The Next Move

This week I have chosen Pam LaRocque’s words: Item – burrito; Word: pretentious

Thanks Pam! Enjoy!


The Next Move

It wasn’t the worst diner on the east side but it wasn’t the best either. The food was edible, which was a plus it being a diner and all. But the décor was atrocious. Everything was a throwback to the fifties. From the squeaky red vinyl booth seats to the Juke Box in the corner full of golden oldies to the faded and peeling Arborite counter top everything shouted 1950-something. The cop fit right in. He sat in his favorite booth over in the corner, the one with a movable table. That way he could get his overweight body into the booth. He wore a rumpled and faded blue suit that was at least a decade out of style and topped it off with a dirty tan colored trench coat and dark brown fedora. As he tossed his hat onto the stained table top the bored looking waitress wandered over.

“Hiya Jack. What’ll it be? The usual?”

“Yeah, and make the coffee extra strong.”

She sauntered away to get his order and he settled back into the booth with a sigh and thought about how his morning had gone. He’d been called into the Captain’s office and right off he knew it wasn’t gonna be good.

“Come on in Reid. Have a seat. The DA you already know as well as Deputy Mayor Wakowski. The gentleman in the corner is from the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit. Agent Smith, please meet Detective Reid.”

“Ha! Really? Smith? No shit?” he laughed. He couldn’t help himself. Smith? They had to be pulling his leg. He stuck out his hand.

“Yes, it’s Smith. No shit.” said the agent as they shook hands.

“You done having your morning laugh Reid?” asked the Captain. “Good. Agent Smith is here to give us the benefit of his expertise on your case. Agent?”

“I’ve done all my homework on this and done my own profile on the perp Captain. With all due respect I don’t think we need this done again,” protested Reid.

“Yes, well. It’s been three months now and three women murdered and you have nothing to show for it,” said Wakowski. “The Mayor and I called the FBI in on this ourselves. We know you are the best man for the job and are leading the team on this but we think it’s time for an outside look at things.”

“Look,” said Smith, “please don’t take this personally. I’m not here to step on any toes. I’m here to help. We want to catch this guy as much as you do.”

“Yeah, I kinda doubt that,” muttered Reid.

“That right there is one of the problems! You are starting to take this too personally! Just because the murders took place in your old stomping grounds! Try to relax and listen to what the man has to say!” demanded the Captain.

“OK fine! Let’s see what you got,” snapped Reid, turning to Smith.

“All right. I’ll go through this with you first, and then we can present a united front when we show it to your team. First off we think your un-sub is male, between thirty and forty years of age, white, has trouble in public places with crowds, might have trouble keeping a job, drives some sort of non-descript vehicle, possibly a van or a truck, and has anger issues with the opposite sex.”

“That’s pretty much what I came up with. What do you think the victim link means?”

“The fact that they were all prostitutes? We’re not sure. Surrogates for someone maybe? A mother figure? Or possibly they were just easy targets. Unfortunately we won’t know until there is another killing or we catch him.”

“I thought pretty much the same thing. And the wounds themselves? What about those?”

“Those lead us to believe the un-sub is a very angry individual with that anger turned squarely at women. Something I believe you don’t subscribe to?” Smith smiled.

Pretentious prick, thought Reid.

“You’ve obviously read my report and know that my team thinks the severity of the wounds and the missing organs has something to do with ritual sacrifice. Things in the east end can be pretty weird sometimes.” said Reid.

“But based on multiple other cases across the country, experience tells us that…”

“Experience? Bullshit! No one else has done this kind of crazy crap to people. Not that I’ve ever heard of or seen! Head cut almost all the way off, abdomen slashed open, organs missing, genitals mangled, come on man! And each one almost exactly, and I mean exactly, the same!”

“Ahem,” interrupted Wakowski. “Well now that you two are starting to know each other, we’ll be on our way. Unless anyone has anything to add?” asked the Deputy Mayor while ushering the DA to the door.

“One thing only gentlemen,” said the DA in her soft, husky voice, “do something about this maniac and soon, or someone will have to take the fall for the public. They need someone to blame. Either for the killings or for why we don’t have the killer.”

The rest of the morning was a blur as he and Agent Smith compared notes on the profile of the un-sub and then called his whole team of thirty officers into the conference room for a quick thirty minute briefing on what they were now looking for. As soon as he saw his chance to escape for lunch, he took it.

The waitress came back with his order, breaking him out of his daydream.

“Here’s ya burrito, extra spicy like ya like it. And one coffee, extra strong.”

She plopped the food onto the table and left. He ate in silence, thinking about his next move on the case. When he was done eating he took out his note pad and began writing. About twenty minutes later he figured it was perfect. He paid for his meal and went home.

Once he was home he cleaned himself up and got out his writing instruments. He set his notepad down beside them on the desk and took a deep breath. This was the next step. He had to be sure he got it just right. And to be sure he signed it like he had signed those other letters before.

With his name.




Note: To those not familiar with the “legend” of Jack the Ripper, there were a few clues in this story that would lead you to know what it was about:
– The killings all happened in the East End of London
– The bodies were damaged in the way described
– All the victims were all prostitutes
– The killer called himself Jack
– The investigation was initially conducted by the Metropolitan Police Whitechapel (H) Division Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headed by Detective Inspector Edmund Reid.


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