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Title: Broadchuch: Sins Of The Father

Date of commencement: September 22 2013

Date of completion: December 24 2014

Series: Broadchurch, a sequel to the original, and following on from Life Without Joe

Rating: M

Authors: tkel_paris and tardis_mole

Summary: Two years after Danny's death, life is slowly getting back to normal in Broadchurch. But Hardy's happy life is about to be turned upside down by a spectre from the past he had hoped had been laid to rest. Someone from his past wants to talk to him, someone wants revenge, someone wants to see him ruined. But it's not one 'someone'. But first, he must face the girl in his garden.

Disclaimer: We own nothing, but this is based on Broachurch by Chris Chibnal, with added clues from the novel by Erin Kelly. We gain no financial benefit nor gratuities, only the enjoyment from writing and working together on this epic journey, shared for the enjoyment of others.

Dedication: Chris Chibnal, long time friend. bas_math_girl, for her beta. And each other for hopefully not ruining each other's lives for too long during the writing part.

Warning: If you have not watched Broadchurch in its entirety, do not read this. We mean it. You will be spoiled. Stop and go back. Now. Ideally you have seen the entire show, not just what was aired on BBC America if you live on that side of the pond, but this is understandable in either case. Also, if you have not read tardis_mole's Life Without Joe, that's okay. It's possible to read this without reading that, if you're not on Moley's approved list. You'll probably find this makes a little more sense if you have read it, but you should be fine without it. Take the time to read Erin Kelly’s novelization, if you can, as it provided certain details that helped with writing this. Though you won’t need to rely on it.

Authors' Notes: See Episode One, Part One. They're a bit long to include in each post.

/=/=/=/=/

Previously...

Episode One, Part Four: The Start of the Real Trouble


The Superintendent walked boldly into the CID room. She was known as Sandra O’Malley at home, having married a man who had been happy to take her name - with a name like Andrew Dicks no one could blame him - but here she was ma’am, or sir on occasions. She didn’t mind. It beat the name she was known by through all twelve years of school; Arrest-ocats a play on a Disney character with whom she shared her name, and the fact that everyone knew her dad was a policeman.

Sandra was standing in for the Chief-Super for this one. Elaine Jenkinson had been called away to Court. Even police officers had to do jury service. Jury service usually lasted three weeks, but she would be back in a few days. Sometimes a case was dropped or over and done with in less than a week. Sandra hoped she would have this latest business already bagged and handed to the CPS by the time Elaine got back. But you could never tell.

Sandra had a ready sense of humour and a good rapport with her officers, both uniform and CID. She was also gifted with compassion and a hard line when needed. She had almost three decades of experience with the force. It was her life. Her father was a copper, her grandfather had been a copper, and she had married a copper. Two of her children were in training and the third had already begun his beat.

She was not about to ruin it with another protracted murder case. The last one had been messy. This one had all the makings of another messy case, unless she could count on her men, and women, to catch the bastard before he or she struck again.

It seemed busier than she had ever seen it before, which she found a grim pleasure in. Broadchurch was just starting the holiday season, as Ellie had hinted at with her alarm over the thought of having to calm a swathe of people she did not know. No town that depended on the tourist industry could afford to have anyone spreading the word that it was dangerous for anyone from out of town. It had been uncomfortable enough to deal with the aftermath of Danny Latimer's death. And she had only heard about it second hand. She had been on maternity leave during the whole investigation and in some ways had been glad of that. Now, she had her first murder case to oversee.

She paused in her steps. Good god, had it been two years already?

A glance at the wall calendar confirmed it. Dangerously close to the two year anniversary of Danny's murder. And now they had a new one. She could only pray this would not prove the start of a tradition.

Anyone called in to report a missing girl, yet?”

Not yet, sir,” Peter replied. “I’m making list of all guesthouses, hotels and bed & breakfasts to make inquiries at.”

Don’t forget the mobile homes and campsites,” Sandra added.

First on the list,” Peter replied, adding it to the bottom since he hadn’t actually thought of it.

Good. Has SOCO returned from the Hardy-Miller house?”

Brian got here about five minutes ago,” Ellie piped in. “He’s gone straight through to the labs. He had footprints. You know what he’s like with footprints.”

Satisfied, Sandra detoured to the Scene Of Crime office. While the evidence needed to be processed, surely there were some leads for them to follow? Especially before they had to locate the poor girl's family and give them the start of a nightmare. Or, knowing what mothers were like when a child goes missing, the worst end of a nightmare.

She stepped into Brian's office. Something about the SOCO area always made her nose twitch. While the smell of coffee was as rampant as it was in the main room, there were always those hard to define smells that could only come from crime scenes. Hints of death and decay, old wet cigarette butts and mouldy leaves, along with the less appealing smells of nature. She recalled the first time she had stepped into one of these offices. Her nose had been assaulted by the smell of dung, fresh and pungent with half-digested rat poison.

At least today there were no hints that they had brought in manure as evidence. Her boss, Jenkinson, had a tough stomach, and so did she to an extent, but it still took an effort to not react to.

Brian glanced up. “Sir. I assume the pressure is higher than the Latimer case?”

It did not need an answer, so she got straight to the point. “Do we have anything to ID our victim with?”

He was completely focused on the case, but drew himself from his examinations and held up one evidence bag. “Apart from a half-empty cigarette packet and two photographs, the only thing we have is her mobile. She still had it on her, so it wasn’t a theft-motivated murder. Tech is going over it to see if it had GPS active and we can trace where she was before it was turned off. Or, if we can isolate her transponder code, we can find trace her movements on the mobile phone grid.

Sandra nodded. “We can hope for a lucky break or a killer who forgot that we can trace a phone to within a few metres. Did she list her name?”

Well, she has her messaging under a password lock so we're waiting for access to those. But her contacts are open for viewing. Although it barely helps us.”

Why?”

I'm thinking either the phone is brand new or she hardly used it as a phone.”

A teenager who has a phone and isn't on it frequently? I knew they existed, just wondered how long it would take to meet one. That is not a basic phone.”

Brian shook his head. “Basic phones are harder to come by these days. They all have at least a decent camera, email and internet capacity, and more features than I even know where to begin. She's only used text messaging, email, and Facebook and had taken a few pictures. Including some time-stamped from yesterday. The last one Tech thinks was taken around seven last night.”

So we have the start of a possible ‘last seen alive’ time. That is something. What else has the phone told us?”

It has her parents’ phone numbers. I’m liasing with Pete now to locate them. They may be in the area. But it will take some time. I want fingerprints first. There may be some that don’t match the girl’s.”

Yes. Do that. Anything else?”

There's this back of a locket. Looks like it belonged to something that was supposed to break into pieces, but I couldn't begin to tell you anything other than it was heart-shaped. There's a lot of dirt left to clean, so we'll have more on that later. It was found in the middle of one of the footprints we made casts of. It might be a clue, it might not. Too early to tell.”

Is that all?”

No. She had two photos in her jeans' back pocket. One seems recent, the other not so much. It looks several years old at least. But there was something else about it and you’ll find this interesting.” He held it up in its evidence back. “Innocuous looking, isn’t it? But do you notice the corner?”

It’s crumpled.”

Exactly. The photo was in her pocket at an angle. As if it had been put there by someone else. It was in her right pocket, but facing her left side. That tells me instantly that someone else put it in her back pocket. Her arms aren’t long enough to have reached right behind her to put a photo in her other pocket. Whoever put it in her pocket might have been the last person who saw her alive. Or they may not be connected at all. Brian psyched himself up for the big reveal. “Don’t expect the photograph to be of much help,” he warned and laid it down, face up, in front of her. “She’s not in it. But you might recognise one of the girls in it.”

Good god! she breathed. “That’s Pippa Gilespie!”

Exactly.”

Who are the other three?”

No idea. The dead girl may have taken the photo. This exact photo was recorded as being in Pippa’s bedroom, but no one identified who the other three girls were. But I think we’ll have to find out.”

How long until the fingerprints have been collected?”

Give us an hour,” Brian asked.

/=/=/=/=/

Sandra didn’t dare tell him that she had been pacing in her office for the previous hour. Once Brian and his team were done with them, she took the evidences bags with the phone and the photographs safely inside to the CID room. The first contained what looked like a freshly developed photo of their victim with another girl about her age. The way they were hugging it looked like they had been seeing each other for a long time.

The second photo – the one he pointed out – was of four girls, all around age nine if her estimate was right. She was drawn back to it, like it was trying to tell her something. The girls were beaming for the camera, all dressed for a day at the beach, and looked like they had not a care in the world. Although the way they were hugging each other and the hint of a pinched look in their eyes suggesting that they knew a separation was imminent and this might be the last time they were all going to be together.

As she looked more at the photo, Sandra frowned as connections began to form in her head.

That's mostly what I have for you, Sir,” said Brian. He wanted to go and inspect the locket piece for evidence, but knew better than to leave when the second-highest boss in the station was requesting an update. It had only been an hour, but with a murder case every second was vital and the clock was ticking. “Sir, besides Pippa Gilespie, do you recognise any of those girls?”

One of them is the Sandbrook girl from the missing persons report a few weeks ago. The girl on the end I don't recognize.” She pointed to her through the plastic. Her finger moved. “But that girl there, between Pippa and the missing girl... she looks familiar and I can’t put my finger on it.” She looked up grimly, and lowered her voice until she could barely be called whispering. “Why would a photo of a girl murdered several years ago turn up now? Why here? What connects Broadchurch with Sandbrook?”

Brian's eyes widened. “DI Hardy,” he said reluctantly. “But that case was closed.”

And hopefully it’ll stay closed.”

But would he really do something like this? He’s implicating himself. It’s professional suicide.

Identified the footprints?” she asked, ignoring his implication.

Yes and no. The shoes found by the front door match the prints by the car and body. But the one next to the footpath was three sizes smaller and do not match any of DI Hardy’s or DS Miller’s shoes. Wrong size, for a start. But there’s something odd about that print. When someone walks, they press with the heel first and then lift at the toes. But this one is the other way around.” Suddenly it came to him. “They’re walking backwards.”

Why?”

Brian thought about it for a moment. “Trying to hide a fact that they’re leaving. Walking backwards. Why else would someone trip on that root? It’s not impeding the path and there’s a street light right outside the pedestrian gate. Even in the dark, that root would be visible if you were looking where you were going. I’ve walked along that path myself, so I know.”

Good work. Find me a plausible alternative or find the proof to back up your theory. Carry on.”

He nodded and followed the command as she left the room.

Sandra went straight to her office. Only force of habit kept her from giving off any impression that things were out of the ordinary. Well, for a police station about to investigate the murder of a ‘tourist who had just arrived’ ordinary.

She closed the door and went for a file the Chief Super had requested the previous year when filling the position of DI for good. Opening it, she came across one Scene-Of-Crime photo and then slowly leaned back. “I wasn't imagining things.”

Frowning, she opened the Police National Computer and accessed the missing persons files. Every police officer in the country looked at this database, sometimes every week, just in case someone turned up in an entirely different area from where they were reported missing. She flipped through the pictures and stopped on one.

Hailey Bridgewater. Seventeen, reported missing about six weeks earlier in Sandbrook. The updated picture was an older version of the girl in the photograph who had caught her attention.

Her face tightened. “This is not good.”


ĐĐ

To be continued...

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