In the days following Shelly’s death, Diabo had met with her parents, her place of work but nothing panned out. Back at the station, Det. Diabo once again looked through Shelly’s personal effects trying to understand why she was targeted, wallet with money intact, house keys, car keys, student ID. Something’s missing he thought, but what? An Indigenous woman going missing or being murdered on Vancouver’s downtown east side wasn’t a new phenomenon, it’d been happening for years, decades even but nothing was ever looked into and Diabo’s boss Captain Bertrand wasn’t much help. Call it apathy, ignorance whatever but Diabo knew better…racism and it was systemic. The racism on the force permeated throughout Vancouver and through the rest of Canada like a cancer. The residential schools, 60’s scoop, colonialism all of it had a part in how the country treated it’s Indigenous peoples. Diabo himself had been a survivor, to this day he didn’t like to talk about what went on in those schools but he did know what saved him and they were the elders in his home community of Kahnawake. Now Det. Diabo looked down at Shelly another sister who had fallen because of who she was…an Indigenous woman. Shelly’s only hope now was Dr Palmer, the coroner which is where he headed next. “Did you know her?” said the coroner looking up as Diabo walk into the office. “No I didn’t.” “So young, what a waste.” Dr Palmer the coroner had been on the job for 30 years and had seen too many Indigenous people visit his table. “So what’s the verdict?” “Death by strangulation but what I found is that he took quite a bit of pleasure from it, he took his time with her. I did find something peculiar though, a mark, done postmortem.” “He marked her, why?” “I don’t know exactly but I think he is trying to tell us something, that perhaps she isn’t the first.” “Did you run a check on other unsolved murders involving Indigenous women with a similar mark?” “Yes I did and I even expanded my search to include all of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan.” “Find anything?” “7 women all with the same M.O and all of which were students from various universities. I believe that we have a serial killer on our hands Det. Diabo.” For a moment the room began to spin.