©1999 - 2005
Edward D. Reuss
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The temperature outside was seventeen degrees with a wind chill factor making the cold winter night air feel fifteen below zero. Even though I was wearing several layers of clothes it was impossible for me to keep warm as I walked patrol post Forty-one on Fulton Street in Brooklyn's 8-8 Precinct. The freezing weather kept the prostitutes inside that night and even the local drug dealers moved their businesses off the streets into warmer quarters. Cold weather is Mother Nature's way of controlling crime. The roach infested coffee shop where I usually sipped stale coffee and warmed up, closed early due to no business and a forecast of heavy snow. I glanced at my watch and it read 2100 hours.  I still had three hours remaining on this four by twelve.

While standing in the doorway of an old brownstone, trying to catch some heat escaping from under the poorly insulated door, I saw the patrol sergeant's RMP cruising slowly on the 8-8 Precinct side of Fulton Street. I stepped out from the shadows of the building and onto the sidewalk where Sergeant Timmy Brennan could see me if he wanted to sign my memo book.  The driver pulled the RMP alongside the curb and Sergeant Brennan motioned me to get in the back seat. Once inside he said, "Got a DOA to keep you warm Vito. A real bad one." I asked the sergeant if the DOA was ripe and he replied, "No, but it is a somewhat unusual stiff."  I didn't care what kind of a stiff it was or how unusual the cause of death.  My only concern was that this DOA expired in a nice warm place and the Medical Examiner wasn't arriving to view the body until after midnight.  The sergeant's driver turned the RMP into the entrance of the Fort Green Housing Projects.  He stopped the unit in front of 247 Navy Walk.   Sergeant Brennan instructed me to report to apartment 14C and relieve the 8-8 Warrant Unit who earlier picked up the job.

At the entrance to apartment 14C there were about twenty residents of the building standing in the hallway obstructing the doorway. I didn't intend to eavesdrop on their conversations but overheard several of the children asking their parents what was going to happen to the dog.  I pushed my way through the crowd and knocked on the door. Police Officer Willie Kovac opened the door greeting me with his unusually big dumb looking smile. As I started to enter, the crowd began pushing me inside attempting to catch a glimpse of the apartment's interior. Willie pulled me inside slamming and locking the door behind us.  The apartment was filthy. Papers cluttered most of the floor.  The kitchen was crawling with roaches some feasting on dried macaroni and cheese, which appeared to have become marbleized in a pot on top of the stove. There were mounds of feces on the floor throughout the kitchen and living room and who knew if it was human or other. I didn't care.   "Some dump," Willie said.  I agreed and proceeded to inquire as to what this call was all about. Willie just stood there with a big grin on his round face.  Police Officer Bobby Marrone walked out from the back room and asked Willie, "Did you tell Vito what we have?"  "No," he answered still smiling.  Bobby was a serious type of guy and said, "There's a bad one in the back room Vito, a very bad one.  Let me fill you in."  I cut Bobby off telling him I overheard some kids in the hall talking about a dog. Bobby said, "Emergency Service was already here and sedated the Doberman. They removed it to Midtown where the ASCPA will take care of him until someone decides what to do with the animal.  I think they'll have to put it to sleep now that he's acquired a taste for human flesh." Raising my voice, I demanded, "Bobby what the hell are you talking about?" "Go take a look in the bedroom and see for yourself," Bobby suggested.

I walked into the bedroom and there sitting in a chair was the dead body.  Next to the chair, on the floor, was a large knife...dried blood covered its blade.  I looked at the DOA and couldn't make out its face.  I couldn't tell if it was a male or female. The blood was still oozing down its cheeks making me realize this was a fairly fresh corpse.  I walked a little closer to the chair and suddenly my nose filled with the disgusting odor of the deceased last defecation.  As I got closer to the body, I realized this corpse was missing something that every other corpse I had seen up to this point in my career had. A face!  This corpse had no face.  All I was looking at was some sort of fatty substance and what appeared to be some muscle mass. There was no skin left on the face of the corpse.  Willie walked into the room, still smiling, and asked, "Did you figure it out yet Vito?"  Still dazed from what I was looking at, Willie said, "He fed the dog." "What?"  I asked.  Willie answered, "This crazy fool was stoned on PCP, peeled off the skin from his face and fed it to his Doberman. He would have probably survived if he didn't cut off his ear. Looks like he bled to death. Some psycho, right Vito?" 

 Now, having gotten over the initial shock, and regaining some of my composure, I just shrugged my shoulders and began taking off some of the several layers of clothing I was wearing. It was time to get comfortable. After all, I still had about two hours left on this four by twelve tour and it was getting quite warm in apartment 14C.

Copyright © 2000 Philip V. Bulone

Detective Phil V Bullone,
NYPD (ret)



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