Walter liked bus stations … and train stations. He also liked fast-food restaurants, arcades, parks, malls, and even museums. He wasn’t particularly cultured, nor did he like fast food. On the other hand, there was no end of places where people sipped coffee, brushed their hair, clipped their fingernails, leaving endless supplies DNA he could collect.
At 7:30 on a Tuesday morning he was sitting in the waiting room of the Greyhound Bus station on South Lamar St. in Dallas. Wearing the anti-facial recognition glasses he had purchased from a site on the Dark Internet, Walter enjoyed occasionally looking directly into the security cameras that scanned every inch of the waiting room. Knowing his glasses would defeat any software designed to identify him, he had to fight the urge to gloat by waving at the cameras. His old ones had been kind of clunky and noticeable, but the Japanese had come up with a more subtle version that looked more like high-end sunglasses for less than $250.
“Bus 7207 bound non-stop to Houston is boarding,” announced an agent over the speakers. “All passengers are advised to check in at island number five.”
A nearby group of four sketchy-looking millennials gathered up a collection of hats, coats, and plastic bags functioning as suitcases and walked out to the boarding area. After they exited the station, Walter drifted over and sat down where they had been. Wearing gloves he had coated with NFL Stickum spray, he wiped down the area to his right and then his left.
“I trust there was a felon or two in that group,” he whispered to himself.
After walking out of the Greyhound station, Walter sauntered over to a nearby McDonald’s, where he ordered just a coffee. Then he sat down in a booth where he added to the DNA samples on his gloves before placing them in a plastic bag he took from his coat pocket.
Soon he was sipping his coffee and checking out the local Craigslist until he found what he wanted.
“Twelve hundred dollars OBO,” he mumbled. “Yes, that will work quite nicely.”
Walter responded to the advertisement and began the wait for a response. He finished his breakfast and walked down the street until he found a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi. For the next three hours he surfed the web on his tablet, re-checking locations, distance, and driving time, as well as reviewing and rehearsing his plan to abduct “blind justice.”
It didn’t take him very long to settle on a motel for the next few days. Reviews from folks who had stayed there were uniformly bad.
“Mattress was hard and thin,” said one. “First room we walked in and TV was on, bed looked like someone had been sitting in bed with all the pillows stacked up in the middle. Horrible, worst stay EVER. Room smelled awful.”
Another person wrote “toilet must have been previously backed up because there was a plunger in there and raw sewage present where it had not been cleaned. Totally unacceptable. I wish I would have read the reviews on this hotel. Bugs everywhere, mainly crickets but also roaches here and there. Stains on every surface. No extra pillows or towels. TV remote didn’t work.”
Perfect, he thought. The Sherwood Forest Motor Home Court in Waxahachie, Texas would be an ideal hideout for his next operation. Using a prepaid Visa card he’d purchased under a false name, he booked a room for two for the next three weeks. Walter had no intention of bringing anyone with him or staying there longer than the few days it would take to review his plan and collect more random DNA samples. But it would function beautifully as a drop off point for the used pickup truck he was about to purchase.
A little after noon, he got a response from the Craigslist ad, and he made an appointment to look at a 1994 Ford F-150 with a canopy an hour later.
Walter had the taxi stop three blocks from the seller’s house and walked the rest of the way. Thirty minutes later, after making sure everything worked and there was nothing on the truck that would attract attention from law enforcement, he handed the owner $1000 in cash, accepted the keys to the truck, and drove directly to the Sherwood Forest Motor Court where he checked in.
“Perfect,” he said as we walked into his unit. “I doubt this dump has been vacuumed in a month.”