Did you know, said the Little Fella, that my brother once lived downstairs from Denis Nilsen?
What? said Parkenstein. The guy in Naked Gun?
That’s fuckin Leslie Nielsen, said Dobber Dan. He’s talking about the fella who can’t live if living is without you. Can’t live. Can’t give anymore.
The fella in Badfinger wrote that, said Parkenstein. And then he killed himself.
No, said the Little Fella. You’re thinking of Harry Nilson: Everybody’s talkin’ at me. I can’t hear a word they’re sayin’. Midnight Cowbell. The guy my brother Mike lived below was Denis Nilsen, the serial killer.
Jesus Christ! we all said together.
Yeah, he went on. It was in London back in the Eighties. He even invited Mike up to the flat for a drink.
Fuck, I said.
Parkenstein frowned. Wasn’t Nilsen the guy who used to cut up his victims and flush the body parts down the toilet?
Yeah, said the Little Fella. He was a cook in the army. That’s where he learned his butchering skills.
But why? pondered Dobber Dan. Why would you do that? Was he having sex with them?
Obviously not, laughed Parkenstein. He wouldn’t waste a perfectly good body when he could be shagging it for a week. He wasn’t a fucking pervert, you know.
If I was a serial killer, said the Little Fella, I’d do it properly.
Really? I said. Do explain.
Well, he went on, for one thing, I’d kill all my victims in different ways so the cops wouldn’t be able to figure out my modus operandi.
Right, said Dobber Dan. And they wouldn’t be able to figure out how you usually did it either.
Indeed, said the Little Fella. I’d pick victims at random. Young, old, black, white, men, women, midgets. Catholics. Zoroastrians. Vegetarians.
And you’d shoot ’em, said Parkenstein.
Which is worse? mused Dobber Dan. A serial killer or a mass murderer?
A serial mass murderer, I replied.
I’d shoot some of them, said the Little Fella. But I’d poison others. I’d strangle a few and I’d fling one or two out of a helicopter.
Expensive, I muttered.
But worth it, said the Little Fella.
Would you stab any of them? asked Dobber Dan.
I might, said the Little Fella, but I don’t really like the sight of blood.
What about the forensics? I wondered. CSI. Bones. All that. What would you do when an incredibly attractive young lady with a PhD in palaeo-botanology and a black belt in kung jitsu figures out the whole fuckin thing with a microscope?
Aha, said the Little Fella, that’s where I ‘m ahead of you.
I was intrigued. How so, pray tell?
Well, he said, I’d have a large collection of hair and toenails from loads of people. I’d tour the barbers and chiropodists. And I’d contaminate the scene with so much DNA they wouldn’t know what to make of the whole thing.
You’d sprinkle toenails all over the crime scene? And hair?
I would, said the Little Fella with a smug expression.
Fiendishly clever, whispered Dobber Dan.
But, said Parkenstein, in that case, we’d have to call you –
Correct, said the Little Fella. I’d be Jack the Clipper.