November 05, 2003

The Karbon Kopy Killer, pt 2

Part 1

KARBON KOPY KILLER STRIKES AGAIN Astoria Woman 19th Victim Last Night
My stack o' hotcakes and yet another cup of coffee had gone cold as I sat at the counter of the Mayflower Diner reading up on the latest news. One more victim; same M.O.. One 9mm shot to the aorta at point blank range. One more twin dead as a Dodo. I'd been interviewing friends and aquainetces of Sadie Minx for five days, following leads. I was learnin' more and more.

The media dubbed the perp "the Karbon Kopy Killer" months ago (carbon being the base element of life, twins being essentially copies of each other, killin' being how they died).
Nineteen victims in four months. Some male, some female. Some black, some white. Some young, some old. But, they did have one thing in common. Each victim and his or her twin were roommates.
I slammed my cold coffee and headed over to see Capt. Walmart.

"We got nothin', Country." he sighed, dropping the case file on his desk. "All our leads were dead ends."

"What about the bullets?" I asked. "All from the same weapon?"

"Four different guns. Whoever this is, he's got quite a collection."

"What's the break-down on the weapons?"

"Eight victims with one, seven victims with another, three with a third and one with a fourth. All 9mm."
Capt. Walmart stepped to the window and stared out at the city.
"What makes a man want to kill one half of a pair of twins?" he wondered with his back to me. "Is this someone who's afraid of twins? Or hates twins, maybe? Why? Maybe he's afraid of all this talk of cloning to the point that he sees twins as clones living among us that need to be gotten rid of. Or is this someone who is a twin himself? Maybe someone who lost his twin? Has the world gone so topsy-turvy that you can't get a decent parking space outside of your own office?"


"Look at them," he continued, "all those cars, sitting there along the curb... mocking me...while my car sits five blocks away in a parking garage that's bleeding me dry with their monsterous monthly rates. It's probably owned by some guy who got so fed up with the rates himself that he decided to just buy the damn garage. Someday I'd just like to..."

"Captain Walmart," I said as I began violating the smoking ban, "about the break-down of the guns. You said there was one victim who was shot with a unique weapon."

"Oh, right," he said as he spun around and fished through the file papers. "Four different guns; eight, seven, three and one."

"Who was the one?"

"The first victim." He'd found the page he was looking for. "Sadie Minx, killed in her Brooklyn apartment on July 4th."

"Can you tell me everything you have on the Minx case?"

"Well," he shrugged, "we got nothin'. All we ever had was DNA. At the time, before all these other killings, we considered that her killer was someone she knew. We found the DNA of two other people, uh, tryin' t'be delicate.., within her. We identified one, but not the other."

"Who was the one you identified?"

"It was a fella named, uh," he stammered as he thumbed through the papers. "Chan. Dennis Chan. Yes, I remember him; Dennis Chan the tennis man. He was the victim's tennis instructor. We brought him in for questioning. He and Minx had apparently had a thing going but then had a falling out. We saw fit to keep him overnight."


"And there were two more killings that night; identical to the Minx murder. We let him go."

I thanked Capt. Walmart and went to see this Chan fella. Something wasn't sitting right. Well, other than the hotcakes. I mean, can they make 'em any doughier? Maybe the griddle temperature needed to be raised...or they just needed to cook a little longer. I don't know.
I also didn't know where this investigation would end, but I had the sneaking suspicion that it began with Dennis Chan.

A waiter pointed him out to me. He was in the lounge of the Ragin' Racquet Tennis Club sitting at the bar nursing a Coors Lite.

"The name's Rhodes. Country Rhodes," I began,. "Don't laugh. It's just a nickname. My given name's Gravel."

"What can I do for ya, Mr. Rhodes?" he asked, never looking up from his beer.

I sized him up pretty quickly. He had an athlete's build and a poet's countenance. This was a man who'd been to Hell and Hoboken and back again. He cared about nothing, he cared about everything; all at the same time. The kind o' guy who flowed through the day like a river through the Rockies: taking the lumps and then adjusting his path accordingly, but always downhill. And it's no wonder. The hounds had been released and he was the one holding the sack o' Snausages.

"I want to talk to you about Sadie," I blurted. "When did you see her last?"

"You a cop?" he asked, running his index finger around the rim of the bottle.

"Nope," I replied, "just a friend of the family. Well, one member of the family anyway. And she's really more of a client than a friend. Maybe it'll grow to be more than that. Perhaps, if I play my cards right, ..."

"Sadie was everything to me," he began. "I met her last summer when she signed up for tennis lessons. I instantly fell for her. Hard. The way she held her racquet. The way she swayed while waiting for a serve. The way her little peach-colored tennis outfit seemed to be shrink-wrapped onto her. We hit it off immediately.
The way she talked to me at first I thought she was a bit coy. Not very playful, but still sweet. Always had an air of dignity and propriety. The kind of girl your mother would love you to bring home. You know the type: all sugar and no spice. Boy, was I wrong."

"How so?" I asked as I wiped my glasses.

"Thunder." he said as he looked me in the eye for the first time. "She was like rolling thunder and my soul was the sky. She was one of a kind. I called her my Zagatka.


"It's a Russian word. A puzzle, an enigma." Chan stared at the mirror behind the bar. "She was a tangle of poise and passion; a bridled wildfire. I had her then, but I knew she was too free to be tamed."

"Can I borrow your comb?" I asked. "I just noticed in the mirror that my part isn't quite straight."

"In June I found out that she was seeing another man," he frowned as he handed me his comb. "Justin. Justin Case."

"Was he an insurance salesman?"

"No, why?" he said confusedly.

"Do you own a gun?"

"Yeah, a 9mm." He turned to me sharply. "Lots of people own a 9mm pistol. Listen, Rhodes, I've been through this with the cops. I didn't kill Sadie, okay?"

"Sure." I said, thanking him for his time.
I felt I was close to earning my pay, but I thought I'd try to contact this Case fella, anyway. Turns out he'd left town in mid-July for Biloxi, Mississippi. He couldn't be the Karbon Kopy Killer, but I wasn't hired to find the Karbon Kopy Killer. And, at this point, I wasn't so sure that Sadie's murder even was related to the others.

I looked up Dennis Chan's home address, picked up the results of a DNA sample examination I'd dropped off the evening prior and talked again with Capt. Walmart. Then I headed back to my office and phoned Darla. She agreed to meet me that evening at my office, after which we'd head on over to Chan's.

Posted by Tuning Spork at November 5, 2003 08:52 PM
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