CASE OF THE WEREWOLF KILLER
Chapter 1: A Serial Killer Stalks Las Vegas
A/N: This was supposed to be only a sequel and one shot to my A Wolf in the Night but as I got to writing it just grew and grew into something else more exciting. Now it's a crossover with Criminal Minds and a serial killer. Though I'll use the websites concerning the shows so I can get the characters right, I'm still not used to writing other fandoms yet so be kind with your comments and this is definitely AU.
Catherine Willows of the Las Vegas Crime Scene Investigators stared down at the third grisly corpse she'd seen over the past three months. What made this body different from their usual murder scenes was the gruesomeness of it and the fact it was number three of what the media was now dubbing the Werewolf Killer due to their propensity of killing on full moons and the ripped up condition, like an animal had mauled it, of the body.
As she raised her camera to take pictures, she shuddered inside. Catherine had seen her share of serial killer victims and other gruesome deaths but this one left her terrified to go out without an escort. She couldn't recall when she'd been this intimidated by a perp before and she didn't like it.
"Crap, another one," a voice grumbled softly near her.
She turned her head and looked up to the sad and angry face of the city's medical examiner, Dr. Robbins.
"I'm afraid there's no doubt of that." She sighed, returning to her work.
"I hope to hell we catch this bastard soon. This level of violence suggests someone with absolutely no off button." Robbins waited until Catherine was finished before kneeling down with great difficulty to examine the body.
"This one wasn't found as quickly as the last one...time of death approximately 12 hours ago," he grunted, then struggled a little to get upright. He hadn't bothered to try and search the corpse right now as it was in too bad a shape. He gestured to his assistant and the body was quickly scraped into a body bag then carried off to the morgue wagon. "I'll get to the autopsy immediately...don't want the higher ups to start breathing down my neck," he grumbled more to himself than her, hobbling after the body.
"Good idea." With the body gone, Catherine began processing the scene. Just like the first two, there was very little blood on the ground despite the corpse being chopped up. The dump site was also in the same area, The Gardens at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve.
Shaking her head, she finished the body dump and look for her partner on this job. Warrick Brown was just trudging her way from his fruitless search for other clues.
"Let me guess...nothing but animal prints, right?"
"Yeah, and it's seriously creeping me out. I freely admit, it scares me to go out there to search for clues without keeping my hand on my gun the whole time. I'd almost go with the public's thinking that it's a werewolf," Warrick said, disgust and no little concern in his gruff voice. He was a tall, lean black man with a normally laid back personality but this strange killer had made him uneasy and afraid.
Catherine grimaced. "Don't go there Warrick. We need to keep our heads about us on this one."
"Yeah, I know but whoever this is, sure makes me really nervous."
"I know what you mean. Let's get back to the lab."
The two walked the long distance to where their SUV was parked and drove back into the city. A long night of work awaited them.
With the appearance of a serial killer, everyone at the crime lab did double duty. The killer was top priority, other cases were shoved back but despite all their efforts, they had still not been able to identify the killer.
The strangest and worst part of it all was they couldn't even determine what sex the perpetrator was. That fact rankled the DNA lab tech, Greg Sanders as he processed the DNA, which there were ample samples of it, as many ways as possible and still wasn't able to get a sex, identity or even if the person was truly human at all which, with his scientific mind, he simply couldn't accept so he kept trying to get a better result, but so far, without much success.
"I don't understand it! Greg has done every test imaginable to the DNA samples and still can't determine the identity or sex of the perp. That just doesn't make sense," Sara Sidle groused to her lab partner Nick Stokes as they processed fabric from the victims.
"Neither does the fact, he can't even get a true idea if the person is even human, hence the werewolf sticker," Nick grumbled.
"I don't buy that werewolf nonsense for a second...a dog perhaps...but no wolf. But that doesn't explain why the samples are so degraded before we can test them."
"But what could do that? One of the bodies was only eight hours old, so it shouldn't have degraded at all...yet it did. What could do that? Something is just not right about all this," Nick said more sharply than intended, frustration making him just as snarly as she was being.
"I agree and that's why this case is so frustrating. And it doesn't help that Conrad is breathing down Grissom's neck demanding answers, either."
"Don't worry about Grissom, he's able to fend off that creep." Nick had been angry for Grissom being hassled by the under sheriff, but Gil always came out on top in any altercation with Ecklie and managed to keep the idiot from bothering them. Sara grumbled about Ecklie's interference but Nick had already tuned her out. It was the same thing they all said about the man.
His silence didn't bother her as she finished what she was doing then went to her own lab to do some more testing.
Nick didn't let her presently pissy attitude bother him. They all had been working long twelve hour shifts trying desperately to put a name and profile on this serial killer and were feeling the strain. Everyone wanted to catch this person very badly, but Nick was afraid none of them were going to succeed because he firmly believed the killer wasn't human.
Ever since that horrific and world shattering Halloween night, Nick had been waiting for that promised pasta dinner and answers to his many burning questions from Grissom. However, time passed, the case that had so shocked him, had been carefully made to disappear and, despite Nick's many meaningful looks cast his way, Grissom still hadn't called him over to his home.
And it looked like it would be even longer before he got any private time with Gil. Ever since this serial killer appeared, they all had been too snowed under with work and the stress was worse for his boss as the press and his superiors were all over him to find the identity of the perp so the police could arrest them.
Grissom now hardly left the lab to sleep much less eat. Catherine, he noted, did make sure someone brought him food and would browbeat him into taking a nap in the crib but she couldn't get him to go home and recharge. He was obsessed with solving this case but Nick felt he was actually trying to hunt down the perp himself.
This was why Nick was so certain no one on the team was going to catch the killer because said killer wasn't human at all, at least some of the time. It made his skin crawl to think there was a seriously deranged shapeshifter out there.
Why he was certain it was one of Grissom's kind, was the fact the bodies were totally random, had been savagely ripped apart and some of the body parts had been eaten or taken away and the bodies had been dumped in wooded areas. Yeah, he did know of cases where a serial killer had eaten flesh, but none of them had done this kind of violence to the body.
So far the guy or gal had killed over twenty men and women from Canada to Nevada over the past ten years, as near as they'd been able to track. Nick suspected the tally was far too low. None of the people killed were related or knew each other nor was there any sign of sexual trauma or robbery. The perp seemed to just like killing for the sake of killing. That just made Nick sick and afraid.
It didn't help that the perp also changed his body dump location when they hit Nevada. Instead of dumping in the woods, the killer opted for the desert recreation area known as The Gardens at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. Why change its pattern now? Lake Mead, with it's wooded areas would have made more sense and was only thirty minutes away rather than the desert park that was less than ten minutes away from the city unless being closer was their intention.
He desperately needed to talk to Grissom about this but he could never get him alone long enough to ask and it was eating at him with each new body. Tonight was no exception, with this new body, everyone was working overtime and were short tempered.
Glancing over to his boss's office, he saw Conrad Ecklie, the under sheriff, already hassling Grissom. Shaking his head, Nick focused his attention on his job which was the only thing he could do right now.
"Grissom, the Mayor is really getting steamed over our inability to find this person. I need answers I can give him." The annoying under sheriff demanded, leaning threateningly over the desk to glare at Grissom.
Dr. Gil Grissom was not intimidated but he was annoyed. He briefly entertained the thought of allowing his eyes to change just to get Ecklie to back off but didn't given in to the temptation.
Instead, he said in that even tempered voice of his, "I can't give you what I don't have. My people have been working round the clock but the evidence is just not yielding the information we need. We haven't been able to determine why but we won't give up trying."
Ecklie grimaced and stood straight again. "With all this fancy equipment and our top rated reputation, I fail to understand how that is true."
"Evidence doesn't lie nor alter and we are very careful testing it. I've had the samples retested multiple times but the results remain the same without yielding any new data we desperately need. You simply can't make it do what it won't."
Ecklie glared at Grissom but the night shift supervisor simply eyed him back with mild annoyance. Hissing in anger, the man stormed from Grissom's office.
Allowing a low growl to escape his lips, Grissom turned to his computer and reopened the screen he'd quickly closed when the under sheriff burst into his office. He frowned at the screen, paging through several websites but apparently not finding what he was searching for which caused his frustration levels to rise even higher.
He knew Nick wanted to speak with him and why but he just didn't have the time to deal with that issue right now. This problem was much bigger than the young man knowing what he truly was.
A threat bigger than the one that had occurred on Halloween was haunting his city and he had to find it soon. Like Nick, he knew the killer was one of his own...but no wolf behaved like this.
And that was the other thing...despite seeing and sniffing one of the dead, he couldn't detect what kind of shapeshifter had done it. That made this case even more strange as all shapeshifters had a distinct scent and should be easily identifiable but not this one. So what was this thing? Only a very sick creature could have behaved this bizarrely. But shapeshifters were notoriously healthy and unaffected by man's diseases both mental and physical. However, they could be poisoned, radiated, and get cancer. However, none of those conditions should cause one to lose their mind like this and if it did, somehow, the person should have given themselves away by now.
Too many question with no answers. It was remotely possible a shapeshifter ran afoul of some rogue scientist who had experimented on them but that pushed into the realm of science fiction and though he was a figment of mankind's imagination, he didn't prescribe to that nonsense himself.
He sighed and rubbed his face with his hand, flicking off the current website he was viewing so no one could see it. Trying to find this thing on his own was yielding no results and the killer continued to kill at will. Doing it on full moon nights was also uncharacteristic except for the fright factor which was probably why they did it. But why? Yet another question.
As much as he hated any shapeshifter in his territory, he was going to need help to stop this creature.
'Suck it up, Grissom, this is bigger than you can handle,' he growled mentally and reached for the phone.