Mental Dental (Murder by Proxy)
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File number Thirteen of eighteen
Number thirteen, unlucky for some. Well yes, definitely unlucky for the next unfortunate patient who was to die. This was Dean Pepper. Dean had just returned to his home in Swansea, Wales after being on exercise in the Brecon Beacons with the T.A. (Territorial Army) where he was an infantryman. Regrettably, during an abseil down one of the many cliff tops, a gust of wind caught him and blew him at force against the cliff, clouting his face. He had sustained a black eye, a torn upper lip and three holes in his gums where teeth had very recently occupied. After having had some x-rays to exclude an orbital fracture or any other pathology, he was allowed to have the dental treatment at his local dental surgery and this would be paid for by her Majesty’s government, the M.O.D. were coughing up the readies. He was happy to go home after a fortnight of regimental duty. He liked to play soldier for a while, rolling around in the dirt, shooting expensive rifles, the drinking and camaraderie but then pined for his day job of local postman, and especially his role of doting husband / father. Rifleman Pepper was now plain old Dean Pepper. He called the dental surgery on route home from the exercise area. He arranged for an urgent review and as planned, turned up early and checked in at reception. He was only there for a few seconds when his dentist, Dr Paul Lattice, called him in. Although the x-ray was taken in the medical unit post trauma, he needed to have another set taken at the surgery to see the damage and plan the interventions. Dean was led to a small room just of the main corridor, it was the x-ray room and Dr Lattice explained what he machine would do and what he wanted Dean to do. Explicitly, the machine would rotate around his head and take x-rays; Dean would just need to sit still and upright for a few minutes, easy. Dr Lattice’s assistant was his trusty nurse Carole. As Dr Paul Lattice left the room where Dean was quietly sitting, Carole entered the room and reassured him that he would be on his own for a minute or so, as they had to be in another room whilst the x-rays were taken and reduce the exposure to the radiation. She placed the x-ray film in his mouth, asked him to bite comfortably on it and that it would be done in no time at all. She smiled and left him there. The police report stated that this was the last time that Dean was to be seen alive. The sinister goings on that occurred straight after this was horrific and very disturbing. Dean was left on his own in the radiology room, the machine poised to take a panoramic shot of his mouth, he was holding the film in his mouth that would then be developed and reveal the damage. As the dentist, Dr Lattice and his nurse were concealed in the room next door, the button for the x-ray camera to undertake its primary function, take pictures. The aging x-ray machine started to whir, and the motors slowly propelled it along its journey, around the patients face / jaw. Unusually, the whirring motors got louder and after about 30 seconds later, both the dentist and nurse got up, and concerned that the machine had not stopped, popped their heads around the wall to check on the patient. Carole shrieked at finding that the clinical room she had just moments left with Dean sitting on a chair now was a bloody crimson abattoir that housed a dead patient. Dean had his head severed by the rotating x-ray camera. What made things worse was that it was obviously not a clean cut. The lower maxillary bone or mandible was connected to the rest of the body but the rest of him from the upper jaw onwards lay on the floor, eyes turned down, a small tear running down his left cheek, his teeth still clasping the x-ray film, drenched in a sea of fresh blood, his own. There was no point in attempting to resuscitate or indeed, calling an ambulance, this was a fatality and only a miracle would resurrect this victim now. The Police were called; this was done by Dr Felix Collins. He called the police to report this tragic mess and no suspicions were cast on him, why should they, his only apparent crime was to be present in the same building as where the dreadful death had occurred. The Police attended and another dental surgery became a scene of crime. Masses of photos taken by the scenes of crimes officers (S.O.C.O.) and other attempts at forensics were taken. These were explicitly graphical and showed the extent of terror that had just happened. But what had happened? Other than a malfunctioning piece of medical technology that had resulted in a fatality, nothing suspicious obviously as no arrests were made and as with the other deaths, no conclusions were made. Very frustrating for Jessie as she, on reflection was slowly getting some evidence, however it was not enough. She had no motive and no apparent reasons to sustain this criminal goings on. Jessie had to persevere with her investigation but it was getting worse, the deaths were becoming more gruesome, as if there was an evil competition between the killers. There were three or four of them and she needed to get them, she needed to stop them. As she was about to close this file, her phone went off in her pocket. It was her father again. She answered it with an element of expectation. ‘Hello daddy, have you got any more information for me?’As if he had been reading her thoughts, he replied ‘Yes I do some interesting new information actually’Dr Stack senior continued his revelation…‘Dr Adam Shaw, your clinical partner was born Steven Lambe, he changed his name by deed poll some years ago and apparently because of an inheritance that was left to him by a great uncle on his mother’s side’. Jessie’s jaw dropped, aghast at the fresh facts imparted on her by her father. ‘Jessie, are you still there?’her dad enquired…‘Yes, sorry, I am, please continue with what you were saying ’. Her father continued his report on the new information he had gained and this made interesting assimilation. Jessie penned her points on her jotter and after the conversation was ended, she reflected on the brand new information she had. Her dad also clarified that the rest of her partners, Dr Vivek Budhrani, Dr Tony Marvell, Dr Peter Kelly, Dr Tracey Quinn and Dr Julie Walker were all legitimate and untainted in any shape or form. There was some reassurance at least. ‘There were only three of them after all; the trio of assassins was never a foursome. Thank god for that’. By this she meant that her findings were pointing to three suspects but curiously, there was a fresh new name, Adam Shaw. The trail of the murderous Steven Lambe had gone cold and the new boy in the block had come from nowhere. Jessie felt she was back on track with her exploration again, although she could not understand the motivation and driving force for killing and murdering innocent people, she was able to keep an objective overview of the perpetrators as this unholy trio. This cluster of deaths being caused by these three dentists was slowly being solved by her and the knowledge she was on the right path was refreshing but more so was the fact that she knew that there were only three rotten apples in this barrel, no more. She entered another few details on her expanding criminal time line, her metaphorical net that would help entrap these feral and ruthless slayers of innocent dental patients. Jessie could not rest on her laurels; she needed to remain systematic and objective in her quest for truth, in order to reveal the murderers and prevent them adding any further names on to their list of casualties.