“Detective Strong, nice to meet you.” The detective from cyber crimes shook Ella’s hand with a sweaty pump. She smiled through the grimace and subtly wiped her hand down her pants when he’d turned to her partner Steve.
“You too, Detective Smith,” she replied as they sat across the conference room table. Now that the Murder App case was getting more traction, her boss had wanted to shift it completely over to cyber crimes. Ella had successfully petitioned the case to remain with homicide, so long as they worked with cyber. The rumblings had confirmed they guys over there hadn’t been too happy with that decision. She had to tread carefully.
“Well, we’re still sifting through the dating app the killer used. We’re also broadening the net and checking on other ones, just in case he decides to shake things up.” Smith pulled a thick file from his briefcase, spreading out the contents on the table.
“We’ve already confirmed that the profiles used to hook in the first three victims have been deleted. Hopefully, if we can use trends and a few good catfish profiles, we can hook him ourselves. Before another girl gets hurt.”
The sentence felt like a dig, but Ella wasn’t sure if she was reading into it too much. She felt wiped after the last day, and the fitful sleep she’d managed to get at home, hadn’t done much to suppress the exhaustion.
“Thanks, Paul, we appreciate the work, and the data,” Steve said with a taught smile. Smith nodded then started rambling through the particulars of the cyber evidence they’d rounded up so far. Ella let her mind wander. She wanted to consider the puzzle. The clues that the killer left behind at every scene.
There was always a tie. Red. The women lived alone, and he seemed to bring it himself. Why would a killer do that? Bring a particular tie, a particular colour.
There had to be a reason. They’d done tests and found that the first three ties were the same. The same brand, colour die – even the same batch of ties. Which meant the killer not only brought them to the scenes himself, he bought them in bulk.
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When Detective Smith had left them alone with all the data, Ella turned to Steve. “I think we need to do a search for sales of the brand of ties found at the scene.”
Steve frowned. “We did that already. They sell too many of those ties to get a good-”
“No. I mean bulk orders.” She stood and started pacing the room. “If these are all the same brand, same batch, they could have been bought in bulk, at the same time. Right?”
Steven shrugged. “I guess. Plus, a guy buying four or five ties that are exactly the same could seem unusual.”
She nodded and looked down at the information on that dating app. “I have another idea too.”
Steve looked up the page that he had been reading. “What?”
Ella drew in a deep breath and leaned her hand on the table, the other on her hip. “I think I should be one of those catfish profiles. I want to make a profile and draw the killer in.”
I hope you enjoyed my latest chapter of The Murder App. I’ll be posting another chapter next month. So if you want to know what happens next, check back again in October!