Copycat Ripper HTML version
out and restrain his sergeant as the man turned towards the centre of the park. =Let the scene-of-
crime officers do their job,‘ he said. =This isn‘t a TV show and the fewer people tramping over
the ground the better.‘
Anderson turned away from the hubbub and looked behind him at the rows of houses across
the street. There was no sign of movement: no early worker opening doors and glumly setting
out; no sounds of cars being started up; milk bottles stood untouched on doorsteps. This was not
working-class land and the occupants were not expected in their offices before ten, if they
worked at all. It was the best street in the neighbourhood, overlooking Queen‘s Park; Anderson
held no hope of anyone across there having seen anything over here. They had canvassed the
street before, after they found the first body and nothing had come out of it. Still, they would
have to do it again.
Anderson turned back and saw that the activity had died down, so he sent Comben across.
The Detective Sergeant came back and told Anderson what he already knew from the phone call
earlier: it was a second strangulation of a middle-aged woman and she had died elsewhere. The
murderer had carried the body to the park, pushed it over the railings, climbed over himself and
then dragged it across the grass. Only after he had been done all this, had he mutilated the
corpse. However, this one was different and Anderson had to trek across to see.
The first had multiple stab wounds; this one had been partly eviscerated. A memory tugged
at Anderson‘s mind but he didn‘t struggle to bring it to the surface. It would come soon enough.
As he leaned forward, the tails of his long coat struggled towards the corpse — not far, since
he had fastened each button carefully before walking across, although it wasn‘t cold. He drew
the coat back and, as he did so, he wondered what had happened to him. When was it that he
became more worried about contaminating his coat than the tragedy that lay before him?
He looked up at the faces around him. No, he wasn‘t the only one. He was surrounded by