Monroe ( 2)
The Metropolitan Police were going through change. Lots of local stations were closing, being sold off and converted into flats others were being completely demolished and new homes were being built on the land. Government cuts were forcing the closures and good Officers were being displaced.
Frank and his team used to be in Hackney, when that closed they moved to Dalston. That also closed and they were told to go to Bow. Frank was having none of it, he knew that Bow was already overcrowded so headed for Limehouse. All the way there Terry kept saying that Limehouse was shut, sold off, no longer owned by the Met. But Frank knew otherwise. It was being used as a base for the Specialist Firearms Unit, known as SCO19. Sure, it was in the process of being sold, but that could take months, maybe even longer. It would make the perfect base for the four of them. When they turned up Frank found the Officer in charge and told them they’d been sent there by his Detective Chief Superintendent and all they needed was a couple of offices just for a few weeks. The guy looked genuinely pleased to see them.
“Thank fuck for that. This place is like the Mary Celeste. My lads have got the ground floor but the rest of the building is empty. Help yourself to whatever you need.”
So Frank and his team set up on the first floor. Just the three of them in an area the size of a five a side football pitch. That was four months ago and no one had questioned it since. Frank told his boss that Bow had sent them there because of “overspill”.
The team wasn’t massive. Just three Detective Constables and Frank handpicked them all. Terry and Mark did all the leg work and Sandra sorted out the paperwork and admin. Not because she was the only female in the group but because she was super efficient at it. She was also the smartest out of the three of them with an IQ of 140. He liked his team, they were all local, all brought up in East London and when you’re trying to solve crime in this area that’s exactly what you need.
He’d called a meeting for 10.00am. He wanted to see what information they’d recovered and could they make sense of what looked like some kind of ritual killing.
Frank stood up in front of a large whiteboard. It was blank apart from an 8x10 photo of Thomas Sago in the top left-hand corner.
“Okay. Let’s see what we’ve got. Thomas Sago, 36-year-old Black Male. Mutilated in his own home. No visible signs of false entry. Fingers cut off and stuffed in his mouth...oh yeh and a pair of secateurs shoved into his ball bag. Questions please.”
Terry was the first to speak.
“Do we know what the cause of death was? Surely you wouldn’t die just because your fingers were cut off? Yeh it would hurt a bit and bleed like fuck, but it wouldn’t kill you.”
“Agreed. Even with the clippers stabbed into the poor fuckers nut sack it wouldn’t be enough to kill. So we're waiting for the autopsy to confirm. But we do know he wasn’t strangled, stabbed or shot. So my guess is that he was drugged, passed out and then the perpetrator had a go at some advanced gardening. Maybe he bled out or maybe shock. Not sure.”
Mark Latham was anxious to speak up. Frank pointed at him.
“Sir, according to the neighbour, Thomas Sago had few friends. He was a bit of a loner. The guy also said that maybe he was a bit OCD? He caught him a couple of times counting the number of steps on the landing to the lift. The guy said he thought he was a bit strange?”
Frank was intrigued.
“Okay, tell me everything you’ve got.”
Mark took out his notepad and begun to read.
“I interviewed 12 neighbours over three floors. Apart from the guy opposite no one knew who he was. Even though according to the leasehold he’d been there for three years. He seems to be a guy that keeps himself to himself.”
Frank wanted to know more.
“Tell me word for word what his neighbour said.”
Mark read aloud.
“I’ve known Thomas Sago for two years since I moved into number 36. He was someone that I nodded to most mornings as we left our flats at a similar time. But he seemed quite shy. I caught him a few times counting the steps between his door and the lift. When he saw me he seemed embarrassed so I never mentioned it. I have a cousin with OCD and that’s the sort of thing that he does. The most he ever said to me was “Nice shoes.” I was wearing a pair of new Italian black leather shoes and he commented on them when we were together in the lift one day. I hadn’t seen him for about three days and then early this morning around 4am I heard shouting coming from his flat. I took my time and got dressed then knocked on his door to see if he was okay. There was no answer, so I went back to bed. But it played on my mind so I called 999.”
Frank listened and then asked Terry a question.
“So where we at with CCTV?”
Terry, who was much more confident than Mark, stood up and walked over to the whiteboard. This was his moment.
“The owners of these flats also own another twelve blocks in the area. CCTV is held at their head office in Loughton. I’m off there this afternoon. The local shops were a waste of time. CCTV cameras are everywhere but none of them work. But...local council have CCTV all around and I’ll be trying to source that data as soon as we finish the meeting.”
Frank looked at Sandra. He knew she was the smartest person in the room.
Sandra was a red head and like most redheads she was fiery. This was not a woman to be crossed.
“My guess is that it’s a jilted lover. Either male or female. His fingers are cut, so that means he can’t play with anyone else anymore. His ball sack is now useless and would probably mean that he can no longer father children or produce testosterone. This renders his penis completely useless. The fingers stuffed in his mouth means he can’t speak. Maybe it’s a way for his killer to have the last word? But...”
Everyone waited for her to carry on.
“Why kill him. Surely if this is revenge for something you’d want him to be alive and live with these injuries. That way you really would have made him suffer. “
Frank liked what he heard. It was smart, concise and to the point. Typical Sandra. But was it correct?
He brought the meeting to a close.
“Okay. There was no mobile or laptop found at the flat. Impossible for a man of his age and occupation not to have both so we can assume that the killer took them. Mark, go to his school, they must have contacts for him. Get his number and give it to Sandra, she can then get all the numbers it called and received over the past few days and weeks. See if he has a locker at the school bring back here anything that’s in it. Ask lots of questions...you know the routine. Terry, get the CCTV footage from everywhere you can, that’s gonna be crucial in this case. Sandra, go on line, see if he has a Facebook page, Instagram account, Linked In or whatever bollocks it’s called. I want to know everything there is to know about Thomas Sago by the end of today. And...I want us to have a Prime Suspect, so no pressure!”
They all laughed. Frank continued.
“Off you go. Another meeting back here at 6pm. West Ham are playing tonight and it’s live on Sky at 7.45. I’m going over to the Sports Bar in Canary Wharf to watch it. I’m buying!”
They all cheered apart from Sandra. She supported Millwall.