James, his nerves showing in his first official round table discussion, “but since there’s semen in the women, wouldn’t DNA have been found?”
“No match to anyone in the database,” said Cooke.
“As I suspected,” said James.
“Rookie mistake,” said Pucci with a smile.
“Now, if I recall the Stampede Stabber correctly,” said James, “he was fired for sexual misconduct. Did police turn up anyone like that?”
“Berti’s profile,” explained Pucci, who worked the case years ago, “was that he held a menial job- he was a ‘general helper’ at an oil well- and objectified women, especially those who were higher class, as a way of bringing them ‘down to his level.’ He was fired for sexual misconduct- he grabbed the ass of a manager- so you’re right about that, James, but we found him through witness reports, who remembered him with some of his victims from the Stampede. Witnesses revealed to us that his inferiority complex was fed by the fact that he was a landed Italian immigrant of barely seven years who had issues adjusting to Canadian society; based on the fact his English was choppy. The best example of this was the fact that he called women who endeared him ‘Treasure’, which is a direct translation of the Italian pet name of ‘Tesoro’.”
“This only happened just a week ago, which isn’t common for us,” continued Cooke. “In fact, it appears that the Detective who called us, Steve Moore, was so troubled by the case that he called us after a very brief investigation.”
“I worked with Moore,” said Pucci. “The case was haunting back then, I don’t blame him if he’s having trouble dealing with the case objectively...anyhow, the plane is ready for us...wheels up in 30.”
“You sound like such a natural,” joked James.
“Aaron teaches me well,” said Pucci with a smirk as the team departed for the plane.
09:45 local time, Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
“My goodness,” Coleman sighed, looking at his phone while sitting on the beach. His background picture changed from a picture of him, shirtless, on the beach posing with topless Playboy model Nichole Jackson, to another picture.
“Morales,” said Coleman, calling one of his best friends, Technical Analyst Andi Morales, on his phone. “I thought I told you not to hack into my phone.”
“I hadn’ t heard from you in so long,” said Morales, concern oozing out of her voice. “You never answer your phone anymore so I knew if I changed your picture you’d call me...I’m sorry...”
“Applejack? Really, Morales?”
“That’s the thing, I know you hate My Little Pony, so I knew it would catch your attention.”
Coleman was incensed. “Look, Morales...when I’m ready to talk, I’ll talk. Otherwise, please leave me alone.”
“Yeah but Cole-” Coleman hung up the phone before Morales had a chance to finish her sentence, causing Morales to sulk in her chair in her office in Quantico.
Meanwhile, in a car parked in the lot closest to where Coleman was, Fitchner and Yves were conducting surveillance. Or, rather, they were supposed to, as Yves grew impatient with Fitchner’s methods, interrupting his work.
“We found him,” said Yves quivering neurotically. “Why can’t we just go out there and talk to him.”
“Yves,” said Fitchner, taking pictures and trying to stay calm. “I’ve been through this with you before...we need to build a case. That way, when we confront Coleman we can show him just how far his life has sunk, because he doesn’t seem to realize it. Right now, we don’t have much of a leg to stand on...if we confront him, he’ll likely run and we might never see him again.”
“Fitch! He missed work! That should be enough!” Yves, after his whining, tried to open the door, only for the door not to open.
“I put the child locks on because I knew you’d try that. Anyway, right now he doesn’t care about work...he only cares about himself. Therefore, we need to show him just how destructive he’s been before we can even try to convince him to come back.”
11:22 local time, Calgary Police Headquarters, Calgary, Alberta
“Claude!” Moore said, greeting Pucci with a hearty handshake. “As soon as I saw the bodies I had to call you.”
“Last time was a difficult case,” said Pucci, returning the handshake and introducing his team.
“I was expecting a bigger group,” said Moore, puzzled at the sight of only five agents.
“They’ve got another case,” said Parkes, thinking on the fly as Pucci smiled.
“You agents are sure busy,” said Moore with a huff.
“Well, serial killers never stop,” said James with a wide smirk, “and neither do we.” As he said the last part of the sentence, he waved his hand, pointing one finger forward, quickly from one side to the other with a wide smile. Moore and Proctor gave him a dirty look as Pucci smiled uncomfortably.
Pucci then tried to get the conversation back on track. “Steve, what do you know about the victims?” he asked.
“I’ve been told by friends of Paula Maguire and Evelyn Santos that they don’t dress like they did when their bodies was found,” said Moore.
“So he’s making a grander statement about women,” said Pucci, “just like our friend Carlo did.”
“Georgia, though,” said Moore, “she would dress that way, I’m told.”
“She’s the last victim though,” said Parkes. “I wonder if that was planned or if it was just a coincidence.”
“We already ruled out her boyfriend as a suspect,” said Moore.
“What else do you know about the victims?” asked Pucci. “As we understand, they all went missing during the weekend, but at different times during the day. Your report fails to mention if they have any connection with each other.”
“I was stressed, Claude,” explained Moore. “I hate seeing my old nightmare resurface like this.”
“Acting like a baby about it won’t help us catch this guy,” said James calmly. Proctor held up her hands and gave James another extended dirty look, as Pucci pretended not to notice.
“As far as we can tell,” said Moore, sighing. “Aside from the fact that all the victims were single, the victims have no ties to each other. Like your regular serial killer, they were random.”
“Did all of the victims attend the Calgary Stampede last year?” asked Proctor.
“Interestingly, no,” said Moore. “Paula didn’t- in fact, she never went. In fact, the second victim, Tina Rockwell, only went to the Stampede once- ten years ago, when she was 15.”
“So that means that,” said Pucci, analyzing, “unlike Berti who was a failure with the women and needed the Stampede’s predilection for gullibly friendly tourists, our guy was quite capable of charming women home with him…where they likely met their fates.”
“If I remember the case report correctly,” chimed in Parkes, “Berti didn’t kill his victims all in one shot…he just left the bodies at the Saddledome entrance after he killed the victims. Our guy seems to have left the bodies all in one go…so he’s likely got a massive freezer.”
“Well, Berti had a freezer too,” said Pucci. “Some of his victims he did kidnap at the Stampede and stored them after he killed them- and those he dumped in one go at the following year’s Stampede- but not all of them. His other victims were found in other areas of Calgary, though most people tend to forget that.”
“Since I remembered the profile,” said Moore, “we checked oil well workers who fit, remembering that Berti was fired for being an ass grabber who started his spree after the Labour Board rejected his appeal...no one was an exact match. There was one guy who was close...a guy from Bolivia who, like Berti, didn’t understand why the women here are so ‘stuck up’ and was fired for thinking a co-worker’s breasts made a great pillow, but he had a solid alibi for the disappearances of Evelyn and Georgia.”
“Men,” said Parkes, shaking her head. “One of these days they’ll get the message that they’re not ‘entitled’ to us.”
“All right,” said Pucci. “Means we gotta keep digging. So far, we’ve got a narcissistic misogynist, 25-35 just like these women, who probably faced a sexual harassment charge stemming from inappropriate conduct with the female breasts, although he has more social skills than Berti had. It’s something but it’s not enough. JJ, you run point here from the station and release the preliminary profile. The rest of us, we’ll partner up- Parkes, you’re with Proctor and James you’re with me- and speak to the victim’s family and friends, see if they had any ‘strange boyfriends’ the night of their disappearance. We’ll start with Paula, the only victim who didn’t attend the Stampede and the first lady to go missing, because she’ll hold the key to how this guy charmed the rest of the Stampede to their fates.”
Proctor and Parkes left for their assignment immediately, but Pucci pulled James aside before they embarked.
“You’re lucky it’s me here and not Fitch,” said Pucci, sternly. “If it were him, you’d be out the door in an instant.”
James shook his head disbelievingly with a smirk. “The guy needs a wakeup call,” said James, “he’s in the police, there should be nothing that fazes him.”
“Some cases get to us more than others. You yourself know that all too well.”
James nodded solemnly, since Pucci was referring to Randy Joe, the one who killed his family. “Still, Pucci, I didn’t cry and whine about it like this guy does...I handled it professionally.”
“You still need to be respectful...otherwise these guys won’t call us back.”
“Pucci...they need us...we don’t need to placate them.”
“That may be true, but we can’t be arrogant about it. Sure, we can assume that because we’re a prized team that we can be jerks knowing that we’ll get called in anyway, but people will be more hesitant about it, because all they’ll remember is our attitude. We want people to think we’re friendly and approachable, not people you call because ‘you have to even though you’d really like to not do it.’ ”
James nodded in agreement as the two agents finally embarked on their assignment.
Paula Maguire’s house, Lake Louise, Alberta
“Hello?” Maggie Maguire, Paula’s younger sister said as she opened the door to Parkes and Proctor. Dressed barefoot in a tank top and short shorts, the curly-haired blonde squirmed at the sight, bemused at their appearance but also because she was roused from her sleep after a late night with her friends and the Sun was shining right into her face.
“We’re sorry to bother you,” said Proctor. “Maggie, right?”
“How do you know?” Maggie asked, incredulous.
“I’m Zoe Parkes and this is Emily Proctor,” said Parkes as she and Proctor showed Maggie their badges. “We’re with the FBII.”
“Listen,” snapped Maggie. “I already talked to your friend Colombo back at the station. I don’t need to talk to you.”
“Maggie,” said Parkes, who tried to take Maggie’s hand before Maggie pulled it away. “I know this is tough...but if you want to find out who killed your sister, you need us to help you.”
“What if I don’t want your help?” Maggie scoffed. She continued, trying to fight off tears. “You can’t bring her back. Finding her killer does nothing.”
“We wish we could bring her back,” said Proctor, “but we can’t. At least we can provide you closure and help you move on. By not bringing the killer to justice, he wins and you and I don’t want to do that.”
Maggie sighed before agreeing and letting the agents into her house, a small bungalow she rented with Paula. Inside was Maggie’s boyfriend, Paul Bryant, nonchalantly eating chips and playing the battle royale video game Gods of Combat. He looked up briefly and took a notice to Parkes.
“Nice tits,” he said, chewing his chips with his mouth open.
“Paul!” Maggie said, indignant.
“Cork it, scumbag!” Parkes yelled, getting into Bryant’s face. “I’m a federal agent, at least pretend like you have some class.” Bryant, deciding that Parkes meant business, slipped back onto the couch meekly and continued playing his game as Maggie and the agents went into Maggie’s bedroom for their interview.
“Sorry about him,” said Maggie, ashamed, as she closed the door. She hung her head as she sheepishly took her seat, continuing to hang her head. “He’s only here because he has to,” Maggie mumbled. “Paula helped me pay rent, so when she died, I had to ask Paul to move in with me...it was the only way I could keep the house.”
“We know,” said Parkes reassuringly, “it’s been tough. However, you’re doing a good thing right now. Don’t forget that.” Maggie nodded before bringing her head up and taking a deep breath, wiping a tear that had formed in the process.
“I know you’ve already discussed this with Detective Moore,” started Proctor, “but I want to start from the beginning so that we can build our own perspective on the events. What happened on the night of Paula’s disappearance?”
“She was working late at the campground,” started Maggie, who took another deep breath.
“Don’t worry, you’re doing great,” said Parkes, rubbing Maggie’s hand.
“It was a normal day as I understood,” said Maggie. “She texted me saying that there weren’t a lot of disturbances, just the regular rowdy campers.”
“She was the ranger’s assistant, right?” Proctor asked.
“Correct,” said Maggie. “I remember a couple of hours had passed before I heard from her again. Told me she talked for a couple of minutes with this cute guy.”
“Was this guy particularly aggressive?” Parkes asked.
“Not that I can tell,” said Maggie. “There’s only so much I can gleam from a text...she said he was nice but she didn’t pursue it since she was at work.”
“...and you didn’t hear from her again, right?”
“Yeah,” Maggie sighed. “I didn’t think anything of it...she was at work.” She took another deep breath, trying to stop herself from crying.
“Look,” said Proctor softly, “don’t blame yourself. There was nothing you could have done. Do you want us to come back later?”
“No no,” said Maggie, “I’m going to get through this...Paula would want that from me.”
Lake Louise Campground, Lake Louise, Alberta
“As we understand,” said Pucci to Campground Ranger Connor McDevitt, “Paula didn’t see you before she left work that night and didn’t fill out her timecard, which she can be forgetful about.”
“That’s right,” said McDevitt, a burly moustachioed man who spoke with a drawl, “so when I didn’t see her at the end of her shift, I didn’t think too much about it.”
“This guy must know the campground to be able to kidnap Paula and escape without detection,” said James, looking around. The three were standing just outside of the Ranger’s Office, towards the entrance to the ground.
“Is Paula the only worker you have this arrangement for?” Pucci asked.
“Generally speaking, yes,” replied McDevitt. “All of my other workers are dilligent about their timesheets and seeing me before they leave...Paula, she works so hard that she often forgot about filling out her sheet.”
“That’s because,” said James, crouching to the ground and examining the grass, “Paula didn’t forget...she was having an affair.”
McDevitt wasted no time launching an angry rebuke.
“Excuse me?” McDevitt said, his eyes widening with rage as he approached James with purpose. “How dareyou insult me like that! I like Paula, but not like that!”
“Oh no,” said James, getting up and facing McDevitt, not fazed by the sight of a man twice his size being right in his face. “I’m not saying you had the affair,” he continued, examining McDevitt some more. “Your son did.”
McDevitt looked at James with incredulousness, his eyes wide and his mouth agape.
“It was a really simple deduction,” James said, nonchalantly. “I’ve never heard of an employer in your kind of field who looks the other way when someone ‘forgets’ to punch out at work...unless they have a ‘reason’ to forget...and an affair with your son is a perfect reason.”
McDevitt chuckled sardonically, shaking his head. “Seriously?” McDevitt said. “That’s the best you can do? Could it not just be that I trust Paula enough to do an honest day’s work?”
“Well,” said Pucci, jumping in. “Payroll is going to want accurate times. So is your boss. Their suspicion would get aroused if they see a worker who isn’t clocking out, or they see a supervisor filling in the exact same time at the end of the day...and you,” Pucci stopped for a brief second to pull out a document, “kept the times random to give the appearance that your worker was punching out herself. So we’ll give you two options- be upfront about Jackson and Paula or we’ll charge you with obstruction of justice.”
McDevitt snickered, again lowering his head and shaking it, laughing sardonically. “You guys areincredible,” he said. “You’re supposed to be the continent’s best crime fighting force and that’s the best you’ve got? Jackson is a nice kid! He couldn’t kill nobody!”
“Right!” James said in mock agreement, excitedly tapping Pucci on the chest. “Nice guys...they can’t be serial killers, right Pucci?”
Pucci tapped his head as if he were enlightened and played along. “Of course,” he said in the same mocking tone. “People who kill...they’re all mean!” He then cupped his mouth as if a thought came to him. “Well, Charlie was apparently a nice guy.”
“Mr. Manson?” James said, as if he too was enlightened. “Oh yeah, he was an upstanding guy! What about David Spanbauer?”
“Oh yeah!” Pucci exclaimed. “Bar owners routinely called him nice...I mean, he only killed two little girls and a housesitter.” As the agents talked, McDevitt played with the hairs on his moustache giving the agents a quizzical look, wondering what they were hoping to achieve.
James tapped Pucci again. “John Wayne Gacy,” he boldly exclaimed, with both James and Pucci reacting like they found the hallmark. “He donated to charity and performed for kids!” James continued, excitedly. “Upstanding guy!”
“Yeah!” Pucci said, “33 dead boys later.”
McDevitt held out his hands telling the agents to stop. “Okay, okay,” he said. “I get it...but he’s got a girlfriend!”
Pucci and James continued with their mocking tone, reacting again as if McDevitt enlightened them.
“Right,” said Pucci. “Once a guy gets a girl, he can’t kill...so obvious!”
“Wait,” said James, thinking. “Norman Hill...The Road Warrior...he was married with three kids, right?”
“Oh come on,” muttered McDevitt looking on. “Not this again!”
Pucci’s eyes lit up and he waved his arms out in excitement. “He was!” Pucci exclaimed. “Of course, Hill only killed his own family and three other people...but he did get married!”
“Ted Bundy...he got married twice didn’t he?” James said.
“...and one didn’t know about the other!” Pucci said. He then tapped James on the chest before continuing. “Oh, and Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka!”
“Husband and wife both getting into the act!” James said, with a bit of a belly laugh. McDevitt wasn’t amused.
“Enough!” shouted McDevitt, waving his arms across and extending them outward violently. “My boy has got nothing to do with this!”
“That’s for us to decide,” said Pucci smugly, reaching for his phone to make a call.
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
Coleman stared, blankly, at the walls of his bedroom. He gazed, sitting on his bed throwing a tennis ball in between his hands, at the many posters that adorned his walls. It was a who’s who of Chicago sporting figures, with players such as Michael Jordan, Walter Payton, Jeremy Roenick, and Frank Thomas, as well as other inspirational figures, such as Willie O’Ree, the first African American hockey player, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Jackie Robinson, and James Wormley Jones, the first African American FBII agent. One poster resonated the most with him though.
“Toussant L’Overture,” Coleman said to himself, taking deep breaths. “You started the revolution to free us all as slaves.” He then bowed down his head and began to cry. “Oh how I wish I could have been like you and saved myself from slavery…oh where did I go wrong, brother? Where did I go wrong?” He then grabbed his pillow and cried into it, as he still felt strange about openly weeping despite the fact that he was alone.
He then had horrifying flashbacks to his ordeal in Sudan as a slave for Catholic heretic Wilhelm Claes. His body squirmed intermittently as he shouted, reimagining every crack the whip he felt doing work outside of the bunker he was held prisoner at. He then thought about striking his phantom abuser but then he remembered the words that kept him a slave- “The guns Zeke! Don’t forget about the guns, Zeke!”
“No!” Coleman screamed in fear, “not the guns! Don’t shoot! I’ll do anything!” He then arched his back, wincing in pain, feeling the crack of another pretend whip. He then backed up in his bed until his back was against the wall, holding his arm out pleading with an imaginary person to stand down.
“No Desdemona!” shouted Coleman, “I don’t want sex! You’ve defiled me enough! No! No!” He then grimaced again, imagining Desdemona taking off his pants and planting herself on Coleman’s penis, as Coleman re-imagined right up to the climax, causing him to literally soil his underwear. He then saw his phantom abusers, including Desdemona, stand back and cackle incessantly at him, causing Coleman to curl into a ball and convulse, crying.
A few seconds later, he felt a warm hand on his shoulder. It was King, stepping outside of his poster.
“Don’t worry child,” said King softly. “It’s all over now. They can’t hurt you anymore. They’re just inside your head…you’re safe now.”
Coleman jumped, petrified, squirming away from King’s touch. He then found himself off of his bed, backed into the interior corner away from his bedroom door, as the other figures from the posters also came out to confront Coleman.
“Zeke,” said Jordan. “You need to let us help you.”
“Back away!” shouted Coleman. “You guys aren’t real! You’re just posters! We’re not going through this again!”
“Your feelings are real though,” said Roenick, “and the longer you ignore them, the more they’re going to consume you.”
“Zeke,” said Payton. “I may have been the fastest running back in football, but not even I could escape reality. Neither can you. You need help.”
“Zeke,” said King, who Coleman re-imagined as Carla Buford, who molested Coleman as a youth despite being Coleman’s mother figure shortly after his real mother’s death. “I told you this once before…you keep on trying to fight your own battles…why? It’s honourable, but at the same time, you have to understand you can’t just fight them on your own.” Buford then held out his arms offering a hug. “Come here…and look into the sky.”
“Get away!” shouted Coleman, his eyes menacingly wide with anger, “I’m not letting you torment me again!” He then threw his tennis ball hard at Buford and bolted out of the room, escaping his house through his living room window. His dog, Clooney, a bullmastiff, spotted the ball that Coleman tossed in his bedroom and followed it, picking it up. He then saw the open window and instinctively jumped out of it, thinking Coleman wouldn’t be that far behind. However, upon not seeing him, Clooney walked out to the front steps and began to whimper. He then walked down the street to Coleman’s closest neighbour, Chloe Stevens, a marine biologist and Clooney’s frequent caregiver when Coleman was away on cases.
“Oh hey Clooney,” said Stevens, sitting on her front porch noticing the ball in his mouth. “Do you want to play fetch?” Stevens sensed something was wrong, as Clooney dropped his head and began to cry. Stevens instinctively cradled his head and started petting him, kissing the top of his head. Clooney responded to the affection by sitting and leaning into Stevens, who hugged Clooney and softly caressed him. “Coleman’s gone isn’t he?” said Stevens, stroking Clooney’s fur as Clooney continued to pout. She continued petting him for a few more minutes before reaching for her phone.
Downtown Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
“What do you mean his phone is off?” shouted Yves into his phone.
“I can’t trace it anymore!” said Morales, frantically, at the other end in her office in Quantico. “It’s not bouncing off the cell phone towers, it’s not listed as being in operation…I can’t even get the thing to turn on…it’s like it…disappeared!” Morales began freaking out, pulling at her hair and babbling neurotically.
“Yeah, but you’re Morales” said Yves, feeding into Morales’s panic and panicking himself. “You can findeverything! There’s got to be something you can do! We can’t lose Coleman!” He then used his other hand and frantically pulled at his own hair while continuing. “Do something!” he pleaded, “do something! Please!”
“Yves!” shouted Fitchner authoritatively. “If Morales can’t find him, she can’t find him!” he continued, exasperated. “Coleman knows all her tricks, I’m sure he’s figured out how to escape her detection by now.”
Yves, forgetting his manners, abruptly hung up the phone on Morales and grabbed Fitchner’s shoulders, shaking him violently. “We gotta do something!” he said, frantically, “we can’t just let him disappear!”
Fitchner backed up from Yves’s hands as much as he could and puffed out his shoulders, making him more imposing. “Yves,” he said, sternly, “I will only say this to you once- calm down or I will send you home.”
Yves backed away, scared, panting heavily. He then reached for the door before Fitchner stopped him.
“I know,” he started, taking another deep breath as he was repeating himself by now, “I know you’re worried. I’m worried too…but if we can’t keep our wits, we really will lose him. This has been tough on both me and you, but we need to be strong…Coleman wouldn’t want it any other way.”
“Fitch,” said Yves, wiping his face. “Your words don’t mean anything now…the more time we waste the more time he gets to run away from us! It’s hopeless!”
Fitchner took a deep breath and slumped into his seat as Yves’s phone went off.
“Hey Morales, list-” said Yves, mistaking the identity of the caller. “Oh hey Mrs. Stevens, sorry about that,” continued Yves, embarrassed for the mistake. He regained his composure as Stevens talked. “Where are you? You’re at home? Okay, we’ll be there in ten minutes.”
“Yves,” said Fitchner, confused at the development. “Where are we going?”
“Clooney ran to Chloe Stevens’ house,” said Yves. “She thinks Coleman might be in some kind of trouble since Clooney hasn’t stopped sobbing since he got to her house.”
“Okay,” said Fitchner. “We’ll go over there and see what we can find.” Fitchner took a deep breath as Yves panted heavily, both agents fearing the worst.
Calgary Police Headquarters, Interrogation Quarters, Calgary, Alberta
“Hey,” said Proctor, walking into the room where Jackson McDevitt had been sitting for over four hours with nothing but his iPhone, although the agents did bring him lunch. “We need to talk now, so I’m going to ask you to have to put your phone away.”
Jackson obliged, though he grunted.
“How are you?” said Proctor softly, taking her seat in front of Jackson.
“I’m…I’m fine,” said Jackson, meekly, irritated that he had to sit through the interrogation. “How…how are you?
“I’m great, thanks for asking!” Proctor beamed a smile, trying to keep the tone light hoping it would ease Jackson into talking.
Jackson continued meekly but irritated. “Well, that’s good.” He wanted to lash out at the absurdness of the ordeal but, out of respect for the agents, he forged along.
“Listen, Jackson.” Proctor paused momentarily to put down her folder before continuing. “I know you’re distressed about what’s happened but we really could use your help. I’m sure you’ve heard that there’s someone copying the Stabber as we speak.”
Jackson deadpanned. “Yeah, it’s all over the news. How could I not hear about it?”
Proctor continued to speak softly as she slowly opened her folder. “Well, we believe that you can help us solve the case.” She then nonchalantly put the picture of Paula Maguire as it was found at the crime scene, causing Jackson to leap back in his chair and yelp out in horror.
“Okay!” he screamed, deciding that pleasantries were useless at this stage. “I’ve had enough! How dareyou show me a picture of my girlfriend like that? Do none of you agents have any respect for her, not just for me?”
“Well Jackson,” said Proctor, adopting an authoritative tone. “Maggie told us during her interview that quite a few times at the end of her shift she talked about meeting ‘a nice guy’, and your dad went toenormous lengths to tell us just how nice of a guy you are…and you want to know what? The last text message Magge received from Paula talked about how she met a nice guy, just like the other times. So…Jackson…either you did this or you’re hiding the one that did.”
Jackson furiously ruffled his hair, incredulous that he was even in this situation in the first place. “Look, Moore didn’t even think I was involved in any way with Paula’s death…why do you think I am?”
“Because we could look a little deeper and we find things the local authorities don’t. In fact, Maggie didn’t even know about you until one of our agents deduced it from talking to your father…you guys hid it for quite some time. So what happened, Paula found another man so you killed her and three other women because she’s a ‘slut’?”
“What?” Jackson said, shocked. “You’re absurd. I loved Paula...I could never hurt her.”
“So why’d you hide it for all these years?” Proctor asked, curtly.
“Her father didn’t approve of me,” explained Jackson. “Brought her home one day and the next thing I know I’m being followed by her father with a shotgun. Said he was going to report me to the authorities...so we had to keep it on the DL.”
“Alberta’s anti-fornication laws are hardly followed though,” said Proctor, folding her arms.
“That might be true in general,” said Jackson, “but unless it’s Stampede week, the police takes all reports seriously. They’re not as bad as the Carolinians, but a lot of lives have been ruined because of it.”
“…and it’s got nothing to do with that sexual harassment complaint you got after a night out with your buddies a full week before Paula went missing, right?” said Proctor, sardonically.
“Okay, okay…” said Jackson, getting defensive. “Paula wasn’t too happy about that, but it all came from a misunderstanding…the police investigated and ruled that I didn’t do anything wrong, because I didn’t.”
“I’m not so sure about that,” said Proctor. “Because all over your Facebook profile are ‘likes’ to the fan pages of various scantily clad models, ones who are known for their ‘bust’…and you’ve interacted with more than your fair share of ladies on Facebook, some of it very salacious. I’m surprised Paula approved of that.”
Outside of the room, Pucci, Parkes and James were analyzing what was happening.
“Carlo Berti did what he did because he thought female promiscuity corrupted him,” said Pucci. “Our guy is likely following the same script.”
“McDevitt isn’t corrupted though,” said James. “From what we’re hearing, he genuinely loved Paula.”
“He’s your suspect,” said Parkes, “you’re already dismissing him without a thought?”
“I perhaps jumped the gun a little,” said James. “He doesn’t seem to have the motive to kill Paula, at least not in the way the copycat would. Copycats want the attention that comes with the notoriety of the previous serial killer, so McDevitt should be singing like a canary about the evils of women...yet, he’s not doing that.”
“You’re thinking he should be more like Bryan Hudson,” said Parkes, referring to the “Nice Guy” serial killer the team apprehended in Toronto last fall. “He would be kind and considerate, feeling that the world owes him a favour because of it.”
“Yeah,” said James. “Jackson doesn’t seem to fit that bill. I still think he knows something...Paula disappeared from the campground. That’s no coincidence.”
“Do you think he could be lying about trying to avoid Paula’s father?” Parkes asked.
“It’s possible,” said James.
“I’d say that possibility is pretty strong,” said Pucci firmly. “However, I don’t think it was an old boyfriend of Paula’s as Moore would have found that, but merely a love interest who seemed to enjoy camping a bit too much. Jackson, though, invariably knows this guy. I’ll have Morales check the records.”
Pucci then stepped outside to make a phone call.
“Morales,” he started.
“Give me a second No. 2,” said Morales, answering her phone on her headset, “I need to pull over.”
Pucci was bemused. “Pull over? You’re not in your office? Where are you going?”
“Coleman’s gone missing, so I’m going to Chesapeake Beach to help find him. He’s my boo, I can’t stand the thought of him disappearing.”
“I thought I gave you direct orders to stay in your office.”
“Suspend me if you’d like, but Coleman’s my friend. He was there for me when I needed him with Jason Clark Battle so I need to be there for him.”
“I brought my laptop and I can connect to the FBII servers via a secure link. I’ve encrypted the wireless signal to the best of my abilities, so everything is still business as usual. What would you like me to look up?”
“I need a record of all the people who stayed at the Lake Louise Campground the night of Paula’s disappearance, and cross-reference it to other night’s records for all the people who made more than two repeat visits.”
“I will be on that right away.”
Later that day, Calgary Saddledome
“He just left them here?” Matthews asked one of the members of the crowd formed in front of the Saddledome entrance. “In broad daylight?”
“ ‘Fraid so officer,” said the man.
“...and nobody saw who did it or what vehicle he was driving?” Matthews was incredulous.
“We didn’t officer,” said a woman in the crowd.
“Please sir,” pleaded another woman, “do something. This city is in a panic.”
Two more women, both blondes and both killed and mutilated like the other copycat victims (though one had their face caved in through a beating), lay in front of the Saddledome.
He must have deposited the bodies quickly, thought Matthews, probably has a van...drove right up to the entrance and just dumped the bodies and bolted. He’s very lucky. He then called the station to update Moore and to call for an investigative unit to come out and examine the scene.
“Okay everybody,” said Matthews to the crowd. “I’m going to ask all of you to stick around for a bit. Our Crime Scene Unit is on its way to examine the scene...I’m going to need all of you to talk with our specialists and leave them a statement of what you saw and then you can go. In the meantime, I’m going to record your name and contact info in case we’ll need to follow up.”
Calgary Police HQ
“There’s more bodies?” Pucci exclaimed, flabbergasted. “What’s the total now, six?”
“Yep,” deadpanned Moore in a frustrated gruff. “I can’t believe it either.”
“He’s taunting us,” said Pucci. “He must think that because he’s escaped detection for so long that he’s invincible...his ego must be through the roof.”
“How many more are there?” Moore said, wiping his face with stress and slumping onto a bench.
“Well,” said Parkes, “as far as we know these aren’t fresh bodies. How many women have gone missing after the Stampede in the past two years?”
“It gets one million tourists a year,” said Moore, “and a good number go missing afterwards. In fact, some of the patrons are missing persons themselves- the Stampede is a haven for runaways and transients, as the party and the sheer amount of revellers gives them the perfect cover. Plus, partiers rarely pay attention to those outside of their own group...no one will look for someone who is missing.”
“...and, as we know,” chimed in Pucci, “not everyone is attentive to their group, not to mention the revellers that come alone.”
“Skewing the numbers,” said Parkes.
“We have about 230 missing women in the Calgary area alone,” said Moore, “but that only covers who’s been reported.”
Meanwhile, in the interrogation room, Proctor again confronted Jackson with the photos of the new victims.
“More of your work came out today,” said Proctor, laying down the photos in front of Jackson. “So you’ve got some help...now I see how you roll.”
Jackson, though, didn’t offer a response, immediately turning his head away with a malaised look upon seeing the photos. After gagging a few times, he finally vomited all over the floor.
“Jackson,” said Proctor with a concerned look. “Are you okay?”
“The girl on the left,” said Jackson, still wincing from the vomiting. He paused to vomit again before continuing, agonizingly. “The girl on the left...she’s my sister.”
“She answered the door to us this morning...” Proctor’ voice trailed off, understanding the gravity of the situation. “How do you know it’s her? She’s wearing different clothes and her face is caved in from beatings.”
“On her left wrist is ‘#15’ and an autograph from Dany Heatley tattooed on her...you can hardly see it but it’s there.” Jackson pulled out a photo of his own from his phone, proving his point.
“See,” said James observing the interrogation outside of the room, “I told you Jackson knew the copycat…I just didn’t think he’d strike this quickly.”
“I put out the press release that Jackson was arrested just this morning,” said Cooke. “This is a quick turnaround.”
“So we’ve got a stalker too,” surmised Pucci, taking a deep breath, “and a brazen one too.”
“Jackson,” said Proctor, whose tone changed to one of concern for Jackson as she realized he wasn’t the killer they were after. “This seems like a message sent against you…do you know anyone that would want to target you like this?”
“Not off the top of my head,” said Jackson, still struggling. “I’m not the type who would make enemies…this defies explanation.”
“Was there anyone you can think of when you were camping that seemed to be interested in you too much, or Paula? He didn’t have to say anything to you, he could have just been looking at you.”
“Honestly, no…I never felt threatened once at the Campground. Maybe Paula did but she never mentioned it to me. Paula hated to appear weak…she hardly ever cried in front of me, so if she felt threatened by someone, she dealt with it herself.”
“Think Jackson,” pleaded Proctor. “You know who the killer is…what happened today proves that.”
“All right, well…give me a few moments in here and let me collect myself. When I’m ready to talk I’ll get you.”
“Fair enough. In the meantime, we’ll post an agent outside your door to give you protection. You’re safe here.”
Chesapeake Beach, Maryland
“Mrs. Stevens I came over as fast as I could,” said Morales as she got out of her car and greeted Stevens, as well as Clooney. “How’s the pup? He holding up okay?”
“As well as he could be without Zeke,” said Stevens. “Clooney’s been a wreck ever since he got here…he just doesn’t have the energy without his master around…it’s so sad.”
“Have you tried contacting Coleman? I’ve had no luck…I think he realized I was on to him so he shut off his phone.”
“No…no luck. I’ve tried calling and all I get is his voicemail. I called his friend Pascal and asked him to come over…hopefully if we put our minds together we can figure out where he ran off to.”
Morales let off a heavy sigh, worried for Coleman. “I’m so concerned for him…I just wish he would let us help him out instead of hiding behind his macho exterior.”
At that point, Fitchner drove up to Stevens’ house with Yves in tow. As soon as he stepped outside of the car and spotted Morales he wasn’t pleased.
“Morales,” he started sternly, about to admonish Morales before she stopped him.
“Aaron,” said Morales, her voice rising as her intensity did. “I know what you want to say. You wanted me to stay in Quantico. You gave me direct orders. I know all that. I know that I defied them and I’m sorry but the way Zeke has been acting, I have no choice. If you want to fire me or suspend me, do it- all I know is that Zeke needs me. He was there for me when I had to deal with Jason Clark Battle, so I need to be here for him.”
Fitchner paused to let out a sigh. “Are you keeping up with the case in Calgary?”
“Just sent Pucci a few files before I got here.”
“Good. I won’t reprimand you for this.”
“What took you guys so long?” asked Stevens to Fitchner and Yves. “I was expecting you guys an hour ago.”
“Yves had another freak out,” explained Fitchner, “so I had to calm him down with a Dairy Queen sundae.”
Yves bowed his head sheepishly as Morales laughed warmly. Oh Yves, she thought as she smiled.
“Okay, so Coleman’s missing,” started Fitchner, trying to get the discussion on track.
“I had a look before you guys got here,” said Stevens. “I was tired of waiting so I looked around. His car is still in his driveway and his front door is locked, so he had to have escaped through a back window or something.”
“If he’s on foot he can’t be that far,” said Yves.
“Well, he does put Usain Bolt to shame,” said Morales, scrunching her mouth upward at the end.
“Actually, Bolt runs at 23 miles per hour while Coleman can do 20-” said Yves before he was interrupted.
“Yves,” said Fitchner, “that’s not important right now.”
“I think it might be,” said Yves. “Since he’s only been gone an hour, the furthest away he’d be would be within a 20-mile radius, assuming he ran for the entire hour, which we know he can do.”
“That assumes that he’s taking care of himself,” warned Fitchner, “which I doubt he is.”
“That may be true given his state, but,” said Yves, “in terms of meticulousness, we can’t deny the possibility that he still might be, so we have to take that into consideration.”
“So where does that leave us?” asked Morales.
“It puts him in Greater Upper Marlboro, Davidsonville, Mayo Beach, Waldorf, St. Charles, Mechanicsville and Calvert Cliffs in Lusby,” said Yves, without missing a beat.
“That’s um, quite the array…” said Morales with a frustrated sigh.
“A lot of towns in a twenty mile radius,” said Yves.
“So where would he go?” asked Fitchner sternly.
“When Coleman wants to get away from everything, he really gets away from everything,” said Morales. “So I’m thinking Calvert Cliffs.”
“He wouldn’t be reachable there,” said Yves, “plus I doubt the locals would know who he is- he doesn’t really like hamlets.”
“Yes, but Coleman knows that we’re thinking about this,” said Fitchner. “He knows all of our tricks, including your geographic profile…so we need to think like Coleman trying to trick us.”
“So where’s the last place Coleman would go?” asked Yves, trying to think.
“I think he’d know you’d think of that too,” said Stevens. “It’s too simple, and Coleman likes a challenge.”
“So we need to go somewhere in the middle,” said Fitchner.
“If we’re going in the middle,” said Morales with a small smirk, “I think the answer is pretty obvious.”
02:01 local time, downtown Calgary, Alberta
“Since you were so charming in there,” said Lynette Davidson in a darkened alleyway to a man she met at a nearby nightclub, “I’m going to charm you.” The man grinned as Davidson went down on her knees and undid his pants and pulled down his underwear, with his hard penis bursting out of his underwear.
“Wow, you’re excited tonight,” said Davidson with a chuckle as she started to perform fellatio. “Mmmnnn...such a juicy brautwurst.”
The man, though enjoying the blowjob, wasn’t satisfied. After about a minute, he motioned Davidson upwards, undoing her blouse and then her bra. Her perky breasts leapt out of her shirt, causing the man to smile with extreme excitement. Her nipples were especially hard, so he couldn’t help but put his mouth on them and suck on them, sometimes even flicking them with his tongue.
“Flick them even more baby,” said Davidson, who was extremely aroused by now. She squirmed with delight at every touch of his tongue, the sensation of euphoria oozing all over body. Never before had a man cared for her- and her breasts, it seems- like this man had.
The man seemed to agree. Such nice breasts, he thought, so round and supple. Pity I will have to take the life from them later. He paused the thought as the two of them proceeded to have sex right against the wall, the climax for both of them being the kind of euphoria neither of them had experienced before. This was the moment the man waited for.
“That was incredible,” said Davidson, hugging the man tightly and kissing his lips. “You have my number, right?”
“Yeah, I do,” said the man, who seemed hurried.
“Call me, okay?” Davidson said, excitedly, hugging and kissing him once more.
As she departed, the man started to follow her. She barely took two steps before the man grabbed her from behind, putting one hand on her mouth and applying a scarf gag, and spun her around, throwing her against the wall where he stood, imposingly over her.
Davidson was gripped with fear. She tried to scream but the gag prevented anyone from hearing her. As the alley was dark, no one could see what was happening. So when the man’s hands reached for her throat, she feared the worst.
However, instead of choking her, he just placed his hands on her upper shoulders and lowered his head into her chest, sobbing.
“I’m sorry,” said the man. “You’re too beautiful...I shouldn’t have done this to you.”
Davidson, still wearing the gag, looked at him with an incredulous look.
“You’re not like the other sluts,” explained the man, turning her around and tying her wrists and her feet together. He then opened her blouse and exposed her breasts again. “You’re beautiful…especially your breasts. Oh, especially your breasts. They’re so soft and supple…” he paused to put his mouth on her nipples again and play with them, although this time Davidson wasn’t enjoying it. “They’re only good if they’re alive, so I will just take you. I can’t believe I’ve found you.” He then played with her nipples again with his mouth before put her over his shoulder and carried her to his van, putting her in the middle section (as the back had a freezer) and affixed chains to her hands and feet. He then closed the door and approached another woman, still alive but also bound to the wall and gagged, where he strangled her to death. He meant to do it before but the opportunity arose where he had to show Davidson who was really in control of their situation. He then cut open the dead woman’s shirt and then slashed a hole down her cleavage, ejaculating into it, before driving the van to the Saddledome where he deposited the dead woman right in front of the entrance, just before daybreak.
07:13 local time, 98.5FM Radio Station, Calgary, Alberta
“Hello everyone,” said one of the DJs of the morning show, the bombastic Dan Crawley. “You’re listening to Mike & Dan in the Morning on 98.5FM The Bull, Calgary’s No. 1 hit music station. By now, I’m sure most of you know of the so-called ‘Stampede Stabber Copycat’ that is terrorizing the city...it hasn’t been fun- he’s certainly giving me the heebie-jeebies- but the good news is the continent’s top police squad, the Behavioural Analysis Unit, is here to help our police catch this guy.”
“Here to talk about the case is the BAU’s media liaison, Jenna Jayme Cooke,” said Mike Renforth, the other DJ, who spoke quieter but with more of a snarky tone. “How are you today Ms. Cooke?”
“I’m very well thank you,” said Cooke. “I’m glad to join you guys here.”
“...and we’re glad to have you,” said Crawley. “We don’t usually have FBII agents as guests on our show but these are special circumstances.”
“I’m glad to come on such short notice,” said Cooke. “I know everyone in this city is afraid, and we think our copycat targets your listening demographic, so I hope today I can calm a few nerves and get this city back to where it should be.”
“Before we get to the copycat, I think we need to talk about Carlo Berti a little bit,” said Renforth. “I was only a child when he did his killings so I don’t remember him well, except from what I’ve read on him. What was he like as a person?”
“Berti performed what we would call ‘piquerism’,” said Cooke authoritatively. “ ‘Piquerism’ comes from the French word ‘piquer’, which means ‘to prick’, and the condition- a form of sadism- involves the sufferer gaining (mostly sexual) gratification from pricking or stabbing the skin of another person. Most piquerists are actually impotent, as they rely on the stabbings for penetration, but, in Berti’s case, he was able to achieve gratification the way we would normally think he would be able to do it, with one catch- he could only be gratified if his penis was inside the cut that he made, which was in the crack of the buttocks.”
“How’s that for your breakfast guys?” cracked Crawley, causing Cooke to laugh. “Now, as we understand, Berti wasn’t like this at first.”
“That’s correct,” said Cooke. “Usually piquerists gain their lusts from traumatic childhood experiences of a similar nature, such as being whipped by a belt, but Berti did not experience any of that. We believe his piquerism started shortly after he was fired for grabbing the butt of a female manager, which seemed to have such a profound psychological effect on him that he couldn’t associate sex unless there was violence to the buttocks.”
“He was an immigrant having troubles adjusting to Calgary life,” said Crawley, “so getting fired must have been traumatic for him.”
“Yeah,” said Cooke. “He justified his killings by saying that female promiscuity made him who he was and persecuted him for it by making him lose his job, so he struck out against the women at the Stampede, meeting them and then stalking them for the year afterward, although he did have brief relationships with one of his victims.”
“Have you spoken to Berti about the current case?” asked Renforth.
“Mike,” interjected Crawley, “that’s kind of hard…he died of a brain aneurysm in 1992.”
“Oh, well, that answers my question,” said Renforth. “You’ll have to excuse me, audience, some days I just roll out of my bed and come to work in my PJs and forget to brush up on my notes…this is one of those days.”
Cooke noticed that Renforth, in fact, had his notes right in front of him and was dressed professionally, but thought calling him out on air wouldn’t be productive.
“Okay, well, moving along,” said Renforth, “what are the chief differences between this copycat and the Stabber?”
“First and foremost,” said Cooke, “our guy isn’t impotent- there were signs of rape in each of the victims. This means that he’s not a piquerist, per se- he’s just cutting the women where they are for the attention it would bring. We also believe he’s more of a ladies’ man than Berti was- now, Berti wasn’t bad with women, but he couldn’t ‘score’ like our UnSub can- Berti could only pick up women when he was at the Stampede, when the tourists come and we all know tourists tend to be more relaxed than regular city folk, making them easier to ‘pick up’. Our UnSub, though, met one victim who never went to the Stampede, and another who went to the Stampede just once, ten years ago, so he doesn’t need the Stampede to lure victims. We also believe he’s got an unhealthy fascination with the breasts, because of where he cut the victims and how they were found at the entrance to the Saddledome later. We also suspect he’s in the same age range as our victims, which is 25-35, that he’s a white male (considering his victims were also all white), he’s well-built and affable, although he’s also likely a narcissist who believes the world owes him something for his good deeds. He’s also likely got a van and a freezer which is how he stores his victims for so long, and because of his planning, he’s an organized killer. We also believe he was involved in some kind of sexual misconduct incident, just like Berti was.”
“As we understand,” said Crawley, “you’ve made an arrest in connection to the killings but it turns out he’s not the right guy. Have you made any other leads in regards to the killings?”
“Right now, we’ve got some other suspects that we’re looking at,” said Cooke. “As I understand, we’ve just made another arrest with regards to the fresh crime scene from this morning, a man by the name of Robert Joseph Tanner, whom Georgia Stevenson’s friends tell us that last year, at the Stampede, he enjoyed their breasts a little too much, although all the acts were consensual. We also know that Tanner was fired last year, before the Stampede, for sexual harassment. Tanner was also the last one to see our latest victim, Odette Miller, alive- we caught him on surveillance riding a Calgary bus with Miller, with both getting off the bus at a downtown location at 9:15PM.”
“So you’ve got a good chance at getting a conviction here, you figure,” said Renforth, who sounded excited.
“At this stage, due to the sensitive nature of the investigation, I can’t comment on its progress,” said Cooke curtly. “The only thing that we can say is that we have a suspect, and if there are any other further developments on that subject we will update the public on them.”
“Ms. Cooke,” said Crawley, who let out a frustrated sigh. “With all due respect, you’ve already had one suspect proven to be the wrong guy. Not just that, but as soon as you guys touched down in Calgary, this guy has started killing again, making you guys all look like fools. I’m sorry for being rude, but I think all of us Calgarians want some kind of reassurance that our town is safe. I mean, I know to you guys we’re just another investigation, but for us, these are our wives, daughters and girlfriends we’re talking about- and they’re all in danger.”
“Don’t you think your statement to ‘continue living your lives’ when you touched down here was a littlemisguided?” said Renforth.
Cooke let out a sigh. “I understand you guys are frustrated,” she said. “We are too. I wish I could provide you guys with more concrete answers but at this stage, this is what we have…and I stand by my statement. A guy like this copycat gets off on fear…he wants the women to be afraid of him, because he feels women in general have wronged him…so you counteract that by telling him we’re not afraid. This guy is on a mission…he wants to kill as many women as he can just to prove a point.”
“That’s kind of like saying I should walk on the train tracks because I shouldn’t be afraid of the train that’s going to hit me,” said Renforth.
“I mean, seriously, listen to yourself, Ms. Cooke,” said Crawley, incredulously. “You’re asking our women to put themselves in danger. Willingly. That’s not only reckless, but irresponsible. I’m surprised you can keep your job after something like this.”
“Yes, but doing things like avoiding nightclubs and cancelling the Stampede won’t help,” cautioned Cooke. “Sure, you’ll get rid of his primary hunting grounds, but it won’t matter. He’s a stalker, he meets women at all times during the day, so he’ll still have opportunities to find women- and you can’t keep everyone indoors all the time. Furthermore, if you shut down the entire city, he could flee and terrorize another city…making it even harder to catch him.”
Cooke then noticed a text message on her phone.
“Listen guys,” said Cooke, “I’m sorry I have to do this, but I need to go. I have other matters to attend to.” She then hastily said her goodbyes and exited, leaving the two DJs to talk amongst themselves.
“Typical fed, eh?” said Renforth. “She was just out looking out for herself…she doesn’t care about us.”
“I know what you’re feeling Mike,” said Crawley, “and I agree completely. Our women are dying yet she can’t give us clear answers…best crime fighting unit my foot.”
“Speaking of which, I think I know the most appropriate song to play,” said Renforth. “It was Evelyn de Santos’ favourite song, Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, just in time for the FBII to walk out on us and enjoy their mocha soy lattes and thumb their noses at us. At least we don’t forget our victims.” He then stopped as the song started to play on the radio.
5:35 local time, Waldorf, Maryland
“Thanks,” said Fitchner, getting off the phone. “Well, Morales, you were right about the strip club…Coleman just got arrested outside of one.”
“Arrested?” said Yves. “What could he have done?” Yves started to wipe his face back and forth with his hands before taking a seat, curled up with his head buried in his arms. Morales took a seat next to him.
“Pumpkin,” said Morales, starting to rub his back and doing her best to stay strong, although she started to tear concerned for Coleman. Yves responded by giving Morales a hug, causing the both of them to start crying uncontrollably on each other’s shoulders.
Fitchner let out a sigh.
“Guys,” he said calmly but sternly, “get it together. I understand you’re concerned but we don’t have the time for the sob party.”
“Where is he?” said Yves, turning his tearful face to Fitchner.
“Mechanicsville,” said Fitchner. The team had started their investigation with all the strip clubs within the 20 mile radius of Chesapeake Beach, getting halfway through the radius to Waldorf before being forced to retire for the night at the local hotel, though none of them could sleep. “From what I understand from the police report, Coleman assaulted a stripper and then ran from the club. The police followed him in pursuit, only to spot him on the roof of the local fire department. They had him in a two hour standoff trying to convince him not to jump, before he acquiesced once they put away their weapons. They have him in interrogation right now.”
“Oh Zeke,” said Morales, wiping away tears. “He’s okay right?”
“He’s healthy,” said Fitchner, “well, as healthy as someone experiencing depression can be.” He then spoke with urgency, as FBII Director Lucius Black was already at the station. “Listen, we need to get going…Lucius is already there.”
6:16 local time, Mechanicsville Police Department, Mechanicsville, Maryland
“I’m glad you guys are here,” said Black as he greeted Fitchner, Yves and Morales at the police station. “I’ve had no luck with him…I even threatened to fire him. Something’s not right…Coleman doesn’t commit assault, let alone blow $6,000 on strippers.”
“He blew $6,000?” said Morales in shock.
Black let out a sigh. “I’m afraid so,” he said.
“Lucius,” said Fitchner, “have they charged him already?”
“The DA’s writing it up as we speak,” Black replied. “I pleaded our case, that he’s suffering from a psychosis that’s making him act the way he is but the police are not buying it…I know I could quash the charges myself with my authority, but it would be unethical.”
“How badly was the stripper hurt?” asked Fitchner.
“He was having a lap dance with her and then brushed her off with his arm,” explained Black, “causing her to crash into the wall. So she’s only got a few bruises…it’s nothing major. Of course…think of the optics…even though it wouldn’t likely be a felony, I’d have a hard time justifying his promotion.”
“Not only his continued employment at the BAU,” said Fitchner. “We’re even more scrutinized than ever, especially with our current case.”
“Pucci’s been telling me about that,” said Black. “Guy’s a bold fellow…but I told him, don’t worry about the press, there’s little you guys can do once he’s on a spree except catch him. For now, though, I’ve got to worry about the team as a whole and we gotta get Coleman back to the road to recovery…his work ethic, meticulousness and observational skills are unparalleled.”
“Okay,” said Fitchner, “we’re going to go in there…wish us luck.”
As soon as the team walked into the room, Coleman greeted them with a scowl. None of them bothered to say hello, as instructed by Fitchner.
“What?” said Coleman with a scowl. “You guys are my friends and I don’t get a hello? Or should I say, ‘supposed’ friends?”
Fitchner looked at him with his eyebrows furrowed and his eyes gazing menacingly at him. “We’re not here to play games Coleman,” said Fitchner. “We’re here because the games have to end- now.”
Coleman wasn’t fazed, returning the gaze Fitchner gave him. “Well, I’m prepared to play all day,” he said, sternly. “There’s nothing you can say to me- you guys all gave up on me. You know how long I spent getting raped and beaten by Claes? Too long! You guys decided to take your time getting to me, because you didn’t care.”
“Coleman,” interjected Yves, “we were at war. What did you expect? We did what we could- you said it yourself at the hospital.”
“Well, I did some thinking, pretty boy,” he said, “as I sat in my home. Alone…and I realized none of you gave one crap about me.”
“You can believe whatever you like,” said Fitchner, unflinching. “I just know you’re not right.”
“Fitch,” snarled Coleman, “I’m fine.”
“Zeke sweetie,” said Morales sardonically, “you’re in an interrogation room and are about to get charged with a felony. You’re not fine.”
Coleman violently slapped the table in front of him, causing Morales to jump. “Don’t,” he said, “tell me I’m not fine.”
“Coleman,” said Yves, softly, “your life…it’s in shambles. If this case against you goes through, you’ll lose your job.” He continued with genuine concern in his voice. “Not just that, but look at you…your muscles have lost their tone. Your teeth are all yellow…in fact, I can see one that just might be falling out. You’re eating every day at McDonald’s when you told me you hate that stuff. You’re going to strip clubs even though you don’t like them because you hate ‘using’ women that way. Your home is a mess…Clooney’s despondent, and this latest incident has us worried that you’re going to snap at any moment…not to mention how all of us, your friends…feel. This isn’t just about you and your job…this is about your life.”
Coleman broke his glare with Yves as he noticed something in the corner. He started panting, scared.
“Why is Decius here?” he asked, quivering.
“Decius?” said Fitchner, confused as Yves and Morales looked to where Coleman was looking, seeing nothing there. Yves knew immediately what was going on.
“Coleman,” he said, grabbing his hand and holding on as tightly as he could. Coleman wanted to pull away but mentally blocked himself from doing so. Yves continued in a soothing voice, before getting up and passing Coleman’s hand to Morales, who continued to hold it.
“He’s over here, isn’t he?” said Yves, getting up into the corner that Coleman hallucinated the presence of Decius Tarsus, one of his tormentors in Sudan. Yves then proceeded to punch the air, which Coleman saw as Tarsus getting punched to the ground by Yves, causing him to disappear. Coleman snapped from his hallucination and began to cry uncontrollably. Morales instinctively started to rub his arm, moving her chair around the table so she could hold him from the side. Yves sat back down as Fitchner leaned back in his chair, adopting a concerned look.
“That’s what this was all about?” said Fitchner, as Coleman nodded his head, still buried on the table. “When did they start?”
Coleman took a few deep breaths and wiped his tears away before continuing, still sobbing. “About two weeks ago,” he said, “shortly after I saw my therapist for the last time. I imagined him as Claes and that was the end of it- I just ran from the session.”
“What did he say to trigger the hallucination?” asked Fitchner.
Coleman took another breath, trying to think about the session. Morales rubbed his back, which soothed him enough to continue. “I think he made a joke about my situation,” said Coleman. “He was really unprofessional, actually. I was about to drop him before I saw Claes cackling instead of my therapist.”
“You should have listened to me Fitch,” said Yves with a knowing look. “Dr. Bill wasn’t the smartest choice.”
“I wanted to give him another chance,” said Fitchner. “He worked with Elle, and-”
“Look how well that turned out,” said Yves.
“Coleman, I’m sorry,” Fitchner said. “I can understand why you are upset with the team…I know there’s no amount of apologies that can make up for what happened, but if you want to start rebuilding your life, you need us to help you out.”
“I’ll treat you,” said Yves. “I know the proper medications and therapies needed to get you out of this mess. I know you didn’t want my help before but as I said to you then, there’s no one that knows you better than I do. Besides, I can get rid of the pending charges against you by simply writing a statement to your mental condition.”
“I’ll also have a word with the DA to ensure nothing comes of this,” said Fitchner.
“Zeke,” said Morales, putting a hand to his face and turning it. “Look at me,” she continued softly but sternly, looking directly into Coleman’s eyes. “I’m here for you. We’re all here for you. If you have anyproblems…if that Decius guy ever comes back…please, don’t hesitate to call me.”
“Yves,” said Coleman, calming down. “Can you give me some of those antidepressants?”
“Sure,” said Yves, pulling out two bottles of pills, one containing antidepressants and one containing antipsychotics. Fitchner gave him an incredulous look.
“You never told me you carry those around,” he said, surprised.
“I’m licensed to carry them,” said Yves, “I figured today I might need them.” Yves didn’t skip a beat, handing Coleman the correct dosage which he swallowed before drinking some of the water provided for him. Fitchner decided not to press the issue further.
“I’m going to go outside and have a talk with the police officers and see if I can convince them to let you go without incident,” said Fitchner. “Once I achieve that you can go home and rest.”
“No Fitch,” said Coleman. “I heard you guys are having difficulties in Calgary. You need me there.”
Fitchner nodded and smiled wryly, knowing the old Coleman was back.
12:00 local time, City Hall, Calgary, Alberta
“Mr. Nenshi,” said Cooke approaching Calgary Mayor Saheed Nenshi, finally being able to meet up with him after calling for hours on the phone. “Jenna Jayme Cooke, the media liaison for the Behavioural Analysis Unit…we spoke on the phone.”
“There is nothing you can tell me that will change my mind,” said Nenshi, sternly raising his forefinger at Cooke.
Cooke continued apologetically. “I know you’re frustrated…but canceling the Stampede isn’t going to help us out at all. If you do that, he wins. All it’s going to do is cause our UnSub to look for alternatives…he may even flee the city, and that will make him harder to catch.”
Nenshi laughed. “What?” As he talked, he threw up his hands in frustration. “So I should just continue, ‘business as usual’ when this guy can have his pick of our women while you guys have your fancy steak dinners and pretend to do work? I’m having none of that. I need to protect my citizens…something you are incapable of doing.”
Cooke was curt in her response. “First of all, we’re not having fancy steak dinners or drinking mocha soy lattes or living in any kind of luxury while we’re here. We’re dealing with a special kind of killer, someone who’s very skilled at attacking with police surveillance. Just by his very nature, he’s a difficult killer to catch, but, also by his nature, he’ll eventually be overconfident and leave clues that will expose who he is…but we need to keep him in the city. If we shut the entire city down, he’ll flee and he’ll terrorize another city.”
“Well that’s fine and dandy…if that loser wants to terrorize another city, so be it. I’m not losing another Calgarian because of your incompetence. My city has sacrificed enough for you.”
“Sir,” said one of Nenshi’s aides after reviewing his phone. “There was another two dead bodies placed in front of the Saddledome this morning.”
Nenshi let out a sarcastic laugh. “Well that seals it,” he said, brandishing a frustrated smile. “Good day, Cooke…and take your team of losers with you. I, at least, can do my job.”
Cooke let out a sigh before calling Pucci.
“Pucci,” said Cooke, concerned.
“Yes JJ,” Pucci said, picking up on Cooke’s concern.
Cooke sighed. “Tell me you got something with Tanner.”
“No…alibi checks out too. He wasn’t even in the country when de Santos disappeared, and last night, Tanner said he lost Odette after going to a hot dog stand immediately after getting off the bus. The vendor confirmed his story, as Odette left to use a bathroom and was never seen again.” Pucci didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration.
“That’s just great.” Cooke let out a heavy sigh. “Because I couldn’t get anywhere with Mayor Nenshi…he’s canceling the Stampede, perhaps for good.”
“You told him that if he does that the serial killer wins, right?”
“Yeah…and I still couldn’t get him to change his mind.”
“Police Chief just called us and said he wants us out of the town by tonight. Black is trying to talk to him but we don’t have much time.”
“I’m going to see if I can get into the press conference and maybe try to speak myself.” Cooke let out another sigh. “I can’t tell you how badly I want to catch this guy.”
12:06 local time, Calgary Police Headquarters, Calgary, Alberta
“Claude,” said Moore after Pucci got off the phone. “I’m not letting you guys go anywhere until we catch this guy. If I have to fight the Police Chief I’ll do that. I’m not letting him torment me again.”
“The Stabber attacked you?” asked James, overhearing the conversation.
“No,” said Moore, “not directly. A prankster killed my wife in the middle of the investigation, cutting open her buttocks just like Berti did. We caught him pretty easily but, to this day, every time I think about the Stabber I always think about my wife. Which is why I hate our current guy so much.”
“Maybe he’s related to the prankster,” said James, thinking out loud. “Judging by the fact that he’s killing while we’re here suggests that he wants to toy with police like that prankster did.”
“Well he’d have to be a friend,” said Moore, “because the prankster’s brothers all panned out.”
“Okay,” said Parkes, trying to get the discussion on track. “We know he’s an organized killer. We know he’s a ladies’ man. We know he’s got an unhealthy fascination with the breasts. He likely drives a van and has a freezer. He’s well-built, 25-35, he’s white and affable, although he’s also likely a narcissist who believes the world owes him for his affability. He’s also been involved in some kind of sexual misconduct incident. We also know he’s killed at least nine people, but who knows how many more he’s got- Calgary’s a haven for runaways, especially during the Stampede, and since he has a freezer for ‘later disposal’, he could have many more victims there, some of whom that are unaccounted for. Tanner and McDevitt fit those descriptions…what are we missing?”
“I’ll tell you what you’re missing,” said a voice upon entering the room.
“Coleman!” said Parkes with happiness, greeting him with a warm hug, as did Proctor. Pucci and James gave him hearty handshakes.
“Glad to see you kiddo,” said Pucci with a smile. The rest of the agents greeted Fitchner and Yves normally as they stepped into the office.
“Fitch briefed me on the case as we flew,” said Coleman, who stepped to the front of the room and spoke authoritatively, commanding attention, “and a number of things caught my attention. First of all, you guys are thinking he objectifies women, due to having a sexual harassment charge. I don’t think this guy would have a sexual harassment charge- he may objectify women, but he respects them enough not to get into trouble with them. He’s a ladies’ man, and quite prolific at that. Think about it: why would he feel the need to compulsively grab some woman’s ass when he could easily convince her to let him do it?
“Furthermore, since he’s been ‘kind’ enough to kill for us, he left us other clues. This morning, only one body was found in front of the Stampede- Odette Miller’s. Now, normally he leaves the bodies in groups, meaning last night he likely met a girl he only kidnapped. He’s keeping her alive, but for what reason? She must have a set of breasts that he particularly enjoyed, and since breasts just aren’t that much fun when a person is dead, he only decided to kidnap her instead of killing her. She’s likely single- like the victims of Berti and the other victims of this UnSub- and it’s the weekend when no one is working, which is why no one has noticed her missing yet.
“This missing woman holds the clue. For Berti, the buttocks were a symbol of his emasculation on the workforce- for our UnSub, the breasts are an object of desire, meaning he’s likely got or had a girlfriend or wife that lost her breasts, perhaps due to breast cancer…and, since he’s killed women and posed them as ‘sluts’, meaning he ultimately sees women as sluts, he must think promiscuity caused breast cancer…and how would that happen? Even though it’s been officially discredited, you still hear the persistent rumour that an abortion causes breast cancer. So we’ve got to look for double mastectomy patients who underwent an abortion before the 2012 Stampede, because that will be the wife of our UnSub.”
“Oh, and last, but not least, this guy started killing again right when we got here, sending a message to us. We’ve got to look for someone with resentment towards the FBII, even if it’s unrelated to this investigation or the Stampede Stabber’s.”
The team was impressed with Coleman’s insights.
“That’s what we’ve been missing,” said Pucci, enthusiastically. “You’ve really come into your own, Coleman.”
“Thanks,” said Coleman with a wry smile. “Now let’s get down to business.”
They placed a call with Morales, looking up women who had double mastectomies following an abortion. Since abortion is illegal in Alberta, narrowing down the list was easy, leading to an Edgar Calvin Burrell, who owned his own meat packing shop and thus had a van with a freezer in it- although he falsified his license plate, meaning his plate wouldn’t come up in the database. Burrell, it was revealed, was the son of a friend of the prankster that killed Moore’s wife.
“Valerie Burrell, though,” said Moore with a sigh. “She was an inspiration for a lot of people. There were complications arising from her mastectomies preventing her from breast reconstruction surgery so she put a tattoo across her chest instead. I guess Edgar loved her breasts more than he loved her...a shame.”
“Was there an adultery charge?” Parkes asked.
“Edgar did try to prosecute her for adultery,” said Moore, “but the judge ruled Edgar was just at much at fault as she was because of his treatment of her after she got the tattoo, so the judge threw out the case.”
“When was this?” Coleman asked.
“May 12, 2012,” Moore replied. “I remember the case well.”
“There’s your stressor,” said Yves. “Do we know if she’s still alive?”
“Like a lot of Albertans, due to our crazy laws, she was a housewife,” explained Moore. “So if Burrell wanted to kill her, he could cover his tracks real well.”
14:34 local time, Edgar Calvin Burrell’s house, Banff, Alberta
“Sit still nice and tight,” said Burrell, carefully removing a nipple clamp he had placed on Davidson’s nipples. He kept her gagged and chained in a cool basement just so her nipples could be hard, with a wire attached to the floor with clamps at the end that stretched out her breasts and nipples as far as they could go, without drawing blood. He called the basement room his “Fun Den”, where he raped Davidson regularly.
“Oh yeah, that feels so nice,” said Burrell, putting his mouth on her breasts and playing with them. The clamps did their job, he thought, heightening the sensation of his tongue on the nipples, making Davidson squirm even more.
“They’re so much better than Valerie’s,” said Burrell as he enjoyed Davidson’s breasts. “I wish she wasn’t so selfish that she wouldn’t replace them.” He then let out a sigh before dropping his pants and raping Davidson, making sure he held her body tight to his so that he could feel her breasts against his body.
“Mmmmnnn,” he said, as he finished enjoying himself. “You’re such a good girl. Now, I’m going to let you out of these chains so you can get some sleep. Remember, if you behave, you’ll eventually have some freedom.” He then undid her chains and let her to her bed, where another chain was affixed around her neck, long enough so that she could sit up on the bed or lie down if she liked, but not much more. A refrigerator with food was located within arm’s reach of her.
Burrell then left her there, locking her door before he left. He had another night out planned, because, even though he found what he was looking for, he had to teach the meddling FBII a lesson. He had to stop in Lethbridge first, though, to meet with a client before heading back to Calgary for the night.
22:23 local time, Pete’s Fine Dining, downtown Calgary, Alberta
“Cheryl,” said Stacy Bowman to her friend Cheryl Tillman as they walked to the restaurant, open late that night. “The FBII still hasn’t caught this guy yet...are you sure going out is a great idea?”
“Yeah, I know public safety isn’t at an all-time high here,” said Tillman, “but I said to myself I’m not letting this guy dictate how I live my life. It’s my birthday and I’m going to celebrate it.
“Besides,” she continued as she cupped her breasts and pushed them up, making them even perkier inside a low cut, backless dress, “the girls need to have some fun.”
“Okay,” said Bowman with a sigh, “but we don’t split up.”
“Okay,” said Tillman, reluctantly. “Relax though. I’m 22...I can handle myself.”
Meanwhile, at the restuarant- which cleared a section of tables at the back to create a dancefloor- a bald but burly man was chatting at the bar with owner Peter Soihull.
“You know you’re defying the city,” said the man.
“I know the city ordered all the bars and clubs closed,” said Soihull, cleaning a glass, “but I think their decision was rash and heavy handed. Besides, with this place being the only one open, it may just attract the guy so we can catch him.”
“Hmmnn,” said the man, who paused to take a drink. “Good luck with that one.” As he casually sipped his beer, Burrell sat down next to him and ordered a drink, though the burly man paid no notice.
A few seconds later, Tillman and Bowman walked by the bar. The burly man couldn’t help but notice.
“Hello pretty ladies,” said the man. The women tried to walk by, prompting the burly man to put his hand out in front of them and “accidentally” cop a feel of Tillman’s bosom.
“Hey, creep!” Tillman yelled, pushing the burly man away, “Back off!”
“Yeah buddy,” said Burrell. “You don’t do that to a lady.”
“Who are you?” The burly man said to Burrell, scoffing at him.
“A nice man,” said Burrell. “I know how to treat a lady right.”
Calgary Police Headquarters
“Okay babygirl,” said Coleman, calling Morales. “Give me something. He wasn’t at home...he’s got to be somewhere.”
“This guy!” Morales said, frustrated, “he hardly uses his credit card at all!”
“Don’t give up, I know you can do it.”
Morales yelped in joy. “Oh wait, I got something! He just used his credit card at Pete’s, just down the road from you.”
“Good work.” Coleman then directed the team to head to Pete’s.
Just outside of Pete’s
“Hey,” said Burrell, noticing Tillman and Bowman walking out of the restaurant.
“Oh hey,” said Tillman with a warm smile. “Thanks for helping us in there. You are a real gentleman.”
“You’re welcome.” Tillman and Bowman each gave Burrell long hugs and gave him their numbers, imploring him to call them.
In the distance, shortly after the two women left was a nurse going to a hot dog stand for a late dinner.
“You’re out here pretty late,” said Burrell.
“I know,” said sheepishly the nurse, a tall, redheaded bombshell, “but I have to work late. I’m scared of that serial killer out there but I have a family to feed, so I’m out here.”
Burrell replied without missing a beat. “Yeah, that serial killer is pretty creepy...who would want to do that to all those women?”
“For real...I mean, I’ve heard of anger but this is unreal.” The nurse was smitten with Burrell, flashing him a warm smile he picked up on.
“You’ve got some time left on your break, right?”
“I do, actually. A whole hour.”
“Let’s go for a walk. I know a good place just down the road.”
Pete’s Fine Dining
“Edgar Calvin Burrell!” Coleman hollered as he entered the restaurant, drawing his gun and zeroing in on the burly man. “You are under arrest!”
“Edgar?” The burly man said, flummoxed, “you got the wrong guy...my name is John.” He then fumbled his pockets for his wallet to prove his identification, but it was fruitless, since Burrell had picked his pocket. Burrell was lucky, since John looked a lot like him and John had the bad habit of leaving his wallet in his back pocket, where it could be easily swiped. Burrell didn’t plan on the pickpocket, but since the opportunity was there, he took it, just to make the FBII look even more like fools.
“Guess you can’t find your ID, can you?” Coleman said, meancingly. “Well, we know a few people who can, including Lynette Davidson, whom we rescued from your fridge earlier. Once she’s out of the hospital, you’re toast, Burrell.”
“Yeah,” said Soihull, excited at the scene. “No longer will you be around to grope and cut our women’s breasts.”
As the team went in on John, Soihull’s statement clicked with James. “Groper?” he whispered, before continuing out loud. “Guys! We’ve got the wrong guy.”
“Oh for gosh sakes,” said Soihull, throwing his hands up in frustration. “How can you be so sure? You guys said you were looking for a guy with a fixation on the breasts...this guy reached out and grabbed a random woman’s breast without hesitation! That’s the textbook definition of a fixation!” Soihull then grabbed Burrell’s prepaid credit card (Burrell planning on using it to frame someone regardless of whether or not they looked like him) that John had picked up, “Besides, this is Edwin Carter Burris’ or whatever his name is’ credit card, and ‘John’ used it!”
“Oh no,” said James, “he’s definitely a criminal...I mean, he grabbed a woman’s breast which is illegal in most jurisdictions which I assume holds true for Calgary. He’s just not...our criminal.”
“James’ right,” said Coleman. “This guy’s a dog...our guy pretends to be a gentleman.”
“This is a disgrace,” shouted a patron in disgust. “You know how TVTropes has a page called ‘Police Are Useless’? Well, for us, they should call it ‘FBII Are Useless’!”
The patrons then starting booing and throwing their beer cups at the BAU and police, as anger over their failure to nab Burrell mounted. The team did manage to just barely escape after arresting John, though it wasn’t easy.
“Okay, so where could he be?” Pucci asked as John was whisked away by a police car. Despite needing a few moments to dust themselves off, the team didn’t miss a beat.
“Remember I said he knew Jackson McDevitt?” James said. “Well, Jackson worked at Canadian Tire.”
“...and there’s one with an alleyway very close to the Saddledome,” said Parkes with a sense of urgency. “Perfect spot for the crimes.”
“Wait,” said Proctor, “that’s way too simple...besides, haven’t the police been canvassing alleyways already?”
“Yes,” confirmed Fitchner. “So he’d have to have a space only he has access to.” Parkes stepped away briefly, placing a phone call.
“He’s a business owner,” said Pucci, “so he probably has some kind of enclosure that he could escape to.
“Okay,” said Parkes, “just got off the phone with Morales...his meat shop is just downtown, with a receiving area tucked away from public view of which only he has access to. The regular drive goes past that same Canadian Tire store I mentioned, where he could have started stalking Paula.”
“That’s where he is,” Fitchner said, “Let’s go!”
Burrell’s Receiving Area
“I didn’t know crocodiles could do that!” The nurse, Patti Spelva, said to Burrell as they walked casually through the alleyway.
“Oh yes, it’s true,” said Burrell, as both laughed. Spelva was enjoying Burrell’s company, although she wondered whether it was too soon to get back into dating after her husband’s death three months ago.
Burrell, though, had one intention only. When they hit the spot he liked to hit, he stopped Spelva, grasping her arms and rubbing them up and down, with Spelva instinctively getting closer to him.
Burrell, sensing where it was going, went in for the kiss but, at the last moment, Spelva pulled away.
“Edgar,” she said, bowing her head. “You’re a nice guy but...I can’t.”
“Patti,” said Burrell, “you need to move on. Your husband was a great guy but there’s nothing you can do...he’s gone...you can’t bring him back.”
Spelva started to cry. “You know, tonight was the first night I didn’t think of him.” She continued in a flood of tears, as every memory she had with her husband came back in quick succession, evoking the happier times she missed so dearly. “Then I met you...and I thought...well, this might be the time that I could finally get over him...but then, at this moment,” she paused to wipe away her tears and collect herself, “feeling what I’m feeling, for the first time since my husband...it brought everything back and I realized...I’m still not ready.”
Burrell decided he didn’t have time to waste consoling her, so he put his hand on her mouth and pulled out his knife, causing Spelva to utter a muffled yelp.
“Okay,” said Burrell, “let me tell you how this is going to work. You do as I say and you won’t get hurt.” He then put his hand on her throat and slammed it against the wall, partially choking her, while continuing to brandish the knife. He then used the knife to cut open a large hole in her shirt and rip off her bra, so that her breasts were in full view.
He then started having his way with her, focusing particularly on her breasts. Spelva, meanwhile, wanted to yell, but Burrell’s hand blocked her airway so much that only the faintest of yelps could come out. After only ten minutes of agonizing foreplay- which felt like an eternity to Spelva- Burrell reached under her skirt and ripped off her panties, took off his pants and opened her legs where he began raping her against the wall.
By this point, the pain was excruciating. Spelva’s face began turning blue due to a lack of oxygen, and she started to pass in and out of consciousness. Eventually, when she had her orgasm, she passed out completely, causing Burrell to climax. Thinking Spelva was dead, Burrell laid her on the floor and pulled out his knife again to carve the hole in her cleavage, before being stopped dead in his tracks.
“Edgar Calvin Burrell!” Coleman hollered menacingly with his gun drawn. “Step away from the body! Put the knife down and put your hands where I can see them!”
“You don’t understand,” said Burrell, quivering and still holding the knife. “She’s a slut, just like Valerie was. She must pay for her devious ways, just like Valerie did for hers.”
“You were just as much the adulterer as she was,” said Moore. “You are just as much at fault as she was. Regardless...you are not the law, and Patti Spelva is a good woman. Besides, you and I both know that abortion didn’t cause Valerie’s breast cancer.”
“Lies!” Burrell yelled. “Lies!” He then charged at Moore before Yves shot him in the thigh.
“Nice shot,” said Fitchner.
“I was aiming for his head,” said Yves with a slight grin as Moore called for paramedics to come to the scene.
03:26 local time, Calgary Best Western
“Oh for the love of Pete!” Parkes exclaimed with an exasperated sigh, as her phone started to ring. Reluctantly, she picked it up.
“Hey Costas,” she said with a huff.
“Hey love,” said Sourtzis, oblivious to Parkes’ frustration.
Parkes snapped. “Okay, first of all, we still haven’t had a date yet and you’re already calling me ‘love’? Are you out of your mind? Second of all, you’ve been calling me and texting me every five freakin’ minutes, bugging me about when I’d have a free second. Not only is that obsessively clingy, that’s disrespectful of me, because you can’t seem to trust me that I’d call you back. I don’t operate at your beck and call...I have a life and a job and I can’t ignore those obligations. Thirdly, it’s three in the f*#@ing morning, you better damn well have a reason to call me this late!”
“I saw you in the news...I thought I would congratulate you.”
“Well thank you Costas...I appreciate it.”
Sourtzis immediately replied, stopping Parkes from continuing. “How was your day?”
“My day was fine, but it would be even better if you could allow me to get some sleep...I need to be up for 10 to catch the plane.”
“Come on...I haven’t been able to talk to you all day...please spare a minute?”
“No Costas...I need to sleep...I’m sorry.”
Sourtzis whined. “Please, baby, please.”
Sourtzis sighed. “Well, tomorrow you can tell me all about it on the bus.”
Parkes replied in a snarky tone. “Well, unfortunately for you and thankfully for me, my car has been fixed and I will never have to take the bus or see you again!” Parkes then angrily held the “end call” button on her cell phone, triggering an app that mimicked the phone being slammed back onto the receiver.
She then left her room and went to see Yves.
“Hey,” said Parkes, sheepishly as Yves opened the door.
“Hey,” said Yves, “come on in.”
Parkes walked in, seeing Yves work on what appeared to be some kind of science experiment, with two bottles filled with water on the table and a stick nearby. One of the bottles was bubbly.
“How’d you know I’d be up?” Yves asked with a smile.
“I know you told me you do some of your best work at night,” said Parkes, “so it was an easy deduction.” She then paused with a confused look on her face before continuing. “What exactly are you doing?”
“Oh I’m trying to work on a formulation that would allow us to read DNA evidence quicker. It’s not going so well.”
Parkes deadpanned her replied. “Right...I’m not sure how that helps us, but all the power to you.”
“I know the majority of our cases involve people who don’t have DNA in the system so from a suspect capture perspective, it wouldn’t aid a thing. It would help us close a lot of cases, though.”
“Pretty sure our guy is toast, though,” said Parkes. “Lynette can prove he kidnapped her, and she saw him with a dead body...plus he didn’t clean his van all that well. Lots of DNA there.”
Yves detected something in Parkes’ demeanour. “You didn’t come to talk about the case, though.”
Parkes looked down, slumping on a chair in Yves’s room.
“I met this guy on the bus coming down to Quantico,” Parkes said, with her head down, embarassed. “He seemed nice at first, so I gave him my phone number...but then he turned into this possessive-controlling monster.”
“What do you mean?” Yves asked.
Parkes spoke, exasperated with Sourtzis. “He wouldn’t stop calling me...every five minutes, he’d either text me or call me.”
Yves wore a puzzled look on his face. “Every five minutes?”
“Well, not literally every five minutes...it just felt that way. Anyway, oftentimes he would call asking me why I never wrote back to him.”
“That is definitely textbook possessiveness.”
Parkes sighed. “All I want is a nice guy who is respectful and courteous and understands that I have a busy life. Is that too much to ask?”
Yves walked up towards her and crouched, taking her hands.
“I know, it’s tough,” he said, “and it’s funny. Love might be the only thing that frustrates us as humans but we keep looking for it anyway. Everything else...there just comes a point where we ‘give up’ but for love...we never do give up, regardless of the hardship.” Yves paused, coming up with a thought before continuing. “One thing I realized with JJ and with other women is that you know you’ve found the perfect woman not when you find the one that doesn’t give you hardship but the one that makes all those hardships worth it. Complications and conflicts will always arise...you just have to say to yourself, ‘is this person worth working through them?’ When you answer ‘yes’ to that, you know you have the right person.”
Meanwhile, in his room, Coleman was asleep. Fast asleep. For the first night in a while, he didn’t have nightmares and he didn’t have his hallucinations. He was at peace. A soul inspiring peace. He wished this could have happened sooner, but at least it came.
The next day, Calgary Saddledome
“In honour of the FBII ending what was our city’s worst nightmare since 1988,” said Nenshi at a podium addressing a large crowd, “I am hereby declaring today a national holiday. Every bar and restaurant will be open, and the Stampede will proceed as planned. Thank you.” Nenshi then departed for the back of the stage.
As the crowd cheered, Nenshi turned his attention to Cooke, who joined him.
“Hey Ms. Cooke,” said Nenshi. “I’m sorry we doubted you.”
“No problem,” said Cooke. “Comes with the territory...we know how frustrating it is to have a serial killer on the loose...that’s why we don’t waste any time and do what we can to get it right.”
Nenshi smiled and gave Cooke a hearty handshake. “Thank you...thank you. Now our city can relax in peace.”
Meanwhile, in the distance, an unknown man could be seen snapping pictures of the press conference.
“Simpletons,” he said with a devious grin. “If only they knew the trouble was just beginning. If only they knew...”
“It’s said that Calgary is ‘The City of Dreams’. Is that why the nightmares never stop?”- Claudio Pucci, writing about Carlo Berti in “Claudio Pucci’s Compendium of Serial Killer Profiles”, 13th edition, 1988