Home > The Last Move(8)

The Last Move(8)
Author: Mary Burton

Since Richardson’s arrest, she’d had reporters and even Richardson’s legal team call her trying to glean information. And this man’s unlikely mix of a Midwestern accent and the San Antonio, Texas, jurisdiction did not sit well with her. “What do you need from me?”

“I know you worked the last few Samaritan shootings, and you made an arrest six months ago,” Mazur said.

A quick Internet search could have told him that. “Go on.”

“I don’t know if we have a copycat or an accomplice or you have the wrong guy, but this shooter sent a text to a burner phone found with the victim. The text is addressed to you.”

“All the details you mentioned were released to the media,” she said.

“The medical examiner is going to do the autopsy tomorrow. Once we have the bullet, we’ll be able to compare it to the bullets used in the other Samaritan cases.” Every gun barrel has unique microscopic indentations, or striations, which imprint on each fired bullet.

He hesitated. “I’ve called your boss, Jerrod Ramsey. I’d like you to come down and review the evidence.”

“Once I’ve heard from Special Agent Ramsey, I’ll be in contact.”

“When you have your flight information, send it to me. I’ll meet you at the airport,” Detective Mazur said.

Steel hummed under the soft-spoken tone. He spoke as if her arrival was a foregone conclusion, but there were several more hoops to jump through before she’d get on a plane. She checked her watch and calculated how long it would take her to change, pack, and catch a flight to San Antonio.

She’d not been there in years. Her trips to her hometown had been infrequent after she left for college, and in the last few years had dwindled to none. There was always a good work excuse to miss family gatherings that had been bearable only when her sister-in-law was alive. After Sierra’s death, there was no one to referee or smooth the waters between Kate and her brother, Mitchell.

Maybe five years was finally enough time for a little forgiveness and maybe some forgetting. Should have been. Would have been nice for their mother if she and her brother got along. But she doubted a truce was possible.

“You still there, Dr. Hayden?” Detective Mazur asked.

“I’ll call my boss, and if he green-lights the trip, I can be there by morning.” She wanted Drexler in cuffs and to close the chapter in this horror story. But this job expected her to shift focus on a dime.

“I’ve already spoken to him. He gave me your number.”

Kate arched a brow as she studied Nevada. “I’ll need to hear it from him. Stand by.” She ended the call.

Nevada folded his arms over his chest. “No rest for the wicked?”

“Looks like there’s someone posing as the Samaritan.”

“Richardson is in jail, correct? I’m assuming he still hasn’t made bail.”

“He is in jail.” She dialed Jerrod Ramsey’s number.

Ramsey was head of their profiling unit at FBI headquarters at Quantico. Each member of the team not only was trained in profiling but also had a specialty. Nevada specialized in field tactics, ballistics, and weapons. Genovese St. John, PhD, was an art forgery expert, James Lockhart was capable of piloting multiple aircraft, and Ramsey had a PhD in forensic pathology.

Kate’s expertise was in forensic linguistics, the study of words and crime solving. She analyzed letters, hate mail, ransom notes, even text messages. She examined word choices, letter shapes, punctuation marks, typos, and more. Every component of a written communication held insight into a suspect.

Nevada cursed. “Richardson’s attorney, that prick Westin, is going to be on that shooting like flies on shit.” The elongated last word hinted to a Georgian drawl.


Ramsey answered on the third ring. “Kate, I’m on the phone with an angry hospital administrator. He wanted a pound of your ass when I put him on hold to take your call.”

“I have an identification from Sara Fletcher. The man who took her is Raymond Drexler.”

“She’s sure? You’re sure?”

“One hundred percent.”

Silence ticked away a couple of seconds. “That helps.”

No hint of apology in her tone, Kate asked, “You get a call from a Detective Theo Mazur?”

“I did.”

“You gave out my number to Detective Mazur?”

In the distance, a dog barked and wind whooshed. “I verified his identity, and since you weren’t answering your phone, I gave him your number. If I’d only known you were trespassing on hospital property and creating another mess for me to clean up.”

“What about the Utah case?”

“I know you’ve worked hard on this, but Nevada can see it through. He’ll find Drexler.”

Logically it didn’t require two agents to track one man, and Nevada was the best. But logic did little to soften the primal craving to see this creep in cuffs. “The shooter in San Antonio is a copycat or an accomplice.”

“And until we have ballistics, it’s anybody’s guess which one it is. Right now we only have evidence linking Richardson to two of the five Samaritan cases. Yes, the bullets used in the five Samaritan murders were 9 mm hollow points fired from the same gun, but any good attorney could argue Richardson didn’t pull the trigger in the other three cases. This San Antonio killing adds weight to that argument.”

She sighed. “I know.”

“Let me know what you find out there.”

“Right.” She ended the call and flicked the ringer back to the “On” position. “I’m headed south. You’ll have to keep me posted on the Drexler case.”

“I’ll text you a picture of him in shackles and cuffs.”

The Wonder Woman bracelet dangled heavily from her wrist. “No holds barred.”


“All right.”

Richardson had killed at least two women, and so far all her investigations hadn’t suggested an accomplice. She had other agents digging into his past, but their work wasn’t yet complete. Jesus, had he trained someone else?

“You okay with returning to San Antonio?” Nevada asked.

Few knew about San Antonio. She’d told Ramsey, knowing her history would pop up on a background check. And she’d laid it all bare to the team when they’d formed five years ago. She wanted to believe putting it out there herself would make it almost inconsequential. And for the team it had been.

Did this mean she was okay with a return to San Antonio? No. She was not thrilled.

“Ramsey can assign another agent,” Nevada said.

“My case.”

“What about—”

“That was seventeen years ago,” she said. “It won’t bother me.” In a text, she instructed Detective Mazur to forward his information via telex to the local FBI office.

“I’ll bet money it’ll take me less than forty-eight hours to prove Mazur is wrong.”

“Did I eavesdrop correctly? Did the shooter ask for you via a burner?”

“My name’s been in the news lately. Anybody with half a brain could have read it. But I have to check it out.”

Nevada didn’t bother with “be careful” or “watch your back” goodbyes. “Call me if you need anything.”

“All I need is a texted image of Raymond Drexler. Dead or alive.”

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
Most Popular
» The Last Move
» The Sometimes Sisters
» All the Little Lights
» The Hardest Fall
» To Hate Adam Connor
» To Love Jason Thorn
» A Beautiful Funeral (The Maddox Brothers #5
» Beautiful Burn (The Maddox Brothers #4)