tagMind ControlThe Professional Victim Ch. 01

The Professional Victim Ch. 01


If you're lucky, you might meet her, as I did, in a small coffee shop at a resort on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, across the island from San Juan. You could offer to buy her a drink, but she'd smile and blush, and run the fingers of her right hand lightly across her protruding belly, and explain that she can't drink until after the baby comes, but that fruit juice would be nice, thank you. She's very shy. But perhaps, if you press her, as I did, she might tell you the story of the most momentous event in her life. You'd have to engage her in very intimate conversation, for it's a very intimate story. But, oh my, it's one worth repeating. For it contains all of the best essentials of storytelling: love, passion, intrigue, intense drama, deep mystery ... and a moral, to boot. Forgive me if I tell it in the third person, for I've had the benefit of meeting one of the other characters in the saga, and so I have the advantage of additional perspective. But it's her story, really. It belongs to her. It makes her who she is today. She calls it:

The Strange Case of Dr. Brett Wheatley


Tuesday, 11:33 pm

She was a young woman with a secret ... several secrets, in fact ... and she stood at the entrance to an alley south of Mission Hills, about three blocks off Stateline Road on the Kansas side. She was young, in her mid-twenties; small, five feet even, so that the three-inch heels barely made any difference at all compared to the height of others around her; pretty, with a small, sharp nose above soft lips. Her hair was done in a single, thick red ponytail that hung across her bare left shoulder. The dress was more an advertisement for availability than simply a dress, but it fit her very well indeed, showing off her gentle curves; enough cleavage to draw the eye, enough leg to make the eye undecided about which feature to take in first. But most of all, she looked like a modest girl in an immodest dress; an innocent girl in a garment designed for the guilty; a girl who might belong in church ... but here she was at the entrance to an alley. A ripe plum about to be picked. A victim.

The big man seemed to appear from nowhere. She hadn't heard him approach, and startled, she took a quick step backward and bumped into the rough brickwork of the building behind her. The man matched her step with one forward, so that he was very close, and looking steeply down into her frightened eyes, he spoke in a rich, deep baritone: "Hello, girly."

She was genuinely frightened, but for a brief second, she appeared more impatient than scared. "Hi. I ... um ... I was just waiting for my boyfriend."

"This is my territory, girly," he growled.


"You know what I mean. My girls work this block."

"Oh." She seemed to consider this. "Look, mister, my guy is going to be by to pick me up any minute now. I swear, I haven't done any business here tonight ... and I'll leave. I'll tell him we can't work here, and we'll leave. No trouble, okay?"

He laughed, low in his throat, and pressed even closer. "I got a better idea," he said. "Why don't you leave the guy and come work for me? I could use a girly like you."

"I can't ...." She stammered. "He's ... um ... my husband. Let me go, okay? He's going to be here any second. I think I see him coming now."

He laughed again without looking up. It was almost a growling sound. "I think I can show you how much fun you'd have working for a REAL man," he purred, and with a quickness rarely seen in big men, he grabbed her, spun her around, lifting her completely off the ground, and set her down again facing the alley. She heard something hit the ground, and with a sinking feeling, realized it was her purse. He had somehow cut the strap, and he held a large, mean-looking knife in front of her wide eyes. Her back was to him now, and he was pulling her back against him, his big, meaty left hand clutching her right breast. She could feel his erection against her back. The move had taken her entirely by surprise.

"There's no moon tonight," she said.

"What?" For a moment he paused, befuddled.

"There's no moon tonight," she repeated.

"Girly," he bellowed, "I got a fuckin' knife in your face, and you're rantin' about the fuckin' moon?"

"Don't hurt me," she said loudly. "I'll do whatever you want, but please don't hurt me."

He was kneading her breast with a gently persistent, rhythmic squeezing. She kept her eyes on the knife, which he held a few inches in front of her. Then he stopped and worked the hand under the front of the dress, raking it aside, and her breast sprang free as the fabric was pulled away. He began lightly pinching her nipple. Mortified, she felt it respond, growing, enlarging, and a familiar tingle spread from it to the pit of her stomach. She stifled a groan.

"You like that, don't 'cha, girly," he breathed in her right ear.

"There's ..." and her breath caught for a moment. She breathed heavily and then continued. "There's no moon tonight," she panted.

"Girly," he said through clenched teeth, "I don't know if you're off your gourd or what, but if you say anything else about the fuckin' moon while I got this knife in your face, then you won't be so pretty no more, got me?"

"Yes," she whispered. "Please stop. Please don't hurt me."

He finally let go of her nipple, and she breathed a sigh of relief. But then he transferred the blade to his left hand and began dragging the hem of her dress up with his right, higher and higher, until his rough fingers slipped under the hemline and he was able to pull the thin strap of the thong aside. "Spread 'em, girly," he whispered in her ear.

"Oh, please!" she said loudly. "Please don't do this to me!"

"You can yell, if 'ya want, girly," he chortled. "Ain't no one here to hear 'ya. Now, do what I say. Spread 'em."

Defeated, she moved her feet apart. Almost immediately, his finger found her opening and dug inside, and now she was unable to repress the moan that rose in her throat. Oh no, she thought. This was awful. If they could hear her, then they'd hear her moans ... hear the sounds she couldn't suppress ... hear her as her body overwhelmed her, the way her body always did. And if they didn't hear her, then there would be no stopping the rape. It would happen ... and it was happening now ... happening for real.

"Oh, man, you're wet, girly," he laughed. "You're ready for this, ain't 'cha? Say it, girly. Tell me you're ready. Say it!"

"I'm ready," she whispered, his finger sawing in and out of her.

He pulled the strong, stout finger free and began rubbing the stiff nubbins of her clitoris savagely, quickly. She gasped loudly and groaned again.

"Ya like this, don't 'cha, girly?" he said triumphantly. "Tell me 'ya like it! Say it!"

"I like it!" she repeated, more loudly this time. She was losing it. It was happening, and she wasn't going to be able to stop it.

"I'm goin' to make 'ya cum now, girly," he said savagely. "And then I'm going to take 'ya to a room just off this alley, and I'm going to take 'ya hard ... take 'ya all night ... and you're going to like that, ain't 'ya?"

"Oh, God! Please stop! Please! Don't make me cum! Please!"

But it was too late. The orgasm had already begun, grudgingly, between her legs and it started to spread outward.

"Why don't you let the girl go, fella?"

The big man spun around, facing the street, still holding the girl against him, still pressing his rough finger against her clit. She was painfully aware that they could see it all ... see her bare breast ... see her dress pulled up above her waist ... see her bare sex ... see the finger and what it was doing to her. She tried to will the orgasm away with all her might.

"Who the fuck are you guys?" the big man said, no fear in his voice. "Fuck off! Me and the girly are just havin' a little fun."

"Police," one of the men said, sounding almost bored. "Drop the knife. You're under arrest."

"Oh, come on, guys," the man said, pleading. "The girly likes it rough, that's all. She gets off on it. You can see that." He held the knife steady. "We're just havin' some fun. You can't charge me for that!"

"How about assaulting a police officer?" the cop said.

And finally, the louse moved the knife away from her face.

She brought her right high heel down with all her might on the toe of his sneaker, and with a howl, he dropped her and fell over sideways, clutching at his foot. She fell to her hands and knees, still struggling to contain the orgasm, breathing hard. Eventually rage pushed the forced passion aside.

"You bastards!" she screamed, getting back to her feet, completely ignoring the screaming man on the ground beside her. "Where were you? I used the emergency signal three times!"

"This ain't the guy," one of the cops said, looking down at the agonized face of the pimp. "This is Bruno Franks."

"I KNOW this isn't the guy!" she howled. "And if you assholes had come running when you were suppose to, old Bruno here would pushing flesh downtown, and we would still be on the job! Where were you?"

"We didn't think the situation warranted an arrest yet," the senior cop said. "Hadn't gone far enough."

"He had a KNIFE in my face!" she screamed, trembling, tears running down her face. Several sirens were audible now, getting closer.

"How were we suppose to know that?" the older cop said, shrugging. Both of them were staring at her now, and for the first time, she realized that her right breast was still pulled outside the confines of the dress. With a sob, she turned away from them, stuffing herself back inside the soft fabric covering.

There was no reasoning with them. Phelps, the younger one, was down on one knee, cuffing the pimp, reciting him his rights. Murphy just acted bored. With the bare breast now out of sight, he had nothing interesting to look at. The squad cars were suddenly there, and, stepping out of one of them, Captain Reynolds ignored her after a quick glance, then huddled with Murphy for a long minute before walking over to her.

"Donna, I want this to take priority for you. It's your bust. Take a few days to write it up properly. Murphy says the audio all came across okay. Transcribe it and fill out all the forms. I can assign Phelps to help you, if you need him."

So that's what this was all about. They were trying to force her off the team.

"I know how to do the paperwork, Captain," she said with as much strength as she could muster. "It'll be on your desk in the morning before the briefing."

"No, I want you to take your time, Donna. This is your first bust. Make it a good one. Use Phelps. He'll be available tomorrow afternoon. I'll get you off the other duty until it's finished."

"You can't take me off the task force if the reports are all done before the meeting," she said icily. "If they aren't done correctly, THEN you can take me off. But they will be. I can guarantee you that." And she pushed past him, picked up her ruined purse, and walked over to Murphy.

"Give me the audio," she demanded.

Murphy looked as bored as ever. "I'll get it to you tomorrow," he muttered.

"NOW!" she screamed. All movement stopped. All heads turned toward them.

Murphy suddenly looked embarrassed. "Christ, Tompkins. No need to yell. Sure. It's in the van."


Wednesday, 1:35 am

It was worse than she could have possibly imagined. Murphy had copied the audio file onto a flash drive and given it to her. She could only imagine how many copies would be circulating around the precinct in the next few days. They weren't just trying to push her off of the task force. They were trying to push her out of the Detective Branch entirely. This was bad. This was worse than bad.

The days of "the wire" were long gone. The Bluetooth microphone had been in the brooch pinned to her dress. The transmitter had been in her purse. The recorder was in the police van, around the corner. And the quality had been perfect. Perfect.

"Oh, man, you're wet, girly."

"Tell me you're ready. Say it!"

"I'm ready."

"Tell me 'ya like it! Say it!"

"I like it!"


"Please! Don't make me cum! Please!"

And from the inflection, there would be no doubt in anyone's mind that she was already in the throes of an orgasm.

If this made it into court, she'd be through as a cop. Hell, she was probably through already. The Captain obviously was trying to get her thrown off the special task force, at the very least. None of her coworkers liked her. She was a loner, a freak. She wouldn't be there at all if they hadn't needed a good decoy. And at THAT job, she was the best.

Donna Tompkins was a natural-born victim. She just LOOKED the part: small, innocent, trusting, helpless. She was right out of the academy. NOBODY went right into plain clothes from the academy. But they'd needed decoys ... needed them badly, and all they had to do was take one look at her, and everyone just KNEW that she was the one. And so, she'd been assigned directly to one of the most prestigious assignments on the force. That's why they resented her. Well, that, and the fact that she'd rebuffed the advances of practically every male on the force (and two of the females).

But now, it looked as if they had her. She'd never get past this one. She was surprised to find that she was crying softly in the near-deserted squad room. Resolutely, she wiped her face with both of her palms, sniffed one last time, and pulled up the first form on the computer. She'd made a promise to a sixteen-year-old girl, damn it! She'd stick it out as long as she possibly could, and then, if they still had their hearts set on it, she'd give in. But not yet. Not now.

It was almost five o'clock when she'd finished the last report. Hardcopies in hand, she marched solemnly down the deserted hallway and dropped the thick folder on the Captain's desk. She wandered back by the task force meeting room, flipped the lights on and walked around, studying the charts and pictures adorning the walls.

They called the guy the Stateline Rapist, and he was the hottest thing going in the Kansas City newspapers. He was also a jurisdictional nightmare. Two cities, two states, two police forces, two county sheriff's departments, and because there was kidnapping involved AND the fact that he'd transported at least two of the girls across the state line (one in each direction), the FBI. He was also meticulously clean, leaving no physical evidence except the most telling one: semen. Each of the girls had been found naked and clean-scrubbed, always several miles from where she'd last been seen. Each of them had absolutely no memory of the attack or the perpetrator.

After seven attacks, they'd gotten nowhere. No fibers, no soil samples, no hairs ... no physical evidence at all. Only the semen. And that told only what the perp was NOT. His DNA was not on file. That meant, of course, that he was not a former convict (and had probably never even been arrested). He was not a current or former member of the military. He was not a current or former police officer. You'd think that would narrow the field a little ... and it did: down to about a hundred million men in the U-S-of-A.

And to make matters even worse, they had no idea how he was doing it. They'd run every kind of tox-screen known to forensic science. There were no substances in the victims' blood or urine ... at least, none that they could identify ... and none of the girls could remember a thing, starting from a couple hours before their disappearances until they were found: in each case, about twelve hours.

Donna picked up a folder containing some of the photos from surveillance camera footage taken near the abduction sites (there were tens of thousands of the pictures ... to many to print out). She'd been through most of them before. Her eyes were blurry. She'd get no sleep this night ... the next task force meeting was scheduled to begin in only a few hours.

And suddenly, she saw something. She KNEW she'd seen this guy somewhere before ... in another photo. She snatched up another folder and leafed through it; and another. Yes, there he was. In another hour, she'd found him again. Quickly, she headed down the hall toward Identification.

And so it began.


Wednesday, 8:47 am

"Hypnosis?" the FBI profiler asked quizzically. "You mean, you think some guy has been using hypnosis to erase the girls' memories?"

"Yes," Donna said from the edge of the room. As a junior plainclotheswoman (THE junior plainclotheswoman), she didn't even rate a chair around the briefing table. She had to stand against one of the walls during the briefings.

The profiler wrinkled his brow for a moment and then frowned and shook his head. "I'll check with our people in Quantico, but right off hand, I'd say it's absolutely impossible. Maybe if, somewhere deep down, psychologically, every single one of these girls WANTED to be raped, and WANTED to hypnotized, and knowingly SUBMITTED to hypnosis ...." He shook his head again. "No." He paused again. Frowned again. "No. It just wouldn't make any sense. It's not possible."

No one spoke for a long moment.

"I'll ask, though," he repeated weakly.

Again, no one spoke for a long period. "What are you on to, Tompkins?" Captain Reynolds asked, a trace of bitterness in his voice. He'd acted surprised to see her at the meeting. He had the arrest report sitting on the table in front of him.

"Sir, I've found a man that was at three of the abduction locations near the proper times."

"Have you identified him?"

"Yes sir. His name is Dr. Brett Wheatley. He's a psychologist. He specializes in hypnosis."

"I know Wheatley," one of the men at the table said. He was from the Jackson County Sheriff's Department in Missouri. "I've met him. Nice guy. Does a little community service. Helped my neighbor's mother quit smoking."

Again the room fell silent. Again the FBI guy spoke up. "That just isn't POSSIBLE," he said. More silence. "I'll ask, though." He started tapping on his Blackberry.

Finally, Captain Reynolds spoke up. "Okay, Tompkins, we'll look into it." He paused for effect and looked around the room. "Anything else?" More silence. "Okay, I'll see you all again on Monday." Everyone stood and began filing toward the door. "Tompkins! In my office!" he barked.

"Yes, sir," she said meekly.

Before they got to the door, the FBI man looked up from his cell phone. "Quantico says it isn't possible!" he said loudly. Nobody seemed to be listening. They didn't really like the guy. For a Fed, all he seemed to be doing was to tell them what WASN'T possible.

Donna followed the captain into his office. "Close the door!" he barked. She stood at loose attention in front of his desk. He smacked the report with the palm of his hand. "This thing will never fly!" he announced.

"That's what happened," she said stoically. "That's exactly what happened. Anything else wouldn't be the truth."

He frowned. Donna knew what must be going through his head. Rumors had it that he'd been investigated by IA twice now on discrimination charges. He might be questioned by the DA if he sent it up as is, but he couldn't tell her to falsify it, either. He'd bluffed in an attempt to get her taken off the task force.

"Okay, here's what's going to happen," he told her, meeting her eyes without flinching. "You've been on duty for eight nights in a row. That's a work-rule violation unless you clear it through your section head."

"But sir ...."

"Quiet!" he snapped. She put her hands behind her back and looked down at her feet. "You get two days off. That's tomorrow and Friday. That's an order. Period. Any questions?"

"No sir," she said to her feet.

"And you leave this Dr. Wheatley alone, got it? You're a decoy on this squad, got it? IF I decide I want to investigate the guy, I'll send some experienced guys to do it. And that ain't you! Got it?"

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