Sunday, 7 June 2009

THEY SAY. . .#5: Apple Juice


‘How do you know it was here that she was kidnapped?’

‘It was the place we found a half empty juice bottle M’am, the same flavour said to be the victim’s favourite. Apple. 50% real juice. She never went anywhere without it. When I saw it lying on the scene, I remembered what her mother said. We checked the bottle for prints, and it matched hers.’

‘Hmmm, so, we have prints and a location,’ said Lead Inspector Franco counting off on her fingers, ‘but no suspect? Is there any reason why she was found on the grounds of the hospital? From what I can remember, she was a bank teller in the city wasn’t she?’

‘Yes, she was.’ Affirmed Officer Jabobs, ‘but her best friend worked and lived here at the hospital, apparently she was going to overnight at her room in the hostel last night.’

‘Then why are we still here? Let’s go to her friend.’

‘She’s missing also.’

‘O.’

‘Ja, so what we done first, was try to establish whether the girls had any enemies. Turns out they do. Jacqui was raised by rich parents, and although she tried to work hard and not rely on her parents for handouts, there were many of her peers, especially other girls, who didn’t like her just because of that fact. Nabeela came from a much poorer upbringing, but she studied very hard and was studying to become a physician, but practically entirely from bursaries. We’re trying to find all their remaining friends and acquaintances, to piece up the puzzles of what happened on and during the few days before this happened, to try to track down who might have done this.’

‘Good work, let’s get down to it.’

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‘So what do we have Jacobs?’

‘We’ve got: Jacqui’s bank colleagues, her church friends, her family, and friends on the train that she travelled with from her house to work. Also, Nabeela’s hostel friends, class mates, and colleagues from the hospital, her family could be excluded, because they’re too far away.’

‘Don’t discount their social networking and phone activities. Check if they’ve been online, who they’ve been in contact with electronically or telephonically.’

‘But we haven’t found their phones yet though, M’am,’

‘But you have their numbers, right? Track those.’

‘Great, I’ll get Jackson to do that now.’ Said Jacobs while texting Jackson,’ So, we spoke to the respective groups, and pinpointed the ones closest to the girls. I’ve set up meetings with them for. . .in the next 20 minutes in fact. We should be able to learn more about where these girls could be.

‘Ok good. We’ve really hit a clean blank on this one. I’m actually hoping that they were kidnapped you know.’

‘Why?’

‘If they were, chances are the kidnapper will ask for a ransom, which Jacqui’s parents would hopefully be able to pay out because they are so wealthy, and even if they can’t, there would still be a chance that they are still alive, and then they could still be saved. If it’s not, and it’s just yet another rape and/or murder case… dammit man, that would be tragic.’

‘Ja, just another statistic to add to our notoriety of being one of the rape and murder capitals of the world’

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‘We’ve spoken to nearly everybody, and still there are no leads.’

‘I know Jacobs, I know. Something has GOT to pop out from somewhere.’

Just then another investigating officer bursts through the door, panting he says; ‘M’am, new evidence!’

‘Breathe Mills, breathe! What evidence?’

‘One of her train friends has a video, a video that Jacqui made on a trip home on the train, apparently there’s some dodgy oke on it, could be our breakthrough’

Franco looked at Jacobs and smiled, ‘This might be what we’ve been working so hard to find!’

The video was nothing out of the ordinary, filled with the usual youthful abandon and gaiety. It was about five minutes long, and all it really had was Jacqui and her friends laughing, joking and talking in the train. But then, somewhere close to the end, Jacqui pans across the carriage, her camera finds random people sleeping, talking, listening to music, but then. . .she finds someone staring at her, staring with such searing, burning eyes, almost psychotic. She is obviously distressed by this young man who’s gaze is fixated on her, she stays him for two seconds, and upon being spotted, he gingerly folds open the daily tabloid that was wedged in between his legs, masking his face once more. She ends off the recording abruptly by saying in a consternate voice; ‘What the hell was that?’

Research was done about the mystery man, but details about him were few and far between. But then the various people were questioned again, and some things started to link up. . .

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‘Why did you bring me in sir? I already told you everything I know!’ babbled Dylan Talmarks, a friend of Jacqui.

‘We know, we know. But myself and Lead Inspector Franco would like to show you something. Tell me if you recognize anyone.’

Dylan immediately shot up when he saw the mysterious man, ‘There! That dude. I’ve seen him before. . .um. . .wait. . .ja, he tried to chat up Jacqui this one night when we were in the club. Jacqui always said that she wanted to stay single for a while, she didn’t want any complications. She told this dude to go fly, but he just walked away, without saying anything. . .’

‘How long ago was this?’ asked Franco with a frown etched into her forehead

‘About two weeks ago Inspector.’

‘Hmmm, ok, you sure you don’t have a name?’

‘No, I don’t. He just came there, tried to chat her up, got bombed, and bounced.’

‘Ok, great. You can go now.’

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‘Yes, yes! I’ve seen that guy before. I’ll never forget his penetrating brown eyes.’ Yelled Yasneen, Jacqui’s colleague. We were at the library, returning a few romance novels, when I saw this dude lurking in the aisles. He looked right past me, which I was the first thing that bothered me, I mean, look past me, really now, how’d he get that right? Anyhoo, he looked at Jacqui with so much passion, but not a romantic passion, a sick, psycho, I’m-a-very-weird-bad-man-stalker kind of passion. It truly was strange. He just looked at her, then when I told her about it, and she looked up, he quickly disappeared into the aisles. We tried to follow him, but he was gone.’

‘Wow, ok. Thanks. Seems we got our man now Jacobs. Run his face through the databases to see if you find him. You, young lady, are free to go.’

‘Thank you, have a fabulous day.’

And as Yasneen walked out, a package came in, for Fracno. It was a box, contained inside it was a piece of paper, on it, this was written;

You are playing a dangerous game. You have already lost one, will you lose another? Go to your office Mrs Franco, go to your computer, on your desktop you’ll find an image you haven’t seen before. It contains instructions for your next move. Don’t deny it.

She went to her pc and was shocked to find that her desktop cover was the image of a young lady, naked, with one stab wound on each shoulder, one stab wound on each of her upper thighs, and a solitary gunshot to the heart. It was Nabeela. Underneath it stood the address, a time, and an amount of money, R500 000 into an account as ransom for Jacqui, otherwise she would be met with the same fate as her. It was signed by Mr Nice.

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The building where Jacqui was being held was a regular office building, still in use, not far from the police station. Mr Nice must have known someone in the police force to gain access to it. He couldn’t be part of the force, because no-one recognized him.

After arduously following the mazy directions, Franco and her team finally reached the place. It was the second floor from the top of the building, and it was a big dark room. As they entered, the room, the lights came on bit by bit. Revealing Mr Nice, behind a thick glass wall, with Jacqui, naked and gagged, handcuffed to a pillar, but still alive and unharmed. Mr Nice was pacing up and down, strapped up with a bullet proof vest, a harness, a gun, and an exotic knife.

‘Let her go, we WILL shoot you!’ Ordered Jacobs.

‘Go ahead; see if you can penetrate this transparent shield in front of me’ smiled Mr Nice.

Shot’s were fired off from a few of the officers, but nothing could get through the thick shield like barrier.

‘Send in the backup to the sides now!’ yelled Franco

‘Why bother, these doors are solidly bolted down, and even if they do get in here, I’ll be long gone by then.’

‘Why? Why did you kill Nabeela Petersen?’ asked Franco.

‘O, she was just the bait, to get what I want. Did you transfer the money?’

‘Yes, we did.’

‘Hmmmm, let me check. . .’ sniggered Mr Nice, while tapping into his phone. ‘Seems you have done your part, now it’s time for me to do mine.’ He smiled.

‘No! We gave you the money!, You’ve got what you want, let the girl go! She has done nothing to you.’

‘O really? Nothing? This woman you see before you today is cold, heartless, manipulative, and just a plain bitch.’

‘Sounds a lot like you.’ snapped Franco

‘Ah. I am but a man carrying out his duty to a friend, a brother. A man of valour. Theo March was an exceptional man, a hero for many people, doing things for his fellow man, without a thought for himself. But first and foremost, he was a business tycoon that started his empire from the ground. Then, in waltzes Ms Snob here, and upon failing to seduce him because his resolve was to strong, she does what any other spoilt bitch will do. She bad mouths him. But not low-key, she took it to another level. She spread so many things about him, that he lost his job, his company, his empire, his gorgeous fiancĂ©, EVERYTHING. In an instant. After her failed rape charge attempt his life was in ruins, and in the stress of it all, he took his own life, his life that was turned into a nightmare.’

‘So this is a vendetta? Maybe it was just a big misunderstanding?’

‘No. Nothing was misunderstood. And to make sure nothing is misunderstood now, let me do this in front of you: THIS is for ALL the pain and stress you gave to him, a burden he found too heavy to carry out any longer.‘ He said stabbing her in each shoulder, ‘THIS is for the money you tried to STEAL from him, you greedy, gold-digging, spoilt brat,’ he said while stabbing her in each thigh, where one’s pockets would be. ‘And finally, this is for the death you caused. . .with your licentious, impudent, and idiotic idea of ruining a man’s life, and causing his death.’ He fired one single shot to her heart.

The police watched helplessly as this all enfolded in front of them, their hands, proverbially tied behind their back. There was nothing they could do to save Jacqui, Mr Nice has one-upped them once again.

Just then he started to rise up, a rope attached to his harness. He opened up the a vent cover on the ceiling, and proceeded to escape, but left with saying this; ‘May this be a lesson, to any and every woman that ever has such a malicious ruse planned for a man of golden heart, such as Theo March was. May his soul NOW rest in peace, knowing that justice has been served.’ And with that he was gone.’

‘Quickly! He’s escaping through the roof, cover the roof, NOW!’ shouted Franco

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When they arrived on the roof two minutes later, they found Mr Nice lying there, dead, with a bullet wound in his face, on his left cheek. A few metres away from him stood an oldish lady, with a gun, still steaming from the shot.

‘Lady, put the gun down! Now!’ Ordered Jacobs

‘It had to be done. The pain of loosing one’s child, I didn’t want to let another family suffer the pain of loosing a child, like I did with Theo. But. . .I was too late.’ Cried the Mrs March.

‘It’s true what you said now lady, but aren’t you causing the same pain to his parents by killing him too?’

‘His parents never loved him. Gave up on him a long time ago. After Theo’s death I looked after him like he was my own, but this, no, he was becoming a danger to anyone that reminded him of Jacqui.’

‘Madam, you do know you are a murderer now, you’ll have to go to jail for a very long time.’

‘I have set the balance right. My son would never want anyone to be killed, no matter how much they had hurt him. Sanity will prevail because balance has been achieved. Going to prison is fine if I think of all the lives I’ve saved.’

‘To think this started with freaking apple juice,’ sighed Jacobs as he cuffed Mrs March, ‘who would’ve thunk it?’

This photo was taken at 18:37 on the 9th of April 2009. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, this on spoke 2504 words.