Detective Harold Johnson examined the large African bat with a magnifying glass. Commonly known by the colourful name of ‘vampire bat’ because they bit into large animals and licked out their blood.
What had a vampire bat been doing dead in a Bond Street London apartment?
He ran over the details of the crime scene in his mind:
Andrew Johnson (no relation) had been found dead on his sofa with bite marks on his face and hands. The bat had been lying next to him, broken and dead.
But the wounds couldn’t have been enough to kill him.
A bloody slipper had been found under the bed, next to a box filled with braided hair, apparently from at least 7 different women but forensic analysis would have to confirm that.
The other two items out of place were the pieces of chewed gum which somebody had ground into the expensive carpet with their heel and the neatly coiled skipping rope someone had placed on the sofa.
Detective Johnson had a theory, but could he prove it?
Someone had murdered Andrew Johnson and planted evidence to lead police to the conclusion that he was the mass murderer currently sought by them, the murderer the press called the Hairdresser for his habit of taking trophies of women’s hair.
The vampire bat had been a nice touch, it was such a bizarre detail that Harold Johnson couldn’t help but wonder about the killer’s motives.
Because Harold Johnson was sure that Andrew Johnson wasn’t the Hairdresser.
This murder had happened at least two days ago, judging by the decomposition of the bodies.
But Harold had shot and killed the Hairdresser 4 days ago, caught in the act with his next victim in an alley.
It hadn’t hit the papers yet, so Andrew Johnson's killer couldn’t have known.
Harold’s heart sank, as the realization struck him.
The Hairdresser hadn’t acted alone.
He stood up in excitement and was reaching for the phone but couldn’t speak, choking, with a skipping rope drawn tight around his neck.
A stale voice growled.
And he was dead.