Detective Inspector John ‘The Nose’ Oros had been working with the Serious Crime Unit for 4 years. His actions were deliberate and purposeful, never allowing to be rushed. His expressionless features would fix on his object of attention and absorbed every single detail. He wore blue rimmed square glasses for reading; an activity which he always exercised with a pen in hand. He would underscore and make notes – connecting words and sentences – deciphering the hidden nuances of statements.
Oros was holding his glasses in his right hand, temple tip in his mouth, as he leant over the dead body, examining the knots that bound the wrists to the bed posts. He tilted his grey haired head to the right trying to read the final expression that the young naked man held before dying. Oros looked deep into his lifeless eyes trying to feel the terror he must have suffered during those final hours staring helplessly at his killer.
He stepped back and placed the back of his hand on the victim’s stomach. The cold skin was losing its elasticity. Bending down and pushed up the side of the cadaver revealing a purple patch on his underside.
‘He’s been dead for about 6 hours,’ Oros said to Detective Sergeant Sklena. ‘His skin is cold and hardening; his joints are no longer moving freely. The livor mortis is clearly visible underneath.’
Oros untied the listless hand and examined the ligature grooves round the wrist. He touched it gently with his fingertips, feeling the shallow rut as he held it in his left palm. Twisting it around, he gently placed it in his as if in a final handshake. He looked closer, examining the fingertips and nails.
‘He was an office worker. His hands are well kept and manicured. He consented to being tied up. There are no signs of struggle apart from the rope marks, which, looking at their consistency and shape, they probably left their mark during the unexpected fatal assault.’
Oros’ careful observations were being recorded by DS Sklena, who was as usual fascinated by the DI’s powers of observation.
The DI walked round the bed and stood staring down at something. He knelt down and looked around the side of the bed and under it.
‘Photographer,’ he called out. ‘The bin is on its side and empty. If our victim had intercourse and used a condom, it is not here. Check all the bins,’ said Oros. ‘Our killer is DNA aware,’ he mused rubbing his chin.
Leaving the bin where it lay, he picked up a personal organiser from a chest of drawers by the bed.
‘Leather-bound,’ he said smelling it. ‘It has the initials HHW. Maybe that will match the voters checks we are doing,’ said looking at his DS.
Without waiting for a response, he opened it and started leafing through it.
‘Bingo!’ he beamed holding up a mobile phone bill. ‘Name, address and phone records. Now we can start asking the right questions.’