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CONTENT NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUNG READERS.
On the way to the crime scene, Sullivan corrects Jackson.
“Technically, this isn’t another body,” he says. “This is our first body. Gotta a lot of blood from the first one, and a body would make this a heck of a lot easier. Maybe we’ll get a break here. And we got to remember that these two cases might not be linked. We might not get this one.”
Jackson hears him, knows that’s how they should approach it but has a feeling the baseball card is too random to not be related.
The call takes them to the 3700 block of North Greenview, to a clean looking, brick two flat.
Tape is up, uniforms milling around.
“Sgt. Kowalski, we meet again,” Jackson says.
“Hey guys,” she says. “You guys got called in because of the obvious baseball connection, but it’s tough to see anything else related.”
Jackson sounds interested. “They said baseball card. Whose baseball card?”
“Take a look,” Kowalksi says.
They enter the first floor of the building.
“No sign of forced entry,” Kowalski says.
Apartment looks to be in order. They head down a narrow hall to a bedroom on the right.
There lying on a made bed wearing nothing is a white male.
“Neighbors didn’t hear anything, didn’t see anything,” Kowalski says.
“Of course,” replies Sullivan. “Who found him?”
“Cleaning service,” Kowalski says.
“So the guy was doing OK if he had a cleaning service,” Sullivan says. “Drugs?”
“They’ll run him through the system, but nothing obvious,” Kowalski says. “Looks like he was strangled.”
“He looks arranged,” Jackson says.
“You think so?” Sullivan says with a sneer.
And the body is reposed as if in a coffin, arms peacefully arranged with his hands crossed on his chest, with one thing that doesn’t fit — a baseball card between his fingers.
“Leon Durham,” Kowalski says. “The baseball card, I mean.”
“Damn, Leon Durham,” Jackson says. “Pretty good player,” and looking at Sullivan, “for a Cub.”
Back at the station, Sullivan and Jackson go over what they have.
“Likely homicide but no body,” Sullivan says. “Goat’s head with an earring dumped at Wrigley Field.”
“No. 2,” Jackson says, “we have a body with a baseball card — Leon Durham — which to me establishes an interesting connection.”
“Gee, you think so?” Sullivan rips.
“Yeah, some old man Cubs fan has finally had enough and is knocking people off,” Jackson says. “Say, where were you last night?”
Sullivan just shakes his head as Jackson laughs.
“Not just the obvious Cubs connection,” Jackson says, “but I’m talking about specific heartbreak in Cubs land. The goat, that’s from 1945, the last time the Cubs were in the World Series. Can you believe that shit? That still blows my mind, that they can’t even get to the big dance, not once in all those years. You really have to be inept to …”
“Shut the F up Jackson,” Sullivan interrupts. “What is your point?”
“Yeah, yeah, so 1945, a guy, I think his name was Billy Cyanide or something like that, a Greek guy, Billy Sianis, that’s it, his goat gets kicked out of Wrigley Field because it stank” Jackson says. “He puts the curse on the Cubs saying they’ll never win again.”
“Yeah, and?” Sullivan says.
“And now we’ve got Leon Durham, more Cubs heartbreak,” Jackson says.
“The ball between his legs,” Sullivan says.
“Opened the floodgates in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the ’84 NLCS,” Jackson says. “Sutcliffe and the Cubs fell apart after leading that series 2-0. Padres went to the World Series.”
“Everyone thought it was the Cubs’ year that year,” Sullivan says wistfully.
“I don’t know if they would have beaten Detroit,” Jackson says, “but they would have had a chance.”
Sullivan is tempted to comment on Jackson actually giving the Cubs a chance to do anything, but he regains focus.
“So we’ve got some nut job who is pissed about Cubs failures of the past?” Sullivan says. “But what do the victims have to do with it? Random?”
“That’s the easiest explanation,” Jackson says. “Guy snapped, kills people and leaves evidence of his angst.”
“But it does seem too simple for all the effort he’s putting into this,” Sullivan says.
“Agree. And we’ve got another thing to think about,” Jackson says.
“What’s that?” Sullivan says.
“There is no limit to Cubs heartache,” Jackson says. “1989, 2003, didn’t they lose in ’32. We’re talking over 100 years. Let’s hope this clown isn’t pissed about it all.”
Continue to Chapter 5 …
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