Did I scandalize you too much with my last post? Probably not, if you’re reading this one. That wasn’t my motivation surprisingly. It was to inform. Psychopaths may look like normal people and sound like normal people and some of them are capable of great depths of humanness, but not all of them, not even all of the high functioning ones like myself. My depths of humanness are more like coastline shallows.
I love my job. Probably not for the reasons you think though. I love my job because it’s a challenge. I need a good challenge and serial killers present all sorts of challenges, even for me. I have to be smarter than them. I have to be stronger than them. I have to be faster than them. When I’m not, I take six bullets to the chest or worse.
How exactly did that happen? Even when you’re the smartest person in the room, sometimes, desperation surprises you. I don’t expect serial killers to become desperate. I expect them to go down fighting, sure, but not in desperation as if they were rabid badgers. Especially, when the serial killer is a woman.
It was my third case as an FBI agent working for the Violent Crimes Unit, it was a combination unit; built of profilers, agents like myself, and we worked closely with the analysts that ran the VICAP database.
The analysts at ViCAP found a pattern in Boston, Massachusetts. Five prostitutes had been murdered and butchered. The papers were calling them Butcher murders. The signature was so close, even I questioned if they were in fact the work of The Butcher. I knew by then that Patterson Clachan was The Butcher. Donnelly had told me several years earlier, after introducing me to him. All of The Butcher’s victims had something weird done to them, well all of them that he wanted associated with him. He cut out their hearts and put it in their stomachs, then sewed the stomach back up.
The ironwood cane is mostly decoration. He doesn’t need it to walk and he doesn’t use it to kill except in emergencies. He stabs and slashes his victims, spilling as much blood as possible in a frenzied attack. Bloodless kills don’t satisfy him, which is why he had the cane made. If he has to use it as a weapon, it almost always causes a skull fracture and splits open the scalp and as anyone who has ever hit their head will tell you, scalp wounds are profuse bleeders.
Three of the five victims had their hearts put in their stomachs and sewn back up. Except the stitching wasn’t correct. I know that sounds weird, Patterson was 70 something at the time, he could probably change how he stitched up his victims if he wanted to. That was the stance of the profiler that was with us. I mean he’d been killing since the very early 1950s, maybe this stitch was easier on his hands. But I knew Patterson and Patterson wasn’t going to change his stitching pattern on a whim and his hands aren’t riddled with arthritis, even in his 80s.
But each victim had more than fifty stab wounds and the coroners were losing count when cutting slashes. Here’s the thing about stabbing someone, it’s not easy. It takes a lot of strength. Most stab wounds are not straight in and out puncture wounds, because the body sucks the blade into it. The blade has to be turned slightly when you pull it back out to break the vacuum seal the body creates around it, unless you are stabbing at a really incredible speed or you are unbelievably strong. That kind of attack takes strength and stamina. Then the Boston Herald, the FBI, and I personally got postcards from The Butcher congratulating us on being morons for thinking this was his work. Just reading the newspapers he could tell it was a copycat.
I couldn’t tell my FBI overlords that I was positive it wasn’t The Butcher because I knew Patterson personally. I just had to go by the postcard and what I knew of the confirmed cases. While I advocated for it being a copycat, a sixth body was dropped. The attack happened in less than fifteen minutes. This killer was giving Jack the Ripper a run for his money on stealth and speed. We had the victim walking around a corner on surveillance video and then the exact time of the 911 call that she’d been found. If the camera and 911 weren’t calibrated together and they weren’t it might have happened in 16 or 17 minutes, but not longer.
The heart had been removed, but it was left lying next to the body. After the postcard from the real Butcher, the press dubbed the killer the Boston Butcher. Because you know, they are so creative and imaginative when naming serial killers. Caleb and I could be found for six hours a night hanging out with the hookers of Boston, just watching to see who the Boston Butcher could be. We suspected it was a john. Several of the bodies had been found in different places from where they’d last been seen.
We were wrong, all of us. Caleb and I were wasting our time. A seventh and then an eighth body were found. Those both happened in cheap motel rooms. Motels that were known to rent by the hour. We got a lead there though. The eighth girl found had rented the room with another hooker known to the clerk. They had paid for the entire night and rented a double room, not the norm for working girls. One hooker was holding the other up, said she was sick. The clerk was pretty sure he was going to have to hire special maids to clean up vomit and feces in the morning but rented to them anyway.
The hooker checked out in the morning, said her friend had had to go to hospital during the night. The poor maid that opened that room immediately quit her job. There was blood everywhere and organs. All the woman’s organs had been removed and stuck back into the body in different places, sometimes inside each other. It was the goriest crime scene I’d ever seen.
We went to find the hooker. She had checked out, she had been alive that morning. Now, there had been about four hours between check out and the maid showing up to clean the room but maybe she knew of someone her friend was supposed to be meeting or saw someone as she was leaving.
Neither I nor Caleb stopped and asked, “why had she lied and said her friend had gone to the hospital.” If we had, I might not have been shot. She lived in a crappy apartment with a couple other hookers. We knocked and they thought it was a drug raid and scattered. I took off down the fire escape after the one we needed to talk to. I jumped from the second level from the bottom to catch up with her and almost as soon as my feet hit the ground, she fired six shots into my chest from less than four feet away.
Two bullets entered my right lung, one entered my diaphragm, one nicked my liver, one hit a rib bone and just got stuck between the broken bone and my skin, and the final one entered my abdomen. Meaning she was a lousy shot and it’s probably a good thing or I’d be dead. By the time I collapsed from the bullet wounds, I’d handcuffed the bitch and knocked her out. She actually tried to file a complaint against me for excessive force because I hit her in the head with my fist after she shot me six times.
Our profiler turned out to be good for something after all though, she applied pressure to my bleeding wounds and stabbed me twice, once in the chest and once in the neck, then she inserted fucking straws in my body. The first was to drain blood from my lung, the second was so she could breathe for me. Her father was some kind of big shot doctor who had taught her how to do it when she joined the FBI, you know, just in case she ever needed to do an emergency tracheotomy and thoracentesis.
Obviously, I survived. And we found out how our hooker knew about The Butcher’s penchant for removing hearts and putting them in stomachs. She’d overheard it in the police station, after being picked up for prostitution after the first murder, which is why only three of the first five victims had their hearts in their stomachs. Two detectives having a conversation said something like “I’d think it was The Butcher, except the heart wasn’t in the stomach.” To which the other had replied “surely he’s dead by now.”