A Caucasian female in her late 20s is discovered dumped in a Brooklyn Heights alley. There are no visible signs of trauma. Putrefaction has set in. The belt around her waist is cinched a notch larger than wear suggests the woman usually uses. Taylor suggests that the killer redressed the victim after the bloating associated with bodily decay began.
During autopsy Hawkes finds that the victim suffered significant ECCHYMOSIS and contusions on the neck. Bizarrely, there are horizontal lividity marks along the coronal plane. There are also bedsores that suggest she was on her back for a significant length of time. Cause of death was hemorrhagic stroke. She had also suffered an ISCHEMIC STROKE, indicating that blood was cut off from the cerebrum, followed by a HEMORRHAGIC CONVERSION. There is also evidence of perimortem inhalation of a noxious substance.
Stella Bonasera identifies the victim as 28-year-old LeAnn Goodman of Pelham Bay. Tox screening indicates the presence of codeine-based cough syrup in her blood as well as trace levels of nicotine. This suggests the use of a "fry stick," a date rape concoction. The rape kit, however, is negative.
A second body is found on a State Island garbage barge. The female has the same hair color and body type as Goodman, and is also dressed and decomposing. She has horizontal LIVIDITY on her back and neck contusions like Goodman's. Garbage associated with the body is from Brooklyn Heights.
Hawkes finds that the second female died of asphyxiation due to strangulation. Her neck was broken postmortem. She died at around the same time as Goodman.
The neck contusions on both women center upon the OCCIPITAL ARTERY, internal, external and common CAROTID ARTERIES, all of which are arteries to the brain, and the VAGUS NERVE.
The second woman remains unidentified but, from the condition of her dentistry, Mac Taylor surmises that she is of Russian descent.
Messer and burns develop film found in a camera associated with the second body. They find photos of the victim and a man at several New York landmarks, as well as a photo of the woman blowing kisses in front of an unidentified brownstone. Bonasera identifies the woman from a Missing Person's report as 24-year-old Zoya Pavlova of Coney Island.
Boghdan and Nadia Ivanov, Pavlova's sponsors, state that the student often disappeared for days at a time with her American boyfriend. The Ivanovs identify the boyfriend, Jason, as the man in the photographs, but do not know where he lives. They inform the police that he works as a street vendor in Brooklyn Heights.
Jason Parnell states that he last saw Pavlova four or five days earlier and that she had stopped taking his calls. He claims that he does not know where the house in the final photograph is, or who took the picture.
Work in the AV lab leads Taylor and Bonasera to a neglected brownstone in Long Island City, Queens. In a garbage bag on the sidewalk the detectives find a bloody intubation tube. In the basement they find a helpless woman lying on a wooden table, breathing with a respirator.
In the brownstone's master bedroom, Messer and burns find no physical evidence other than the presence of semen on the bed sheets. In the basement, Bonasera finds a cigarette-rolling machine.
Carson Silo, the owner of the brownstone, states that a rental management firm, now defunct, took care of all matters relating to the property. The present renter, who is unknown to Silo, paid in cash for a full year's lease.
Leonard Giles informs Taylor that the perpetrator may have medical knowledge and be conducting an experiment in LOCKED-IN SYNDROME, an irreversible neurological disorder characterized by complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles except the eyes. The brain remains fully functional. The condition can be achieved by sedating the victim and then compressing certain arterial pressure points. Taylor and Giles realize that Pavlova was killed first, Goodman second, and that the third woman was kept alive because the perpetrator had succeeded with the experiment.
This third woman is able to blink "yes" and "no" and removes Goodman's husband and Jason Parnell from the list of suspects before she suffers a severe stroke that leaves her brain-dead.
The semen on the bed sheets does not match that of Silo or Parnell.
On a medical bag left in the basement, laser light points up the Cyrillic initials B I as well as an emblem of a hammer and sickle.
When presented with DNA evidence, Ivanov admits that he and Pavlova had sex in the brownstone on several occasions. He claims that they had a pact in which he would take care of her completely. He chose to interpret this as consent to his medical experiment. His work in New York City as a cab driver allowed him access to other women who resembled Pavlova, whom he unintentionally killed. He offered his victims cigarettes that he laced with cold medicine, which rendered them unconscious almost immediately.
Posted at 11:32 pm by The Crime Scene Investigator