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I I I
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The investigation was simple enough, all things considered. The crime scene was horrific, naturally – a woman had been ritualistically murdered – but the perpetrators had not been careful; there were fingerprints abound, hair and saliva in the sink. What was interesting, in particular, was that no care had been put into covering or destroying evidence. Great lengths had been put into the ceremony – that much was obvious, the girl had been cut up and decorated for something very specific – but once the ritual was finished whomever orchestrated this seemed to have packed and left. Little physical evidence from the ceremony itself was left; the murder weapon was missing, for one, but the room was awash with information. It wouldn’t be hard to place someone in that room, with a little investigation.
The maid had discovered the woman the next morning; the Police had arrived, prints were lifted, forensics took photographs, the tiny cogs of the machine known as Justice began to turn. Once the initial shock over the nature of the crime had diminished, the officers-on-duty began to trust the system, and believed amongst themselves that this crime would piece itself together rather easily.
Detective Davis Holden didn’t trust anything that came easily. Forensics was taking boot prints from the ash and melted wax when he arrived. His immediate thoughts were as such: Someone came here with a purpose. This wasn’t a crime of passion; someone was methodical and careful with the murder. The process was far too ceremonial; the woman was part of the process, but not essential to the process – it was possible that the woman was chosen arbitrarily. Someone didn’t care if there was evidence; too much was left behind to be an accident. Even when the perpetrator was caught – and there was little doubt in Detective Holden’s mind that suspects would be arrested – there was more to this murder than immediately met the eye.
He noticed the two men in long coats almost immediately. He had been keeping an eye out the window – the crime scene was on the first floor of the hotel, and the press were having a field day outside the line of yellow police tape – and he saw them approach, flash their identification, and then take their time making their way inside. He saw them speak briefly with the Chief of Police, and was mildly surprised that the Chief did not immediately escort them inside. He saw the Chief gesture, and the larger of the two men shook his head.
They would come inside on their own time; Holden would get his answers then. He continued his examination of the room, making his way slowly through the crime scene, soaking it all in. Holden was a thorough man and a methodical man, or an infuriatingly slow and deliberate man, depending on the perspective. He had made his way to the bedroom – someone slept there, a man by the looks of it – when the two men came in. They were quiet at first, and Davis was content allowing them to play their hand first. His gut told him who they were, but he waited, taking mental notes and directing his officers to examine and photograph what he found.