"Everyone gather round, we have a new case" Sandra told her team. The boys carried on with what they were doing. Dan and Brian were geeking out about something Sandra had decided was dull, 20 minutes ago when they tried to engage her in the conversation and Jack, Gerry, Steve and Ted were talking about the recent reruns of Blackadder. She exchanged sideways glances with her deputy Sasha who was standing next to her. She had always gotten on better with men but in Sasha she had the girl friend, she had always wanted.
"Boys, shut up!" Sandra shouted louder this time so the men could actually here her.
"This is literally what I get 24/7" Gerry groaned to the other men and the 6 men sat down on the two sofa's. Sandra had got with Gerry five years ago around the time Caitlin had given birth to Charlie. It had been bliss, Sandra had never wanted kids but she had to admit she loved being 'Nana Sandra' to Paula's Gerry (well Gerry didn't call that because of the age he was when her and Gerry got together) and Caitlin's kids Charlie and Phoebe.
"Right so, on the 2nd of March 2016, 20 year old Biology student, James Barlow was killed on the way home from university at 2.30 in the afternoon, by a stab wound to the chest, his mobile and bag including his laptop and a textbook were stolen, apparent robbing gone wrong." Sandra said as Sasha wrote up the information on the board.
Witnesses?' Asked Ted.
'Plenty, but all gave the same description, the killer was a white male around 5'11 in a dark tracksuit, which wasn't much to go on so the killer was never found".
"Why is the case being reopened?" asked Brian.
"Have they found the mobile or bag?" Dan enquired.
"No, the case is being re-examined because yesterday Jamie's younger sister 20 year old English Literature student Lucy was killed in the same manner at the same university, again her phone and bag were stolen." Sandra responded "We are working in conjunction with the murder team as it seems to much of a coincidence to them to not be connected."
"Oh not another interdepartmental case" Steve moaned.
"My favourite kind" Gerry grimaced.
'Get it out of your systems now because in one minute Strickland will be here with the interdepartmental liaison officer" Sandra warned.
"A DI Jon ... somebody, I couldn't tell what Amy was saying" Sasha replied, it was her that had answered the phone call about an hour ago. After the Cynthia Kline business Strickland had been promoted to DC which came with a office the same size as UCOS, and Amy a very annoying and fast talking PA.
"Very helpful even Brian can't work out who it is from just John, I'm technically a John" Jack said dryly.
"Why a DI? Strickland normally just sends us a uniform, since the cutbacks" Brian asked not realising that Strickland and the DI were already standing behind him.
"Because he thought it would be a nice surprise" Strickland answered "For those of you that don't recognise him this is DI Jon 'Izzy' Clarke." This was met with a chorus of cheers from the team, the newer members were aware of Clarky's involvement in early UCOS.
"Thank you sir, it's much appreciated" Sandra told the senior officer.
'DCS Sandra Pullman, Jack, Brain and Gerry you obviously know, the others are DCI Sasha Miller, Steve McAndrew, Danny Griffin and Ted Case' Strickland said pointing in turn to newer members of UCOS who gave a wave at their names. Sandra had been given a promotion and a team expansion as a 'bribe' from Strickland to get her the stay at UCOS and not leave with Max. "Right I'll leave DI Clarke in your capable hands Sandra, I've got to pick Eliza from school apparently she's just thrown up." 'Eliza' Elizabeth Strickland was Strickland's 5 year old daughter and every time he mention her, Sandra couldn't help think the kid got off lightly as his other children were called Hermione and Rufus.
"I hope she feels better soon" Strickland left the UCOS "Right, Clarky, what's been going on with you?" Sandra asked.
"Well ma'am, I became a Sergeant in 2010, before becoming a specialist family liaison officer shortly after and then made DI the murder squad in 2018" Clarky replied. Sandra rolled her hand indicating for him to continue " On a personal level, I married Jess in 2014 and we have 4 year old Noah and another on the way". Shouts of congratulations came from various members of the team.
"Congratulations, it's good to have you with us" Sandra actually was genuinely happy about this interdepartmental operation, she had always been fond of Clarky, he was dedicated, empathic and polite.
"Clarky you can come and visit the family with with Jack, Brian and I. Danny and Gerry, go speak to Fiona, I want and in-depth comparison of the two post-mortems were the two siblings killed by the same person? Sasha, Ted and Steve you go a visit the the James's girlfriend an Anna Williams, she's now a Chemistry teacher at a high school in Hampstead" Sandra told everyone.
"Are we mentioning to the girlfriend that we think the murders are connected?" Asked Sasha.
"We aren't supposed to, but yes although emphasis that this should not become public knowledge, because if it's gets to press it'll make our lives 10 times more difficult and the Murder Squad will be unbearable, no offence Clarky" Sandra sighed.
"Ma'am" Sasha replied walking over to the coat rack. Sandra had told her friend to call her Sandra (or Guv in work if she was more comfortable with that). However, during work hours she never did, but that was often the way in the police.