Monday: Week Three


Karl Lund called Eddy to tell him the contents of the underground bin in which the first bones had been found were now bagged, labelled and ready for inspection. 

“They’re in nineteen clear plastic bags,” said Karl. “We can’t keep them in the lab so we’ve put them in the garage. I’ve emailed you a list. Call me if you need me. Good luck.”

Katrine had already printed off the list. She waved it at Eddy. They went down to the garage. 

The forensics team had sorted the rubbish into categories – animal, vegetable, paper, plastic, glass, tin, cloth, miscellaneous. Paper, plastic and glass should have been in re-cycling bins, and to be fair to the inhabitants of the housing blocks nearest to the bin, the bags containing these materials were small and the contents easily checked against the list provided by Karl Lund. The uncooked vegetable waste, such as potato peelings, onion skins, carrot scrapings and banana skins, could have been composted, but since the inhabitants of these same housing blocks did not have gardens, the waste went to the bin along with scraps of cooked, left-over meat and fish. The bags of food waste did not smell as bad as Katrine had feared. What she took at first to be hard-boiled eggs in a separate bag – hard-boiled eggs in dustbins? And people complained about poverty? – on closer inspection turned out to be golf balls whose covers had split to reveal a yellow inner-core. 

“A dead cat. Ugh,” said Eddy, gingerly putting to one side a plastic bag containing the feline corpse and picking up a smaller bag. He glanced at the label. “This one’s a dead budgerigar. The cat killed the budgie. The budgie’s owner killed the cat in revenge. That’s my theory.” 

“Three sets of dentures, two pairs of spectacles and a broken riding crop,” said Katrine, putting a tick beside them on the list.

“A torn jacket with a swastika on the sleeve.” Eddy shook his head. “The things people get up to in Gelleruparken.” He held up a pair of pink silk panties in one gloved hand. “These look as though they were gnawed through. Ripped off by somebody’s teeth.” He thrust the panties towards Katrine. She wrinkled her nose in distaste.

Eddy replaced the panties and picked up a bag of letters, envelopes and wrapping paper. He handed the bag to Katrine. 

“Get names and addresses from these. Check how many of them were questioned in the door to door. Uniform spoke to seventy-five people. There must be at least five hundred living in the block nearest the bin. I’ll stay and finish checking this lot.” 

When Eddy returned to the office, Katrine was so absorbed she didn’t hear his approach. 

“I’m going to take a break,” he said. “Fancy a coffee?”

Katrine didn’t reply. 

“I’m going to open the window and piss into the courtyard,” he said.

Katrine granted him a quick smile before turning back to the screen. “I’ve made a list of the addresses. They were nearly all checked in the door-to-door. Here they are,” she tapped a file on her desk, not taking her eyes from the screen. “I’m looking for Lennart Praetorius. I want to know when he was reported missing. I searched only for males aged twenty to twenty-eight missing between 1996 to 1999. That’s what Brix said. I was worried I’d left him out of the list by mistake. The grandparents told us they didn’t report Bogman, I mean Lennart, missing until a year after they’d last seen him.” She shook her head. “I still think of him as Bogman.” 

“Me too.” 

Katrine scrolled down a list of names. “I can’t find him in 1999.” 

“The wrinklies probably left it more than a year,” said Eddy. “The older you are, the faster time passes.”

“It must be flying past you, then, Eddy,” said Katrine. She flashed a smile at him and continued scrolling. 

“I’ve found him.” She clapped her hands. “February 2nd 2000. Lennart Lars Praetorius. Helsinger. Reported missing by Jesper and Hanne Hedegaarde.” She smacked her forehead. “I should have extended the search into 2000. But we got sidelined by Bruno Holst. The guy who turned up alive in Germany.”

“Don’t beat yourself up about it,” said Eddy. “We wouldn’t have identified him without the bracelet. Unless the grandparents mention it in the report.”

“I’ll ask Helsinger to send over the file,” said Katrine. 

“Tell them it’s urgent,” said Eddy. “Or you won’t get it for ages. The boss is still waiting for the file on Emily’s stepfather.” 

Tobias was in the library at Jyellands Posten, settling himself at a machine which magnified microfiches. The librarian had organised the newspaper’s reports of the protests at Skovlynd golf in date order. The room was dark and quiet. The only sound was the click of the machine as it moved the microfiches into the frames. 

There were ten brief stories – each two paragraphs at most – about the demonstrations at Skovlynd. The first report was from April 1996. The last was dated September 1998. There was a statement from the protesters, who called themselves the Green Brigade. The ten signatories to the statement included Emily Rasmussen, Nicholas Hove and Gudrun Pettersen, but not Lennart Praetorius and not anyone named Aksel Schmidt, or Aksel anything. None of the reports mentioned him.

One report quoted Kurt Malling: “I too am concerned about the environment. My company is developing several green energy projects. This club will bring jobs to the area. It is supported by local businesses and services. Most of the forest will still be in place. Bechstein’s Bat will not be affected.” 

The newspaper had printed a letter in reply from Nicholas Hove: “Our concern is not only about protecting the habitat of Bechstein’s bat but about the widespread use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers on golf courses, the excess use of water for irrigation and the impact on the wetlands around Skovlynd.” 

Tobias stood up and stretched. He began to think rooting through rubbish might be more interesting. All the roads to Emily seemed to finish in dead-ends. He sat down again and squinted into the viewing machine. A centre-spread about the protests clicked into view. This was better. There were ten paragraphs with names and quotes, and four large photographs. 

Tobias zoomed in on a black and white photograph of Emily and Lennart – easily recognisable now – in the rain, hair plastered against their faces, holding up a dripping banner: TREES NOT TEES: SAY NO TO GOLF. No caption. The photograph said it all.

The second photograph, also in black and white, was a sideways view of Emily and Lennart, facing a tall man sheltering under a golf umbrella and flanked by police. It was captioned ‘Stand-off’.

The third photograph was a reverse of the previous one. Kurt Malling, under the umbrella, stiff with anger. ‘Skovlynd developer Kurt Malling unmoved by protests’, was the caption.

The fourth photograph showed three protesters dragging a sodden and muddy tent to the side of the road. ‘Weather more effective than police. Storm sweeps away camp of the eco-warriors’. Tobias enlarged it. Emily and Nicholas Hove. Who was the third man in photograph? Could it be Aksel? 

Tobias printed the stories and the photographs and marked the date on each report. He wrote, “Aksel?” on the back of the fourth photograph and booked a motorbike courier to take it to Nicholas Hove. 


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