This is the true account of a real life murder investigation. Don't have nightmares.
I was a murder squad detective. Dark days. Dark places. Staring into the depths of the soul, reaching for life but finding death. Everywhere.
We were based at a secret location in south London. There was swingball in the yard. The boss was a Detective Chief Inspector. The Senior Investigating Officer. He was Mr Snugglepants. He had a painting of Helen Mirren as The Queen on the wall.
There were three Detective Inspectors. The first was Mr Scrooge who deputised when Mr Snugglepants was on a sleepover. Scrooge was old-school, with a twitch and a habit of yanking his penis. The second DI hadn't been seen since 1988.
The third one used to sit next to you and stare at the side of your head without blinking. He used hypnotism. Once, I heard his fingers click, and everyone was staring because I’d been doing chicken impressions. If you ever laughed at anything, he’d come running out of his office and then just stare until everyone went quiet. He’d then say, ‘A man is dead,’ before buttoning his jacket and walking back to his office. His name was Robin the Destroyer of Worlds. Unusual surname of, I believe, Scandinavian origin. He had spent many years working for Special Branch. Just prior to his move to the murder squad he was deep undercover as a street sign to Great Yarmouth.
The Detective Constables had three offices. One was the Major Incident Room which sounds really exciting, but actually looked like one of those offices you sometimes get a glimpse of in supermarkets. This was run by a Detective Sergeant called Norman who was a right Norman. The boring DCs were made to sit together in one of the rooms and do all the work. They were called the Mormons because they were all religious Americans. I think. I called them the Mormons once and got punched in the face by the smallest one, so used their real names after that. He was called Bashful, or Dozy or something like that. It was a long time ago.
Bashful’s claim to fame was that he was in a phonebox once making a dirty phonecall to one of his old primary school teachers, when a couple of lads got into a fight outside. One of them ended up stabbing the other one to death right in front of a bona fide murder squad detective. He finished himself off in the phonebox, and managed to force his way out. The dying lad was propped against the door, so it took some doing.
One morning, Mr Snugglepants called us all together and kissed us all on the cheeks as we walked in. I thought he was going to have one of us executed, but it turned out that we’d been given a new murder case to investigate. It turned out that there were places called Public Sex Environments. During the day they were known as parks. People called men sat in bushes and did sex things with each other. It seemed that there was no expectation of formal introductions before they indulged, which I was quite surprised about having been brought up properly.
Some poor chap had been kicked to death. One of the other park users had called the police. I will call him Steve because that was his name at the time. I’d imagine it still is. The case was treated as a homophobic attack because it was a homophobic attack. It really isn’t rocket science this murder investigation lark, despite all that Inspector Morse nonsense on the telly. If anyone tried to listen to classical music in a police car they’d be nicknamed Graham LeSaux pretty damn quickly.
Each Murder Squad has trained officers to act as liaison with the families of the deceased. They are called Family Liaison Officers so the families know just what they’re getting, unlike PPI. They will take along the Senior Investigating Officer to meet the family during the early stages of the investigation. The SIO will hand over a letter on police headed paper saying how sorry he is. This is done so the SIO doesn’t well up and embarrass himself. Mr Snugglepants was a teary sort, so was often left in his car seat with the window a little bit open while the FLO handed the letter over. FLOs are told never to touch family members unless an emotional spouse is trying to drag the body away during the viewing at the undertakers.
The death in the park was given an operation name to make it sound all sexy for the press appeals. It had to be snappy and not offensive to anyone at all. Norman’s mum was used to quality assure operation names for us. She was a very pious woman. Mr Snugglepants would have caused national outrage by talking about Operation Manshake on Crimewatch.
Although not a trained FLO, I can do this funny wobbly thing with my eyes, so DI Robin the Destroyer of Worlds got me to interact with a male friend of our victim. He did this by the use of simple mind control. This chap told me a long sad tale of his intimate relationship with our deceased. I was somewhat taken back when he revealed that they met on a National Front march in the late 1970s and had sex in a pub toilet after the parade. I remember thinking that a young virile male seeking to make the beast with two backs with a fellow chap would probably be playing quite a high risk game by doing so on an NF march.
One morning I went to work rather than bunking off. Norman was already there. I never saw him leave the office. His trousers had been glued to the seat, so he was too embarrassed to stand up in case they ripped and he had to go home on the bus with his Spiderman pants on show. Norman beckoned me over so I flicked the Vs. He couldn't come after me.
I spent the morning reading the paperwork. This was in it’s raw form. One of Norman’s roles was to summarise and sanitise everything for Mr Snugglepants so nothing put him off his lunch. If Norman found anything that was of note, but possibly on the icky side, he’d tell DI Robin the Destroyer of Worlds whose pupils would turn black.
I managed to find a suspect for the murder. I’d spent around six years in the CID by that time, and had never found a real suspect before. I’d come close, but it turned out the suspect was one step ahead of me, and I ended up arresting the pillow he’d left under his duvet.
The suspect had turned up at the police cordon on the night of the murder driving a white Vauxhall Astra. The officer on the cordon asked what he was doing, so he said he was looking for action in the park. She told him she wasn’t that sort of girl, and anyway she was working until ten. She then asked his name, and he refused to give it, so she wrote down his registration number. This quite often annoys people, unless they have personalised number plates when they’re really pleased as they’re getting something back for the £10,000 they paid to have INN1T on the back of their motor.
It turned out the person who owned the car was already known to the police for leaving shopping trolleys in disabled parking spaces. He also lived in Coventry which sealed the deal. I rushed through to tell Mr Snugglepants, but a thought ray from DI Robin the Destroyer of Worlds told me that he was feeling a little sensitive that morning and was listening to Simon Bates’ Our Tune.
Everyone got together for an office meeting. Even the Mormons came out. The one who punched me gave me a glare, and stared right at me for the whole meeting. DI Robin the Destroyer of Worlds had brought cakes in as it was his birthday. He was levitating at around ceiling height. Mr Snugglepants came in doing his Brucie thing, so we all gave it the 'to see you nice' bit to keep him happy.
Norman did the music. Norman was starting to look at bit rough around the edges. I hope the person who glued his trousers had a good long look at themselves. When we moved offices, the removal men had to carry Norman down on his chair. He went in the back of the lorry with all the desks and stuff. I remember the look of shame and anguish on his face as the doors crashed shut.
It was decreed that I would travel to Coventry to arrest our suspect. Robin the Destroyer of Worlds summonsed up a DS everyone had heard of but had never actually seen. DS Bono only ever came out for double time. Bono insisted on his best friend DC Edge coming as well. DC Clayton was sent with us even though he was mentally ill having had a breakdown and telling a bereaved mother at the Old Bailey that her son deserved to die because he was a bastard. He was moved to the paedophile squad to aid his recovery which didn’t really help, so he ended up with us. A Crime Scene Manager came as well. His name, unsurprisingly, was Larry Mullen Jr.
We set of the next morning. It was Sunday. Bloody Sunday I thought. It was a Beautiful Day though. We drove around to collect DC Clayton but he took ages looking for his keys. He said he Still Hasn’t Found What He’s Looking For when we hurried him along. DC Edge said ‘He’s a One!’ DS Bono said, ‘We’re going, With or Without You!’ So DC Clayton came out and jumped in the back. We got to Coventry Where the Streets Have no Name so took ages finding the police station. DS Bono stopped the car and told me to stop making fucking U2 jokes. He took the opportunity to do his tai chi to calm himself down a bit. That turned some heads in the middle of Coventry I can tell you. He Moved in Mysterious Ways.
We booked into a hotel, and commenced enquires. No we didn’t. We went to the pub. We ended up in a nightclub where DC Clayton said he was feeling down and wanted to end it all. He disappeared. It was his round. Funny that. Larry Mullen Jr got on the dancefloor like an epileptic spaniel. He ended up getting off with some old granny with hair on her chinny chin chin. We all found our way back to the hotel where it seemed like a really good idea to have more beer.
Larry Mullen Jr met us there after kissing his date goodnight on the steps of the care home. After a couple of pints, someone slurred something about DC Clayton who we’d remembered was suicidal. We called his room, but there was no reply. We all trooped upstairs and banged on the door, but again there was no response, so we kicked the door in. The noise woke DC Clayton who came out from the next door room to see what we were doing. Luckily the room occupant was deaf, so had no idea what had happened. He stayed asleep while the emergency locksmith fixed the door and DC Edge had a slash in his sink.
We set out to arrest our suspect the next morning. Two local uniformed officers came along. They pretended not to notice that we all stank of stale beer. We had to travel into a notorious housing estate. Built in the 1960s, it was the stained legacy of failed ambition seen across the urban landscape of Britain. Desperate families lived alongside vicious drug gangs. If your face didn’t fit you were a dead man. The police worked with the community to keep tensions from boiling point. The local community officer had recently been awarded for the creation of a youth club. It was burnt to the ground the day after the ceremony. We acknowledged that our presence on the estate would cause issues for the local police, and may have stirred up tensions, so we dressed up as pirates to try and blend in.
Much to our surprise, the suspect was at home. As I informed him he was under arrest, he popped his false eye out and polished it with his t-shirt. Larry Mullen Jr was sick. We took him to Coventry Police Station where I told the local Custody Sergeant what had happened. He said he was very sorry for Larry Mullen Jr, but was more interested in the one eyed man we had arrested. The eye got added to his property record along with some coins and a tissue. DS Bono and DC Edge slept together in our car in the station yard. The suspect said he didn’t do anything, so we dropped him home and went back to London.