What was the connection between the dead?
December 30, 2013
A VG Serial: ToxiCity
The street sign for Adams loomed ahead. “There is something I’ve been thinking about.” Stone shot across a lane of traffic, narrowly missing an SUV barreling toward the exit.
Matt tightened his shoulder strap. “What?”
“We found Landon’s body on Tuesday, but the ME thinks it was there for a while. It might have been dumped as early as Sunday.”
“We found Romano on a Monday. Simon too.”
“What do you make of it?”
“Our killer works nine to five. Off on weekends.”
“Or knows his victims do.” They drove south on Halsted, a block past the Greek restaurant where Stone’s wedding dinner had been. “People let down on the weekend,” he continued. “They’re ready to party.”
“So our friend makes contact on a Friday, wins their confidence, and then— Hold on.” Matt stopped. “The woman with Simon at the East Bank bar. That was on a Friday.”
Stone flicked his eyes toward Matt. “What do you know about her?”
“Aside from having dark hair, not much. We can’t find her.” He changed the subject. “What did you find out about Landon?”
“The techs went over every inch. Wastebaskets, sink traps, garbage cans, medicine chest. The place was clean.”
“He have any visitors on Friday?”
“Not that we know about. His neighbors say he wasn’t around much. Consumed by work.”
At the southern edge of the UIC campus, Stone swung west onto Maxwell Street, cruising past a construction site with a sign proclaiming it would soon be a high-rise condo.
Matt gazed at the twelve-story skeleton of steel girders, cables, and mud-caked ground. For nearly a century émigrés and settlers had depended on the pushcarts and open-air stalls on Maxwell Street for their livelihoods. Now the wrecking ball was systematically destroying it, and the only ones turning a profit were the developers.
Stone gazed at the site. “I told you about the dog, didn’t I? At the Feldman site?”
Matt shook his head.
Stone explained about the dead puppy. “I took it to a vet, who thought the mutt had parvo. But the tests didn’t confirm it. At the time I thought it was part of all that CEASE bullshit.” He fell silent.
Matt shifted in his seat. “And now?”
“I don’t know.”
As they passed the dumpster on the construction site, Matt’s eyes narrowed. “You found Landon in a dumpster?”
Stone turned to his partner. “That’s right.”
Matt explained how they’d found Romano and Simon on RDM-owned property. “I talked to the owner of the place. And his son. But I didn’t find a connection.”
“But we found three bodies in garbage dumpsters and landfills,” Matt said. “There’s got to be a connection.”
Episodes in the novel will be published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Please click the following title,ToxiCity, to read more about Libby Fischer Hellman’s books on Amazon.