Just quick note…might seem strange but I’m giving it a shot.
If you are interested in following me on Twitter, I am developing the tendency to ‘leak’ parts of my stories or ask for advice from friends.I’m redletterrachel over there.
Rating: FRT (story) P/SC/SV (case)
Fandom:Criminal Minds (with mentions of Ghost Hunters)
Pairing: Het & Slash Hotchner/JJ, Reid/?, Garcia/Kevin
Summary:Three weeks after 1, Reid goes back to work in an attempt to keep himself productive.Between a busted knee and a broken heart, Morgan is afraid that he’s loosing his best friend.Meanwhile, a case finally forces JJ and Hotchner to make a decision that changes the BAU forever.From multiple character perspectives.
Comments:Better than watching Reid suck on a lollipop (and that was pretty darned good)
Disclaimer:I don’t own any rights or trademarks to Criminal Minds, the FBI, TAPS, Ghost Hunters, Sy-Fy, CBS or any of the characters within.No infringements of these copyrights are intended.Any similarities between original characters therein are a coincidence.I make no profit from the following fictional story.(Fictional, maybe, but I swear this happened all in my head).
MunicipalDogPark, Escanaba Michigan
Agent Aaron Hotchner
Having left JJ at the station to deal with media inquiries, the rest of us make our way towards the fenced in area at the back of The Municipal Dog Park in Escanaba, Michigan.Police cars are flooding the small parking lot near the gate, with caution tape wrapped all around its perimeter.To the side is a young man with a golden retriever, being interviewed by a uniform.
Detective Ledger jogs up to us, today she’s wearing a white short-sleeved button-up blouse and khaki slacks with running shoes.“ this morning, a parks employee came to unlock the gate and let Mr. Brian Glover and Bella into the park.A few minutes later, Bella discovered our vic in the back of the park.The parks guy, Nathan Berhent, was emptying the trash and was still here.He’s in the back of the ambulance,” she points.“He’s sixty, nearly had a heart attack when he saw her.”
“Rossi, can you talk to Berhent?Prentiss, talk to Glover.Morgan and Reid, let’s go take a look.”
“I already called Garcia, she is on her way to the office ready to help,” Morgan says, following me on the path.
“Good,” I stop a uniform taking photographs and flash him my badge.“Excuse me, take pictures of every single corner, every stray bit of trash, everything.”He nods.
We get to the back of the park and there’s Halloway with a crime scene tech and the ME, as well as another uniform taking more photos.“Excuse me, can we examine the crime scene before she’s moved?”
The ME, a man in his fifties, stands up.“You want this poor woman to stay out here like this?It’s been three hours.”
“We need to study the scene, study the behavior if she’s to get any justice,” Reid says, kneeling down near the body.“What’s the time of death?”
“I did liver temp, she’s been deceased for about nine hours.”
“Means she was dumped sometime after ,” I look to Halloway.“Do we have an ID yet?”
He shakes his head, “working on it.”
The dog park is mostly just grass, but the back has large trees and bushes, enough to shield the body from anyone not in the park from seeing it.She’s in a sitting position, tied to the tree behind her.Naked, but someone covered with her with a white sheet.Throat slashed but no blood at the scene indicating she was killed elsewhere.I see bruising around her thighs, indicating she was raped brutally.More bruising on her rib cage, and deep cuts on her wrists and ankles.She was bound for several hours before she was killed.The major difference between this body and the others was the way she was presented to us.Not dumped in an alley or the backseat of her car.She was presented to us.“The unsub took his time to tie her body up here.”
“Hotch, you think it’s Kinsey?” Morgan asks.
I shake my head.“You saw the tape, how he reacted to the crime scene photos.He’s innocent.”
“Fuck if he is,” Halloway interrupts.“I agree with Agent Morgan.I’m gonna haul him back in right now.”
“I never stated a fact, I just asked a question,” Morgan defends, taking out his cell phone to snap pictures presumably to beam back to Garcia.“Everything else reads like the same signature so far.”
I nod.“Once we know more about the victim, we can go from there.”
“Excuse me,” a crime scene technician comes over.“I found something you might want to see.”
Halloway, Reid and I follow the tech to a part of the fence obscured by a thick row of bushes.Near the bottom is looks like the fence was cut in a triangle shape about three feet wide and maybe three feet tall.It’s been crudely wired closed again.The grass on the other side, considerably taller, has been pressed down.I see more depressed down leading to the road about fifty feet away.“Get some techs out there, see what you can find.”I turn to Halloway.“Our unsub goes through a lot of work to put these bodies in very specific places.”
“I’ll go see if there are maintenance records for this park, try to rule out an unrelated incident,” Reid says, walking back towards the entrance of the park.
Detective Ledger runs up to Halloway and I.“We have an ID.Lisa Haws, age 32.I’m sending some uniforms over to her place right now.”
“Detective Ledger, would you like to come with Agent Morgan and I over to her home?Reid, get a lift with a uniform back to the station and work up a geological profile if you can.”
“Got it,” he says, walking back towards the gate.
“Is he the same agent we worked with over the phone?” Ledge asks as we head towards her car.
“Yes, he was injured and wasn’t clear for travel at the time,” I add.
“He is nothing like I pictured him.”
“We get that a lot,” Morgan says with a smirk.
“I had no idea he was a cat person,” she says.
“How did you know?” I ask.
“His forearms have new scratches on them.I volunteer with a cat rescue here in town and I’ve fostered more than my fair share of kittens.They play rough when they are young, I can spot a new cat owner from a mile away.”
“Taffy and Sally,” Morgan says.“That’s what he named them.Just picked them up last night.”
“What?No scientists, no references to Mordor?” I ask, realizing that while I never engage the locals with this personal a level, with Halloway being a loose cannon we need to keep Ledger on our side as tight as possible.
“Taffy and Sally?Cute,” Ledge says with a smile.“I have three—Buzz, Bozo and Bruno, and I’m fostering a litter of feral kittens.”Ledge stops dead in her tracks.“You guys said he stalked his first victim for sure, right?”
Morgan nods.“Yeah, most likely stalked them all but we only have any sort of proof with the first victim.”
“Then we need to find out what about Lisa Haws was easy to spot from a mile away.”
An hour later, Escanaba Police Department
Agent David Rossi
I take the cup of coffee from JJ, taking a seat around the conference table.“Alright, what do we know?”
“Our latest victim is Lisa Haws, age 32.”Detective Ledger points to her photo on the board.
“She’s a banker at Escanaba Mutual, just got a promotion a few days ago to Loan Officer,” JJ says.
“Nothing hinky with her, single, owns her own home, has a meager bank account,” Garcia announces.
“Hotch and Morgan went to her home, nothing out of place.We’re guessing she was taken from somewhere…Morgan and Halloway are still trying to pin down when and where,” Hotch says, explaining their absence.
“Brian Glover had been waiting for the park to open for only about fifteen minutes, didn’t see anyone else,” Prentiss says.“Nathan Berhent came to unlock the park—the park gets locked at ten every night and unlocked at by whoever is on staff.He was also the one who locked it last night.He does a check with his flashlight to make sure it’s empty, and last night it was.He said he didn’t notice anything different with the chain or the lock either.”
“The fence is only five feet high, it’s not inconceivable someone could have jumped it,” Reid adds.
“But to drag a 150 pound body over it?” I ask.
“This park is isolated enough that it can’t be seen from the main road, especially at night, right?”Reid asks.
“Yeah, and all the places with any sort of view are businesses that were empty.”Detective Ledger stands to examine the board.“Now this is our first body that was staged…”
“Guys, that’s not true,” Reid says.“Look, Vicky Chandler was found in the alley, face down with arms flat to her sides.Tatum Stapf was found tossed in the backseat, and Angela Kinsey was buried in compost.All these suggest a pattern, he doesn’t respect his victims.I think Lisa Haws being tied to a tree was more of a message.Our unsub feels like his reasons for killing these women aren’t understood.”
“Understood?” I ask.
“Crap,” Detective Ledger says.“I can’t believe I didn’t see it until now.”
“What?” I ask.
“What is the one thing they all have in common?” She looks around.
Prentiss’s face lights up.“They all have jobs that have historically been for men only…”
“…and are still in male-dominated fields.”Reid takes a deep breath.“Women account for only roughly 2 percent of landscape business owners, 8 percent of chemists in the private sector, 12 percent of women in higher positions in the financial and banking industries and 28 percent of lawyers, specifically less than half who own their own practices which is shocking since over half of law school students are women, but obviously they don’t pass the bar or even take it.”He stops, sensing he’s gone too far.
“This guy has a serious issue towards independent women,” I say.“He’s a housecleaner.”
“A housecleaner?” Detective Ledger asks.
“A ‘housecleaner’ is someone who kills people of a group perceived to be unworthy of society.Most we come across target prostitutes, drug users, transients.” I take another sip of coffee.
“For some reason, our unsub could think that these women are unworthy?That perhaps they should be staying home, having families, or in other jobs?”Detective Ledger asks.
I nod.“It’s possible.Let’s keep looking over what we have and wait for Rossi and Halloway to come back.”
JJ looks to Hotch.“Should we go public?”
“We should warn women of the community to not go anywhere alone, use common safety, but we should be careful not to specify professional women or we could drive him away.He could be stalking another victim right now and if she’s being careful he might make a mistake.”
“A mistake?”Detective Ledger asks me.“We want him to hurt someone?”
“We once worked a case in St. Louis, two serial killers were in a sort of competition.One of them was eventually escalated to attempting to abduct a woman in a crowed place in broad daylight,” Reid says.“That gave us what we needed to catch him.It’s a risk, but unfortunately it’s all we can do.”
“How do we warn every professional woman in Escanaba that they are being targeted for breaking the glass ceiling?” Prentiss asks.
“We do what we can and hope for the best,” I add.“Anything else creates a media panic.”
Just then Morgan comes barreling into the briefing room.“Halloway brought Sal Kinsey back in.”
“Fucking shit,” Ledge swears.
“That’s what he beat out of him too,” Morgan shakes his head.
“Write it down, I’m reporting him to the chief,” Ledge remarks, leaving the room.
Hotch gets up.“I’m going to keep tabs on this Sal Kinsey situation.I have a feeling that Kinsey getting credit for the unsub’s work might just get us a lead.Rossi, you and Prentiss go visit the coroner.JJ, get that press conference ready and prep Ledger to go up there with you.Morgan, you and Reid work on what you can from here.I want a list of every single woman in our target victimology identified.
Grabbing my file, I walk with Prentiss out to an SUV.While I get in the driver’s seat, she punches in the directions into the GPS.“Do you get the feeling that perhaps Halloway has a shady past?”
“You think he’s a suspect?” I ask, pulling out of the parking lot.
“I don’t know, I mean, he seems to have a personal vendetta against Sal Kinsey, who is the ex-husband of one of our victims.It’s possible.”She pulls out her phone and hits a number on speed dial.“Hey Reid, can you also have Garcia get us everything on Detective Halloway?Yeah, I know right?Thanks.”She hangs up.
“There is something off about that man.Speaking of weird men, Reid got two kittens last night.”
“Kittens?Reid?”I take the required right turn and continue on towards the coroner’s office, which happens to be located in the basement of the county hospital.“Just when I think I’m figuring that kid out.”
“Garcia said Morgan helped him pick them out, can you imagine those two playing with kittens in an animal shelter?” I giggle.“I wish it was on video.”
“Those two are inseparable.Reid goes all the way to Las Vegas and can’t shake him.”I find a good parking spot and manage to park the thing with minimal effort.Such a big vehicle for two agents.“That and the fact that Aaron’s not wearing a suit…what is going on here?” I laugh.
As we walk into the building, Prentiss’s voice gets really low.“You ever get the feeling that things are going to get worse before they get better?”
“What do you mean?”
“This whole case gives me a bad feeling,” she remarks, holding the door open for me as we walk into the hospital.
My cell phone rings and its Aaron.“Hey Hotch, just got to the…”
“Hurry up, we have another crime scene.He doubled up last night.”