“Why are you doing this?” she asked.
“That’s such a cliché question” he answered and laughed, “But I will help you understand.”
Then he laughed again, “Of course, that would be another cliché,”
She didn’t seem to get the humor, “Why are you doing this?” she begged.
It was, of course, a complicated answer. He looked at her and thought about it.
The immediate answer was that he was doing it because he thought she deserved it. She hadn’t followed the natural order of things. Hadn’t kept herself pure. Neither had Candace.
But that didn’t explain Lindsay. That didn’t explain Kayla. No, they had been beautiful, pure.
It really went much deeper than that. But he wasn’t ready to tell her that. Especially not her, one of the unclean ones.
He left the room to regather himself. She whimpered, already broken. He wouldn’t hurt her. No, that wasn’t the point. She would die peacefully. Just like Candace. Just like Lindsay. Just like Kayla.
“I really need to pee,” she shouted.
He laughed as he got a glass of water and walked back in. If she had kept herself pure, that would be one thing. The solution then was simple. But not for the unpure. He would just have to clean up later.
“Here,” he said, offering her the cup, “want some water?”
“No!” she shouted, “I told you I need to pee,”
“Please, just take the water. I really don’t want you to hurt,”
“Then untie me and let me go!” she screamed.
“I’m sorry, I can’t do that,”
Gaby was horribly confused. The man had tied her up, interrogated her then stripped her, but hadn’t touched her other than that. He wore a mask the whole time, but other than the kidnapping, which obviously was a big issue, he had been a perfect gentlemen, offering her food and drink, even adjusting the temperature of the room when she had asked. Why he was refusing to let her pee was beyond her. But she was thirsty, so she accepted the drink.
It had been a relatively normal day. Her parents were out and she had spent a lot of time on the phone, done some homework, then headed to the mall with some friends. She had slipped into the bathroom and the next thing she knew she had been tied up here. Wherever that was.
The man left the room after handing her the drink. She would end up urinating all over the floor. He would clean it up then offer her the pills. And then he would have to clean her up.
He thought back over the last few days. He had followed Gaby, learned her patterns, learned her quirks. But most importantly, he learned that she was one of the impure ones. She had seen what she was not supposed to see. She had destroyed the natural order of things. And she would have to pay.
He had followed her to the mall, knew the opportunity was coming, and when it started to rain, saw it as a sign to move now. She had let out a yelp, but it was too quiet for anyone to hear her. Yes, her friends would miss her after a little while, but she was so impure, they probably assumed she had hooked up with some boy. It would be at least a day before the police knew anything. And by then he would be moving on.
John Olri sighed. He had enough open cases to keep him busy for years. He didn’t need another one. So he didn’t get why this one had dropped into his agency’s lap. So he asked his junior field agent, Sidai Ferguson.
“What do a 23 year old in Utah and a 20 year old in Virginia have in common?”
Sid would have laughed if it weren’t so serious, “Besides being dead?”
Sidai Ferguson herself was only twenty eight. She hadn’t finished first in her class, but was very intelligent. She had joined the agency a year after getting her masters and proven to be competent. Olri didn’t think she was hot, but she certainly was cute. Not that anything could ever happen. Nor that it would. Her parents had been missionaries in Africa, giving her the name “Sidai,” which meant beautiful in some language from over there. She was feisty and fun but definitely independent.
Olri did laugh, if for no other reason than to break the tension that was building in the department, “Yeah, besides that. And besides their age. I mean a reason that anyone would drop this case in our lap – they must think there is a connection,”
They stared at the data board for a moment, then Sid had a eureka moment, which was obvious in hindsight. “Both found naked. Unharmed except for rope burns on hands and feet.”
“Okay, so same mode of operation. What was cause of death?”
“Both the same, sleeping pills.”
Olri paused for a moment, “Mark it as two separate murders, possible connection. Send it to Frank. Not typical for a serial killer but we could use a second opinion.”
“In the meantime, lets track down any other connections, common friends, family, the usuals,”
He sat in his room, praying. After that he turned on his MP3 player and found the one track he had listened to more than any other lately. He was sure that whoever was on the case would make the connection between Candace and Gaby soon enough. But the profile would be all wrong. Gaby – Gabrielle Rodriguez had nothing in common with Candace Griffin. Nothing accept impurity. But impurity was so common anymore, that barely counted. And he had covered his tracks well.
In a way, he was almost sad. He had already killed four – two pairs. Lindsay and Kayla had been pure. It would be a long while before they were connected to Gaby and Candace. He had plenty of time to choose, but so many to choose from. Yes, he was sad. Sad at society. Sad at culture that allowed this impurity.
“Amen,” he said. He logged online. The ten day forecast was up. And rain was coming. Yes, rain was coming soon.
Timothy Gross sighed. Two fresh cases on his table. Some psychopath had killed two young girls. Kayla Ange and Lindsay Wei. Restrained them, put adult diapers on them and overdosed them on sleeping pills. He had seen a lot of crazy stuff, but adult diapers? That was a new one. Of course he knew that every killer had a reason that made sense to them, that made perfect sense to them and no sense to anyone else. Only the worst psychopaths in the world thought they were psychopaths.
He sighed. Serial killers usually weren’t weak. That meant they didn’t use sleeping pills. So hopefully this was an isolated incident. But just to be sure, he sent the data to Frank.
Frank Nittani was confused. Gross was right, serial killers usually weren’t weak. They were strong minded and physically strong. So why sleeping pills?
The two cases he had in front of him didn’t make sense for a serial killer. But mode of operation was the same, cause of death was the same. That made sense for a serial killer.
The knock came at the door. Sid Ferguson opened it up and said, “Hi Frank,”
“Hi Sid,” he said, then looked back at his case. Sid could have got him to do anything, but take another case.
“Got another case for you,”
“Anything for you Sid,” Frank said, hating himself.
She handed him the folder and he glanced over it. Two more kills, hundreds of miles apart. These two naked. But the cause of death was the same: sleeping pills. He sighed. It would take a lot more evidence to connect the two, but speed was much more important in these situations. He said, “Talk to Tim Gross. Different mode, but other similarities. We either have two separate killers or one killer of four,”
Amber Masen would make a fine kill, the man thought. Not just impure, but disrespectful of her father and of men in general. Her current boyfriend was whipped, emasculated. He thought he was showing her love by always doing what she wanted, but he was slowly beginning to hate her. She treated her brothers the same way.
She would be easy to get to. He just had to wait for the rain.
John Olri, Timothy Gross, and Sidai Ferguson all met over coffee. John Olri seemed to think he was better than Timothy, both agents understood the seriousness of the situation and set aside egos as best they could. Besides, Sidai kept them in line.
“So,” Gross started, “Four kills or two by two?”
Olri wanted nothing more than for it to be two by two, so he could go back to his usual work, “Four,” he sighed, “But the killer doesn’t want us to think that,”
“Are we sure?” Sidai asked.
Both men laughed and Gross explained, “Frank’s the best psychologist there is, doll,”
Olri added, “Not that that’s a hard thing to be, but damn it he knows what’s up,”
Sidai sighed and said, “Okay then, how do we catch this killer,”
“Frank has been working on a profile, we have to approach it by the evidence left. No finger prints, no tracks, only physical evidence is the pills in their systems and the diapers on Lindsay and Kayla,”
“Can we not call them by name?”
“I prefer it over victim one, victim two,”
“Fine. So what are we left with?”
“No known connections. Not suprising. But still doesn’t make them random. Call in the families and ask every question in the book. We’ll pick up something,”
It was Saturday and Amber was watching her younger brother run around the house naked. She giggled. She never did that, did she? Boys were so immature. Good thing it was raining or he would have done it outside.
A knock came at the door.
“Hi, my name is Tom, I’m with the electric company, I just need to step around back for a minute but I didn’t want to scare you. Storm knocked some stuff out we need to check on,”
Amber was a little bit puzzled, but nodded, “That’s fine, just let me know if I can do anything,”
The man laughed as he headed to the backyard. It was the 21st century, girl, don’t you know any better? He checked the meter and acted like he knew he should, then knocked on the back door.
Amber came out and said, “Everything alright?”
“Yes ma’am, but I was hoping I could get a glass of water from you. I got 12 more houses to go,”
“No problem, just wait one sec,”
As soon as she turned he grabbed her. Her brother was nearby but not visible. He gagged her and blindfolded her, then pulled her phone out of her pocket. Using the bottom of her shirt, which was actually modest for once today, he dialed 911, then picked her up and carried her out the door. She struggled but he tossed her in the car and drove about 20 miles away.
He stopped and she squirmed. He pulled the gag out, “Now are you gonna behave Amber?”
“No! Who are you, what are you doing?”
He had to restrain himself or he would slap her. But that wasn’t his way.
“Do you need to use the bathroom?”
“Do you need to use the bathroom?”
He put the gagged back in her mouth and said, “Good. We have a long way to go.”
They drove what seemed to her like 300 miles, but really was only about 50 down the road. He tied her to the bed in the basement of the house he had rented on a short term lease, then undid the gag again and unblindfolded her.
“Where am I?” she asked, “Why are you doing this?”
“Gaby asked that too,” the man said, “Have you heard about her? Or about Candace? Candace Griffin?”
“No of course not!” she screamed. That was okay, no one would hear, “Now what the hell is going on?”
Since Gaby, the man had decided to explain himself better, it seemed more just that way. “You’re impure,”
“What are you talking about? You kidnapped me because I’m impure? What does that even mean?”
“Are you married?”
“Have you ever seen a man naked?”
“Yes, of course,”
“Then you are impure,”
“And more than that,” he said, ignoring her, “You treat your father and the brothers like dirt. And, even though you’re not married, you’ve had sex with not just your boyfriend but that neighbor of yours, you know the one your father can’t stand. You are a fornicator and impure.”
“No. In the beginning men and women could be naked in front of each other and they would not be ashamed. But Eve sinned, my dear, and now we clothe ourselves. And God made man the head of the household for a reason. You have perverted the natural order.”
“That doesn’t give you the right to kidnap me,”
“You are absolutely right,”
“Kidnapping is not the prescribed medicine for impurity,”
“Genesis 6. Here, read it yourself,” he said, handing her the Bible he had set in the room just for this reason.
“Would you like lunch?”
“Would you like lunch?”
“Why would you feed me?”
“I’ll give you a meal and some water if you read Genesis 6. Maybe someone will find me and you’ll escape,”
“What would you like?”
“I don’t get you at all, how about mac and cheese or something,”
“That’ll work. Let me know when you figure it out, by the way,”
“Figure out what?”
“Why I’m doing this,”
Olri and Gross were striking out. Each family came in and described what seemed like a normal child, if either rebellious or rambunctious. They had pieced together that the victims that had been found in diapers were virgins. They assumed it was some kind of symbol or even a strange form of respect. Neither of the ones found naked were virgins, so that was something. But it didn’t help them much.
Sidai asked the question they realized that had to answer and soon, “Why pairs?”
The man had cleaned up and now was in his room, listening to his music and praying. One more kill and he was a third of the way done. He checked the weather. It was perfect. Which meant of course, a storm was coming.
Frank sat at the table in his office. No evidence of violence or abuse, some sign of struggle but no bruising or markings or signs of rape. All the victims had been fed well before being killed.
It was an unfortunately part of crime solving that the more victims there were the more evidence there was the more likely to figure out how to catch the guy. And in this case, he did assume it was a guy. But even that was an assumption.
A knock came on the door. It was Sidai again, “Another victim, Frank.”
She walked in and sat down, “Amber Masen. 19, found dead, naked about three hours ago. Based on other victims, sorry, Lindsay, Kayla, Gaby, Candace, we asked and she’s not a virgin. Sleeping pills did the trick again. She was found with a Bible, but it was closed.”
“Can we assume he is going to kill again, another pair?”
“I would think so,”
“Let me know any information you can find, we got to catch this guy and soon,”
Sarah Nestel screamed but no one was close enough to hear her. The man kept asking her strange questions and she answered them all truthfully. But she was constantly looking for an escape.
She had offered food and drink, provided she read some Bible verse. She complied. As long as she was alive she had a chance, and being on his good side was important to that.
When man began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not abide in man forever for he is flesh, his days shall be 120 years,”
Boring, she thought, so she skimmed down, "The Lord was sorry he had made man on the earth and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man,”
He walked back in and asked her, “What did you think?”
She ate the food he gave her and replied, “He doesn’t like people having sex all the time,”
The man smiled, and she had to admit there was something fascinating about him.
“Have you had sex?”
“See, its more than sex, its about order. About not taking everything you see as if its yours to take. Just like Eve in the garden or like the people trying to take heaven by building the tower of Babel. It’s about order and nature.”
“So whats my crime that you want to blot me out?”
“You’re smart. My other victims didn’t piece that together.”
“Thanks, but that doesn’t mean much to me right now.”
“That’s fair. Your crime is that you violated the natural order. Seeing others naked before marriage. Disrespecting men. No its not about sex, its about what true love is. You are impure because you have forgotten true love. True love not lust, true love that doesn’t covet or take what is not yours to have,”
“So you think you’re allowed to kill because God did?”
“Isn’t God a good example?”
“What about Jesus? All about true love but no killing,”
“He works in mysterious ways indeed,”
Frank was astonished. The sixth victim was also found with a Bible, opened to the story of Noah. But she had been a virgin, yet was naked like the others. It confused him.
And it confused Olri and Gross. Maybe the diapered victims were separate after all. But no, that didn’t make sense either