The start of this story is here.
Of course we couldn’t immediately look at the things we’d found. We had to wait for the SOCO* team to come and retrieve them and then print, photograph, swab and sample them.
A quick call to Detective Jayne got the Diary sent to the document analysis lab at the Department. Which was handy because we’d have had to wait a couple of days otherwise. It was annoying not to be able to just open the thing and flick back to the day of her death but at least we knew that practically the first thing they would do was scan the pages and send the images to our yPhones.
The other thing had been bagged and handed straight back to us. The SOCOs could spot something that was more trouble than it was worth. Detective Jayne had offered to lend us a room at the Queen Street police station and we trooped across in silence.**
Detective Jayne met us there. I put the thing down on the long, otherwise bare table.
“Is that thing what I think it is?” Said Detective Jayne.
“Absolutely not.” I said.
“Yes it is.” Said Chris, “It’s a Voodoo doll.”
“No it’s not.” I said.
“I’m going to leave this to you fleshy types. I don’t think I’m equipped to deal with this stuff.” Said Mycroft.
“What the hell is going on with your phone?” Said Detective Jayne
“The phone is running an experimental app. Probably best to ignore it till we’ve worked all the kinks out.” Said Chris with long practiced nonchalance. He must make a lot of excuses for technology.
I got out two sets of plastic tweezers and an evidence tray, put on fresh gloves and then opened the evidence bag. I needed to check the stuffing of the object.
“So what about the Voodoo doll?” Said Detective Jayne
“It’s not a Voodoo doll.” I said. I used one set of tweezers to pull the doll out of the bag and lay it in the tray. It was a roughly human shaped stuffed doll thing. It was made of a heavy pale cloth. There were no visible stitches but it looked like felt tip pens had been used to draw a face and yellow hair on the head end. There was multicoloured random scribbling on the rest of the doll but it had faded quite a lot an it was hard to see the colours or if there had been any pattern or even words.
Detective Jayne pulled one of the working lamps over and switched it on shining a bright light directly on the thing.
“You’ve got to admit that it looks like a Voodoo Doll.” Said Chris.
“Oh I admit that it looks like a poppet. Which is a feature of the European witchcraft tradition which the media has somehow associated with Voodoo. The person who made it might have meant it as a Voodoo doll but it’s important that we don’t call it that because this thing was definitely made by someone with no real understanding of the Voodoo traditions.” I said.
I was tugging at the seams of the thing with the tweezers and trying to see how it had been constructed.
“So it couldn’t have worked then.” Said Detective Jayne. She sounded relieved.
“Oh I wouldn’t say that. It depends who built it and what for” I said.
“Are you saying that the Dingo could have been killed by a combination of a crappy cloth doll and wishful thinking?” Said Detective Jayne.
“I’m saying don’t rule it out.” I said.
I’d found a weak point in the seam and split it open. I tugged out the filling. The thing was stuffed with socks. Three long, once white, girl’s school socks. Intertwined with the socks was a single long dark blond hair. I bagged the hair. It would need to be tested but I was fairly sure it came from the Dingo. I prodded the socks with the tweezers.
“I think there’s something in here.” I said.
“Hold on a second.” Said Detective Jayne. She put on her own gloves and brought over a second tray. I turned one of the socks inside out over it and a few balled up pieces of paper fell out.
*Scene Of Crime Officer. British equivalent of a Crime Scene Tech or CSI.
**The Queen Street police station is within sight of Saint Nick’s House. Our silent trudge took all of 3 minutes.