A New Kind of War (Murder Room)

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The big man, it was said by his special agents, had gained a hundred pounds to make room for his heart. Bender and Walter were the most astonishing investigative team Fleisher had ever seen, equal parts reason and revelation, when they turned their combustible gifts on a killer and not on each other, like a man trying to extinguish his own shadow. The stout federal agent was the administrator who allowed them to take shape and function in the world. They had met that morning in Bender's hall of bones, where a legendary and especially terrifying mob hit man had been the force that first brought them together, bonded in their fierce and awkward way, to create a private club of forensic avengers.

Fleisher was sipping coffee with Bender at the kitchen table when the thin man entered the warehouse studio, nose wrinkled in disapproval "at the cat smells and whatever else. It was an enormous, brightly colored oil portrait of one of his many girlfriends, rendered in paint as thick as cake frosting.

It was an eight-foot frontal nude; from the left nipple dangled a real brass ring. Walter stood with his nose upturned, which pushed his mouth into a frown, studying the painting for a long moment. Bender howled with delight, as if there was no greater compliment. Walter glared at him. You're using sex as an antidote to depression. As I have tried to explain, at our age it is not healthy for one to live as if one is poised before a mirror ringed with stage lights.

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One day the lights will go out and you will look in the mirror and see nothing at all. Now with Fleisher in the great hall, Bender and Walter greeted each other warmly. The three men radiated an energy that seemed to animate the room. The habitual sadness in Fleisher's brown eyes lifted like a mist as he looked proudly across the gathering.

All morning forensic specialists from around the globe had been quietly arriving at Second and Walnut streets in Philadelphia. They had gathered as they arrived in the high-ceilinged Coffee Room and Subscription Room on the first floor of the tavern, where colonists had once discussed politics, trade, and ship movements over the latest magazines and Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette. Fleisher had felt the heady buzz of reunited friends, peers, and rivals. But now as he studied the assembly of sleuths from seventeen American states and eleven foreign countries, he sensed that something special was happening.

Each man and woman was more renowned than the next. Ressler was never far from his cohort Richard Walter. They were two of the greatest profilers in the world. Of equal distinction were the forensic pathologists. Their table included Dr. Hal Fillinger of Philadelphia, who had proven that the "Unicorn Killer," fugitive Ira Einhorn, had murdered his girlfriend Holly Maddux; Fillinger had arrived in his big white Cadillac with the "Homicide Hal" vanity plates.

Next to him sat Dr.


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Richard Froede of Arizona, who would autopsy the remains of kidnapped CIA agent William Buckley, tortured, murdered, and dumped at a Beirut roadside by Islamic jihadists. Among the Philadelphia cops was Frank Friel, the former homicide captain who solved the assassination of mob underboss Philip "Chicken Man" Testa, immortalized in Bruce Springsteen's song "Atlantic City": ". The chamber on the second floor of the City Tavern was the historic Long Room, forty-four feet long and narrow with a soaring chapel ceiling, the first ballroom in the New World, where General George Washington had toasted his election to the presidency as cannons boomed across the city and Madeira glasses smashed.

By modern standards it was austere, a pale green chamber with chair rails and candle sconces. But now it had been arranged to re-create the spirit of a second-floor chamber in Paris in In the upstairs room of No. It was the first room in history designed for a group of men to systematically deduce and brainstorm solutions to murder cases.

The wide, arrogant face was stippled in shadows from the heavy green drapes, beneath crossed French and American flags. In the room at No. They discussed motive and modus operandi in greater detail than ever before in history. They made plaster casts of shoe impressions and studied bullets to link them to crimes. They worked under paintings of Damiens being quartered, John the Baptist losing his head, and Ravaillac being tortured. They were the first modern criminologists. Convinced of their superior knowledge of the criminal mind, Vidocq had chosen them from the ranks of ex-convicts, like himself.

Each of the men and women at the long tables wore a red-white-blue pin on their lapels -- Les Couleurs, the colors of France, the signature of their status as Vidocq Society Members VSMs. There were eighty-two VSMs, one for each year of Vidocq's life. It was the world's most exclusive club, open, regardless of race, sex, age, or national origin, only to the best detectives and forensic scientists on the planet.


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They had been called the greatest gathering of forensic detectives ever assembled in one room. It is a group that collectively has hundreds of years of crime-solving experience. The Vidocq Society's mission was simple and straightforward: As many as one in three murders in the United States went unsolved. It was a well of suffering scarcely known to the journalists who claimed crime was sensational and overblown, or the millions of Americans entertained nightly by it on TV.

Murder was a scourge that had taken more than a million lives, more than most of the American wars ever fought in the twentieth century. Cops were overworked, departments underfunded; the criminal justice system favored the rights of criminals over victims. In a world that had forgotten its heroes, they resolved, by the light of a twelfth-century chivalric pledge, to hunt down murderers in cold cases, punish the guilty, free the innocent, and avenge, protect, and succor families victimized by murder.

They resolved to work pro bono rather than swat a golf ball around in Florida or Arizona. They met on the third Thursday of every month; they were the Thursday Club.

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The eighty-two of them pledged themselves to their cause until death, when the rosette would be pinned on another man or woman chosen to fight for a better world. The old Victorian brownstone on Locust Street in Philadelphia, headquarters of the Vidocq Society, was besieged with requests from around the world from cops and victims seeking an audience in the private chamber in City Tavern.

A congressman who wanted to solve a murder in his family. A federal agent in Washington who needed another pair of eyes on the assassination of a woman agent in broad daylight while jogging. A young, small-town Tennessee cop overmatched by an elderly millionaire serial killer who moved from state to state killing his wives.

But the Vidocq Society would not touch a case unless it was a murder, the victim had committed no crimes, and the case was at least two years old, officially a "cold case. In all cases, the society required the presence in the room of the municipal police officers, state or federal agents, or government prosecutors working on the cold case; families looking for vengeance became too emotional without official support. Yet in rare instances, when police corruption was suspected, an ordinary citizen was granted an audience before the Vidocq Society.

This afternoon was one of those cases, when an ordinary citizen had earned an audience before the forensic court of last resort. At one o'clock, Fleisher stood at the lectern and welcomed them from four continents to Philadelphia and the monthly convening of the Vidocq Society. Before lunch, he had led them in the Pledge of Allegiance, hand clamped over his heart, his voice the loudest in the room.

He had introduced a pastor who asked that God favor and guide their undertakings for justice. Now Fleisher loosened the room with a joke about their purpose, "to enjoy my great hobby, which is lunch. It was sacred work. The essential method that Fleisher, Bender, and Walter had resurrected from the nineteenth century was deceptively simple: They had filled a room with detectives to unmask a crime of murder.

Like Vidocq's ex-cons, though far more sophisticated, they had at their disposal the most advanced forensic tools of their age. Busboys swarmed out of the kitchen and swept away the last of the silver and china, carded the remaining crumbs from the white tablecloths. As the coffee was poured, the historic chamber was no longer the Long Room. It was the Murder Room, reborn. At ten past one, Fleisher introduced Mr. Antoine LeHavre of Louisiana. A rotund man in his forties with dark hair and a gentlemanly manner, LeHavre wore a sports jacket and eyes burdened with woe. He stood at the lectern, slightly to the right of the gruesome image of his slain friend.

There was an air of anticipation, as never before had an ordinary citizen presented to the Vidocq Society, alone. LeHavre began by thanking the society for inviting him. I couldn't do it anymore alone. They had all seen enough cases to know the Murder Room was a place to walk far around, a step in life to bypass if you could.

The chamber was invisible to a happy man.

a new kind of war murder room Manual

Years after the murder-suicide, Aiken moved back to Savannah and purchased the house next door to this one. The current owners agreed to a paranormal investigation, documented by Court TV's Crime Library where an infrared video revealed over fifty orbs, and digital voice recording captured a man's voice whispering, "Do you want to know what I know? Three members of the Pennsylvania Dutch community found themselves in a simultaneous rut of bad luck.

They believed themselves to have been hexed by one Nelson Rehmeyer. Hex-clearing called for the burning of the alleged witch's spell book. What started as a visit to retrieve the book turned into one of the country's most sensational murders. On November 27, , the three men strangled and beat Rehmeyer to death when he refused to comply with their demands.

In an effort to cover their crime, they tried to burn the house down. But, the fire died quickly, leaving plenty of evidence pointing to the killers. It is said that the spirit of Nelson Rehmeyer haunts Rehmeyer's Hollow, also called The Hex House, which opened as an historical exhibit in In the 18th century, Savannah was a thriving port town crawling with the likes of Blackbeard and other bloodthirsty pirates.

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Around , the need arose for a tavern and inn near the harbor. This two-story property became The Pirate's House, where there are said to have been countless brawls ending in thousands of kidnappings and deaths. Currently operating as The Pirates' House Restaurant , its walls are adorned with framed pages from an early edition of Treasure Island.

Many of the novel's scenes are said to have taken place here, and protagonist Captain Flint is rumored to have died at the house. Old ghost stories and new accounts of paranormal encounters make the Savannah eatery a popular spot for spook seekers. This Queen Anne was built by wealthy brick manufacturer Balthazar Kreischer in the 's as part of a family estate, along with another mansion for his son, Charles.

Shortly after a filial blowout between father and son, Charles' mansion mysteriously burned down, with the younger Kreischer and his wife perishing in the flames. Locals are convinced that the spirits of the couple continue to dwell at this mansion. At the time, Young served as the caretaker for the desolate mansion and decided to make it the backdrop for this modern-day murder for hire. Young, along with four accomplices, strangled and stabbed McKelvey, evenutally drowning him in an ornamental pond on the property and cremating his body in the house's incinerator. The incinerator has since been replaced and the property may become part of an assisted-living complex for senior citizens.

Builder John Moynahan built this Dutch Colonial for his growing family in the s. According to the Long Island Village Voice, Moynahan built his house sideways because he didn't like mowing the lawn. The home became infamous with the coupling of the DeFeo murders, and the alleged paranormal terror endured by subsequent owners George and Kathy Lutze.

After the Lutzes deserted the place in , they reported everything from DeFeo's dark shadows and voices, to black slime oozing through keyholes and swarms of flies. One book and two major motion pictures later, the address and trademark attic windows have been changed. The Amityville Horror House is now privately owned and in residential use by owners who don't care for thrill-seeking visitors. Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright built this as his home after leaving his first wife for a woman named Martha Borthwick in On August 15, , while Wright was away on business, estate worker Julian Carlton bolted the dining room doors and started a fire.

Borthwick, her children from a previous marriage, and a few others were inside. The arsonist then waited outside with an ax for anyone trying to escape. After the tragedy, Wright rebuilt the wing only for it to be destroyed again by an electrical fire in Taliesin was repaired a final time to serve as Wright's studio where the famous Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, and Guggenheim Museum in New York were designed.

According to Haunted Wisconsin, the lost and wandering spirit of Borthwick has been spotted at Tanyderi, a nearby cottage on the property where firefighters took victims of the fire after the tragedy. This Greek Revival is the site of one of the most gruesome mass slayings in New Orleans history. In the late s, wealthy plantation owner Jean Baptiste LaPrete bought the pink French Quarter residence as a vacation home. Soon after, he added the trademark wrought-iron lace rails to the balconies and set out in search of a renter to occupy the property when he wasn't using it himself. A rich young man from Turkey answered LaPrete's call and moved in with a tremendous entourage, complete with a harem and eunuchs.

The house became renowned for its mysterious parties, which neighbors experienced in the music and incense escaping through cracks in the door. One morning, a passerby noticed something less pleasant escaping from under the door. It was blood. Authorities entered the house to find everyone within dismembered and mutilated. The renter, who came to be known as "The Sultan," was buried alive in the courtyard. While pirates have been blamed for the murders, it is theorized the Turk was the brother of an actual sultan, who ordered his male relatives executed in an effort to eliminate competition for the sultanate.

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