“Got something,” Stabler said as he leaned in the SVU squad room doorway, beckoning his partners Benson and Strauss to join him.
Only a couple hours on the job and Strauss already felt at home here at Special Victims Unit. Even though his partners Benson and Stabler had worked together for more than a decade, Strauss seemed to be as much a part of the team as either of them. It was almost as if he’d also been their partners for more than a decade. Maybe even slightly longer than Stabler.
The three fast friends went down to the crime lab where O’Halloran was preparing his rundown. Benson sighed, “Please tell me you got a name from the parrot’s confession.”
“Even better,” said O’Halloran. “This parrot didn’t just squawk parts of what he heard. He’s like a living recording, capable of perfectly reproducing every sound that happened in that alley. Check it out.”
He pushed play on the police MP3. The sounds of a quiet night. Trash cans being tipped over. “Leave me alone,” cried a woman’s voice.
“Probably our victim,” said Stabler, interested.
Then the sound of a knife being pulled out of a coat pocket. “Your life ends here, bitch, but your face and hands are coming with me… because I’m chopping them off!” another voice seemed to say. Even Benson, a seasoned pro, had to turn away at the sound of that. Strauss put a comforting hand on her shoulder in a caring but professional way. If Stabler noticed, he didn’t say anything, so it must have been okay. Also he was too busy thinking about the crime and his divorce.
“But we knew what happened in the alley already, O’Halloran,” said Strauss. “This only proves we were right, but doesn’t give us any more leads.”
“That’s where you’re wrong,” said O’Halloran. Strauss bristled but didn’t let it show. That’s probably not how O’Halloran meant it. After all even good cops are wrong once in a while. Strauss took it on the chin and didn’t let it bother him at all, and kept listening to O’Halloran’s explanation. Maybe that would shed some light on things. “We didn’t need a name if we could get a face. Look.”
O’Halloran typed a million things into his keyboard. Sonic waves emanated from one part of the screen — a tiny representation of the parrot. As each wave bounced around, a little more of a three-dimensional image developed: the alley that night. Two figures. The trash cans that Stabler, Benson and Strauss could remember clear as day. Soon fine details emerged as the sound waves split apart and snaked down and around every part of the alley — and even a little bit beyond.
“Is that a truck parked at the mouth of the alley?” asked Stabler.
“Sure is,” said O’Halloran as the sound waves finally stopped. It was a perfect 3D image: a dark blue beat-up Ford F-150 with rust around the front left wheel well, license plate QXR587. “I already pulled the plates. The truck is registered to a Ricky Wayne Folgers.”
“An alias for an alias,” intoned Strauss grimly. “Sounds like Bolgers has been busy.”
“How can we be sure it’s your guy?” asked Stabler. “What if it’s a coincidence?”
“Because,” said Strauss. “Look at how tall the sonic image of the attacker is. 5 feet, 9.41556 inches. There’s only one man in the world with that height: Ricky Wayne Bolgers.”
“We have an address. Let’s see if we can pick him up,” said Benson. “Let’s get some justice for that young dead sex victim.”
Strauss took his hand off Benson’s shoulder, ready to roll.
TO BE COMPLETED