Hello and welcome back. I decided to post a prequel trilogy to No Remorse No Regret. The first of which shows Mitchell Burnlee and his partner at the time Jacob Maloney are searching for The Drowner. The next two short stories will be posted on Wednesday the 16th and Friday the 18th.
Detective Mitchell Burnlee and his partner Detective lieutenant Jacob Maloney are seated in the car in the parking lot observing the funeral for Laura Jones, the latest murder victim of The Drowner. So far there have been here that they know of, and if they don’t stop him soon, there will be many more to come. The serial killer got his nickname from his habit of dropping the women into the water, stuffed in a gym bag and weighed down with a cinder block, all while the poor girl is still alive.
Mitchell is snapping still photos of the people with a digital SLR camera while Jacob is videotaping the proceedings.
“You think he’s in the crowd?” Mitchell asks.
“It’s a possibility,” Jacob says. “Agent Steese said serial killers like to show up to the funerals of their victims, a perverse look at their handiwork.”
Mitchell grimaces as he nods, how sick these bastards are that prey on the weakest members of society,
As the two officers get their footage of the mourners, the parents of the murdered woman are inconsolable, tears are running unchecked down their faces. Mitchell grits his teeth his own wife is pregnant, and he can’t imagine what the parents are going through. This is every parents’ worst nightmare, burying their child – it’s supposed to be the other way around.
“Anyone stick out to you?” Jacob asks.
Mitchell squinted his eyes and checked the people both on the camera and in the crowd. All of them seem to be mourning appropriately, some crying while others are standing stoically. But if the killer is there, he will know how to put on a good show.
“At the moment no,” Mitchell says. “We’ll check more when we get the video and pictures back to the station.”
Mitchell and Jacob left the funeral when they got all the footage they needed and after all the mourners had left. They went through the Starchy’s drive thru and picked up coffee.
With Mitchell driving Jacob took a call on his cell phone, he flips it open to take the call, “Maloney here.” He closes his eyes and heaves out a heavy breath when he gets the news. He hangs up the phone and looks at Mitchell who’s seen that grim face too many times.
“Don’t tell me,” Mitchell says.
“Yes, another one has been found.”
Mitchell slams one of his fists into the steering wheel as Jacob gives him directions to where the body has been found. They arrive thirty minutes later to the body of a young woman being brought ashore. The uniformed officers tell them of how a scuba diving class had found the girl when they were about to go for their first open ocean dive. One of the students spotted her in the clear water as they were sailing out to their destination. They kept the marine predators away from her until the police divers came.
The body of the young woman is loaded onto the gurney and is wheeled to the coroner’s van where Mitchell unzips the body bag and compares her face to the picture of a missing woman, Michelle Thompson and it is a match.
Jacob takes out his cell phone and calls into the station telling the desk sergeant to call the parents of the woman to come in for a positive identification.
Both detectives are grim faced as they head back to their car, “Hope we get this guy soon,” Mitchell says.
“Nothing like a trial by fire, unfortunately,” Jacob says.
Mitchell nods, he had made detective just before the first woman was found murdered and now with the fourth, he wants nothing more than to see the serial killer, whoever he is strapped to the gurney with the needle going into his arm. Too clean a death for what he did to these women.
An hour later they are in the morgue with the parents of the woman, the body is covered with a sheet. “We’re ready,” the father says choking back tears, his wife is shaking beside him.
Jacob knocks on the glass for the medical examiner to pull back the sheet to reveal their daughter. “Oh God no!” the father shouts as he punches the glass leaving a crack. The mother breaks down crying on her husband’s chest as tears flow freely down both the parents’ faces. Both Mitchell’s and Jacob’s eyes are watering as they take a few steps back to give the parents some space in their grief.
“When you find the bastard who did this,” the father says red eyed with grief and rage as he points his finger at Mitchell and Jacob, “let me kill him with my bare hands.”
The detectives nod and say nothing,
as much as they’d like to allow any of the parents to have their five minutes
with the serial killer, the law would not allow that.
Mitchell and Jacob are waiting in the high school gymnasium with four uniformed police officers as it begins to full up with students, the students are separating into their various cliques, jocks with jocks, goths with goths and so forth. The talking is loud enough that Jacob and Mitchell must speak into each other’s ears.
“Ready for this Mitch?” Jacob asks.
Mitchell shrugs his shoulders, “Somewhat of a preparation for when my kid gets this age.” He approaches the microphone at the signal of the school principal and introduces himself to the students before starting his speech. “If you see anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to call the police, that’s what we’re here for, your protection. When you go out make sure not to go out alone, use the buddy system. This is particularly important for the girl, that’s who all the man’s victims have been. Don’t accept drinks from someone you don’t know and don’t leave your drinks unattended.”
A seventeen-year old girl in the crowd raises her hand and says, “So, are you promoting underage drinking?”
The other students burst out laughing at the comment and when the laughter died down Mitchell replied, “No, young lady. It’s just the fact that it happens.”
Several pamphlets were handed out to the students at the end of the presentation, the girl who made the underage drinking comment looked at Mitchell before she left and thinks, I’ll be his partner one day.
Over the next several weeks two more women, Rachel Ferguson and Lynn Taylor, were found dead in a similar fashion, stuffed in sports gear bags, weighed down with cinder blocks and dumped into a body of water while still alive. Four other young women, Carrie Frigault, Jessie Bennett, Victoria Robbins and Anita Rhodes, have gone missing and have yet to be found.
Suddenly his rampage stopped right around the time police officer Constable Kevin Danforth was killed at a supposedly routine traffic stop. The police did everything they could to track down the killer of the women and the police officer, the traffic camera on the officer’s car showed a car with no license plate, and it was too dark to see the make and model of the car.
They went through all the suspects interviewed in the murders of the women, even checked recently incarcerated prisoners. On the advice of the FBI agent Zach Steese, serial killers rarely if ever stop of their own accord, they are either caught or imprisoned on something unrelated to the murders, killed by police or die of other possibly natural causes. It would be ten years before they hear from The Drowner again.
If you enjoyed this short story check out the novel below: