Hello, I’m Lieutenant Will Masters of the Boston Police Homicide. At this very moment, I’m lying, on my back, on the own huge four-poster bed in my own bedroom of my own house.
My hands are bound together by thick ropes from my own tool shed. My feet are chained to the foot of the bed by a thick metal chain having two circular vice grips which fit perfectly around both my ankles. My mouth is taped shut with a roll of thick cellophane duct tape. I have been completely stripped of my clothes, which are lying in a heap on one side of the bed.
The ropes are cutting into my wrists. I try to move, but I can only turn over on my side, which is, I think, because of the vice grips in which my feet are ensconced. I can’t move. I can’t scream for help. All I can do is make muted sounds of pain through the duct tape, which no one can hear; realize that I’m a prisoner in my own house and feel waves of great fear and panic.
Yes, I can think too. Think of how I came about to be in this position, and how I’m most certainly going to die. Die like those murders victims for whom I swear to get justice and fulfill my duties as a cop. In a few hours, I’m gonna be a corpse, just like the hundreds I’ve seen. I also realize that my death shall come about after I’ve experienced the extreme pain of torture which shall be inflicted on me, physically, emotionally and psychologically- just like some of the recent homicide victims, whose murders I have been investigation. My death will come as a mercy, a reprieve, and I’ll be made to plead for it; because I’d die rather than bear the pain which shall drive me insane and tear my soul apart.
But before I die, I want to tell you a story. The story of how all my cops instincts were not enough to save me from my current predicament. The story of how this situation came about, and how I never thought I was gonna be taken prisoner and die in my own house. My death shall not go in vain- the world should learn some lessons from my mistakes, and never repeat them in the future.
Time is running out. So I better start on my story, which starts from about a year ago…
12th June 2013, Maple Street, Boston
I’m standing in a narrow alley on Maple Street, with my colleagues in blue. We have arrived five minutes ago, after Dispatch received an anonymous from someone reporting a dead body here.
The alleyway stinks heavily of urine and beer- no surprise there as it flanks the left side of a bar. But tonight, there is something else, apart from the stink, which has pervaded my senses. It’s a body, or what’s left of it, lying at the base of the huge wall at the rear end of the alley.
I’m saying what’s left of it because, seriously, the condition of the corpse is so bad I can’t bear to look at it. The head has been severed from the body, is a hand and a leg. The corpse is nothing more than a bloody mass of flesh, arranged in a way to keep the limbs together and yet emphasize the decapitation and dismemberment.
Another thing has grabbed my attention. On the wall behind the corpse, there are words written. In huge bold letters, with something that looks like blood- a crimson hue. I can clearly read the message in the clear daylight.
“HELLO COPS. THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.WITH LOVE, THE CRIMSON DAHLIA” is the message inscribed on the wall.
“What do you think it means, Lieutenant?” asks my colleague and friend, Detective Lance Carter, standing right beside me and staring at the message curiously.
“I don’t know, Detective. You have any ideas?” I ask him in return. I really have no idea about what to make of the message. It doesn’t make any sense. Who is this Crimson Dahlia person? And how can someone be so audacious so as to directly address the cops and say the words ‘with love’? Someone, I suspect, who isn’t afraid of the police at all, and think they can get away by taunting us directly in our faces, apart from leaving a dismembered corpse for us. Their idea of a horrible joke. Well, whoever this Crimson person is, I will soon catch up with them, and then the joke will be on them.
“No, Lieutenant. I’m as confused as you. I think we’ll know more when Dr. Styles is done with this” he says, looking at the corpse.
“Yes, Detective, I think so too. Till then, you go around with Detective Cole and find out if anyone at the bar saw anything last evening. Meet me at the station later.” I tell Lance.
“Yes, Lieutenant. See you.” Saying this, Lance rushes off to his partner, Detective Ansen Cole. One of my most promising young detectives, and, if I’m right, my successor to the Lieutenant position in a few short years’ time.
The crime lab people are processing the scene, one of them taking pictures of the mangled body from various angles. Another one is collecting samples from the message inscribed in red on the wall, and I hope it has not been written with the victim’s blood. It would be too disgusting.
Meanwhile, I watch as the people from the coroner’s lift the body, part by part, onto a stretcher. I have never understood how they can manage to do so with such efficiency, without flinching and throwing up. True, in my fifteen years of police work I have seen a lot of dead bodies, some of them mangled badly beyond recognition. I can tolerate the sight, but not actually having to touch it.
Its afternoon now and I’m sitting in my office at the station and thinking of grabbing some lunch, as I peruse, on my desktop PC, the report Detectives Carter has just mailed me. It’s the report of the inquiries both Carter and Ansen Cole at Joey’s, the bar beside the alley where we found the body today morning. As usual, the staff at the establishment saw or heard nothing unusual, and if they were to be believed, neither did any of the patrons at the bar last night.
After all this time in the job, I have come to recognize that cracking such cases isn’t that easy. It will be sometime before we can even get our first break.
I proceed to file the report in the PD database, when my phone rings. It’s my wife, Luciana, on the line.
“Hey, Doc. How you doing?” I ask her, in the affectionate manner we had of talking with each other.
“Hey, Lieutenant-husband of mine. I’m not okay because I’m starving like mad, and I hope you will get your butt out of that office to join me for lunch,” she replies, her tone mirroring mine.
“Where do you fancy we should go, Doc?” I ask.
“Sanjay’s. I wanna have that chicken curry with the fried rice thingy again” she replies.
“Okay, honey. Meet me in the parking lot in 10 minutes. See you” I say.
“Allrighty. Love you, hon” Luciana says, bringing an involuntary smile on my face. We declare our love at least a 100 times to each other every day, even after being married for almost seven years now. I know, I know, it sounds silly and too lovey-dovey.
“Love you too babe” I reply, and hang up. After the hectic schedule and other demands my job makes on me, going back home to Luciana makes me so happy and content. Or rather, I should say, going home with Dr. Luciana Masters- we both work for the Boston PD. My wife is a forensic psychologist, and her office is in the station itself, but on a different floor. We come to work together every morning, and leave together every night. Our schedules suit each other perfectly, and we get to spend enough quality time with each other. I love my wife with all my heart, and she reciprocates my love with warmth and care. I am the luckiest man in the world.