Chapter 2: Broken
The modern age casts a dark shadow on the competence of the police, if social media spreads the news faster than they can even reach a crime scene. Sherlock could see from afar that the police had to fight their way through spectators all around the house. The unit headed by Inspector Laurence was tasked with every murder-case. “Gruesome butchery in psychiatrist office” followed by the address, little posts like these were all over the usual social media suspects. It might have been easy getting out, but now the problem was to get back in, Sherlock, after all, looked no different than any other sensation-starved journalist on the hunt for his break-through article. Flashes of digital cameras were firing off in rapid succession as if the building or address plate would reveal the vital information necessary. Sherlock slithered through the big mass of people, ever under the watchful eyes of London and its many lenses.
Today seemed to be Sherlock’s lucky day, the poor fellow at the entrance was none other than a drenched Greg Lestrade, a rookie Sherlock had a ‘special’ relationship with. Of course, any sort of relationship Sherlock cared to keep was usually of the negative kind, but at least he would immediately recognize him.
“Oh fuck me, did he actually call you in for this?” Lestrade threw the words at him from afar.
“You might want to keep you voice down and while you’re at it your mouth closed, Greg. Of course he did. Now, let me pass, would you.” Sherlock said, trying not to draw much attention to himself, while carefully avoiding all the photo-shootings of Lestrade taking place around him. Lestrade’s gaze remained fixed to Sherlock’s unwavering expression of boredom. None of them dared to blink, they both knew what the other saw when they laid eyes on each other. Not letting him out of his sight, Lestrade lifted the plastic band and gestured Sherlock to pass underneath. Sherlock bowed his head, still not breaking the line of sight and finally disappeared up the staircase, away from Lestrade’s piercing glances.
The doctor’s office was now crawling with life as opposed to the graveyard of a waiting room that it usually was. People were opening file boxes, computers were searched and witnesses interrogated right next to one another. Sherlock had to dodge several eager policeman carrying files around, occasionally dropping them and some even sparing a muffled “Mr Holmes” with a nod of good will added. Sherlock stood in the middle of this lively commotion and took every aspect, every small detail into his vast and seemingly endless universe of memory. He was so deep in his own thought he didn’t hear Lawrence call him the first time. After having returned to the world he walked up to him. Laurence knew better than to try and shake his hand so he just thanked him for his coming.
Jonathan Laurence was a young inspector who had climbed pretty high pretty fast, not through unethical means, however. He was simply a diligent and hardworking individual and lucky for him one of the few that were even recognized as such by their superiors. He was quite a lot taller than Sherlock, not that this would be an insurmountable task, as Sherlock himself ever hardly reached the top shelf in his kitchen. The clothes he wore were always kept in top condition, ironed shirts, even though he currently lived alone, as Sherlock deduced.
“So what is this butchery I was called here for?” Sherlock broke the niceties.
“Butchery? Where did you hear that?” Laurence said noticeably irritated.
“You mean apart from the babbling crowd outside? Twitter, look it up. #LondonButcher is trending right now. I really hate this part of the job, don’t you? Public involvement with those ridiculous names and such.”
“Well that is what happens when 90% of the patients are youngsters in their 20s and don’t understand the concept of a social media-lockdown.” Laurence gave a faint smile. He and Sherlock were actually on pretty good terms, this being a huge exception from the norm.
“Anyway, let’s get to it, shall we.” Laurence guided Sherlock into the corridor that lead to Dr Hopper’s room, but Sherlock stopped in the doorframe.
“Pretty thick door for a simple examination room.” He traced his fingers across the frame.
“Keen eyes as always, Mr Holmes. Those are sound-proof doors the doctor had installed when he took over these rooms. Since this establishment is so small, he felt the need for privacy had to be guaranteed somehow. This was also probably why no one heard him as the killer was doing his work on him.” Laurence gestured to move into the room now. More flashes were going off and the copper smell of blood filled the air. Sherlock immediately noticed the closed window he had leaped out not 20 minutes ago, but would obviously draw no attention to it.
The scene before him was nothing new to him, yet he did his best to look as intrigued as he always did. Slightly frantic glances around to give off the idea that he was actually taking in information, when he was actually more interested in finding out things they accidentally changed and he now had to work around. The body of doctor Hooper was turned on his back and lying on his desk. The head faced towards the entrance and was dangling over the edge. His eyes were wide open, but empty. Just as empty as the rest of this head. His skull had been cut open and his brain was positioned neatly at the foot of the desk right underneath his former owner. Sherlock kneeled right before his recent victim, doctor and patient united once more, careful not to step into the pool of blood that had formed underneath him. Sherlock wandered a few times around the room. Mumbling to himself, making gestures towards certain objects, nobody interferred or said something until he was done. This was, to them, his usual behaviour. Of course Sherlock was only playing around, but he couldn’t just draw conclusions out of nowhere, not that anyone here was an intellectual threat to him, but he preferred it not to be known as a psychic investigator.
When he had returned to the entrance, having finished his tour around the room, he turned towards Laurence and nodded slightly, he was ready to start:
“A rather interesting one,” Sherlock said without blushing, “brutal yet controlled. No blood beyond a one metre radius, no violent ripping or tearing, all very methodical.” He pointed at the circle the pool of blood formed in the centre of the room. “The skull was opened with this medical saw,” he vaguely gestured towards the vicious instrument lying on the floor near the sink. “Probably scraped clean, no fingerprints, but give it a try. The mirror was smashed, but I’ll get to that later. The entire crime seems to serve a symbolic purpose, meaning I can’t get far without patients files and so forth.” Laurence tried to raise his voice, but was immediately cut off.
“A few things spring to mind of course. He is disfigured or at least thinks he is. Now I am talking about the mirror, Steven.” He said to an officer who was looking confused around the room, searching for the evidence Sherlock was apparently talking about. “Medical training of some sort to handle the buzz saw and not turning his brain to mincemeat. And of course physical strength to break his back.”
“Hold on,” Laurence interrupted him “break his back?” He looked puzzled.
“Yes, can’t you see? He led him around to the side. The silhouette of the doctors was clearly arched upwards in the middle, creating an open space between his back and the desk and a sharp edge was forming on his chest.
“Not sure of this was done post mortem.” Sherlock pondered. “I’ll wait for the autopsy.”
Laurence still looked baffled at the now more obvious weirdly formed body of the doctor.
“Is that all?” Laurence asked, but he could clearly see that had been a redundant question.
“With the murderer, yes. But the real interesting part is the doctor. Tell me, what kind of psychiatrist has sound proof doors?”
“Well, I told you-“ Laurence was cut off again as Sherlock didn’t even consider his interjection.
“The kind who keeps condoms in his desk drawer?” Sherlock drew out the last drawer with his foot and for one moment wondered whether he had opened it before and was now making himself a suspect, but then remembered that he had indeed checked them all during his performance.
“The kind who has books that are only for show?” Sherlock tipped over one book by Freud and five of them fell out, glued together and only the front-half of them being actual books. All of his books, his vast library was no more than Ikea decoration.
“The kind who has only ever seen a psychiatrist’s office in movies and therefore thinks it has to look so phony? You are dealing with a fake Mr Laurence and I have only gotten started unmasking him.”