I Can Kill
by Angela Kay
Genre: Crime Mystery, Thriller
I Can Kill, and You Can't Catch Me...
These were the last words The Carnations Killer said to FBI Special Agent Aidan O'Reilly ten years ago before he went into hiding. He has tortured and murdered fifty women since then and managed to elude capture. Now, he's returned once again, and his new hunting ground is Augusta, GA.
O'Reilly teams up with Shaun Henderson, the special agent in charge of the Augusta Resident Agency, to bring this ruthless killer to justice once and for all. But as each second ticks by, tensions rise and O'Reilly finds himself in a race against time before the killer slips away again.
“A gripping new thriller by Angela Kay that pits FBI Special Agent Aidan O’Reilly against the Carnations Killer, a serial killer who enjoys playing Cat and Mouse with this formidable agent.” -- Dana Ridenour, retired FBI Agent and award winning author of Behind The Mask and Beyond The Cabin
LIEUTENANT CHRISTENSON STARED at the lifeless body of a young woman who appeared to be in her late twenties. Her eyes were closed, and her French braided hair looked like a mass of blonde spider webs. The bruising on her body was prominent, and he could tell she’d endured a great amount of torture. Her wrists and ankles held deep gashes, as though she’d once been bound by a thin wire. She had two puncture wounds on her neck indicating a taser had been used.
She appeared to have been posed: her legs straight in front of her, head facing the sky, arms positioned over her chest. She held a bouquet of white carnations in her hands, which stood in contrast against her black dress.
Christenson noticed her fingernails were broken and rugged. She had splinters and blood underneath them. He guessed it was possible she’d tried escaping from wherever she was originally held.
But what struck his interest the most was the envelope resting against the carnations. It read: FBI Special Agent Aidan O’Reilly.
Christenson had one of his men contact the Resident Agency in Augusta to notify them of the note singling out one of their agents. After hearing the details of the crime, Assistant Special Agent-In-Charge Monroe informed him she would get in touch with Agent O’Reilly and dispense a team of agents to the location.
As he waited for the FBI to arrive, the medical examiner was finishing her first-glance examination of the body.
One of his men interviewed the teenage couple who called it in, while two divers searched beneath the Clarks Hill Lake, and the rest of the men scoured the surrounding areas. So far, no other evidence had been found.
He watched as his divers pushed their heads out from underneath the water and returned to shore. They reported to him that nothing unusual was found. He received the same from the land squad.
Christenson frowned at the body as the medical examiner rose.
“From what I can tell based on the body temp,” she began, removing her latex gloves, “she’s been dead for about six or seven hours. I’ll know more once I perform the autopsy. I’d have to say the cause of death was strangulation by a thin wire of some sort.”
Christenson nodded. “I’ve been instructed by the FBI to leave the body as she was found. But once she’s released to you, she’s your first priority.”
He stepped over to where the teenage couple stood. As he neared, he heard the young man say, “Can’t believe I actually found a dead body.”
“I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight,” the girl whined. The light wind bristled through her brown hair, sweeping a strand in her eyes. She brushed it to the side with a frown and hugged herself. “It’s so awful.”
“It’s very CSI-y, isn’t it?” The boy let out a scoff.
“This isn’t a joke,” Christenson said, frowning. “A woman’s dead.”
The boy swallowed as his gaze settled on the lieutenant. “I didn’t mean—I was just saying—"
Christenson ignored him with a wave of his hand and looked at the officer who interviewed the couple. “What did you get?”
“Wrong place, wrong time,” the officer replied. “They planned on spending the day here but found her instead.”
“Are you going to arrest us?” the boy asked.
“No,” Christenson assured him. “Thank you for calling it in. You’re free to go home, but the feds may need to speak with you later.”
“Thanks,” the girl muttered. She tugged her boyfriend’s hand and pulled him from the scene. He followed with reluctance, his eyes glued to the body by the water.
“All right, men, listen up,” Christenson called out. His officers looked his way, giving him their attention. “When the FBI arrives, I want us to be as cooperative as possible. Understood?”
His men muttered their agreements.
Christenson returned to where the body rested. He wondered what her name was, who her family was. She had a wedding band, and he wondered if she and her husband had any children.
“It’s tragic,” Sergeant Taylor stated, standing next to him.
Christenson didn’t respond. He didn’t need to. During the thirty years he spent as a police officer, he’d seen unimaginable things.
And he knew it wouldn’t be his last.
All he knew to do to compensate for the evil deeds of the world was his job.
Equipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay is a southern lady who spends her days and nights dreaming up new ways to solve dark murders of normal people.
Angela Kay was one of 23 across the United States to win a 2009 playwright contest for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company.
She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.
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