Chapter Two – The Murderer Sends a Letter
“Any man that chooses to dress entirely in black has to arouse suspicions,” remarked Detective Inspector McBiscuit to the constable at his side. “I wouldn’t be surprised if his name was Genghis or Grizzly Pete. Find out who he is and tell him I want a word with him.”
“That’s the referee, sir,” replied the constable, who was well up on the ways of football. “I can’t really haul him in for questioning during the match, particularly after Bisto’s goal. We’d have a riot on our hands.”
“The Referee, eh?” said McBiscuit. “Is that some kind of criminal code-name like The Viper or The Squirrel?”
It had been several days since John Clapper’s body had been found beneath the roller at Tolka Park and McBiscuit was no nearer to solving the case. Forensics had examined the pitch with a fine toothcomb and then with a pair of nail scissors and some tweezers. Specially trained sniffer dogs had merely sniffed haughtily and urinated over the roller. The state pathologist had come up with a theory that the victim had been drowned, though McBiscuit suspected she was a pathological liar.
Acting on McBiscuit’s assertion that the murderer always returns to the scene of the crime, the D.I. and the constable had taken their places in Row D as the crowd started to come in for the game against Wexford Youths.
“Suspect everyone and suspect no-one,” whispered McBiscuit, as the place started to fill up.
“Erm, what exactly are we looking for, sir?” asked the constable.
“Watch their faces, laddie. Anyone who looks guilty or has a bloodstained shirt.”
Despite scrutinising the crowd, players and match officials intently, McBiscuit admitted at the end of the game that the exercise had been worthless, (“apart from the three points of course, sir.”) As they left the ground, several reporters moved forward and climbed onto the D.I’s brawny shoulders.
“The press are really on my back now,” gasped McBiscuit.
There was another murder committed the following morning but it was only on The Marino Waltz. “It’s no use, constable,” said McBiscuit, laying down his violin and pacing the floor intently.
Keeping out of his superior’s way, the constable paced the ceiling intently and said nothing.
McBiscuit produced a door handle from his trousers pocket and tried to screw it onto his suitcase. After as minute or two he gave up.
“I can’t seem to get a handle on this case at all,” he said forlornly.
Suddenly, the door opened and the postman handed the D.I. a letter.
“What is it, sir?” asked the constable curiously.
“It’s a letter, constable,” answered McBiscuit, eying the other suspiciously. He laid it down on the table. “Open up! This is the police!” he shouted through a megaphone.
After several minutes crouched behind his computer, he straightened up, marched over to the letter and slit it open with a flamboyant swish of the letter knife. Quickly he unfolded it and began to read.
“Good Lord, sir, is that blood?” remarked the constable.
“It is, constable,” answered McBiscuit drily. “I appear to have sliced my thumb off. Kindly call forensics and get someone up here with a needle and thread immediately.”
As the constable reached for the phone, McBiscuit re-read the letter. “You’ll never catch me McBiskit he he he,” he read out loud. “Clapper was a fool and deserved to die. The next one will join him soon.” Beneath the writing was a picture of a packet of Coco Pops with a knife stuck through it.
“Good God, constable. We’re looking for a cereal killer,” he exclaimed. “One with fairly atrocious handwriting too.”
“I think you’ll find he’s cut the letters out of magazines, sir,” replied the constable.
“The fiend!” yelled McBiscuit. “The next person who wants to read it will have terrible trouble. Is there any other clue to this murderous magazine mutilator’s identity.”
“Just one, sir,” said the constable. “He seems to have inadvertently signed his name and address at the bottom.”
“I knew it!” declared the D.I. “They think they’re so clever but they always make one small mistake. Come on, constable. I think we ought to pay this Mister Red Herring a little visit. Let’s go and catch us a murderer.”
“Where to, sir?”
McBiscuit unfolded the letter again. “Number 32, Tony Sheridan Gardens,” he yelled, and promptly passed out through loss of blood.