Five Little Children
The scene we are confronted with as we walk into the abandoned warehouse is one of the most disturbing I've ever seen and that is saying something. There are five corpses here, all of them children between the ages of ten and twelve and going by their clothes I would guess that they were probably either homeless or runaways. The absence of blood strikes me as odd. The whole place seems almost sterile and the bodies show no obvious wounds... except for the fact that their eyes seem to be missing completely. There are no signs of struggle but there are no indications that they were killed elsewhere and then brought here either.
The more I think about it the more convinced I become that we are not dealing with a human predator here... and seeing how the bodies haven't been drained and their heads are still attached I can assume that we are probably dealing with either a demon or a demon worshiping cult that is clearly not of the B-movie variety... and I have no idea how to break that bit of news to Simon. He had enough trouble wrapping his mind around vampires and Immortals so I suspect this is not going to be pretty. In fact I suspect that dealing with the crime scene is going to be the least unpleasant half of this thing.
Upon closer examination Jim tells me that it's not just their eyeballs that are missing, it seems like something sucked out the entire contents of their skulls through their eyesockets... which means we are probably dealing with a demon of a brain-sucking variety. I rule out the demon worshiping cult as being directly responsible for the deaths and shiver when I realize that I'm no longer even shocked by the notion of a brain-sucking demon, but I rapidly push that thought aside. I have no time for it. Hopefully that particular bit of info will help my father, Dawn and Willow narrow down their search. I also hate myself for hoping that the demon made the right choice when selecting its victims. A part of me can only hope that these children won't ever be identified. No parent deserves to hear that their child died in such a way.
I focus my attention back on Jim. I can see that he is going over the scene methodically and I guide him as he focuses on each one of his senses, but particularly on smell. That is the one most likely to be useful to us as chances are the demon has a characteristic scent that will hopefully enable us to track it. He also looks for anything that may have remained here if some ritual had been performed --knowing that even though a demon was most likely directly responsible for these children's deaths we can't rule out the possibility of human accomplices-- but that does not seem to be the case.
After a couple of hours we can finally go looking for Simon to confirm that it is indeed one of those cases and that it will be taken care of but not 'solved'. I know he hates that but judging by his reaction earlier today to the news that these five corpses had been found, I think the horror of this particular case has finally made him realize why we insists that these cases not even be investigated by other detectives. It is not because we are trying to keep the occult, well... occult, but rather because any cop who happens to get too close to a demon such as this one wouldn't stand a chance and there's no point in needlessly adding to the bodycount.
I am already working on the first carefully edited draft of my official report by the time the autopsy results come in confirming what we already knew. In going over them I notice a few additional details that seem odd and may turn out to be useful for my father and Willow when they conduct their own search for our killer. Oddly enough the most remarkable one has to do more with what isn't there than with what is. We have five bodies, all of them children under the age of twelve and there is not a single bruise to be found among them. This goes far beyond an absence of a struggle which could possibly be explained away.
I can remember enough of my own childhood to know that there was not a single day from the time I was ten to the time I was twelve when I did not have a bruise on me... and my life was probably far more sheltered than the one our young victims led. And yet we have not one but five young corpses, all of them totally bruise free. If I had to guess I'd say these children were taken a couple of weeks before they were murdered. They were cared for for unknown reasons and only later were they killed.
If they were indeed taken long before they died then that would seem to corroborate my original guess that these victims were carefully chosen to be children who would not be missed... it would also explain why none of them has been identified so far.
Moving on from the bruise mystery I focus my attention on the more gruesome details of the autopsy reports... details that tell me that not only were their eyes and brains missing but that all the veins and arteries that remained had been cauterized somehow. That fact in itself eliminates any doubt I might have had regarding the fact that this was the handiwork of anyone but a demon. That is the only possible explanation for the condition the corpses were found in and the total absence of blood at the scene... of course I know that doesn't necessarily mean that the demon had no human followers. I am aware that it's not all that unusual for demons to have cults of followers who provide them with human victims and I know that may still turn out to be the case here.
I close my eyes for a moment but my mind takes me back to that warehouse and those corpses. This case is going to be a difficult one, but this demon is going down. By killing those children in our city this demon blurred the final line. This is not one case we'll just hand over to my father and Buffy and then look the other way... it won't be one of their cases, it will be one of ours.