Experiment in Terror (Koehler Brothers Book 1)

BOOK: Experiment in Terror (Koehler Brothers Book 1)
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Table of Contents





New York




Cover Design by Leah Suttle.

This book is a work of fiction.  The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher.  The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

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Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Published in the United States of America by

Soul Mate Publishing

P.O. Box 24

Macedon, New York, 14502

ISBN: 978-1-61935-


The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

To my daughter,

Debbie Maynes,

my biggest fan and best friend.


I would like to acknowledge Debby Gilbert, the best editor a writer could have and Cheryl Yeko for doing the trailer for my website.

Chapter 1

Matt Koehler picked up the telephone on his desk on the first ring. “Koehler speaking.”

“Koehler, we have an assignment we would like you to take if you have the time.”

Matt recognized the voice of Carl Heller, the Police Chief in Boulder. “What’s up?”

“I know this isn’t your usual thing,” the chief said, “but I really think you’re the man for the job.”

“I would be happy to help out if I can.”

“Could you come up to Boulder and discuss this with me? It’s in regards to the rape and killing of the three University girls. I’m sure you’ve heard about it on the news.”

Matt acknowledged he had.

“It would require you going undercover. Would you be interested?”

“Definitely. I always like to experience something new in law enforcement. I think it makes me a better consultant if I have firsthand involvement.”

“Good. I need you up here as soon as possible. The University is putting pressure on us to find this killer before another girl is attacked. I guess they’re getting a lot of heat from the parents. Can’t say I blame them.”

“How would eleven work? That’ll give me time to clear my desk and make a couple of phone calls and drive up from Denver.”

“Can’t be too soon for me.”

Matt hung up the phone, eager to get started. Now that he had the incentive, he cleared his desk in a hurry and then returned phone calls. After glancing around to make sure he hadn’t missed anything, he left his office.

Walking out into the bright sunlight, he slipped on a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. The dark lenses hid his steel-gray eyes and reflected the cars he passed. His car was parked a short distance away. He held out his key control and clicked. As he reached the door on the driver’s side, a car stopped beside him.

“Where you off to?” Cheryl from one of the offices in the building asked.

“I have an appointment in Boulder,” he told her.

“Will you be gone over the noon hour?”

“’Fraid so.”

“Darn. I was hoping we could have lunch today.”

“Sorry. No can do.”

“It never seems to work out for us to get together. Maybe we could do dinner some evening.”

Matt breathed a sigh of relief as he swung into his car. Tired of her incessant flirting, he was glad to have an excuse to get out of lunch with Cheryl. He had always been able to find an excuse for not having lunch with her, and today was no exception. Now he would have to worry about avoiding a dinner invitation.

He gave a wave and drove out of his parking spot. He kept hoping the day would come when he would find someone who turned him on as much as he did her. At thirty-two, that hadn’t yet happened. Maybe it never would. But he could always hope.

He cut across Wadsworth to Highway 36, and fifteen minutes later had reached the top of the hill, which gave him not only a view of the majestic back range of the Rockies, but a beautiful view of the city of Boulder, which lay spread out at the base of the foothills.

He thought, as he often did when driving to Boulder, he would someday like to sell out in Denver and move to the University town. He loved its multi-cultured population and its friendly people.

He drove to the downtown area where the police department was located near the public library and parked in the parking lot that served the library. Familiar with the layout of the building since he had consulted with the Boulder police two years previously on a case, he headed directly to the office of the Boulder Police Chief.

He stopped at the receptionist’s desk and gave his name. The Police Chief came out of his office immediately, a big smile on his face, his hand out in greeting.

“You certainly didn’t waste any time getting up here.”

“I always enjoy coming to Boulder and working with you. Your call motivated me to get my desk cleared.”

“Come into my office,” Heller said. “Marcia, would you hold all my calls unless it’s an emergency?”

“I will, Chief.”

Matt followed Heller into his office and sat down in the chair across from the chief’s desk.

“This is a sad time for the University. It’s pretty ironic the three girls have been attacked and killed not far from the police station. It’s like the killer is mocking us.”

“How much time elapses between each attack?” Matt asked, propping an ankle up on one knee, as he settled into the chair. “I haven’t put it together from what I’ve heard on the news.”

“At this point, there has been approximately two weeks between each one of them.”

“So obviously, he’s hanging around here in Boulder between attacks. It’s too bad we don’t have an idea what he looks like or we could start checking with all the motels.”

“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to come up with a single clue.”

“So that could mean, since there was one last night, we might have a couple of weeks before we can anticipate another attack.”

“Correct, if he sticks to that agenda,” the Chief agreed. “To my way of thinking, if we start the undercover operation immediately, it will give you a few days to gather information and learn your way around on the Boulder Creek Path.”

“I’m assuming you already have an idea for my going undercover.”

“I do.” The chief smiled. “I believe you’ll think it’s pretty unique but apropos to the area.”

“Let’s hear it. My curiosity’s aroused.”

Heller handed him a newspaper clipping.

Curious, Matt took the news article and read.

‘People are afraid to get out of their cars when they see a homeless person. They don’t cause any problems. They just scare people,’ Richard Bement, the owner of a store in Raleigh, N.C., said, after the city council voted recently to ban the homeless from the city's downtown area.

Matt handed the clipping back to the Police Chief.

“Homeless men aren’t usually dangerous, and the people of Boulder know it,” Heller said. “Our city is too liberal to do anything like that.”

“I think I know what my cover’s going to be.” Matt smiled. “You want me to pose as a homeless man.”

“You’ve got it,” Heller said. “During the warm summer months, we have a lot of homeless men hanging out along the Boulder Creek Bike Path, which runs past the library. My idea is for you to become one of them. This will give you an opportunity to investigate the area without anyone becoming suspicious.”

Matt laughed. “Great idea, Chief. I would never have thought of going undercover as a homeless man. Being homeless will give me the advantage of being around all night.”

“Most of the homeless men go up to the shelter on North Broadway to sleep. Then they have to be out first thing in the morning. But you should bring a sleeping bag and tell anyone who asks, you prefer to sleep in the open.”

“Good idea. Hope we don’t get any rain,” Matt said.

“If it rains, you can always sleep under one of the bridges.” Heller grinned.

“I think you’re enjoying the idea of me sleeping under a bridge. Do you think the best idea would be to sleep up around the library?”

“There is a bridge right by the library, which might be best for you to sleep under every night. That way, the killer wouldn’t see you and become suspicious. At this point, we have to believe that his MO is to rape and kill the women there in the bushes by the library where we’ve found the bodies.”

“Any DNA?”

“No. He appears to wear rubber gloves and uses a condom. I have a feeling his head is shaved, maybe even his whole body, since we haven’t been able to find even a hair. This guy is a professional. I have a feeling when we do apprehend him, we’ll find he has raped and killed in other states. Most likely in the towns where there are universities. Girls away from home at school are easy pickings for these perverts.”

“If I had a daughter, it would be hard to let her go away to school.”

“Still not married?”

“Nope. Can’t seem to find that one woman who sweeps me off my feet.”

“You mean there’s one out there?”

“Isn’t that why you married?” 

“Nope. Married my wife because she got pregnant.”

Matt wasn’t sure how to respond to the chief’s statement, so he made no comment.

“Dirty, ragged clothes will be easy to come up with,” Heller said, changing the subject as though he didn’t care to discuss the topic of romance any further. “But we don’t have the time for you to grow long hair and a beard.”

“We’re in luck,” Matt said, a big smile on his face.

“How’s that?”

“My cousin is one of the best makeup artists in Hollywood. When he’s between pictures, he lives in Evergreen, just out of Denver. He has disguises you won’t believe and no one ever realizes they’re not the real thing.”

“Great. One more thing, those hands of yours will never pass the test.”

Matt glanced down at his hands. His long, slender fingers with the close-trimmed nails were clean. Not at all what a homeless man’s might look like.

“Don’t worry,” Matt said. “Between my cousin and me, we’ll fix them. I’m going to give him a call right how. As soon as he hears why we need him, I have a feeling he’ll do it free of charge.”

“I can’t believe this is falling together so fast,” Heller said as Matt took out his cell phone and punched in a number.

“If I can get in touch with my cousin, I’ll be on the job early tomorrow morning.”

While Matt talked to his cousin, Heller spoke to his receptionist on the intercom.

“This is going to work,” Matt said with a big smile as he ended the conversation with his cousin. “If you have nothing more for me, I’m going to head for Evergreen. Ryan’ll fix me up as soon as I get there.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing his work,” the chief said.

“He says it will last until my own hair and beard are grown out.” Matt laughed. “But I told him I plan to have the killer before then.”

The door opened and the receptionist came in with several files and handed them to the chief, who thumbed through them and held one set out to Matt.

“I don’t know if this will help you or not, but these are the files on the murdered girls.”

“I appreciate any information you have,” Matt said.

“I wish I could give you something on the killer, but all we have are FBI profiles on serial killers. I’m sure you have the same thing.”

Matt nodded and stood. “I had better head out.”

The chief stood up from his desk to thank Matt.

Matt surveyed the other man from his height of six-feet-two and shook the outstretched hand.

“I’ll do my best to catch the killer as quickly as possible,” he said as he exited the chief’s office.

He gave the receptionist a wave. Walking swiftly to his car he went over in his mind what he would need to do at his house in order to be homeless in Boulder for a couple of weeks. If the killer followed his past MO, he could almost count on the next attempt being made within that time frame.

The shop off Ryan’s garage was an incredible array of disguises and products to assist him with his work.

“Sit down,” Ryan said, pulling up a stool. “Let’s do it.”

He opened a large drawer and pulled out a bunch of dishwater blond hair. Pulling off one piece at a time, he carefully glued it, first on Matt’s head, and then on his face.

“The glue I’m using will last until I remove it with a special liquid,” Ryan said.

“What about my hands?” Matt asked, holding them up. “Got anything to make them resemble a homeless man’s hands?”

“You bet. Just let me finish this beard.”

He reached for a hand mirror and handed it to Matt. “What do you think?”

Matt took the mirror and looked at his face from all sides.

“Incredible,” he said.

“It will remain like that until your own hair and whiskers grow out.”

“I intend to have the Boulder Creek Killer apprehended before then,” Matt told him.

“Let’s take care of those hands and then we’ll find some ragged clothes in your size,” Ryan said, nodding at a rack of clothes against one wall.

Ryan reached for a bottle. He uncapped it and taking a small sponge, he applied the stain to Matt’s hands. When Matt left his cousin’s house, the only thing recognizable about him were his eyes. He had to smile to himself when he thought about stopping by his house in Denver. If one of his neighbors saw him going inside, they would probably call the police.

The smart thing to do would be to pull into his garage and run the door down before getting out of his car. He stared at his hands where they gripped the steering wheel. His cousin had done a good job on them. The ground-in dirt appeared to have been there for days.

He had to admit Ryan was a real artist and he could see why he was so sought after by the moviemakers in Hollywood. He still was amazed at the shop off Ryan’s garage, which had been an incredible array of disguises and products to assist him with his work. As Matt had told the chief, Ryan wouldn’t let him pay for his time.

“My contribution to help catch the Boulder Creek Killer,” Ryan had said.

Pulling into his garage, Matt remembered he hadn’t asked the Boulder Chief of Police where he should park his car. He didn’t want it left where someone might get suspicious. He went into his kitchen and dialed the chief’s number.

BOOK: Experiment in Terror (Koehler Brothers Book 1)
8.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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