Saturday, May 16, 2009
Wordzzle 63 or "A stitch in time"
The Maven of Wordzzle is the Raven of the Nest; Check her out here.
This week's ten Word Challenge will be: Green goddess, shampoo, filibuster, please and thank you, Operation Marigold, throw pillows, up the creek without a paddle, spandex, ubiquitous, wedding ring
Mini Challenge: Skittles, lamb chops, stingray, chagrin, clever devil
This weeks Episode: Modern Science
Sgt Johnson had waited almost 2 weeks for solid evidence related to the latest information he'd received from McCool. It took a variety of lucky breaks and a convergence of events that could only be described as serendipity.
While most folks felt that incompetence was ubiquitous within the ranks of international law enforcement, Johnson knew better. The inspector from the Surrete had called with excellent news. It seemed the young Swedish victim's family had big connections in her home country. The coroner had been assisted by world renowned geneticist and biochemist Torg Valhuelston.
The famous Swede had found a bit of chemical trace and DNA evidence on the young girls body. More importantly he had found DNA evidence inside the victim's body. This was the holy grail of DNA evidence, the Green goddess, the big Magilla. Much to the chagrin of the perpetrator, the body had been pulled from the surf too quickly, preserved too well at low temperature and examined by both an experienced coroner and a brilliant research geneticist.
To add further pieces to the puzzle, the FBI had accessed DNA evidence from the two decade old gang rape case of Constance Lawler. The DNA samples from these time and distance removed incidents had matched. The very fact that these two agencies had worked together and made this fantastic connection was amazing.
All this had been discussed between Johnson and Inspector De Solemaone. What the inspector hadn't reported to his American counterpart was the results of the investigation into the Vignoire family. From initial reports is seemed they did indeed have a reclusive daughter and they were quite wealthy, though rumors had been heard about some terrible misfortune happening to their holdings.
None of that showed up in their financials however, as their latest bank balance was well into 8 figures. The last thing to do was have a personal interview with the patriarch, Count Alain DeJourniase Vignoire. He would make his way to the estate on the coming day. If anything developed there he would share it with Johnson, otherwise there was no need to mention this false step.
Because of this break in the case, a funding request had been initiated and named Operation Marigold. This operation was to find what was now thought to be an international, multi-decade long serial killer with one of the most diabolical and horrendous modus operandi in modern history.
There was no doubt that the person they were looking for had been a clever devil for many years, but the evidence showed that the body in the Tahoe was not Connie Liplin or Constance Lawler. This in turn made Constance Lawler the most likely suspect as their serial killer. All were taken aback that it might be a woman, but none were so foolhardy as to underestimate the female gender.
The conclusion was drawn that the murders in Laughlin were done to cover up something else. Because of the photos and their similarity; McCool, Dan Griggs and Captain Jenkins felt sure the answer would be found in the history of Lawler and Liplin.
A request was put in to the California State Police for any records. An addendum was added that this was a high priority case with national implications and could they expedite. McCool suggested a serious “please and thank you” addition with just enough info on the case to secure a call from the AGs office.
Like Skittles from the sky, a rainbow of clues came in. Where they had felt like they were up the creek without a paddle in previous weeks, the team now had actual leads and evidence to pursue. McCool, Griggs, Captain Jenkins and the rest of the Laughlin team met regularly and teleconferenced with Sgt. Johnson in D.C. Johnson kept the group apprised of international events and the group kept Johnson up to date on the research on Lawler/Liplin.
There was a long and tragic backstory to Constance Lawler. She had been witness to much brutality and loss. After the gang rape by her fellow cheerleaders in South Dakota, the family had returned to New Jersey. There the girl had excelled in her last year of High School and went on to Princeton, majoring in math.
She'd done so well that her parents had purchased a classic Corvette Stingray for her as a graduation gift from High School. A picture of the young girl had appeared in a local paper. A surprising amount of history was found in school transcripts and pictures concerning Connie Lawler's academic life at college. A racy shot of her in spandex bicycle shorts turned up in a yearbook, along with a note concerning her participation in a student government filibuster on an anti-bullying and hazing bill in her junior year.
The young Mz. Lawler had spoken passionately on the subject in an attempt to kill a watered down regulation and push through her more stringent amendment. She lost the fight, but spoke on the subject for over 18 hours. It was seen as an impotent gesture by her classmates and further ostracized her from the main stream in her class.
After graduating with honors from Princeton, she was again struck with tragedy when her parents’ home burned down with them in it, killing them both. To make matters worse it happened on her graduation night while she was out celebrating. What many missed was the fantastic financial windfall this gave the young 22 year old, along with the detail that she'd minored in Chemistry till her junior year. She was fresh out of college and already a millionaire.
It was much more difficult to do any face to face questioning of the girls allegedly involved with the high school incident. It turned out all but one of them was missing or deceased. That struck the team as more than a coincidence.
Coincidences continued to abound as they learned that Connie Liplin had another alias as Cathy McCarty and this alias was involved with Charles Hollingsworth's company. This company was the employer of the missing but assumed dead accountant and victim that Dan and Carla had discovered in the desert.
The team, and McCool and Dan specifically, began to revisit all the mayhem and madness that had taken place in Laughlin lately. They started with freak accident at the diner that killed two people and looked for any connection to one of Liplin's identities.
All this was so much info in so short a time frame, that after hours pouring over the new data, they broke for dinner and the special lamb chops at Le Fountain De Sheparie.
Charlotte finished with Charlie. She washed her hands with soap and shampoo to get all the blood out, and then checked the inside of the house one last time. As she glanced out the window from the office, she thought she saw a reflection of light from behind a tree. By standing on a couple of throw pillows she got a better angle to see, revealing the bumper of a car.
She pocketed Charlie's wedding ring she'd been holding and headed out the office door to the garden to investigate.
The afternoon heat and the quiet atmosphere had done their work; Martin had drifted off to sleep in the front seat of his car. In doing so his foot had dislodged the parking brake allowing the car to gently creep forward from behind the trees by no more than a foot or two.
"Well hello there handsome, what are doing out here by yourself?" Charlotte asked the just awakening Martin.