At three in the morning the subways weren’t deserted but they were pretty empty. They felt used-up, like a house after a party or a stadium after the last fans have left. William Fitzgerald rode them around and around then, huddled in a long, stained duster, feet drawn up on the seat, head on his knees, and counted the freaks and the junkies as they got on and off.
He was two cars back when the first one was murdered by what would become known as the Subway Killer, watched dispassionately as the victim, a rail-thin boy with a shaven and pimply head, fought and was beaten and was killed, without moving, without the least interest. It all happened silently, muffled and distant through the plexiglass and the wan lighting. When it was over, the Subway Killer came back through the cars, chest heaving, and walked right past William Fitzgerald. They got off at the same stop, climbed the stairs together, and separated at the corner of Fifth and Pine. On every concrete step a little red circle remained behind, fallen from the hands of the man climbing ahead of William Fitzgerald.
He made no effort to remember his face.