At home, Konan hung up pictures of Amber and Lilly. It sickened him to look at the victims. Still, he studied the photos for something that he had missed.
“I was out of the game for nine years, but here I am again. My investigative senses have dulled over time.” He brought out his magnifying glass and studied the long cuts in both women’s faces. The cuts were long and deep into the flesh. It was not ripped as if it had been done by a saw or serrated blade. The cuts were smooth, and Konan could make tiny pieces of bone in the cheeks.
Both victims’ eyes were wide from shock. Amber and Lilly both had bruising, the only exception was Amber had been raped. “I need to know the type of knife used. Maybe it will help me hone in on the killer.” Konan dialed Ashley Wilkinson.
“Hello,” Ashley answered groggily.
“Hey, it’s Konan. Sorry for calling so late. I need to ask you something.”
“Do you know a blade expert? I need to know what kind of knife the killer used.”
“No, but you can ask my grandfather. He is a connoisseur of bladed weaponry.”
“Okay, where can I find him?”
“You can’t. Pawpaw is usually out of the house. I will shoot him a text and ask him to meet you tomorrow.”
“Okay. Thanks for your help.”
The night passed quickly, and Konan got little sleep. He was out of bed and dressed at 0530. He walked into the cage and switched on the light at 0624. Something bothered him about the cuts. There was little blood photographed in the images. “As deep as the cuts are there should be some blood. Granted, there is little blood in the face. Who would do such a thing?”
The elevator doors opened a few minutes after seven. A soft ding resounded down the hallway. Heavy footsteps drew closer to the records cage and Konan looked up. An old man with a long grey beard stood in the doorway.
“Howdy, son. I’m looking for a Thermos.”
Konan grinned and waved him in. “Are you Ashley’s grandfather?”
“I am. She said a Thermo-something another needed my help about a knife or something.”
“Well, I am your Thermos. I am Thermopolis Konan. I asked for your help.”
“That’s it. Ther-moplis.”
“You can call me Konan.”
“Thank you, son. Now what’s this about a knife?”
Konan laid out the photos on his desk and handed Jim Wilkinson a magnifying glass. Jim stepped back.
“Those poor girls. Who would do such a thing?”
“That’s what I am trying to figure out. Do you recognize the wound?”
Jim leaned over the photo and looked again. “I can’t say for certain, but I think it was done by a fleshing knife.”
“A what knife?”
“A fleshing knife. It is used for skinning animals and taxidermy work.”
“Where would you find a knife like that?”
“Any sporting goods store, Walmart, or Amazon. They are fairly common.”
Konan let out a heavy sigh. “Of course, it is.”
“Sorry, son. I was hoping I could help you.”
“No, sir. I appreciate you coming in. You have been a great help. I just don’t know how the puzzle piece fits in yet.”
“I hope you catch ‘em, son. Make ‘em pay for what they did to those girls.”
“I will try.”
Konan walked him to the elevator and went back to the cage.