Homicide Detective Laura Lippman and Assistant City Coroner Dr. Robert Chaucer sat having sandwiches at a conference table near Laura’s desk. Dr. Chandler dropped by several times a week with lunch for the two of them. His lab was in a different part of the city , but he somehow he continually found excuses to bring paperwork to her building at just around lunch time. Laura always acted very professional around Dr. Chaucer, but the truth was she enjoyed the attention he gave her. He was a real gentleman compared to the cops she worked with.
However, this time, they actually did have a professional reason to meet. They were discussing the death of Kira Casey. All indications pointed to suicide and the Chief of Detectives was pressing Laura to close the case.
“She didn’t kill herself, ” said Dr. Chaucer.
“Bob, not everything is a big mystery. She died from injuries of jumping out a window. She left a suicide note. There were drugs missing from the hospital where she was a nurse, and the evidence points to her stealing them. There is no evidence of anything but suicide.”
“What about the boyfriend?”
“I interviewed him personally. He was totally distraught. He was out buying her breakfast and a rose when she jumped. He even voluntarily took a lie detector test and passed it.”
“A true sociopath can easily fool a lie detector machine,” said Dr. Chaucer. “Sociopaths don’t have real emotions, they simply pretend to have them as a survival mechanism.”
” Bob”, said Laura with a smile. “Tell me some valid reasons why you think this is not a suicide.”
“O.K. She was in the nude and her body was all smashed up from the four story fall. Unlike men, women are very concerned about how they will look when their body is found. Women who commit suicide get all dressed up, clean the apartment and then use pills or some other method so that the corpse will look good. Even in death, women want to be seen as beautiful.”
“That’s a medical fact. Check the statistics.”
“What about the suicide note?” asked Laura.
“Now now detective,” teased Bob, “You know as well as I do that most suicides don’t leave a note. And the few who do leave notes want them to be permanent. They don’t just put them on a computer screen where they can be accidentally erased.”
“What about the motive. The fact that she was stealing drugs and was about to get caught?” asked Laura.
“What type of drugs?”
Laura walked over to her desk and looked at the file. She read off a list of the missing drugs, “Oxycotin, HGH, various types of steroids. All drugs that are real easy to sell.”
“And who buys them?” asked Dr. Chaucer.
Laura paused for a minute and then said. “Body builders. People who want a perfect body.”
“Just like the one her beautiful boyfriend Derek has?” asked Bob. “Steroids and Human Growth Hormone to build the muscles, and Oxycotin to ease the pain of lifting all those weights. If she was stealing, he was in on it.”
“That doesn’t mean anything Bob. She was a nurse about to get caught for stealing drugs. It doesn’t matter if she was taking them for Mr. Universe. She was still going to lose here nurses license, and possibly even end up in jail. Sounds like a good motive for suicide to me.”
“Could be” , said Bob. Then he said shyly. “You know Laura, there is a medical dinner at the Waldorf next Friday night. We all get very dressed up and the food is really good. They have an actual orchestra and dancing, and I wondered if maybe you were not too busy…”
“I’d love to Bob, interrupted Laura, thinking that it had sure taken him long enough to ask her out.
After Bob left , Laura spent the rest of the afternoon and well into the night re-reading through all the forensic evidence. All she had to do to get the case off her desk was to check a little box and rule it a suicide, but she could just not bring herself to do it. Laura kept going back to the picture of Kira Casey when she graduated from Nursing School. She was so beautiful and full of life, with a bright future ahead of her. There was no family left and only one overworked Detective to care about what had really happened to her.
Laura went through all the files until her eyesight got blurry and she could look at the screen no longer. It was well after dark when she switched off her computer and went home. She thought of calling Bob and suggesting they out for a quick drink, but then she decided to stay in her apartment and go to bed early instead.
Laura wanted to be fresh and alert in the morning . First thing tomorrow, she was going to present her evidence to the Chief of Detectives, and get his permission to ask the D.A. for an arrest warrant. If all went well, by tomorrow afternoon, Derek Manning would be charged with murder.
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