Death Marks: Chapter 7

Uncompromising, gritty, thrilling, and not for the faint hearted! British detectives suspect a serial killer is on the loose. With the support of American profiler Dr Tessa Davies, they soon realize that this could be the work of a druidic sect.

Please enjoy another chapter of my dark crime novel, Death Marks . For now, I will post a chapter every Monday and Thursday.

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Death Marks

Chapter 7

Redd picked up the phone. ‘Dove here. I just got back from Saturdays. The place was packed, but no-one seems to have seen or heard of Delle and the Baker boy.’

‘Okay, thanks.’

He put down the phone drumming his fingers on the desk. Time was going on; they had to get a break. His face lit up when he saw the young PC carrying brown envelopes with the forensics insignia. After two hours of studying the reports, Redd groaned, putting his head in his hands. Stabbing the intercom button, he said, ‘Michelle, get Cummings and Dove in here pronto. Contact Dr. Patterson in Toxicology; I need to speak to him urgently.’

Michelle came back almost immediately, ‘I was just about to ring Dr. Patterson when the Deputy Chief Constable came on the line, sir.’

‘Okay, Michelle, put him through.’

‘Dan, it’s one hell of a case. I see you need the DNA of the Woodhouse girl in a hurry.’

‘Yes, sir, we interviewed the mother. One interesting point, the girl, must have had the tattoos done after leaving home. I’m wondering if the unsubs did them, some ritual.’

‘The case gets weirder. Good work getting the hair roots. I’ve already been on to Dr. Patterson. He knows the case has top priority. We need to get those results through in forty-eight hours, even if his team has to sleep at the lab. So send the samples off to him by special courier.’

‘Bill, I have to square it with Titmouse. The budget…?

‘Leave that to me. Forget Titmouse; he’s a pain in the arse.’

‘Thanks, that’s a relief.’

‘We’ve got to kill this quickly. I can see large-scale panic if we don’t; damn bunch of psychopaths.’

‘Got everyone on it, Bill. All overtime canceled, officers working twelve-hour shifts. The Incident Room is up and running; the teams are working non-stop.’

‘Sounds like it could turn serial.’

‘I’ve contacted other branches as to similar crimes. DS Williams went back five years on HOLMES2, and he’s combing it every day. If there is anything comparable, we’ll know. Papworth is searching Interpol.’

‘Good – let’s hope it’s contained to the UK.’

‘I’ll phone Patterson now, sir.’

‘Keep at it; anything you need, just let me know.’

Putting down the phone, Redd breathed a sigh of relief. At least, he had the DCC on his side; Titmouse was murmuring about Seaton assisting. He didn’t need that louse crawling in his hair. The investigating teams were already in full throttle. As Jack was also helping on the case, it made for a good excuse.

Pressing the intercom, he said, ‘Michelle, try Dr. Patterson now. ‘Will do, sir.’

Minutes later, Michelle buzzed. ‘Dr. Patterson for you, sir.’

‘Great, put him through.’ Redd switched the phone to the loudspeaker, leaving him free to write notes. ‘Hello doctor, just been speaking to the DDC; he tells me he’s already discussed the case with you.’

Although suffering from chronic osteoarthritis, Patterson was well beyond retirement, making it almost impossible to walk; he scooted around the labs in an electric wheelchair. ‘Hi Redd, yes, the DCC has been onto me. Bloody awful crime. There are some right monsters out there. You want the DNA results on Delle Woodhouse, as of yesterday?’

‘Yes, but first, I’ve just been through the reports on the victims. We managed to find some root hairs from the girl’s hairbrush and a used tube of lipstick. Let’s hope the DNA matches the victim. This is one bugger of a case; perps are pure evil.’

‘The DCC is pulling out all the guns. I’ll go over to the lab personally. We should get it through in three days tops – Saturday?’

Knowing it usually took weeks to get the DNA test through, Redd grinned. ‘Brilliant. My thanks, now I’m going to go through the reports with Jack and Dove. Hope to hear from you soon.’

As he put down the phone, Dove entered with Jack following.

‘Come in, I’ve been through the toxicology reports, and I think there is a glimmering of a lead, but the whole case is bizarre. Sit yourselves down; we’re in for a long haul.’

Taking a chair, Dove took out her notepad whilst Jack dragged the recliner forward. ‘Might as well make myself comfortable. So, anything?’

‘Forensics managed to lift a fingerprint from the bark of one of the yew trees on the site. The only thing is, Papworth ran it through HOLMES2, and there is no match. All we have to do now is find the hand.’

Dove grimaced. ‘Let’s hope it’s still attached to the body.’

‘Maybe they’ll start dissecting each other.’ Jack muttered. I’ve phoned Edward Patterson, and he’s promised to do DNA testing on Delle’s hair roots and lipstick together with the DNA from the body in the morgue. We’ll have the results Saturday, hopefully. If the DNA of both of them marries up, you can get the mother to identify Delle’s body.


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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © Katy Walters

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