Story: The Bingo Club.
Everyone looked at the tall ,muscular man who entered the room. There was a bandage around his forehead. He walked up to Mrs. Williams , the manager of the Bingo Championship and asked for a ticket and a stamp, keeping a crisp note on the table. He proceeded towards the aisles and seated himself. Soon an announcement came, “A new game has begun..”
Mrs Williams picked out and announced the first few numbers. The man was seen stamping on his sheet twice. Satisfied, he got up from his seat in the middle of the game and left. All eyes looking at him wonderingly.
Rachel was woken up by an urgent call from Luke .“ Another one? Where? ” she asked , groaning inwardly. She dressed quickly ,cursing the day she became a detective and hurried across town to 16th Avenue ,Madison street . The ticker tapes guided her to House no 81. She entered the living room to find a corpse on the ground of a 5’8 man, medium built, with a slash around his neck. Up on the wall was written ‘HELP ME!’ using the victim’s blood .
Spotting her, Luke, her partner of 3 years, came over. Rachel said “it’s his M.O., right?”
“You bet. Our victim’s Martin Bannen . Doesn’t have a criminal record .Has a wife and two kids. They were on an overnight stay at a friend. Their alibis check out. A kitchen knife was found next to the victim, no fingerprints .Death occurred between 2-3 am .There was that note again. This time 81 and 16 written on it. As in the other two cases, he took his time and was pretty messy about it.
“We have a lucky break though.” he continued. “A Mrs. Martin, out on a early morning walk , saw someone sneaking out at around 4 am and has given us a description . It’s not really helpful except he was male, Caucasian , tall and muscular.”
“ Okay.” Rachel said. “I also talked to our psychologist. He said that the perpetrator is somewhat mentally-disorientated, psychopathic and frustrated about something in life” referring to the scribbling on the wall. “ It could be because of a serious head trauma that happened 3-4 weeks before the first kill. Luke, did you check all city hospitals for records of serious head injury for that period ?”
“Yeah I did and there are 77 who fit the bill.” Luke said, punching away on his palmtop. Male, Caucasian, above 6 feet narrows it down to …14.”
“Okay, let’s start talking to them and see what we find..”
3 Days later….
Rachel was on her sofa watching TV. They still hadn’t gotten any leads from talking to the suspects. She was sure that she was missing something here but what? The doorbell rang. It was a Blue-Dart delivery for her.
‘Rachel Mackeral, House no. 12 ,Avenue- 53, Hamilton street, New York’
She kept looking at her letter. A distant, morose stare. Suddenly something clicked in her head. She called Luke asking him to call everybody at the department right away.
“Okay, Rachel you said you found something ?
“ I did. Our killer always left a note near his victim, right? Guys, what similarity can you see between the numbers on the note and the address of the victims?” Silence fell in the room. Everyone’s mind was spinning.
“ My god Rachel! The numbers and victims address are the same! Why didn’t we see this before? “For example, ” Elizabeth, another team member in the forensics department continued, “Bannen’s house number is 81 and his Avenue ,16th…these are the same numbers on the note we found beside him.”
“Exactly. And the lab report on the substance by which the numbers were encircled just came in. I sent it in for inspection a few hours back. It’s from the ink in blotters which can be bought only in Bingo clubs. Luke, how many of our suspects live within a 2 mile radius of Bingo clubs? Our profiler also said that the perpetrator wouldn’t be travelling too far because of his disorientation.”
“That still doesn’t explain how our victims are spread out all over town then.” Elizabeth mumbled.
“Wait a minute…Got it! I narrowed it down to two. Ryan Spears and Nathan Burth.” said Luke
“Great! One of them must be our guy. Track their phones. Where are they situated?”
“Spears is in Goofy-Drinks bar and Burth’s phone can be traced back at his house”
“Okay, Let’s split up and go after them “
A few hours later , Rachel trudged back into her house, disappointed. Both the men had checked out fine with watertight alibis for the days of the 3 murders.
Around the same time, a tall, muscular man entered the Bingo club on Picaddily street , just a mile away. It helped that his brother was a cabbie who could drop him off to the Bingo clubs every Saturday night. This was his only entertainment ever since his wife and son died in the horrible car crash a couple of months ago which also left him with severe head trauma and recurrent headaches. Later, he would walk back home somehow but could never remember what happened during the night.
He took a ticket and a blotter and found himself a chair. The game began. The man heard the first two matching numbers on his ticket -12 and 53. He blotted them on his ticket. Satisfied, he got up and left,ready for his fourth kill. Hamilton Street was just around the corner…