This is the 38th Instalment in the Series detailing the Homicide Cases of Detectives Joseph Lind and his younger partner Shelley Anne Shields. They have been requested to mentor the up and coming young Detective Sasha Blayney for a short period of time until a suitable partner can be found for her.
In 2012, in a packed Media Conference Room in the White House, an Advisor to President Obama put a question to the gathered throng. This was in response to the alarming growing homicide rate directly attributable to stalking and grooming practices that was occurring on Social Media sites. Something needed to be done.
Unfortunately little has changed in either the US or here in Australia since a Task Force was formed to try and diminish this frightening statistic.
The Presidential Advisor asked the question:
'Would you permit your 13 year old daughter to stand on a corner of a busy arterial road in your neighbourhood skimpily dressed and holding up a placard that detailed:-
o her name and address
o her date of birth
o her mobile phone number
o her class and High School and her favourite teacher
o her e-mail address and her Tweeter account and Face Book passwords if she has them!
o her likes and dislikes
o the fact that the entire family were spending four weeks in Florida during the Summer holidays
o her favourite male and female singers and her favourite songs
o her favourite colour, clothes and make-up
o where she is going the following week-end and the week-end after that
o A photo of her pet dog, her teddy and various 'selfies' in different clothing
o and other personal details that she would be too embarrassed to even tell her parents'
No? Not on, you say?
But that is exactly what your 13 year old is doing every time that she hops on her favourite Social Media site to speak to her friends. Not just for the benefit of whom-ever she is conversing with, but for the benefit of whom-ever wants to listen or join in the conversation....or just sit and watch!
Friend, family or foe.'
While the vast number of Social Media Users do not really care or give a damn about some 11 year old soccer star in Sydney, Australia, there are those who swim in the murky depths never being anticipated, seen or suspected.
They are waiting.......they are stalking......waiting for that moment......to strike!
"Didja hear what those dudes were talking about?" Jerry asked his mate sitting on the high bar-stool beside him.
Both young men hunched over with their propped elbows on the narrow bench that ran the length of the large picture window.
Looking out at the coldness.
In the middle of Summer, the window would be fully open, letting in the warm air. A great view of the Beer Garden expanse outside where chicks would cavort in bikini tops and not much more below. Now, in the middle of Winter, the window was shut tight holding out the fierce cold wind and scudding showers coming in off the Bay. The Bay waters a mass of white horses galloping off the tops of the waves, whipped up by the ferocious, cold wind.
You could feel the chill attempting to fuse through the large expanse of glass.
A cold Schooner of beer sitting in its own condensation ring in front of each of them.
His mate nodded silently as he took a long gulp of beer.
"Yeah..." Chris eventually replied as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "It was in this mornin's paper." He added.
"Those dudes thought it a bloody, beaut idea." A look of puzzlement on Jerry's face. "But if it was such a bloody, good idea, how come they got pinched by the cops on only their second break and enter?"
He took a long draft of beer. A worried look on his face. He shook his head slowly as the facts did not seem to compute to him. He glanced out the large window at the huge expanse of tiled area that during summer would be brim full of young drinkers; most half naked soaking up the harmful rays of the sun. The area alive with laughter, the exuberant shrieks and hoots of youth and the pungent aroma of laced cigarettes and stale beer. These young sun worshippers still of the opinion that they were invincible; that cancer both inside and outside their bodies was in the realms of fiction belonging to the constant whines of old fuddy-duddies who had never lived or experienced the rush of youth.
It showed their depth of intellect as they still couldn't figure out where all oldies came from; definitely not from the Roaring Sixties with its drugs, grog, sex and rock 'n roll.
Just not on!
'Bloody kill-joys,' Jerry thought to himself.
He constantly railed against his parents, accusing them of knowing nothing and living even less! What would they know about anything, he would often scold them, as though he was Einstein and they the dunces of the class. Forgetting that he didn't even make the Year Ten exams!
Now in the middle of winter, the cold southerly wind whipped across the tiled expanse threatening to bowl over the large umbrellas now tightly furled, standing in the centre of each table setting. The chairs turned inwards and tilted against the table edges so as not to pool water on the seat-bum area. A few brave souls huddled there, the only area of the Pub where smoking was still allowed. Huddled with backs to the wind. One hand holding a cigarette, the other their beer glass as though their hands required the added chill.
Jerry needed a smoke badly but the warmth inside the Bar was far more inviting then the biting wind and the occasional scudding, misty rain squall outside.
He figured that he'd get two or three in as they walked across the grassy parkland towards the Football Stadium.
Chris thought about Jerry's comment for some moments before he replied.
"It is a clever idea, I reckon...you know...but...like...they didn't think that hard about it before they started out. Like, the cops pegged it pretty quick. They broke into houses of kids who belonged to the same Footy side. Under 10 Soccer team and in the same suburb...close like. Ya know what I mean? More'n likely, the same cops turned up at the two different B&E addresses...like...they knew straight away that there was a connection...it wouldn't have taken long for the cops to twig to the scam and how it had been thought out...like...theys not completely stupid."
He could see Jerry mulling over the information.
He smiled to himself.