It was nearly 4:00 in the morning by the time John and Sherlock reached the body. There was already a significant commotion around it. Sherlock strode up to the body like he owned the whole world, which in his mind, he did.
“Stand aside, this is a crime scene, not an exhibit,” Sherlock said walking up the body.
“Hold on, who are you?” said a middle aged man with a full beard but thinning hair. He barely came up to Sherlock’s shoulder.
“Don’t talk to him in that insulate tone,” John said, “Don’t you know who this is?” The man looked slightly taken aback, he did not seem accustomed to being talked to like that.
“This man is the lead inspector of her Majesties royal service. He is the great Sherlock Holmes,” the man looked even more taken aback, though some of that subsided when Sherlock flashed the psychic paper at the man.
“And you sir,” said Sherlock with a grateful smile at John, which disappeared when he turned back to the man, “You are obviously in a position of authority, a detective inspector, if I’m not mistaken. You’ve worked as a constable for 18 years. You have a wife, who you rowed with earlier today and she threw something at you, ah yes, an ink bottle. You’re trying to cover part of the stain on the pants leg with your jacket, not very well I might add. You have a daughter, a son, and two small dogs, no doubt the yappy kind. Did I miss anything?” Sherlock said, eyes narrowing. John pretended to be scratching his nose but really he was hiding an ever growing smile.
“How did you know?” the man stuttered.
“I don’t know, I notice, now if you would be so kind, I’d like to get on with my job,” Sherlock said crouching down next to the body, “Who was she? Or at least, who do you think she was?”
“Mary Ann Nichols, she was found by P.C. John Neil. Several people have come forward to state that she was a prostitute, and she boarded at 18 Thrawl Street. Her friend, a Ms. Emily Holland, said that she saw her at 2:30 and she was very drunk. Furthermore, she was reported to be in the company of a man about twenty minutes before she was found.”
“Idiotic,” said Sherlock, before turning his full attention to the body.
“Don’t worry, he says that to everyone. Dr. John Watson, I assist Mr. Holmes,” John said shaking the man’s hand.
“Detective Inspector Edmund Reid, and he was right, about me, how did he know?”
“Again, I don’t know, I notice,” Sherlock retorted from the ground.
“Sherlock, that is bordering on a catch phrase,” said John.
“Shut up. I need you to be useful, not trying to be witty. I need a doctor’s opinion.”
“You mean…” said John pointing in random directions.
“No not him, an actual doctor John. What do you think?”
“Well,” said John crouching next to the body, “She was dead within ten minutes of the first cut. The attacker grabbed her around the neck pulling her back to him. Where you see these bruises, which of course you do, they’re finger marks. He then made two slits on either side of her neck, severing the blood vessels in on both sides,” John paused for a moment, then continued, “He started the cuts on her abdomen and on her right side after she had started to bleed out,” John concluded somberly.
“Not nearly as useless as you used to be,” said Sherlock with a smile at John, then he turned back to the body, “These shoes didn’t belong to this woman, they are new, but made to look old, they’ve been scuffed artificially, no person walks that way. Also, the soles are worn in a way that would make it seem like this woman has bowlegs, when she clearly,” Sherlock lifted up the woman’s skirt, much to the shock of the onlookers, “does not. As for her hair, there is significant coating of dirt nearer to the ends, but none near the scalp, meaning the dirt was added,” he paused again. John had seen this look on his face before, he was thinking, this does not add up, “And the teeth, these teeth were pulled, crudely, you can still see the scarring on the gums. This woman was not a prostitute. And she wasn’t drunk when she was murdered.”
Reid’s amazed silence was broken at that moment, “But that can’t be, at least ten people have already come forward to say they saw her trying to,” he paused, “Sell herself,” he said in almost a whisper.
“Inspector,” Sherlock said getting up and squaring up to Reid, “Witnesses are idiots. They are unreliable and their observations are not nearly as good as mine. I trust what I see more than your, witnesses,” he said with a note of disdain. “Feel free to write a report based on my observations, I would be doing this woman a favor, your incompetence would only serve as an insult to her memory. I’m sure you will be seeing me, London’s finest needs all the help they can get,” he said with a sweeping glance around the scene, “Just out of curiosity, are there any Lestrades in your family?”
“Why yes,” said Reid a little surprised, “It is my daughters fiancée’s surname.”
“Indeed,” said Sherlock with a smile, and then he turned to John, “We best go find our friend,” and without so much as another word to the shocked Reid, Sherlock turned and started walking down the street. John followed, quickening his pace to keep up with Sherlock.
“So, what didn’t you tell them, I know you saw more than you let on?”
“Yes, of course I did. There were partial foot prints in the mud of the leading to and from the woman, a man’s. She was not in the company of a man, he simply walked up and killed her. She didn’t fight, hmm curious. And she had time, the amount of bruising means that the man was holding onto her for a long time, at least a minute. He blade was dull, but intentionally so, and was wielded with some skill. He knew exactly how the blood would spatter and avoided getting any on himself. He let her fall to the ground, again careful not to get blood on himself. He then crouched beside her, and made the incisions on her abdomen. The cuts were slow. And there were fibers in the wounds, other than the ones from her clothes, which were cotton. The fibers were from silk,” said Sherlock pulling a plastic bag out of his pocket with a single bloody fiber in it.
“But how? Knives don’t just have fibers on them?”
“Not unless they have been wiped with a cloth. If we can find where the cloth came from just maybe…” John could see the wheels in Sherlock’s head whirling.
“And wait…I didn’t even see you take that,” John said in amazement.
“I am excellent at knicking things. Years of practice pick pocketing Mycroft,” Sherlock and John both chuckled, “And now to find our dear friend the Doctor, so we can get to the next crime scene.”