Sleepless Seattle

Episode 3: Terminal Stations

February 23

The rising sun greets Drake’s heavy eyes as he receives the preliminary results from the coroner. To the backdrop of music from a speaker on a corner table, Dr. Fitch Hultz informs him that the body, belonging to one Jesse Norway, had ligature marks on her limbs as well as evidence of sexual assault based on samples of semen in both the vaginal and anal wall. Time of death was difficult to determine from the below freezing temperatures, with an estimated range of six to twelve hours from being brought in. An autopsy is needed for a more precise evaluation, and without any known next of kin, it falls to Drake to secure the necessary paperwork. Climbing the steps of Seattle PD, his phone rings to a welcome, if worrisome call.

Further north, in the local FBI branch, Jack and Malcolm are called for different reasons but sent out on the same goal. Jack is given a terse reprimand by Branch Director David Steers while Malcolm is reminded of his duties as Jack’s handler. Nevertheless, experience told him that the cases in Seattle and Renton are linked and the pair are instructed to informally pursue an independent investigation, without attracting the attention of local authorities again. The pair leave the branch together, but start separate investigations.

Sheriff Aaron has his day ahead of him after receiving the coroner’s report on the body of Michael Klostermann, hearing about a similar case in Seattle, he calls the number of one Detective Drake who left his contact details the day before. Swapping information, it becomes clear that the two cases are too similar to be a coincidence. Before he could pry deeper into their connections, a request for an interview comes down the line from Action Five News

A conversation echoes down the hall in evidence at Seattle PD as James stews behind the counter, iron bars staring right back at him while he kills time in the middle of his shift. As if answering his prayers, Major Washington Gates arrives to relieve him of his posting. It seems that more men in uniform are needed out in the streets and he is told to go on patrol when he is ready. Jumping at the chance to return to his beat, he immediately leaves for the motor pool, but a thought enters his mind to visit his father for some well-needed advice. The chance passing with a federal vehicle in Skykomish marks out the only thing interesting in his father’s town before he meets him in the singular bar in the area, The Tap. While he couldn’t give him practical advice on the goings on in Seattle, he tells James that he chose to wear the uniform for a reason, and maybe now’s the time to show it.

At noon, Drake makes for the streets to find more information on Jesse, who was known as a dealer in Seattle. Soon enough, he finds her dealer, Devlin. It seems that she last seen on the train to Seattle from Renton for a restock on merchandise. Noting the travel times and timeline on the body, that would have put her on the 11:20 train. Putting another bullet on the timeline gives him more to work with, but the lack of evidence or materials leaves Drake little chance of settling the case, much less to the public’s satisfaction if the news reports are to be believed. Thinking back on the notes he shared with Aaron, he remembers that he left out the fact of his old case, which could be related despite the time that has passed. Retreading the details, he notes that the body from the previous case was found close to King Street Station, also within walking distance to where the current body was found. The one detail different was that in the previous case, there were traces of concrete found on the scene. With no construction projects ongoing in the area, it was a detail that sticks out in his mind.

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Despite his reservations, Aaron finds himself sitting in the Planet Java Diner for an interview over lunch with Pia Gutierrez regarding his office’s case. His canned responses only gets him so far before she asks her real questions. While there were relations between the Seattle and Renton cases, and there have been cooperation with the Seattle police department, they cannot yet say anything about the possibility of a serial killer. She presses further with rumours that a Federal Agent has been in his office, which he does confirm, but the FBI has stated the are currently not involved with either investigation. With the official questions over, shes candidly off-the-record about the current state of the investigation. While he admits that it is a serial killing in all but name, he would rather keep it from the media to prevent undue unrest, as well as to avoid further federal notice. With the final tidbit about a CCTV capture of a potential suspect, Pia leaves the sheriff to finish his coffee, which he’s going to need before the day is done.

Following his own hunch, Malcolm decides to thoroughly inspect the Amtrak train stations from Seattle to Eugene, Oregon, hoping to gain insight on the killer’s movement and actions. The task takes him the better part of two days, but on the return trip in Tacoma, he chances upon a flyer for a missing child, but pockets it for the moment to focus on his investigations. All around he platform, pairs of children and parents board and alight from the trains, making it very unlikely that the suspect would make himself known here. But with his movements always around the vicinity of stations, that already informs him that the suspect has access to the relatively costly trains, financially or otherwise. With one piece of the puzzle, he is taken to task to place it on the board.

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Episode 2: Snowdrifts

February 22

As Drake begins a formal investigation into the homicide victim found in Occidental Square, a parallel investigation by a county detective begins in King County for the earlier body found in the town of Renton. Drake observes the ligature marks on he second victims’ body, and concludes that the victim must have been bound by a wire with high tensile strength. He sends the body to the lab for further study, and awaits the results.

Meanwhile, James pounds the pavement to talk to the locals near the crime scene, and finds a 24-hour bar named Damn the Weather where the proprietor managed to witness a strange man in a puffer coat walking southwards while the snow was coming down hard in the early morning. No one was outside save for the man. He manages to procure CCTV footage that provides the Seattle PD investigation with low-quality footage of the man, albeit with no face visible.

Elsewhere, Sheriff Aaron is faced with the always difficult task of having to confront the parents of the first victim, now confirmed to be a boy named Michael Klostermann. While the family has a hard time accepting the death of their child, Aaron leaves with a renewed sense of duty, which he will need due to having to give a statement regarding the Renton murder later that day.

Jack resolves not to sit idly to wait for local authorities to get a lead, and decides to start his own investigation. His casual observation in Occidental Square leads him to find peculiar branch marks on a nearby tree, appearing like a long line tied around a naked tree branch, strong enough that it left traces of crushed and chipped off bark on the ground. Any further investigation is hampered by local officers. He moves to the Renton crime scene, and successfully finds similar marks on a tree near the crime scene. His progress is halted by plainclothes officers watching the crime scene, whereupon he is apprehended for investigation and brought to the Sheriff’s office.

While Aaron tries his best to pry out what Jack’s motives are, and why he would intrude on a crime scene that is not yet under federal jurisdiction, local FBI office head David springs Jack out through some mayoral paperwork.

Preliminary lab results begin to come in on Michael Klostermann’s cadaver, and Drake finds out that the soil stuffed inside Michael’s mouth when he was found did not contain any significant residue of snow or frost that would be indicative of soil retrieved hastily as the crime was being committed. This meant that whoever the killer was, he or she was bringing the soil with him.

That night, in nearby Tacoma city, the killer makes another move on a boy.

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Episode 1: Game Trail

February 20

King County sheriff Aaron Morales arrives early in the morning to respond to a gruesome murder of a child at the Interurban Trail in the city of Renton. While the coroner’s office attempts to determine an identity, preliminary findings read positive for semen in the male child’s anal wall, as well as distinct small, fine marks on the victims wrists, ankles, and neck, that point to some kind of small wire that may have been used to asphyxiate the victim, though it is too early to tell.

Later that day, FBI agents Jack Estrada and Eliza Cohen meet with local FBI contact and information manager Malcolm Davis, who barely gets them up to speed on the local color. Davis himself is in contact with a deputy providing information to the FBI regarding the active case.

February 21

Officer James O’Collaghun is wasting away at evidence lockup an hour past midnight, serving his time for a recent controversial screwup that necessitated putting him out of active circulation. That doesn’t stop his duty sergeant from recruiting him to make a coffee run. He meets up with sheriff Morales, his friend and important figure in his life.

Returning from the coffee run back to the station, they pass by Occidental Square park, where they come upon another unfortunate scene: another child’s dead body, half buried in the sleet. They immediately call it in.

Elsewhere, in Seattle PD’s CID, homicide detective Drake Williams is next on rotation for his squad the next time a call comes in. While it initially begins as a lazy night, his luck quickly changes: a call comes in. When he picks up, he is informed about a body found nearby in Occidental Square.

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