Authors: Rob Kitchin
‘He was a long way away. Just a small figure.’
‘Right. Right, okay.’
‘He was carrying something,’ Dempsey continued, dredging up a memory. ‘A walking stick maybe.’ He paused. ‘That could have been me,’ he said, ‘if I’d come along before her.’
‘There’s no way of knowing that,’ McEvoy replied. ‘He could have been waiting specifically for her.’
The man nodded and lowered his head into his hands.
‘You did everything you could for that poor woman,’ McEvoy said. ‘I want you to understand that. Nobody could have saved her after what he’d done to her. You did everything right.’ He levered himself up and headed for the door, closing it gently behind him.
Jim Whelan was waiting in the corridor. He was bald except for a ring of brown hair skirting across his ears and round the back of his head, a large nose dominating his face, hairs jutting out of both nostrils. In his late-forties, he was the oldest DI in
and a man of very few words.
‘Well?’ McEvoy asked.
‘No sign of the next chapter?’
Whelan shook his head.
‘And what about Elaine Jones?’
‘Ten minutes,’ Whelan reluctantly muttered.
They made their way back out of the building, heading back toward the beach. McEvoy lit another cigarette, conscious that he only had two left, happy not to force Whelan into conversation.
There was a white garda transit van parked in the laneway blocking access from the hospital to the path and the beach beyond. McEvoy and Whelan eased their way down the side trying not to catch themselves on the barbed wire fence. In the field to their left a search team was starting to be organised.
Tape had been placed around the shelter and trails stretched down onto the beach from either end, flapping in the wind, held by rocks at the sea’s edge. A man kitted out in protective clothing was dusting round the area the card was located.
Down on the rocks, an orange, rickety looking tent covered the body, three uniformed guards trying to hold it in place, stop it blowing away. Off to one side, just outside the cordon, two men struggled to erect a gazebo. Cheryl Deale was talking to the Polish doctor. A uniformed guard and dark haired woman dressed all in black were walking across the beach, heading for the crime scene.
‘We need that van moved,’ McEvoy said.
Whelan nodded assent and turned away seeking the driver.
McEvoy headed right, cutting down a steep path onto the beach. Turning back on himself, he clambered across the rocks towards Cheryl Deale. He could tell from her body language that she was giving the doctor a grilling. As he neared he could hear their conversation on the wind.
‘So no one moved the body other than the person who found her, right?’ It was an accusation as much as a question.
‘No, no,’ Krawiec said. ‘He said he rolled her out of the pool. All I did, we did,’ he corrected himself, ‘was make sure she was dead.’
‘So the people who’ve been near that body are yourself, two nurses, someone else from the hospital …’
‘Kevin Linehan,’ he interrupted.
‘The person who found her and some local guards,’ she ended.
‘You might as well have had a fuckin’ party. Lads, will you get a fuckin’ move on,’ she barked at the two men trying to put up the gazebo. ‘It looks like Carry on Policing to those fuckers up there.’ She gestured to the helicopters still circling.
‘DS Deale,’ McEvoy said, making her jump.
‘For fuck’s sake,’ she snapped, turning to him. ‘I’m on edge enough as it is.’
‘How’s it going?’ he asked.
‘How does it look? We look like total fuckin’ amateurs. Have you seen anything as ridiculous as that?’ She pointed at the orange tent the three local guards were still struggling to keep upright. ‘Plus, as usual, the whole thing is as contaminated as fuck.’ She’d given up trying to keep her language in check, running with the stress. ‘Garda Plod, Stupid and Fuckwit have been stamping all over it.’
‘Look, just calm down, will you,’ McEvoy said. ‘Raging about it isn’t going to help.’
‘I know,’ she conceded. ‘For fuck’s sake, Brendan,’ she shouted as one of the legs fell off the gazebo. She turned back to McEvoy. ‘Whoa, whoa. Where the hell do you think you’re going?’ she barked at someone over his shoulder. ‘Stay on the other side of the tape.’
McEvoy turned on his heels. The guard and the woman walking across the beach had reached the tape. The woman looked embarrassed at the order. She was wearing black, flat-heeled boots, her slight body wrapped up in a black, knee length, woollen coat, a red scarf covering her neck and chin. She had black hair and eyes, her eye lashes long, her skin a light olive. The guard didn’t seem bothered one way or the other, his hands rooted in his pockets, his gaze out to sea.
‘Look, I’ll come and talk to you later,’ McEvoy said to Deale. ‘If you find anything significant give me a call.’
He headed over to the woman. ‘Detective Superintendent McEvoy.’
‘Kathy Jacobs,’ she replied with a soft Scottish accent. ‘You were expecting me? I’m the criminal profiler.’ She held out her hand, giving him the once over, his oversized suit in need of a dry clean, and loosely knotted tie, flapping in the wind.
He shook her limp digits. ‘You were meant to go to Harcourt Street,’ he stated, without welcome.
‘I thought it would be better to come straight here,’ she replied unapologetically. ‘Get myself familiar with things.’
‘Look, I’m sorry,’ he said, breaking eye contact, unable to cope with the dark depth of her eyes, ‘I don’t really have time to go through things with you right now. I’m busy.’ He jerked his thumb over his shoulder.
‘That’s okay,’ she said, unconcerned. ‘I’ll hang around. I’d like to take a look at the body and maybe I can get to talk to you later.’
‘If that’s what you want,’ McEvoy conceded, uncomfortable with her calmness, her eyes that one could drown in. ‘But you’d better have a strong stomach; she’s in a hell of a state.’
‘Don’t worry, I’ve seen some pretty horrific things in the last few years, Superintendent. Things as bad as anything here.’
He glanced at breakers crashing, the foam snaking up the beach. ‘I’ve got to go back into Dublin for a press conference at one o’clock. I’ll be leaving around 11. You can travel in with me then if you want,’ he offered. ‘Or you can stay out here. It’s up to you.’
‘I’ll travel in with you, if that’s okay. It’ll give us the chance to talk.’
‘Right. Good. Well, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get on. We still don’t know who she is.’
‘Colm,’ Jim Whelan called from near the shelter.
McEvoy looked up. Whelan held up a plastic bag containing a sheet of paper.
‘I’ll be there now,’ McEvoy replied. He turned back to Kathy Jacobs. ‘You might as well come up for this. It looks like we’ve found his next chapter.’ He set off back up to the path.
His mobile rang. He checked the screen before accepting the call. ‘Barney?’ he mumbled. Somehow a newly lit cigarette had found its way between his lips, subconsciously taken from its box and lit. He plucked it free.
‘How’s it going?’ Plunkett asked.
‘Slowly. He battered her to death. Took her face clean off. Look, I’m glad you rang. I need you to find out if Dermot Brady’s got some connection to St Ita’s.’
‘I’ll get on it now. You think he might have been a patient?’
‘That’s what I want to find out. How’re we getting on with his Mountjoy list?’
‘They’ve all been accounted for. Most of them are still in prison. A couple overseas.’
‘Another dead end.’ He reached Jim Whelan. ‘I’ve got to go. Did you ring for something?’
‘Only to see how things were going.’
He could tell that Plunkett wanted to say something else, but he’d not given him the opportunity. If it was important he’d ring back. ‘Right, well, I’ll speak to you later.’ He ended the call.
Whelan held out the note.
‘Where did you find it?’ McEvoy asked, taking it.
‘On the fencing.’ Whelan jerked a thumb over his shoulder.
McEvoy pulled the evidence bag tight and read through the two clear bags, reciting the text for Kathy Jacobs’ benefit.
Chapter Six H: Hindering the Investigation C
“Every investigation is hindered by noise – massive amounts of data, the vast majority of which are irrelevant, some of which are false, and some of which are positively misleading. Witnesses can be remarkably unreliable, remembering things incorrectly or remembering things that never happened. And often the murderer himself will seek to deflect attention, disrupt the record, and send the police on a wild goose chase, trailing along a track of lies.”
6a. Let them think you have made mistakes.
6b. Plant false evidence to set false trails – point the police at innocent people.
6c. Mess with the profiling – set false patterns.
6a-c give false hope, create blind avenues, and buy time, space, confusion and doubt. Remember, the media are your friends. They will report nonsense and undermine the police investigation if the results are not to the public’s satisfaction.
Master rule: Do not underestimate the police – they are smart, they have experience, there are many of them, and they have a lot of resources.
‘This is about Brady,’ McEvoy said, stating the obvious. ‘He’s letting us know that he laid a false trail. Jesus. He thinks he’s so feckin’ clever.’
‘Can I take a look,’ Jacobs asked.
McEvoy passed her the bag.
Whelan’s phone rang as the pathologist’s van appeared over his shoulder, slowly making its way down the laneway towards them.
‘Whelan … uh-huh … I’ll be there now.’ He returned the phone to his pocket. ‘The victim was staying at the hotel,’ he stated flatly.
‘You go over,’ McEvoy instructed. ‘I’ll follow in a minute.’
Whelan nodded and set off at a brisk pace along the path.
The van came to a halt. Billy Keane pushed open the driver’s door sending it crashing into a barbed wire fence. He pulled a ‘sorry’ face through the windscreen, levered himself out and lurched towards the back of the van. Elaine Jones climbed out of the passenger door and came round to meet them.
‘Colm.’ She waved her hand, calling him towards her. ‘Come on, like you promised.’