Book Nerd Excerpt
EXCERPTTwo agents were dispatched to Sun City, Florida, to collect blood samples from the suspects. The tests would be performed at an undisclosed National Institutes of Health laboratory in Bethesda, Mary land.
The lab’s analytical teams were under the supervision of Abramhoff and Dickerson.
“One is just coming in now,” reported Detective Pinkett, gently manipulating the computer mouse.
“From where?” asked Detective Pellagrini, peering over Pinkett’s screen.
“Ann Arbor, Michigan,” both detectives read off the computer.
“Look at that . . . two kids, both twelve years old, riding their bicycles, disappeared in a wooded area near their home. A two- day search found the two bodies in the woods,” continued Pinkett. “Apparently one of the girl’s fathers has been arrested, and he’s already confessed.”
“Look!” Pellagrini pointed at the screen. “The man’s daughter was beaten and stabbed twenty- two times. That’s gross. She was also stabbed in both eyes and ears. The friend was also beaten and stabbed eleven times for— get this— interfering.”
“Triple six,” came out of their mouths simultaneously.
Several days later, a report came from the overseas wire ser vice that the Italian government had arrested two couples who were accused of killing eight people in a satanic ritual in the outskirts of Milan. The Italian government, wishing to become one of the HLA B66 testing countries, contacted the United States government immediately.
Following intergovernmental negotiations, and upon the mutual agreement of both countries, two agents from the project team were dispatched to Milan on a phlebotomy mission.
“Defi nitely triple sixes,” Pellagrini said.
The involvement of the Italian government posed a new dilemma for the team.
Already, Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, Nigeria, and South Africa had requested to become part of the HLA B66 project.
As a result of these requests, all of the State Department’s recommendations for entering into the project were presented to the president and were approved.
A universal precautionary procedure would be instituted for all blood samples collected, no matter from what country they came; that mark of the beast 215 would eliminate cross- contaminations or transmissions of any viral, bacterial, or parasitical diseases.
“Look . . . another triple six,” said Pinkett.
“From where?” Pellagrini asked.
“This one’s from Minnesota,” Pinkett said, shaking her head. “An eighteen- year- old Native American living on a reservation fi rst shot both parents to death, then went on a shooting rampage, killing eleven people, wounding twenty, then turned the gun on himself and blew his brains to pieces.”
“We have somebody to collect samples, yeah?” Pellagrini asked.
“Already sent,” Pinkett replied.
“Did you hear about the one from Missouri?” Pellagrini calmly asked.
“What town in Missouri?”
“A small religious town called Mountain View, Missouri,” Pellagrini said, like he had been there before.
“They must have a lot of mountains over there,” Pinkett said.
“I don’t think so. There’s nothing there but fl at land.”
“So why did they name a town on the plains Mountain View?” asked a curious Pinkett.
“Beats the heck out of me,” answered Pellagrini, scratching his forehead.
“Heck?” asked Pinkett, with a strange look on her face.
“Oh, sometimes I use that a lot to replace the actual curse words, especially while I’m speaking in front of a lady.” Pellagrini smiled.
“Gee, thanks.” Pinkett blushed.
“Anyway, this killer bound, tortured, and murdered at least ten women over a period of about twenty years.”
“Why did it take twenty years to apprehend him?” asked Pinkett, opening the medium- sized refrigerator at the east corner of the hastily arranged offi ce to retrieve a bottle of water.
“Because he was never a suspect,” explained Pellagrini, dusting off the love seat. “He was a regular church attendee, community leader, and a white- collar employee.”
“One of those ‘no- way- not- him’ type persons,” volunteered Pinkett while she sipped at the bottled water.
216 adolphus a. anekwe
“That’s an intelligent analogy,” congratulated Pellagrini, who then picked up the morning paper on the end table.
“Intelligent? You are just scratching the surface of my intellect.”
“I see, I see, says the blind man, to the deaf wife, while the mute child agrees,” Pellagrini replied.
Dr. Regina Dickerson is a Catholic physician in San Diego who has discovered that there is a certain genetic marker that indicates the carrier is prone to psychotic violence. Working on blood from prison inmates, her theory begins to prove itself time and again with violent offenders. The variety of crimes is diverse: one couple murders their children for organ money, another man kidnaps young girls to seduce and kill them, yet another has a penchant for cyanide.
As Dickerson's work begins to show results and catches the attention of the media, people begin to fear that witch hunts and Spanish Inquisition–style mayhem will result if forcible testing is carried out. Meanwhile, a race begins to find a cure. With science and religion at odds, Dickerson must find her own answers while trying to escape those who want to put an end to her inflammatory research.