This is a rough draft of a murder scene I am thinking of using as the opener to one of my next Reilly and Fisk cases…
She stood and surveyed the gruesome scene in the small one bedroom apartment. Her espresso-colored eyes were flat and emotionless all the while absorbing every detail. The distinct metallic smell of blood hung thick in the air. Detective Jess Reilly had been to a lot of murder scenes in the years she had worked homicide for the Boston Police Department. In that time she had seen the worst of what humans do to other humans, but this scene had given her pause as she had ducked under the crime scene tape and stepped onto the threshold of the apartment. She had assumed the ashen-faced uniformed officer who had greeted her just outside of the scene’s perimeter was shaken up by his first glimpse at death. However, she now sent a mental apology to him as this was the type of scene that would give even the most seasoned homicide detective the chills.
The body of a young woman lay face down in the living room area of the apartment. She was less than a yard from the door, but Reilly doubted she would have gotten far had she managed to escape into the hallway of the apartment building. Given the state of the apartment, it was clear she had already lost far too much blood by the time she had made it to the living room.
She squatted next to the body for a closer look but was careful not to disturb anything before the medical examiner arrived on scene. It didn’t take the trained eye of a seasoned homicide detective or an autopsy to determine woman’s cause of death. From where Reilly squatted near the body she counted close to two dozen stab wounds in the victim’s back, neck, legs, arms, and head.
Reilly sighed and stood. Even if the body had been removed from the scene, it would have been apparent that someone had died here. An average human female body contains roughly eight to ten pints of blood. Most people can’t appreciate how much blood that really is, but then again most people haven’t seen the vast majority of that volume splattered, smeared, and pooled throughout someone’s apartment.
According to the neighbor, who had called 911 after hearing screaming and “a commotion” in the apartment, the young woman’s name was Evelyn Bowen.
“I bet you heard a commotion.” Reilly muttered to herself as she carefully stepped through the ruined apartment.
Evelyn Bowen did not go down easy. The attack appeared to have started in the bedroom. The window had been pried open by the assailant who must have accessed the apartment from the fire escape. From spatter of blood on the wall near the head of the bed, Reilly speculated that Evelyn was most likely sleeping or, at the very least, lying in bed when it started. The room was torn apart and there was blood smeared on the walls and the bedroom door. She could see the grisly scene playing out in her mind. Bowen is sleeping soundly until awoken by a noise. Before she can react, he’s on her. She struggles and probably screams. He’s startled by the ferocity of her struggling so he stabs her. She’s wounded but somehow manages to get away from him. Reilly spotted the bedside lamp with the bloody handprint on the shade on the floor near the bed. She couldn’t help but smirk as she imagined Evelyn grabbing the lamp by its shade and using it to strike a blow to her assailant. She sees her opportunity and tries to make a run for it. Blood spatter on the wall by the door told Reilly that the attacker was able to get in another slash or two as Bowen’s bloody hands struggled with the doorknob.
Streaks of bloody finger marks on the doorframe of the bathroom across from the bedroom told Reilly that Evelyn was probably pushed in there by her attacker. The small room was just as chaotic as the bedroom. The tile in the shower was smeared and splattered with blood, but despite the fact that she was probably stabbed and slashed while struggling with the intruder in the bathroom, Bowen was able to escape him yet again. The shower curtain rod had been pulled down and the toilet plunger handle was bloodied. Reilly could picture the scene as Evelyn desperately pulled the rod down on to her assailant and the hit him with the plunger as she fled past him and into the living room. There were bloody hand prints smeared on the walls and the island counter that separated the kitchen from the living room. At this point, Reilly knew the adrenaline rush of the fight to survive was starting to wane in the face of the severe blood loss the victim had experienced.
Reilly stepped carefully back into the living room where the crime scene technicians had arrived and started to take pictures. The cushions were pulled off of the couch and looked as though they had been tossed toward the small hallway that separated the bedroom and the bathroom. It was Evelyn’s final attempt to ward off her attacker and buy time for her escape. Sadly, she never made it to the door and when she was finally caught and shoved face down on to the floor, her assailant was pissed off enough to land well over twenty blows before leaving her to die.