Prophet Of Death

Chapter 4

     When Gibbons and Jones returned with the letter, the first thing they did was take it to Captain McManus to show him what they were dealing with. They stood in front of his desk as he read the letter, taking all precautions not to taint it. The captain sat there, brooding over the letter and even turned a new shade of red, obviously not liking what it implicated.

     "This isn't good," he finally said.

     "No, it's not." Pete concurred. "This prick was even arrogant enough to pick his own name, which means he's a media whore. He'll kill everyone on Wall Street if it will give him twenty-four-hour coverage from CNN."

     "That's what I'm afraid of," the captain said as he sat back. "Is the Times going to run this?"

     "They have no choice," Jones answered.

     "That's risky, but understandable." the captain observed.

     "Another body is going to drop anyway," Pete reminded him. "Let's not make another fall over at the Times if we can help it."

     "Security firms are going be busy for the next few weeks until we get this person." McManus gave the letter back to Pete. "We need to get ahead of this. Get a short list of people we think might be the Prophet's next target."

     "I'll have David work on it." Pete handed it to Jones. "Take this down to forensics. Hopefully we'll get lucky since the Times was very careful with it."

     "Will do," Jones said as she took the bag and left.

     "This is going to get ugly," Gibbons said once she was gone.

     "How ugly?" McManus asked.

     "Bowling shoe ugly," Pete replied.

     "Son of a fucking bitch!" McManus said, looking as though he were fighting an urge to get a strong drink. "Do what you can to find this person."

     "I'll do my best," Pete said, taking the hint and left the room. He strolled back to his desk where David was again on the phones. Pete made a motion that basically asked what he was doing.

     David put his hand over the receiver. "I'm calling every paper and network in the city. So far three other papers and one network station also received those letters from our suspect. We have people going out to get those as well."

     Pete sat down at his desk and sighed. "This is a nightmare. This guy is guaranteed to strike again. If just one of them refuses, he's going to use that as his excuse to strike again."

     "Not seriously enough to do anything to change what this guy is protesting," David agreed. "The one percent might increase security, but I'm not sure how that would work."

     "He's been planning this for months, possibly longer," Pete said. "I'm sure he's anticipated all of this, which means even a small army wouldn't make a difference."

     "I agree," David said as he hung up the phone. "This guy wouldn't go this far unless he was prepared for all scenarios. These are not random victims."

     "That may be, but without a second victim to compare the first with, there's no way to look for a pattern," Pete said as he thought about it. "For now, we'll have to look into our first victim's history. Let's look over any threats that might have been made against him and his company. Anyone this angry at him had to speak his mind about it at some point."

     "Well, our perp has a thing for letter writing," David added. "It's likely he sent a few more to try to scare them into doing the right thing. He probably sent letters to every person he intends to attack."

     A few hours later, Pete was working on a lead when the phone rang and he quickly picked it up. "Detective Gibbons."

     "Pete, it's Gabby."

     Pete sighed. "What can I do for you?"

     "There's no school tomorrow," Gabby replied. "I was wondering if you could pick up the boys tonight instead of tomorrow."

     "I'm afraid I can't," Pete replied regretfully. "I'm working a big case right now, but I'll be there tomorrow at the usual time."

     "Really, Pete?" she said with an air of doubt in her voice. "You're going to put your job in front of the kids again?"

     "Watch the news at six tonight, the first story is mine," Pete answered as he hung up the phone. He turned to David. "That bitch really gets on my nerves."

     "Says the man who married the cunt and had two sons with her," David replied with a chuckle. "Second time really wasn't the charm, eh?"

     "I doubt the third will be either, so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead," Pete added as he started sorting through some paperwork that had been delivered to his desk. They had asked the company owned by Eugene Steinbach to forward any threatening letters to them to look through. The request was standard procedure and had been made this morning before they learned about the Prophet's passion for the handwritten letter. With the letter sent to the Times in their possession, it would be much easier to find what they were looking for. A letter that not only contained threats but one that referenced the ninety-nine and was also signed by the Prophet. Pete was halfway through the pile when he hit pay dirt.

PJ Lowry

Edited: 02.08.2020

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