“Listen, asshole,” Detective Izir growled to the frightened man on the other side of the interrogation room table. “I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with your brain, but you better jumpstart it quick because you’re completely fucking boned.”
“I…I don’t kn—” George stuttered, his voice cracking as if he were going through puberty a second time.
“Bullshit!” Izir thundered, slamming both palms down on the table hard enough to make both the suspect and his partner jump in fright. “We’ve got you on fucking camera and so much DNA evidence you must have bled, shit, jizzed, and fucking spit all over her!”
George Krotus began to cry. Detective Franklin took a step toward the table but her partner held up a hand to keep her on the periphery. Izir rose from his chair, eyes bloodshot with rage, his breath coming in raspy gasps as he fought to control his temper.
“I’m going to ask you one more fucking time,” he said, keeping his voice as steady as he could. “Why did you do it?”
“I didn’t do anything!” George screamed. “I was at home! I swear it on Heavenly Father!”
Detective Izir opened his mouth to lay out a number of threats he planned to turn into promises but his partner grabbed him by the bicep. He looked back at Franklin with just enough sanity to keep from lashing out at her. She shook her head then gestured with a hand to step away and let her work on the suspect. Izir closed his eyes, counted silently to five, then stepped away from the table and took up a position near the two-way glass.
“Mr. Krotus?” Franklin asked, her tone as gentle as a mother’s when comforting a child after a nightmare. “I’m Detective Dakota Franklin, the co-investigator on this case. I apologize for Detective Izir’s outbursts, but you have to understand that he’s extremely upset.”
Franklin slid a manila folder from the edge of the table to the middle. She opened the cover and spun the folder around so George could see the crime scene photographs. She did her best to keep her eyes on the suspect. The glossy 8×10 photos were too disturbing, too inhumane for even the most jaded, desensitized investigators to look at without feeling sick to their stomachs.
“Look at the photos, Mr. Krotus,” she said gently, separating four of them from the stack then spreading them out on the table.
“I-I-I-c-c-caaan’t!” George wailed, closing his eyes tightly before turning his head away.