Authors: John C. Dalglish
Tags: #Christian Books & Bibles, #Literature & Fiction, #Mystery & Suspense, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #Cozy, #Religion & Spirituality, #Christian Fiction
detective, I know who you are.”
The living room
wasn’t large and the family filled every chair, space against the wall, and spot on the floor. Jason crouched in in front of Lisa.
“How’s your husband?”
“They took him to SAG. They said he’s going to be okay. The arrow caught him in the side, but didn’t hit anything major. I’m going to go to the hospital in a few minutes.”
Jason touched her hand.
“That’s great news, Lisa. Can you tell me what happened?”
She dabbed at her eyes again
, and gestured to the family around her.
“We were all in the backyard grilling; it’s our regular get together. Bobby was due home anytime from work, and when I came in to get some ice
d tea, I glanced out the window to see if he was driving up.”
to wipe away fresh tears.
“I saw his car was in the driveway, with the door open, so I went to meet him at the front door. That’s when I found him.”
“What did he say?”
“Well, he was in a lot of pain. I screamed for the kids, and Kyle called 911. While I sat with Bobby, I pressed a towel on his side to slow the bleeding. The arrow was lying on the ground
. He had already pulled it out, and he just kept staring at it. I asked him what happened, and he said he was leaning into the car to get his cooler, when he felt a stabbing pain.”
“He never saw anything or anyone?”
“Not that he told me.”
Jason stood up as Vanessa came in the room.
“Thanks for staying to answer questions. Go and see Bobby at the hospital.”
Jason turned a
s Vanessa motioned for him to come outside.
“The arrow has been taken downtown
, but I got a look at it. Same as the others.”
“Did you find a name on it?”
“Officer Lisa White.”
The Hunter paced the floor, anger boiling inside. A missed kill was not acceptable. The target had been lucky, but The Hunter knew who was to blame. Training required every arrow be released at the optimum moment, and this time, The Hunter had made a bad decision.
It was unacceptable, and it would have to be made right, but not immediately. Targets must be
hit in order, and the next target on the map must come before any effort to atone for a miss.
The Hunter took out a piece of paper and ran it into the old typewriter. Needing to vent the anger and frustration, The Hunter began to type.
The next morning, Jason went by the hospital on the way to the station. Bobby was in satisfactory condition, and Lisa was there with him.
“Have either of you come up with a possible shooter?”
Jason explained the current theory about the shootings
, and the connection between the cases. Lisa didn’t like to think Bobby was targeted because of her job, but Jason was quick to point out they were dealing with a nut case, and it was in no way her fault.
Vanessa was at her desk when Jason got to the station.
“Good, considering. They weren’t able to add anything new to what we already have.”
Vanessa tossed a color eight-by-ten photo onto Jason’s desk.
“I went by the scene this morning
, and found where the shooter was standing. That picture is of a clump of trees about sixty yards away from the Whites’ driveway. Canvas of the neighborhood didn’t turn up any leads.”
Jason examined the photo.
“Our shooter is getting in and out of places without raising any suspicion. Why?”
“I don’t know
, but apparently no one is giving this person a second look.”
glanced at the lieutenant’s office and noticed the door was shut again.
“Who’s in with Patton?”
“Again! That’s three times in two days, John must be miserable.”
“No doubt. The lieutenant’s probably updating him on last night before the press conference.”
“The press conference
. Crap! I’d managed to forget about it.”
“I’m afraid amnesia is not an excuse to skip out.”
The door opened, and the captain came out, seemingly in a better mood than he was the day before.
“Detectives, good work on the theory. The city will be relieved to know the madman isn’t just picking random targets.”
Together, Jason and Vanessa said, “Thank you.”
The captain went for the elevator as Lieutenant Patton came out of his office. Stopping next to the detective’s desk, he smiled down at them.
“I have good news for you two.”
Vanessa looked up from her chair.
“Really? Do tell.”
“Captain Garza has excused you both from the press conference.”
Jason let out a “Yes!” and reached over to Vanessa for a fist bump.
“That is excellent news. I have
Vanessa was staring at the
eight-by-ten Jason had thrown back on her desk, but Patton was staring at Jason.
“Come to think of it, you’re wearing an un
usually big smile this morning. What’s up?”
Vanessa was only half-paying attention
. “I am not!”
Jason started to laugh while t
he lieutenant looked at her as if she was from outer space.
“Not you; Sandy.”
“That’s right not me, wait…Sandy?”
“Jason! That’s fantastic!”
“We think so.”
John Patton reached out and shook his friend’s hand.
Vanessa was sitting in her chair, e
yeing her partner, smiling. Jason noticed her staring.
“Would you stop grinning at me
“I was just thinking about the time I told you I was pregnant. I believe you were relieved it
you and Sandy.”
“Yeah, well things change.”
“Yes they do, yes… they… do.”
Jason and Vanessa took the time, that otherwise would have been spent at the press conference, to brainstorm about the shootings. Since Lieutenant Patton had to be at the news conference, they set up in his office, and used the large whiteboard on the wall to lay out everything they had.
Jason had the file
on Southern Dancer open, and Vanessa stood at the board.
“Okay, let’s make three lists to start with. The first will be the date of the shooting, the second will be the hire date of the person named on the arrow, and the third will be the date of departure from the SAPD, if it applies.”
Vanessa made the three headings and started to write as Jason gave her the dates. After the Dancer shooting, one by one, he opened the Connor file, the Peters file, and lastly, the Lisa White file. Only Brad Winston and Chuck Peters had departure dates. Vanessa stood back and studied the board.
“None of the dates match up.”
“No they don’t, but they do overlap.”
Vanessa moved back to the board, this time drawing a long line across the board. At the start of
the line, she put the name Lisa White. At the end of the line, she wrote the current date. A second line, shorter than the first, had the name of Chuck Peters, and his departure date was at the line’s end.
Dropping down again, she made another long line across the board, this one representing Dan Connor
’s dates from the list. The final line belonged to Brad Winston. Again, Vanessa stepped back, but Jason had already seen what they were looking for.
“There’s an overlap of about two and a half years where all four were with the department. Assuming the shootings are tied to a case all four were involved in, that narrows our search.”
Vanessa looked at him as if he was insane.
“Do you know how many cases took place in those two and a half years?”
“No, but remember, it’s only the cases with all four names that we’re interested in?”
“I repeat my first question
Jason laughed as the lieutenant came through the door.
“What’s so funny?”
cast the lieutenant an exasperated look.
“Detective Strong thinks we can ID our killer by examining all the case files that contain our four officer
s’ names from this period.”
She circled the overlapping dates on the whiteboard. Lieutenant Patton took his seat behind the desk and stared at the information listed on his wall.
“This is good work. Two and a half years is a long time, and a lot of cases, but it’s somewhere to start.”
Jason looked smugly at Vanessa while she scowled at the lieutenant.
“How do you suppose we do this? Is there some database of cases with just the officers’ names?”
Patton shook his head.
“Nope, but there is a database of each officer’s individual cases. You can print all four lists and cross-reference them. Start with the shortest tenure, looks to be Brad Winston, and check each of his cases against the others.”
Jason got up and moved to the board.
“Remember, the arrows were very specific with the names. The Hunter didn’t list current rank, but what was probably the rank of the person at the time.”
“At what time?” Vanessa asked.
“At the time when the event occurred that set this nut off.”
The lieutenant raised his eyebrows.
“Not bad. If you’re right, it should limit the search quite a bit. You should probably get started.”
Jason looked quite pleased with himself
, but Vanessa could only think of the reams of paper needing to be checked and cross-checked.
Before the two detectives could get to the door, the lieutenant stopped them.
“By the way, this weekend is mine and Lindsey’s thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. We’re going away and, as I told Jason before, I am not telling anyone where. My phone will be off; Sarah Burns will be covering for me.”
Vanessa looked hurt.
“Come on, Lieutenant. You can tell us?”
“Not a chance. You two can’t keep a secret twenty minutes unless, of course,
one of my officers is pregnant.”
Vanessa looked embarrassed.
“Oh, come on, I couldn’t tell you. You would’ve had me on a desk immediately.”
“Whatever. You two aren’t finding out.”
Vanessa made a pouty face.
“Fine, be that way. Seriously, congrats
. I hope you two have fun.”
“Ditto from me, John.”
, guys. Now, get to work.”
Jason and Vanessa went out to their desks. Dropping into his chair and picking up the phone, he dialed the Records Department. Marie Turley answered the phone.
Marie Turley has been with SAPD for thirty-eight years. She had moved to Records after three years as a dispatcher, and her memory for cases had made her famous around the precinct. At sixty-one, she was still sharp, and prided herself on keeping up with as many cases as she could.
“Hi Marie, it’s Jason.”
time no hear. How’s things?”
“Good. I need your help with a search.”
“You know I’m here for you.”
“Have you heard about the arrow shootings?”
“Of course, it’s all over the papers. The Hunter and all that.”
“I need a search of a two
-and-a-half-year period for all the cases handled or assigned to four officers.”
“Wow, that’s going to be a long
list. Are these officers suspects?”
“Definitely not, but they are all tied to the victims
, and we think it might be the connection we’re looking for.”
. Give me the names and dates.”
Jason read the four names off
and the dates to be searched.
“Is there any way to refine the search, Marie?”
“I can remove traffic stops. Tickets are listed separately.”
Here’s hoping a simple traffic stop is not the cause of these attacks.”
I’ll get started and give you a call when it’s done printing.”
“Thanks, Marie. You’re the best.”
“Yup, and don’t you forget it.”
Jason laughed as he hung up
, and Vanessa looked up from a file she was studying.
“She got a handle on what we want?”
“I think so. Like I said, she’s the best.”