How many other words are there to describe such a thing as murder. Murder; the overwhelming, fervent urge to take someone's life. Or to plead the case as an accident trying to get years off your death sentence. Does New York even have a death sentence? I gave up caring, so why should I know.
I may sound, what would the word be… cruel, brutal, and vindictive but after being a homicide detective for fourteen years, you lose the will to care. I've seen too many psychopaths, killing for no more the reason than to kill, get stuck in a mental hospital and out within a year. Or those rich business men type that kill whores, because they never had a mother in their life, get off with a slap on the wrist because they had the best lawyers money could get them. Greasing the wheels by passing out a couple hundred to the judge couldn't hurt either, could it?
Here, let me explain by telling you a story.
We, as in my partner of eight year and myself, got a case and it was presumed to be like every other case… It was just supposed to be a nameless face… why couldn't it have just been like that? No, it had to be the case that would cause my so-called 'early retirement.'
We got the call, and being good New York City homicide detectives, we were off. Nothing special, we thought, just another killing in the case the mayor was freaking out about, it being election year and all. It's really all that jerk cared about. Only calling when we have a big case out in the public. Didn't care about the small ones but when the media get a hold of a case called 'The Slicer,' then it was good for his mayor image to be seen talking to the police officers and detectives. This one was a hard case to crack.
This guy was good. He was smart and for once we had a killer that knew what he was doing. That was not a good thing. We had to catch this bastard. To keep New York safe again. But that's the thing; they're not people we know, people we care about. They're not our police family, or our police's family. We are just keeping more nameless faces safe. Why should we care about them more than what is stated in our job description. They're just nameless faces in our books, or at least mine.
How else would you describe a person when most of the time we only see them dead. We don't deal with victims. We deal with dead and, most of the time, brutalized bodies and their killers, their so-called grim reapers. To put a face to a case number is saying that you're not cut out for this job, that you're caring. I've seen some damn good people quit because they've seen one too many dead and cut up bodies. That's where caring gets you in this business, a one way ticket to a mental break down and 'vacation' time prescribed to you by the police psychologist.
We call them corpses, not bodies. We don't give them a name, we don't give them a face. We give them a case, a number and, a storage bin. I think that's how I, and everyone else, get through it. Through seeing your body covered in a victim's blood… or just seeing parts of a victim. Yesterday we were lucky, the body was in one piece. Last week we had to form a line and search for some pieces, which we only found half of.
Well, like I said, we were off. Off to see another nameless body in an unnatural position, laying in a crimson pool. But, hey, that's what we get paid for, that's what you pay us for. Grim thought isn't it. Though grim is the only word to describe this line of work and crazy to those people that do it. The job is necessary, unless you want to step over bodies in the middle of the street. It's your choice, are you tempted to choose.
Today's killing was getting served up in an alley. In one of the 'finer' areas of town. As we approached, CSI was there, examining the scene and the mortician was looking at the body; we didn't see the body… yet.
From the look on the mortician's face, we knew there was a lot of blood. We could tell by the smell in the air and the coppery taste in our mouth. Giving a weak smile, he went over the details. Over how he, our victim, died.
Same killing style…
Parallel cuts on arms
Both wrists slashed
Cause of death was simple and the same as the other victims from the 'Slicer case,' that we once passed up as a mass suicide.
Cause of death…
Massive loss of blood.
That was no surprise as was the fact it was a different type of person. A trademark of the proclaimed 'Slicer' as the media liked to call him. If you give a name to evil, you're giving it power. To give power to evil means you're afraid of it. Being afraid, makes it real. We call him the killer, just as we call all the rest.
This time the male was…
Younger than the others
We took our notes and talked to the police officers, as was protocol. There were no witnesses, so that was one end tied up, until we began our search for the killer. We, my partner and I, stepped forth into the alley thinking we we're prepared for anything. In our 'officer' mode we thought nothing could get us, we even got used to the feeling of the plastic shoe coverings walking through blood and the sticky feeling of blood drying on your skin. Nothing could bother us…
Until we saw the body… we weren't ready. It was somebody with a name. Somebody with a face. A significant person in my life. Somebody that was just at our new home…
As a homicide detective you get used to seeing dead bodies. You sign up knowing that. The feeling of death doesn't make your skin crawl or send a shiver up your spine or whatever else a horror movie would say. It is just death and death becomes just an acquaintance. You become ready for anything you see and with practice the blood doesn't make you retaste your food.
But the one thing that hit me, hit me like a dam breaking was something that I feared but never thought would come true. I don't think I'd ever be ready to see my son's dead body.
My eyes watered when I saw his cut arms…
My knees felt weak when I saw his slashed wrists…
I fell to my knees when I saw his body in an unnatural position…
And I shed tears when I saw his crimson pool…
And I cried when the black bag came over his head.
And I keep crying as they pulled me away.
They pulled me away from my son. My son! The one reason I had to live. My life had slipped away with his. I watched his body become smaller, fighting with all my strength to get back to him. This wasn't a victim, it wasn't a corpse! That was, no still is my son. He needs me as I need him.
They continued to pull as I continued to fight. I won't let them win; not the officers nor my tears. I screamed for him but heard nothing. I ran for him but only felt the multiple hands across my body, pulling me away.
'It's ok, Dee.' That's what they said, but really is it ok? The last thing I remember about that day is a pain in my arm, a final scream and all else goes black.
They gave me enough sedatives to knock out a herd of elephants. As I awoke, in the hospital, I ripped out the IV and called for Bikky, before two police officers and nurses rushed in. They strapped me to the bed as I continued to fight. It was futile but I fought for a couple more moments before I let my emotional wall break. I cried… forever it seemed I cried as my emotions weakened me.
Finally it hit me. He, my son, was dead. There would be no college visits, basketball games, no celebrating another holiday, nor enjoy his company during a family dinner.
This time our victim wasn't a corpse, a body, it was a person. Everyone that we saw, shipped off carelessly in bags, or stepped over was a person. A person that I failed to see.
Maybe this was a lesson. A lesson to show me that everyone matters, even if I don't know them. For everyone that I categorized by number, their unheard pain came back to me.
Maybe it wasn't a lesson, but it is still murder.
And my dear son Bikky is still and forever will be dead.