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Sunday Serial: ‘Haunted Bones’-Chapter Six

“N.E.T.?”

“The Narcotics Enforcement Team.”

“I hear that Saenz and Steins is becoming legendary.”

“We do have a good closure rate. Have put a lot of murderers behind bars, but we’ve hit a snag these last few cases and we’re stumped. I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll close them.”

“The Dobbins and GP cases?”

“Afraid so.”

“I’m quite sure you’ll eventually solve the Dobbins case. I think the murderer is still out there. Time will eventually give him up.”

“You don’t think the good doctor pummeled his wife then shot himself?”

“In my opinion, no. It just doesn’t seem plausible. I think the person who committed this crime knew exactly what he was doing. It wasn’t a random break-in. The person who did this had a mission. You find the mission, you’ll find your killer. What do you think?”

“Well, I’m beginning to believe the doctor didn’t shoot himself. No muzzle burns were found near the wound based on what the attending physician said. Plus we haven’t found the gun yet. But what we do know is that Dobbins does own a .25-caliber handgun and it does appear he was shot with that size caliber.”

“Yes. Okay. But there is one thing you can find out that will either bolster your case or disprove it.”

“And what would that be?”

“As I understand it, the doctor was shot in the left abdomen with the trajectory angle exiting off to the side, correct?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

“Then find out if he was left-handed or right-handed. If he was right-handed, it’s possible he could have shot himself and left a wound similar to what he has. If he was left-handed, it would be almost impossible for him to make that kind of wound and not leave a muzzle burn. The trajectory angle most certainly would have been more inward causing serious internal damage.”

“That’s an interesting thought. We’ll have to check that out.”

“Yes, you do that. And your GP case? It’s going to be a lot more complicated.”

“More complicated! Hell, it’s already complicated! How do you know that?”

“I still drive by the place. There’s more bodies there you haven’t found. It continues to be haunted by death.”

“More bodies?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t understand how you know this.”

“And it’s doubtful you ever will. I have an unusual gift.”

“Spiritual?”

“Something like that. But not in the biblical sense. It’s a paranormal phenomenon.”

“Paranormal phenomenon?”

“Scientifically impossible to explain.”

“But can you explain it? Laura tried but I didn’t totally grasp it all. A lot of it went right over my head.”

“I bet. But I’ll do my best. You see this phenomenon allows me to see an inner aura based on my haunting apparitions of a past event. That event is usually a death of some sort caused by another person. If that person’s death is left untouched, such as at the GP, I see revolving spirits—an aura. When the death is removed, so is the aura.”

“Is this aura anything like what was depicted in the movie Ghost? You know, the one with Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg?”

“Oh no, nothing like that. All that is movie theatrics. But I have to say, that depiction was rather compelling. I really liked the movie. I cried at the end.”

“But I still don’t understand how you see this aura.”

“This is what is so paranormal. You see, this so-called vision is in my subconscious which makes me believe I see it. I do not actually see an aura in the normal sense of physical eye vision.”

“So, it’s all subconscious?”

“Yes. The aura itself is a paranormal force which emanates from somebody or something. In the case of the GP, it’s the hotel itself and not the individual because bodies are still on the premises. Even though two bodies have been discovered and removed, the aura still exist signifying to me death is still present.”

“You said you think there were two more bodies?”

“I don’t think I said how many. But the aura still exists. An unresolved death is still there.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah, wow.”

“How did you get this gift?”

“I have no clue. It just appeared out of the blue one day years ago. And to be honest with you, it’s a gift I wish I never had. Ever since I got it, my so-called normal life changed. But in a sense, I think it led me to study forensic science.”

“When did these haunting apparitions start?”

“My senior year in high school. The fall season. I was riding home on the school bus one Friday. On the way we passed a wooded area. Then, out of nowhere, I saw this orb-like aura in the woods. Or at least I thought I saw it. Nobody else saw it. At first I thought it may have been a reflection of sorts. But a cold feeling came over me. And this was on a hot day. I thought I was coming down with something. When I got home, it went away. I felt fine.

“Anyway, the following day, the police found the body of a man in the general location I saw the aura. Reports said he was a dope dealer in his early twenties. Apparently his drug deal went bad and somebody shot him. I don’t think they ever found his killer or killers.

“But what I thought interesting, the following Monday on the way home on the bus, the apparition was not there. I guess once the body had been removed, so went the aura.”

“You ever say anything?”

“No, I didn’t. I sort of kept it quiet. It wasn’t until I got into college that I found out about this supposed gift. I learned that a Dr. Rhine established a laboratory at Duke University in 1934 to study what is known as parapsychology or psi phenomena.”

“Is this where it gets complicated?”

“Probably. But I’ll stop. But before I do, just understand that there are other classifications of this psi phenomena. What I have, the haunting apparition, is just one slice of the pie. Are you familiar with ESP, extra sensory perception?”

“Yeah.”

“UFO’s. You know spaceships from the beyond?”

“Yeah.”

“Reincarnation? Telepathy? Clairvoyance?”

“Yeah, but I don’t exactly believe in that sort of stuff.”

“Neither do a lot of people. But these phenomena, and numerous others, all fall under the study of parapsychology.”

“Interesting.”

“I think so.”

“But if you have this gift and knew there were bodies in that hotel, why didn’t you just come forward and tell the police?”

“Now Joe, don’t be so naïve! Me reporting that is really no different than reporting a UFO on my way home from the movies. You actually believe somebody in your department would’ve gone to investigate?”

“You’re probably right. Danny thinks you’re a nut.”

“Lots of people do. But I don’t let it bother me. Besides, it doesn’t get in the way of my work in the lab.”

“From what I understand, Laura says you do good work.”

“Thank you. But let me be blunt. Do you think I’m a nut?”

“No, I don’t. I think you’re interesting—and pretty.”

“Joe, you are so kind!”

“And just so you’ll know, I do kinda believe in ESP.”

“You’re a detective. A little ESP doesn’t hurt to have. It’s probably one reason you’ve had some good closure rates. See, you’ve probably had this gift and didn’t even know it.”

“But how would I physically or consciously know if I did have it?”

“It’s not a physical or conscious thing. It works in the subconscious. It interacts with your thinking—especially when you’re working on a problem. You were probably born with it; therefore, you consider it a normal way of thinking. It’s all very subtle.”

“But that train wreck I ran into with my exes. Should I not have seen it then?”

“Oh, you saw it; you just didn’t want to believe it.”

“Well, maybe I did. I have to admit, deep down I guess I knew something was going to happen.”

“It probably turned out for the best. You weren’t happy. But you seem more at peace with yourself now.”

“Yes, I am actually. But let me ask you. Is it possible for me to see this aura, or orbs, you are talking about?”

“I seriously doubt it. Your gift of the psi phenomena is different from mine. You simply have a piece of the pie not relevant to such. As I said earlier, there are several other types of the phenomena. Besides, if you did have these haunting apparitions, you would have already seen them. Does that make sense?”

“Yeah, I guess it does.”

“Good. Let’s talk about something else. I’ve never been to this restaurant. What’s it like?”