Murder is such an up-close and personal venue.
Especially if the weapon of choice is a garrote made with piano wire. The C-string. With wood handles carved with a craftsman’s precision to fit the end of the wires for a firm, deadly grip.
Yes. A garrote is a very intimate form of death. It requires strength. Perseverance. Patience. It’s not like shooting someone with a 9mm. Stand ten feet away. Aim at the chest. Pull the trigger and then walk away. The garrote is not mundane and pedestrian. To kill with a garrote means you must stand close to your victim. As close as two bodies intertwined in a lover’s embrace. You must stand close enough to feel the victim’s body heat. Smell the victim’s fear. Taste the victim’s blood.
The victim doesn’t die by strangulation so much as by drowning. If the proper technique is used the carotid artery is severed. Blood spurts everywhere. The victim drowns in his own blood. A macabre sense of retribution. Dying by drowning in your own blood.
Yes. Garroting is very personal. Someone choosing this method meant the killer wanted to enjoy the act of snuffing someone’s life out. Like a wine connoisseur wanting to savor every passing second of a rare wine.
The victim was Dr. Walter Holdridge. The Walter Holdridge. Nobel prize winner in Physics and for the last dozen years the academic catch for our own Anderson University. The victim lay sprawled across a computer terminal in the basement of the campus’ Computer Sciences building. Very dead. Very messy. And promising to be a case which would bring an overwhelming amount of bad publicity to the university. Publicity of the unwanted kind.
Anderson University is a synonym for ‘money.’ It’s in the dictionary. Look it up in Webster’s and the number three definition will say, “Anderson University–and lots of it.” The campus is six blocks of downtown prime real estate. Sculptured lawns, big platters of well-manicured flower beds, and red brick buildings of various architectural styles which somehow blend together describes the school. It has ten thousand students and each student is in the top three percent in the nation. Smart kids. Rich kids. Money and lots of smarts.
For a cop that’s a bad combination.