The Steal

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Chapter 24          Pathology Class!

The Chief Superintendent had issued orders that everyone should change into their civilian clothing who were allotted to attend a class that was to be held.

Raymond Dodd was going to get his first taste in Pathology with other members of the police force.  There were ten in the class.  Policemen are usual very tough and have seen terrible accidents in their life as a policeman, but none of them expected anything as gruesome as the curtains drew back revealing Simon Crook and the mutilated body of Steven Cropp.

Simon Crook spoke into a microphone as he introduced himself and the work he did behind the scenes.  ‘This,’ he said pointing his finger at the body, ‘This is what I do.’

Two of the class fainted and Dodd and three others gagged before being violently sick – Simon Crook’s knife cut across the severed head’s brow and he held the head up by the hair, of course the head is usually attached to the body, but in this case the killer had thought it would be more fun to do likewise.

For the first time Simon Crook was enjoying the scene he was causing, it was something else to see such burly characters squirm in discomfort.

‘Your job!’ he stated, ‘is to find the man who can do such a heinous thing to another man or woman and my job is to find out how they died, although in this case, it is quite obvious.  It would be fair to say that the victim would not have suffered much as the shock of what was going to happen to him would have killed him before the knife even touched him.’

‘My demonstration gentlemen was to show you how things are done by a Pathologist and how we can in some cases find out about the person who perpetrated the crime, but as some of you have found that this sort of thing can upset you, you are dismissed.’

Raymond Dodd was glued to his seat, his legs wobbled uncontrollably and he almost fell out of the chair when he tried to get up.  Someone held onto his arm and pulled him up and supported him out of the room.

Dodd had seen a film called “The Shining” and he had laughed all the way through the film.  But nothing was going to replace the image that he had just seen.  It was probably when Simon Crook picked up a sandwich and announced ‘Elevenses! – this is a Chicken sandwich and not to be mistaken for something on this slab.’  he then took a swig from his coffee mug.

It was lunch time and Dodd couldn’t face the menu – it was Spaghetti Bolognese and it looked just like what he had seen on the granite slab.

There were two more classes, another in the afternoon until 3:30pm when afternoon tea would be provided.  This session was a more gentle approach, although it was still Forensic Science – it was demonstrating what a policeman should look out for and how close scrutiny could reveal secrets that were thought to be hidden, but with commonsense and a bit of probing could be of some value.  The 4pm session was all about CCTV and the use of Videos.

*                             *                             *

Wragg had asked Crook to make his demonstration as brutal as possible.  He wanted to show certain people the receiving end of such barbaric and bizarre killings, but didn’t expect Crook to go to such lengths, which caused Wragg to smile in a sardonic manner.

Chapter 25          Eye in the Sky

Many members of the public are unaware of the CCTV Cameras set up high above the ground, some people feel it is an intrusion and others believe in some cases it is a good thing.  It was probably Robert Gregg’s bad luck that videos from a CCTV Camera, although two streets away were one of those newer types installed to cover a very wide area.  The camera had a two mile radius with automatic movement activation with with power zoom.

When Robert Gregg had to take Samantha Dodd’s dead body to his car, he had to make it look natural and he tied her shoe to his shoe and tied her waist to his waist and slung her limp arm round his neck and his hand under her arm and half dragged and half stumbled towards his car and prayed to God no-one was taking the dog for a walk or going for a night stroll.  Luck was with him, so he thought – there was nobody in the street.  He and his victim were the only ones out that night but the camera picked them up and zoomed in.

It was that very batch of videos that the class of policemen were going to watch at their four o’clock session.  The day time was completely clear of crime and had been watched by the crew when they had finished their stint, just to make sure they hadn’t missed anything.  It was a long, tedious and thankless job.  There were nobody watching during the night hours, it was done by remote control set up on a timing device and when the day crew came on they were supposed to check the video for night time activities – but in this case no-one had bothered.  The videos were kept for one year and then destroyed as  something new came on the market – it was the size of pin-head and could record up to a week and was easier to store.  Computers had to be adapted to take this new fangled innovation.

As the police were viewing the night time video and two hours had been played,  Wragg stopped it and asked if anything they had seen was of interest and had they spotted what looked like a burglary going on.  What they saw was Robert Gregg going round the back of the house and letting himself in. It was then that Wragg recognized the house, it was the house where he found Guy Arnold tied to the bed with the lady of the house missing.  P.C. Dodd hadn’t recognized the house as he didn’t know where his sister lived.  After the questions and answers session and at seven o’clock he dismissed them.  Unbeknown to Wragg as P.C, Dodd went by the machine he ejected the video and slipped it into his pocket and before Wragg was aware of what had happened Dodd had left the building and was on his way home.

Wragg knew who had taken the video cassette and was worried by this action because if he recognized the killer, he was certain that Dodd would kill him.

Wragg knew who that person was because he had sneaked a preview of the video and had taken a chance on letting the class of policemen see it because it contained the one event of the night. When he had viewed it and had paused the video, he was sure he was looking into the eyes of the killer when he had looked over the top of his car to make sure no-one was in the road.  Robert Gregg took so long to untie himself from his victim, it would be noticeable and that it is why he started to sing in a carousal fashion of someone having had too much to drink.  A quick scrutiny of the rest of the video took the killer and his victim to the house where he had found her and witnessed the clandestine departure of Robert Gregg and another person whom he later recognized as Sue Arnold, Guy’s wife.

Wragg having informed Guy that it wasn’t his wife, but Samantha Dodd who was the victim rather took his breath away, although Guy was secretly in love with a Sandra Phelps and had every intention of telling Samantha that their affair was over, but he never got the chance, for that evening she was murdered.

Wragg had to make sure that he reached Robert Gregg and Sue Arnold before Dodd did because if he killed Gregg, he would have to kill Sue Arnold.

Guy Arnold was in danger because he had two killers who wanted him dead.  Roger Grey wanted him out of the way just for being one of the directors of Steal & Company who had stolen his money, even though Guy never had a share in it.  Roger just wanted to exact his revenge on all of them, not for any good reason, but just for the fun of doing it.

Dodd wanted Guy dead because he failed to look after his sister, even though with her being dead she couldn’t claim her parents’ inheritance and anyway he had changed the will for his own benefit.  Dodd had killed before and had enjoyed doing it.

*                             *                             *

The first thing Dodd did when he reached home was to have a shower, it had been a long day. he had been seconded to be one of the class to learn about Forensic science.  He had found the first part quite gruesome and to think that he had made himself known to Roger Grey who was a psychology killer.  Had Dodd realized what Grey was capable of doing he wouldn’t have missed him when he fired his gun.

As far as the second and third item was concerned he was glad he attended because he would be able to identify his sister’s killer and tracing him would be easy if of course the eye in the sky had followed him to his final destination.

A quick sandwich was waiting for him in the fridge and with a flask of coffee he loaded the video in his player.

It was a scramble to get his exhibition rifle and the bullets for it that were hidden in the secret place he had built.  He wished he had taken it out in readiness, but couldn’t take the chance that his house would be raided by Wragg.  He had the foresight to park his bike in a side road and he made his escape from his back garden to the house next door that was conveniently situated on the corner of the road.

*                             *                             *

Chief Superintendent Wragg and his cohorts approached Dodd’s house silently. He was sure that Dodd would not be there but it was necessary to search the property beforehand.  Having done their search it was assumed that Dodd would not return to the house ever again and his life with the police force would have been terminated the next day and he would have been arrested.

Wragg was to follow on to his next port of call.  All was quiet and there was no sign of Dodd in the vicinity, it was no proof that he wasn’t nearby.  Wragg approached the house where Robert Gregg was living with his lover Sue Arnold.  He knocked and Gregg came to the door and before Gregg could come any further, Wragg rushed forward knocking Gregg over and they sprawled in an unruly fashion in the narrow corridor of a hallway.

‘What is going on?’ Gregg said as he got up, ‘and what is the meaning of this intrusion?’

‘So many questions!’ said Wragg. ‘I must warn you of your rights and I am sorry that I have to arrest you for the wilful murder of Samantha Dodd and anything you say that you rely on in court maybe be used as evidence…..!’  Just then a whistling sound was heard that went passed Wragg’s head and embedded itself in Gregg’s left shoulder and it was followed by another that caught Wragg’s sleeve, grazing his skin and cut a groove round Gregg’s waist who had slumped to the floor holding his side trying to stem the flow of blood.  There was another silent whistle as a bullet streaked its way into the house and hit a gas cylinder.  It unfortunately didn’t burst into flame, but there was a strong smell of gas permeating where they were.

Wragg realised that the front door was still open and he and Gregg were prime targets.  Wragg managed to shut the door with his foot.

With superhuman effort Gregg dragged himself upright and pushed the gas cylinder which was on wheels waiting to replace the spent cylinder they used for cooking.  Gregg shut the kitchen door just in time as a huge explosion erupted.  The kitchen door fell to pieces and fierce flames licked round the door frame.  Another explosion came from the cooker and an old fashioned emersion heater cylinder blew itself off the wall and the kitchen side of the house collapsed.

Upstairs Sue Arnold who had been laying down suffering from a migraine shot out of the bedroom as the floor started to disappear followed by the bed.  She stumbled down the stairs into the lounge and another whistling sound was heard and Sue collapsed in a heap.  She had been shot in the thigh.

Wragg  promptly summoned the Fire Brigade and ambulance.  In a short while the fire appliance arrived and parked in front of the house.  The ambulance parked the safe side of the fire engine, well away from the assassin’s bullets which enabled a safe passage for Robert Gregg who was in a critical condition, Sue Arnold and the Chief to the ambulance.

 

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