Benton Deputy Jim Achino drove up to the new subdivision site. Sergeant Williams of the Corvallis Police Department drove up momentslater. They both got out kof their patrol cars slowly. The county coroners van drove up a few moments later. No one wanted to go up to the men running the excavators. Deputy Achino sighed and went up to the construction lead. "Please tell me your pulling a prank."
"Nope. It is ghastlier than we originally reported." Tom Overton of Hanson Concrete got out his blueprints. "We dug with shovels one tree out. There are more than two bodies. We are pretty sure there are six more from the positions of the trees, and I think there are two more recent ones, and we think there might be as many as four more older ones."
Sergeant Williams said "From the positions of the trees? How does that make sense?"
"That is what makes this so horrible." Overton pointed to his blueprint. "We are making footings for the townhouses here, so we began making the trenches here and here. We found the bones here and here. Eric here noticed the fact that this row of trees was planted, and that the position of the trees and the bodies suggested that the trees were planted where the hearts would be. There is some real sick puppy here, and he has been here for a long while."
Deputy Achino said "This is going to get crazy. I am going to call the District Attourney and get her approval to call Salem. We haven't had a homicide in two years, and that one was open and shut. We are going to need assistance in a capital case."
"She won't make this a capital case" said Sergeant Williams.
"We have four dead bodies. She is running for re election. This is going to be a capital case. Do you have your camera? I have mine. I also have some crime scene tape. I think I will put it five feet out."
Sergeant Williams nodded. "Make the call. Five feet will be ample. Do we send these guys home?"
Deputy Achino shook his head. he walked over to the workers. "I am going to have to stay here for a while. We are going to have to have you answer some questions from the detectives from the State Police. I am sorry. They won;'t get here in anything less than two hours, so bear with us. " Then Deputy Achino began making calls on his mobile.
Sergeant Williams put up the crime scene tape. Then he took pictures of everything around the site. He took pictures of reach individual tree on the line, he took pictures of the holes, he took long shots. He went through four rolls of film. He was standing trying to think of anything else to photograph. He was imagining some defense attorney berating him for not taking a picture he missed. One of the construction crew yelled out "Do you want a drone picture?"
Sergeant Williams walked over to the crew member. "A drone picture?" Deputy Achino joined them.
"Sure, I got a drone. You can get real good movies from it."
Sergeant Williams said "Do you have the software? I can't take movies from your laptop, but if you know the software.."
Deputy Achino said "Can you install softare? The county has installation done by a firm in Albany.
"I am the only person allowed to install software on police force computers. Do you have the software?"
The crew member shrugged. "Not on me, but you can download it. "
Sergeant looked around. "That much is easy. The city spent a lot of money having WIFI for police and transit vehicles. Lets see your drone."
The District Attorney drove up. Deputy Achino went up to her. She asked "what is going on here. This makes no sense."
Deputy Achino walked her to the end of the line of trees, from the smallest to the largest and explained what the construction crew had found. He walked her to the holes dug and showed the bones found. She asked "Any chance this is a native american thing from a hundred years ago?"
Deputy Achino shook his head. "That tree is trom four years ago, I recon. And that one, that one was put there within the last three months."
"How in the hell did that many people disappear and no one notice? 14 dead people buried and no one cared?"
"The killer didn't do them all at once. I think this is over a 20 year span, from the size of the trees."
She shook her trees. "This is incredible." She paced along the crime scene tape. "Where is your boss? Shouldn't he be here by now?"
"He was delivering a burglar to Salem when the call came in. He will be back in three hours. Paperwork."
Sergeant Williams interrupted them and asked them to move away from the tape. He pounded stakes every foot along the tape. "What are you doing?" she asked.
"I am going to make a drone movie. We need to show distances, I think."
"A drone movie? Since when did you get money for a drone?"
"It is his drone, but the software for it is on the city cruiser." Sergeant Williams said, pointing out the crew member. "We need to get a sense of scale, and this will do that."
The district Attorney said "You have to be the one at the controls. Not him."
"I understand that."
Overton came up to them. "Aren't you going to do any digging? You are just standing around!"
Deputy Achino patted the air in a calming gesture. "This is bigger than anything we have ever handled in Benton County. The state police and the State Medical Examiner want to take charge. They need about two hours to get here with everything they need. "
"You only need 45 minutes to get here from Salem!"
"If you can get here from Salem in 45 minutes, I will write you a ticket right now. Seriously, they need to gather up the experts and all the equipment. I think two hours is the worst case. They will probably be here sooner than that."
The district attorney said "I will start looking through our missing persons. The most recent is three months?"
Deputy Achino looked thoughtful. "Start with two months. We had a miserable rainy fall, which might have changed the growth paterns of grass and so on."
She nodded. "Two months than."
"You might ask the folks at Campus Security if anyone just dropped out. They might have just slipped through the cracks up there. Students give the folks at missing persons hell from both directions all the time."
"Tell me about it! Ok, I will be right on it. Have the sheriff report to me when he is on scene. "
Overton said "How long are you going to keep my men here! They get $20 an hour to stand there with their fingers up their butts. It will ruin me."
"Their on the clock? When there is a murder investigation going on?"
"Union Contract. I mean I have no problem with paying them for four hours but having them stand around while they wait for the state police...."
"I know. It sucks. But the detectives at the state police might want to ask them some questions, and we don't want the new of this getting out. Not yet."...............
The state medical examiner and the county coroner and their assistants dug down into the earth four feet for the smallest tree. The county coroner got the first notice they were deep enough when he got some of the garbage bag the body was wrapped in. From then on, they used trowels. They dug around the garbage bag and took pictures every step of the way.
The body was of an african american woman. She was about 19 years old, and she had been slashed repeatedly in the lower abdomen and in the are around her breasts. Her head had been nearly severed. Decomposition had been retarded by the garbage bag she had been stuffed into. She was five months pregnant. The sherriff looked through his list of missing persons. She was Atifa Jones. She was on the list because her parents reporter her from Los Angeles. They reported that the school had reported she had gone on a trip to Palestine. Her parents reported her because there was no way she would get on an airplane. Then school was adamant she had gone on the trip, but Portland Airport did not report her taking the trip.
The medical examiner quickly took her to the morgue where they did a more thorough examination. They noted bone chips cut out by the knife from her ribs and in her pelvic girdle. The baby was sliced several times in a frenzy.
The next corpse was of a native american woman of about 30 years of age. She was reported missing by the reservation at Grande Ronde, where she had been a faro dealer. There were leg and arm bones of a fetus, approximately six months along. There were chipped rib bones, and chips in the pelvic girdle, and one of the arm bones of the fetus was broken.
The next skeleton was an african american. Her hair and some skin were still attached. She was approximately 25 years old, and seven months pregnant with some arm, leg and cranial bones still in the pelvic area. She also had her skull separated from the rest of the body. There were chips taken out of the pelvic girdle. There were more than usual chips taken out of the rib, two of which were broken. There were no missing persons from Benton, Lane, Linn, Marion, Clackamas, Washington or Multnomah counties that would definitely be her.
The next body raised a conundrum. before they had been able to pull the trees out by the roots. From then on, they would have to use a stump reducer. Essentially a chain saw that was put on the top of the stump. Or they would just have to work around the tree. They worked around the tree......................
Working from the first body they noticed labels on the trees. It was a douglas fir from the experimental station. they had a set of codes under the experimental station tag. A state police detective and an officer from the campus security office went to the station. A student looked up the code and told them that that after they were done with the experiments they had passed them for regular plantings. The student said all the trees that went out had notes. All three trees had notes that professor Andrus from the Sociology department had taken individual trees from the station.........................
The secretary at the Sociology department told them that professor Andrus was in Palestine for a Struggle for Peace and Freedom event that would take the entire term. He would be back in six weeks. The Secretary told them that Antifa Jones was supposed to be on a class learning with the Struggle for Peace and Freedom from the fall term.
Detectives from the State Police questioned students who had been in Professor Andrus' class with ms. Jones. They generally agreed that ms Jones seemed to hate Andrus. Since his class was a requirement for a sociology degree she was taking the class with bad grace.
The rest of the class did not like Professor Andrus either. He was a mercurial grader, he was horribly borring, and he had a hobby horse about jews. Or 'Zionists.' If you wandted to get a good grade say something awful about the zionists. which would be more entertaining than the usual lecture. Several students joined up with the zionist school union the moment they could do so without damaging their GPA as a take that to Professor Andrus."Antifa was deathly afraid of flying. She told me all about her trip to Corvallis all the way from LA on Amtrak, How she discovered there were no busses to Corvallis that late at night from Albany. She had to take a taxi and that wiped out her meal money. She got her parents to send her some more money. She found out that there was a direct bus to her dorm from the airport. She still wouldn't fly. So when Professor told the class that she had flown to Palestine everyone was going 'what?' None of us said anything. I wish we had."
The district attorney said "We have so very little. We don't have anything on whether or no he knew ms. Feather All we have on ms Jones is a rumor, she took two classes from him, and that he told the class she was in Israel. When she wasn't. And we have three tags on the trees, and there are hundreds of those tags out there. I take this to the grand jury they will laugh at me. We can't get any identification on the rest of those bodies."
Detective Johnson said "We are going to go through the dental records of female students for the relevant time period."
"Impossible. There are 8,000 students starting in every year. We can't look through 160,000 dental records. There is no proof they are all students, and many students don't use the dental services. That is too much of a wild goose chase."
"Only 4,000 new students per year are female. And women are better than men about going to heath services."
"Ok, 80,000 students. 80,000!"
She pointed out "For the time period of Jane Doe #6 he was in Seattle for the period that the tree says the it was planted. A minimally competent could play that card for reasonable doubt. "
"That bothers me too.".......
We have an ID on Jane Doe #6. Chinese American, which explains her size. She is Amber Lim. She lived in Seattle, she was getting a journalism degree at University of Washington. Her parents are embarrassed for there daughter, who was four months pregnant at the time she disappeared. The reason she showed up on the Oregon list of missing persons despite her living in Seattle at the same time as Professor Andrus is because she went to an ATM in Salem at a gas station. Here is the photo the ATM took of her transaction."
"She looks terrified."
"The gas station is far away from any other business. I know the owner. He looks scary, missing teeth, belly out to here. He is ok, but he looks..."
"How were you able to able to identify her?"
"Dental records. She had a pair of broken teeth. She had a distinctive filling. It is a positive match."
"The only problem is we can't place Andrus at the same gas station."
"Oh, but we can! The owner had a camera installed two months before Amber's visit. He saves all the records of transactions. the owner is a horder. He saves everything. And he has Andrus' photo on the same night that Amber did her withdrawal. Amber withdrew $20 at 10:47, he buys a pair of coffees, a mars bar, and a donut at 10:53."
"A pair of coffees." The DA shook her head. "They could just been ships in the night."
"the lottery offers better odds. But people buy lottery tickets. We have to nail this guy but what we have now.... I think he is laughing at us. "
"What do we have on the trash bags he transported them in?"
"The last three were Safeway generic. The previous four were Fred Meyer Generic."
"Are you any further forward of where he killed them? There must have been an incredible amount of blood."
"He lives in small apartments. And he moves around. No way he could get away with butchering a woman in any of the places we have records of him living. It would be noisy. We have gone in with a warrant. There is nothing incriminating. There is pretty much nothing at all, except lecture notes."
They were silent for a while. She said "He has tenure, which means he has a good income. But he lives in small dumps. Why?"
The detective reached for the professors books. He looked at the back cover. It was Andrus with Philomath Historical Museum in the background. "He spends it on nice place in Philomath Apparently."
"We don't have it listed in his assets..."
The detective looked in the title page. "He has a corporation for his copyrights."
She jumped up in excitement. "He is supposed to list that to the school. He doesn't. Go to Philomath and look for the corporation. See if the corporation owns a house. "..........................
"If you look at this ariel photo The copyright corporation owns a barn two miles down the road from where the bodies were buried. There is a small office like structure on the property. I think we can get a warrant to search the place. "
The DA said "I don't remember seeing a barn anywhere on that road."
"His corporations owns 200 acres where he grows alfalfa. The barn is 100 yards from the road behind a copse of trees I think we may find something."
"I will get the warrant right now."..............................
The office building is small and cluttered. There are five filing cabinets full of notes, two more cabinets full of student reports, a desk piled high with receipts. Sergeant Williams goes through them slowly. He paused when looking at a reciet from the Grand Ronde Casino. "look what I found." He pointed to the name on the Faro receipt. Angela Feather.
They looked through the receipts with more anxiousness. Angela Feather was on 34 of the Grand Ronde receipts. Detective Palmer found a photo of Feather. He found a photo of Antifa Jones in another pile. Detective Jackson found a photo of Amber Lim. They found pictures of several other women.
Detective Thompson was working on getting access to the computer. He tried all the simple passwords. He was just telling Williams that he didn't think that he would be able to break into the computer, when it magically opened.
Andrus is very well organized. There are folders for all aspects of his life. One labeled classes, which is empty this term. There is a folder for completed courses, with folders for each year. There is a folder labeled Zionism, which is a revelation. There are folders for books in progress, and a folder for new editions, and down at the bottom, a folder labeled "play."
There are folders for computer games, but the folders for each game are old and almost empty. There is another folder labeled 'recreation.' The folders here have cryptic labels, but startling contents. Detective Thompson shows the other detectives as he goes through the folders. "We now have names for all the Jane Does."
"Why so many? Are there more bodies somewhere?"
"No, The survivors got abortions."
"How did he get so many pregnant? "
"That bothers me too. He is not popular, I wonder how he got so many between the sheets."
"He has odd papers in here, and he has essays written submitted electronically by the students."
"There is something peculiar about the the essays. "
"He has two or three versions of the essays. Why would the student essays include drafts?"
"The later drafts lack the references on the earlier drafts...."
"He removed the references. The later submissions all become plagiarized. "
Sergeant Williams looked mystified. "Plagiarized? What do you means."
Sergeant Thomas of campus Security said "Plagiarism means theft of someone else's work. He took the legitimate quoting with attribution here in this copy to the bare faced theft of someone else's work in this copy which is newer. He took the girl's work and made them out to be criminals. Then he obviously threatened them. If you are suspected of plagiarism you can't get a degree in any college, Essentially, this is rape with a piece of paper rather than a knife"
"He shouldn't get away with that!"
"Sex between students and professors is the unregulated mess, and students are horrible about the law. We have more problems with that. Plagiarism is a big deal. "
"So is rape! Rape used to be a capital crime. Theft isn't that big of a deal. I mean..."
"I know what you mean. But when you are getting threatened..."
Detective Thompson said "We know a great deal about how he operated. What are we going to do about it?"
"The DA will have to make a determination on that. "
Sergeant Williams said "We will have to have a van to take all this stuff to the evidence locker. We are going to have to be very careful about everything. We don't want any of it tossed because we made a boo boo. Everything will have to be photographed."
Sergeant Thomas said "Lets look at the barn. Lets call up Deputy Graham and have him get a truck. And he will have to talk to the DA about where to store everything securely."
They went opened the door to the barn. The earth floor smelled of decay. They looked around for anything unususal Sergeant Williams noticed the tools on the peg board. "Fellas, remember what the pathologist said about the knife that broke the girls ribs? Its right there. It is as if he was talking about it. " The crew stood and looked at it. "Shit" they all said together.
Detective Thompson looked around. "Right! We are start with photographing from the peg board and go around to the left. Williams, Do you have luminol?"
"Yes, I have a 20oz bottle in my cruiser."
"Good. Do you have any Thomas? We may need more than 20oz."
"I assumed we would be needing a bunch. I brought along three bottles."
"Blood products wouldn't last long here. And I don't see anything that resembles a bloodstain."
Sergeant Williams said "Back wall. It looks toi me as if he killed them when they were facing the wall sitting down."
"Can you put luminol on that brown stain.?"
"I think we should spread some luminol on this chair too."
"Put the chair in front of the wall just about here, you think? Put the camera on movie mode and squirt the luminol on the wall and chair. "
Sergeant Williams put the chair in place Sergeant Thomas squirted the luminol while Detective Thompson squirted luminol on the chair. Quite a lot of the luminol landed on the ground. Detective Thompson shone the black light on the chair and the wall. The floor, the chair and the floor all shone from the black light. Sergeant Thomas filmed for two minutes, then turned the camera off. "Hell and damnation! " they said in chorus.
"The bodies were all nude where they were buried. Maybe he took their clothes off here and burned them or did someting with them. Sergeant Williams, can you look around outside and see if there is any disturbed ground?"
"According to his web page,he will be in Corvallis in the 15th and 16th. He will be giving a talk at the library at 5:30 on the 15th."
the District Attorney nodded. "You want to arrest him at the library?"
The sheriff agreed. "We only have to walk him a block. I think we should alert the Lane County people and have a couple of Lane County cars. We don't have the facilities to watch him 24/7 which is required for capital murder cases. Either Lane County or Multnomah County."
The police chief said "Multnomah County. Lets do this by the book. The folks in Multnomah county have the experience. We don't want any errors."
The sheriff said "I want everything set up by 4:00. We arrest him at a quarter past five, Mirandize him at the library, walk him down to the jail by 5:30, have him photographed and fingerprinted by a quarter to six. We read him his charge sheet and have him in the car and on his way to Portland as quickly as possible."
The DA said "We will have a judge stay till seven if he has an attorney wants to submit a Haebus Corpus petition. Which will be denied. No bail because he is a flight risk, and because of the nature of the crimes."
"What about his first court date? When will that be?" The Sheriff looked at his calendar
The DA said "We will have to have it on the 15th at 6:00. He goes before the judge and pleads his case, and we we have him out of here by 6:30. "
"Do we know where he is now?" The Sheriff wanted to know
The state police detective threw up his hands. "Our best guess from reading his web site is he is in Hebron or Nablus. Things are messy when it comes to government authority. I think we would have to apply to both the Palestinian authority and the Israeli government if we tried to extradite. The Israelis would love to see the back of him, but the Palestinians would protect him because of his writings. So I am glad he is coming here. "
The DA nodded. "Extradition is always messy. Does anyone know if he has a local attorney?"
The police chief said "He does have an attorney that takes care of minor matters. Tom Johnson. He has a attorney in New York who handles the heavy lifting with his writings. Niether of them handle criminal matters usually. Johnson has represented him in a DWI case three years ago. He did a diversion. He didn't want to go to trial on that, he was at .08 and the DA back then was glad to have the case settled so quickly."
"Isn't he on probation from the DWI?" asked the Police Chief
"I would have to check. Probably not. We don't do Probation over a year with DWI under .10. With Diversion he can escape probation entirely. "
"Ok, the case is circumstantial, but he is the one thing that ties to all these women. We have him knowing all of them, heck we have their driver's licences we found at his place near Philomath. We have him at that gas station with the girl from Seattle. We have him buying trees on four separate occasions three times we have the same kind of trees from the university being used to plant the girls. We have the knife that was of the same type that caused the injuries. We have the evidence that he changed their term papers to show plagiarism on five of the girls. We have him changing term papers on four more women who had abortions who are willing to testify against him. We have the blood products on the wall. I don't see what kind of alternative story he can do to have him innocent. "
The detective said "We got a bit of luck, We showed a photo of him to the folks at the Grand Ronde casino. He had been banned on account of beating up one of the staff three months ago. She will testify that he had tried to blackmail her into bed. She went to the security people and wore a wire to a meet with him. He noticed the wire and tried to beat her. "
The DA said "Thats assault 3, easily. What is he doing in Palestine? He should be in Salem for that!"
"She didn't prosecute. I think some money changed hands. He is banned from Grand Ronde. And two other casinos in the state. I think she is satisfied. "
The DA shook her head. "I think she is in a great deal of danger from him. "
"He is going to be in jail when he gets back. "
The Sheriff's meeting with the Provost of the university got off to a rocky start when he told her that the University needed to protect students from groundless charges of plagiarism. "All communications between faculty and students are supposed to be on the Oregonstate.edu platform. All papers submitted for grading, for that matter all drafts, all chats are supposed to be recorded on the oregonstate.edu platform. Social media chats are supposed to be submitted, but we don't police them social media. But emails, drafts, papers are supposed to be on the platform."
The Sherriff showed her the 'plagiarized' papers that he had shown the victims. They were on a website at Oregonstat.net. "This website has been up for 15 years. He has had his students submitting papers to it for that long."
The provost looked at the papers the sherriff showed her. She was deflated. "Oh my god, we let that through the cracks. How did he get the students to submit papers to that address?"
"He gave the students an electronic syllabus at the beginning of the term which had the link for submission hidden in the links."
"And we didn't check it? All links are supposed to be verified by our staff. We will have to tighten up the controls. This is bad. This is very bad. How on earth did he manage to get the students to submit to that site?"
"Take a look at it. It is a very good imitation of the University web page. It is even a bit cooler than the legitimate web page. All the links on it go back to legitimate University sites. Except for his email and the course pages."