LEGACY OF DEATH:
THE DYSON’S COMET KILLER
By Richard Paolinelli
© 2019 RICHARD PAOLINELLI . ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO COPYING OR ANY OTHER REPRODUCTION OF THIS STORY IS PERMITTED WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION.
Bolton had been right about one thing, Barlow was not the last victim. Despite teams of Inspectors, patrolmen and clerks checking out any and all leads nothing had turned up but more victims. Three more victims had fallen to the knife of the Dyson’s killer, the name the press had given the killer once word had gotten out about the carvings on each of the victims.
Seven women in five days and still not one shred of evidence or a single lead existed that gave anyone hope that the killings would end with an arrest. With each hour that passed without sleep and without any positive news or leads, Bolton’s temper worsened until finally he bit off some poor policewoman’s head for merely offering to get him a cup of coffee.
Kiner stepped in quickly and ordered Bolton to go home and get some sleep.
“You’re no good to this investigation like this Mac,” Kiner said, gently putting a hand on Bolton’s shoulder to ease the sting of his words. “Go home and get a few hours of sleep before you collapse. We’ll call if anything turns up. It’s only ten in the morning and he’s never attacked during daylight. There’s time for you to get some rest.”
Grudgingly, Mac acquiesced. Too tired to trust himself behind the wheel of a car, Bolton resigned himself to a BART ride home to his apartment in San Bruno after he failed to reach Owens at her office or on her cell phone. He left a message for her, letting her know he was going home and that he would call her later after he’d caught a nap.
His place was only eight blocks from the station and his father’s apartment was situated nearly halfway between the two. Bolton decided to stop by and see how the old retired cop was doing. Nick Bolton had put in twenty-five years on the job before cancer had finally slowed him down and confined him to a wheelchair along with a live-in nurse.
“Hello Mac,” Chelsea Jackson greeted Bolton at the door. “He’s asleep right now, he didn’t have a good night.”
“I know the feeling,” Bolton replied wryly. “I’ll just look in him for a minute and then I’ll get out of your hair.”
Bolton quietly entered the bedroom and sat next to his father’s bed, watching and listening to the rhythm of his father’s breathing as he adjusted the covers on the bed. As he pulled back, he noticed that his father was now awake.
“You’re supposed to asleep, old man,” Bolton said.
“And you look like you need it more than I do,” the elder Bolton shot back. “You look worse than I do son. You’ve got another bad case, worse than Parker from what Kiner told me.”
Nick Bolton sat up a little and looked his son in the eye.
“You’ll get him son,” he said. “He’s been lucky so far, but he’ll slip up soon enough.”
“I know dad,” Mac said. “What scares me is how many more he’ll kill before he slips up enough for us to catch him. But for now, you go back to sleep.”
“I will if you will.”
“That’s my next stop,” Bolton told his father as he stood up. “A few hours sleep, then I’m going to try to grab a quick dinner with Lisa.”
Nick Bolton quickly reached up and gently grabbed his son’s arm.
“You ever gonna get around to marrying that girl, son?”
“Working on it Dad,” Bolton said, covering his father’s hand with his own. “Just as soon as I can find enough time between major cases.”
“Make the time son,” the old man said, lying back in back and quickly drifting off to sleep. “Make the time.”
“I will dad, I promise,” he whispered before leaving the room.
Ten minutes later, Mac Bolton was sound asleep on his own couch, but it wasn’t a peaceful sleep. His dreams all began with him and Lisa together in a peaceful park and they all ended with nightmare visions of mutilated women riding the iridescent tail of comets in the sky above, each calling out for him to join them.
* * * * *
This cleansing was proceeding smoother than ever before. Over halfway completed and no interference yet from outside forces. Still, there was one who presented a problem, one who might unwittingly interfere with the holy task. Before that could be allowed to occur, action would be taken to permanently remove the threat.
* * * * *
He’d only intended to sleep for a couple of hours, but he must have rolled over and turned off the alarm in his sleep. He was awake, but it was now past eight and the sun had set two hours ago. After a quick shower and a change of clothes, Bolton was starting to feel human again. Before he could grab something to eat or give Lisa a call, his phone rang. He could hear Kiner bellowing at him long before the receiver reached his ear.
“Where in blazes have you been Bolton?” snapped Kiner. “Our friend has paid us another visit, we’ve just got a report of another victim in the park. Get down there, right now.”
It took over an hour, catching BART back to his car and then out to the newest crime scene. CSU was already working the scene and Bolton quickly found Sanchez first, not wanting to look at the figure lying under the black tarp anytime soon.
“What have we got so far,” he asked the tech, who was looking like she’d aged ten years in the past four days.
“Um, not much more than the others,” Sanchez replied, looking uncomfortable with the conversation.
“What does that mean, Sanchez?” Bolton asked, confused by the woman’s attitude. “Do we know the name of our vic yet?”
Sanchez did not answer, but merely bent over the covered body of the eighth victim and lifted away the covering.
It was Inspector Townsell. A single knife wound to the chest and the damned carving on her forehead confirming the identity of her killer.
“How the hell did this happen?” Bolton rasped, forgetting that just days before, he had considered Townsell a likely suspect. But before Sanchez could answer, a pair of men in long, black overcoats that screamed out Internal Affairs approached them.
“Inspector Bolton,” the taller of the two men said as they both flashed their badges. “Sergeants Cooper and Baker, IA. Can we have a word?”
“I’m in the middle of another murder investigation gentleman,” Bolton replied tersely, as he heard Sanchez walk away from the three men. “You’ll have to wait until I get back to the office.”
“I’m afraid that’s not good enough, Inspector,” Cooper said as the shorter Baker quickly stepped behind Bolton. “You can come along quietly or we can arrest you right here.”
“Arrest me?” Bolton exclaimed. “On what charge.”
“Suspicion of murder, Inspector,” Baker said coldly. “Ten counts of cold-blooded murder.”
* * * * *
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