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“Haven’t had time to look for a reasonable cause. Between the three protesters we have records for, we’re talking pages of complaints and arrests to analyze to figure out what could have made these guys hate us.”

“We could just ask them,” Zander said quietly. “They seem to want to get a point across.”

Ava grinned for the first time that day. “That’s why they pay you the big bucks, Zander.”

He made a wry face.

“Anything out of the tip line?” Nora asked Henry Becker.

“It’s been going crazy since the press started talking about the funeral,” said her partner. “We had to add another person to handle the volume of calls during the news hours last night. The sight of the procession really brings out the crazies. Four people called in to say Gary Ridgway did the killings.”

“The Green River Killer? He’s in prison,” said Ava.

“That’s what we told them. A few threw Ted Bundy under the bus for the murders, too.”

“He’s dead,” muttered Zander. “Did you get any usable leads?”

“We’re following up on each one,” said Henry. “Nothing looks good yet. We’re still sorting through the ‘I’m pissed at my boyfriend, so I’ll call his name in to the police’ type of calls.”

“Every freaking time,” said Ava.

“The deaths have made every police officer look over their shoulders,” said Nora. “We need to figure out who’s doing this so people don’t nervously pull triggers.”

The room was silent. Officer training was vital for proper procedure in an escalating situation, but there’d been no escalation in the murders. The dead men had been flat-out assaulted and left on display. It was every cop’s nightmare.

“I feel it’s more personal,” said Zander. “Several of the other cop deaths across the nation have been impulsive, and the murdered cop was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Someone chose our three men; deliberately hunted down these men. When we know the reason why, we’ll be able to find him and prevent more.”

A small shudder shot through Ava. More deaths? More deliberate targets? “How many people can one person target?”

Zander’s smile was sad. “Depends on how much anger he carries and how many cops he believes wronged him.”

“You’ve been talking to Euzent,” she stated.

“Who?” asked Nora and several of the other detectives.

“Special Agent Euzent is with the Behavioral Analysis Unit at Quantico,” Zander said. “I reached out to him last night. They’d already taken notice of the deaths.”

Nora looked interested, but Ava saw the Multnomah County detective roll his eyes at the mention of the elite FBI unit. Not everyone was sold on its analytical skills and suggestions. Ava had imagined that the BAU office back East was full of nerds in bad ties who were short on social skills and stared at their computers all day long. Euzent had proved her wrong—the man loved to talk to people.

“What did he say?” asked Nora.

“He’s the one who pointed out that the deaths appeared very targeted and well thought out—”

“We knew that,” said Thad. “Why do these guys always point out the obvious and make it sound like some grand observation?”

Zander ignored him and went on. “He’s very intrigued by the masks. Covering the face generally indicates that the killer knew the victim and it shows the tiniest bit of guilt as they try to preserve a small part of the victim’s dignity or hide the victim’s eyes from looking at the killer. But the fact that he deliberately brings horror masks to the crime scene for the sole purpose of covering the faces sort of goes against the first theory of covering the face. Euzent sees it as an indicator of pride and power. ‘I did this. I’ve created you’ type of mentality.”

“So a serious ego problem?” asked Nora.

“Definitely. Along with anger,” added Zander. “I sent Euzent everything we had on the three deaths. He’ll get back to me in a day or two. Oh, he does agree that Vance Weldon needs to be treated as a murder victim.”

“That’s what we’ve been doing,” Thad said under his breath. “What about common links between the three guys? Did anything turn up?” he asked louder.

“I’ve been going through their credit card statements,” said Henry. “Denny and Samuelson belong to the same national gym. They’re both automatically charged by the gym each month.”

“Do they work out at the same location?” asked Ava.

“They did. So it’s possible that they knew each other that way. I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to Samuelson’s coworkers and see if they believe the two of them knew each other, but everyone close to Denny says they weren’t aware of Samuelson.” He looked at his computer. “Special Agent Weldon and Denny used the same cell phone provider, primary bank, and mortgage company. Nothing surprising there. I have all the same, too.”

“Outside activities?” asked Zander.

“Two have no church affiliation. Weldon attended the Methodist church down the street from his house. Denny and Samuelson both volunteered with a philanthropy group for kids.”

“Did we find any cases that Samuelson and Schefte worked on at the same time?” Zander asked.

“We got a hit on the database search overnight,” said Nora. “It was on my agenda for this meeting.”