Chapter 28 Crossfire!
That one-off meeting in the pub with Roger Grey had not gone according to plan. Dodd was hoping they would work together, but he soon recognised this man was a loner and had a deadly mission that Dodd didn’t want any part of. This man had murdered many persons and what he had done had merely been child’s play by comparison. Dodd wondered whether it was too late to turn himself in, after all he hadn’t in the eyes of any witness as such committed anything bad. He didn’t count what he had done to his parents as criminal or the fact that he had a hand in the accident that had befallen Jameson and Brook.
* * *
Final preparations were being made to catch Dodd and bring him to justice and alive if possible and to spear head two of the sections were Detective Sergeant Luke Dotrice who would command Section A and Detective Sergeant Phillip Stone would lead Section B. They would be in charge of sixty men each and would execute a saturation exploration of each county outside the London area. Chief Superintendent Wragg would command section C and have the rest of the volunteers numbering ninety policemen. Wragg thought that they would need to travel south or south east for their quarry. So as not to waste too much time Surrey and Kent were going to be the first target and tomorrow early in the morning the force would move out in their individual convoys. Wragg wanted little or no news of the police movement to be broadcast, although it was asking a great deal for reporters to keep their mouths shut – they only needed to sniff the air and knew instantly that there was something going on. It was a tiring week of searching without yielding anything of importance. Most of the populace were helpful. People didn’t like upheaval and in one instance someone had shouted out, ‘Oh yes! Is big brother watching us again?’
No-one felt like answering as most things were said in a friendly way and cross purposes might developed and something said quite innocently could lead to an incident of outstanding proportions. Wragg never wanted his men to draw attention to what they were trying to achieve.
It would have been another three weeks in Kent when a snippet of news had come along and the force withdrew themselves from that area. It was by chance that a person who was out walking his dog through some woods out in the sticks had noticed two men on motorbikes, one of them acting strangely. He had the good sense not to approach and walked in the opposite direction and hopefully hadn’t been seen.
Wragg interviewed the man and asked him roughly whereabouts this incident took place.
‘It was a couple of miles away from my local pub that I frequent, it always looks as if the pub is well away from anywhere, but just a few yards away through the woods is a small village.’
‘That wouldn’t happen to be “The Woods” Public House, would it?’
‘Yes! How did you know that?’
‘I just happened to be there that day with some friends.’
‘Well what a small world it is.’
‘Yes!’ said Wragg. ‘Isn’t it?’
‘I much appreciate you coming in and sharing that information with me.’
‘Well I thought it was my duty to do so, if that person hadn’t acted so strangely I wouldn’t have bothered.’
‘He looked as if he was throwing things into the woods.’
‘What was the other chap doing?’
‘Nothing! He was just watching the other chap – I think he saw me.’
‘He didn’t shout after you?’
‘No he didn’t say a thing – I think he was more interested in what his friend was doing.’
‘Had you noticed what he was throwing?’
‘No! I was too far away, the only thing was, it more or less floated as if it was made of some material – well I don’t really know, as I said I was too far away.’
‘Thank you again Mr. Robbins for taking the time to see me, your news has saved me a lot of time.’
Wragg bade his visitor, ‘Goodbye and thanks again.’ Wragg rang both his sergeants ‘Next week we travel to West Sussex, I have a valuable lead.’
* * *
Dodd was many things, but stupidity wasn’t one of them – of course he had heard of the police search for him and he was going to be ready for them when they eventually arrived. He wondered whether to take a hostage from someone in the village. He could just ask them round for dinner one evening and hoping it would be the same time that Wragg came calling.
No-one in the village knew he was a bad boy and perhaps it would be better not to have anyone else in the house when he started to get his arsenal of guns out. He’d have to kill them anyway, so there would be no point. It could be days, weeks or even months before they arrived. Who was he kidding? Just himself. His name would be on the electoral roll and as soon as they clapped eyes on his name they would know where he lived.
* * *
One of the first things that Wragg did was to hook up to the computer and search the internet for the information he needed. He wouldn’t need half the force that had volunteered. That would save on money and other resources. He would be glad when the job was over and he could concentrate on the serial killer who at the moment was unusually quiet. Wragg was starting to worry, just waiting for this man to become active again and not knowing his identity.
Borkland was a very quiet village, not far from a famous seaside resort. Wragg had strategically placed marksmen on various roofs. It didn’t matter which way you looked, the house was isolated and in the middle of this circle that Wragg had formed. Occupants of adjacent houses had been knocked up at two o’clock in the morning by another team and moved to somewhere safe.
Wragg wasn’t going to waste any time, he wanted it done as quickly and quietly as possible. He picked up the loud hailer and called on Dodd to surrender. Dodd answered with a hail of bullets. Wragg dropped the loud hailer which rolled round and round on the stone floor until it was caught in a groove. He snatched the loud hailer again and repeated the message. The air was deafening and Wragg reluctantly gave the order for his men to fire when the target was confirmed. There was no more noise from the house as four marksmen had Dodd in their sights and he was killed instantly by crossfire. The police moved in with the Pathologist Simon Crook in tow who pronounced Dodd dead. He was placed in the customary black bag as protection from prying eyes.