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Now Jude wanted an opinion; he knew all about Jackson Crow. Hannah had filled him in during a quick phone conversation just outside before he’d joined the others in the autopsy room. Crow had an interesting background with the feds, having saved two team members who should have died with the others. He’d been on leave after that, and then given the position to head the special team. He’d had years of experience at Quantico before his current position, and was reputed to have a bull’s-eye ability when it came to pegging the traits and psychology of a killer.

Jackson said, “Whoever you’re dealing with is organized and intelligent. You certainly wouldn’t see him on the streets dripping the blood of his victims. He has a plan, and he’s carrying it out. This isn’t Victorian London, and he knows it. Whether he believes that Jack the Ripper came to the United States or not, he is working on that theory as he carries out his crimes, which makes him very dangerous. He’s going to go for the next accepted step in the career of the past killer. Next up, you can expect a double event. One woman will be found quickly with her throat slashed. Then he’ll find another, and he’ll make sure that he has the time to carry out the mutilations.”

“How much time does he need?” Jude asked, looking from Fullbright to Jenna Duffy.

The two looked at each other. “Fifteen to thirty minutes?” Jenna asked Fullbright.

“Give or take, depending on his skill,” Fullbright said.

“What kind of weapon is he using?” Jude asked.

“That’s hard to say—the blade is at least six inches,” Fullbright told him. “But there are so many knives available today…might be a military weapon, or it might be a chef’s knife. Six inches at least, and very sharp.”

“Thanks,” Jude said. “Keep me posted, if anything,” he told Fullbright.

“Of course,” Fullbright said.

As they left the building, Jude’s phone rang. It was the deputy chief, suggesting another meeting for the next morning with the task force, and a briefing with the precinct beat, with a thorough briefing to be recorded for every law enforcement officer in New York City. Jude agreed, and told Jackson Crow the plan.

“In the morning, fine. Then I’ll have you drop us back off at Blair House so that Whitney can walk us through the murder of the starlet, and we’ll start exploring the area where the filming took place.”

Jude agreed.

When he dropped the agents off, he was surprised that he wanted to go in, or ask that Whitney come out, just so that he could say hello, or make sure that she was…

Safe. She was an agent. She had sworn to lay down her life, just as he had.

He’d liked her as a partner; he wasn’t sure when he had realized that. He wasn’t easy. It had taken him a long time to get used to Monty, and when they had bonded, they had bonded. In a day, it had become easy to have Whitney at his side. As he drove away from Blair House, he made a call and made sure that his next interview subject—the jerk who owned the escort agency—would be waiting for him.

“Oh, it was so exciting!” Janice Hodge said. They stood in her office at the library. She was the librarian and historian charged with the care of archival documents. “I can’t help it—I do tend to be starstruck, though, you just wouldn’t believe it, we get so many celebrities here! But, then, of course, look at the pay-back some wonderful actors give the city. Think of what De Niro did with the film festival. And you can just honestly be walking down the street, and there’s Nathan Lane in front of you!”

She was an attractive young woman in a jacket, pencil skirt and stilettos—not the old image of a librarian by any means.

But Whitney gently led her back to the subject at hand. “What we need is to find out about research done on Jonathan Black. There’s supposedly a ledger here—probably in one of the rare-book rooms—with information regarding the old House of Spiritualism, and Jonathan Black.”

“Yes! Well, of course, that’s what I’m trying to say. We had—supervised, of course—a number of the people from that shoot in here. The director and the two leads in the movie. Oh, and a prop man, and a set designer, and—”

“Sherry Blanco, Bobby Walden and Angus Avery?” Whitney asked.

“Perhaps you could give us a list,” Angela suggested.

“Yes, of course, but I can’t tell you exactly what they read. We supervise the rooms, naturally, and many books are kept under lock and key beneath glass, but when people are studying the history of the city in a certain room, we’re not always sure which books they were looking at.”

“We’d be really grateful for your most recent list,” Whitney said.

“Yes, of course. Oh, that murder was horrible,” Janice Hodge said, shaking her beautiful, long brown hair. “And so sad. Can you imagine how wonderful it was, though, before the dreadful business began?” She sighed and then smiled. “Mr. Avery even suggested that I should be in the movie!” she said.

“And you didn’t take him up on it?” Whitney asked her.

She shook her head. “I was actually at a library conference the last few days—in Houston. But…I’m a single mom of three. I can’t afford to leave the day job. I can’t even take a chance on losing the day job, no matter how starstruck I might be. If you’ll hold on just a minute, I’ll copy off the list for you.”

When she returned, Whitney thanked her and she and Angela left.

“I’m amazed you didn’t study it right away,” Angela said.

“If we’d had a reaction, I’d just as soon it not be seen,” Whitney said.

“But let’s look at it now!”

Out on the street, Whitney studied the piece of paper. “Amazing, really,” she murmured.

“What’s that?” Angela asked.

“The number of people who seem to care about history,” Whitney said.

“Well, the number of people in the city is amazing,” Angela reminded her.

“Of course,” Whitney said. She kept reading. “So we know about the principals in the movie, and it’s not a surprise, and they can certainly explain being there.”

“You think? Actors would be in on the research?” Angela asked.

“Not usually, but Angus Avery probably dragged them in—made it like a promotional thing. He doesn’t seem to miss a beat. So, we have the three of them…and there’s a whole group here associated with the movie.”

“And who else?” Angela demanded.

Whitney looked at her and shrugged, still feeling a bit of unease. “Andrew, Jude’s dad, was in here about—” she studied the dates on the sheet “—three weeks ago. And here’s another name I know.” She broke off and dialed her cell phone. Jude answered, and she told him where she and Angela had been.

“Anything unusual in there?” he asked her.

“The movie people paid a visit,” she said.

“And I’m not surprised.”

“And your father—a few weeks ago.”

He laughed. “That’s not a surprise, either. Dad is always at the library.”

“And Dr. Fullbright.”

“Hmm,” Jude said. And that was all.

“According to Detective Magnor Honeywell,” Whitney told the others, “the House of Spiritualism began benignly enough—the spiritualism rage was still going on, and all kinds of tarot readers and mediums took up residence here. It was an abandoned church, more or less put out of business because of St. Paul’s and Trinity. Whatever the Constitution might say about freedom of religion, the people still weren’t tremendously accepting of anything beyond their own Protestant beliefs. The foundations became a basement, and at first, because it was rather dark and eerie, most of the séances and readings were done in rooms in the basement. The police did raid the place, but when they arrived, there was nothing to be found, other than tarot cards, books and a lot of tea—I believe a number of the spiritualists read tea leaves as well. But, according to rumor, when the mysterious Jonathan Black moved in, the devil worshipping began, with markings on the floor, black masses, worship of relics—having belonged to an infamous historical personage—and all that kind of thing. The black masses also took place in the basement. Magnor Honeywell writes a truly gut-wrenching portrait of the era and the final demise of the Five Points sector. In the tenements themselves—without benefit of anything that might be construed as devil-worshipping evil—they were constantly finding the bodies of children dead of disease or starvation. There were hundreds—perhaps thousands—of immigrants pouring into the country on a daily basis, and therefore, record keeping was poor, and there can be little documentation of the fact that many people ever lived much less died.”

“So, on to the basement,” Jackson said. “Everyone is armed…and hard hats and lights? It is a construction zone, and the mayor is apparently terrified that one of us is going to kill him or herself. The only reason we can legally go in unescorted by a contractor is that the mayor is so desperate to find the killer, and I think he believes he’s grasping at straws himself to think that we might find anything in the rubble that can help us now.”

“Okay, so let’s head on over,” Jake said, grinning sheepishly. “These may be feather-light cameras and recorders, but they’re damn heavy.”

“Ah, quit whining,” Will said. “You’ve seen the heavy stuff.”

“Yeah, I have,” Jake said lightly. “And I think I’m going to need a masseuse on the expense account.”

“Sadly, you won’t get one,” Angela teased. “You’re going to have to hope that your beloved Ashley is able to make a trip up here, if this goes on too long.”

Jake was engaged now, but he and his fiancée both knew that his work and his dedication to the team would frequently make for separations. He’d found the perfect woman: Ashley Donegal understood his situation completely. But then Ashley had been involved personally in one of their investigations, and if she were to join them at any point, she’d be an asset.