“Alex, you there?”
“Did I wake you?”
“What time is it?”
“A little after midnight, should we get together in the morning?”
“Meet me in the bar.”
“That’s where I’m calling from.”
Alexis threw on a tee shirt, pulled on some jeans, and put her hair in a pony tail. She looked in the mirror and considered make-up, but figured she was less scary than the guy they were chasing.
Chavez stood when she entered and gave Alexis a hug, “It is good to see you. You’re looking great.”
“I look like a sleepy drowned rat.”
“Fair enough, I’m not going to argue.”
“You could argue a little,” she said wryly.
Chavez pulled out a file. “I’ve got the latest. It includes the report about the guy you found.”
“Give me the highlights.”
“Your killer seems to have settled into a quick taser, ether, plastic bag over the head, pattern.”
“My killer, he hasn’t killed me. How did he become my killer?”
“You found him first.”
“So, anything connecting the two victims to the ones in Italy?”
“Both victims worked at the same bar, so they were connected to one another, and it seems they were involved at one point.”
“He’s smart, that is obvious. No drama, no clues, and is keeping it simple. I don’t think he wants to get caught.”
“Even more than that, it doesn’t seem like he is yearning for fame, either. The video killer is on a quest. He has a mission to punish people he thinks have slighted him. He flaunts it and is probably watching CNN all night waiting for the fame to start.”
“How is the video killer case going?”
“It doesn’t appear there are any ties between the first victim or victims, he was traveling with a friend who has also not been seen since, and the mechanic. I don’t expect to find anything, either. Sadly, with serial killers, it often takes a lot more victims before we get a good enough picture to find them. Even then, sometimes we never do.”
There was a quiet that was filled for each of them with the thoughts of the inevitable, they needed more victims and a small amount of luck. Two couples in the mid-thirties were enjoying drinks and each other’s company in the corner. A group of people wearing matching shirts rolled into the bar like a pack of conference going wolves, who were days away from seeing the spouse and kids.
Paul ate a late dinner, but now was hungry again. It was close to one in the morning and he felt like it was time to eat again. He had followed Mitch most of the day.
Two things stuck him about Mitch, he seemed to be in a much better mood and he mostly stayed within a few blocks of his apartment building. It had been a concern that Mitch might not come into contact with enough people, but today alone, he picked six great candidates.
Each one needed to be vetted, though. Some people lived in areas that had far too many cameras. He needed to be almost invisible, for now. The idea was to be seen, but from behind, with only the tell tale hat as the significant clue. He didn’t know how good the data geeks were at the F.B.I., but he figured that eventually someone would notice the hat.
Mitch lived in a nice building, but it had a garage entrance with a camera that had been vandalized. As long as he waited until Mitch was home for the night, he didn’t have an alibi. It would be a reasonable assumption that he had returned home through the lobby, but then left to kill his victims.
Today, he had eliminated three of the potential victims, killed two more, and left one as a possible future kill. It was becoming almost mundane. Shock, ether, bag, and then leave. He thought about what he might do if he found someone home but not alone. He carried a second taser, just in case.
Paul got himself a sandwich from an all night deli and went back to his room. He took out his partner in crime, the can of Pepsi and set it on the TV. He hid it each morning, out of fear that housekeeping might throw out his friend. “Pepsi, we’ve got four in the bag, but still no news coverage.”
Pepsi seemed impressed.
“I doubt they’ve found today’s work, yet. I wonder how many bodies it will take before the press gets a hold of it?”
Paul had avoided doing any searches about his other killings, but decided to log onto Twitter and see if there were any hash tags about it. He didn’t need to search for long, Video Killer was trending. It was near the top.
There were all sorts of different comments. One person tweeted something about him burning in hell. Another person suggested that lawyers would make a fine target. There were a surprising number of people who had ideas for victims. Some people were frightened, others talked about gun control, while a few made references to The Bungles ’79 hit and how it was the first video aired on MTV.
“Pepsi, it seems our test cases are creating a bit of a buzz,” he said with a small measure of pride. An email came through from Eric and the party would be in four days, if that was okay with him. Paul didn’t want to go, but there was little choice. The last thing he wanted to do was make people think he was losing it.