Chapter 6

Sherlock was still sitting at the bar when he was approached by Henry Montague. He had no interest in talking to the proprietor, but Mr Montague certainly had something to say to him.

"May I ask what you're doing here Mr Holmes?" Mr Montague said.

"The fact that you know my name shows you already know why I'm here."

"These murders have nothing to do with us. It's nothing but circumstantial. So I would appreciate if you and your colleagues stopped prowling the bar. It will put customers off!"

"Your bar and your affiliate FlirtFetish are the vehicle for the murderer to select a victim. Until the murderer is found then you will just have to put up with it."

"I will do you a deal Mr Holmes. You tell me the exact dates these people were last seen at my bar then I will allow you to trawl the CCTV footage. That should help you, shouldn't it?" Mr Montague said impatiently.

"Yes."

"Follow me."

…..

Sherlock scanned every grainy frame of the bar footage. He'd spotted Carl Vine talking to several men, but soon he zoomed his sight in on a slender, dark haired man who left with Carl thirty minutes later in the footage. Now the next problem was linking this man with Peter and Jennifer's murders, as both were killed in the daytime. Trudging through the footage, Sherlock became frustrated until a shot of Peter Griffiths coming out of the toilets showed an exchange with a man, the same man that Carl Vine had left with. The conversation must have lasted a minute at most, but the body language suggested this was more than a mere brushoff. Sherlock took the CCTV tape with him to Lestrade.

….

The freeze-frame of the dark haired man was now blown up to an A4 size to make his features though blurred slightly easier to identify. John, Sherlock and Lestrade gazed at the image.

"He's not short, Sherlock."

"No, he's the bait. Our murderer isn't willing to disclose himself," Sherlock said. "What else?"

"Isn't he-?" John stepped forward and squinted at the picture. "Isn't he the man we saw with Anna that night behind the bar?"

"The very one."

Sally Donovan brought in a sheet of paper and handed it in to Lestrade.

"His name is Craig Philips. No criminal record." Lestrade handed the paper to Sherlock. "Sally, go pick him up."

"Is she working with him, do you think?" John asked, taking Sherlock aside. Sherlock was processing the latest details and chewing over the facts.

"That bar is highly scrutinised; they have a system to keep customers safe. This man is threatening that. I wondered why Henry Montague had got on his high horse all of a sudden."

"This doesn't make any sense," John said in a low voice.

"It does, John. We saw Craig with Anna after Carl Vines murder. That bar looks out for trouble. They've been onto Craig already but when he came back again they gave in and let me see the CCTV."

"But we saw, it was clear Anna had just had some kind of sexual encounter with Craig."

"Maybe that's what they wanted us to think."

"Why do I get the feeling there's more to this than we initially thought?" John sighed, Sherlock looked at him and half smiled. His eyes were wide at the prospect.

"Because there is."

…..

Anna opened her door sleepily. Obviously she'd had a late night and this rude awakening was far from welcome. Her panda eyes and the way her hair was fluffed up slightly at the back showed that she'd still been in bed when the doorbell rang.

"What exactly are your job parameters at Blitz?" Sherlock asked her, caring little for her being dopey or tired. He barged past her and walked into her home. John however waited until she turned and he followed her in.

"Won't you come in?" She said sarcastically, flinging herself into a chair. Sherlock scanned her flat. It was untidy; she clearly wasn't at home much.

"Craig Philips," Sherlock said.

"Who?"

"The man we saw you with behind Blitz."

"Oh him." She yawned. "Trouble maker."

"It appeared that you'd had sex with him."

"That was your assumption," she said, locking gazes with Sherlock. Anna sat perfectly calmly, not threatened at all by Sherlock's questions or the disclosures he was asking her to make.

"You were warning him to stay away from the bar."

"Of course."

"Surely sending a bouncer over would have sufficed."

"Not the most subtle way to make a point, especially when you have no proof," Anna said. "Look, he comes in quite a bit and we noticed he was latching on to people, picking people out. We assumed he was a prostitute. I came in in my civvies to check that theory out. Simple, safe and doesn't cause a scene in the bar."

"You didn't know what he was up to; he could have been a drug dealer or worse," John chipped in.

"I do kick boxing, John. I can look after myself,," Anna said. "And then when you kept coming in, Henry wasn't pleased, but I suggested it might be easier if he let you look at the CCTV. After all, Craig came back again."

"You do know he was seen leaving with one of the murder victims and talking to another. By now he'll have been brought into custody."

"Congratulations. I've told you all I know, now go and solve your case."

….

Sherlock and John walked and talked with Lestrade who explained Craig Philips had seemed under the influence and tested positive for cocaine. He was however remaining quiet on his doings with Carl Vine and Peter Griffiths. When Sherlock sat in front of him in an interrogation room, he saw Craig was shaking and obviously frightened. Sherlock read every sign of withdrawal from the high of cocaine betrayed by Craig's body and he decided to use the vulnerable state in his favour.

"Three people, Craig," Sherlock said simply.

"I haven't killed anyone."

"We know you met with both Peter Griffiths and Carl Vine through Blitz. What did you do with Jennifer, arrange an assignation in a public toilet privately so we wouldn't catch you as quick, or did you just fancy a change?" Lestrade said.

"I haven't killed anyone," Craig said defensively, his shaking increasing.

"People are disappointing, aren't they, Craig?" Sherlock said, mimicking a sympathetic tone.

"What?"

"You just wanted to find someone."

"I'm not gay."

"Using the channel to find someone, someone no one else would find out about. Your family would be ashamed, wouldn't they, Craig? If they knew you were gay. That you hook up with men who like to dress up as women."

"Look, it wasn't for me! I have a girlfriend."

"Then what's in it for you, Craig?"

"I haven't killed anyone. I needed the money; I got talking to this guy who said I could do a job for him. He said he was shy, he wanted someone to bring the people to him," Craig said.

"And you didn't find that odd?" Lestrade scoffed.

"I don't think Craig is quite thinking clearly. Let's be honest, Craig. Your girlfriend left you due to your drug habit, how else could you have had all this time on your hands? Did you meet Jennifer?"

"No. I only ever got sent to Blitz to meet those two."

"Tell us his name, Craig?"

"It doesn't matter about his name," Craig said shakily.

"Why's that?" Sherlock asked.

"Look, I don't know what he was wanting them for, and I didn't ask. I just wanted the money. My life's a mess… I just need the stuff and I'm okay…"

"Why does it not matter about his name, Craig?" Sherlock repeated.

"Because you're not the only one who's unhappy about what he's done."

"Who… who knows… who did you tell his name to?"

"I don't know- a guy came asking. He offered me more money than I was getting. I just needed a fix."

"Tell us his name!" Lestrade said. "Now he could be the one in danger."

Suddenly Sherlock's phone started to ring. He glanced at the number. It was withheld.

"Sherlock Holmes."

The sounds of sobbing came from the other end.

"They were sick. All of them. Like my dad. That's why!"

The voice was that of a crying man, a crying man who suddenly screamed.

"Let me speak to who has you!"

Lestrade got his people onto tracing the call. The sound of scuffling was heard, then a breath.

"He needs to go." A different voice said. A cold, unfeeling voice. "You can pick him up. If you're quick, you might still catch him."

Suddenly a sound of a gunshot was heard and a scream of agony, then the phone went dead.