Mr Spraycan – case 2

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Sergeant Grafton: “Ms Eggers? Ms Jay Eggers? My name is Sergeant Julie Grafton. I’m from the Special Victims’ Liaison Unit at the City Police Central Operations’ Bureau. We spoke on the phone.”

Ms Eggers: “Yes. What is it you wanted to talk to me about?”

Sergeant Grafton: “It’s about some photos which were sent to our office by an unknown person. They were very graphic pictures of a young woman being sexually assaulted — and your name and address was printed on a slip of paper included in the photos.”

Ms Eggers: “Look, I explained to you when you called that you must have the wrong person.”

Sergeant Grafton: “Jay, please talk sense. I’ve got the photos here, I can see that you’re the girl in them. If you don’t want to tell me what happened, that’s your business, but I know these pictures were taken in Richmond Larches, which is a wooded area on the other side of the city. How did you come to be in that area?”

Ms Eggers: “I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you anything you’d understand. Goodbye.”

Sergeant Grafton: “If you insist, but can I ask you one more question, even if it sounds strange? Has anybody approached you recently and sprayed some kind of a gas into your face?”

Ms Eggers: “You know about that?”

Sergeant Grafton: “Jay, this is the second set of pictures we’ve received from an offender apparently operating in the same way in the same area. The first victim told me a story about having a spray used on her which seemed to put her into some kind of twilight zone where she had to do as she was told. It all sounded very difficult to believe. But if you’ve had the same kind of experience . . .”

Ms Eggers: “Thank God for that! I thought I was going crazy!”

Sergeant Grafton: “Then you were gassed?”

Ms Eggers: “Yes. After my aerobic class a couple of blocks away. I didn’t bother showering at the fitness center, I just pulled on my coat to walk home and get changed here. And as I walked out of the lobby a guy came up to me, pointed a spray can at my face and pressed the button on top. Then he started talking to me and said he’d walk me to my car. I told him I lived close by and he said he’d walk with me and talk to me on the way.”

Sergeant Grafton: “And you didn’t object?”

Ms Eggers: “That’s why I’ve been thinking I’d gone mad. No, I didn’t say a word unless he asked me a question, and it never seemed to occur to me not to do whatever he wanted me to. Can you believe that?”

Sergeant Grafton: “I can now, but only because this is the second time I’ve heard the same story in ten days. The man who sprayed you, can you remember what he looked like?”

Ms Eggers: “He had dark glasses, and black hair done up at the back of his neck. I’d have said he was about thirty, a messy dresser. Open necked shirt, crumpled pants, average build. The sort of guy that you often see in singles’ bars.”

Sergeant Grafton: “That matches a description I’ve already got. The girl said he looked like a Geek, so that’s what I’m calling him for now.”

Ms Eggers: “You’re not bullshitting to me about this, are you? About this happening to another girl?”

Sergeant Grafton: “I wish I was. The victim is ready to swear on a stack of bibles that she was told to go to Richmond Larches the day after she was gassed, and then went and did just that because she thought she had to. It’s the weirdest story I’ve ever heard and we’d just about written her off as some kind of a rape freak until the next set of prints arrived. Yours, Ms Eggers. Or can I call you Jay?”

Ms Eggers: “Sure. Look, this other girl is telling you the truth, because that’s what happened to me. Only it wasn’t the next day. The guy who sprayed me told me to come for a walk with him straightaway, and I did, like he was some old friend — the thought of not doing what he wanted never seemed to occur to me. It was like, do what you’re told and you never ask yourself why, anymore than you ask yourself if you’re going to take another breath after this one.”

Sergeant Grafton: “Yes, that’s the same story we’ve already heard — and couldn’t take on board. It looks as if we were wrong. So what happened next?”

Ms Eggers: “I went with him. He walked alongside me, he didn’t touch me, we went south for a couple of blocks and into a side road between two buildings with one way traffic. The guy told me to stand on the sidewalk and close my eyes. Tightly, he said. In fact he said it twice. After we’d been waiting there a minute or so a car pulled up by us. The guy told me to get in, keeping my eyes shut. He put his hand on the top of my head to guide it from hitting the roof. And then he told me to get down between the seats and he threw a blanket over me — over my head, mainly. Then he said I could open my eyes again but not to try to sit up again until I was told to.”

Sergeant Grafton: “And you didn’t?”

Ms Eggers: “No. I just kept my head out of sight underneath the blanket.”

Sergeant Grafton: “Did it smell of anything?”

Ms Eggers: “Excuse me?”

Sergeant Grafton: “The blanket: did it smell of anything? Was it old, or dirty, or greasy, or have any kind of distinctive aroma coming from it?”

Ms Eggers:”There was a kind of bad smell about it: a kind of animal smell. I’ve smelt it before but I haven’t been able to remember where — I still can’t remember where or when.”

Sergeant Grafton: “The smell of a dog, or a horse, maybe?”

Ms Eggers: “No, something more unusual, sharper. . . I’m sorry, I just can’t remember.”

Sergeant Grafton: “Don’t worry anymore about it now. Sometimes the only way to recall these things is not to think about them. So, you stayed underneath the blanket all the way out to Richmond Larches?”

Ms Eggers: “I didn’t know where it was. I still don’t, but I’ll take your word for it. Whatever, I was told to get out of the car and keep the blanket over my head until it had driven away. Then the guy who’d gassed me told me I could take it off. We were in the middle of a lot of trees, and that’s all I ever knew about the place.”

Sergeant Grafton: “So it was you and the one we call the Geek. Nobody else?”

Ms Eggers: “Yes, soon afterwards. We walked down a track and another guy appeared. I think he was the one who’d been driving the car and he’d parked it up where I couldn’t see it.”

Sergeant Grafton: “Before we go on, did the Geek say much of anything to you during the time you were being abducted — apart from instructions on what to do? And did he have any kind of accent that you noticed?”

Ms Eggers: “No, there was nothing unusual about his voice. But while we were waiting for the car he asked me some questions. Some personal questions.”

Sergeant Grafton: “How personal?”

Ms Eggers: “About as personal as you can get, I suppose. Did I like having sex with men, and how many men had I had sex with, and did I like giving oral sex.”

Sergeant Grafton: “Did you give him any answers?”

Ms Eggers: “Yes, I told him everything he wanted to know. Somehow it didn’t seem to matter. Like I said, I’ve been thinking that I must have had some kind of a mental breakdown to have done that.”

Sergeant Grafton: “No, I’m sure now you must have been affected by some kind of a mind control substance. But you became frightened, right: that’s what it looks like in this shot.”

Ms Eggers:”No, I wasn’t, though it looks that way. No, what happened was that the one you call the Geek stopped me and pointed towards the driver walking back towards us. He said the guy was going to grab hold of me and start fucking me, and I should look frightened. So I did, or tried to anyway.”

Sergeant Grafton: “Tried to? Weren’t you genuinely scared?”

Ms Eggers: “No, somehow I wasn’t. It was like all my feelings were numb, as though I was far away from them. Except for feeling excited about having sex right then and there, out in the open. It was something I’d never have normally dared to do but at that point in time I didn’t care. It was like, you know, being completely high — but I’ve never lost control of myself with drugs or booze the way I did in that forest.”

Sergeant Grafton: “Jay, none of the photos we have of you show either man’s face, but we do have one shot from the photos of the first assault that has his face on it. Could you look you look at it, please, and tell me if you recognize him? If it doesn’t upset you too much?”

Ms Eggers: “No, I don’t mind seeing it.”

Ms Eggers: “Yes, that’s him — the same man, the one who must have been driving the car. That girl who’s blowing him off — she told you the same sort of story as I am, hey?”

Sergeant Grafton: “Almost word for word. And now I know for sure she was telling us the truth, I’m expecting more cases like this to come along.”

Ms Eggers: “So those two guys have been getting a lot of exercise out in the open air, have they?”

Sergeant Grafton: “They won’t be getting anymore exercise in Richmond Larches. We’ve finally got the place staked out — I only wish we’d done it sooner.”

Ms Eggers: “I think you might be wasting your time now — I think these guys are too smart to go back there a third time. Can I . . . you know, see the rest of the photos they took of me?”

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