From Chapter One
Homicide Detective-Specialist Louis Martelli pulled his black, unmarked Ford ‘Crown Vic’ to the curb at the foot of the ‘Bowling Green Bull’, a 7,000 pound bronze sculpture that stands near Wall Street in New York City’s Bowling Green Park. It was late winter, 2010. The weather was unusually warm for mid-March. It was difficult to miss the severed head of a man pinned to the left horn of the bull, blood dripping on the bricks below. The crimson pools of blood on the pavement pulsated with irritating regularity in the flashing light of the car’s red, dash-mounted, rotating beacon.
“So, what do we have here, Michael?” Lou bellowed, using both hands to lift his left leg over the car’s door jamb. Martelli had been the crew member aboard a Black Hawk helicopter that was shot down in the April, 2003, invasion of Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Now, with the help of a prosthetic leg, he walked with a slight limp. He worked for NYPD under a special waiver issued by the mayor. “Hey,” he always reminded those who asked about his injury, “at least I’m alive. That’s more than I can say for the pilot and copilot, who never made it out of the chopper!” What he never talked about was the fact that he lost his leg attempting to save them. Lou worked hard to keep his weight down, primarily to ease the burden on his legs. But at 6-foot, 2-inches and 190 pounds, walking still was difficult. He was a big, muscular guy, the result of working out at the Dominant Fitness & Health Club in Brooklyn almost every morning before he went to work. But with a big workout came a big appetite, so it was a constant fight to stay away from the junk food that beckoned from the vending machine outside the door of his office.
“What do we have here? What do we have here? What the hell does it look like we have here, Sarge?” It was Michael Antonetti, Deputy Coroner. “The Running of the fookin’ Bulls in Pamplona, that’s what we have here!” Antonetti was standing on a short step ladder. He had just finished taking pictures of the top of the human head. Now, he was preparing to examine it more closely before preparing to remove and bag it for evidence. A lone crime scene investigator (CSI) from NYPD’s Crime Scene Unit (CSU) was busy snapping photographs of the blood-drenched bricks under the bull’s head.