The analysis of the rapist’s semen provided a clear profile of one individual male member of the species, while the blood in the stain on Melissa’s white tee-shirt turned out to be a mixture of Darren’s and the killer’s. The blood and skin tissue under Melissa’s finger nails, however, belonged to a member of the same gene pool that had created the semen left in and around her vagina.
Carl drummed his fingers on the desk, and slipped a nicotine gum into his mouth to suppress the craving to go outside for a cigarette.
‘You okay, Inspector?’ said Peter. ‘You look a little agitated.’
‘I’m dying for a smoke,’ said Carl, holding up the pack of gum.
‘They work. You just have to stick to the plan.’
‘We’re getting nowhere with this case, Pete.’
‘Well, let’s look at the positives. We know it wasn’t John Jackson or any of the other lifesavers that gave us samples, and we know it’s not someone on the database.’
‘Fat lot of good that does us.’
‘We could get lucky. These guys trip themselves up doing silly things like drink driving and we blood test a lot of them.’
‘That might be true, Pete, but I’m worried this guy might be a hunter. When you look at how he ambushed Darren and Melissa, it’s obvious he’d studied their movements.’
‘I wonder why he picked them. What was so special about them that it made them his target?’
‘Who knows how these guys think? We know rape isn’t about sex, it’s about dominance. It’s more an act of violence than anything else. It’s a man having his way with her, despite her objections and lack of consent. Look at how hard she fought back.’
‘I hope she scratched his eyes out,’ said Peter.
‘Or at least made a mess of his face.’
‘Do you think he’ll strike again, Inspector?’
‘Maybe he’s struck before. There might be a pattern we’ve missed. Have a look for any unsolved cases with strangled rape victims.’
‘I’m on to it.’
Carl had just finished completing the backlog of administrative tasks, which the chief inspector had pointedly reminded him about earlier in the week, when Peter came back into his office.
‘That was quick, Pete. Thought you’d be sifting through files for hours.’
‘It has been hours, Inspector. What have you been doing?’
Carl looked at the clock in the bottom right hand corner of his screen and smiled.
‘So, did you find anything while I’ve been doing this vitally, important paperwork for the chief?’
‘There’s one case from three years ago that’s still open. A girl was strangled on the beach at Carrick.’
‘There was no boyfriend bashing in that one, if I remember,’ said Carl.
‘No, there wasn’t, but they never found her underwear either,’ said Peter.
‘Oh shit,’ said Carl. ‘Is there a DNA profile linked to the case?’
‘That’s why we didn’t look at this file before. She wasn’t raped.’
‘Could be coincidence.’
‘Maybe our man has developed new tastes,’ said Peter.
‘If it’s the same guy, why a three year break? That’s hardly a pattern.’
‘What if he moves around? You know, like he goes interstate or something.’
‘See if anybody else is looking for an underwear collector,’ said Carl.
Peter spent the next few days searching the national database of cold and unsolved cases.
Nothing matched his search criteria.
to be continued…