The kill wound was simple enough, a puncture to the Femoral artery. Clearly he’d bled out and if that was all they found it might have been a cut and dry case. He’d told Nadine about the crime scene a few nights unable to sleep for all the gnawing questions in his brain she wasn’t as disturbed as he’d thought she’d be. She pressed his head against her nearly flat little chest and caressed his hair urging him to comfort. Her deep eyes turned alight with intrigue.
There wasn’t a lot to go off of and with the numbered of unsolved cases stacking up in the precinct the “rose murder’ as it had become known in the media was about to slip out of Detective Johnsons hands. It was then that news of another victim was found with an origami rose made from his own flesh laid next to him. The style was the same; puncture to the femoral artery, skin scraped from the victims back and folded into the delicate shape but there were obvious inconsistencies in the marks made by the weapons etc..
Hanks job really was more of finding people and getting answers from them than analyzing evidence and piecing together clues and his initial conclusion was that the media coverage from his case had inspired a copycat in nearby Georgia. Nevertheless it had inspired new interest in his case and he had all the files sent to him from Atlanta. The victim was another male, interestingly enough he too had a criminal record. He’d been released from prison a mere three weeks ago on charges of child molestation from fifteen years ago and was being relocated in a week to a rehabilitation program in Kentucky.
The more Hank investigated the more it became clear that these killings were related, some network of vigilantes getting revenge for crimes against children. After another restless night Nadine looked up at him over her rice cereal and pale slices of banana, “I get it. Why their doing this. I mean there’s so much anger that just gets pent up after something like that happens. I’d be lying if I said I never thought about it.” He couldn’t bring himself to do much but pat her hand supportively.
Nadine was sexually assaulted when she was a teenager. She never told her parents or her friends. It was before Hank had met her but she’d told him about her confusing decline as she collapsed in on herself. She went through stages of guilt, depression and anger. She’d found ways to cope with the feelings by harming herself.
Sometimes when he held her he would stroke her still visible scars. She had starved and injured herself until she’d ended up in the hospital and although she still had rough patches he’d like to think that she was whole again. He himself grew angry at the thought of what had happened to her. He’d mused over the pain he’d bring to her assailant if he ever had the misfortune of meeting him. As vivid as his fantasies of crushing in another man’s skull were he knew he could never bring himself to the same violence he saw pass over his desk every day at the precinct. He would have never thought Nadine would be capable of such violence but then he assumed she had her fantasies too.