"The darkness that surrounds us cannot hurt us. It is the darkness in your own heart you should fear." - Silvetris
Hotch walked into the bullpen just as the elevator doors opened one more time. He turned. "Good morning, Abner," said Hotch.
"Morning, sir," said Sandra. "Any idea what's so urgent about this case? JJ never asks us to come in early." Hotch opened the door for her. "Thank you."
"You have your hands full," said Hotch. "And no, I don't."
The woman in question was waiting for them in the bullpen. "Everyone else is here, guys. Let's go and I'll start the briefing."
All three agents rushed to the conference room. Hotch and Sandra sat down in the last two seats.
"Ok, now that we're all here, why is this case so urgent?" asked Rossi.
"The victims aren't US citizens." JJ put up two crime scene pictures. Both victims were in cars. "This is Shane Byrne on the left and Ardan Kelly on the right."
"Aren't those names Irish?" asked Garcia.
JJ nodded. "They all had visas."
"So once the media hears about this, there'll be a--" began Abby.
Morgan cut across her. "Once the media hears about this, the shit'll hit the fan."
"Exactly," said JJ.
"Where were the victims discovered?" asked Reid.
"One in Cambridge," said JJ, gesturing to Shane Byrne on the left, "and the other also in Cambridge." She motioned to Ardan Kelly.
"When and where were they shot?" asked Rossi.
"The file says that they were both shot in the temple," said Hotch, "outside their homes, in the driver's seat of their cars."
"When were they shot?" asked Sandra.
"The police in both cities think it was sometime in the early morning."
"How early?" asked Reid.
"They guessed about midnight to five, at the latest," said JJ.
"How far apart are the victims?" asked Morgan.
"One week. The first victim was found on a Wednesday morning and the second was found exactly a week after," said JJ.
"They're due for another murder tomorrow. Why weren't we called in sooner?" asked Hotch.
"They thought they could handle it themselves, I'm guessing," said Morgan.
JJ nodded. "That's what the police chief told me."
"Wheels up in twenty," said Hotch.
"That's only an eight minute flight, sir," said Garcia. "Are you sure you want to fly?"
"Yes," said Hotch. "I'd rather travel for eight minutes by plane than two or two and a half hours by car."
They arrived at the Cambridge airport forty five minutes after that discussion. The Cambridge police sent a couple of cars for them, so the team was there practically within the hour. The team walked into the station with their police escort. A detective was waiting for them already.
"Detective Ellison, I'm Jennifer Jareau," said JJ, offering her hand. "We spoke on the phone."
"Thanks for coming down here so quickly. The chief's going to have my head if this case doesn't get solved quickly," said Detective Ellison with a smile.
"Do you have a conference room where we can get set up?" asked JJ.
"Set one aside just for you. Follow me."
They did. The conference room was spacious. The table was long, there was a white board and markers, and on the table, there was the case file. There was even some coffee on the table.
"Thank you very much, Detective," said JJ.
"No problem. I'll let you all do whatever you need to do. And if you need anything at all, don't hesitate to ask," said Detective Ellison.
"We will, thanks," said Hotch.
Detective Ellison left.
"All right, let's talk victimology," said Hotch.
"Well, both victims were Irish," said Abby, taking a sip of coffee.
"They have similar hair color," said Sandra. "Brown and black."
"Right, but hair and eye color is all over the place. Their eyes were hazel and blue," said Reid.
"How old were they?" asked Rossi.
"Byrne was thirty five, Kelly was thirty nine," said JJ.
"How long were they in the country?"
"Apparently, about a year apiece. They both moved here in June of 2010," said JJ.
"Judging from the angle of the shot, I'd say that they were both shot from behind," said Reid.
"So the Unsub would definitely have to be patient," said Morgan.
"Was there any damage to the cars?" asked Rossi. "Other than the blood splatter on the seat belts."
"No," said JJ. "So the Unsub would also have to know how to pick a lock."
"Any other damage to the bodies?" asked Reid.
"Medical examiner report indicates that there's nothing other than the gun shot wound," said Rossi, nose in the report.
"Did the victims have any family in the States?" asked Hotch.
"Let's ask Garcia. These records aren't as complete," said JJ, pulling out her phone and dialing.
"I was beginning to think that you forgot all about little ol' me, my lovlies!"
"Aww, come on, Baby Girl. I wouldn't be able to forget you that easily," said Morgan.
"Sugar, I know you wouldn't. The rest of them, I'm not sure of," said Garcia. "Whatcha need?"
"Did either of the victims have family Stateside?" asked JJ.
Pause. "Looks like they lived all by their lonesome."
"Any indication that they knew each other?" asked Hotch.
Pause. "They shopped at different stores, went to different churches, lived in different areas, they worked across town. From what I can see, these guys didn't know each other at all," said Garcia.
"Any DNA found on-scene?" asked Abby.
"No, everything was as clean as a whistle," said JJ. "Everything was clean."
"So that means forensic counter measures," said Reid.
"This Unsub is very cautious," said Hotch. "And definitely discreet."
"Without a doubt. I also think merciful," said Sandra. "A single gun shot wound to the head is a quick death, especially if it was to the temple."
"This is odd," said Reid. "This Unsub is profiling as a disorganized, but his actions are clearly organized and efficient.."
"It is odd," said Sandra, crossing her arms.
"I think this Unsub is mission oriented," said Morgan. "But based on what we've seen so far, I'd also say that--"
"Wait a sec, Morgan," said Sandra, struck by sudden inspiration. "What about criminal records in Ireland?"
"Garcia, you're still on, right?" asked JJ.
"Yes my doves, but I don't know how I'm going to get that information for you. That's an international criminal record," said Garcia. "Unless we go through the CIA or Interpol, I don't know if we'll be able to get it. My power only reaches so far."
"I think we'll have better luck with Interpol. When they get in contact with Irish authorities, the Irish will most likely hand over the records much less begrudgingly," said Reid.
"JJ, I'd like you to get in contact with Interpol. Get their records," said Hotch.
"On it." JJ moved to a room in the back and picked up the phone.
Hotch and the rest of the team moved further up towards the front of the room and spoke in lower voices.
"What else can we do in the meantime, Hotch?" asked Morgan.
"There isn't much," he replied. "Until JJ can get us the records, we really have nothing to go on."
"What about their records while they were living here?" asked Sandra. "If they had a record in Ireland, they may have one here too."
Pause. "Nada. These guys were clean," said Garcia.
"Thanks, Garcia. We'll call you back later," said Sandra.
"Be safe, my lovelies! Garcia out."
They looked at the clock. Almost noon.
JJ motioned for Hotch. "They put me on hold, but it looks like I'll get the records."
"Interpol also said that once they get intact with Irish authorities, it'll be a while before I can get the records," said JJ.
"When do they think you'll have them?" asked Hotch.
JJ sighed. "They said about nine. Apparently, Irish authorities are notorious for bad record keeping. Yes? Hello! Yes, I can wait until then. No, I don't mind." We're only investigating murder here. "Thank you very much, sir." She gave him the fax number. "And if you need to contact me, here's my cell number." She gave it to him. "Thanks again sir. Have a good day." JJ hung up, exasperatedly.
"Let's go get some lunch. It'll give us time to clear our heads," said Hotch.
They were at a diner that was recommended to them by Detective Ellison, Twenty Four. It was a quaint little place and as the menu proclaimed, "family owned for over fifty years!"
A waitress came up to their big table. "What can I get for you, Sugars?"
The team all ordered and the waitress went away.
Hotch looked at Sandra. "Bacon? I thought you were Jewish."
"I am," said Sandra. "I only follow the basic rules of keeping Kosher and giving up bacon was something that I was not prepared to do."
The team was still laughing when the waitress came back with their drinks. Mostly coffee, except for Abby, who ordered milk. "What? I like cow juice."
The team laughed again.
They finally finished eating at about two and came back to the station. They went back into the conference room and sat down.
"Morgan, I'd like you and Abner to go to the ME and take a look at the bodies," said Hotch. "I know the report said there wasn't anything on them, but I'd still like you two to have a look."
"Got it, Hotch." Morgan stood up. "Come on, Tiny." He grinned.
"Ok, Baldilocks," said Sandra.
They left the room amid laughter and got into one of the government issued SUVs.
"Baldilocks? That's a new one," said Morgan.
"I had to come up with a new one," said Sandra. "Baldy and Crone-dome were getting old."
They laughed and soon pulled into the ME's office. They were shown where the bodies were quickly.
"Can you get the bullets out of their heads?" asked Sandra.
"We can try," said the ME, pulling out a long, thin and slightly lethal looking tool. "I was just about to when you two came in."
"We'll just go out of the room so you can concentrate," said Morgan.
Outside, Sandra asked, "Do you think it can be done?"
"I wouldn't doubt it," said Morgan. "These guys know what they're doing."
About fifteen minutes later, the ME called them back in. "I managed to get them out. They're each in separate bags on the table over there."
"Thank you very much, Ma'am," said Morgan, taking the bags. "We're going to go now."
"Go right ahead. Let me know if I can be of any more help."
"Will do," said Sandra. "Thanks again."
Sandra and Morgan walked back into the conference room a little later. "Hotch, we got the bullets from the victims' heads," said Sandra. "We already sent them off for a ballistics test."
"Good work," said Hotch. "Now we play the waiting game."
"We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth." -George Bernard Shaw