Diaries Magazine

The Tangled Mess - II

Posted on the 09 August 2014 by Rajrupa @irajrupa

Read the Part I here.
The Tangled Mess - IIMr Basu felt his weak heart flutter when the man in uniform entered his apartment.
“I hear you are the one who found the body.” He said in the way of wishing Good Morning.“Yes. I did.” Mr Basu could only make his voice barely audible. As if the morning’s trauma wasn’t enough, now there was another ordeal to go through.“It must have been a shock. Did you know her?” asked the man.Mr Basu shot a quick glance at his wife, gulped and said, “I knew her just by face. We’d met sometimes in the elevator. That’s all.”“I see. Could you Mr Basu please tell us exactly what you saw in the morning when you went out for your walk?”“Yes. Of course. I went downstairs by the elevator around 7. There were a lot of crows and they were crowing madly. You know, crows aren’t usual here. At first I thought probably it’s a new baby crow that might have fallen from somewhere but then I thought there were no trees nearby to have a nest, also there was the dripping sound. I got suspicious. I peered and found myself looking into a pool of blood.”“So what did you do next?” “I screamed at the top of my voice. Of course. I tried to gather people. Mr Shangvi came to my aid. He was returning from his walk. He only called the police.”“Around when do you say that was?” “I don’t know, barely five minutes after I got down.”“Around 7:05 then? Can I take it?”“Probably! I didn’t have my watch with me.”“Ok thanks a lot for your time Mr Basu. I will leave you to rest now.”“Thanks officer. Glad to help officer. Glad to help.”[next]When Jha came out of the apartment 4D, his frown was deeper. Sangvi’s statement didn’t quite match with Basu’s. Any one of these two elderly men was lying. According to Sangvi, he found Basu sitting on the floor beside the pool of blood and shouting at around 7:20 in the morning. According to Basu, it wasn’t more than five minutes after he had got down. What was Basu doing in that missing 15 minutes of time? And if he was saying the truth, then why was Sangvi lying?So far he hadn’t had much success in the case. One of the biggest helps in such cases – victim’s mobile phone, was missing. Most probably the murderer had taken it. And nobody in the apartment building seemed to know the murdered woman. Or at least they were hiding it well. His only hope was the visitor’s card that was found in one of her pants pockets. It was a visitor’s daily pass to a renowned private hospital. He had already sent his sub-inspector to the hospital. And now he was hoping really hard that he would come back with some information at least, about this mysterious woman.  The window opposite of the apartment had been another apartment on the same floor in this U-shaped building. Jha’s visit to this apartment hadn’t proved much: a middle aged widow lived there with her autistic son and the mother confirmed that they hadn’t seen anything as she always kept the windows shut because her son had a tendency to climb up on the window sill and jump. In the end he had just left his phone number and requested the lady to call if she remembered anything.The security guard on-duty hadn’t proved much help either. He hadn’t seen anybody suspicious entering or leaving the compound apart from the usual flock of maid servants and the morning walkers. His supervisor hadn’t yet come, so Jha hadn’t much to do other than return to the police station. But he dreaded that. He could see in his mind’s eye how the people there would laugh at him. He remembered how delighted he had been when he had come to know that his first posting after being promoted as an Inspector would be the small suburban police station in the sleepy district of Pimpdi-Chichhwad. A mirthless laugh escaped him. If only he had known better. Now after three months and a rare history of zero solved case later he knew that this place wasn’t as sleepy as it looked. In the last three months he had experienced very bitterly that even though this place was successful in keeping its sleepy boring façade intact, it harboured many sophisticated criminal minds. Two of his cases involved a very powerful mafia boss and were hijacked by the CBI and then the only case he was so close to cracking was snatched from right under his nose and given to the much junior probationary IPS officer who liked to boss him around for no apparent authority other than the fact that he wrote the IPS exam and Jha didn’t. Jha wanted badly to be on top of things but this case too had yielded nothing so far.He didn’t even know the identity of the woman. Lost in his thoughts Jha hadn’t noticed when he had crossed the yellow tape that cordoned the apartment off and entered yet again inside the apartment where the woman was murdered. The barrenness of the apartment struck him anew now that it was void of people. The dead body had been taken to the morgue where they will try to identify her and do an autopsy. In any case, it was not expected in a day or two.Yet, standing here alone, in the emptiness, and looking at the wrinkled bed sheet, somehow it was not hard to deduce what might have happened to the unfortunate woman. There was no sign of struggle of entry, so unless she had forgotten to lock the door last night, she had let the person enter voluntarily. Or the murderer had a key. In either case it was someone known to her. They then came to the bedroom, some argument might have ensued and then (he remembered the slightly blue lips of the woman), the killer strangled her with a pillow. He could almost see the forensic team finding bruised neck tissue on the sheet where the killer must have pressed her down. Then the killer dragged her to the window, put her across the window that was already broken. She was already dead, her heart must have stopped pumping when her body was being pushed out of the window, because the deep cut in her back caused by the jagged glass edge in the window didn’t splatter blood. It dripped.
But Jha stopped here for a second. He gave his head a shake to stop the wildfire of the chaotic thoughts he was having. Things didn’t match up. The body on the window was put face up. It was almost as if the killer wanted the world to see what he had done. It was as if he was proud of it. It meant that the killing was pre-mediated. It was not done in the heat of a moment’s argument. Was it possible that she knew someone that psychotic who took pride in killing and displaying the victims?
The Tangled Mess - II

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