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Gillian met Banks at their old rendezvous point of Boloco on School St., right past the Old City Hall. It was perfect to grab a bite during working hours, and they used to stop there for some burritos or a salad when they worked together. It was always crowded at noon, but the boys and girls working there were always fast, so the line never got stuck, no matter how long.
“How are those interviews going?” she asked while they waited for their order.
Banks sighed. “Taylor’s handling the mourning family and I got the friends. I’m surprised I still didn’t punch any of those punks. All they’re worried about is their parents finding out about their fake IDs and their benders.”
“Anything from the Crime Lab?”
“They’re still analyzing those footprints, but nothing else. No use in canvassing the alley for fingerprints.”
They received their trays and headed to a table by the wall. Once they sat and opened their meals, Banks handed her the folder he carried.
“Riley’s preliminary,” he said, and started eating as she flicked through the coroner’s report and the forensic schematics. “The blunt object might have been a small bat, the size an elementary kid would use. He found a few splinters in the back of the boy’s neck and they’re analyzing them now. Riley thinks the lesions behind his knees were caused by a pipe, ‘cause there was a trace of rust in his jeans.”
“They must’ve picked it up right at the alley,” muttered Gillian. “It may still be there.”
“We should go take another look around while we still have daylight.”
“And what about your interviews?”
“I’ll stick to my salad, thanks. But if you’re too busy, I can always go with Taylor.”
“C’mon, Reg! I’m eating here!”
Gillian scoffed at him and they fell silent for a moment.
She finished inspecting the documents and frowned. “There’s nothing here about the stab wounds.”
“Not yet, Riley was on it when he gave me this. There are more than we thought. Over twenty, Riley said, and looks like they were made by at least three different blades.”
“So we were right about the team of three to pull it off.”
“I think so, yeah: one lured him to the end of the alley, the other two blitz-attacked him from behind with a small bat and a pipe; and once he was down, the three of them stabbed him to death.”
“Vicious. Twenty stabs are way more than you need to kill anybody, no matter the size.”
Banks shook his head, staring down at his food. “What do we have here, Reg?”
She glanced up from the folder. “What’s left of your burritos with some of those spicy sauces you like,” she replied. “And three very violent short killers.”
“Three on one, small bat, blitz attack from behind to reduce him.”
They fell silent again, lost in their own thoughts.
“Your little hacker found anything?” asked Banks then.
“Nothing from the security camera. The video shows Roger Johnson smoking alone, then he looks up at the end of the alley and heads there. That’s it, and there was nobody else around.” Gillian shrugged. “Something or somebody caught his attention enough to make him come closer, but there’s not a clue as to what or who.”
She produced a printed capture from the security feed, where Banks saw the boy alone, just about to walk past the camera toward the end of the alley, looking ahead with a curious frown.
“You think he came across some junkies getting high, ****** them off and got his own?”
“It wouldn’t match what we saw at the crime scene, Bob: the blitz attack and the body facing the end of the alley.”
“Yeah, you’re right…”
“Oh, a picture of the crime scene was leaked somehow and went locally viral on social networks.” Gillian produced another printed capture and Banks scowled down at it. “Look at the hashtag: #haditcoming.”
“You gotta be kidding,” he growled, looking at the nasty picture of the stabbed body lying on a thickening pool of blood.
“We wish. What caught my attention is that those are the exact words Connor said when he saw it on the news this morning.”
“Oh, so your son’s a suspect now.”
“Sure, I already had him arrested. Right now we’re working on the haters, but it’s gonna take a while, they’re legions.”
Banks’ phone buzzed. He checked it and grimaced. “Gotta bail, Reg.”
“Sure, go. Good luck with your punks.”
They chuckled as Banks stood up. Gillian watched him leave, still smiling, then turned back to the folder. But as her eyes moved away from Banks, she spotted the man sitting right at the next table, face to the wall, scowling down at his salad as if it had committed some unforgivable sin: Declan Brockner.