Dr. Walker waited for them in the building’s foyer. A corncob pipe hung out of his mouth. He puffed on it. Tendrils of smoke drifted toward the ceiling.
“Come with me,” he said irritably.
He led Konan and Lilly to a small office off the main hallway. Pictures of the corpses lay on his desk. Dr. Walker numbered them in order of death.
“Okay, detectives. Let’s go through this. Victim #1 answered the door and got blasted. Killer rushed into the trailer. #2 got popped. #3 fired at the killer and got three bullets for his trouble. #4 took one round to the liver and then got his head bashed in. All four victims received a dosage of hemlock.”
“We knew the order of death and how they died,” Konan said. “Do you have anything new?”
“Yes. I know how they got poisoned.”
“I found pizza in their stomachs. They all had eaten prior to the gunplay.”
“Okay. The lab should have gone through the trash. Let’s go see if they found any pizza boxes. Thanks, doc.”
“You’re very welcome, detectives.”
Konan turned at the door, Dr. Walker looked at him and raised his eyebrows inquisitively.
“Could you tell me how long the poison was in their systems, perchance?”
“An exact timeframe from the contents of their stomach. Eh, I’ll try. From what remained, I’d say maybe 8 hours.”
Lilly and Konan walked out to the vehicle. Neither said anything until halfway back to the police station. Lilly looked over from the passenger seat.
“Someone poisoned them before shooting them. That makes no sense to me, Konan.”
“Yeah. I’m kind of stuck on that point, too. Why would you poison them and then shoot them? The poison would kill them, gradually at a slower rate than a bullet, but they would’ve still died.”
“Unless there were two groups of people trying to kill them. One poisoned them, the other shot them. That would make sense.”
“Hemlock is hard to buy, so it should not be hard to track down.”
Or so the detectives thought. A precursory search on the internet showed that poisonous Hemlock seeds were available for purchase through several websites. Lilly shook her head and sighed heavily.
“You can buy frozen seeds and grow your own poison,” she muttered. Konan looked up and frowned.
“So, we’re looking for someone who has the knowledge to grow it, harvest it, and use it to kill. So much for doing it the easy way.”