Authors: Angie Smith
“I understand you’re also
interested in tracing the movements of a metallic-blue Peugeot 206.”
“Yes we’d like to hear from anyone
who’s seen this vehicle travelling around the area, in the two weeks leading up
to the murder.”
A shot of the car appeared.
“We know it was stolen in Headingley, Leeds, on
the night of Saturday the 28
April, and that it has been using
three different registration numbers.”
The numbers were shown and then the
enhanced image of the driver from the traffic cameras appeared. Barnes asked if
anyone could identify him.
“The killer also left you a
rather strange calling card which we can see here.”
“Yes, these Roman numerals were
painted on the bridge structure, before it was reassembled.”
“The numerals represent nine
hundred and sixteen, or nine, one, six,”
the presenter clarified.
“That’s correct; we’d like to
hear from anyone who might be able to throw some light on the significance of
“This murder is being linked to
another one, also involving a motorway bridge,”
the presenter said.
Barnes briefly outlined Hussain’s murder, as images
appeared on screen of Scammonden Bridge, the four-by-four, including the two
registration numbers it had been using, and finally footage of the man
following Noble in through the hospital main entrance. Barnes and the presenter
then went over the information the police were particularly interested in
hearing about, and stressed that the e-fit, CCTV footage and image from the
traffic camera were all thought to be the same individual using different
disguises. Barnes finally emphasised that they were keen to know about anyone
having a dispute or grievance against either Mateland or Hussain.
As the presenter wound up the story the three
contact telephone numbers were given out and appeared on screen.
“Aye, brace for impact,” McLean said, as telephones
immediately started ringing; the detectives already seated snatched up their
phones as the others sprinted back to their desks. The Incident Room was being
bombarded with calls.
Twenty-five minutes later the calls were still
relentless and Woods was busy taking details from someone naming an individual
who had had a major dispute with Mateland back in the 80s. As he scribbled away
West appeared waving, trying to attract his attention. He thanked the caller
for the information, said someone would be back in contact, and then replaced
the receiver. Immediately the phone rang again.
“I’ll get that,” yelled West. “Go to my phone,
there’s a Dr Smith who wants to speak to you urgently.”
Woods dashed out of the office and across to West’s
phone; he introduced himself and listened to what Smith had to say; as he did
he looked down at his watch. “I’m on my way,” he said. He scribbled a note and
went to McLean, who was speaking on the phone. He held the piece of paper up:
my way there now
to you later
It was forty minutes past
midnight when Woods returned to the Incident Room. The calls had all but abated
and some of the detectives had left. Only Jacobs, McLean and West remained, all
busy sorting through the calls.
“Well?” McLean said looking expectantly at Woods.
“It’s all the hallmarks.”
McLean shook his head. “Aye, who this time?”
“An old guy in a nursing home, James or Jim
Broadbent. He’d been ill for some time and was dying, but when he passed away
he was found with MCCCXVI written on his left hand. The doctor thought the old
guy had done it before he’d died, but with it ending XVI he’s now having second
thoughts. I’ll need someone to go out to the nursing home and look at the CCTV
footage for the day he died.”
“I’ll go,” West said.
“Hang on a second, that name rings a bell,” Jacobs
said. “One of the co-founders of the law firm where Hussain worked back in the
80s was a Jim Broadbent; died a couple of months ago.”
March, it must be the same one,”
Woods said. “We’ll need to trace everyone who was working there in the 80s. Maybe
there’s a link to Mateland and a lead to the killer.”
“I’ve already tried, but both Broadbent and a
Christian Bulmer who co-owned the company are dead, and it ceased trading in
the mid-90s. The only records are at Companies House, I can’t trace any of the
employees. It was Hussain’s wife who told me he’d worked there, but she
couldn’t remember any other names.”
“When did Bulmer die?”
“Yes, killed in a boating accident off Tenerife.”
“Oh shit… I suddenly can’t hear anything because of
the alarm bells ringing in my head. Get the file on Bulmer’s death.”
“He was living in Los Cristianos; I’ll have to
contact the Spanish authorities.”
“Okay, first thing in the morning.” Woods turned to
McLean. “Now, how’ve we done?”
“Aye, 331 calls; must be some kind of record. We’ve
sorted them into categories: named suspects, vehicle sightings, suspect
sightings, general information and points of note. The majority relate to
Mateland; we’ve thirty-nine sightings of the Peugeot, sixteen of the man on the
bridge, twenty-eight names for the man in the photo-fit, twelve for the Peugeot
driver, and amazingly 137 names of people having disputes with him.”
“What about Hussain?”
“Twenty-two names for the man driving the
four-by-four and sixteen sightings of it. The remaining sixty-one calls relate
to information about the numerals on the bridge. We’re just about to go through
the named suspects and check for duplications and we’ll concentrate on those
“Is anyone staying the night?”
All three detectives nodded.
“Great, let’s get weaving.”
It was 2.30 a.m. as the driver of
the BMW drove slowly into the off-road shale car park on the outskirts of an
industrial estate in St Albans. His headlights illuminated just one other
vehicle there, at the far side. He drove up to it and parked alongside. He
switched off the engine, got out of the BMW and slid straight into the
passenger seat of the dark coloured Audi A6.
“Did you see Crimewatch?”
The Audi driver shook his head.
“It’s available for the next twenty-four hours on
BBC iPlayer. You need to watch it.”
The Audi driver said nothing.
“It featured two murders in West Yorkshire: a man
hanged from a motorway bridge and a police inspector who had a drain cover
smashed through his windscreen, also off a motorway bridge.”
The Audi driver remained silent.
“Williams has resurfaced.”
“Are you sure?”
“The hanging was made to look like suicide; in fact
that’s what the police originally concluded. And the bridge the drain cover was
dropped from had a secure semi-circular steel cage surrounding it, which was
not only dismantled, it was reassembled in an effort to disguise how the murder
was committed. In addition, there have been numerous cars cloned and the
suspect has multiple disguises. If you look closely at the enhanced shots you
can see the resemblance.”
The Audi driver sighed.
“And if you still have any doubts, Roman numerals
were painted on the bridge structure, and although it wasn’t revealed on the
programme, they were also written in the suicide note; I’ve accessed the police
“Well he’s taken his time, but we always knew sooner
or late he’d show up.”
“So now we have a big problem. In fact we have two
big problems,” the BMW driver said.
“What’s the second one?”
“The investigating officer is Detective
Superintendent Greg Woods. I’ve done some checking and he’s not your normal
run-of-the-mill detective, he’s highly regarded and has a reputation for
solving high profile cases.”
“Then we have to get to Williams before he does - you
know what the consequences will be if we don’t.”
“What do you suggest?”
“Get someone that can keep us up to date with the
investigation, and get your guys concentrating on Williams.”
“Do we want him brought in?”
“I think we both agree that he’s too much of a risk;
he needs to be silenced.”
“What about Woods?”
“If he’s as good as you say, he could be useful and
lead us to Williams, but if he becomes an irritant, then remove him from the
“Now disappear; contact me when Williams is no
longer a problem.”
Around 6.30 a.m. the sixty-two named
suspects — drivers of the Peugeot and four-by-four, and the man in the
photo-fit — had all been checked for duplications and against the police
computer; there was a shortlist of thirty-five who needed to be interviewed. It
had been a long night and the detectives were finally going through the 137
named individuals who had previous disputes and grievances with Mateland. These
needed to be checked for duplications and against the shortlisted thirty-five.
“I’ve got another person naming Gerrard Crean as
someone having a dispute with Mateland back in the 80s,” West said.
“Aye, that’s four,” McLean acknowledged.
“In fact they claim this dispute ended with Mateland
getting the scars on his face,” she added.
Woods was looking at his computer. “One of the
callers mentioned that Crean lived in Hawes.”
“Yes,” West confirmed.
“Normally I’d say we could forget him; I’ve just
discovered he was killed in a car accident two years ago. But there is
something about the 80s. . .”
At that moment Barnes walked into the room. “Good
“Good morning and well done, you were fantastic,”
Woods said, smiling.
“Aye well done, Maria,” McLean endorsed, as both
Jacobs and West added their compliments.
“Was it as manic there as it was here?” Jacobs
“It sure was. There’d been a steady influx of calls
about the other crimes, but as soon as the numbers were given out on our story it
went absolutely crazy. Calls were being diverted up here and still people
couldn’t get through.”
“Aye, in total 331 calls,” McLean said.
“Anything of interest?”
Woods quickly updated her.
“I’ve been thinking about the woman who committed
suicide,” Barnes said, sweeping the curls from her forehead.
“I’m struggling on that,” Jacobs admitted. “I’ve
obtained a list of all the women who hanged themselves between 1980 and 90. I
thought Hussain’s brother might have been out on the timing so I started when
Hussain was sixteen and concentrated on the following decade. Bearing in mind
he was married in 82 when he was eighteen… There were sixty-four women between
the ages of sixteen and fifty who’d hanged themselves and I’ve obtained all the
inquest details, but there’s no mention of Hussain.”
Woods noticed Barnes had that strange look on her
face that usually meant she was about to say something significant.
“Can I suggest that we look at all the people who
had grievances against Mateland and then cross check these with the names of
the women,” Barnes said.
“Good idea,” Woods reinforced.
“The link may be through marriage though, so we’ll
need to check spouses.”
“How many names have we for grievances against
Mateland?” Barnes asked.
West quickly totalled them up. “Twelve mentioned by
more than one person and ninety-eight others.”
“I’ll start with the twelve. Chris can you let me
have sixty-four suicides?” Barnes asked.
It took her less than thirty minutes. “Bingo,” she
Woods was straight at her side.
“Gerrard Crean was married to Pauline Reynolds whose
twin sister Shelly committed suicide at the age of twenty-two in 1984, and both
Shelly and Pauline studied law at Liverpool University. I’d wager they both
worked at Broadbent’s law firm.”
“Maria, you’re bloody brilliant,” Woods said.
“There’s no need to swear.” She sounded indignant. “But
if my assumption’s correct we’ll have a link between Mateland and Hussain, and
if Broadbent’s and Bulmer’s deaths are connected, a link there too.”
Woods looked at his watch. “How long will it take us
to get to Hawes?”
“Couple of hours,” Jacobs said.
“Come on, Maria, if we leave now we’ll be there just
after 9.00. Sharron, keep me updated on what you discover at the nursing home.
You two can make a start on interviewing the named suspects. Right Maria, I’ll
treat you to breakfast on the way, but you’ll have to eat it in the car.”