Jonathan Cord is a serial killer. Or is he? The police and FBI think so and are trying everything in their power to find and stop him. Why is he killing men, women and children? Because he is insane, or is it because there's something–or someone–else involved? Only Cord knows the demons which drive him to kill. Will the team of FBI profilers learn what those demons are in time to stop more killings? Or will they become victims themselves?
Richardson suppressed a grin; he was actually relieved his people could enjoy a bit of levity even if nominally at his expense. Anything to get their minds off their jobs if just for a moment. "What our irrepressible Ms. Franke is referring to is my conclusion that our unsub is nothing like we've been presupposing. Basically, everything has been a scam."
Schaefner frowned. "What are you saying?"
"That the ritualistic elements of these murders have been done for our benefit and are meant only to divert us from finding out the truth about him and the killings themselves. Everything we've seen has been textbook perfect. Ritual mutilation. Rigid adherence to a schedule. If I were going to give an example of a psychotic, obsessed killer, this would be what I'd use. And that's my point: it's too perfect." Richardson looked each of his team in the eye. "Our friend isn't being driven to kill by some psychological urge he can't control. He's choosing his victims for a very specific reason and has been staging the crime scene." Then he pointed to the board behind him. "Everything he's done you can see in a movie or TV drama, read in a novel. We have to reexamine every case because we haven't been looking in the right places."
"Unfortunately, this doesn't get us any closer to the killer," White said.
"It will. Our killer isn't psychotic. At least not in the way we assumed he was. These haven't been ritualistic murders, these have been assassinations."
The others digested his comments for several minutes.
"A hired killer perhaps? Makes no sense. Staying in one city and all." Franke crossed her arms and stared at Richardson.
"Not hired in that sense. But that's how the killer is treating each victim. Unfortunately it makes perfect sense; it explains everything. And there's one more thing."
Franke leaned forward. "Don't keep us in suspense."
"These may not be the only murders he's committed."