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“Nothing is trivial,” she said. “The slightest thing, the tiniest detail, could be the key this whole thing hinges on.”

She passed thick, pale brown folders around the table. Each one bulged with documents. Transcriptions, statements, maps and photographs.

“There’s a lot to take in,” she admitted as they opened the folders and started flipping through, “But remember, attention to detail is vital.”

A gasp at the end of the table told her when somebody reached the first photograph.

“What you have there is the complete, uncensored file. The newspaper reports of the time skimmed over the details; partly to ensure that the investigators could fact-check any false confessors, but largely because it was deemed to be too appalling for public consumption.”

Everyone around the table had seen images of atrocities before and considered themselves hardened, yet still, faces paled and hands were raised to cover mouths as they looked at the pictures.

“It’s obvious that we’re dealing with some kind of deviant,” one of the team said, turning a photograph face down.

“The worst kind,” she agreed. “The trail is cold, and local detectives have already been over everything in these files a dozen times over. The chances of us finding something new, something useful, are quite frankly miniscule.”

There was silence for a moment before she continued.

“But there are a dozen families out there who still want to know why this happened to their little ones. We owe it to them to do our best to find out.”

Throats were cleared, knuckles were cracked, and everyone at the table nodded their agreement.

“Right,” she said. “Let’s begin with the first victim, Adam King. Five years old.”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: The words from Three Word Wednesday this week are Deviant, Miniscule and Trivial.)

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