Saturday, May 24, 2014

Savage 3

"Looks bad in there", the young towheaded officer said with a worried look as he paused with his yellow tape to allow Detective Munoz to pass, "Never seen anything like it."

"I have."  replied Munoz, his snow white Hollywood handsome smile unnerved the young officer.

Detective Munoz had only been on the force locally for six months.  He had been transferred all over Arizona due to personnel and personality conflicts and had finally applied for a less than prestigious opening in Ohio to escape the bureaucratic shuffle.  Daniel Munoz was a beautiful and compact man, a well muscled 5'3" with a face like a tan angel.  He was a pit bull on a case, his record and work ethic weren't the reasons he had trouble working with most departments.  Some of his coworkers might have said he had little man syndrome, others might say he would have been as much of an arrogant prick if he'd been 7' tall, if not worse.  The latter were correct, Daniel Munoz was a cocky bastard.

The woman, a hooker, had been murdered brutally.  There weren't many other ways for a hooker to be murdered, but this woman had been torn apart.  She had been strangled with a towel or cloth that hadn't been left behind, and had also been stabbed repeatedly.  The woman was missing a few teeth, also not left on the scene.  Her tongue had been cut out and was, like the teeth, the stabbing implement, and the rag used to strangle her, MIA.

The sanitary aspects of the kill were somewhat perplexing.  Obviously a passionate murder, sloppy and crude and brutal, she had suffered greatly.  However, none of the neighbors in this two bit motel had heard a thing, and the crime scene offered not a single clue to motive or perpetrator.  If Munoz had to guess, it was a textbook crime of passion, however the absence of evidence and obvious taking of trophy's suggested a darker pattern might emerge.

And then there was the circle of skin missing from her thigh.  About the diameter of a tomato soup can, raggedly cut from the tender skin midway between her knee and waist.  Munoz had seen something like that before.  When he had first arrived in Ohio, he'd been relegated to paperwork for a time while his own paperwork was being processed.

Daniel Munoz loved a good story and the best stories, to him, were darkly criminal in nature.  He had grown up on a farm under the care of a sadistic stepfather.  His mother had passed away giving birth to his baby sister when he was 5, and Daniel had immediately become an unwelcome brown interloper in his own home.  His stepfather had been a template for Daniel's earliest sociopathic study, he spent his time learning how to uncover and digest clues about the big man's behavior and the consequences that behavior rained down onto the small brown boy.  By the time he was in high school, Daniel was as good at predicting crazy as any trained professional.  And so Daniel Munoz, with his passion for morbid psychology, was a natural for the police force.

Daniel considered the similar case from the three months he'd spent going over paperwork and logging old evidence.  A single instance of a boy, about ten years old, with that same circle pattern carved expertly from his upper thigh and lower back.  The boy had been dehydrated prior to death, which made bleeding difficult and possibly made the carving of the circle easier.  He had been molested and had been ultimately killed via strangling, and then left in a ditch just outside of Merlin Ohio.  The boy hadn't had much family, the lonely and socially awkward single child of a disinterested mother with holding down two jobs.  She hadn't reported him missing for three days, he was found a week later.

That had been the work of a serial killer, Munoz was sure, but it was the only case.  A single case does not a serial killer make.  This woman had been savaged.  The scene appeared to be a novice killer's work at best, however the clean up, the clean up was superb.  Daniel didn't know how it fit but he knew the two murders were tied somehow.  Those circles, how much of a coincidence could that be?

Daniel Munoz gathered his report log

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