The brisk November morning brought a blanket of mist across Seneca Lake. Crime presents itself everywhere, he thought. Even in the most serene of places.
He looked more closely at the ghostly blue color of the victim’s face and the ligature mark circling his neck. Deville studied the scene, took his own photos and notes, careful to record everything. If there’s anything he learned from crime textbooks was to record everything. Even with the forensics team by his side, he decided to spend the extra time.
He wondered if the strangulation had lasted long enough for the victim to see his assailant. He couldn’t imagine watching your killer squeeze the life out of you. The sheer terror of it could be enough to weaken anyone’s heart, especially if you recognized your killer. Did the victim try to scream or escape?
Strands of heavy-duty trellis wire around the body suggested the readily available weapon. Grapevines on either side lay on the ground, detached from the trellis. The crime scene officers practiced caution not to step on them. Not to disrupt evidence is normally the rule but Deville thought perhaps no one wanted to step on the grapes (in the Finger Lakes or any wine country that worshipped grapes).
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