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“You are,” the deputy chief told him. “It’s not a photocopy, or out of a copier. The killer forged the handwriting. And,” he added painfully, “it came from a tissue we believe to belong to the second victim last night.”

In the lab, Judith Garner had the letter under glass as she prepared it for the many tests she would do. She greeted Jude with tight grim lips. “What do you make of it?” she asked.

He read the letter; he’d seen the copy at Scotland Yard, but he hadn’t memorized it. Odd to think that once, he’d thought of the Jack the Ripper case as little more than a social commentary, when he was learning about law enforcement, and a lesson in the improvement of law enforcement and new techniques in investigative tools over the years.

But he could remember the letter, and the words were the same, just as the stains on the paper seemed to be the same.

From hell

Mr. Lusk


I send you half the Kidne I took from one woman and prasarved it for you the tother piece I fried and at it was very nise. I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer.


Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk

“He’s dancing around us, Jude. He’s making a mockery of one of the finest police departments in the county,” Green said.

Jude opted not to remind him that he hadn’t been entirely convinced that they had finished with the arrest of Angus Avery. They still had a killer out there.

He looked at Judith. “And the tissue that came with it?” he asked.

“Human kidney,” she said. “I don’t know yet if it will prove to have belonged to our second victim from last night.”

“Do you have anything else?” he asked her hopefully.

“Hey,” she protested, “I found the trace on the coat. My team found the blood in the limo. And I’m still working on that hundred-dollar-bill you gave me. So far, I’ve found a lot of cocaine, and fingerprints on top of fingerprints. We’re still sorting them all out, but even then, we’re going to have to go through hundreds and hundreds. We’ve worked around the clock in here, too, you know,” she said.

“I know, Judith. Thank you.” He looked at Deputy Chief Green. “I want to get Bobby Walden back in for questioning, too. I’m sure he’ll come in with an attorney this time. And the team has been out at the garage where the limos are serviced and parked, but I want to see the place myself.”

“That’s all going to have to wait. Fullbright is expecting you in autopsy,” Green told him.

“I’ve been through every extra hired by the movie company,” Hannah said, leaning her head on the computer. “I studied the records of two hundred people. I found two medical students, but both were indisputably on duty at the hospital last night and the night that Virginia Rockford was killed. I searched out every record on Harold Patterson, the high-class pimp, and he’s never even had surgery. I’ve gone through records and alibis until I can’t see anymore,” she moaned.

“Maybe we’re actually looking in the wrong direction,” Whitney said.

Both Hannah and Jake looked at her, frowning.

She grimaced. “The killer seems to know something about anatomy. He’d have to—right? Not like a doctor, but at least like a butcher. But we think he also knows something about law enforcement and crime scene investigation. All things easily obtainable online these days—but, as we all know, online information isn’t always reliable, and crime shows and books are works of fiction. This guy has been really good. The first two murders—not the accepted five Ripper murders, but the ones we have in the files—might have been practice for him. Especially with Sarah Larson— Jane Doe wet. Maybe he messed up, and maybe he was afraid that he had left some kind of evidence on her, and that’s why she went in the water. She was there at least a week, and her body was sorely compromised. With the woman who is still Jane Doe, he was careful and lucky—no one did miss her, but the way that she was stabbed, it was doubtful that, had she lived, she would have ever been able to speak. They weren’t just victims he used to follow the Jack the Ripper path—they were experiments for him. And, I could be way off base, but who would understand forensic science and crime detection better than a cop or some kind of a crime scene official?”

Jake and Hannah stared at her. “Do you know how many people you’re talking about?” Hannah asked woefully.

Jake shook his head. “No. She’s on to something. He hesitated. “What about that detective—Ellis Sayer? He seems to follow a little too closely in Jude’s wake. Perhaps he’s someone who wants to be a bigger part of the case than he is.”

“Ellis Sayer?” Hannah said incredulously.

“Just give a look,” Jake said.

“It can’t be Ellis!” Whitney said.

“That’s exactly why we should investigate,” Jake said.

They did. And they could find nothing on him other than the fact that he had been with the police force over twenty years, climbing the ranks through hard work and commendations.

“But we don’t know where he was at the time of the murders,” Jake pointed out.

“He was always available after,” Whitney said. “Jake, look through all that and see if he ever did any work in film.”

“Ellis?” Hannah asked. “You must be joking!”

They looked.

They found no film connection, and no medical training—and no work at a grocery store, butcher shop or any place that might have taught him a thing about anatomy.

“Hey, hey—go back a page!” Jake told Hannah.

She frowned and clicked a button. “We’re on Facebook, Jake—what do you see?”

“On the side there—‘friends’ pictures.”

“He was in a play!” Hannah said.

“It looks like a college production of Hamlet,” Whitney said.

“We can’t hang him on a college theatrical,” Jake said.

“No, but I guess he bears watching,” Whitney murmured.

“Maybe,” Jake agreed. “You know who else takes anatomy classes?” he asked.

“Who?” Whitney and Hannah said.

“Art students,” Jake said.

Hannah groaned and threw herself at the computer.

“Hey, hey,” Jake said, rubbing her back. “It’s okay, kid.”

“I think it’s time to really look into the NYPD,” Whitney said softly.

“You want me to sit here, on an NYPD computer, and keep looking up a bunch of detectives and officers who could get really pissed and get me fired?” Hannah demanded in a whisper.

“We’ll do it from Blair House,” Jake said.

“There are cops all around Blair House,” Hannah said.

“Then we’ll be safe,” Jake said with a grin.

Whitney frowned. “Jude is attending at the morgue. Autopsy is scheduled for the double-event victims today,” she reminded them.

They both looked at her.

“Excuse me just one moment,” she said. She stepped aside and called Jude’s cell.

“Hey,” she said when he answered.

“Hey,” he returned. He sounded weary and dejected.

“Are you going to autopsy?” she asked him.

“I’m on my way now,” he said.

“I attended the others,” she reminded him.

He was silent.

“There you go,” she said lightly. “Sleep with a cop, and all of a sudden he doesn’t want to call you for an autopsy.”

She hoped that she had brought at least a flicker of a grin to his lips. “Whitney, I don’t think that I even need to be there—I know what Fullbright will find. No trace, no evidence. The first victim will have strangulation marks, and her throat will have been slashed nearly ear to ear—like Elizabeth Stride. The second victim is going to have the same mutilations as Ripper victim Catherine Eddowes. I’m going to go and spend several hours and watch the horrible cruelty that an intelligent, narcissistic psychopath can inflict on another human being. I’m not sure I should be wasting my time. We’re missing something. We’re missing something that we should see clearly, and I just need to go over and over all the records and notes that we have.” He was silent a moment. “Do me a favor, huh?”

“Sure,” she said.

“I’m afraid that this killer sees us. He knows all of us who are cops, and he sure as hell knew that an FBI team was staying at Blair House. Be careful. Be really careful.”

“Patrol cars are prowling all around Blair House, Jude. It’s probably the safest place in the world right now. And you do know that I carry a gun, right? But, actually, you just gave me an idea.”

“What’s that?”

She lowered her voice. “We were going to head to Blair House to check out the NYPD, but I think I’ve just had a better idea.”

“The NYPD,” he said thoughtfully once she’d explained. “Someone on the inside. That’s a terrifying thought.”

“We’re grasping at straws, maybe. But we knew from the beginning that it was a mammoth haystack.”

“What’s the idea I gave you?”

“We’re going to stop in on your father.”

Dr. Fullbright wasn’t horrified; he was fascinated. “It’s uncanny,” he told Jude. “It’s absolutely uncanny, the way this killer has replicated the past.”

Jude stood silently. The body on the table was hardly recognizable as a woman. The killer had slashed her earlobes and her face. He had carried out the mutilations in very little time. He had planned it all carefully. He had staked out his victims, and he had somehow coerced them to meet him, or he had stumbled upon them.

No, he had selected his victims. He had gone to the strip club and selected Sarah Larson, a woman who had longed to be a Broadway dancer. He had selected Melody Tatum, paying cash to make sure that he’d have a woman where he wanted her.