Disclaimer: Law & Order: Criminal Intent and all of its characters do not belong to me. However, Det. Val Johnson's mine.
"Michael you creep! What have you done? Now we're lost." a young teenage girl yelled at her twin brother.
He rolled his eyes at her then jumped over a log, "You worry too much. If you are so concerned, call mom."
The girl opened her phone and stared at it in dismay, "I would if I had service. I told you we shouldn't have left the picnic."
"Kayla," Michael snapped, "we're going to be fine.. Look, there's a campsite. The people are bound to know where the road is..."
The two ran to the RV parked at the site and knocked at the door. The fire pit was smoldering, so the person couldn't have left too long ago, if they had left at all.
"Maybe we should just try to find the road ourselves..." Kayla started to say, but was cut off by the door to the RV being flung open. A young looking woman stepped out, dressed in a tight black tank and low-rise jeans. She looked at the two with a skeptical eye,
"Can I help you two?"
Michael stepped back a foot, "We're lost.. We need to get back to our family."
"What's the matter with her, can't she speak for herself?" the woman asked nodding toward Kayla.
Kayla tried hard not to lose her temper. She was a quiet girl when she wanted to be, and right now, that's all she wanted to be, "We do need help, ma'am. Please?"
The woman nodded and invited them in, "Don't you know the woods are dangerous at night?"
Kayla decided to speak for the both of them again as she set her book bag on the floor, "We were playing hide-and-go-seek with our family... It's a tradition for our family reunions."
"Here, have some cookies." the woman said, laying a plate of ginger bread cookies on the table in front of them. Michael looked at Kayla and shrugged, reaching out for a cookie. Kayla's eyes got big as she quickly shook her head. The woman was standing behind Michael with a rope wrapped around both hands, ready to strangle him. Her warning came too late, Michael's air supply was cut off. Kayla jumped up to fight the attacker off her brother, but one kick sent her flying into the stove, knocking her unconscious. Michael was flailing, trying to get this rope off his neck, but was overpowered. Before he blacked out, he heard the woman mutter, "Mother Goose will be pleased."
"Two bodies, one male, the other female. These kids were burnt to a crisp... There's a family that says these two could be their relatives, twins, Kayla and Michael. The family says that the two went into these woods to play a game of hide-and-go-seek about two days ago. When they never came back, the family got worried and called for search parties. The trail ends here for the both of them." Ross explained as he led the three detectives to where the bodies lay, "Johnson, you should still be on leave."
Johnson shrugged, "My arm's fine now, Captain. No pain, no gain."
"Do not preach to me detective. You are still on thin ice for what happened to Meirhofer. Morris should be here soon. You screw this up, it's back to drug busting for you. Not my call, but I still have to enforce it."
Johnson nodded, then walked back over to Eames and Goren at the fire pit, "Jeez, haven't had anyone bust my chops this much since you Bobby."
Goren looked up from one of the charred bodies, "Thanks?"
Eames looked to see if Ross was within earshot, "He's just pissed that Rodgers broke it off. And with the guys upstairs up his ass after every case doesn't help either."
"Whoa, Ross and Rodgers?" Johnson asked, surprised, "Couldn't see that coming."
"Took us by surprise as well. Bobby, have you got anything?"
Goren looked up at the two, "This girl... She's got some blunt force trauma on her skull... Almost as if she was pushed into, or hit with something." he stood up and walked over to a leaf covered area, "There was some type of RV or camper parked here... Can we get a picture of these tracks?"
One of the CSU photographers nodded and started snapping pictures. Another approached, "Do you want soil samples as well?"
"After the photos." Goren walked back to the bodies as they were being put in bags to take to Rodgers. He knelt back down, "Wait, what's that... Ginger bread?"
Grabbing a glove, Johnson picked it up and smelled it, "Good call. Take this as evidence." she dropped it in a bag and stood up.
A tall, pretty, brunette woman walked up to the three, and extended her hand, "Hi, I'm Sandra Morris. Johnson's new partner?"
Johnson pulled off the glove and shook her hand, "It's nice to finally meet you. Has Ross told you anything?"
"Ross attempted to fill me in; he left off at the part about the twins." Morris said, looking around.
Eames joined them, shaking Morris' hand, "Robert found tire tracks and a ginger bread cookie. We've got the CSU following the tracks, and the cookie..."
Morris laughed, "You do know what this sounds like right? Two siblings out lost in the woods, baked in a fire, ginger bread?"
Goren walked up to them, "Hansel and Gretel, only this time, the witch won."
Morris shook her head, "My nephew loves that story... There's no way I can read it to him the same way again..."
Ross joined the four, "Goren, Eames, go talk to the parents. Johnson, Morris, go talk to the rest of the family. See what you can come up with. And Johnson, remember what I said."
Residence of Mika
& Elisha Adams
Monday, March 10
"I don't know why anyone would kill my babies. They didn't even have the chance to get their drivers license!" the light skinned African American cried into her husband's arms.
Eames put her hand on the woman's back, "We are truly sorry for your loss."
Goren was looking at pictures of the twins when they were younger that were on the wall, "They were how old... Sixteen? I'm sure they had friends that might know."
Mika pulled his wife closer to him, "There was one girl that hung around them, a Mariah something-or-other..."
Eames nodded sympathetically, "Do you know where she lives, or have an address for her?"
Elisha shook her head, her face tear streaked, "No, but she's in all of Kayla's classes..."
Pointing to a picture of the twins on the swings, Goren asked, "This picture... Was it taken at the park?"
"Yes, they loved it there. They were the ones who chose the site for the picnic." Mika answered as he looked sadly at the picture, his voice catching.
Eames thanked the parents, then she and Goren left.
Morris and Johnson had finished questioning the outer family, receiving nothing helpful from them, and met Eames and Goren at the school.
"Kayla and Michael were strait A students, if you ask me. They got along with everyone as far as I could see..."
The two detectives were seated in front of a big, old fashion teacher's desk in what looked to be two very uncomfortable student's desks. "Mr. Joel, we need to know if anyone started to treat them different in the last few days."
The balding man thought for a moment, "Not that I could see, you might try and ask their home room teacher Mr. Gregory."
As they left the room, Eames and Goren joined them, "Get anything?"
Morris shook her head, "Other then the fact that they are prize students, no. Did you find Mariah?"
Eames tugged at the visitor's pass that was attached to her shirt, "Goren bullied them into giving us her home address."
"You seem to be good at that aren't you Bobby?" Johnson asked, softly punching his arm.
Goren ignored the last remark and continued on his way to the home room, "Let's just concentrate on the investigation."
The detectives entered the precinct, a bit disgruntled. Ross approached them, "What'd you find?"
Johnson threw her coat on her chair, "We got nothing from the teachers or Mariah."
"And the family was no help." Eames finished.
"This killer... They didn't know what they were really doing... The way the bodies were laid, one right on top of the other... If this killer knew what he or she was doing, they would've been side by side; they burn better that way..." Goren said, thinking aloud.
"Now days, what killer really does?" Eames sighed.
Ross' office phone went off, "Ross... Great, thanks." he hung up the phone and joined the detectives, "They found an RV not too far away from the park, Johnson, Morris, go check it out. Eames, Goren, there's been another murder."
Marty's Gas & Bar
Monday, March 10
"These tires definitely match the tracks at the scene... The reverse tread is the same..." Morris said as she stood up, "We've got a warrant, right?"
"Yeah, we've got one. Let's get this over with before the owner comes out..." Johnson answered, throwing some notes down on her notebook.
Morris shook her hair out of her eyes as a young woman walked out of the station looking pissed, "Too late, here she comes..."
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING NEAR MY RV?" the woman walked up to the detectives, ready to attack.
Morris grabbed her arm, twisting it behind her back, "Enforcing a search warrant. We are investigating a murder, and you're under arrest."
"For what?" the woman spat.
Johnson cuffed her, "Attempted assault of an officer."
The two handed her off to another officer for the reading of rights and entered the RV. Morris pulled her gloves on, "There's a book bag in here... Do you think this is her shade?" she asked as she pulled out a dark shade of lipstick.
"There's blood on the stove... Definite possibility they were killed in here..." Johnson said, getting the CSU to photograph it, then took a swab, "Hopefully they can prove they died before the fire..."
Morris shrugged, "There was enough flesh and blood vessels left from the girl to tell... Rodgers is going to get us the results of the autopsy later today."
"Great. Let's get photos of these things, then tow this hunk of metal on wheels back to our lab, and see what else we can find."
Monday, March 10
Goren and Eames entered the woods, a medical examiner filling them in as they went, "Young girl, I'd say around thirteen, raped and beaten, then left for dead in the middle of this woods with nothing but this red sweatshirt on." they approached the area where the body lay, the examiner held out a bag with some type of animal fur inside, "And this was found next to her."
Goren took the bag from him, and looked the fur over, "Looks like wolf fur... Have Rodgers run this to check if it's real..." The examiner nodded, took the bag, and walked away. Goren bent down next to the body and uncovered her face and hands, "This girl... She fought back... There are defensive wounds down her arms... Was there a missing person's report for this girl?" he asked, catching the pant leg of a CSU as he walked by.
The man stopped and looked down at him, "Yeah... We believe this body to be what's left of a Sarah Reyes... She was suppose to show up at her grandmother's apartment three weeks ago."
"This is too much of a coincidence... Two killings based on fairy tales... Not to mention the fairy tales being from the Brothers Grimm collection..." Eames said, checking the prints in the mud, "These people aren't careful... Amateurs did this... Part of a cult?"
Goren straitened his back as he stood up, "Might be... If it is, there's no telling where they will stop."
"Where'd you get the book bag Grace?"
The woman glared at Morris, "It's mine, got a problem with that?"
Johnson looked up from rooting through the bag, "Yeah, actually, we do. The dead girl's prints are all over everything in this bag, and the cell phone has her family's numbers in it. Want to explain that?"
"I want a lawyer." was Grace's only response.
The two detectives walked out of the interrogation room, Johnson set the book bag on her desk and pulled her gloves off. Ross joined the two, "Eames and Goren called, they have a theory a cult's behind this. What's your say?"
"We'd have to find at least one more murder to say... Not that I want another murder to be committed..." Johnson said, making sure she wasn't misinterpreted.
"I understand detective... What did you get from Grace's RV?"
Morris handed Ross the file she had gotten from Rodgers, "The blood we found in her trailer matched the girl's. As did the prints on the things in the bag... There's no doubt the twins were knocked out in her RV."
"Get her lawyer in here... The sooner we can get her prosecuted, hopefully, the sooner she'll talk."
"You people are sloppy, disgraceful, and a total embarrassment! We formed this group to show that evil will prevail, not mess up! Grace was caught today because she forgot to destroy her evidence! Peter, tell me you didn't mess this one up."
The man only known as 'Peter' looked up at the woman standing over him, "No. I cleaned up. I'm in the clear. I left the fur like you told me to."
"Good. Now Lisa, open your book to page twenty-nine. Start reading, study every move, and find your targets. I want this over tonight."
Lisa cowered, "Yes Mother Goose."
"Detectives, I really enjoy testing things for you, but from now on, send the fur to my intern." Rodgers said as she handed the results to Eames.
Eames looked the results over, "Oh, you finally got an intern?"
Rodgers nodded as a younger man stepped out from behind one of the shelves, "John Markson, these are detectives Goren and Eames from Major Case. Detectives, someone else to stress out for the results."
"Nice to meet you. You go all out on the Goth stuff don't you?" Goren asked, shaking the man's hand.
Markson smiled, "Almost. I know people who are more dedicated. I ran the fur through the Protected Wildlife system and matched it to a wolf they have at a petting zoo at the Bronx. You might want to shoot for anyone who'd been around the wolves during the winter. The thickness of the hair is clearly from a winter coat." Markson said as he pulled another file from a pile, "These are the autopsy results for the twins that you are waiting for, and the autopsy for 'Little Red' is being done right now by Rodgers."
"Wow...He's young and efficient." Eames said with a roll of her eyes.
"Thanks, I try to be..."
Goren stared at the computer as it printed out the information on the zoo, "I didn't know we had the Protected Wildlife's information..."
Markson shook his head, laughing, "We don't, I had to run it to them..."
Rodgers looked up from the autopsy she was conducting, "There are no fluids in her. The perp must've used a rubber..."
"So there's no chance of tracking him down?" Eames asked.
"I didn't say that detective, there is a slight chance we might be able to... Ah, a hair..." Rodgers exclaimed as Goren handed her a pair of tweezers. She took it over to the microscope, "This is definitely not your victim's. Markson, once I'm done with this, start running this DNA through the system. Detectives, you're on your way to catching this killer."
Goren turned and silently whispered to Eames, "It's almost as if they want to get caught..."
"What have you got detectives?" Ross asked as the four entered the office space in their building.
Johnson put a dollar in the vending machine and pushed a button, "The twins were burned alive. According to Rodgers' report, they were unconscious, but I can't imagine what that must've been like..."
"Goren and I are about to go to the petting zoo Markson found and see what type of information we can get from them. Could we get a warrant for all of the male workers there?" Eames asked as her soda dropped into the pick-up slot in the machine.
Ross sighed, "I'll see what I can do, detective. But I can't make any promises. Johnson, Morris, what is your next move?"
Morris looked up from her bag of chips, "We're going to work on Grace a bit more... See if we can't get something out of her."
Old McDonald's Petting Zoo
North Side, Bronx
Tuesday, March 11
Goren and Eames pulled up to an old, worn looking petting zoo. The two got out of the car and entered the main building. The elderly woman at the desk smile was friendly as she held up a finger, indicating she'd be done with the phone in a minute. Goren smiled back and flashed his badge. The woman's face contorted into a panic state. She hung up the phone and approached them, "I'm sorry... Look, we'll pay the bills as soon as we can... We don't have as many customers as we did last year... I swear I'll get the money in..."
"We're not here about that ma'am. We're here about your wolves." Eames explained, as the woman's face went from panic back to calm.
Goren looked around him, "Nice place you've got here... How long have you been open?"
"We've been here for at least twenty years..." The woman said with an even bigger grin than before, "Now what's that about our wolves?"
Eames handed her the print out Markson had given her, "This hair here was found at a crime scene. We need a list of all of the men who have access to them..."
"That would be my son... He's the only man I've really seen around them, but he wouldn't have anything to do with a crime..."
Goren finished another three-sixty and looked at the woman, "Could... Could we speak to your son?"
The woman looked at him suspiciously, "I suppose so... Billy's at the monkey's cage right now..."
"Are you Billy?" Goren yelled as he and Eames approached the cage.
The young man turned around and faced the two as a lemur jumped onto his back, "Hold on..." He backed up so the lemur was close to the tree. It jumped off his back and he stepped forward once again, "Sorry... Can I help you?"
Goren and Eames held up their badges and Eames introduced them, "I'm detective Eames. This is Detective Goren. We're investigating a murder case and some of our evidence came from your petting zoo..."
"That little guy right there... He's so cute... How old is he?" Goren asked as another lemur jumped onto Billy's back. Eames rolled her eyes, "Oh brother..."
Billy pulled the lemur off his back and cradled him in his arms, "Want to hold him? I've got to give him a shot anyway..."
"Uh, sure..." Goren handed his binder to Eames, stepped inside of the cage, and Billy handed the lemur to him.
Eames crossed her arms, "Billy, would you be willing to give us a DNA sample?"
"Why? Am I a suspect?" he asked, helping Goren with the squirming lemur.
"According to your mother you are the only male to go near the wolves for a while..."
Billy quickly stuck the lemur with the syringe, injected the fluid and pulled it out, "Yeah, I'll give a DNA sample... I didn't do anything... But you should know there's been this guy hanging around here... He comes around at least once a week... In fact, he was just here yesterday... He always watches the wolves, says he's writing some type of paper for college... If you ask me, I'd say he's just trying to cover his ass. He was always on his laptop, always on MySpace..."
"Then why didn't your mother name him?" Goren asked as he handed the lemur back to Billy, "Thanks."
"He always comes around when my mom's not here... I think his first name is Peter..."
Goren stepped out of the cage, "No last name?"
Billy followed Goren, "No, he always paid with cash... He and were only on a first name basis... I do have his phone number. I am supposed to call him when we get the new wolf in."
"Did this Peter ever pet the wolves?"
Billy picked up a bucket full of food and started to fill the food troughs at the cage for the bears, "Only once... It was in the winter, I remember because he wanted to feel how the winter coat differentiated from the summer one. He is going to come back this summer to pet them..."
"We need you to call him. Tell him you got the wolf early." Goren said as they followed Billy to the next cage.
"Alright, whatever you need... Do you still want that sample?"
Goren nodded, "If you would be so kind... We'll go back to the office, but first..." Goren reached over and pulled some of Billy's hair out. Billy's eyes started to water, but he nodded and walked away as Goren put the hair into a bag.
"What's up with that?" Eames asked as she and Goren walked away, "You're just letting him go?"
Goren turned left down the path, "He didn't do it. He's revealing his arms, there are no bruises anywhere. Sarah fought back... She got a piece of whoever she was attacked by..."
"I just hope you're right Bobby."
"Detectives, you're shooting in the dark. My client is innocent."
Morris rolled her eyes, "Right, then how does she explain the blood and the book bag in her RV?"
"I'd like a moment with my client."
Johnson and Morris left the room a bit disgruntled. Ross was waiting for them in the observation room, "Detectives, this is going nowhere fast. Goren and Eames are bringing in another suspect, let's try to get them to rat on each other..." Ross' phone went off, "Ross... Oh my God... Thank you, they'll be there soon."
Johnson's face fell, "That didn't sound like a good 'oh my god'..."
"It's not; four women were just murdered at a soup company up in Brooklyn. Eames and Goren will meet you there. Once we get the evidence from that scene, we can run these two through..."
Mary's Homemade Soup
Wednesday, March 12
The four detectives arrived around the same time at the factory, all looking even more disgruntled than before. They entered the building, greeted by the smell of boiling flesh and chicken soup. The bodies had been taken out of the vat and were not laying in unzipped body bags, but each covered over with a white cloth, which Goren at once went over to, pulling back the cloth to revile only her face, "These women, all four of them... Have they been identified yet?"
One of the investigators standing nearby shook his head, "No, but we've got Rodgers and Markson working on it."
"Great... Who found them?" Eames asked, stepping over one of the bodies to join Goren.
The investigator pointed toward the back, "He's back there. Says he was working on the last batch of soup for today when he found them."
Johnson nodded, "Thanks." She and Morris headed off in the direction the man had pointed to question the man.
Goren looked the body closest to him over, "This woman was shaved... There's no hair on her head at all... Even her eyebrows are gone..."
"Boiling would do that as well..." Eames suggested.
Goren shook his head and went to the other women, "No, they weren't boiling long enough to do that... Their hair had to be pulled out be... before they were tossed..." Goren turned to address a group of CSUs, "See if you guys can find the hair... It should be around here... In a pile..."
The group nodded in agreement and left. Eames and Goren stepped back to let the medical examiners zip up the bags and take them away for Rodgers.
Eames turned to walk towards where Morris and Johnson were questioning, but Goren stopped her, "Wait, we've still got to get all of that soup drained out of the vat...'
"Let's let the CSU take care of that... Now let's go and do something you're really good at... Interrogation."
"Mr. Hall, we need to know if you've seen anyone suspicious around here." Johnson said as she and Morris entered the office.
The older man looked shaken, but was able to talk, "My daughter and I are the only two around here... But I know Lisa wouldn't do anything like this... Besides, she was on the internet in my office all afternoon..."
"Where is Lisa now?" Morris asked, handing the man a tissue.
He quickly wiped his eyes, "She's at a friend's house... She was only home for a few hours today..."
"Where was she this morning?"
"At the same friend's house... They're inseparable."
Johnson nodded as she wrote that down, "Could we have access to your computer and what your daughter was on?"
"Why, is my daughter a suspect?" Mr. Hall asked, looking angry.
Morris shook her head and calmly said, "No, sir. We're just trying to cover all of our bases. Could we at least get the address of where she's staying right now? We have to question her as well."
"Talk to my lawyer first."
"Great, so he lawyered up... What else have you got, other than a giant headache?" Ross asked as the four detectives entered his office.
Morris sat down in the nearest chair, "The DNA we got off of the pubic hair that was found on Sarah matches the DNA from Peter. His lawyer finally made him give a sample... I love amateur lawyers, they have no idea what they're doing..."
Johnson laughed, "Yeah... Grace still won't talk, but we have enough evidence on her we could erect a monument fifty feet high and still have some leftover..."
"All we need now is a warrant to search through the computer at Mary's and for the address to where Lisa's staying. And once we get those, and the cult leader, we've got this case solved."
Goren shook his head, "No... There's a bigger picture that we just aren't seeing yet... Some point they are trying to make..."
"A point like, evil wins when you let it?" Johnson asked.
Goren shrugged, "Or something like that..."
"Detectives, why do you need a warrant for the computer?" Ross asked as he filled out a request for the warrants.
Morris looked up from her notes, "We need to be sure that Lisa wasn't sending messages to anyone that could've been the killer."
"I'm going to need more than that."
"She could've let them in. We need to know what type of things she could've been telling any potential murderer." Eames explained.
Ross sighed, "I'll see what I can do."
Wednesday, March 12
"Well, these four women were definitely shaved pre-mortem. Detectives, these women were boiled alive." Rodgers said, handing Johnson and Goren the four autopsy reports.
Morris shook her head in disbelief, "Those poor women..."
"And we've got names for them now. That one is Sally Scieszka, Mary Tarl, Darla Lane, and Samantha Laurence. They were big participants in the stop global warming movement."
Eames sighed, "The world is ending, the world is ending..."
"Chicken Little..." Johnson said, trying not to scream in frustration.
Goren looked over the reports, "Did CSU ever find the hair?"
"Yeah... This was found among it." Markson said, handing Goren a plastic bag with what looked to be fox hair, "It was definitely off a fur coat. All of the manufacturing companies coat the fur with a special protective coat. I also went through the soup that the women were in, but what was in there... Let's just say I'm never eating soup for the rest of my life..."
"I've got the websites up that Lisa was on... She seems to enjoy searching through MySpace... How far does the warrant allow us to go?" the technician asked, turning to Eames.
She looked it over, "We can go through the messages that only the public can see."
"Well, that might take a while... She posted over fifty."
Goren sighed, "See who she sent them to... If she sent more than two to one person... Check those."
"Well, that shouldn't be too hard... She sent them all to one person... The screen name's Gothic Mother Goose..."
Johnson rolled her eyes and scoffed, "That explains a lot..."
"None of them seem to say that she let someone in... Does kind of incriminate her though... Listen to this, 'Finished what you wanted... FL is back on top.' they all sort of sound like this... The way she writes, she makes it sound like she beat some type of video game for this 'Mother Goose'..."
"FL... Foxy Loxy?" Morris asked.
Goren leaned back in his chair, "Of course she wants it to sound like that... She had to code it so supposedly only members understand... That's how they work... Peter was on MySpace as well... See if there are any messages on 'Mother Goose's' page from someone who would sound like him..."
"Or just look for W." Eames added.
The technician looked confused, "W?"
Goren held up his hand to stop him, "Never mind that, I've changed my mind. Go to this 'Mother Goose's' profile."
"It's blocked... I can hack it if you want me to..."
Johnson stood up, "No, then we can't use anything we get. Just read through the messages between this 'Goose' person and Lisa."
"Captain, we've got the address of where Lisa is staying and some very convincing messages from Lisa saying that she was the environmentalist killer." Morris said, handing Ross the printouts.
Ross looked them over, "How old is this Lisa?"
"According to her profile, she's in her early twenties..." Johnson answered, grabbing a cup of coffee from her desk.
"Alright, go check this place out. If you find this Lisa, bring her in for questioning only."
North Side Soho
Wednesday, March 12
As Morris and Johnson approached the door to the studio, they looked around in dismay. Morris sighed heavily, "This is a business... What is Lisa doing here?"
"Probably a little moonlighting... Looks like they're closed..."
Morris reached out and knocked on the heavy wooden door. The intercom buzzed next to her ear, making the already tired detective jump.
"Can I help you two ladies?" the voice asked through the intercom.
Morris pressed the response button, "I'm Detective Morris with Detective Johnson. We're looking for Lisa Hall. We need to question her about what her father found in the factory last night. Her father said she was there, so we need her statement, then we'll get out of her hair..."
"Fine... I'll let you in." Johnson and Morris heard the lock click. They opened the door and stepped inside.
"A starving artist's paradise..." Johnson laughed as they looked around them. There were paint canvasses, paint buckets, and anything else a painter could ask for all over the place.
"You'll have to forgive the mess... Our two o'clock just finished their session..." The detectives turned and saw a woman in her late twenties, wearing the gothic style, walking down one of the two spiral staircases in the building, "I'm Krista Walker. Lisa will be down in a minute. Can I offer you two coffee? You two look tired..."
Johnson shook her head, "No... Thanks."
"Now what's this about my father's business?" an even younger looking woman asked as she took the other staircase down.
Morris waited until Lisa was down on the main level to reply, "Your father puts you at the factory at the time he found the bodies, is that correct?"
"No, I had already left before he found them. I left him a note telling him where I'd be and left. He called me after he called the cops to tell me not to come back to work."
Johnson started to write this down, "And when did you plan to tell us that you weren't there? We had to ask around to get this address. Your father lawyered up as soon as we mentioned getting your statement..."
"That's my father. He's defensive because of my mother. She testified at a murder trial and was killed on her way out of the court house."
Morris looked shocked, "I'm sorry... Did you happen to see anyone entering or leaving the building when you were leaving?"
"No... I didn't see anything. I'm sorry. Look, If I remember anything, I'll call you alright? I feel sorry for those poor women... Were they really shaved?"
Johnson looked at her suspiciously, "How did you hear about that?"
"I read it somewhere..." Lisa said, trying to cover up her mistake.
Morris pulled out the handcuffs, "Nope... We haven't released that to anyone yet. You're now going down to our precinct to talk to our friends there."
Krista looked alarmed, "I'll call my lawyer Lisa! I'm sure he won't mind defending you!"
"Great, have him meet us at One Police Plaza. Alright?" Johnson asked as she and Morris led Lisa out of the building.
"Detectives, what did I tell you to do?" Ross asked as they led Lisa into the interrogation room.
Morris shut the door behind Lisa and turned to face Ross, "Captain, she knew about the hair. That was one detail that we didn't tell the news."
"We've already got two other people who need to be run through. We can't be bringing in every last person we find!"
"Where's my client? I need to talk with them..." Peter's lawyer asked as he entered the room, clearly frustrated.
Goren was close behind him, "Peter is still in the same holding cell that he's been in since we got out of interrogation."
"Not Peter, Lisa!"
Eames stood up from behind her desk, "Lisa? You're defending the both of them now?"
"Yes... This is good for my image as a lawyer, not to mention a statement against this corrupt force... Arresting people because they know one stupid little fact."
Johnson scoffed, "That stupid little fact might just bag your client Lisa faster than anything else."
"Where is she?" he asked again.
Ross pointed toward the door, "She's in there."
"Detectives, you'd better be right on this one." Ross said as he turned and walked away toward his office.
Eames stepped up to the others, "Why is he defending the two of them?"
"He's also Krista Walker's lawyer... She seemed alarmed to have Lisa arrested in her business..."
Goren let these words process, "Her business... She let both Peter and Lisa use her lawyer... A punishment for getting caught? This lawyer clearly has no idea on what he's doing..."
"Are you suggesting that Krista's 'Mother Goose'? I really don't think she would let herself get caught this easily..." Eames said, shaking her head, "There's no way."
"She doesn't think she can get caught. The coding in the messages, the crappy lawyer... Her followers get screwed over so she can go free. We need another warrant."
Johnson sighed, "Ross is going to bust a blood vessel if we're wrong."
North Side Soho
Thursday, March 13
"Krista, this is a warrant to search your studio and apartment upstairs. We need you to sit here until we are done. The sooner you let us work, the sooner you can get back to work." Goren explained/ordered as he handed her the paper.
She looked it over, "You are acting on suspicion? This is what's wrong with this world's police..."
"Yeah, yeah, we've heard it all." Johnson snapped as she pulled on her gloves.
"Someone's pissy today..." Krista retorted as Goren once again pointed to a chair for her to sit in. She sat down, but continued to attempt to spew detrimental words at the detectives.
The four left the other investigators to search the studio to go through her apartment. Goren was the first to find something worth pulling the others over, "Look at this... Newspapers from all over the U.S... Indiana, Colorado... The members of this cult live for fame... The more fame they get,"
"The more they kill." Eames finished, taking some of the papers, "Look at this, Krista's 'lawyer' defended all of these suspects, and they were all convicted. Once you screw up, you're done..."
Morris shook her head, "This is just messed up, hasn't anyone checked this guy's credibility?"
"I did, he passed the bar some time before these crimes started up." Goren said as he pulled out another box of newspaper clippings.
Johnson walked over to the small couch, "You think he and Krista teamed up just to pull off these crimes? She's the master-mind behind them, and if there's a snag, he covers it up?"
"That's the way it seems."
Morris opened a cabinet, jumping back as about fifty plus Grimm Brother and other type of fairy tale books fell out, "Check this out..."
The others joined her at the pile and each picked one up, "These people have been busy... Every title in this book has a name by it, and every name has been marked out." Johnson remarked as she laid the book down, open to the table of contents.
"Every story is marked off in this book as well, and this book too." Eames added as she opened two more books.
Goren shook his head as he opened yet another book, "This book has all but one marked out... There's going to be another killing..."
"Which one is it this time?" Morris asked as she stacked up the books to be taken in as evidence.
"Why'd you do it Krista?" Goren asked as he sat down across from Krista and her lawyer.
"Do what?" she asked as she pulled out a cigarette and lit it between her fingers.
As she was attempting to bring it to her lips, Goren pulled it out of her hand and took a long drag from it before crushing it out, "I think you know what I'm talking about. Where has your little minion taken her?"
"Who?" Krista asked.
She pulled out yet another cigarette, only to have Eames take it and the box, "There's no smoking in here. Your minion. We know about this little cult you're leading... Your little followers are squealing on you faster than you are setting up murders in this city. Your cult is falling apart fast."
Krista's lawyer leaned over to Krista and started to whisper in her ear. Goren laughed, almost evilly, "Look at you... You set these people up to fail, screw them over with a crap lawyer, thank God Grace could supply her own lawyer... Then once you get caught, you get yourself a better lawyer... I bet your cult member is out in the woods somewhere, holding a knife to the chest of a young girl, asking, 'Why the hell am I doing this? My leader, Mother Goose is just going to screw me over like she did the others.' He is going to kill this girl anyway, but you... Oh, you are going to lose this cult to him. He's not going to screw his members over like you do. He's going to fight until they're free. Consider yourself dethroned Mother Goose."
"Take a charge off, and I might spill..." Krista said smugly.
"No see, you'll spill without us taking a damn thing off the list!" Eames said. She got up and left the room, coming face to face with Ross, "Oh, sorry..."
Ross brushed it off, "Take the drug charge off."
"Captain, we can't barter with her... A woman is about to be killed."
Ross sighed, "I know detective. I've got teams out combing the woods."
Johnson stuck her head into the interrogation room, "Captain, we've got them. A team is holding him off for now, long enough to get his name, Ben, and the woman's, Anne. Thankfully, she's still alive and conscious."
As Goren started to lead Krista out of the interrogation room, she started screaming, "Do you think he'll listen to you? You have no authority over Mother Goose's children!"
Morris stepped forward and asked threatening, "What do you mean!"
Krista smiled dangerous, "Do you think you look or act like Mother Goose, like me?"
"So if I go and look like you and act like you, I'll get some respect?"
Krista glared, "That's only the half of it. You'd have to kill me first!"
"And that's not going to happen. You're staying here. We'll just have to do the next best thing..."
Eames pulled Morris back, "The next best thing being what exactly?"
"If looking like a gothic freak is the only way to control these creeps, that's what I'll do..."
Eames, Goren, and Johnson arrived in the woods in time to see the man's knife slip lower down the woman's chest. The three grabbed for their guns, expecting anything. Morris arrived shortly after. Johnson and Goren stepped aside, giving her the floor, "I need you to listen to me, put the knife down!"
He glared at her, pressing the knife closer to the girl's chest, "I don't listen to anyone!"
"Can you at least tell me why you're doing this?" Morris asked, her patients wearing thin.
Ben spat on the ground in front of him, "And why should I tell you?"
"Because we killed Krista. I've been appointed 'Mother Goose' by your little cult."
"And I should trust you because? That bitch said that she'd be a great leader, and she screwed us all over! Once this girl's dead, I'm taking over this cult!" he yelled as he gave a little slack on the woman he was holding.
Morris stepped forward, "I don't think you understand, I'm the leader now! Now hand me the knife."
"You can't be her..." the man spat.
"You kill the leader, you get the alpha rights, am I correct?"
Ben realized his grip was slacking, and pulled her closer, "Fine, I'll accept you as leader... But let me make this woman the first kill under new leadership..."
"No! Ben, let Anne go... You are to listen to me. I have the power now, and I want you to stop!"
Blood trickled from Anne's chest, and she whimpered. Ben stared at the Gothed out detective for a moment, a crazed look in his eyes, but he dropped the knife. Eames and Johnson holstered their guns and ran to help Anne. Goren grabbed Ben and led him to the car while the paramedics came and got Anne from the detectives. The four gathered together, watching Anne being led to an ambulance. Goren held up a small, wooden box that he had found on Ben, "He was going to leave this behind with her heart in it... He... He literally thought he was this evil woods man..."
Ross approached them, finally arriving at the scene, "Nice work detectives. Morris, I hope you like it here in Major Case. She seems to balance you out Johnson... And she doesn't get shot in the process... Just acquires a really different dress style..."
Morris rolled her eyes, "Don't worry, I promise I won't wear this to court..."
"Welcome to the squad." Eames said as they headed back to the cars, "Now let's get this interrogation over with... I haven't slept since we got this case."
"Who has?" Johnson laughed tiredly.
Friday, March 14
"Detectives, you might want to see this..." Ross said, standing in the doorway of his office. The four got up and entered the office where Ross had a package lying open on his desk.
Goren gave it a side glance, "What is it?"
Ross reached in and pulled out a stack of papers three inches thick.
"Are those the charges of Krista's cult members?" Johnson asked as she was handed a pile of the papers.
Eames took hers, "She had all of these done... For what? She's the only cult leader I've seen to gain nothing from the experience of having people killed..."
"For the thrill of rewriting the books... Have you ever read a book and not been happy with how it ended? That... That's what she's doing..."
Morris shook her head as she flipped through her stack, "Except she decides to live them out, not post a fan-fic on an online site..."
"There's another thing, detectives... Her lawyer, the one she passes out to her minions... It turns out he has been purposely running these people into the ground... But first..."
"He convinces them to leave their things to Krista... Or one of her closer minions... Why didn't I see that?" Goren exclaimed, setting his stack of papers down, "Are we going to be able to get her on all of these?"
Ross nodded, "All of those people were defended by the same lawyer... But it was never put together until now. Again, good work detectives."
"This is a nightmare..." Johnson sighed. She too set her stack of papers down on the desk.
"Or just the horrible beginning to a somewhat better ending." Morris said sadly, looking at a picture of one of the younger victims.
Eames sighed, "Let's just hope that we've woken up for good this time..."