The Steal

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Chapter 32          Capture

Wragg was beside himself with worry about his wife, but he had to maintain a professional approach to any situation whether it be something involving work or something that was of a personal nature involving his own family members.  He was also puzzled by the demands of the killer. The message had a hidden meaning, he was sure of it and indicated to Wragg that this killer meant to kill again maybe one more time or maybe three.  The three people that were vulnerable were Gavin Locke, last of the senior directors of the company, John Whip who had survived from an earlier attempt on his life and Sam Lodge who knew his identity.

*                               *                              *

Roger Grey had been a witness to Dodd’s final hours on earth and was

glad he hadn’t accepted Dodd’s invitation to join him in his fight against

the police, otherwise he would have been blown away at the same time.  Grey had the foresight to make duplicates of Dodd’s house keys and when a couple of weeks had passed and the police had moved

away, it was Grey’s intention to use the house as a temporary base.

He was sure no-one would think of looking for him there.  He and his

prisoner would be safe for awhile.

*                               *                              *

The Incident Room was buzzing as the assembled throng of policemen

waited for their Chief to make an appearance and soon enough he

came through the door with renewed energy, having got over the shock

that his wife was now in the clutches of his sought after callous killing

adversary.

Wragg had been busy the previous afternoon, placing three blackboard easels each containing a photograph of the three persons that were in danger of being the killer’s next victim.

Locke, Whip and Lodge. Each had good enough reasons against them, but Ian Wragg had a shrewd idea which was going to be the target, and it would be the easiest one that Grey would go after. Whip was in a “Safe House” somewhere in the countryside. Lodge was in prison, for his own protection under armed guard within Scotland Yard, so it had to be Locke the remaining Director of “The Steal Company” who was constantly under observation by the police.

Everyone of the directors had experienced a bizarre death and each had been in pain before succumbing to their final hour. Whichever way the dice was going to fall for Locke, a brutal death or the quietness of a cell for his part in the conspiracy of fraud, there was no way of telling.

Wragg started to give out some valuable information of the killer’s

Identity, as the last murder had revealed his DNA and also due to the

witness who had been placed into protective custody as she had seen the killer, who thought he was so clever in many ways, but had made a very grave error by using his own car to get away from his last murder. He had lost or misplaced his car keys and had to break into the car and hot wired the ignition. Wragg said, ‘The name of our fugitive is Roger Grey.  The question gentlemen is how do we stop this man killing off his last victim? We know the victim and we know the killer’s identity and in an hour’s time we will know what he looks like. P.C. Lodge has given a

photo fit of the man we are looking for and the Department where our

photographs of wanted men are kept are pretty certain they have this man on their records. It looks as if this man has killed before.’

*                               *                              *

Roger Grey untied Gladys Wragg’s hands to allow her to eat in a

civilised manner. She was hungry as not having eaten for some while since she was parcelled from one place to another after the incident in the flower shop. The smell of chloroform was not a pleasant experience.

She was allowed to cook the four pork chops that she had intended for herself and Ian’s yesterday evening, including mashed potatoes, carrots and runner beans and some gravy. The larder in the house where she was full of food, in fact she had thought at the time the house was like a

fortress. So many locks and keys, although the front door looked as if a

bantering ram had been used to open it. Gladys was unaware that this

house belonged to someone who had been in the police force and there

had been a siege of some sort just a couple of weeks ago. Ian never

brought his work home to tell Gladys about how he had suffered a

rotten day at the office.

Roger Grey was sorry but he had to tie up Gladys again and put her

in the cellar. He would make her as comfortable as he could given the

circumstances, bearing in mind if her husband had his way he would

meet his maker sooner than later. As he started up the steps he

shouted down to her that he would bring back something they could

eat straight away, without her having to cook it.

*                               *                              *

The machine spluttered into action as a photograph of Roger Grey

began to materialise and Wragg had two hundred copies made and handed them out to each of his team. Again he had requested men to be drafted in so that the “Man Hunt” under the guise of “Operation Ego.” This was an unusual name for a man hunt, although judging

by the killer’s blatant manner and outlandish brutal behaviour, perhaps it was the right title.

*                               *                              *

Roger saw his quarry but he had noted that other people were too close to him and he knew that the police were there in force and therefore he had to withdraw. Perhaps he would have to rethink about how he was going to do it and get away scot free. Perhaps something remote like a bomb in a car. No! He thought too quick a death, he needed it to be slow and agonising when the victim pleads for it to be done instantly. He loved their pleading, he always made out he was going to obey their wishes, but he never did. They all died in agony, except for the old man George Steal.  Roger thought he owed him a little courtesy. He was already dead when he passed the pointed bar through his neck, well he hoped he was!

*                               *                              *

Roger Grey had not realised the fact that he had been recognised and

his mug shot was in the hands of every policemen in the land. There was

no hiding place and he was recognised when he tried to approach

Locke and had he taken a few more steps towards his prey he would

been caught like a rat in a trap. Roger went shopping in the largest

shop he could find. He purchased a few frozen pizzas as they would be

easier to heat up and eat. He had been under observation but nobody

could make a move and arrest him because they didn’t know where

Gladys Wragg was and he wouldn’t tell them and she could die if not

rescued in time.

At the moment he had the winning hand and everyone knew it,

especially Ian Wragg. It was going to be a game of cat and mouse from

now on.  Roger Grey returned to Dodd’s house. It was almost midnight and the reason for that was his tail who had been persistent in following him until Grey decided to go around in circles and after two hours of this, the men gave up and pulled away. They had to think about Ian Wragg’s wife being somewhere hidden.

Roger apologised for the delay in getting back.  ‘You know how it is when you’re dodging the police at every turn – life gets interesting and boring at the same time. I did see your husband today.  He looks

pretty good and well fed and he doesn’t seem to miss your cooking,

perhaps he’s found someone to replace you already.’ It was obvious

that Roger had said the wrong thing to Gladys and it was going to be a lot sooner than later that Roger was going to regret saying those words.

Roger untied Gladys so that she could eat her pizza in comfort.  As she hadn’t eaten since the day before, she had two pizzas and that meant Roger would have to go shopping again tomorrow.

He tied up Gladys again for the night and carried her to the bedroom

and placed her on the bed and covered her with a duvet as usual.

Roger decided to leave as soon as he thought that his prisoner was

asleep.

*                               *                              *

Gladys decided she wasn’t going to sleep that night and she waited until she could no longer hear her captive tramping round the house.

She had been working on the cords and she managed to sneak one

knife out of the drawer and had palmed it successfully. The knife was next to useless as it turned out and having her hands tied behind her back wasn’t at all comfortable for sleeping anyway.  She bent her knees up towards her chin and passed her tied hands underneath to the front and began to work on the knots and eventually managed to loosen them enough to be free. Perhaps Grey was being a little slap dash about tying her up every time he left the premises. It must be a very boring procedure.  She could have easily made her escape, but decided to stay and visit the garden for some fresh air.

She went back to bed and slept rather well and just in time she placed her hands in the loops of the cord and tightened them with her teeth and managed to reverse the procedure with bending her knees. Shortly

Roger appeared and untied Gladys hands so she could cook

breakfast.  He hadn’t realised her knots were loosened because he

seemed to be happy about something.

*                               *                              *

Roger had been lucky and had found his last victim unguarded and managed at knife point to whisk him away from his house and into a hired car and after a dose of chloroform Locke went to sleep.  Before doing this, Roger had ripped out the telephone sockets and tied up Locke’s wife and child and locked them in their rooms.  He had no quarrel with them, although they must have enjoyed his money.  Sadistically it would be enough to get rid of the bread winner.  Locke’s wife was younger than her husband and Roger felt a certain amount of lust as he hadn’t had any sex for a long time and in his dreams she would offer herself to save her husband’s life.  Roger went back towards the house with high hopes, but having heard the familiar noise of a siren, he decided to leave quickly and presumed that somehow they had managed to contact the police.  It wouldn’t make any difference to the outcome, the police would be too late to save this man and Roger was getting tired and slightly slow witted and he thought he must be as he had overlooked the victim’s wife owning a mobile phone. Also he had been a bit clumsy with the knots of the rope he had used to tie her up; had he been taken in by her beauty?  He didn’t know.

As he drove away from the house, he had some misgivings about Locke and was in two minds whether to let him go for he was eager to make the final phone call to Wragg and make his demands.  It had been a long journey from the first killing…… and briefly Roger looked back at his passenger sleeping peacefully.  It sort of made up his mind….. to the last killing.  It was still going to be a painfully slow death. The police were going to find a man hanging by the neck from a lamp post outside one of their sub Police Stations.

*                               *                              *

As Roger ate the last mouthful of the breakfast of two eggs, bacon, sausages and baked beans that Gladys had made for the conquering hero, and as he had his last mouthful, she hit him with the shovel she had found in the shed, she had also found a few six inch nails, a hammer, a length of cord and a coil of Rhino tape.  He went out like light. She trussed him up with cord round his feet and his hands and placed sticky tape round his chest and chair and nailed the back of the chair to the kitchen door.

There was no way that Roger Grey was going to escape. She told

Roger that his grave mistake was to assume that her husband had

another woman to cook his meals, something to do with a woman’s scorn.

He responded weakly with ‘Let me go please.’

‘No! I don’t think so!’

Gladys rang Ian.

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