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Join the quirky, hands-on Doctor Theo Rea and his left wing theories on psychology as he helps a former friend DI Meadows solve a series of brutal murders in Cambridge. On their doorsteps young men have been showing up dead, mutilated and dumped in public areas. Theo already has a theory on the mind of this serial killer and his friend Alice Meadows (and her team) is more than happy to embrace the help except for her boss; but being able to put this aside, there are other consequences working in the difficult field of criminal profiling as Theo will find out.


And so it was, the first day of his lecturing finished acting as a stand-in professor at Cambridge that Doctor Theo Rea welcomed the idea of a much needed and warming meal at a local diner. Thankfully for him, the bus wasn't too crowded... you see, Dr. Rea had a particular quirkiness... an idiosyncracy one might call it. He was himself a socially innept individual with very little people skills. Ironic then, how he worked in a university, but this wasn't his main practice - he was used to working away at his desk at home with a traditional pad and ink quell to work on, none of this ''art of the tech computer stuff'' as he referred to it. 

His real problem is that he simply couldn't comprehend the computer; even the simplest mobile phone has enough buttons to press his own. This is why he refuses to use them, as odd it might seem. He is possibly one of the greatest psychologists in the country and yet he still cannot manage using a mobile phone. 

This is the great and wonderful Dr. Theo Rea and he was about to enjoy the great and wonderful Monday house steak with fries on the side, all at a reasonable price of course. The diner he was about to arrive in, was well-known to be quiet in the evenings, so he specifically goes after the university so that he can avoid as many people as possible. 

As he entered the diner, he picked up from the rack one of the newspapers and took a seat at a table nearby. As he opened the newspaper that had folded over, the front headline bore the gruesome title:

2nd Man Mutilated Police Investigating Serial Killer

''It's not a serial killer,'' he murmered. The waitress came over to him and he looked up before she had a chance to ask him, ''just the usual please,'' and the waitress nodded and replied, ''No problem Theo.''

He looked back down at the story and started to read how the man had been subjected to some kind of sexual mutilation with a sharp object... the newspaper wasn't holding back, he thought. Another man only four days back had been found dumped in a sewer... he could remember it well for the amount of attention it recieved, naturally. He could remember the details of that case as well - the same kind of injuries being reported in this latest incident. It was to his surprise, the latest murder occured only a five minute walk from the diner. This latest man had been dumped in a bin apparently. 

Ever since hearing and reading about the first murder, doctor Theo had alreadt began profiling possible killers in his mind. You see, Theo is in fact a work-a-holic by the definition. No matter whether he is inside the university giving his lectures or in the comfort of his own house, or outside eating in this case, his brain was always active and this murder case was already forming in his head like an intricate Agatha Christie novel. 

Just as a police officer is trained to think like a criminal, a psychologist is trained to think like anyone- they are trained to think about emotions and other various feelings linked to the wide spectrum of human behaviour. Not only is he a psychologist, he is also a criminal profiler - the criminal profiling came into the equation when he decided to make his PhD thesis on the study of criminal behaviour.

He had ordered his usual, house steak and chips, but unusually, he decided not to leave an empty plate, but instead take a quick detour to the location of the murder scene, which was along Maggie Street, behind a well-known local restaurant. Apparantly the body had only been found hours earlier so when he arrived on the scene dressed still in his work clothes, he blended somewhat in with the local reporters in their fine suits and ties. Theo recognized one of the police officers standing next to a forensic tent and decided to approach them. 

''Well, it sure has been a while, Alice,'' said Theo, moving towards the officer for a welcoming hug. 

DI Alice Meadows was an old school friend of Theo's back in the day... and also a school sweetheart whose relationship lasted half a year... can seem like a lifetime in the eyes of a child; Theo was right though, so much time had passed and he hardly recognized her, nor did she recognize him at first. 

''Oh...! Theo! How you been?'' DI Meadows replied.

''Not bad, unfortunate we had to meet up under these circumstances...'' he replied.

Alice smiled and said, ''What are you doing here? Not that I am not happy to see you or anything,'' showing off her brilliant white teeth, he had forgotted how pleasent she was to the eye - Theo cleared his throat and said on a more serious note, ''Well I did come here for a reason, it was to have a look at the murder scene.''

DI Meadows, looked around in a bewildering manner, ''exactly why would anyone want to come to a murder scene... God, you didn't know the person did you?''

''No no, nothing like that,'' he said and continued, ''I'm a psychologist now Alice, I've worked on the criminal profiling side of things for a while.''

''Are you working for the police now?'' She asked with some astonishment. 

''No, but I was training some of them on the psychology of killers and rapists and how to profile a killer or suspect for a year back there.''

''Oh I see,'' replied DI Meadows, ''You've done well for yourself.''

Theo raised his hand, making a gesture over her uniform, ''you've done well as well I see!''

Her smile dissipated somewhat and as though she didn't feel as enthusiastic replied, ''yes well... it pays a bill.''

''Of course.'' Theo replied. A silence hit between them for a moment. Both went to say something at the same time and both immediately stopped to a small but awkard laugh, DI Meadows took control of the conversation, ''You know Theo, if you don't mind, is it possible you could maybe give me some insight into these murders... I assume you know there have been two?''

Theo nodded his head and said, ''Yes, yes, only a few days ago, another man, mutilated according to the papers, was found in a sewer, on the other end of the city, right?''

''That's right,'' she replied, ''Is he or she a serial killer?''

Theo sighed and said, ''I read the papers... they all kept calling them a serial killer - by definition you need to kill at least three or four people to become a true serial killer.''

Alice confirmed the misinformation by saying, ''Yes, a reporter earlier was going about saying it was some kind of serial killer.''

''The reporter sounds like a gormless reprobate,'' he said. 

''Are they a nutjob... a psychopath,'' asked the detective investigator. 

The doctor replied, ''I don't know about the reporter, but as for the killer, they are likely a psychopath, but their brain works completely fine, I wouldn't call the psychopath a nut job... certainly not to their face. You wouldn't be able to tell them apart in an identity parade if that is what you are thinking. Pyschopaths, especially the high functioning kind have perfectly sound brains, with one exception, they have no empathy and so the signalling to their frontal cortex is practically non-existent. This doesn't make them a killer, nor does is it make them dangerous in any way. It is a bit like a human being who has had a lobotomy, as gruesome as it sounds.''

''So why do we have these negative connotations towards them?'' The detective asked sheepishly. 

''Because of media portrayal, movies ect.'' The doctor replied and continued, ''Take Norman Bates from the movie 'Psycho.' He actually wasn't a psychopath, by definition the clinical term would be a multiple personality disorder.

''Funny isn't it... one of the biggest, well-known movies titled Psycho isn't actually about a psychopath? Psychopaths have been called social predators by some psychologists, but I don't believe this is always the case. Psychopaths wear a mask in public life, even though they enjoy manipulating people, a lot of their destructive behaviour is done away from social life, behind closed doors if you like. They don't need to be solitary, but they function much better away from social situations - that's why psychologists sometimes preferred the lesser evil of a name, sociopath. I somewhat envy the psychopath...''

The detective scrumpled her face and said, ''you envy them? What could there possibly be to envy them?''

''Not only do they live to gratify their needs, they have no problem dealing with situations in which emotions can cloud a judgement. About 1 in 100 of the population are psychopaths and they are working all around you... as lawyers, judges, police officers and even the more exotic jobs, such as spies for the military intelligence. All these jobs are perfect for the psychopath; they are perfect because they require a cold unforgiving nature to them, no offense to yourself of course being an officer of the law, but these are the facts - in many of these jobs, empathy has to be trained out of you... if you don't already have empathy, you clearly have a jump start on the rest of the class,'' the doctor asserted, ''why... even psychologists and psychiatrists have been known to be psychopaths, what better way to have an understanding of the potentially criminal mind than to have one for yourself.''

The detective sparked up one of her cigerettes and asked bluntly, ''are you one?''

''No,'' he quickly replied, '' but I do have semantic pragmatic disorder which is very similar to psychopathy. At one time, it was believed that psychopathy was a semantic issue - and this still exists as a theory today. Not only is psychopathy an antisocial phenomenon, it is also linked to bad development or no development at all, to bold behaviour and little to no shame in acts - all these traits can be found on the autistic spectrum. Even autism makes it hard for the person to understand feelings, or recognize them. The Pyschopath is believed to understand feelings but doesn't care about them... this can debated. It's difficult to know whether a psychopath truly understands feelings or whether they simply don't care, after all, they have never experienced a full empathic emotion so how can they distinguish it to something else? I have been doing a lot of work on this area... I do believe that psychopathy shares too many traits with autism to be ignored... I believe psychopathy is intimitely linked to the autistic spectrum of disorders. Some people say the psychopath simply doesn't care about human behaviour while the autistic child doesn't understand human behaviour, such as body language for instance. I can honestly say this view is somewhat wrong, as I was perfectly fine understanding body language, I just had a delayed learning capacity as a child and I found it difficult understanding emotions.''

''It must give you some great insight into behaviour having the semantic issue... so what can you tell us about the murderer... based on the investigations?'' Asked the detective. 

Theo paused for a moment and then said, ''There's quite a lot that could be said. The fact the body was dumped in a public area, a bin which no doubt was going to get used the next day means the killer had no intentions hiding their work - they intended fully that their acts would be discovered and usually this is to cause fear. They want to be recognized, they want their work to be recognized. The fact both murders so far parallel each other in the mutilations and the sexual connections shows that this could very well be a serial killer in the making. Serial killers often mutilate and murder their victims in the same ways, it's all about reaching the same gratification, the same level of excitement they first experienced: But like many users of drugs, getting the original high becomes harder and harder and so for the psychopath it escallates into more murders often within months at a time. The murderer who wants to conceal his work, often choose secluded area's to dump the bodies of their victims, like open fields, forests and even deep lakes or rivers. The fact the murderer in this case is dumping bodies in public area's means that the murderer gets most of their excitement in the aftertex, when the bodies are recovered and the media reports on them - the murderer often relives the experience when people recognize the heinous acts because then, it not only exists in their mind. Recognizing a murder has been committed alone can be exciting to the psychopath.

''And why a bin,'' Theo continued, ''Is a bin a statement in itself? You dump rubbish in bins, was the victim considered a piece of garbage to the murderer? I take it we still don't have an ID on the victim?''

''Still a John Doe, unfortunately,'' the detective replied stubbing the cigarette she had chocked the life out onto a wall and then throwing it down a drain.

''We could be dealing with victim who was a prostitute. The mutilations towards the genital area hints at sexual frustration concerning the murderer, perhaps linked to some childhood trauma or some adult sexual dysfunction. As for the killer, they are extremely likely to be male, you need some considerable strength to pull off these murders. They are likely white aged between 20 and 35 years of age. Living alone is a likely possibility but that may not be the case.''

The detective appeared a little surprised, ''so we are dealing with a homosexual killer?''

Theo replied sternly, ''Now I never said that, of course it is a possibility. It could be a man who has been abused both physically and mentally as a child and are exerting their revenge on adult males later in life or that they are reflecting their own sexual dysfunction on males, maybe because he was bullied early on in his life by other male peers.'' 

''Revenge killings?'' The detective replied.

Theo didn't like to label the killings with anything definite for logical reasons and said, ''Psychology isn't a science in my mind - and even if it was, it’s certainly not an exact one. There are many possibilities that could have led someone to kill men in such horrific ways, sexual dysfunction is one, exerting their anger for their own biological flaws on other men is another, jealousy is after all one of the oldest sins. It could be a homosexual hater, the other end of the extreme which could answer for the sexual mutilation.''


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Meadows and Theo had made it back into the heart of the action, where the media had gathered into an assembly all talking over each other as they filmed for the News. 

Theo kept a watchful eye over the crowd and how each one interacted with each other and generally how they were acting. It had been well known in the annals of psychopathy that the killer sometimes returns to watch the police in their various investigations. Though the situation had became tenebrous - the investigation had hit a stand-still and all Meadows has was a profiling that may or may not fit the bill; though the profiling made by Theo Rea would certainly prove useful in the long run if he has his theory correct. After his discussions with DI Meadows, he went back home to contemplate the evidence he had been given. 

After a more complete forensic update and sitting silently on a chair in his humble home, contemplating the psychopaths mind.  He knew his job only too well and his job of psychology was to get the mind dirty - the very act of changing his mind to think like the psychopaths like this, he knew, was dangerous but a necessary evil he had to entertain to unlock the darkest secrets of the mind of a psychopath bent on self-indulgence and hate. 

He stood up from his silence and started to walk around the room in a disgruntled manner, uttering away at himself, getting into the moment as it where... 

''You slash, you cut... the arms, legs, genitalia and the face... Why? What is your motive... Are you indulging in the pleasure?

He quickly made a 360 degree and opened his arms as though about to announce something important to an avid listener, ''No... the indulgence is the mutilation, the killing is a gift isn't it? To watch them go through the pain, to then become their savior in death?''

He paced back and forward, re-evaluating the logic of the arguments he made... it was like trying to piece a jigsaw with no clear matching pieces - as is for the same case of an unstable mind, it's messy and without focus.

''Why all the cuts, why are you indulging in the mutilation if only to give them peace...?''

He then realized upon saying this almost immediately, ''ah!! You're not at peace are you? You give them peace as though you are ridding yourself of the guilt. The great bearer of gift forgives all right?

''Why the sewer and the bin? You knew the council was going to work in that section of the sewer the next day. You know those bins would be used by the restaurant the next day... God yes, you had every intention for the bodies to be found, did you choose the sewer and the bin because you thought of the bodies as filthy, disposable objects?''

And of course, he remembered an influx of psychopaths over the many years in his training, most originating from America in which they would refer to the victim as ''it'' rather than an actual human being, they saw them as objects. But there was more to it he believed, ''But they are not 'just' objects are they? You are the angel of death, death is your gift. You make them suffer... and if they scream and if they shout... you don't give them death do you? You mutilate them until you get no indulgence from it anymore... Yes... you indulge until they can no longer respond; response is the key element... no response, no indulgence... no indulgence, no thrill. Then...''

Doctor Rea slapped his hands together and gave off an echo down the hall by the door, ''you kill them. You gave them what they wanted, when you wanted. It's all about control then a delusion that somehow you do them a favor... ''

On those words, Theo's home telephone rang. He paced over quite quickly and picked it up, ''Hello?''

''Theo? It's DI Meadows here, there has been another murder.''

Theo's face smothered in fear, his worse assumption had came true, the killer certainly has turned serial, ''Do you want me to come in to have a look?''

''If you could, Theo. That would be great... meet me at the station in about an hour, I'm just trying to arrange the coroner to collect the body.''

Theo replied, ''ok, no problem.'' He hung up the phone and started walking about to and fro again, thinking about his theory of this particular killer. He moved rooms into the kitchen to take out a blade from his drawer and went back into the living room when he realized something about the case, the actual acts of the murder itself in all its dark details. He took the blade into his right hand and postured himself into a threatening demeanour. Only a foot or so from his living room single chair, he plunged forward, cutting the air as he delved the cold blade slash by slash into the fabric. 

One blow after another, he was trying to forget who he was and pretended that he was the killer - his mind was in a deep frenzy between a line of psychosis and hypnosis, he was effectively forgetting who he was and becoming the person he could see in his mind. After he shredded the couch with twenty-one incisions he said, taking some deep calming breaths, ''You cut and cut and cut... Why do we cut people? You want to bleed them dry... oh god... It's the pressure... You're angry.''

He sat back down on his mangled chair carefully placing the knife by a table next to it. He knew, that killing was one thing - people kill people for many reasons and the reason of this killer was most interesting - but only a psychologist would be fascinated by such things. He knew that killing indicated a dark mind, but the multiple mutilations over the body was more than the act of a dark mind, It had a sexual relationship in regards to the wounded genitalia but there was something twisted, something more. The power of the psychologists mind is unique, in some cases, the psychologist knows the mind of the killer even better than themselves. He could see a message being sent by the killer in his actions and it he probably wasn't aware it. He could relate the mutilations to relieving a blood pressure - this pressure was a euphemism of the anger the killer felt.

Knowing that it was very possible the killing was anger driven, heightened the theory that the killings had a connection to revenge, hate and maybe even jealousy being a root cause. The sexual dysfunction theory had been amplified by the anger and frustration, the lacerations of the epidermic and organ features showed that whatever caused the anger and frustration had been let out of possibly a long-time bottled malevolent genie. 

He snapped out of his deep thought and retrieved his jacket and keys to head to the police station. He needed to see the body, he needed more information to rule out any inconsistencies in his theories. 

The Station, 10:45pm

Upon arriving at the station, Theo had noticed DI Meadows was already standing outside, wrapped up in a scarf and a black puffed jacket... clearly out of uniform. Then again, Meadows hadn't expected to be called back in so late, nor did Theo for that matter, which was worrying. 

After parking his car, he got out and approached her, ''This isn't good.''

''Death never is,'' Meadows replied with a saddened tone. 

''No, I didn't mean that,'' Theo replied, ''I didn't expect a second murder in the same day... And that cannot be a good thing.''

Meadows showed Theo in and took him into a cold storage room where the newly found body was - the body had been covered by a white non-stain sheet and the coroner was doing his various paper work in the background. 

''Same circumstances?''

Meadows shook her head, probably in disgust of the crime, ''Theo, it's got worse. Yes, multiple mutilations on the arms, legs, torso, face... but the genitalia, instead of stab wounds, it's been completely severed.''

Theo asked, ''post-mortem?''

''The evil bastard did it before,'' replied Meadows, carefully taking the sheet away from the body of the victim, ''He was found in a car recycling depot, near the outskirts of the city. The worker in charge was close to crushing the body along with 16,000 tonnes of metal.''

''What?'' Theo replied confused, ''This is totally different...''

He looked at the state of the body... he could only handle so much of it and turned away rather quickly and continued, ''The last two murders had bodies placed in places which secured they would be found, without any blunder. Why then has our killer put a body in a car crushing machine? There is no guarantee the body would have been found. Also the cutting of the genitals appeared at first to be a tradition of the mind of this killer, almost ritualistic.''

DI Meadows looked confused and asked, ''So what are you saying, this is a different murder?''

''I don't know,'' Theo honestly remarked, ''To be frank, we either have a copycat killer trying to imitate the recent couple of murders, or the killer is escalating, getting worse.'' 

''Escalating?'' Asked Meadows. 

''He's a thrill seeker Alice, the mutilations in the first murder, was repeated in the second murder, to imitate that initial thrill. That's why he put the second body in the trash can, it's basically saying he thought his killing was rubbish, its a connection to saying he never got the same thrill. The second murder to him, was pointless... So now the third victim, has had to endure even worse - the cutting of the genitalia, while being fully awake... it's an escalation, he's getting angrier.''

''So am I,'' Meadows replied, ''I need to catch him Theo. I won't be able to sleep until I do.''

''I'm a psychologist, not a psychiatrist unfortunately or I'd prescribe you a hypnotic. It's surprising how anyone could sleep after seeing something so gruesome as this,'' Theo said, putting the cover back over the body, to cover what his eyes where seeing, ''I'm going to help you catch whoever this is... if it's the last thing I do.''


A small journey away, a man was driving a truck past some open fields growing radiant yellow rapeseed as far as the eye could see.

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