One: Death by No Means
Scully read through the file one last time then closed the cover. The woman,
Miss Carrie Denton of 3357 Sunset Lane, Trendal Ohio, was visiting our nation’s capital and took it into her head to
slit her wrists in her hotel room. That in of itself was not that strange but
no one seemed to be bothered by the fact that the police had failed to find any equipment in the room that she could have
used and that her body was moved.
was no doubt that Miss Denton killed herself. Her blood was found in the bathtub
and her wrists had the telltale ‘hesitation’ cuts that nearly always accompanied suicides of this type. She was found when she missed breakfast and later lunch with her friends.
The hotel management attempted to enter the room but the burglar bar was engaged.
They had to break in the door to gain access to the room. But it nagged
at Scully that the blade was not found and the body was on the bed, not in the tub.
the part that really bothered her was that this was the third such case in three weeks.
All with the same scenario, they were all women between the ages of twenty-nine and thirty three, all were tourists,
all happened on Friday and they were all found in their locked rooms dead from suicide yet the instruments they used were
no where in the room and the body moved.
admonition from her supervisor still clanged in her ears. “It was a suicide,
let it go. You’ve kept the case open longer than it needed to be. So they couldn’t find the blade, that isn’t our concern. It doesn’t matter that there were two similar cases. Just
close the file, Dana, and that is an order.” She hated to admit it but
he was right; that didn’t mean she liked it.
assistant, Grace, came in. “He called and he wants that file.” Dana just smiled and handed it to her. “I
see you signed off on suicide.”
else could I do? I’m not happy about it but by all indications Carrie Denton
slashed her wrists.” Dana sighed deeply.
looked at her boss and friend. She was the best at what she did. They always gave the hardest cases to Dana. She was also the
one that the other pathologists ran to when they were stymied.
do you remember a trio of men that came in here, oh, I don’t remember exactly.
It might have been two or three months ago. Wait a minute; it was while
you were at that conference in Seattle. These three strange men came in.
They’d heard about that case where that body that was found with human bone in his stomach.”
I remember that one. They put the body on ice until I got back. The man did have bone fragments in his system and he’d filed his teeth so they were all pointed,
like a sharks. But his death was far from remarkable, he died of exposure.” Dana said. “What about these men?”
tried to get any information they could. We didn’t really have anything
for them. I mean, Dr. Moody did the prelim but stopped once he saw those teeth. Strange, those men were really adamant. I
told them that the body wouldn’t be autopsied until you returned. I expected
them to come back or at least call.”
“Grace!” Dana was getting a little exasperated.
I got a little side tracked. They left me their card. They produce one of those underground rags that print obscure stories.
They asked that if we came across anything odd that we give them the heads up if possible. I know you’re not fond of that sort of thing but, I don’t know, there was something very honest
about these guys. I think you should give them a call.”
what? You want me to talk to some tabloid wanna-bes? And I should tell them what? There is a serial suicider out
there?” Dana was exasperated. “I’m
sorry Grace, I’m frustrated and angry but I have no right taking it out on you.
smiled in that way that told her she wasn’t going to get off that easy. She
pulled a slip of paper from her pocket. “Here is there address, get your
bag and your notes and we are going to see them.
put up a cursory argument but she knew Grace wouldn’t give in until they’d gone through this farce. Besides when it was over she’d have something to hang over her friend.
Two: New Friends
men checked the monitor to see two women approaching the door. “Hey, isn’t
that the woman we talked to at the morgue a couple months ago?” Byers asked.
I think it is,” Langly replied, “I don’t recognize the other one.”
lingering smile crept over Frohike’s countenance. “I do, that is
Dr. Dana Katherine Scully. She’s the pathologist’s pathologist.”
she’s the one they were holding that body for. How’d you know that?”
forget that I was the one who hacked her computer. I snuck into her office to
check the set up. There was magazine on her desk with an article about her.” He turned to the fourth man, “you might be interested in her, Mulder.”
gave a cursory glance. “Too short and wrong color hair.”
what have all those long legged-brunettes gotten you, Mulder? Divorce and pain
that’s what. Maybe it would be good to change. Besides I was only talking about making her a source. Dr.
Scully is too smart to fall for your smarmy ways.”
bell rang and Langly unlocked the door and let the women enter.
six people just stood there for a moment then Grace took the initiative. “I
don’t know if you remember me but we met when you visited the morgue. I’m
Grace Moore and this is my boss Dr. Dana Scully.” The men all noticed the
short redhead’s eyebrow rise at being referred to as the ‘boss.’
took Dana’s hand and kissed the back of it. “I’m Melvin Frohike,
that is John Byers and the hippie is Langly.” He never released her hand.
no first name?” Dana joked, strangely charmed by the little man.
Richard but I sometimes go by Ringo, mostly everyone calls me Langly. That is
Special Agent Fox Mulder, call him Mulder.”
can understand.” Dana smiled and gently released herself from Frohike’s
grip. She turned toward Mulder, “Fox, now there’s a name just waiting
for schoolyard taunts.”
smiled and finally really looked at the woman and found himself captured by the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. He recovered enough to greet her, “Dr. Scully.”
Dana or, since last names seem to be the custom here, Scully.”
took over, “Dana has found something a little strange, yet, I don’t know.
Dana, you tell them about the suicides.”
ushered the ladies into the ante’ room and once they were all seated Dana told them about the three suicides. She gave her notes to Mulder and he started reading through them.
“Those are copies so you can keep them.” Dana finished.
was quiet for a moment then Mulder spoke softly, “serial suicider, I like that, nice touch, Scully.” He’d been referring to a little note she wrote in the margin.
read for a few moments more then handed the notes to Byers. “So, we have
three cases where there is no question that the person killed themselves. One
through barbiturate overdose, one hanging and the latest slit her wrists. All
three victims were tourists and all of the incidents happened in different hotels. The
bodies were all positioned on the bed post-mortem and all of the rooms were locked from the inside in a manner that no one
could leave the room and the instruments of death are missing.” Mulder
was more thinking out loud than talking to them.
finished the thought. “In the first case, the barbiturate overdose, there
was no container of any sort found. No pill bottle or even one of those medicine
dispenser cases. Heck I even had them check for a baggie. The hanging was textbook, except there was no rope, twine, hosiery or anything else she could have used.”
“Hosiery?” Langly asked.
eyes looked down. “It was originally thought it may have been a case of
autoerotic asphyxia. I was able to eliminate that when it was discovered her
neck was broken from the weight of her body. I had the crime scene team check
and they found rope fibers on the cross beam.” She saw the question before
Mulder had a chance to ask it. “She wasn’t at a hotel but a bed and
breakfast, the Harrington House. It’s an old mansion in the Tudor style of architecture.” Scully explained.
Denton’s body was found just like the others, on the bed. Her wrists were
slit but nothing in the room could have been used.” Scully stopped and
looked at Grace for a moment. “Look, I know the crime scene unit personnel
could have made some mistakes but I don’t buy it. I know those people;
they are very thorough; very meticulous. Besides they could make a dozen errors
but none of them would explain how the bodies were found.”
then Scully’s cell rang. “Scully,” she listened. “Give
me the hotel and tell them not to move anything. I want to see this one first
hand.” She looked at Mulder and he nodded, “and I’m bringing
a F, I mean a consultant with me.” She hung up and turned to Mulder, “I
didn’t . . .”
agree completely, we don’t want a jurisdiction pissing contest started. Good
Three: A Scene of a Crime – Or Was It?
showed her credentials to the Police guard and he let them in. The scene before
them was bloody and the cause of death obvious; gunshot wound to the temple. Simple,
no nonsense self inflicted bullet to the brain. Simple except for the fact that
there was no gun found anywhere in the room and the body was on the bed but the blood spatter was in the bathroom.
started looking around while Scully examined the body. The technician was rattling
off the information on the victim. “Melody Ingles, 32, she was on vacation
from St. Paul Minnesota.”
the background Scully heard murmurs running through the police personnel and looked up.
The investigative team was watching Mulder and she heard Sergeant Calloway say, “that’s him, that’s
Mulder. You know, the darling of FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit.” They obviously all knew of Mulder if not the man himself. The Sergeant walked over to her, “So, Dr. Scully, how did you get Agent Mulder involved in a suicide.”
looked up at this point and saw that she was at a loss of what to say. “Dana
and I were together when the call came in. I thought I’d tag along, take
a look then maybe we could get back to what we were doing a little sooner.” He
looked at her as if to say “right?”
smiled at him. He had just told the entire unvarnished truth but everyone in
the room had a whole different interpretation of the reality.
let the team handle the body and told them to mark it for her to autopsy in the morning.
She then walked over to Mulder who was seated at the desk. He was going
through the victim’s purse. Scully turned to look back at the bed and leaned
against the wall. Suddenly she was on her butt in the next room and Mulder tumbling
right on top of her. They scrambled to their feet and checked the wall but it
was now solid.
you all right Mulder?” She was checking him for broken bones.
should be asking you that, I landed on something a whole lot softer than the floor.”
He smirked at her.
just shook her head and asked, “what the hell was that?”
have no idea but somehow we just fell through the wall.” They both scrambled
to the wall and knocked on it. “A wall that now seems to be solid. Come on, let’s check the other side.”
exited the room to find the investigating personnel in the hallway staring at them.
It was Scully’s turn to answer them, “we have no idea, guys.”
They entered the other room and checked the wall; solid. She turned to
Mulder, neither of them said anything.
the scene an hour later they were both more confused than ever. Somehow they’d
fallen through the wall and somehow that same wall ‘healed’ itself. “I
guess it explains how the bodies were moved and why the ‘instruments’ were missing. But how do we explain that wall?” Scully pondered out
loud, obviously not expecting an answer. She sat up in the passenger seat. “I’ll go in and do the autopsy tomorrow.
Saturday mornings the morgue is relatively quiet and Dr. Inglewood, my supervisor, never comes in on the weekends.” She looked out the passenger window. “Mulder,
do you think your friends would do a little research for me?”
guess. What kind are you thinking of?”
Mulder asked. He liked this woman.
She was logical, determined and tenacious. He had no doubt she’d
been told to drop the investigation but she hadn’t. The more he knew of
this woman the more intrigued he was with her.
we ignore the stranger aspects of these cases and look at it straight on we have to admit that these were all suicides. We’ve found no evidence that any of them struggled or that anyone else helped
them. So, I think we need to know what was going on, or had gone on, that would
drive them to kill themselves. Why would a woman go on vacation in Washington DC and then commit suicide?”
point. What would make you think of killing yourself?” Scully was startled by his question.
took a moment to think then said, “I suppose if I found out I was terminally ill I’d consider it. It might make it easier on my family. But that doesn’t
fit any of the victims. I might think about it if I had a serious loss in my
life. Lost my income or all my money. But
that doesn’t fit either. What about losing someone you loved?” She seemed like she was almost talking to herself.
pulled out his phone and called the guys. “It’s Mulder, do me a favor
and pull up what you can about the women. See if any of them had suffered any
severe loss in the last year. Don’t forget to include romantic losses. Oh and add Melody Ingles from St. Paul Minnesota.” He hung up. He
was pulling up to the apartment building that Scully had given him directions to.
it’s after eight and neither of us have had dinner. I have a home made
lasagna waiting to go in the oven and you’re welcome to share. That is
unless you have other plans.”
you are referring to take out Chinese then I have no other plans.”
four: Getting to Know You
was in the kitchen while Mulder walked around her apartment. He liked her place;
it was about 180 degrees different from his ‘cave.’ He was never
really home for more than a few hours sleep and a change of clothes but he knew a home when he saw one and this, was a home. He checked out the pictures on the mantel.
walked in as he was looking at a candid photo of a much younger Scully in a less than dignified pose, on her butt next to
a horse. “End of my equestrian career.
Bill, my brother, thought it would be funny to spook my horse. It reared
up, which wouldn’t have been a problem if I’d been prepared; I wasn’t and that is the result, two broken
ribs and I was never able to get the horse manure stain out of the pants.” They
both started to laugh. “It took a long time for me to get back on a horse
and when I did the enjoyment wasn’t there. I keep that picture to remind
me how quickly we can loose what we love.” She took the photo from him,
shook her head and smiled. “I’m going to go change; I’ll be
out in a minute.”
I have a change of clothes in the car, would it be okay. . .”
go get them. Take the key off of that hook to let yourself back in.”
both stopped and just looked at each other. They seemed like old friends, not
two people who met only hours earlier. Neither commented, just smiled and went
back to doing their things.
was making the salad when he emerged from the bathroom. He watched her for a
moment. She was wearing a pair of old jeans and a pale blue over sized button
down shirt that was tied at the bottom.
movements were fluid, nothing wasted. He was amazed with her hands; they were
small and delicate but strong and efficient. She broke into his revelry, “do
you want to watch the autopsy?”
yeah. I doubt we’ll find anything more than we already know.”
know, but I just have to eliminate all the possibilities.” She offered
him a cucumber slice. “Oh, crap!”
“What? Oh, no. I just remembered I left my car
with Grace. I guess I better call her.”
I’ll pick you up in the morning and then we can go to Grace’s after you’ve finished.”
I hate to bother Grace in the evenings. She’s a single mom and this is
her time with her boys, twins Teddy and Duncan.”
“Divorced?” Mulder asked.
do you remember that plane that crashed on take off a couple years ago? Ted was
on it. The team that recovered the body said he was still strapped in his seat.” She paused and shrugged her shoulders. “I
did the exam of his body. Neck was broken.
Grace was supposed to be on that plane too. Ted had a conference in Tampa and they were going to take a few extra days and have a mini vacation.
Grace’s mom was coming in to stay with the boys but she missed her flight.
She was booked on one later in the day so they rebooked Grace to a later flight.
Ted had to get there for a meeting in the afternoon.”
and Grace are close.”
shows, huh? I love her and I’m Godmother to the boys. We met while I was still in med school. She’s a special
smiled, “I think her friend is pretty special too.”
sat down to dinner. They kept the conversation light and nothing about the case
was discussed. Mulder told her how he met the Gunmen.
me get this straight. You were found completely naked and acting like a raving
lunatic? Now that must have been a sight.”
Scully said between giggles.
could re-enact it for you if you like,” Mulder laughingly replied with a mock leer.
He sobered a little. “Actually the guys help keep me sane. Profiling criminals sometimes makes me feel like that lunatic, only with a better
put her hand over his arm. “I can’t imagine how horrible that could
be. To immerse your essence in someone else’s sickness. It really must take a toll.” His mood had darkened so
she decided to give him a little of his own back. “And I doubt that the
wardrobe is better.”
head jumped and his mind scrambled for a reply when his cell chimed. “Mulder,”
he listened for a moment and then his eyes brightened and smiled at her.
hung up. “You are a genius Dr. Scully.
All of the women had broken engagements within the last year.”
women were the ones who broke off the engagement, right?”
smile grew. She got it, “Bingo. I
think we are looking at some unrequited love thing.”
stood up and walked to her desk. “Or a broken heart.”
do you know?” Mulder could tell she was on to something.
God, this is so embarrassing. But I was engaged and I broke it off with him. Six months after the break-up and no dates, so my sister set me up with this on-line
dating thing.” She started to rummage through the bottom drawer of her
desk then returned to the table. She handed him a pamphlet from something called
read through the pamphlet. It mostly promised discrete introductions via the
internet. Mulder felt a twinge in his chest.
“Did it work?” He asked while waving the pamphlet.
never tried it. I don’t like the normal dating scene and this just seemed
. . .” she broke off unable to describe it.
noticed the twinge abated. “There must be dozens of these companies out
there. I’m going to call the guys.”
hung up from talking to Frohike and walked into the kitchen. Scully’s back
was to him as she washed the dishes. He once again found himself watching her
and it confused the hell out of him. She was nothing like the women he usually
found attractive but there was definitely something about her. Frohike’s
earlier comments flitted across his mind. Maybe it would be good to change?
could sense him standing in the doorway. “So, what did they say?”
going to see if they can find out if any of the women belonged to any of those, whatever you call them.”
hearts club?” She offered. She
put the last dish in the drainer. “How would you like to help a lady out?”
do you have in mind?”
some of this lasagna home, please? I always make too much.”
walked into his apartment and after putting away the leftovers he checked his messaged.
Most of them were telemarketers but there was one from his mom and one from his boss, A.D. Skinner. It was too late to call his mom but he knew he’d better call Skinner.
it’s Mulder, you called earlier.”
I got a strange phone call earlier from Captain Frank Jennings of the DCPD. One
of his men told him that you were at the scene of a suicide. Is this some case
officially, I’m just helping out a friend, Dr. Dana Scully.”
I’ve heard of her. The bureau had enlisted her on a couple cases. I met her when she was called in for a lecture.
She’s smart and very attractive.” Mulder suspected it was
Skinner speak for congratulations. “Anything interesting? I mean besides the good doctor.”
chuckled, “actually yes, there are some strange elements. Do you mind that
I’m sticking my nose in?”
at all. It’s always a good thing to make friends with the locals.”
I should tell you that I don’t think her supervisor will be very supportive.”
that Dr. Inglewood?” Mulder was surprised that Skinner would know that.
and he doesn’t sound like the type to look into anything beyond the book covers.
If you know what I mean?”
know him; his wife is on several of the same charity boards as mine. He’s
a good man but they are always on him about the budget. If it gets sticky send
him my way.”
sir. I appreciate it and I’m sure Scully will too.”
word of advice, you’ll get further if you call her Dana.”
smiled, Skinner was much easier than his old boss, Patterson. If Patterson had
heard about the incident he would have hunted him down and insist he stop immediately.
If he found out about Scully the man would have had him on the next plane to No-wheres-ville just to get him away from
her. Patterson had been relentless and damned near drove Mulder over the edge. Skinner still got the job done but his people kept their sanity.
in Assisted Suicide 2