The police chief was on a rant. The weather was awful and his mood was worse. As the cold rain slashed at the windows of the police station, I sat and listened as the chief, pacing behind his desk, vented. Every so often he would stop to pound on the desk to emphasize a point. He was a burly guy, crew cut hair, red face, gruff.
“Damn it! We don’t need any help from anybody! We don’t need local big shots butting in! And we certainly don’t need big city private investigators sticking their nose into our business!”
That last sentence was delivering with a disdainful sneer and directed at me. I was the big city investigator.
My name is Cory Reid. After earning an M.S. in criminal justice and 7 years with the Boston PD, I came into some money. So I quit the cops and opened an agency dealing with high end security. With a lot of luck and hard work, it took off and I was doing real well with some high profile successes on my resume.
Benjamin Ryan had hired me. I had done some industrial security work for his companies and we had developed a good rapport. He was also the father of a 22-year old woman who had been kidnapped several months ago and abandoned, bound and gagged, in a remote area of the chief’s town.
Ben wasn’t satisfied with the progress the police were making and since he was local, rich and influential he got the town fathers to agree to let me work the case. The town fathers then leaned on the chief. I figured that the chief was pissed at himself for yielding to the pressure and that he was going to take it out on me. He would cooperate enough to keep my client off his bosses’ backs and them off his, but he wasn’t going to be any real help.
He leaned forward over his desk and stuck his face close to mine. I could smell cigar and the onions he apparently had eaten at lunch, an unpleasant combination.
“So here we are! What are you going to do for me? Start talking!” He slumped back into his chair and stared at me, not bothering to disguise his distaste for the situation.
He was being a miserable son-of-a -bitch so I didn’t sugar coat it.
“Well, after what, three months? You’re nowhere with this.”
He sat up and leaned forward, a dangerous gleam in his eyes.
“We have three eye witnesses who just happen to be the victims. We have bags full of evidence from the scenes. We have more than we normally put together for this type of case. And we’re nowhere? Is that your professional opinion?” He put a sneering emphasis on ‘professional’.
Fuck him! He didn’t retain me and he couldn’t fire me, so I went over the facts.
“Sure! All of the vics have a description of the perp except they don’t agree on the description, do they? They aren’t even sure if it was a man or a woman! The perp dressed differently each time and hid their appearance with hats, glasses, whatever. There were no fingerprints, little in the way of useful fibers or other trace and he/she never spoke, so you don’t even have a hint about accent. Right? The rope was a dead end, common cotton line. Nothing on the vet wrap used to gag two of them or on the micro foam tape for the third vic. All that stuff is readily available just about anywhere, correct? ”
“You have foot prints. They are for common mid-range Nikes , size 9 men’s, but that could be a 11 women’s. No one at the reserve remembers the same vehicle being in the lot each time and why would they? It’s a very popular place; lots of vehicles in and out, in season or out. You questioned all the employees and got nothing that piqued your interest; ditto for the neighbors. No one heard anything on the beach; there are really no houses nearby anyway. The 911 calls were apparently made from a throwaway phone.”
Since I was on a roll, I added “And because the officers who responded to the first two immediately untied the vics and had them transported to the hospital, the scenes for those two were totally compromised.”
That last statement got his attention!
“What would you have had us do, Reid? When we found the first one, we didn’t know if she was injured or not and needed medical attention. Same for the second one. And what we did on the third caused all kinds of problems!”
The responding officers had done the right thing, particularly on the first and second incidents when they had no inkling this was a serial thing, but I wasn’t going to tell him that. On the most recent one, they had also gotten it right and left the third vic tied while they photographed and video-ed her and the scene. That, although the absolute right thing, had apparently caused a stink and threats of law suits from the victim’s family!
“What you did on the most recent one was the right thing to do, Chief”.
“Well, thank you so much!” He glowered some more. “All right, Reid, I get it! We don’t have much! And not because we didn’t try! It’s a difficult case. We don’t know if this asshole will do it again and we don’t know whether he… or she will escalate!”
That was my fear too. None of the vics had been sexually assaulted. One and two had been tied fully clothed; the third vic was stripped before being bound, but she had been swimming and was wearing a bikini. But the threat of sexual assault, or more, on future victims was the elephant in the room!
The chief rubbed his face.
“So I’m saddled with you!” He said it as a fact. He had been ordered to cooperate with me. He wasn’t happy about and would give a half-assed effort, but I didn’t give a shit. If I got results, he’d be a hero and life would be good again. And I was going to get results!
I tossed him a bone.
“I know you’ve done your best with this given the situation.” I paused. “And I know you don’t want me sticking my nose into this. But I know I can help you and I hope you’ll give me a chance. But if you don’t? I’m still going to do what I’ve got to do!”
He sighed. “So, any ideas?”
o 0 o
The kidnapper was just finishing updating her blog. She was sitting in her beach front home, gazing out at the roiling surf. She was late in updating the blog, but she knew that her followers wouldn’t mind. She was always irregular in updating, but whenever she did, an outpouring of interest welled up from the pervs who paid dearly to be her followers. She re-read what she had written:
I discovered Kate while out trolling my latest favorite place. It is a beach along the New England coast that will remain unnamed although some of you will figure it out. I was drawn to this particular beach, because there were few houses nearby and it was lightly used for bathing. It was accessible only via one town road with no parking, hiking trails from a state-run estuarine research center and from the sea. Although access is limited, it is still a popular walking and birding site and there is no shortage of available targets. I had explored earlier and found the best spots for take downs and was lurking near one when she came along. Kate was alone, of course, and out for a walk on a bright fall day. We were the only ones visible on the beach; my good luck and her bad! She stopped me to ask me to take a picture of her, which I did. She stopped smiling when I pulled my weapon and hustled her off the beach and into the tree line. You all would have loved her pleas and entreaties, but I wasn’t able to record them, maybe next time I will get that set up ahead of time. We made it into the tree line and to the spot, not visible from any other vantage point, where I had set up my stuff. Well, from there it was all fun and games for me. I got her gagged and then tied her in some very challenging positions. She turned out to be very flexible and a hell of a struggler, energetic and vocal! I left her dressed for the most part, just removing her sweater coat and boots. I have approximately 200 pictures and 10 videos of various lengths. You guys know the drill! If you’re interested in this little adventure, contact me and I’ll send you the preview and we’ll go from there. Until the next time… ciao!
She sat back and thought a moment, nodded, and then posted it. She knew that within minutes her inbox would be flooded with requests for the preview. She put her tablet aside and picked up her wine glass. Swirling the ruby liquid in the glass, she looked out at the deserted rain-swept beach. Life was good! She had more money than she could ever spend and money made money so it was pouring in. But what really made her feel alive was her ‘hobby’!
Kidnapping and tying up women, attractive women, was her joy! Like oxygen and water, she needed to hunt and capture to live and the tingle in her gut that always signaled the beginning of another hunt was on her. Sure, she was hard on her targets, but she knew she did no permanent physical harm. The only thing that sometimes bothered her was that maybe someone had been damaged psychologically, but she didn’t spend much time worrying on it. She was strong mentally and assumed everyone else had the same strength.
As she watched the surf, she thought about what had become in her mind, her beach. She had taken three women off there and had thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Each time she returned though she knew the risk increased. Surely the police were now involved. Although she had been careful to disguise her appearance and leave no useable evidence, there was no guarantee that she wouldn’t screw up the next time.
Her means and methods had changed to a more careful, stealthier approach rather than the yank ‘em off the street way of doing it she had used in the past. She thought about moving on to other hunting grounds; there were worthy targets everywhere, but she loved this area and wanted to stay. Getting nailed as a kidnapper would not be a good way to introduce herself to the community! She would embrace the challenge of doing it here, but do it in a much more careful way.
Writing about Kate had fired her imagination. She knew it was time to take someone else. And this time she wanted more. She had stayed away from the sexual with the first three.
This time would be different!
o 0 oThe chief was watching me; I couldn’t read his expression, but something told me he wouldn’t really be interested in any plan I had!
“Yeah, I’ve got a plan!”
He cocked his head and arranged his face into a ‘I’m not really interested’ expression.
“I’m going to the next victim!”
That caught his attention. He jerked upright and scowled.
“You’re going to let this psycho catch you? That’s crazy, lady! And it ain’t happening in my town! No… fucking… way!” He sat back and crossed his arms, his face redder than ever.
It was the reaction I was expecting because my plan did seem crazy. Letting the perp catch me would be risky I knew, but I was convinced I had enough fail safe measures to make it work. All I needed was the police to back me up.
Despite his obstinate objection, I went ahead and laid out the plan. I told him of the place I had to stay on the beach and my tentative schedule to be on the beach for the next month on week days when traffic was the least, i.e. early morning and during inclement weather. What little correlation we had from the three attacks indicated that they had occurred early and/or when the weather was sucky. I told him of the enhanced gps in my cell phone provided by my client who had made his money in hi-tech and knew the latest and greatest technology. The phone would be able to locate me anywhere with or without the main battery connected and it would send a signal like a locator. And if the phone didn’t work or it was taken from me and discarded, I would have a locator disguised as a pendant that would send a signal that alerted the cavalry. At the first sign I was in trouble, I’d push the button. The alert pendant was also gps-ed, but since I expected everything to take place at the beach, my location wasn’t really going to be in doubt.
“So, Chief, all I’ll need from you is for your department to respond when they get the signal… and to arrest the psycho!”
“That’s all you need, huh? Like I said, no fucking way!”
“With all due respect, Chief? It’s not your call… and you know it!” He bristled at that! I continued. “I really don’t think this person is dangerous. I did some on-line research. There have been dozens of similar incidents reported all around the country. They were all done by a woman, the same woman if witness accounts can be trusted. There is not one death or even serious injury. I talked to some of the detectives that caught the cases to get more background. I think it’s the same person that we’re dealing with here and that she gets off on the tying up. That’s her thing, not sex or violence.” Of course, I didn’t tell him that in more than a few of the cases I had found and discussed the victims had been sexually assaulted during the attack.
I told him I had obtained a computer generated sketch developed from one of the incidents and had shown it to my client’s daughter. By adding the details that she recalled about the perp to the sketch we were able to confirm within the limits of the technology that it was the same person. His face reddened and he gritted his teeth when I told him about the sketch. Apparently his investigators hadn’t followed up on other cases and now he was embarrassed. I wouldn’t want to be the cop that fucked that up!
“Look, you can just say that you tried to stop me if it goes wrong; I’ll back you up… in writing now if you want. My client wants this to go ahead.”
Mention of the client caused him to frown. He knew he was caught between hard choices. Refuse to help and he’d have my client on his back; if he did help and it went off the tracks he’d look bad. But he looked bad right now since the case was still open and his investigators had done a less-than-stellar job. A clutch of similar assaults had happened in a city in a neighboring state not more than an hour away and in other states and they didn’t check! They could have come up with that sketch themselves and at least known they were looking for a female.
I pushed him a little.
“If that little detail about the sketch came out, you’d have some explaining to do!”
“Is that a threat?”
“No! I wouldn’t ever leak that… but… my client? I can’t speak for him!”
He was angry at being played, but really had only one logical choice. “What do you want us to do?”
Reaching into my bag, I pulled out the receiver for the pendant alert.
“This will pick up the signal from my transmitters. All you need to do is keep it charged and on. By connecting it to a pc, you’ll be able to get my location. Oh! And when it goes off? Send the troops!”
He reluctantly took the device out of my hand and put it on his desk.
“OK, I’ll do it. But if I see your face on TV talking about this case, I’ll arrest you for obstruction and to hell with your client!”
I managed to keep a straight face and not gloat. I had no intention of being on TV. All I wanted was to catch this weirdo and break the case!
o 0 o
The kidnapper was back out on the beach at six-ish on Monday morning, eager to find a new target. She settled down with camera and binoculars in a comfortable spot that afforded a clear view of the beach in both directions, but which hid her from view. Not much was happening until one woman coming up the beach caught her interest. She was thirtyish, in jeans, pirate t-shirt, windbreaker and Converse All-Stars, black hair in a ponytail and her eyes hidden by big sunglasses. Attractive and athletic, she was definitely a possibility. Something about her wasn’t right though. She seemed tense and was scanning the tree line rather that looking at the surf as 99% of the people on the beach did. The kidnapper took several shots of the woman with her digital camera for future reference.
The rest of the morning was uneventful. There was very little traffic she was interested in and she left after an hour and a half. She had decided to return that evening and do some more reconnoitering.
That evening, again around six, she returned and settled in to watch the after-supper visitors. She wasn’t there but a few minutes when the woman she saw in the morning came past again this time from the north as if she was returning from a walk. The woman was still interested more in the woods than the ocean. The kidnapper was getting suspicious vibes and she was almost certain that this woman was up to something.
The next morning, early, dressed like a middle-aged bird watcher with a nerdy wig, the kidnapper walked along the beach with binoculars and camera. She was proficient at hiding right out in the open and knew this particular disguise would work fine. The beach was, as usual, empty. It was cool, but sunny and the surf was running at about two feet at high tide sending up a briny mist. A figure approached from the south end. The kidnapper busied herself looking in towards the tree line with her binoculars and then swung them around down-beach and focused on the approaching person.
It was the same woman as yesterday, this time in sweater and leggings, her hair hidden under a Red Sox cap. As the woman passed by, they nodded at each other and the woman continued on past, but not before casting a backward glance. The kidnapper was certain that this woman was not just another tourist. But what was she doing? Was she a cop patrolling on the off chance she would stumble into something? If so, did the police have an idea about who they were looking for? Was she assigned as security for the beach? The kidnapper was now on alert, concerned, but confident she could handle it.
She was still out on the beach when the woman passed by on her return and they smiled at each other again. This time the woman let her gaze linger on the kidnapper for a second too long. The kidnapper knew then with certainty that she was definitely out on the beach looking for someone or thing!
She hadn’t been doing this for as long as she had by being insensitive to what was going around her and by being careless and sloppy. The woman was quite attractive up close. The idea came to her that the woman would be an ideal target! The possibility of taking her sparked a rush. She loved the idea of pursuing her pursuer, but she would have to be careful. The kidnapper didn’t know whether the woman had backup or anything at all about what she was up to. She would have to find out!
Subsequent surveillance for several days confirmed that, without a doubt, the woman was on a mission. She appeared at about the same times each day, not suspicious in and of itself, but another indication as to the possibility of her having a plan for surveillance. She was on the beach regularly and the kidnapper had seen her on the reserve trails. The woman casually, but carefully inspected every female she encountered as if she knew what she was looking for.
The woman was doing a good job of appearing as just another summer visitor. After several days she had relaxed and was quite smooth in her surveillance technique. It was only the kidnapper’s well-defined sense of survival that helped her make the woman as a plant. The kidnapper took photos of the woman each day and was developing quite a collection of candid shots, which could be enjoyed by her customers should this woman become the target. The kidnapper avoided another direct meeting with her and watched her from her vantage points. It got to the point where she was ignoring anything else happening on the beach and just focusing in on this particular woman.
The kidnapper began to develop a plan to grab this woman.
Game on, bitch! she whispered into the freshening breeze!
o 0 o
My staked goat act was starting on Monday so I spent the weekend settling in to the cottage my client had provided for me. It was in a perfect location on the road that dead-ended at the reserve. I could just walk to work! I also visited the reserve and beach, using the police information to check out the sites where each woman had been bound. It was clear that the kidnapper had spent a great deal of time finding sites that were easily accessible, but were isolated and insulated so that they afforded almost complete privacy.
I had viewed and reviewed the photos and video of the third victim. The kidnapper was a magician with rope and had left that poor woman bound in what appeared to be an impossible position. I had also talked to my client’s daughter about her experience and she had described in great detail how she had been bound and, almost as if she were a fan, how ‘good’ the kidnapper had been at tying her. My respect for the kidnapper’s ability increased the more I learned and as I visited each location. In truth, I was experiencing some misgivings about my plan. Its success relied on the police responding to my call in a timely manner. If they didn’t come fast enough, if the alarm didn’t work, if the gps malfunctioned; a lot of ifs!
I had convinced my client and the police chief that my electronic helpers were adequate and redundant and would keep me safe, but… what if they failed? How would I fare if this woman was able to capture me and elude the police?
Misgivings aside, it was too late for doubts and counter-productive to worry about it; I was committed.
On Monday morning, early, I headed out for the beach. It was a short walk to the end of the road and then over a wooden bridge onto the start of the beach. There were no more houses after the bridge although the beach stretched for several miles up the coast. I started my walk, my heart thudding and adrenaline pumping. I went the full length of the beach and back. Maybe it was just my first day jitters, but I couldn’t shake the feeling I was being watched. As I walked along, trying to appear casual, I inspected the tree line closely, but saw nothing.
I walked, ran and biked on the beach all week. If nothing else I would get my exercise in at a very lovely spot. There was always a nagging feeling that someone was watching, but I saw no one. I chalked it up to nerves and continued doing what I hoped was an adequate job of putting myself out for the taking while checking out every woman I encountered and even some androgynous males.
By the end of the week, I was aware of the possibility of a long, uneventful time here and the potential for failure. There was a very good chance the woman wasn’t even here. I had discussed just this possibility with my client and he was cool with proceeding even if I had no success. I had some business to take care of on other cases, so I was planning to head back to the city on the weekend. And there was one loose end on this case to take care of at home, so Saturday morning early, I packed an overnight bag and headed for the interstate.
The loose end involved meeting with one of the kidnapper’s victims! I had come upon her name in a newspaper article. It was unusual that victims were named in these kinds of cases, but Catharine Black apparently wanted her story out there. I looked her up and called her business phone Friday night and left a message apologizing for the short notice and explaining what I wanted. She got right back to me and was very gracious about it, agreeing to meet me at nine the next morning. I just had time to get there and then I could put this case aside for the rest of the weekend. I knew it would feel good to be free of it for a while; Monday would come soon enough and it would be back to the grind.
I met Catharine in suburban coffee shop. She was a family therapist who had actually treated the kidnapper and then been kidnapped by her. She was attractive, about my age and very open about her experiences and willing to share any information she had on the kidnapper. Catharine told me up front that as far as she was concerned, there were no confidentiality issues about her sessions with the kidnapper and she would help me any way she could. I got some valuable insight into the kidnapper’s psyche that I hoped would be useful.
I also got a name!
The kidnapper had told Catharine that her ‘real’ name was Addison Carter. Catharine cautioned me that it could be fake although the kidnapper had sworn it was real. I would run an internet search and maybe find out more about Addison Carter or maybe as Catharine suggested the name was bogus. I showed her the composite sketch and she suggested some changes and pronounced it a good likeness while cautioning me that the woman was a chameleon and might look totally different by now.
Catharine had seen her at her most vulnerable and in kidnapper mode. She told me that Addison was not a threat to do violence or permanent harm. I probed a bit and got some details about Catharine’s time under Addison’s control. There was quite a bit of rough stuff and non-consensual sex, but Catharine emphasized that she never ever felt in danger for her life. Catharine’s firsthand experience and my discussions with my client’s daughter, were helping to allay any lingering fears about putting myself in Addison’s sights. In the worst case scenario, the experience might be rough, but not fatal!
I thanked her profusely and promised that I would tell her everything once the thing was over. Back in the car, I continued on into the city. I did my business, went out with friends and drank a little too much. I had a softball game on the Common at 11:00; we kicked ass! I passed on the after-game beers and walked back to my apartment.
By mid-afternoon Sunday, still in my softball uni, I was on my way back to the beach.
o 0 o
It was easy finding out where she was staying. She always walked in from the dead-end road so it was likely she had lodging on that street, since there was no parking. On the main drag at its intersection with the dead-ended beach road, there was an always-busy convenience store. I parked there and watched the road at times I thought she might leave her house. After several tries, I caught her coming out of the road in her Mini Cooper roadster.
It was then a simple matter of seeing at which house on the road it was parked. I found that she was staying in an old renovated carriage house that had been a part of a larger estate. The big house was gone, replaced by condos, but the carriage house lived on. It was located at the back of the large lot and away from the condos. It was in a perfect location to allow me to break in and check it out, which I intended to do at the first opportunity. I also found that she was not a local or state cop by tracing back her registration. She was from out-of-state and was a private investigator named Cory Reid. It was good to know that I wouldn’t be kidnapping an actual police officer!
I amassed a bunch of info on her from the ‘net. She would be a worthy target based on what I read. I was soon devoting almost all of my free time to pursing Cory Reid. The opportunity to check out her house arose on Thursday night after her beach visit. After she had passed by me on the beach, I had rushed to my car and took up my position in the store parking lot. An hour or so later, I caught her leaving and followed her to a mall. She parked near the movie house, went in and, as I watched through the plate glass front windows, she bought a ticket, some popcorn and headed into the theater. I figured I had about an hour in the house. That should be adequate to find what I needed.
I shot back to her house, parked in the condo parking area and sauntered back to the carriage house. I picked the back door lock and was in quickly. It was arranged as just one large room with a separate bath and a sleeping loft with a half wall that partially screened a kitchen/dining area. It was a cozy place, nicely furnished and comfortable, with exposed beams and patina-ed wood walls. She had all her personal stuff still in her suitcase, but had thoughtfully left all her paperwork out in neat piles on the island in the kitchen.
I knew all I needed to know about what she was up to in minutes. I was happy to know that my instincts were correct. She was after me! I found a contract for her services signed by the father of one of my former toys. Jeez! She was getting pretty good money to hang out at the beach! Well, I would make her earn it!
I read through her daily reports. There was a sketch of me that I thought didn’t do me justice, but was good enough to identify me. I scanned through the files and found that she had several devices to alert police; good information to have. The one I found to be most interesting was a pushbutton alert, disguised as a pendant, that was directly linked to the police department. I searched quickly through the whole house and found the pendant on the sink in the bathroom.
Big mistake, Cory I thought; she would be vulnerable when she returned with no way to contact her rescuers. Buoyed by this discovery, I continued my search. She had a hand gun, hidden in the bottom of her suitcase, unloaded, but with clips and spare ammo in a pocket of the same bag. I took the ammo and clips, just in case. By the time my hour was up, I had everything I needed to take her down, including a spare key to the house. I retraced my steps out of the house, locked the back door and got out of there. Driving away from the house I was pumped, humming with energy and eager to get on with it.
I had decided to stay off the beach on the weekends; too much traffic! I was taking care of some business on Saturday afternoon when I got an unexpected text message from a friend. It said Call me! Urgent!
I called immediately on one of my throw away phones. I hadn’t talked with Catharine Black for several weeks, but she avoided any small talk and got right to it. She told me that a Cory Reid, a private detective, had contacted her and they had met to discuss me! Catharine wanted me to know that the woman was on my trail! Catharine forwarded a pic of Reid she had managed to sneak when they met. It was my gal for sure! Catharine said she had fed her a lot of bullshit about me.
I told Catharine what I had been up to here. I told her that I had been fairly certain that the Reid woman was looking for me and that I was able to confirm it a few days ago.
Catharine told me that Reid was still in Boston and would be headed back tomorrow.
I thanked Catharine for the heads up and hung up.
I sat and watched the ocean for a few minutes and thought about how to proceed. The simplest thing would be to be waiting for Ms. Reid when she got home and we’d go from there. My mind drifted back to Catharine. We had a strange relationship; she had been my therapist, then my target and despite a rocky start we had become close. She had become very much involved in the bondage scene after I ‘introduced’ her to it. She loved to be tied up and lately was experimenting with the domme role. I had never had a partner involved in my kidnap games before.
As a reward for the heads-up, I thought Catharine might be interested in helping with taking Ms. Reid. It would make it more risky to bring her in, but I trusted Catharine implicitly. And, if caught, she had as much to lose as I did!
I called her back and asked if she wanted to take part. She didn’t hesitate; she wanted in, her only caveat being that she would have to be masked and silent as Reid knew her face and voice. That was no problem to me. Catharine agreed to meet me up here the next morning. We’d prep and pack the toys and head over to Reid’s house to wait for her. It felt good to be back on the hunt and involving Catharine promised to add some spice to what should be a rewarding experience, at least for us!
to be continued...
story continues in The Beach Part 2