A Detective Mars Mystery
-It was a cold December night when Xavier Mars discovered the body of a young college girl. He had a lit cigar in his mouth as he investigated the crime scene. It looked like a random act of violence, but he would soon find out that this was part of a series. Nearby was the young woman’s vehicle, a red Ford Taurus with the driver door open. It appeared as though this unfortunate woman was dragged from her vehicle. The blood that was at the scene proved that she was indeed dragged.
Detective Mars was investigating the scene with his partner Rodney Miller. A string of smoke from Xavier’s cigar filled the air. He looked inside the car and discovered the identity of the young woman. She was 20 year old Susan Johnston, a beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed aspiring model. Her life was cut short before she could fulfill her dream however.
Detective Mars was wearing a blue suit and a long black trench coat to guard him from the cold night air. His blue eyes bloodshot from the endless hours of police work, with five o’clock stubble on his face, his brown hair growing long because he didn’t have the time to cut it. Rodney Miller then handed Xavier a hot cup of coffee, indicating they had a long night ahead of them.
The morgue collected the unfortunate victim’s body. Forensics would later confirm that the woman was dragged from her car, raped, and then stabbed 28 times. The team collected seminal fluid from the attacker as possible DNA evidence. Xavier Mars was at his desk, smoking his cigar and drinking his coffee while he filled out paperwork on the Johnston case.
Xavier Mars had to call the family of Susan to inform them of the terrible news. This was the part of the job Xavier most hated. It was never easy telling parents that their young daughter was murdered. The parents had to identify the body, arriving at the morgue to confirm that it was indeed their little girl.
Mrs. Johnston fell into the arms of her middle aged husband and broke down into tears as the morgue covered the face of Susan. Xavier had to remain professional, which was not easy. He always thought about his little girls Gracie and Rachel every time he saw the dead body of a young girl. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston were questioned for hours about their daughter. Xavier wanted to know if she had any possible enemies.
Mr. Johnston said that she didn’t. Everyone whoever knew Susan had good things to say about her. Was this a random act of violence, or was Susan Johnston targeted? It was still a mystery to Detective Mars.
Susan Johnston grew up in the suburbs of Helen City. She excelled in school and was a gymnast. Her biggest dream was to be a model and actress. In her junior year of high school, Susan even joined the drama club, where she excelled in acting, so much so, that agents were already flocking to her.
Mars couldn’t find anyone that hated or had a vendetta against Susan. It was confirmed that she was well-liked, and had a bubbly personality. Mars had a hunch, however, that she was being stalked for weeks prior to her death. Eye witnesses corroborated his hunch.
It seemed like everywhere Susan went a man in a black hoodie was 10 feet behind. Susan was paranoid about the man, and a week before her death, she confided in her friends that the strange man was following her. She was never able to make out his face however. She described him as wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans and white sneakers. He was of an average build and around 5’10 in height. He always watched her from afar with his hands placed in his pockets.
It seemed as if every time Susan turned around, she saw the man standing 10 feet behind her, never saying a word and never moving from his spot. Susan, unfortunately, was too afraid to report him to the police, which would be her fatal mistake.
On the night of the murder, Susan was in the parking lot where her car was found, eating a chicken sandwich in the driver’s seat. Her window was open, and that was when the man stabbed her in the chest, opened the car door, and dragged her from the seat where he proceeded to rape her, then stabbed her 27 more times till she was finally dead. It was only till the next night when the authorities found her dead on the side of the road. The man left his DNA at the scene. Witnesses said they saw a man in a black hoodie running out of the woods, but weren’t able to make out his face.
Forensic evidence wasn’t able to determine who was the culprit behind this horrific murder. Whoever it was wasn’t in the criminal database. This was a feeling Xavier knew all too well. They had a killer terrorizing the streets of Helen, who would most likely kill again. Xavier questioned everyone he could find as a possible suspect, but they all cleared out. The trail was running cold.
Xavier spent many late hours working on the case. He was still no closer to finding Susan Johnston’s killer. The bloodshot eyes, sleepless nights, and investigating at late hours was taking its toll on him. Xavier refused to give up. Then, only a few weeks later, another body was discovered.
16 year old Heather Jameson was found by the train tracks. She was stripped naked, raped, and strangled to death. It appeared that she was taking a short cut through the woods to go to school, but never made it. The way the girl was killed didn’t appear to be Susan’s killer. The strangulation didn’t fit his M.O. but later DNA analysis would prove that it was indeed the same killer. He must have wanted to try something new. The Helen City Police Department was now dealing with a serial killer.
Heather Jameson was another star pupil in Helen City. Her teachers said she was a joy to teach, and she had many friends. She was a brunette with blue eyes and wore braces. She was considered a nerd by some students and loved to read. Xavier knew he had to remain professional on the scene, but once he was back at his office, he punched a filing cabinet when no one was looking. Seeing a child’s life like Heather’s snuffed out so cruelly angered the senior detective.
Eye witnesses said they saw a man in a black hoodie, scouting out Heather weeks prior to her death. Heather didn’t seem to notice him, though her friends did. They made the mistake of not telling her. That mistake cost Heather Jameson her life. After telling Heather’s parents that they found her body, weeks later the grief-stricken mother committed suicide. The thought of losing her daughter was a cross she just couldn’t bear.
Next on the growing list of homicides was 17 year old Sara Jenson. There seemed to be a connection between all the murders. Each victim was a bright and beautiful student. Jensen was an honors student and was accepted into many Ivy League schools. Her aspirations were cut short, unfortunately. The body of the blonde haired, blue eyed beauty was found naked in a wooded area of Helen, raped and beat to death. The DNA found at the crime scene proved she was murdered by the same man as the previous cases.
Several witnesses confirmed they saw a black hooded man leaving the scene of the crime. Due to the rising number of casualties, Detective Mars started a task force, with the sole mission of finding the man in the black hood. It was now 6 months after the first murder, with the body count rising, when Xavier now brought in 3 suspects for questioning.
2 of the men were cleared of all connection to the crimes, but Xavier was able to get a warrant for the 3rd suspect’s DNA, and it matched that of the DNA found at the crime scenes. The man was formally charged with 3 counts of murder and arrested that very day.
The suspect was 20 year old Ricardo Fernandez. He stood 5’10 as was confirmed by the eye witnesses, had several black hoodies in his closet, and lived close to the location where the bodies of the young girls were found. He was a drop out and a gang member. Also, the knife used to murder Susan Johnston was found in Fernandez’s mobile home. It took everything within Detective Mars not to beat Fernandez to death.
Ricardo Fernandez stood trial and pleaded not guilty, even with all the damning evidence against him. Because of the severity of his crimes, Fernandez was sentenced to death. It would be 8 years till he was finally executed in the Helen City State Penitentiary by lethal injection. Xavier Mars received commendations from his hard work on the case. His sleepless hours of investigation paid off. He could now rest, but his career was far from over…