Chapter 14Mature

Chapter 14

Frank and Charlene sat in Frank's office, the report that Peter had read out at the meeting, on Frank's office desk.

"What should we do?" Charlene asked. "We have so little to work with. We have this report and copies of the interviews the police had with those who knew the two victims."

"Well first I suggest making a statement to the press and the public with Peter's permission. We will tell them roughly what Peter told us at the meeting, namely that we believe the same killer committed both murders and say there is no need for panic and everyone should err on the side of caution."

"We will also ask people, especially young women as our killer has only targeted females so far, to be wary about opening their front or back doors to strangers, especially after nine at night."

"Yes.  We will suggest that young single women not answer their doors at all, that if the woman has a partner, he or she move in with them for the time being, that everyone stick together in pairs or threes and whenever possible a man answers the door."

Peter immediately agreed to Frank's idea and Frank and Charlene made their statement as planned. After it, they took a short break and chatted in Charlene's office.

"We do need to tell Maria, Jenny and Peter at some point that we are together" Charlene pointed out. "We can't keep it quiet forever."

"No, we can't." Frank paused. "Do you know what I wish?"

"What?"

"That Maria would also find someone. Then things wouldn't be awkward and I would feel more comfortable with her knowing about us."

"Well, we'll just have to wait and see."

*

It was going to be harder for him now to commit his last murder, not that the police or FBI knew it was his last, at least for a while. He couldn't guarantee that after Ashley Bellwood, he would never ever kill again. Who could guarantee such a thing? Ashley drove a dark green compact car and he followed in a hired silver-grey economy car. He was always careful not to use his own car and hired a different one to follow each victim so that he could not be tracked, except of course in Lynette's case. Since she had no car, he too hadn't bothered to drive.

He considered his options with this one. He could follow Ashley easily enough without rousing suspicion. Ashley was 31, married with no children. Even though nobbody knew about his masks or halloween costume, he seriously did not want to risk doing things the way he had before. After that statement Frank Swann had made either her husband would answer the door or she would ignore him, especially if he called at night. The annoying thing was that it was easier to commit a murder by dark than by light, at night instead of daylight - there was less chance of being seen or caught then.

He watched her reverse into the school carpark. This gave him an idea. If she was murdered in the school, though obviously not now, he was more likely to succeed. Though one of his victims had been a teacher, this was rightly dismissed as coincidence. He doubted anyone had even noticed. He sat in his car, turning on some light orchestral music which he had with him to pass the time. After a while he glanced up sharply, some movement having caught his attention. He saw Ashley Bellwood lead a group of ten or eleven year olds, all dressed in P.E. kit out of the school gate - they were probably going to visit the tennis courts nearby to practise. Primary schools were too small to accomodate these things. He remembered in his own school days being taken swimming and to the tennis courts.

Switching off the music, parking the car and pocketing the keys, he got out and walked confidently through the school gates. He could always pretend to be visiting a teacher - he knew them all after all and they knew of him even if they didn't personally know him. He went straight to the reception and signed in as a visitor, asking to see Miss Carr. He was told Miss Carr was teaching. He asked for Mrs. Bellwood and, as expected was told she had taken her form to the tennis courts. Smiling, he then asked to see the headmaster as he had a proposition for him. He was given directions to his office.

On the way he passed the empty classroom where all the pupils had left their things when they changed into their P.E. kit. Seeing a school tie sticking out of one of the bags, he stole it. He knew the security cameras were outside after all and not in the classroom. In order to have an excuse as to why he had gone into the classroom in case there was a security camera in the corridor, he glanced across at the flapping blind and then shut the window. He also picked up a clock that appeared to have run out of battery and took it with him. The tie of course he folded up and put in his pocket.

Arriving at the headmaster's office, he quickly explained that along the way the flapping blind had distracted him so he had shut the classroom window and then noticed a clock that had stopped. He handed over the clock.

"I hope you don't mind Headmaster" he said, giving him a charming smile.

"Not at all. Thanks for that. The clock deffinitely needs a new  battery. So, what did you want to see me about?"

He went in and shut the door.

The End

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