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Liam Coffey

Genre Writing

“I was twenty-one when I first met my killer” Al said making the room go quite.

. . .

I walk out of the elevator hearing the doors close behind me as I walk down the carpeted fifth floor main hallway with beige walls surrounding me and doors lined up, some of them opened slightly to see what the noise is all about. I can hear faint thumps about fifty meters a head of me. Watching the  numbers on the doors slowly get higher I read the numbers 105, 106… and I hear the thumps get louder until I finally turn a corner to see two police officers ramming the door of room 114 with an enforcer. “You know, I turned down a car thief for a possible missing person’s report, also why are you ramming the door? Can’t you just get the keys from the hotel?” I say confused.

“Firstly, charming. Secondly listen” replies Seth, a fellow police detective standing behind the cops ramming the door. I go quite to hear a faint squeal coming from inside room 114. “Have you called for the an ambulance” I say urgently

“Yes. They should be here any minute now” Seth says

“Okay, okay” I say hastily “Let’s hurry this up” and with one final ram the door comes off its hinges and swings open. I get out my gun and hold it with two hands and my back touching Seth’s. The first main room is clear so we simultaneously move onto the second one to see the floor covered in blood. The room is a big lounge area with a few couches and a bench up the back. Everything is covered in blood splatters, dripping down the walls like paint. Looking around a few things catching my attention. There is an open window, an open vault but most mysteriously there are six digits written in the victim’s blood like a message. I slowly lower myself onto my knees and I ask Seth “What’s the M.O”

“His name is Al Goodwyn. 27 years old and lives alone. Barely ever leaves the house apart from work” Seth replies “Probably depressed. He does the same thing every day and that’s why the neighbours called it in when he put on jazz music instead of blues after work, his normal.”

“There’s a pulse” I say and just before standing up a gasp of air comes out of his air comes out of his mouth. Al turns his head now looking directly at me he reaches inside his jacket pocket pulling out a USB now covered in blood with a small crack on it probably from the fall to the. I take it out of his hand and he slowly puts his arms down before exhaling and closing his eyes, not to open them again.

I walk over to the window and see a metal staircase structure when I poke my head outside. I also see a camera on the building across the alleyway. “That camera, do we have access to It.” I ask whilst pointing to the camera. “Yeah we should” Seth replies and pulls up camera footage from the last half an hour. The camera shows a man climbing up the side of the complex on the metal staircase dressed in a black hoodie and a Nike cap with grey tracksuit pants on. I pick up the radio on my hip and push down the talk button to say “We have a murderer on the loose, wearing a black Nike cap, black hoodie and grey tracksuit pants and probably still has some sort of small gun, maybe a pistol, and it would’ve had a silencer on it” I say whilst peering back at the bullet wound on the unconscious body. “Couldn’t’ve been on the run for more than fifteen minutes.” I then hurry over to the safe, inside are a few documents and other personal items, about ten thousand in cash yet there is one small spot left empty. “Any theories?” Seth asks.

“Well” I start “the murderer entered the building via the window, probably forced open. Judging by the location of the body I am going to guess that the victim came home with the murderer already inside the house and then when he reached the back room the murderer threatened him for the code and when he didn’t spill he spilled his blood” I reply

“Nice” Seth cuts in

“Thankyou” I say and continue “He wrote the code in his own blood when he couldn’t speak and was left to bleed out. Then the murderer opened the safe, took what he needed and left the same way he came in unless…” I trail off and start to walk to the front door.

“Unless what?” Seth asks confused

“Um… Seth”

“Yes mate”

“Can you please get some examiners in hear to check the window and this front door please”

I walk out into the hallway and towards the elevator finding the closest bin. I take the lid off and see a black hoodie, a Nike cap along with a gun with its registry numbers scratched off. I run down the hallway passing by paramedics to hear a high pitched ding. ‘Oh no’ I think then I turn the corner to see the elevator doors closing. Inside is a man of Indian decent wearing the same grey tracksuit pants with a few splatters of blood on them. The elevator doors close and I run towards the stairs. Whilst going down the stairs as fast as possible down the stairs skipping nearly three at a time I pick up my radio again and desperately say “I need everyone on my location. The murderer has currently not left the building, he does not have the hoodie or cap on but I do know he is of Indian decent. Any questions, ask Seth. Over and out” I reach the lobby where I fling open the stair doors and see the man running for the exit. I start to chase after him knowing that backup won’t make it in time however he doesn’t have his gun so I decide to continue chasing even though I am already out of breath. The moment I open the exit doors a flood of light and sounds come pouring in clouding my senses but I keep on chasing him down the sidewalk nudging pedestrians out of my way as politely as I can. “Someone stop that man!” I yell, “I am with the police. Please somebody stop him” I yell and immediately once I say that a few people try to but he slips away and turns right into an alleyway probably trying to get away from people that could potentially stop him.

As I run through the maze of buildings and alleyways my surroundings have turned to grey or  brick walls with dumpsters overflowing with trash that pathetic birds are now feasting on. I’m probably only fifteen metres or so behind him at this point and I can now see that in his back tracksuit pocket a little piece of white paper is slowly wriggling out peaking my curiosity. I keep chasing him down the never ending alleyways until I am only about a meter behind him so I pounce, landing on some trash bags I try to hold him down but he kicks me in the chest, winding me. I stand up but I can’t run, instead I radio in “I lost him. He’s heading north from my location, also I’m going to need a ride back” I say and sit down, leaning against the wall, waiting for someone to come. After a few minutes I hear a car coming towards me so I stand up, kicking away a trash bag whilst I do it, and revealing the little piece of paper that was in the guy’s pocket. I pick it up and see that it was the one on the murderer evident by the blood on it. The paper has a filled Sudoku on it which I find weird as it doesn’t explain anything. I take it back anyway


The moment I walk back into the police station Seth walks over to me. “What’s up? I ask

“There’s not much to do off at the moment unfortunately but good news for you, it’s your job to deal with it now” Seth replies sarcastically

“What do you mean?” I ask confused

“Seeing that you know the most about it, it’s your case now buddy.” Seth says then pats me on the back and walks away.

I stand there shocked then I call out “Seth, I need a full report on who the victim is and any possible motives. I need that USB fixed and the crime scene swept for clues. Try to find anyone that is of Indian decent, average build, willing to kill and also knows a good lot about the alleyways. Oh, and also do a few checks on this Sudoku can you?”

“Why?” Seth asks.

“It was on the murderer’s body, well we’ll know that once you run the tests on the blood and hopefully it could give us a clue to link this mystery together”

“On it” Seth says and he walks away leaving me to my thoughts

. . .

I am sitting down in the break room about an hour or two after the chase when Seth walks in. “Seth, what have you got?” I ask semi impatiently

“The results came back and we now know the window was forced open, the door was only opened once and never forced, no leads for motives or suspects and nothing new at the crime scene. The Sudoku though does have matching blood on it but it’s just a normal filled out Sudoku which the handwriting had no leads by the way, it has no relevance”

“Just keep it in evidence anyway please” I say disappointedly

Seth starts to leave the break room but then he double backs and says “Two things actually. Firstly the USB has been restored but it has a six digit password but the algorithm we have to hack it without locking us out will take a while but from what they can tell so far there seems to be an mp4 file on it. Also I know you didn’t ask me to but I had the vault checked just in case and apparently it was opened before the victim got home”

“Interesting.’ I say intrigued “good job. Can you get me the file on the victim and keep taking statements and chasing down leads please?”

“Sure thing boss” Seth says and he leaves me in the break room with a victim’s profile and a weird case to solve.

After contemplating I come up with a new scenario. The murderer still came in the window like previously then before Al got home he stole from the safe so that when Al came home all he had to do was wait for him, eventually shoot him letting him blead out because part of the motive was to make him suffer and just before leaving the murderer put on music that he doesn’t normally put on. Although there are many things that bug me with this case why would you got to the effort of putting on music when it is the wrong type, I can’t imagine it is to cover up the sound of a gun with a silencer on it or the squeal of Al that was very minimal. Then it hits me. I walk out of the breakroom and approach Seth “Have we still got the neighbours in the interview rooms?” I ask

“Yeah we should”

“Thankyou” I say and walk towards the interview rooms in a hurry.

I open the third interview room doors to see the neighbour who called it in.  ”Can I go now?” He asks

“You should be able to, I would just like to ask you a few more questions” I say as politely as possible knowing that he is probably impatient by now

“Sure” he replies

“First of all what’s your name?”


“Well it’s nice to meet you Max. My name is Detective Parker, Johnathon Parker. Call me whatever you want though” I say and he nods. “One question about your statement. You said that you called it in when you heard him put on the jazz music”

“Yes, normally when he gets home from work one of the first things he does is put on blues music yet today he put on jazz. He hadn’t played jazz music in about three and a half years or so and back then he said that he loved it yet all of a sudden he said he would never put on jazz music ever again.”

“And that’s why you called it in?” I say whilst connecting the dots

“Yes. Is that all?”

“Yes, yes, indeed… um just go out to the main area and ask one of the officers if they need you anymore and then you should be good to go”

“Thankyou” Thankyou he says gratefully

“No. I should be thanking you” I say and leave the room. I walk out into the main room again and see Seth going over some files in the break room. “Seth” I call out whilst walking towards him. “What’s up?” he says

“One question. Is there any chance that the victim and the murderer knew each other? Ever?”

“So far no connections linking them.”

“Okay, okay.”


“Follow me” I say and walk out into the main room. “Listen up” I say and a few detectives and about ten uniformed officers turn their heads to me. The room is now dead silent. “We have a new possible lead.”

“Since when? All we have is the murderer, don’t we?” says Seth

“Assassin I think you mean” I reply

“What?” Seth says confused

“Have you ever heard of the phrase: It’s not who fired the gun but who bought the bullet? I think that the murderer was hired by someone who had a problem with him from roughly three to four years ago so can anyone who is free please look into that. Thank you” I say, letting everyone get back to work

“Jack” Seth says “can we please dismiss the Sudoku as possibly just his entertainment. Shouldn’t you be worrying about something like the code for the USB instead?”

“Actually…” I trail off whilst figuring things out. Everyone slowly starts to turn to me knowing something is going to happen. “Can someone please get me the safe report, the USB, the crime scene photos and the Sudoku please? Also to everyone if you’re busy with something else you can leave” and with that two people continue with what they were doing and the rest swarm around me as soon as Seth comes back with everything. “Firstly here are the safe results” I say and pass them back to Seth whilst I look at the Sudoku. “Do you see here on the Sudoku there are a few that are darker than the rest, the ones that you normally start with? There are six, if we are going left to right then it would be: 203759, now Seth can you please read out the combination for the vault”

Seth reads aloud “The combination is: 20, 37, and 59.”

“Connecting the dots yet?” I ask

“So the murderer already knew the vault code”

“Exactly” I say excitedly “Could you please put the USB into the computer” I ask Seth and he proceeds to put the USB in and the message comes up asking for the code. “I am currently looking through the crime scene photos and if you were to look at the one of the body you can see that there is a code written into the blood, that code is: 304528. Could you please put that into the computer Seth?”

Seth proceeds to put the code in and it unlocks the USB revealing a singular video file with the title: If I die unexpectedly. I put down the files on a nearby table and Seth hands me the computer. “If you couldn’t already tell the code the Mr Goodwyn wrote was not for the vault and instead the USB that he had on him because he knew that he was going to die meaning whatever is on this might be disturbing.” And I press the play button


“I was twenty-one when I first met my killer.” The video played making the station go silent, even the people doing their own things had to listen to what the video said. “We met at a study group and he seemed like a nice guy, no bad intentions, very spontaneous though, we hung out a lot after the group had ended and he became a new friend. Over time he became my best friend. That’s why it hurt me so much when I turned him in. We were friends for a few years after that. Out of everyone I knew, I liked him the best and we got along great. That was until everything changed. About three and a bit years ago he accidentally came up with a way to rob a Jewellery store, it sounds weird but what I mean is that he was thinking one day and he realised that he can quite easily rob a jewellery store and being the spontaneous person he is he decided to do it and he got away with it as well, he covered his tracks so well that he was never even a suspect and he became cocky so one night when we were at a bar and he got a bit too tipsy he told me that he had done it and I didn’t believe him so to prove it he gave me a singular diamond that was stolen. I didn’t know what to do with this knew found information but I knew I couldn’t keep quiet. I also knew that I couldn’t tell anyone I had the diamond because of countless reasons so I ended up going to the police and dobbed him in. They left my name out of the report and just called me Joe Blogs but I knew that wasn’t enough. Anyway he went to jail for three years, and only that amount because of good behaviour and he didn’t use weapons meaning it was a minimal sentence. However about three days ago he got out of jail, legally of course, but I knew he would come for me and that’s why I made this, to reveal who the criminal is and why they did it.”

Everyone at this point had Goosebumps and their eyes glued to the little screen to see who the killer was “I, Ali Goodwyn have been killed by Morgan Black. Morgan probably got his friend to help him as well. You see back when Morgan robbed the jewellery store I don’t know much about how he did it but I think he used his friend Frank Snow to alter the security footage and all the technical stuff in return he gave Frank about a quarter to a third of the profit I think but he didn’t snitch like I did so when Morgan got let out of jail Frank owed him. So I imagine that Frank hacked into the police files to get the name of whoever Joe Blogs was and when he knew who he was Frank owed him so much that he would kill him for him with probably a bit more of a cut of a future heist. Hopefully no one has to see this video but if you do tell them that I’m sorry but I had to do the right thing and it was their fault for breaking the law.” The video turns black but still plays and then a couple of pictures and words come up showing what both Morgan and Frank looks like and the possible places to find them then the video stops.

Everyone is standing there silently shocked as am I but I know that we can’t just stand around doing nothing so I say “Okay, okay, I know that was somewhat disturbing but we have to do our jobs, you can think about this case more when we finish it so Seth can you please assemble a team made up of anyone who knows what they’re doing and not doing something else otherwise everyone else get back to work” I say and clap my hands twice to get everyone to start moving around.

. . .

Sirens are playing, cars are zooming and pedestrians are moving out of the way. A team of police officers swarm the last possible location on the list. There are officers covering all exits and teams moving in on the block of apartments that should be housing our two killers. The apartments are located only a few minutes away in a not as populated spot meaning all the buildings are smaller. For us this is a good thing because we can sweep the buildings faster and it’s harder for them to get away. Seth and I move in on the room that should be housing the fugitives. We reach the room and kick it down, both of the criminals are standing there shocked. “Put your hands up. You’re under arrest for the murder of Al Goodwyn” I yell and move forward. They don’t do anything, I thought that after everything they would have this planned but apparently not. I go towards Morgan and Seth goes towards Frank and we both successfully cuff them and bring them back to the station. We walk in with both criminals in cuffs where I let Seth take them to process them and I go to sit down and I think to myself: Just another day on the job.

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