Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Crime to Remember (3)

Chapter 3- The Organ Donor

Marco walked into the hotel room. Outside, through the open window, he saw the view into the Tejo River. Despite the breeze, the stink of blood was all he could smell. Local police and forensics surrounded the area, while outside the media waited like vultures.
The forensics team had the corpse in a bag, ready to go, and were zipping it up. He asked to examine the body before they took it away. The woman must have been in her thirties, dark brown hair with red highlights, tanned skin, Italian nose, and dimpled cheeks. In the middle of her forehead she had a whole the size of an acorn with a stream of blood running down the side onto her hair. A guy whom they called by the name of Grissom unzipped the rest of the bag, and showed Marco the remaining wounds. Certain areas of the girl’s body had been cut up with a knife. The forensic expert gave his opinion: “The cuts look like they were done surgically. Whoever did this knew what they were doing. The knife used was found near the body. We’re having the body checked for any missing organs.” They zipped the bag up again and walked out of the room.
Marco followed them out of the room into the corridor where he saw two men talking in a corner near the lift. One of them was wearing a brown business suit, while the other wore jeans and a black shirt. The one in the brown suit had black hair and green eyes, with and aquiline nose. He was taller than the other, who had a strong jawline, a large forehead and an overall disconsolate look across his face. He had his hands in his jeans’ pockets. Marco made his way towards the men. The one in the brown suit spoke first. “Marcus, good of you to join us. This is Mr Ole, he is the victim’s husband.” The widower gave Marco a nod of acknowledgement. “Mr Ole, I am Marco Mascarenhas. I’m here to investigate the murder of your wife along with Mr Castro. Could I ask you a few questions?”
Ole raised his head for the first time and threw Marco a suspecting look. “Don’t worry, Marcus. I’ve already asked Mr Ole all we need to.”
“Yes, but I would like to ask interrogate him myself.”
“Interrogate me, am I a suspect?” He turned to Marco.
“No, sir, not at all. This is just standard procedure. Would you mind?”
“I suppose not.”
“Marcus, really.”
“It’s Marco! Very well, Mr Ole, would you please join me downstairs?” Marco pressed the button to call for the lift.
“Wait. They have taken my wife’s body. When can I have it back? I need to give her a proper burial.”
“Soon, Mr Ole, as soon as they can. Shall we go down to the hotel restaurant? Should be more comfortable. Castro, why don’t you go get a doughnut or something?”
Marco entered the lift and saw Castro’s reflection throw him a furious look in the mirror around the walls. Mr Ole followed him. He pressed the ground floor button and the doors closed.

The two men sat at a table close to the buffet. A waiter came by with a pot of coffee, which they both accepted.
“So Mr Ole, tell me what happened.”
“My wife and I ar- were having problems lately, so we decided to take a few days off work and come to Portugal. We’re from London, and we both hav- had, had jobs that kept us rather busy, so we needed to take a break, be with each other. She had to come to Lisbon for work so I decided to follow her once she was done working and make a holiday of it.” As Ole took a moment to stop himself from tearing up, Marco noticed that the whole time his right hand had not left his pocket. Now he seemed to be nervously moving his hand.
“Mr Ole, I hope you don’t think me indiscreet but is there something in your pocket?”
“No.”
“Mr Ole, may I remind you that I am an investigator and while I appreciate that every family needs their privacy, there has been a murder. Every bit of information is crucial to-“
“No, well, yes, but it’s not of great importance now. I asked a friend of mine, a detective, if he would…if he would follow my wife around.”
“Did you suspect something?”
“I didn’t know for sure. She was just behaving differently, more distant than usual. I know a guy from around here so I called him up and asked him to follow her around whilst she was here. Once I got here I met up with him and he said he had nothing.”
“I see. But you weren’t so sure?”
“I don’t know. Her behaviour hadn’t changed from when we were in London, she was still agitated, and so I asked him to continue his investigation. To be honest I haven’t picked up the courage to open the envelope.” He removed it from his pocket and passed it to Marco who held a napkin and then accepted it. “Mr Ole, are you certain that you wouldn’t like to open it yourself first?”
“No. I couldn’t. I can’t. It’s too much, after all this. Please, open it. If it’s useful evidence take it, otherwise throw it out. Now that my wife has passed there’s no point in my ruining her image.”
Marco used a bread knife that was on the table to tear open the envelope. Using the napkin as protection, so as not to leave fingerprints, he clasped a handful of pictures.
In these pictures was a couple holding hands in front of a Zara in the Pombaline Lower Town. In one of the pictures the woman was standing sideways, holding on to the man’s arm and leaning towards his face, and by her figure he could tell it was Mrs Ole. The man was difficult to identify in any of the photos. He was always photographed from his back. He looked up at the widower’s face. If he seemed depressed before, at this point his expression was verging on suicidal with a slight twitch of anger.
“Mr Ole, I’m gonna have to take these in to have a closer look at them. Would you like to take a look at them before I put them away? See for yourself?” The man shook his head with an air of disgust. “At this point it is possible that the man in these pictures will become a suspect.”
“Good.” His face switched between anger, disgust and disappointment, but all the while he looked crestfallen.
“Is there anything else I should know before I go Mr Ole?”
“When I found her she wasn’t in our room.”
“Is there anyone she knew in the hotel? Anyone she got to know while you were here?”
“Not that I know of. Not anymore anyway.”
“Do you know whose room it was?”
The man stared at Marco with a look of anger and disbelief. “No. Why don’t you ask reception? Now, if you don’t mind, I need to start making arrangements for my wife’s funeral.” Ole shook Marco’s hand and left. “Of course, Mr Ole.”

Marco approached the reception and, seeing that there was no one about, rang the bell. A young man stood in front of him. “Hello, sir. I’m Christopher Johnson, how may I help you?”
“Detective Mascarenhas. Who was in room Eighty Eight?”
Christopher began typing something into his computer and when he stopped, read: “That would be a Mrs Loureiro.” The name shot like an arrow. “Mrs Loureiro?”
“Indeed, sir. A Mrs Clara Loureiro, but she checked out this morning. I could give you a number?”

To be continued...