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For the sake of a Name - Murder mystery case (Part 1)

This story is a part of series. The parts will be posted on a weekly basis-



I and my friend Sam are the best buddies in the world. I am an addict (I won’t say to what), but by friend is the most upright person in the world. He doesn’t even touch alcohol, and he has the heart of a gold. He has been with me in my trying times. He is good looking but shies away from women. I work as a private investigator, while Sam is a forensic and toxicology doctor working in Allen Hospital, Green Park.
We stay in Green Park, which is close to Sam’s hospital so that he can easily attend to his patient’s need and the hospital’s call. I do not have work most of the time, so Sam asked me to stay with him to cut down my costs and ease his boredom of being alone. We both are bachelors, love women from a distance but keep our heads straight. The intelligent of the human kind knows the dangers a woman pose to ambition.
One evening I was busy in my room working on my laptop, when I my phone rang. It was Sam. His call is my priority, and I quickly received his call. He had been asked to do autopsy of a murder case. The son of the woman, Rajan Srivastava, who lived in Bengaluru had come quickly on learning of his mother’s death. He appeared mad at himself for leaving his mother alone, and cursed himself. He doubted the capacity of the police (we all doubt the capability of the Indian police) and so decided to hire a private investigator to investigate the murder. That was when Sam recommended me, and called me on my phone.
Yes, finally I had work after a long time. And decided to give my best. I dressed myself and went to Sam’s hospital. Sam was waiting for me in the morgue.
It was one of the strangest case I had ever seen. She had been strangled with a wire. And then, her breasts were ripped off her body. The genitals were mutilated. The face of the woman expressed fear and torture. It had swollen and become and dark. That was her last look. The terror in the eyes had stayed and would writhe the onlookers. The abdomen had swollen and burst. Maggots could be seen growing on them. The foul stench was intoxicating.
I looked discreetly at the woman, examining the case:
Name- Mrs. A. Srivastava. Age – 58. Sex – Female. Address – Uttam Nagar, Delhi. Occupation – Beautician and hair stylist.
“When do you think did she get murdered?” I asked Sam.
“About 72 hours before now.” Sam said. “Putrefaction has started, and were it not for the place, it would have been difficult to identify the body.”
“Okay, let me go the place of murder. If I will need any more help I will call you.”
I took the metro to Uttam Nagar East. The house of Mrs. Srivastava was a fifteen minutes walking distance from the metro station. Rajan was all alone in the house. I wanted the details of the crime.
The woman lived all alone. She didn’t have anyone to bother her. The room where she had been murdered had been sealed off. The murderer must have escaped long ago. Did the police suspect anyone of the crime? The crime seemed to have been committed eons ago, and were it not for the curious neighbors’, the murder wouldn’t have been detected.
I made a few points, about the people I had to question and see if there was any clue I could get.
Who would want to murder this woman?
The wounds on her body betrayed a case of failed romance. Only a jealous lover would mutilate the breasts and the genitals. She must have cheated in a relationship, and that attack might have been for the purpose of revenge. So, it must be someone who knew her well. Surely that person would be in her contact list and one of the people with whom she must have recently talked to on the phone. I had to get her phone details.
The police had taken her phone for the purpose of evidence, and I racked my brains to get the contact list. However, I had a gut feeling that something didn’t fit well. I thought about the woman. Who could be the possible lover? Her age didn’t quite fit in the back of my mind as a woman who would take multiple lover. And I didn’t feel it quite right to ask her son directly about this.
“Did the police get any evidence of murder?” I asked.
Rajan shook his head. “No. Why, otherwise would I hire you? They didn’t get even a damn finger print of that bastard! He murdered my mom and disappeared into thin air without even leaving a bloody trace of evidence.”
Seeing his fury, I tried to calm him and asked, “I see Mr. Rajan, your mother lived all alone. Don’t you think it was better if your dad was around?”
Rajan quietly said, “I wish, he were. But he died about a decade ago. It’s good now finally they are together.”
Two thoughts quickly crossed my mind. The first I put in form of a question,
“After your father’s death, didn’t your mother feel the need to marry again? Did she manage everything all alone?”
And the second one was buried in my mind, ‘What if he has murdered his mother for property?’
Rajan was angry. “Do you think, all women end up taking a second husband after their first one is dead? My mother was a brave lady. She handled everything by herself and took care of me and my education. And see, the selfish me! I stayed away all my life from her!”
“Okay, that’s all I want to know. Can I have your mother’s phone number and the address where she worked?”
Rajan gave his mother’s phone number and her Beauty Salon’s address. I studied the countenance of Rajan carefully. Maybe if there was something sinister in him, I would feel it. People do hide great crimes, but sometimes the eyes and the face reveals the true nature.
After that I decided to interrogate the neighbours and the women who worked with Mrs. Srivastava in the Beauty Salon. But a formal interrogation wouldn’t reveal much. So, I decided to investigate in my own way, which would seek the dark inner side of the lady.
Gossips!
I had to get the wind of gossips. For that I decided to visit the colony as a panipuri seller. The ladies and children like them very much, and I would get ample time to talk to lot of them. For the girls could eat and talk! I had enough of the day, and thought of working on my plan the next day.
It was evening, when I returned to my room in Green Park. Sam was away. It was not unusual for him to be late in his work. An hour later he arrived, and smiled at me.
“So, how did the case go?”
“Nothing much! I will visit the colony tomorrow and see what everyone has to say.”
Sam chuckled. “The case becomes interesting when the killer is clever, and escapes everyone right under their nose. I do believe some mad lover killed her. And he is a psychopath for sure!”
“I know. Only a psychopath will kill like that. I wonder how many poor women he must have killed!”
“Let’s count the number of such cases then,” Sam said. “I will let you know, if I have to do autopsy of similar cases.”
Sam got buried in his books and writings, while I fiddled on my laptop. I had Mrs. Srivastava’s number, and I needed to know a few things from the customer care centre. Her last thirty calls, their duration and who were the people.
The next day, I dressed myself in some torn old clothes. I went to a Panipuri-wala and bought all his wares. And then on a trolley, I traversed Mrs. Srivastava’s colony (Uttam Nagar) selling panipuri. I had to sell it cheap, so that folks would come to me easily, but not so much that they would doubt me. Everyone would question a freebie!
I sold the panipuri to Mrs. Bhattacharya and Mrs. Gupta, who were Mrs. Srivastava’s neighbour. I talked about the news and politics as I served them. And then I talked about the crime, in their neighbourhood.
They shuddered. “It was horrible,” Mrs. Gupta said.
“Who do you think it could have been?” I asked.
“We certainly don’t know. That woman was obnoxious. She deserved whatever happened to her. I shouldn’t say anything bad about the dead.” Mrs. Bhattacharya said.
“The police has said in the newspapers that they are investigating the case and it may be some lover of hers.” I said, handing a panipuri to Mrs. Bhattacharya
“I also think so.” Said Mrs. Gupta. “She never talked to any of us. She would keep to herself most of the time. We thought she did have some affair.”
“Well, do you know who could be her lover?” I gave the panipuri Mrs. Gupta.
Mrs. Gupta gulped her panipuri. “Amm. She had on weekends, people visiting her. We never could make out who it was. But, I think I saw a young man visit her more than once.”
“Hmm. Perhaps, that was her lover. How did that man look?” I handed them fresh rounds of panipuris so that they continued to talk. Mrs. Gupta described the man, and I thought he resembled more of Rajan than anyone else. We talked more about the circumstances that must have led to the murder.
Mrs. Srivastava was a native of Uttar Pradesh and had settled in this place after her husband’s death. She had opened a Beauty Salon and minded her own business. He son was studying in the college at the time of her husband’s demise. Sometimes he would visit her. After that he had got a job in Bengaluru and worked there. Maybe he fell in love there with a Bengaluru girl and wanted to marry her and settle there. But Mrs. Srivastava didn’t want to leave Delhi, and so had asked her son to shift to Delhi instead. There had been heated arguments between them.
Well, the story was getting murkier. I didn’t want to suspect Rajan, and I didn’t want to form wicked stories about him.
I handed out the last dry crisp panipuris as I bid adieu to them.
After that I thought of having a look at Mrs. Srivastava’s Beauty Salon. It was near the Uttam Nagar metro station. And it was closed as usual. I got to know, the lady who worked with Mrs. Srivastava hadn’t opened the salon after her death.
I had to find her address and ask her the details. That I would get to know from Rajan. So I called him from my cell-phone.
“Hello, Navin speaking.”
“Yes it’s me Rajan, did you find any clue?”
“Not yet. I however need the address of the woman your mother was working with.”
“Oh. Mrs. Sheetal Sharma. I will message you on your WhatsApp. If you need any other help, don’t hesitate to message me.”
“Sure!”
Rajan messaged me on WhatsApp the address of Mrs. Sheetal Sharma. Mrs. Sharma stayed in Rajendra Nagar, which was quite close to Uttam Nagar. I took the metro to Rajendra Nagar. After that I walked for twenty minutes to reach the suburbs where her flat was. Mrs. Sharma was not at home- her flat was locked. I asked the neighbours and they said, she had gone with her family to her ancestral place in Haryana.
'Fuck!' I told myself. 'I should have called her on phone, before coming here. I am on a wild goose chase.' I messaged Rajan to message me Mrs. Sheetal Sharma’s phone number. I thought, I had enough for the day and decided to return to my room. I would call Mrs. Sharma from my room.
 As I returned from my work, a young rag picker came to my apartment and asked if I was “Navin Uncle”. I looked closely at the boy. Did he think me to be one of his kind?
“What do you want with him?” I asked.
“An uncle on the road gave me this envelope and told me to give it to “Navin Uncle” who lives in this apartment.”
I tried to take the letter which he withheld. “My name is Navin.” I grimaced. He gave me the envelope.
“What did you get in return?” I asked.
He showed me a hundred rupees note and fled. I quickly took the envelope into my and tore it open.
There was a letter in it in scrawny handwriting addressed to me. It looked the one who had written it had dropped out of school quite early. My jaws dropped when I read the letter.

Ha. I see you have been investigating the murder case. You are dumb. You don’t know a rat’s fart
why I killed the woman. You will never understand.People deserve this. I will kill many more.It gives peace to my burning heart. These
deaths will make the world a better place. I
will let you know of my kills. Stop me ifyou can. Ha! Ha! Ha! - J  


I was being shadowed by the killer!


(Hauz Khas: Close to Green Park).

(To be continued)....wait for part 2.

For the sake of a Name - Murder mystery case (Part 1) Reviewed by Polymath on 1:56 am Rating: 5

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