Inside the mind of a mad man.Detective Peters turned away from the grizzly crime scene. He couldn't stomach what was hidden inside the thin line of yellow tapes. he had been with the forcee for most of his life, but he still couldn't get over the site of this crime. This sort of thing didn't happen in his town, and that wasn't even tooting his own horn, they just didn't. A small town of 5,000 people, everyone knew everyone else, or was willing to meet them, you just didn't get this sort of thing. Sure, people got killed, but most of them were accidents through machinery used to operate agricultural business, and even when someone was killed by another human being, it was mostly drownings and shots to the chest, and occasionally you found someone with a limb removed, but that was usually in winter when it became frozen and then wolves or other animals came and ate them. This was something new, something weird, something disturbing.
"Well..." said Peters' partner Burns "... we know two things for sure. The killer was clumsy, and he knew the vic. He was clumsy because he left his prints on the saw used to..." Burns looked back at the crime scene "... and he knew the vic personally because honestly, you must have had one hell of a good reason to do all that."
"Run the prints through the database, and haul whoever it was into my office, in a straight jacket if you don't mind."
"How about two of them?"
"Fine by me"
Peters was having a nice cup of coffee and reading a delightful story in the days newspaper, when suddenly his door burst open and Burns stepped in with a man who was indeed in a straight jacket, two of them to be precise.
"His name is Mark Reins, just moved to town a few days ago."
"Okay then Mark, why'd you kill the innocent shop keeper?? Did he give you a bad deal? Did he say something rude to you? Did he make you angry???!"
"On the contrary Detective, he was the most pleasant man I've met so far, but that's easy competition seeing how it's you, your friend here, and a very distressed cop. What did you guys tell him I was, some kind of freak?? No, no, my shop-keeper friend, or, John as he should be called, was very nice, and opened up to me, made me feel welcome. Told me where he lived, and asked me over for a meal with his family if I hadn't found anyone else to eat with this very night, but I guess I can't make it on account that I'm here, and that his family is probably weeping. So no, he didn't, and there's no logical reason for why I killed him, so why am I here?"
"Because we found your prints on the saw you used on him, you sick son of a-"
"Hey hey, no reason for profanity Mr.....uh, Burns? Wait, you said my prints were on the saw?"
"Yes." answered Peters simply.
Burns jumped to his feet.
"Was that a confession??!!!"
"What?! No, no, not at all, I'm just saying, it's the prints, every time it's the prints. On those shows on TV, it's always the prints, they hold so much store by them, but yet they are absolutely useless in a real court of law."
"Not unless we find some connection between you and John." said Peters calmly.
"But there's the thing, you wont. As you said, I just moved in, and you can look at CTV, but me and John had a lovely, peaceful talk."
There was silence as both the cops thought about this, and how it would look in a court of law, and as Mark thought about how to phrase his next words.
"You see guys, the ultimate killer is not someone with stealth or skills, you can be as clumsy as you want, as long as you don't have any connection to the people you kill. I mean, you have to make sure you don't leave actually skin or confess, but as long as you don't do that, they can never convict you. The ultimate killer is someone who really gets off on killing, especially those he doesn't know. Someone who's shy so he doesn't know very many people so he has a larger selection, and someone who loves the people he does know very much so that he would never hurt them instead of strangers. The best killers are freaks, just like all the best things in life. The best pancakes are the ones that are hugely bigger and thicker than the others. The best books, games, and music are those that push the envelope, the do things none have done before. Oh yeah, and he also can't stick around, he needs to keep moving. Fool cops once, shame on them, but they learn, and if you get caught, you just need to be more careful next time. So really, the ultimate killer is someone who is, just like me, but I assure you both, it was not me, just someone very much like me, maybe my evil twin cousin?"
A few months later, Mark was driving home in his car with a nice suit on. The trail had been over just a few minutes ago, and he was a free man. Fingerprints were known to be reliably inaccurate, and so there was no one on that Jury who was convinced it was him"beyond a shadow of a doubt". Mark was sure that there were several people who thought he had done it, but not enough sure. It was fortunate though, that his lawyer was able to make sure that the interview he had had with the nice detectives didn't end up in the court by threatening a police brutality lawsuit over the straight jackets if the tape was used, and frankly, all the people in the town combined wouldn't have deep enough pockets to fund his next vacation to Hawaii. Lucky him. He thought about his next murder, and suddenly a thought came to him. He knew he wasn't supposed to work during his vacation, but he couldn't help himself. Decapitation by Surfboard had a nice ring to it, and sounded so ridiculous that if he was hauled in, no one would ever convict him of it. Only a crazy person would be convicted of something like that, and he sure wasn't a crazy person.
Short story by Thomas Sutherland McPhee
Read 1144 times
Written on 2008-08-17 at 00:22
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