WoD: Paint It Black
Coast City is beseiged by crime. No one knows why, but a little over a year ago, the crime rates in the city began to skyrocket. And now the city has multiple active serial killers, each with a very low turnaround rate. The mayor created a special police taskforce. Then asked for assistance from the FBI. But even these steps haven’t made a dent in the new crime wave.
Back against the wall, he started looking to outside sources for help… Enter Jonas Booke. A reclusive philanthropist, Booke has created an organization whose sole purpose is to aid or supplement the police in the investigation and prevention of violent crime. This organization has branches in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, New Orleans, and dozens of other cities across the US. Now Booke has come to Coast City to break ground on a new building, and to set up a new branch.
To that end, he’s assembled a group of investigators: people from all walks of life who’s unique prospective will aid him greatly in his goals. Or so he claims.
Now, a new serial killer has emerged. The papers are calling him “JTR”, an affectation that draws attention to the similarities between his murders and those of Jack the Ripper. To date, he has killed 4 prostitutes, removed several organs, and sent them to the police. Overloaded, the police are desperate, and are ready to accept help from any source… though they may not be overjoyed at the prospect of working with outsiders.
Jonas has chosen this for their debut case because of it’s relative simplicity. As far as the killers in Coast City go, a copycat is downright vanilla. It should be fairly easy, something for the group to cut their teeth on, and Jonas doesn’t expect them to run in to any trouble.
Scene 1: The investigators are assembled, and meet with Jonas Booke and one another. For some, this is the first time they’ve met. Jonas welcomes them in to the Jefferson building, a small 7 story building in downtown Coast City. There is a conference room of the 4th floor. The newly hired investigators assemble there, and Jonas gives them each a ‘new hire kit’. The kit contains a brand new smart phone, a primer on the Jefferson and it’s facilities, and a set of business cards. He gives them an overview of the situation in Coast City, and tells them that he’s sending them over to the first precinct offices today to meet with Franklin Kim to discuss their first case. He’ll answer most questions to the best of his ability, but won’t discuss himself, his organization, or the quasi-supernatural events that the various investigators may have recently experienced.
Scene 2: The investigators go to meet with Franklin Kim, a detective in charge of the JTR task force. Kim has been on the force in Coast City for years, and he’s seen a lot. He’s wary of the players and their organization, but he knows he needs all the help they can get. At the investigators request, he shows them the letters that JTR has been sending to the Alt.
‘JTR’ has been taunting the police since almost from the beginning. Beginning with the 1st (known) victim, he’s sent letters before each murder. The first one he sent to the police directly, but after the police withheld the second letter, each subsequent letter he’s sent to ‘the Alt’, a local paper. The Alt has, thus far, published each of JTR’s letters, despite the police’s protestation.
The letters have all been addressed to Bernard Lusk, the FBI agent in charge of the case. He is a humorless man, and more than a little arrogant. He and Kim have butted heads on several occasions, and he is quite opposed to the Booke Foundation.
Examinations of the letters turn up no forensic evidence, the paper and ink used are available almost anywhere. And perhaps most perplexing, the handwriting appears to be different on each letter, the computer isn’t able to match from one sample to the next. Upon examining the letters, Willaim Klocke notices that the handwriting IS the same, but the writing is deteriorating from letter to letter, becoming more and more illegible. So, too, are the grammer and spelling. Dr. Price notes that this may be a symptom of advanced psychosis.
The investigator’s ability to pick up on a detail that the FBI missed impresses Kim, and he gives them access to the CCPD’s files on the case. Beyond the letters, only a basic profile of the killer can be formed. He is most likely white, males, and between the ages of 25-40. His victims are all prostitutes or strippers working in Coast City’s red light district and the surrounding area.
Scene 3: After leaving First Precinct, the investigators go to the area where most of the bodies have been discovered. Over the course of the next few hours, they view the scenes of the crimes, and ultimately determine the the victims have been brought to isolated areas, and are then slain, rather than their murdered bodies just being dumped somewhere. This suggests the killer has a vehicle of some sort.
The team splits up to cover more leads. Over the next few hours, several avenues of investigation are exhausted, each turning up no new evidence or clues. Suddenly, Delaney has a ‘vision’. He sees a man in a black van, his face nightmarishly deformed, assaulting a young women who looks like she might be a prostitute. While Micheal and Amelia interview a local ‘lady of the night’ who was an associate of one of the victims, he wanders off in search of the van.
At the same time, Lydia, Doctor Price, and the others are examining cc-tv footage, in hopes of turning up a clue. When Micheal reports that the prostitute he interviewed last saw the victim hopping in to a black van. Previously, the group had examined the Coast City Police report on one of the scenes… several tire tracks were found, and Detective Kim had hoped they might lead to the killer, but the samples were all generic tire brands, factory issue for thousands of makes of cars. However, one of those makes just happens to be a black, windowless van. The investigators finally have a lead, and the hunt is on.
Justin St. James has climbed to the roof or a nearby office building in hopes of getting a birds eye view of the area the killings are taking place in. Out of sheer luck, he notices a black van fitting the description of the one they are looking for… and after getting a closer look with his binoculars, he notices Delaney coming around the corner right in front of it.
Scene 4: Delaney hears a muffled scream from the van, and decides to call for backup. Suddenly, the van roars to life, and charges straight at him! Delaney manages to dodge to one side as the van scrapes against the brick wall, showering him with sparks and slivers of stone. He attempts to grab on to the van, but fails. Fortunately, Dr. Price and Pretty Boy Bill are close at hand, and Bill manages to catch the van, and tail it.
Luckily for them, the van is having some sort of engine trouble, and is spewing smoke. With a punctured radiator hose, it only has a few miles in it before the engine fails. Bill stays on it until the engine fails altogether, then pursues JTR as he leaves the scene on foot. Dr. Price and Lydia investigate the van, and find an unconscious woman, and several implements of grisly murder. The driver is indeed the man they seek.
After a short chase through the city streets, William Klocke and Bill confront JTR, and he wheels on them with a large bladed knife. As they are trying to figure out how best to disarm him, Willaim St. James happens by, and throws a soda can at the killer. In a bizarre stroke of luck, the can hits not JTR, but the fire escape above him, dislodging and ancient and failing metal ladder, which crashes down on him, breaking his shoulder bone, and pinning him to the ground.
The police arrive seconds later, and take ‘JTR’ in to custody.