Critical Markers – Part 5

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Full of bravado, even in the face of two homicide detectives and the Chief of Police, Teddy Lange continued to refuse to answer any of the questions put to him. Neither the advice of his lawyer nor the urging of his parents acted as catalyst for Teddy to confess his crimes. Instead, he grinned smugly as the detectives tried to push him into answering. Finally, after six solid hours of interrogation without Teddy having said so much as a single word, he asked the only thing he wanted an answer to.

‘Who told you it was me?’

John Tyler sensed that this might be the way in they’d been trying to find. ‘What makes you think that someone told us it was you?’

Teddy returned the smug grin to his lips but did not reply to the detective.

‘Fine,’ Tyler said, ‘I can see what you’re going to do here. You want to continue playing around, and you’re not going to say anything else until we answer your question. The thing is, Teddy, why should we answer your question when you refuse to answer any of our questions? Hardly seems fair, does it?’

The boy shrugged his shoulders, intent on maintaining his silence. Tyler pressed on.

‘You know, Teddy, we could always trade information. Do you know what quid pro quo means?’ He didn’t expect Teddy to reply but he waited for a response anyway. ‘Quid pro quo, Teddy, comes from the Latin language, and it means something for something. You give us something, we give you something in return. Sounds fair, doesn’t it? How about we work on the quid pro quo principle? You answer one of our questions, and then we’ll answer one of your questions.’

Tyler’s partner Harry Forbes sighed and shook his head.

‘Damn it, John, I’ve had enough,’ Forbes shouted. ‘The police force is not at the mercy of a child. We have enough evidence to charge him for the murders of Michael Stewart and ol’ Chester Warner. We don’t need a confession from him. We’ve got everything we need. Charge him and haul his pimply ass off to the cells.’

Teddy’s attention was hooked. ‘What do you mean you have evidence? What evidence? There’s no evidence.’

Forbes reached into his satchel. It sat open on the floor. Had the boy looked down at his feet and under the table, he would have caught sight of the satchel and the evidence that Forbes had spoken of.

The detective lifted the plastic evidence bag up to the table, and swivelled it around so that Teddy could clearly see what it was.

‘Your diary, I believe.’ Keeping a good grip on the book, Forbes slid it closer to Teddy.

‘It makes for interesting reading, Teddy,’ Tyler chimed in. ‘And your artwork . . . well, what can I say about your anatomical drawings? Especially those where you’ve drawn human dissections in minute detail.’

‘Where did you get that from? That’s mine. You can’t read that.’ Teddy was beginning to unravel.

Quid pro quo, Teddy. What do you say?’ Forbes was now the one wearing the smug grin while Teddy Lange squirmed in his seat, the enormity of the consequences of his actions settling firmly upon his shoulders.

* * * * *

After having spent hours flicking through dozens of pages of notes from Teddy Lange’s interview, the boy’s diary, and the data collected by his teachers at Wilmot High, Fredrick Moore saved his psychological assessment of Teddy before emailing a copy to the homicide detectives. In his role as an expert court witness, Moore had seen the absolute worst of human behaviour but Teddy Lange was something entirely different and disturbing. He gathered his papers and notebook computer, and shoved them into his laptop carry bag, before racing out of his office.

The traffic was backed up for miles. Moore slammed his hands repeatedly against the steering wheel.

‘Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shitty, shit, shit.’ He pressed his hand hard against the horn, and tooted it in rhythm with his words. The line of traffic was not moving in any direction. He had important information to discuss with Forbs and Tyler, and he was stuck in traffic.

‘Shit.’

Taking the risk of being caught using his cell phone whilst driving, Moore fished it from his jacket pocket and hit speed dial number five.

‘Forbes, it’s Moore. I need you to listen to everything I’m about to tell you. It’s important. Don’t interrupt, just listen. It’s about Teddy Lange. He’s done it, yes, but he’s not working alone. There’s someone else involved in this, someone was encouraging him. Egging him on. Listen, listen to me. Teddy Lange isn’t the only one you need to be looking for. Look, it’s going to piss him off, and it may make him eager to correct you, so ask him who’s manipulating him into killing.’

* * * * *

‘Oh shit.’ Tyler put his head into his hands. Forbes stepped into the cell that had housed Teddy for the last fifteen hours.

‘Oh shit.’ Forbes echoed his partner’s words.

Blood pooled on the floor around Teddy’s body, his wrists ripped to shreds. Teddy Lange was beyond saving.

. . . To be continued . . .

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About Danielle

I like to write. What more is there to know?
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