Man In Black Episode 8

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The Chief looked past him to the press still gathered outside the gate. “Why are they many like this today, Tobi?” he growled. “People die everyday. Why is this woman special? Do you know anything about her yet?” 

 

“Yes, sir.”

“What about how she was killed?”

“She was shot through the head at— ”

The Chief hissed and waved his hand impatiently, as if all that was of little importance. 

“Do you know who killed her? Do you at least have a list of suspects for me?”

His boss just had to make him say it. “No, sir, we don’t,” he replied tightly.

“Then find out. I want a good answer by tomorrow. And if I have to enter another bus by then, I will start removing my transport from your salary.”

And he turned and walked off.

The detective looked at him as he walked on to the side of the busy road, looking left and right in preparation to cross to the other side where he would board a bus or marua. It looked strange, seeing his Chief walking outside the department premises, but he supposed that was the entire point of this dressing-down.

A homicide was a very difficult thing to solve, most especially one he wasn’t even sure how it had been committed, a fact that people just refused to understand. Foremost of those people were his superiors. All they wanted was results, and they wanted those as quick as possible. There was always someone to blame for failure, and when one person couldn’t get the job done, it was just a matter of letting that person go and finding someone else for the job. Someone they thought was more competent. 

Too bad for those of them concerned with getting those results.

Tobi turned around and started back, tossing and catching his car keys. If he was going to get his salary reduced starting tomorrow, the best he could do for himself was get to work right away.

He fought his way through the media people, then entered inside and weaved his way through the parked cars. The detective went into the building. Inside, in the main hall on the ground floor, there was a buzz of activity, with uniformed officers and others milling about. He made a beeline for the glass cuboid that was Homicide Unit, where he knew his people would be.

Everyone got up and chorused a greeting as he entered. The computer operator, Cole, hurriedly minimised his Instagram live feed and stood up with the others to mumble a greeting.

The detective answered their greetings. Normally, he would answer with a smile. He had made it a custom to begin his day that way ever since he had heard somewhere that it was good for his health. But there certainly wasn’t any cause to smile today.

Time to get to business.

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Homicide unit was on the ground floor of the four-storey department building, raised higher than the surrounding floor and, as such, easily visible from the entrance. It was walled in by glass on three sides, and commanded a view of LIPD’s main hall where the junior officers had their offices in a maze of cubicles.

There was an oblong conference table inside here, with ten chairs around it and a huge display that was the size of a small cinema screen, around eighty inches or so, Tobi couldn’t remember. Cole was seated at a small computer table behind the conference table, not one metre away from the entrance. His system controlled what displayed on the screen at the front.

About half of his homicide team was here. The rest were still at the house of the deceased woman, trying to make sense of the scene of the crime, as they had been since seven a.m.

The screen was already on, and on display were the pictures he had seen CSI staff taking of the crime scene just few hours ago. The bedroom from every angle, then a close-up of the bed and blood-soaked sheets as well as the rigid posture of the corpse; multiple close-ups of the bullet wound on the dead woman’s forehead itself; the bulletholes both in the window of the room and the curtain; the scattering of glass on the floor under the window, and then the chipped wall at the foot of the bed where, most probably and also unbelievably, a bullet had taken a small piece out of it.

It seemed it took less time for pictures to commute than did detectives.

“Have they removed the body yet?” he asked.

“Not yet, sir, but I just spoke to Danladi,” Kunle, one of his junior detectives, said. “He said CSI have already finished taking their samples and have zipped the body up to convey to the coroner.”

That was shorthand for “They have taken blood, bone, saliva and hair samples and have packed the woman into a body bag.” It was a macabre one, this job that they had.