Deal 803: Betrayed.

It was quite the party. The evidence was everywhere. Dead balloon animals. Party favors. A lost rubber nose, which we bagged for evidence in hopes of a serial number inside.

And the guests, or what was left of them, now they are just pieces scattered everywhere.

But no blood. That was the particularly weird thing that caught our eye. Body parts everywhere, not a blood stain in sight.

The table was set for thirteen, but only twelve plates were dirty. Someone was invited but knew better than to come, or came but knew better than to consume the food. It isn’t clear just now which is the better explanation. But it feels like there was a judas goat of a guest involved who betrayed a dozen others by leading them here but not becoming a victim themselves.

Hmm, it looks like there were name cards at the plates, but something happened that stirred them up just as much as the guests. And it is going to take the coroner’s people a good bit of time to determine exactly how many victims we had, and if we have all the parts. Aside from the blood that is missing, of course.

There is one gift-wrapped box in the corner, that growled at us when we approached. It is a fairly good sized box, so we’ve got animal control on the way before anyone disturbs it too much. That growl was viscerally menacing. Something that stirred the already on edge primitive urge to run away from a manifest threat.

And we’re all a little on edge here.

Except for the party guests who seem to be on all the faces of the room, with fairly even spacing on every wall, the ceiling, and the floor.

But aside from the array of severed parts, not a splash of blood. It almost could be the result of an explosion in an extremely realistic doll factory.

I’ve got to pull myself together and produce an explanation for this that will hold up before the Chief pretty quickly, before any of the usual crime beat reporters find there way here.

Oh.

I recognize that right hand.

And that head of hair.

Looks like at least one regular reporter beat us here. And likely did know at least briefly what was going on before it all went pear-shaped.

But unless they filed a story in that brief moment, all that does is get us an ID on one victim.

Which is still one more than we had when I arrived, so that’s a start.

After marking and tagging everything, and comparing notes with the team, we notice that we had a dozen heads, a dozen torsos, two dozen legs, two dozen feet, two dozen arms, and twenty five hands.

The fingerprint folks are going to enjoy being shipped a passel of fingers.

The animal guys arrived, and after a brief orientation to the crime scene, and a pause while they caught up with their dignity, they approached the growling box. It appeared to have been shipped directly to the party location that morning. There was evidence that someone had started to open the box, then thought better of it. Likely because of the noise it was making right now. Perhaps that was where the likely single missing hand ended up. But while it might explain a hand, it doesn’t explain the rest…

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