Serial killer on the loose!

  • 26 Jan - 01 Feb, 2019
  • Ayesha Adil
  • Fiction

Bang… I woke up from my sleep. Was that a gunshot I heard? Silence. Hush. It was all very quiet and peaceful.

“What’s wrong?” my wife stirred by my side.

“I don’t know. I think I heard something.”

“Go back to sleep. It’s nothing.”

She turned sides and fell asleep again.

I envied how easily she could shut off her thoughts and sleep. But then again she knew how precious those few hours of rest were to her. What with the house and kids and my parents she had a lot of running around to do all day. Sleep was her escape.

But I was awake. And I couldn’t help my mind wander to the latest case that I was working on. I decided to get up and leave for the station, who cared if it was still dark outside.

“Mysterious deaths happening all across the metropolis.”

This was the first headline splashed across the daily paper. And even strangely mysterious were the victims. They were not as innocent as they seemed and they deserved to die; if I was going to be brutally honest. It was coming to them sooner or later.

But whether they deserved to die or not was not the question. As my superior said quite undoubtedly, “There seems to be a vigilante at large. But if we condone these killings then everyone will take the law into their own hands and the rule of the jungle will become prevalent. We don’t need that in our city at all.”

We all understood. Where would the line be drawn? Businesses being swindled, doctors being negligent, people cheating on their spouses; who will decide who is right or wrong or deserving of punishment? This had to stop now.

But we had literally no trace evidence, no forensic evidence on the killer at all. He or she was meticulously careful. No hair samples, no finger-prints, no clothes’ fibers. We had nothing.

And there was no pattern in the killing. No particular MO. Except for the kidnapping without any eye-witnesses, a filed missing persons report followed by a dead corpse placed on the streets of Karachi in plain view before anyone was up and about. And no camera footage or witness to how and when the body landed there. The police were royally baffled to say the least.

He has got to get messy. He will make a mistake soon, I breathed to myself. I needed a break soon on this one.

All the crimes were pre-meditated carefully executed and had a strong motive behind them. They were crimes of extreme hatred. Strangled with asphyxiation, drowning in back alleys in buckets full of water, throats slit, wrists slit, hanging, chemical poisoning, acid burning; the list went on and on. Sometimes death was quick and painless and at times the victims had been tortured for days and their bodies moved post-mortem. We had a total of 10 bodies that we had found left abandoned in full view on the city streets at early dawn. Who knew how many more there were?

The city’s CCTV footage had nothing to show. The killer or perpetrator was either exceedingly clever or painfully lucky.

We weren’t even sure if it was one man or a gang. No eye-witnesses came forward. Was this person a phantom? A romantic notion put up on the social media was the inescapable question. “Was he batman?” This only added to the confusion.

The hit list included abusive husbands, rapists, people in the drug and arms race, traffickers, dacoits, even corrupt politicians. And the victim could be on the lowest rung of the ladder, the small timer or someone who controlled the entire cartel.

If truth be told whoever was doing this was on our side and helping us out. Many times justice couldn’t be served because of a flawed judicial system or lack of evidence but out on the street justice was being served full platter.

“Justice may be blind but it can see in the dark.” A fond quote that I held close to heart came back to me as I was looking at the investigative pictures on the latest corpse.

One of the reasons I became a police detective was to keep my city and my family safe. But no one knew who would be next and we all felt unsafe.

Law and order authorities were being blamed. The victims were leading double lives and many times all that family and friends would know was that a husband, a father or a loyal and loving family man had died. But when their identities were revealed through our work we knew how corrupt and dangerous these people were.

Like the woman who had been killed last night. On the surface she was a mother and a wife and led a respectable life but in reality she orchestrated the biggest sex trafficker ring in South Asia. On the guise of finding spouses for young men and women she would smuggle them abroad to become sex slaves to the rich and famous in many countries of the world. These young minds would be blackmailed into silence. For fear for their family’s safety they had no choice but to keep their mouths shut.

At times some brave ones would seek help from their country of origin but the trail would get lost in the system and this Madam could keep her hands clean for yet another day.

Who knew how many lives she had destroyed before her light was extinguished?

to be continued...