by K Cheryl Mwanza | Episode #10

“Aren’t you kids supposed to be in school?” Detective Chief Inspector Tanaka Dube asked as she opened the door to the Conference room.

Inside was Celeste May and Danai Chaurukwa, their wonder kids, two high school students that were assisting the literature part of their homicide investigation. Two women had been murdered by a killer they had nicknamed the ‘author’ and so far the kids had been right about his behavior. It was unsettling in that, after they had said he was going to kill again, he had killed again, and they had said he wasn’t going to stop. Harare CID was on borrowed time with the case.

“Our first lesson is starting way after the tea break.” Celeste said as she crossed her hands before her chest. “I went through the letter. The author is losing control in his life, and that reflected in the way he handled the second victim.”

“Didn’t that have anything to do with her countering every move he made?”

“Part of it was. Part of it was how she mirrored his mother in those moments. Testing him and pushing him past the point of no return. But the level of rage and anger he showed wasn’t only because of the above. The rage is from his own life that spilled into his safe zone. Remember we said that by killing he is trying to reclaim the control he is losing in his life. He is continuously losing control in his own life which means he is going to up his game, kill a whole lot more women in the most gruesome manner.”

“Why aren’t you saying anything?” Dube said turning to Danai.

“Because he believes the killer is a woman.” Celeste said with sarcasm.

“A woman?”

“Exactly what I said. He is basing that on the fact that only a woman would see past Laura’s physical hotness to the beauty of her personality or something like that.”

“A woman?” Dube repeated.

“It makes more sense than looking at the author as a man. We initially said the author was killing the mother he saw in these women. But in the second letter, the author says, if your parents has raised you right, maybe you would have turned out differently. I believe in as much as she is killing the mother that she sees in these women, as in the perfume, she is also killing these women because they remind her of herself. Here she is trying to make a life of herself. Something that appears perfect, but that is increasingly falling apart. And then she meets women who remind her both of the mother she loves to hate and her true self. She was messed up by her mother, and no matter how much she tried to escape, her past stuck with her and is haunting her as powerfully now as it was back then.”

“I am only going to consider that because in a murder investigation, until proven otherwise, we follow every lead.” She said as she got up. She extended her right hand as she took turns shaking the kids. “If you come up with anything, you will let us know. Right?” She said with a straight face, but she wasn’t sure about them anymore.

“Mrs. Mare said she was going to go through every article she wrote in the last five months that had anything to do with prostitution and violence. She said she was going to get back to us after the weekend. I called Mr. Mare and said she could contact you directly, if that’s okay.”

“Thank you once again.” She said.

“And one more thing. See if you can get the name of the perfume the second victim was wearing. It might come in handy.”


“Do we have anything on our victim?” Dube asked as she entered the working room.

During midmorning it was usually vacant except for today, Detective Keegan Gono was the only one in, and was in front of a computer typing furiously. In front of him was a white board with the pictures of the two victim, a time line in mighty marker including notes scribbled at the corners of the board. When she got near him, he looked up then cleared his throat as he prepared to speak.

Before he could let anything out, Detective Sergeant Brandon Makiwa busted into the room with a khaki file in his hands. “I have looked through High court judges, current and retired going back to 1980 and no one fits the profile the wonder kids gave to us. Sure, they have a murky past with women, but it’s mostly wayward daughters, ex-wives, second wives and secretaries. Half of the judges I have on the list come from very privileged homes. The other half they had to struggle to get where they were, but both parents were present and discipline was of the essence. We need to work another angle.”

“I saw the wonder kids this morning. They suggested that we might be looking for a female killer. Run with that and see what you can get. While you are at it, call Doctor Saidi and have him tell you the perfume that the second vic had on.”

“Sure thing, boss.” He said as he exited.

“A female killer.” Gono shrugged. “That’s new.”

“I now see the mistake in listening to a couple of literature students, but at this moment in the case we don’t have anything to lose by expanding our suspect pool. Do you have anything on the second victim?”

“Yes. I was able to ID her. Her name is Debra Chimhepo. She is 19 years and lives on number 12333 Hunyani Creek.”

“We had her in our system?”

“Yes. Two months ago she was arrested for aggravated assault after a fight with Mrs. Jaylee Mtandwa got a little out of hand.” Gono said clicking on his mouse and displaying very nasty photos of a badly battered woman.

“That’s Jaylee Mtandwa.” Dube exclaimed as she pointed at the screen. “Why would Jaylee fight with a 19 year old from Hunyani Creek? The last I checked Jaylee and her husband stayed in Grandchester, and that’s a world away from the Creek.”

“Well, it might be, but Debra was having an affair with Jaylee Mtandwa’s husband, Nyasha. They even have a three year old child together.”

“They fought because Jaylee had just discovered that her husband had an illegitimate child?”

“Actually, since Jaylee and Nyasha don’t have any children of their own, his child with Debra is his heir.”

“I can see why Jaylee would be bumped by that. A kid from the gutters gave her husband an heir that would one day take everything from her.” Dube swallowed then said, “I’m off to Hunyani Creek, if you need me.”

“There is more, though.” Gono said, “I know it might be a long stretch, but the wonder kids did say that the killer might be female-“

“And you think it might be Jaylee?”

“Well, she just discovered her husband was cheating on her and there’s sure to be trouble in paradise. Not only that, her modelling agency recently dropped her and her boutique went under two months ago. Her life is spinning out of control. It’s stretching it, I know, but it wouldn’t do any harm to bring her in and question her.”

“Bring her in.” She said as she began to walk away.

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