I was daydreaming about Olivia De Havilland as Maid Marian when I was called into Chief Richardson’s office. I eagerly stood at attention, waiting while he had his head bent over a folder and then ruffled through some papers on his desk. He hadn’t yet looked up at me which was unusual.
“Wichita Police Department is requesting your presence for a…consultation.” I didn’t respond. I didn’t understand what that meant. The chief finally looked up. “They’ve got a series of crimes similar to what you…worked on three years ago.”
“The men who were brutally murdered?”
“Says here,” he remarked holding up the folder, “several women have been stabbed. Among other things.” Again, I remained silent. While our case was extreme, certainly for our part of Kansas, I was certain a big city like Wichita would have had the resources to investigate such a case.
“Why me, sir?”
“Seems they heard about your investigation and want your feedback.” I nodded, as it was the only other thing I could think to do. “You can drive up today. Better pack a bag in case you have to stay a bit. Oh, and save your hotel and meal receipts and the department will reimburse you.” At least now I had something to do.
As I started to walk out, I turned back and shut the door again. “Chief, do they…know about me?”
“My, well, my face and, you know, my scars.”
He dropped the folder on his desk, flustered but trying to hide it with a moderate anger.
“Witherspoon, you’re a police officer. They’re police officers. They are currently investigating what appear to be horrific killings. They are not going to be concerned with your war wounds.”
I nodded and politely left his office knowing there were many people who would not consider these merely war wounds but something closer to a monster like Frankenstein. They were so keen on having me assist them; what would they think when they saw me?
My doubts did not go away.
and Ark City Confidential
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