“What’s up, Cleve?” Logan asked, running into the kitchen, stunned to find his partner staring at a partially clad body, presumably Alex Brady, tightly bound to a wooden armchair. Blood-soaked ropes dug into decaying flesh, and a brownish-green liquid oozed from the shirtless arms and chest, pooling on the floor. Flies buzzed around the body, laying eggs in various open wounds.
Jackson glanced at a nearby wall thermometer. The red needle nudged the 110-degree line. “Open a goddamn window, Chuck!”
Logan ran to the nearest window and flung it open. He leaned out and inhaled a breath of fresh air. Jackson followed and spent several seconds filling his lungs. Washington’s oppressive summer dankness never smelled so sweet to him. After both men searched the small apartment, they approached the body, recognizable only as a male. The corpse’s head hung forward, chin resting on bare chest. A wave of dark hair fell across the face, obscuring details neither officer really wanted to see.
“Look at that!” Jackson exclaimed, pointing to the man’s right leg. The knee was blown out.
“Kneecapped. This killer was a pro,” Logan observed. “That’s how he probably subdued the guy so he could tie him up. Wonder how he finally killed him?”
“We’ll save the honor of determining that detail for the ME. I’ll make the call,” Jackson offered. A minute later he returned. “I wonder who the hell . . .”
“Never mind who, Cleve. I’m wondering why? Take a look at his hands.”
Jackson moved closer, whistled, and began counting. “Four fingers are broken. Whoever killed him wanted information. This poor guy really suffered before he died.”
“I wonder what the killer was after?” Logan asked.