Discoveries Part 4
Sylvia didn’t sleep well that night. She just sat in her bed, thinking about what Adrian told her. The thought that Conrad Wilson could be a serial killer never occurred to her. The thought that she may be getting into dangerous stuff scares her, but at the same time she knows that this kind of discoveries can give her that big break she hoped for, and hopefully a job in London.
She sat up until 3 a.m. on her laptop, going through the same articles Adrian went through, until she finally fell asleep.
The next morning was terrible. She felt like she had a hangover, even though she didn’t drink anything. She passed by the office, to see her assignments for the day, but she found out there was nothing she had to do especially for that day, and asked for the day off, of which she spent the most part in the coffee shop, researching Wilson.
It started to get dark, autumn started to show. Her phone started ringing. Unknown caller.
“Hello there, Sylvia, this is Conrad. Conrad Wilson.”
“Oh, yes, how did you get this number?”
“Well I left the office early today, and went to the newspaper’s offices, and they told me you were off today, and they gave me your number, when I said it was important.”
“Right. And what’s the problem, sir…um, Conrad?”
“There’s no problem, dear, it’s just that I have a written copy of your invitation, and I would like to give it to you, because I’ll be gone out of town for a few days starting tomorrow. I was wondering if you’d like to have dinner with me tonight at my house, and get it then.”
She didn’t know what to do. On one side, she wanted to say no, to lie to him, to tell him she had other plans; but on the other side, she feared he might not give her the invitation anymore, and the “friendship” she seems to be having now with him may be the very factor that helps their investigation the most. There’s also the fact that he may be onto them, and that scares her the most. If the guy really is a serial killer, who knows what he might do to her?
“Alright. I had something else in mind for tonight, but it’s ok, I’ll change plans. It was nothing important.”
“I’m glad to hear that.” She could sense that spiteful smile through the phone. “I hope I’m not keeping you from anything important.”
“Oh, no, it’s nothing, really.”
“Well then, I’ll see you at…eight-thirty?”
And he hangs up. he’s looking out the window, with his phone still in his hand. Paul comes in, and brings him his wine.
“This is the last bottle, sir.”
“That’s ok, Paul, good thing we’re going to get more tomorrow.”
“Yes, sir. It is.”
“Join me, Paul?”
“But it’s the last bottle, sir.”
“I can make do without a glass. Besides, it’s cause for celebration.”
“Everything going according to the plan with the girl?”
Conrad pours Paul a glass of wine, and hands it to him.
“Everything is according to plan, although she did bring a friend into the mix.”
“You want me to take care of him, sir?”
“No, no. It’s fine.” He says, as he finishes his glass. “For now, anyway. If we take him out now, she will only grow suspicious.”
He turns to Paul, and his eyes are glowing red. The tattoo on his right arm is glowing too, in a purple color.
“Now please do not disturb me until eight.”
“As you wish, sir.”
Paul leaves the room, and Conrad now sits on the chair that Sylvia sat on, two nights ago.
On Kozan’s end, the day started very early. He woke up with a headache, just as Sylvia. Only his headache did come from a hangover. He didn’t even do his morning routine, where he watches an episode of a TV show before going to the office, to watch more episodes. He went straight to the office, not getting any coffee, even.
When he got to the office, he was the first one there, for the first time since Emily worked there. He let himself in, and started making a scheme, on a board, adding pictures of the victims, copies of the articles, a big photo of Conrad Wilson in the middle, with strings tying up everything. Just as he saw on TV shows. He was almost done, when Emily came in.
“You’re late!” he yelled from his office, when he heard the door open.
“I’m not. It’s 8:53, and I’m supposed to be here at 9.” She said, leaving her purse on her desk, and her coat on the hanger. “But you are early. As early as I ever saw you here.”
“That’s right. We’ve got work to do.”
“Does that mean what I think it means?”
“We’re finally generating money with this place?”
“But we do have a case, right?”
Now she was standing in front of his door.
“Wow. I didn’t know you could do that.” She says, admiring his masterpiece, while he’s giving it the final touches.
“Yeah, well it’s amazing what watching detective shows and movies for a living teaches you.”
“So what do you mean we have a case, but we’re not making money?”
“It’s more like a favor for a friend, I’m helping her out with the investigation, she’s helping me out with something else.”
“Not in that way.”
“Right. Who’s the friend?”
“It doesn’t matter now. Will you hand me that marker?”
She does, and then she looks closely at the pictures.
“Conrad Wilson” she says. “Isn’t that the guy who wants to make a new neighborhood?”
“That’s the one.”
“You think he’s connected to..” she starts reading the titles of the articles. “You think he’s a killer?”
“He might be.”
Adrian starts underlining details in the articles, making arrows, adding post-it notes, all leading to the center, to the photo of Conrad Wilson. All of that while Emily watches him silently, somewhat impressed. She never thought that Adrian would actually be a good detective.
After he finishes, he takes a few steps back, and now he’s standing next to her, both watching the board with smiles on their faces.
“Look, all I know is that my friend asked me to look into him. She just felt something weird about him, and when I started looking into it, well this is what I found. And I don’t believe in coincidences.”
“She.” Emily says. “Is it that reporter you hang out with? Sylvia?”
“Yes. Why does it matter? And how did you know?”
“Well she’s the only one to ever call here. And she’s pretty much the only friend I know you have.”
“I do have friends.” He pauses “Just not that many.”
“I got you.” he smiles. She returns the smile.
“Right.” And then she says “It’s just that this is the first case you had in the four months I’ve worked here.” He wants to say something but she stops him “And no, the two dead cats case is not actually a case, and you ended up not being paid for it either.”
“Come on, that was a case. And it’s not my fault Mrs. Francis died of grief after she heard her cats died.”
“So will you help me or not?”
“Looks like you’ve got most of it under control, but I guess I’ll help. But first, I’ll go grab both of us some coffee.”
And so, Adrian walked Emily through the information he gathered the night before. He showed her the articles. And they started looking even further back, trying to find connections between Conrad Wilson and murders happening in the vicinity of him. Their searches were not completely in vain. It looks like Wilson kept himself out of the public eye for most of the time. He never did anything worthy of the press writing about it. Most articles came from his time spent in London, and that didn’t help. It’s hard to link someone to a crime, in a city that big. He probably didn’t do any there, either, or at least not recently. Not in this brutal form, mutilating the victims. But they did manage to find an older article, dating from 2007, when Wilson’s chauffeur, Paul Eastings, was implicated in a car accident. A day before the incident, there was a man who disappeared, and people still haven’t found the body. They add the article to the board, with a big question mark next to it.
In the afternoon, Kozan decided it’s time to pay a visit to the man. Just like he planned the night before. So he got in his car, and he went to the town hall, where the mayor was kind enough to give Wilson an office, to conduct his business.
When Adrian got there, he found the door with “CONRAD WILSON” written on to it, and guarding that door, was this old lady, glasses so thick, they were like two looking glasses tied together.
“Hello, ma’am.” Says Adrian, with a smile. “I’m here to see Mr. Wilson.”
“Adrian Kozan.” She checks some papers, while Adrian stands quietly in front of her, looking awkwardly at the room.
“I don’t see you on the list.”
“I’m sorry. What list?”
“The list. You didn’t make an appointment?”
“Oh. No, I’m sorry, I didn’t.”
“Well I can’t help you then. His schedule is full for today.”
“Alright, can I make a reservation for tomorrow, then?”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible.”
“Mr. Wilson’s schedule is full for the next five days.”
“Can you give me a home address? This is not really a business matter.”
“I can’t give away that kind of personal information.”
“Alright, fine, I’ll find it myself. Can you at least tell me what time does he leave the office?”
“He leaves at five.”
“Alright. Thank you.”
“Have a nice day!”
“You too!” he said, already on his way out, while actually thinking she’s an old hag.
Little did Adrian know, twenty minutes after he left, Wilson left the office, himself.
He called Emily, to thank her for helping him today, and to tell her that their work is done for today, so she can go home.
“By the way, Emily?” He said, hesitating.
“Do you wanna come with me for a pizza? I’m famished.”
She laughed, but not in a mean way. “Sorry, Adrian. But I’ve got plans.”
“Oh, I see. Alright then, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Maybe some other time. See you tomorrow.” And she hung up.
“Maybe some other time.” He muttered, and put his phone in his pocket, then got in his car, went to the supermaket, to buy some food and some beer, then went home to leave them, got back in his car, he knew what his next destination was. He knew exactly where to find Sylvia.
By the time he got to the coffee shop it was getting dark. He looked at his watch, which showed six-twenty. Surely, he could see Sylvia inside, just as expected. She was talking on the phone.
When he entered the shop, she put her phone down, and looked at him. She didn’t smile, or anything, just looked.
“Hi there.” Adrian said.
“I’ve got good news and bad news.”
“The good news is I linked another article to Wilson. Only this one is not a murder, is a disappearance, and it’s not linked to Wilson himself, it’s linked to his chauffeur.”
“How is this good news?”
“It’s not, really. Anyway, the other bad news is that I couldn’t get in to see him today, as I planned. I went to his office at the city hall and his secretary told me his schedule is full for the next five days.”
“Well he called me just before you got here.”
“His schedule is busy because he’s out of town for the next few days.”
“Why would he call you to tell you that?”
“He didn’t, he called me to tell me he’s got my invitation, and that he wants me to have dinner this evening with him, so he can give it to me, because he’s out of town for a few days,so he can’t give it to me later this week.”
“Hold up. You’re gonna meet with him? Tonight?”
“Yes. He didn’t leave me much of a choice.”
“What if he kills you?”
“You know what I meant. It sounds dangerous. I can’t let you go.”
“I don’t think you have a say in this.”
“Not alone, anyway.” He continued.
“No. No way.”
“How am I gonna explain this to him? Bringing a plus one?”
“You just say you had plans with me, you didn’t want to let me down, so you’re asking him a favor to let me in to the dinner as well.”
“Yeah, like <Hey Conrad, I brought a friend, this is Adrian, he’s a detective, he and I are currently investigating you.> Are you out of your mind?”
“No way. Sorry. I would like to have you there, but this is something I must do alone.”
They both pause for a brief moment, then Adrian asks “Do you think he’s going to kill someone else?”
“Think about it, he’s going out of town again. He’s not stupid, he’s not killing where his home is, so he’s going on trips every once in a while ,and kills someone from that area, and comes back.”
“I…I didn’t think about that.”
“I hate to let this happen, but we have to. We can’t act on anything now, because we don’t have any proof. Someone else must die, and I hate to say this. But if he goes on this trip now, and some new victim pops up, or someone else disappears, this is all the confirmation we need.”
“But we can’t use it for proof.”
“I know, it’s all circumstantial. But at least we know we’re not investigating him for nothing.”
“Yes, I know.” She says, calmly, then sighs. “I wish we had more time. Just a few more days, to think of what we should do.”
“But we don’t.” they fall in silence again.
Adrian breaks the silence. “I don’t think you should go tonight.”
“I can’t back down now.”
“It’s too risky.”
“We already went over this.”
“But now I actually thought about it. What if he changes factors from time to time? What if he doesn’t kill people from the place he goes to anymore? What if you are the victim, and he wants to go there only to dispose of your body?”
The thought of this makes her shiver, and it makes her hair stand on end.
“Let’s say you’re right. What do I do now? What do I tell him? I’m supposed to meet him in two hours.”
“Tell him you’re sick.”
“It’s too overused.”
“Tell him about me. Tell him I got sick, and you’re the only one to care for me. I’m very good at making myself look sick.”
“I don’t think this will work.”
“It will. I will even post something on Instagram, a photo of us, me looking sick, you taking care of me, and some show on Netflix. Just in case he decides to look into it somehow. And meanwhile we’ll both have a nice time, and you can call me hero, because I saved you from a serial killer.” They both start to laugh.
“Right.” She says, smiling.
“Now let’s go to my place, and there you’ll make the call.”