Chap. 18—Unrestrained: A Paranormal Psychological Thriller (Rancor, #2)

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Unrestrained: A Paranormal Psychological Thriller (Rancor, #2)“Detective Becker, the preliminary DNA results on the karambit are in,” Peggy said, walking up to the detective’s desk. “It’s not final, but you may be surprised by what the results have returned.”

Det. Becker took the sheet of paper from her hand.

“What’s it say, Johnny?” Det. Wanat asked, looking eagerly at his expression.

He read some more and then said, “Ms. McGee’s and Mr. Zimmerman’s DNA was confirmed, but we already knew it would be. It says there were four that were either highly degraded, present in trace amounts or comprised of impurities. However, one of the samples did show degraded blood.”

“Probably from that orderly that was murdered in 1969,” Det. Wanat said, nodding. “You were thinking this could be the same murder weapon.”

“Highly likely,” Det. Becker said. He continued reading aloud, “Doctor Suharto’s DNA sample did not come back with a match, but it says that there were no good samples to compare it to.”

“What about the psychic’s DNA,” Det. Wanat said. “I think she looks like a suspect.”

“It came back the same as the doctor’s; the degraded DNA samples are too far gone.”

“There’s one more,” Peggy said, pointing further down the list.

Det. Becker looked at the paper and shook his head. “There were three fresh DNA samples on the knife, we know two of them, but the third is unidentified; it didn’t match Ms. Dory or Doctor Suharto.”

“There’s someone else involved,” Peggy said. “Someone else has recently handled the karambit.”

Det. Becker’s phone rang.

“There’s a Ms. Dory here to see you,” the officer said on the other end of the line.

“Tell her I’ll be right down,” Det. Becker said. He hung up the phone and looked at Det. Wanat. “The psychic has something for me. I’ll be right back.”

Det. Becker met Ethel in the lobby of the police station. He was surprised at how haggard she looked. The green scarf tied around her head was lopsided; her colorful gypsy skirt looked like it had not been washed in days, and the skin on her face seemed to sag more than usual. What had not changed was her sandpapery voice.

“Detective, thank you for seeing me,” Ethel said, walking toward him. “I have a video you may be interested in.”

He watched her pull open the camera’s screen. “What do you have?”

“Watch and you’ll see,” Ethel said, positioning the screen so that they both could view it. “This was recorded on the last day at the apartment building. You can tell by the date.”

He watched as Ethel hit play and the video began. He recognized the basement and the scrying room. Then his jaw dropped and his eyes widened, he could not believe what he was seeing. There appeared to be two ghosts outside the scrying room and something tall and dark, moving inside the room next to Ethel and Claudia. He did not see these people—these things—when he was down there and there no way they could walk past him without him noticing. And he doubted Ethel, or Claudia, had the skills to fake the video. Especially when he saw the video of him walking down the hallway to the room. It was he, no doubt about it.

“There’s more,” Ethel said, wiggling her finger at the screen.

Then the video switched to a later time and another man entering the basement. He saw the man walk into the scrying room, take the mirror from the wall and open its back before replacing it on the wall. He did not recognize the man until he saw his face as he walked out of the room empty handed. It was Dr. Suharto.

“That’s all there is,” Ethel said. “What do you think? Do you believe me now when I talk about spirits? And what about the person who went into the room last night. Do you recognize him?”

Det. Becker ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t know what to say. I am shocked. But I’m curious; who do you think the man was?”

“It was Doctor Suharto, no doubt about it,” Ethel said, closing the screen. “I don’t think he murdered Mr. Zimmerman, but I do think he had gone down in the basement to see if that . . . karambit . . . was still where he had hidden it decades ago. The weapon that killed an orderly.”

The man looked like Dr. Suharto and he obviously had some reason for going into the basement and looking for something. Whatever he was looking for was gone because he walked out with nothing in his hands. It was becoming apparent that this was the same Dr. Suharto that same doctor written about in the letter from Dr. Hancock to a nurse named Deborah Franklin. “Do you mind if I keep this camera?”

Ethel handed the camera to him. “Sure, you can have it. It belongs to Maggie, I just borrowed it.”

“I am curious, though,” Det. Becker said, taking it from her. “Why would Doctor Suharto suddenly decide that he should check for the karambit, and how did he enter the building?”

Ethel smiled sheepishly. “Well, I may have suggested to him that the building was going to be torn down and I may have . . . left the front door unlocked.”

Det. Becker did not say anything. He knew Ethel had baited the doctor and the doctor took the bait. He smiled. “Is there anything else?”

 “I’m staying with Claudia. I gave the phone number and address to the police officer at the window,” Ethel said, turning to smile at the clean-cut young man.

“Thank you,” Det. Becker said.

“Oh, one more thing,” Ethel said. “Maggie goes to court tomorrow and I was wondering if you have gotten any closer to finding out who the murderer is?” Ethel asked.

“We’re still working on it,” Det. Becker said.

Ethel gave a reluctant nod and turned toward the door. He watched her as she moved hunched over and then limp out of the building. Whoever matched the other fresh DNA sample was likely the murderer. But who did it belong to?

“Johnny,” said the police officer at the lobby window. “This just came in for you. It’s addressed as urgent.”

Det. Becker walked to the window. The officer handed him the letter that Nora Bella had overnighted to him. He took it back to his office and opened it. Maggie was appearing less guilty, but there was no concrete evidence to clear her.

Chapter 17

Chapter 19

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