Thursday: Week Two


“Two sets of bones in two weeks?” said Larsen. “First Bogman, now this lot. I don’t like it. I don’t like coincidence. I want the same team to work on both cases. Right? So let’s get on with it. What can you tell us, Harry?” 

“The bones,” Harry Norsk pointed to a row of photographs displayed on a screen in the Incident Room, “were found in two different places. The arm bones were dumped in an underground bin in Gellerupparken.” He put his forefinger on a red dot on the street map of Aarhus next to the photographs. “The ribs were found in a bin here,” he stabbed a second red dot on the map, “at the harbour.”

“You have no idea where they came from or who put them there, right?” said Larsen. “And they’re definitely human bones.”

“No question,” said Harry Norsk. 

“Are they from the same person?” asked the prosecutor, Renata Molsing. 

“I think so,” said Harry. “But I’m waiting for Brix’s opinion. He’s sent them for carbon dating.” 

“More cost,” said Larsen. “Carbon dating isn’t cheap. Have you any theories on how or when this person died, assuming the bones are from the same person?”

“There’s a crack in one of the ribs and a fracture in the ulna. I can’t say what caused these but they were ante mortem. The breaks weren’t caused by being in the rubbish. They occurred when the person was alive. Brix will be able to tell us more. And we should have the carbon dating results next week.”

“We could be wasting our time as well as our money,” said Larsen. “What crime are we investigating?”

“It’s a crime if the bones have been stolen from a hospital or museum,” said Renata Molsing. “It’s a crime to dig up a grave, unless it’s an official exhumation.” 

“I’ve checked with all the hospitals in the city,” said Katrine. “I’m searching for reports of graves being dug up or disturbed. Nothing in the last two weeks. That’s the longest rubbish is left before being collected.”  

“Maybe whoever did this has dumped bones before and they weren’t been spotted by the waste collectors,” said Renata. 

“Where are we on Bogman?” asked Larsen.

Tobias got to his feet and stood to one side of a screen displaying an enlarged photograph of Emily. 

“Emily Rasmussen,” said Tobias, “former girlfriend of Bogman and the key to identifying him. We know his first name is Lennart. A Swedish silversmith made the bracelet found with his remains. It was ordered and paid for by Emily Rasmussen. The bracelet is dated 1997. We know Emily and Lennart were together then in Northern Sweden, in Vasterbotten county, Lapland or Sapmi as we’re supposed to call it. We know they were there in the summers of 1997 and 1998. They took part in a protest against a nuclear waste facility. They played at a concert. They drove a converted ambulance with a rainbow design. In fact they lived in it. We know they came back to Denmark at the end of the summer of 1998 because Emily had an argument with her mother and left home in September 1998.” Tobias paused. “Emily is estranged from her mother. They haven’t spoken in the last fourteen years. They fell out because Emily told the police her stepfather, Marcus Thomsen, had illegal porn on his computer. We don’t know if it was kiddy porn but it’s a fair guess. Emily’s mother wouldn’t talk about it. She says the police took away the computer and found nothing. No charges were brought. She says the police were going to charge Emily with wasting police time but Thomsen asked them not too. I’ve asked for the file.” He glanced at Katrine.

“I sent the request yesterday,” she said. “Registry said it might take a day or two. They’re understaffed.”

“If Emily was jealous enough to accuse her stepfather of being a paedophile and was possessive about her mother,” said Eddy. “How would she have reacted if Lennart went off with someone else?” 

“Badly,” said Katrine.

“You think Emily Rasmussen might have something to do with Bogman’s murder?” asked Larsen. 

“It’s possible,” said Katrine.

“The silversmith said they were in love,” said Tobias. “Inseparable.” 

“They why didn’t she report him missing?” asked Eddy. 

“Perhaps they fell out of love,” said Katrine. “Or one of them fell in love with someone else. It happens.” 

“Even so, you’d think she’d hear on the grapevine that he’d gone missing,” said Larsen.

“Suppose they’d split up,” said Renata. “He stayed in Denmark. She went back to Sweden. She didn’t know he was missing. She doesn’t know he’s dead.” 

“That’s also possible,” said Tobias. 

“At the very least, she’s a witness. We need to find her,” said Renata. 

“I’ve asked Sweden to put out a general alert,” said Tobias.

“She hasn’t filed a tax return,” said Eddy. “Inland Revenue have her listed at the Skovlynd address. She has a passport issued in 1996. It hasn’t been renewed. She has claimed no benefits, committed no traffic offences.” 

“She must have kept in touch with somebody,” said Katrine. “She must have some friends here.” 

“Presumably they don’t know Lennart is dead,” said Eddy. “There’s been no report in the newspapers. This all happened fourteen years ago. No instant messaging then. Not so many people had email. It was easier to lose touch with people."

“Emily sends emails once a year from a Hotmail address and she has a page on Facebook,” said Tobias. “Can we trace her that way, Renata?” 

“It’s complicated, and costly,” said Renata. “Where’s Facebook based?”

“Seattle,” said Eddy. 

Renata groaned. “And Hotmail is also based in the United States. I wish she used a Danish or any European-based site. There’d still be a lot of procedure to go through but it would be easier than trying to get information from a server in the United States. There are different privacy laws, international treaties, protocols. I have to ask the Ministry of Justice to approve an approach to the American authorities. The Ministry will have to issue a warrant. We need to show good cause. The Americans have to agree good cause before they approve a warrant to disclose data. Plus, most of this stuff is held remotely.”

“Data tracking is done by civilian specialists,” said Larsen. “They don’t come cheap.”  

“And they need time,” said Renata. “There’s so much stuff out there in cyberspace, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”

Larsen tut-tutted. “We need to justify all this expense. There must be other ways of identifying Lennart.”

“They were both members of an environmental protest group,” said Tobias. “They tried to stop the development of a golf course at Skovlynd. There should be newspaper reports, television coverage.”

“Then start with that,” said Larsen.


Tobias and Katrine spent the rest of the day at the television station viewing the available footage on the demonstrations against the Skovlynd golf development. Most of it showed demonstrators with placards - “Stay GreenSay NO to Golf”; “Skovlynd Forest. Home to Bechstein’s Bat” – sitting down in the road to block the path of machinery and being removed by the police. There was no violence. There was no Emily either.

The edit suite was hot, dark and untidy. Tobias was uncomfortable. The bin overflowed with paper, there were empty paper cups on the floor and the remains of a hotdog on a paper plate at the elbow of Oscar, the technician, who was chewing gum. Tobias tried not to look. He was about to suggest they take a break, go outside, feel the breeze, maybe have a cold beer, when Katrine said, “Hold on, a moment. Can you stop it? Can you go back to the guy with the moustache talking to the reporter?” 

The pictures reversed with the chipmunk squeaks of speech played back at speed, and stopped. An earnest looking reporter held a microphone to the moustachioed mouth of a young man with a pale face and long dark hair. 

“Look,” said Katrine, leaning forward. “Behind his left shoulder. There’s a red car and next to it a blue van sticking out. Can you zoom in? There. You can see the wheels and handlebars of two bicycles on the top and a bit of rainbow on the back door. And the number plate. Yellow and white. Can you enlarge it?” 

“I can freeze the frame and you can look at it on a bigger screen,” said Oscar. 

A fuzzy image of the number plate flashed on to a screen in the bank of monitors in front of them. 

“This is as good as I can get it,” said Oscar. “The first letter is S.” 

“The second is N,” said Katrine.

“You two have good eyesight,” said Tobias. “Sort it out. I’m taking a breather.” He stepped into the sunlit corridor. The building had an empty, weekend feel. He opened a window and inhaled fresher air into his lungs. The phone in his pocket vibrated. He pulled it out and read the text message. “Back Tuesday pm. Dinner? Sofie.” 

He felt invigorated. He went back into the edit suite. 

Katrine waved a piece of paper. “We’re not sure if the last number is 5 or 3 but we’ve got the rest. I’ve texted Eddy. With both 5 and 3 as the last number.”

Tobias sat down, grinning. “Thanks. Good work. Who’s the guy with the moustache?” 

Oscar glanced at a sheet of paper. “Interview at 49 seconds. Nicholas Hove.”

Tobias remembered the plump, clean-shaven man he’d seen talking to Kurt Malling at the Skovlynd charity dinner. Could this be the same man? “I saw him just over a week ago,” he said. “What a difference fourteen years makes. He’s twice as heavy and has half as much hair.” 

He scanned the faces of the demonstrators sitting on the road behind Nicholas Hove. They were young. The girls had long blonde hair and serious expressions. They reminded him of Agnes. None of them was Emily. The boys looked relaxed. They grinned at the camera. Was one of these grinning boys Emily’s boyfriend, Lennart?

“Is Hove the only interviewee?”

Oscar checked a print out. “It looks like it. There are only two more reports. April 26th and 27th 1998.” 

Tobias settled into his seat. The next sequence of soundless pictures began. 

Tobias recognised a side entrance to the golf course, near the ninth hole. He presumed it was the entrance used by the trucks and diggers during the construction of the course. There was a shot of a digger scooping out earth from what was going to become a lake. The shot changed to Kurt Malling watching a yellow dumpster tipping sand into a bunker. Next, a dozen demonstrators blocked the path of a yellow Hydrema digger. Then Kurt Malling confronted two demonstrators chained to a digger. The last two film sequences showed Kurt Malling with group of uniformed police, and Emily Rasmussen being escorted to a police car. 

“Hold it there,” said Tobias. “Can you enlarge that?”

The picture flashed up on the bigger screen.

“It’s definitely Emily,” said Katrine. 

“Just as well,” said Oscar. “There’s no more footage.”

“Thanks,” said Tobias. “We’ve got what we needed. I’ll set up a meeting with Nicholas Hove.”

Eddy was the only person in the Investigations room. He looked up as they came in.

“A Mercedes van was registered in March 1997 in the name of Emily Rasmussen,” he said. “At an address in Skandeborg.”

“That makes sense,” said Tobias. “Emily was the one with the money. She paid for the van.”

“How old was the van when she bought it?” asked Katrine.

“Old enough,” said Eddy. “It was registered as an ambulance in 1987. But it’s a Mercedes. She could still be driving it.”

“It would have to pass roadworthy tests if it’s in Denmark,” said Katrine.

“Other countries have regulations too,” said Eddy. “She must have tax and insurance as well. But there’s nothing on the register since 1997.”

“Maybe it’s permanently parked up somewhere and she’s living in it,” said Katrine. “Maybe she’s abandoned it and bought a new one.”

“I’ve checked all the Emily Rasmussens who registered a vehicle or applied for a driving licence,” said Eddy. “None of them fits Emily’s profile. They’re all ten years older or younger.”

“It could be in Sweden,” said Katrine. “Or anywhere.”

“Being driven illegally,” said Eddy. “Her licence would be out of date by now.”

“She might have a Swedish licence,” said Katrine.

“Send the details to Europol and Interpol,” said Tobias.  

“I’ve done that,” said Eddy. “With two versions of the plate. One with last number 3 and one with 5.”

“Any newspaper reports on the golf club protests?”

“The newspaper archive isn’t digitised that far back,” said Eddy. “There’s nothing online. The librarian at Jyllands Posten has gone home. I’ve sent requests to the big five dailies but tomorrow is Great Prayer Day, remember? And the librarians don’t come in at weekends. We won’t see anything until Monday.”

“Any sign of the file on Astrid Thomsen’s husband?”

“They haven’t found it yet,” said Eddy. “Cutbacks. Plus the weekend. We should have it by Monday or Tuesday.” He paused. “It’s a nice evening. Tomorrow is a holiday. This is the first decent weather we’ve had for weeks. Unless you have something urgent for me, Boss, I’m going sailing tonight.” He picked up his car keys and added in a casual way, “Would either of you like to join me?” 

Tobias thought about endless days in the boat with his father, of sadness as deep as the ocean, of longing to be steady on his feet, facing the future on dry land. “I’m not much of a sailor,” he said. 

He sometimes wondered if he’d taken up golf in an unconscious attempt to avoid long hours bobbing on the water trailing a fishing line to catch the occasional salmon, or cramped in the cabin playing chess with his morose father. A round of golf took at least three and a half hours and precluded taking the boat out. His father, a dutiful parent, silently caddied for him in junior competitions. That was how he had met his second wife, Tobias’s stepmother, Inge. Her daughter, Margrethe, and Tobias had been junior members at the same time and at the same club. Tobias was still a member there. The course wasn’t as well-designed or well-tended as Skovlynd, but Tobias liked it. He thought he would ask Norbert if he was free to play with him. 

And then he would put in a call to Nicholas Hove. 


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