February 22, 2018

Vegas Snap Preview: Chapter 3

DNA and Pranksters

(June 27, 2007. Early Afternoon)


Every dead body tells a story.

“This corpse is not Roger Blackstone”, asserted Charles Barnes, the M.D. conducting the autopsy. Dr. Barnes told his assistant, Rachel Meyers, that the “DNA does not match Blackstone’s. But we can’t search for fingerprints because the tips of his fingers were cut off. It gets worse: Both his legs were broken. And see, there are no surgical incisions where there should have been for Roger’s heart operation.”

“We learned about the operation from Blackstone’s medical records?” asked Rachel.

“That’s right … You know, I’ve seen mutilations before, amputated arms and legs. But this is my first decapitation. We really have no idea who the victim is. Sure would help if we had a face with unique features to ID, but, with no head, no face.”

“Still no sign of the victim’s head?”

“Not yet. But once this crime hit the media, Homicide became fair game for practical jokers. One prankster delivered a Jack-in-the-Box, and the head that popped out wasn’t a jester but a bloody-toothed vampire. Next, a crate rolled in addressed to Frank that had a carved pumpkin face inside. Just like the one in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow where the Headless Horseman terrifies Ichabod Crane.”

“People have nothing else to do?” Rachel chimed in. “It’s not even close to Halloween.”

“True. But here’s one more. Billy told me yesterday that someone, perhaps to add a dash of local color, shipped the detectives a skull encased in a clear crystal bowling ball from the pro shop at Red Rock Lanes.”

“Creepy but creative,” said Rachel.

“But that wasn’t all. Working the real estate angle, the exterior of the bowling ball box was decorated with decals from the construction and appliance worlds: Energy Star stickers, Good Housekeeping Seals, and that smirking Pink Panther, urging you insulate your attic with fiberglass.”

“Here I am, trying to learn forensics, and you’re telling me all this stuff? … What about the cause of death? Do we know that yet?”

“Looks like the actual COD was multiple puncture wounds in the abdomen and chest that clearly preceded the beheading. But why break someone’s legs and cut off their fingers if the ultimate goal was to kill him?”

“So do you have any theories about the weapon that inflicted the fatal wounds?” asked Rachael.

“Hard to say. It could have been something with sharp-edged metal teeth. Of course, there’s no way to match his teeth to dental records … not without a head!”

“You’re a pretty funny guy, Doctor, to be doing such serious work.”

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    1. marnya says:

      This is one grizzly examination with some strange but funny humor….helps take the dark edge off the info! I’m still interested…still wanting to read on!

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