It's kinda early, not super early, and I'm a tad tired.
Tomorrow I'm going into the big smoke to have coffee with Brian O'Sullivan - which will be fun. Always good to talk shop with a fellow
The cat is crazy this morning (no I do not mean me! but thanks for thinking that)... she's tearing up and down the stairs and racing in and out of the office. There is no reason for it that I can see, other than, the cat is crazy. She's freaking the dog out. He's not crazy. He's unimpressed with her stupidity.
Might add a few excerpts in here - such fun.
If you can guess which book they're from I'll be dead impressed. Gonna mix them up.
Even going to throw some new stuff in. (Seriously having issues typing or seeing today!)
Your choices are killerbyte, terrorbyte, exacerbyte, flashbyte, soundbyte, snakebyte, databyte, eraserbyte, psychobyte ... but not all of them!
Man that's mean. :)
“Soon. I’ll find Kurt first and I have to meet with a Secret Service agent this afternoon.” I looked over at our building. Chaos. Utter chaos. “I gotta go.”
I ended the call. The bedlam in front of me was an all too familiar scene now. My mind sifted images and compartmentalized everything. To survive the day I needed to mentally step back. I couldn’t be emotionally tied to anything I witnessed.
Sitting on the cold ground with a solid building against my back didn’t feel as soothing as it once would have. Getting back to a place where D.C. felt safe was not going to be easy. Someone broke my city and it was going to take time to fix it.
The talking stopped. A massive thud shook the floor. The last of the icy water ran from the containers, leaving only about five pieces of ice to melt. I shucked my bag from my shoulder, letting it slide silently down my arm and onto the floor.
A familiar voice yelled out, “Coming in, hold your fire!” followed by Cosgrove’s boots thundering down the hallway.
“We have to move the bombs,” I said. “I think the TATP is on top of plastic explosive.” At that moment, I heard a knock from the inside of the cellar door. “Kurt?”
A muffled reply came, “Conway.”
I stood close to the door and yelled, “Count to five then try opening the door.”
“I’m a patient man Ellie.”
“No, Rowan, you don’t get to do this and play the wounded hero.” I stabbed a finger toward him. “You don’t get it!”
He spun around and stared at me. “Then help me get it.”
We were in the living room.
“You won’t. That’s different to can’t,” Rowan said.
“Okay, won’t it is then.”
“I’m not a mind reader.”
“Maybe you should be,” I snapped.
“We going ten rounds here?” he asked dropping into the couch.
“No, yes. I don’t know,” I muttered.
“You tell me.” I pulled my gun out of the holster as I sat down. Vision of another conversation with a ghost flowed across my internal screen. I set the Glock on the coffee table between us. It was my not so invisible barrier. “You tell me.”
“Ellie? What’s this about?”
He didn’t look comfortable. I could see it on his face. The dawning as he realized I knew.
Outside the door I stopped.
“Carmine’s case is going to get kicked back to FBI. He wouldn’t be worried about his family unless he got himself into something big and very messy.”
“Organized car theft, stealing to order, shipping out of State or even the country,” Sam said.
We were on the same page.
I spoke to the uniformed agent near the door and told him to contact Fairfax PD, tell them the car thieves were ready and that PD could use our interview rooms if it made things easier. Made sense, especially as Sam and I thought the case would become an FBI one.
“Do you want to talk to Carmine’s buddy?” Sam asked.
“No need,” I replied.
Chance high-fived me as he passed by. Confirmation that I had the information I needed.
He twitched remarkably, his steel-gray eyes narrowed. “Gimme a sec.” He disappeared into the house.
“Where’s he going?” Mac asked, watching Caine stride away.
“Hopefully to apologize to the police on scene for his asshole behavior.”
Mac raised his eyebrows at me. “He pissed?”
“You could say that.”
Caine joined us a little while later. He appeared somewhat humbled, and his manner was more agreeable.
“You two are free to go. I want you to check into a hotel, out of this area.” He handed me his own car keys. “Take my car.”
Caine turned to Mac. “Sorry, Mac. We’re keeping your truck, it contains evidence.”
I saw the look of horror on Mac’s face. I guessed this was something else he didn’t want to know.
“You’re going to need clothes and such, Ellie.” He gave me a long look. “Something that fits would be a start. Use the company credit cards for whatever you need, and that goes for the hotel, too. I don’t want to see your actual names appearing on anything traceable to a location. Zero paper trail.”
Mac looked very serious. I don’t think I had ever seen him look so serious.
I refocused on the task at hand and read the list again. All our victims to date fitted the mentally ill category. “So how is the Unsub connected to these women?”
“Damn, Chicky, you never said you wanted answers.” Lee produced another sheet of paper, laying it next to the first. He tapped it slowly.
I leaned over and read out the single sentence in the middle of the pristine white sheet, “‘I got fuc’n nothing. How about you?’” I smiled at him. “Very funny.”
I passed the paper to Sam.
“We’ve got six murders and five of the victims had a mental illness. What about Marie Kline? What do we know?”
Lee pulled out his phone and made a call. Minutes later he had an answer for me, “Six now, Ellie; Marie was schizophrenic according to the medic alert bracelet she wore.”
“Thinking just on the Northern Virginia murders … could these women have a connection to the same mental health facility, or doctor, or psychologist, even pharmacist?” I paused. “But then what connects the Richmond murders to these northern ones?”
“Good question,” Sam said.
“Can you extend the parameters of the comparisons?”
I listened to the recording of the call I received tipping us off to the jewelry robbery. A woman’s voice. She didn’t give a name. Sandra traced the call to a public phone at a Metro station. Uniforms found nothing. Public phones are lousy with fingerprints, hence of little use to our investigation.
I played the phone call again. Kevin Costner started back up. I shut off the recording. The song stopped. When I turned it on again, Kevin was back singing ‘Maria Nay.’ I wrote across my desk blotter, “The woman who tipped us off was Maria.” The song stopped. I still needed to rule out Marika Bleich as the tipster, even though my gut told me she’d been long dead and it was someone called Maria.