The following is a story a good friend of mine wrote in honor of my wife. She always loved a good murder mystery and Rocky Rochford wrote this for her. Thank you Rocky, this was a great gift and it’s a great story.
DIE FOR ME
Detective Amy Castor Investigates
© 2015 Rocky Rochford
Mobile: (0034) 605 505 829
Address: Las Palomas Urbanization Tropicana 29b
18697 La Herradura
Die For Me is the exclusive intellectual property of Rocky Rochford (Real name: J.H. Longman) and may not to be reproduced in anyway without the exclusive permission of the copyright holder.
“Please, why are you doing this?” The woman pleaded, her face covered with blood, as a masked gentleman stood before her. Long white fingers crossed the handle of a sharp knife.
“Why? Because it’s fun,” the man chuckled, his laugh colder than death itself.
The woman’s eyes trembled with fear, it wasn’t supposed to have been like this, it was supposed to have been a couple of drinks with that really nice guy from the office, but now that would be. She should have known she was in trouble the second she got into the cab and laid eyes on the driver, his eyes were too dead to be human. Then again, what cab driver is human at 3am in the morning and what kind of woman arranged to meet a co-worker for drinks during a time most people would be sleeping?
The answer was the kind of woman whose profession was a nurse at the city’s largest hospital, attached to the ER and chose to date the new accountant.
It wasn’t the cab driver who knocked her out, bound and gagged her before transporting her to the derelict building she now found herself in, but the guy who paid the cab driver a fair sum to turn his back for five minutes, plausible deniability.
It was when she awoke, the fun began, her would be killer brandished his knife and began slashing at her skill, mere shallow wounds, aimed only to part the first three layers of skin.
He wanted her to scream, to cry out just like the others before her, he loved to hear them scream. To hear their cries for help go denied, just like how his cries for help went ignored so many years ago.
As a nurse, Janice was well aware of the type of injury she sustained, but she’d also been watching the news keenly, ever since the Back-alley Killer reached victim number 3. In her final days, her friends and co-workers morbidly joked she could be next, as she fit his victims profile perfectly. She would always laugh it off, but secretly hope they were wrong. Hope that it would be someone else, anyone else, but her.
If only they knew the truth, knew what was happening to her now, they would kick themselves for being so careless with their words. After all, it was them who helped the killer pick her as his next victim, hearing their cruel jests as he and Janice worked side by side most nights.
But now he tired of her company, now he would do to her what he did to those before her.
“Please, I have family.” Tears ran down her face. “You don’t to do this.”
He shook his head, if only she could hear how pitiful she sounded, but there would be no appealing to his kinder side, he doesn’t have one, you can blame his professional detachment for that.
“No, I don’t, just like humanity doesn’t have to put up with all the hypocrisy in this world, brought on by misplaced faiths in religions whose beliefs are often twisted to serve the needs of deranged fanatics. Yet here we are, still living in a world where things like this happen that’s life for you.” She thought his voice was cold before, now it was just sub-zero.
“Please I beg of you, let me go, I’ll do anything!”
“Anything?” He replied, arching an eyebrow from beneath his leather face-mask, brought from an adult store, not five minutes away from his downtown residence.
“Yes, anything!” She cried, clinging to the small possibility that escaping her captivity was possible.
Time froze as she awaited his reply, but when it came, the words were the worst she could ever have grace her ears, for they would also be the last she ever heard.
“I want you to Die for Me.”
Only been home for eleven minutes and already my phone was going off, no rest for the wicked I guess.
“Detective Castor,” I answered. Even when just saying my own name, my ´I spent my whole life growing up in the Bronx´ accent was easily evident.
“You’re going to have to cancel dinner, we’ve found another one.” There was no mistaking the voice, Captain Delaney of the Michigan PD, Homicide.
Barry’s going to be happy.
Delaney didn’t before to say anything more, he hung up, only to text my phone within seconds. The text containing the address of where I would have to spend the next few hours of the night.
Footsteps come from behind, trampling over the new carpet I just had fitted. I turned round to see Barry stood in the doorway to the dining room. In each hand he held a glass of good old wait, as a towel hung over his shoulder. His maroon eyes were pleasant, but the smile he had just two minutes previously, was gone.
“Let me guess, you’ve got to.” He sighed, again disappointed at having to see me dash out the door of our mortgaged home.
I bowed my head, avoiding his gaze. It’s always been like this, even in the early days between us, but never anywhere near this bad, like it has been in the last couple of months.
Back when I was an unknown detective solving a couple of murders here and there, and he was still working as a DA, we both knew the strains of each others jobs, but we made it work. But now its worse, ever since the scandal in his office, leaving him to step down and me landing one profile case straight after the other, we’ve been spending more and more time apart and our marriage had begun to suffer.
Happy 5th Anniversary us!
“I am so sorry,” I said, a poor attempt at an apology.
He shook his head in frustration. “I know you’re sorry, you’re always sorry.”
Barry raised one glass of wine to his lips and drained the entire contents. Not content with just the one, he did the same with the second and just walked off. I could have protested, called out for him but I didn’t, this was the third time this had happened this week and if things keep going the way they are, it’ll most likely be happening again tomorrow.
Plus if I did open my mouth, we’d only fall into an argument, which would only worsen things between us and have me slam the door on my way out. It’s better this way, me just sighing furiously and skulking out of our home as quietly as I possible could.
I couldn’t wait to just get in my car and go.
Detective on Scene
The drive over to the crime scene was pleasant enough, no major hold ups, just a couple of red lights to slow me down, but at least the half hour drive was enough time to have a serious think about things. Work was just getting way too much, too full on cases right after the other, maybe instead of going with the flow, I’m highly considering taking time off. A couple of days, maybe even a full week of R&R and some well needed quality time with the hubby.
I’m out of my car for all of two seconds before Joe scurried over, carrying his bag of quarters. No matter where the crime scene was, we always find ourselves pulling up in paid parking spots, so Joe, who fills that brown bag of his, every shift, would then run up and down the street, paying the meters.
We didn’t always bother with paying the meters, I know law breaking, shame on us, but traffic and meter maids who have it in for us, were continuously issuing us tickets, which just pissed off the Captain, so because it was Joe and his over powdery doughnut, which caused him to then choke and spit out the mouthful directly in the Captain’s, he made himself a marked man.
Reducing an experienced detective of twelve years, to glorified meter boy, was classic Delaney punishment. As a person, the Captain can be quite the nice guy, but professionally, if you make the department or him look bad, the guy makes sure you’d never do it again.
Coffee in hand, Officer Peters looked my way and walked my way, his youthful eyes happy at seeing a familiar face.
“What we got here Peters?” I asked, eager to be filled in as quickly as possible.
“Straight up black coffee with no sugar. Just how you like it.” Peters handed me the cup, but I wasn’t talking about the beverage.
“I was talking about the scene Peters.” I scolded.
Sure I could have been more calm about it, but given as how I supposed to be done for the night and at home with my husband, celebrating our anniversary, I’m annoyed. Tonight I just don’t have time for Peters inexperience. Sure he’s only been with the Homicide department for two weeks, but for a guy from a family of three generations, all of them detectives, he has a long way to go.
Peters pulled out his notepad as I flashed my ID to the officer stood by the tape, and ducked underneath. Camera flashes capture my attention as walk down the alley between Flanagan’s Bar and the Biker bar next door. More and more bodies begun to crowd us as Peters run me through.
“Victim’s name is Janice Bertrond, she’s an ER nurse over at…” Peters flipped the page, but struggled to read his own handwriting.
“Tell me later, just, on with it.” I said, a couple of familiar faces come into view.
“Thirty two years old, last seen by co-workers last night before she left in a hurry for a date.”
I froze in my tracks. “Who with?”
“A Daniel Colliday, an accountant under the employ of the Henry Ford Hospital. The two were supposed to meet for drinks but she never showed up.”
“Have a unit pick him up, he might be worth talking to.” I replied.
“You can, but it would be a waste of time.” Sure Detective Peckerman words were a dig, but I couldn’t help but smirk, it probably would be a waste of time, but the investigation isn’t Peckerman’s show to run, because if this girl was another of the Back-alley Killer’s victims, then the case was mine.
“Probably yeah, so what the hell are you doing here? Haven’t you got a case of your own to be working on? Get bored of chasing nowhere leads?”
His beady eyes glowed warmly. Sure he could have been annoyed, but Peckerman and I went way back, back to the academy when we were head to head for top spot. Everything about our friendship screamed rivalry, and yet we developed nothing but admiration and respect for each other, plus healthy competition does help generate results, for me anyway.
“I was in the neighbourhood, thought I’d see how the star was getting on. Make sure she’s not over her head just yet.” He replied, his voice husky from smoking sixty a day, every day.
“Me over my head, never, but I tell you what, the second I start the tread water, I still won’t call you. Now go on, on with you.” Just exchanging words with my colleague was enough to ease off some of the stress and anger I was feeling. Unlike most Homicide departments I know of, we actually like each other, we do consider each other family, but no family is perfect.
Peckerman waved his hands in defeat and shuffled off. With him gone, I could see Doctor Brammer knelt beside the victim.
I made my approach.
“Let me guess, here we go again?”
By the Book
“Detective Castor, a pleasure as always, but yes here we go again.” Came the good doctor’s jubilant voice. For years he treated the living, but he felt it wasn’t challenging enough so he switched to Medical Examiner and has been tending to our dead for the last six months and you know what, he’s really good at it. He notices a whole lot more than our last one ever did.
“So its the same as last time then. Various knife wounds, mostly concentrated around torso and arms. All done with a non-serrated knife, before strangled and neck unnecessarily broken?” Even now, victim number four, none of us understood why the killer would break his victims necks after he had strangled them.
Arguably it could be done to confirmation of the kill, a means of ensuring his victims demise, yet after talking with the profiler we brought it, she instantly dismissed such a notion, which the ME agreed with.
The strangulation marks around the woman’s neck, are large, whoever the killer is, he is a large man and strong, strong enough to strangle most women with just the one hand.
“I’m afraid so Detective and just like the others, she’s been dead for over twenty-four hours and just from the preliminary observation, everything is exactly the same as the other times. If there is more to be found, it’ll be found back at the ‘office.’”
“Sure thing Doc, keep me informed.”
The good Doctor signalled his assistant over and together, the two of them lifted the lifeless corpse of Janice Bertrond off of the plastic sheet her body was wrapped up in before the killer dumped her in the garbage bin, we all now stood beside and placed her on the gurney.
Peters only needed a single look in my direction, to know I was burning with questions, so now was a great time to continue with filling in. I took a sip of the coffee and got ready for the story.
“As previously stated, victim is Janice Bertrond, her identification made by the guy who found her, one Carlos Diaz a barman at Flanagan’s. ID was also later confirmed by Doctor Brammer, when he removed the driver’s ID that was stapled to the plastic sheet.”
ID stapled to the wrapping was standard MO as far as the Back-alley Killer is concerned, but I couldn’t help but froze in my tracks. Peters pulled out a photo of the victim.
“This was taken a couple of months ago, at the bar’s new year’s party. Diaz was kind enough to remove this from behind the bar for us.”
“Run a background check on him, it’s probably nothing, but as far as the Back-alley killer is concerned, we’re still nowhere, so lets dot a couple of i’s and dash the t’s on this one.”
“Whatever you say?” In a hurry to get on with my latest request, he made to move off before finishing his tale.
“Peters!” I called, more than loud enough to have a number of photographers and techies, shift their attention towards us.
“Ma’am?” He replied.
“You didn’t say how he came to find to the body?” I know it was obvious, Diaz was taking out trash, only to find the body, but still like I told Peters, we’re doing everything by the book.
We couldn’t afford any more screw ups, not now our killer has gone serial.
Getting down to Business
He was as close to the scene as he could be, stood beside a young officer in uniform watching the action, forever watching. Even as a young boy, the killer couldn’t help but be fascinated at watching crime scenes be investigated, he had a deep love for detectives and how homicides were worked,
Naturally, his deep love lead him wanting to pursue such a career for himself, but no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t turn his dream into a reality.
Large hands were tucked in his coat pockets as his eyes continued to follow the action closely, they soon fell upon the red-headed woman he saw at his every crime scene. He grinned happily.
He wanted to wave, to walk right up to her and smile in her face, just to rub it in, to feel his heart pound faster than he’d ever experienced it. It’s every murderers wish, to walk right up to those who hunt them and walk out of view, with their hunter not once ever realising who they ever were, but this one, she would.
After victim number two he decided she too must be added to the collection, another woman brought to her knees in his pursuit of his ‘so-called justice.’
Suddenly the red-headed detective turned round and looked right in his direction, but anticipating such a move, he shielded himself from view, but boy did his heart pound. Each beat pounding like a sledgehammer, but now he would make his heart beat more so. He stood back up, no longer ‘doing his shoe laces’ and looked right at her.
“You want in my world, than in you shall be Detective Castor, but know this, before this is over, you will Die For Me.”
With hushed words whispered, he vanished into the night, already planning just how he will strike Amy Castor down. Their fates were now woven as one and their story just begun.