Stepping back to avoid soiling her red heels, she surveyed the mess at her feet. You could not classify what she saw as a body it had been too mutilated to be recognizable as a whole human form. There were bits that she could identify as human, but as for the rest of it, they would have to wait for the forensic team to make a determination.
Holding her notebook across her mouth, she bent forward shifting the pile with a long probe. Something glinted in the light, she hooked it and lifted it from the sticky mess. It was a bracelet perhaps gold, certainly heavy. Maybe we will get a break on this one, she thought as she handed the item over,
‘Jack, bag this and get it cleaned – see if we can identify where it has come from, it looks expensive. Straight away please.’
Jack London’s black evidence gloves were in stark contrast to the red staining on the gold piece,
‘Yes Ma’am, do you want a lift back to the station?’
She had been on the scene when he arrived and he couldn’t see her car anywhere nearby.
‘No thanks, I think I’ll take a walk and see if anyone saw or heard anything, although I am not expecting miracles, and Jack see if there are any CCTV or private security camera’s in the area.’
Emily Marple waited while the forensic team started their recovery work. She watched the crowd that had gathered at the gruesome scene, they were like scavengers at a carcass. Could the person responsible for this watching, waiting to see what would happen? She strolled over to the group, nodding to the crowd control officers as she passed under the crime scene tape.
Emily approached the big, red-headed man who was talking to anyone who would listen, he seemed full of his ideas of what had happened. Taking out her warrant card she addressed him directly,
‘Excuse me sir, Detective Inspector Emily Marple, would you like to share your information?’
Stopping mid-sentence he looked her up and down taking, noting the tailored suit and shoes, the hair, the makeup, the whole package,
‘Of course you are me Darling, and I’m Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard.’
He laughed loudly at his own joke, looking around the crowd for approval, there were some embarrassed laughs. For the millionth plus time Emily cursed silently, she’d heard all the Christie jokes before. Smiling sweetly, but with eyes as cold as steel, she said softly,
‘Well now, that’s a new one, would you like to continue this conversation back at the station Sir?’ and motioning to the young Constable, she took the man’s arm.
‘Eh now, there’s no need for that, I wus just having a bit of fun like. What do you wan to know?’
Letting go his arm, she spoke to the crowd, in general,
‘Who called the police?’
‘I did, I called 999. I was on my way home from work. I saw the mess. I thought the dogs had been at the butchers’ bin and then I realised it was a person.’ The lad wore stained jeans, ‘I lost me dinner over there.’ pointing to the crime site, he looked pale and shaky.
Emily spoke sympathetically, she understood how he felt ‘the Constable will take you to the station to get a statement and take your DNA so we can eliminate you from our inquiries. Is that OK?’
‘Does anyone else have anything to add? No. Alright then, none of you is to leave until the officers have your names and addresses and we will contact you later for statements. Is that understood?’ Nodding they stood watching her.
Emily handed the young man over to the Constable, ‘take this young man to the station and get photos of the group,’ she added.
Making her way back to the forensic team, she could see Jasvinder Singh’s red turban bobbing in the midst of the forensic group. She was glad he was heading up the Crime Scene team, he had a unique way of interpreting the scene, and they had worked a number of cases together she was comfortable working with him.
‘Hi Emily, I heard you had caught this one, it’s messy I’m not going to have much for you, for a day or so.’
‘Jaz, the first 48 hours are critical. Do what you can, and keep me in the loop.’
‘You know it’s been a long time since these alleys have seen a murder like this, now it is all gentrified.’
Emily laughed, everyone knew Jaz’s passion for the history of these old streets and alleys around White Chapel and Limehouse.
‘Why Jaz, do you think we have another Ripper around?’ Never did she imagine she would come to regret those words in the days to come.
TO BE CONTINUED