A Stab in the Dark

A detective. A forensic scientist. A journalist.
Three lives drawn together by a murder.
When evidence lies and the case evolves, who can you trust in a city full of lies?


3. Suit at a Crime Scene

Day 1 - Lloyd

Slipping into the Bio-hazard unit, I was careful not to crease my expensive black suit and matching formal trousers. Not wanting to get the blood of a dead woman on my hands, I paused for a moment before pulling on a pair of elastic blue gloves and covering my shoes with plastic liners. Clutching my briefcase of equipment and making a final check of my clothes, I made my way out of the police marquee and over towards where the body lay.

As my eyes looked over the cold corpse, I couldn’t help but wince at the state of the dead woman. Blood mingled with the rain before seeping down onto the road, flowing down the street into endless oblivion, washing away the evidence before my eyes.

It was Martha. It was PC Kane lying in a heap before me. We had worked together on many cases and although I hated her, no-one deserved to die like that. She was not an easy woman to get on with but the case still needed someone to blame and the truth was just waiting to come out. Her hair was carelessly thrown to one side, I assumed by the detectives who had tampered with the evidence before my arrival. It was a sore sight, but a job was a job and I had to investigate further, for her sake if not for the reputation of the police force.

Nodding at DI Truman, as she lingered over my shoulder, I knelt down next to the mess that used to be a living, breathing woman. Biting my tongue, soon enough a metallic taste soon filled my mouth as I flicked open the case and began to carry out the normal procedure. Yellow cards with black numbers were distributed around the body to mark out features of interest. Blood samples were drawn and tissue samples of red to determine the cause of death. Although saying that, the deep stab wound on her back seemed most likely. Snapping pictures of the cuts and bruises which littered her body, it wasn’t clear if they had been inflicted before or after the knife wound.

Although my training dictated that clothing had to be removed, I stood up and took a step back. Making the call, I decided to leave her with whatever shreds of dignity that she had left. I was far too emotionally linked to this case to do any different. Martha was a colleague of mine and although cold natured, I still knew her. It was impossible to look down at her form and not think of the woman, teeming with life only mere days before. It was a morbid thought but the image was stuck in my mind.

Dragging a black sheet over the body, it was then that I turned to speak to the Detective who towered above me.

"So where is the weapon?" Meeting her eyes, I could tell that there was more to the story than she was letting on. Deciding whether or not to trust me, her blue eyes were filled with both concern and confusion.

"Why do you wear a suit to a crime scene?"

"Excuse me?"

'Where the hell did that come from?' I thought. No-one had ever questioned me on that before; it was just what I did. In my four years with the police, I had never been asked that question.

"It’s nothing; some reporter guy mentioned it.  He seemed a bit suspicious to me. He told me that he knew Martha and didn't seem to like her very much. Maybe worth investigating…" she explained gesturing to the ever expanding crowd of spectators and press.

"What paper?"                 

"The Chronicle."                                                 

"Well that makes sense... Weren't they the ones to report about a 'lawnmower murder' a week ago that was actually a sick suicide?"

" Umm..." Silently congratulating myself for rendering DI Truman speechless, I reverted my mind back to the case and my original question that had spawned our quick witted discussion.   

"So where is the weapon?"

"That is exactly the problem; we don't know. When we arrived at the scene there was no weapon and apart from the wound, no trace of a weapon."

"Ice knife?" I asked seriously but the grimace that passed over my face showed my disgust. Maybe I had been reading too many murder mysteries in my free time; I wasn't very good at leaving my job at work. Shutting down my brain was near impossible after a long day at work and so reading was a good release. Well, reading and going to the pub but who was to judge?

"I don't think so but we need to check... You okay to do the post- mortem?" She asked, placing a hand on my shoulder, not flirtatiously but in silent support. Her smooth American vowels were comforting and so I forced a smile to grace my lips. It was hard, but I nodded and accepted the task. 

"Sure. I'll go and start the tests now. I should have some results by morning." Moving back over to the tent, clutching a suitcase full of scrapings and blood, I stripped off my gear, leaving only my pristine suit. Dumping my kit into the incineration bin, I took a deep breath before fleeing the scene and walking over to my car. Slipping into the driving seat of my dull Ford Mondeo, I placed the case of evidence on the passenger’s seat. Clearing my thoughts for a few moments the chaos of the scene in front of me sent shivers down my spine but now I had to continue my work.

Roaring to life, I revved the engine and began to make my way back the comfort of my secluded lab which doubled as an office. Leaving the scene behind me, I drew into the car park of New Scotland Yard and carelessly dumped my car in an empty space and snatched up the briefcase. Swiping my card, the main door swung open, allowing my access to the resources of the metropolitan police force. Finally, after darting through the corridors, I reached room B27. My lab and workspace. Closing the door behind me, I leaned against the wall and ran my hand through my hair. Letting out a deep sigh, I placed the case on a worktop. It had been a difficult morning but the job had only just begun, my part had only just begun.

I began to run test after test on the samples checking each half a dozen times over and when I next looked up, the sun had set on the horizon. Stepping back from my stack of results, I rubbed my forehead before making my way over to the exit. This case seemed to be leading me from one dead end to another and for a change it was something that mattered. This was personal and it was getting on my nerves.

‘Agatha Christie,’ I thought ‘and then maybe a pint or two.

Slinging my jacket over one shoulder, I made my way back into the night.   

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