For the third day in a row he hasn’t slept and is no longer sure what is true or is not. This case totally drove him crazy.
All it started like any other murder. Two or three days of investigation, review of findings and mostly the culprit were brought to justice.
This time it is total chaos, and he found himself in it by chance.
The crime did not happen even in his district, but when he was on a replacement. Only, after everything started to get complicated, no one wanted to have anything to do with it.
Tom drinks and he doesn't even know which coffee. He doesn’t remember exactly when he last ate, but all of this strained his nerves to the limit.
The murdered girl was an exemplary student at a nearby high school. She was no different from the other children. From an ordinary family, almost idyllic.
So why did Scott choose her?
He did not differ or stand out either. He worked on a construction site, had a girlfriend, in his mid-twenties. He never had any blemishes in his life.
From the very beginning when he was indicted, and later convicted, Tom could not help but see so many illogicalities in the whole case.
Although Scott repeated countless times that he was not guilty, no one believed him. Maybe not Tom then either, but now that his thoughts go back to the past, he seems to be the only one who doesn't see the slightest sense here.
But even if Scott was not guilty, there was no evidence that he was not guilty either. Where to start at all? And should he be more interested in that?
Tom knows that he is not without sin either. In his twenty-year career as a police officer, he has had ups and downs. Like everyone. And maybe he would close the case someday and turn to a new one, but he couldn’t here.
Scott, after all these months of trial and public humiliation, has almost come to terms with his fate.
He saw him a few days ago when he was to be transferred to prison with stronger security. He is totally calm and almost numb.
Well, who wouldn't. Killers are not always what we imagine them to be.
Tom knew best. Scott was no exception, and yet something gave him no peace.
Given the gravity of the crime, he received the maximum sentence in one of the worst prisons and that only meant that his life was over. If he’s guilty that’s a insufficiently, but what if he’s not?
Tom decides to go to sleep first, maybe this is just a mere delusion due to the condition he is in at the moment, but he is actually sure that he will think the same tomorrow.
So when he wakes up the next day as rested as he can, he sets off on some trail of Scott's life before all this. Maybe they should have dealt with this a little earlier. Perhaps the entire justice system is a bit illogical, at least for cases like this. But they don't have others, so Scott, if he's not guilty, he only has him to help him.
The girl Scott had long ago disappeared from view as soon as the case began. His parents lived somewhere in the countryside and in fact he was no smarter from talking to them. Colleagues at work didn't want to have anything to do with it anymore, because they had been questioned a hundred times, including from Tom. He couldn't even blame them. What he was doing seemed a little crazy to him, too.
He took a few days off and spent it reviewing every possible paper and evidence they collected, but everything seemed to be according to the regulations. Not a single letter or number gives him anything to catch or at least arouse reasonable suspicion. He is no longer sure what else he has left.
If he starts digging around that poor girl's family, he'll just get hit in the head.
As he sits in a dark corner of a local bar and thinks about all this, it seems to him that someone, a few tables away from him, is not at all quietly mentioning the case and something about how the boy is not guilty.
He decided to get closer, but not completely reveal it, because his face was constantly spinning in the media in this case.
The two older men, apparently very drunk, kept mentioning some other name than Scott as the killer. He managed to catch a few words he could start working with. Finally something useful.
He starts researching by name, this one was his neighborhood anyway. He knew about all the petty criminals, they will surely help him with some information. So he had a name the other day. Scout. Interesting.
Almost the same name as the accused.
After that, he quickly learns that Scout is an eternal problem that has so far dealt with thefts and some attacks on girls. Even more interesting.
How he missed it. Especially since everything already states that Scout is someone who was a possible perpetrator.
Scout is still in the neighborhood and it’s not hard to get him out of the house under some silly excuse to find themselves in the same local bar. Tom has found himself in such situations several times already, he knows how to play, and he seems to be succeeding.
Scout is sold for a few drinks and little by little Tom pulls out information from him. He may not succeed today, but a few more encounters and he will admit.
Meanwhile, Tom tries to find some more links that will solidify his new case.
When he finally sees Scott at large, Tom is happy he hasn’t been in a long time. This time he listened to his inner voice and made no mistake. More importantly he saved someone’s life and it was something they will remember forever.
Scott may have nightmares for a while, he'll certainly have trouble getting his life in order, but it doesn't matter.
They are both free.