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Title: The Case Of The Hammelburg Strangler (12/12)
Author: BradyGirl_12
Pairings/Characters (this chapter): The Hammelburg Strangler, Robert Hogan
Fandom: Hogan’s Heroes
Genres: Angst, Drama, Mystery
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Warnings: Major character deaths; Descriptions of strangulations
Spoilers: None
Summary: Hogan and his men encounter the Hammelburg Strangler.
Chapter Summary: The Hammelburg Strangler says his farewells.
Date Of Completion: December 15, 2015
Date Of Posting: May 7, 2016
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Paramount does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1112
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
All chapters can be found here.



XII

RED RIBBONS


Pin a red ribbon
In her hair,
And never take no
For an answer.


Heinrich Gruber
"The Adventures Of
Little Hansie"
1888 C.E.



Strong fingers of one hand smoothed dark hair as a red ribbon was pinned to Hogan’s shirt. The Strangler sat in a chair and crossed his legs.

“Tsk, tsk, if you had just waited five more minutes, Colonel, I would have been gone. I dislike extra disposal, but sometimes it is necessary.” He sighed. “Of course, this presents a complication, but I can figure it out. Practice makes perfect.” He laughed, the sound slightly raspy.

He shifted in his chair. “Back in 1914, I was humiliated by a girl I liked very much. I had to do something about it. The rage…it boiled up in me…I had to take care of it. So I did.”

His voice was calm, almost toneless. “My family has always had an eminent history. That is pressure on an eldest son, eh?” The noise of a match being struck sounded loud in the silent room. “My father expected much from me. We have a grand German tradition. Sometimes it is difficult to live up to.”

The glow of a cigarette pierced the darkness. The Strangler’s tone turned conversational.

“I suppose I should be amused by your American arrogance. You really did think that your fellow compatriots would end this war. I know about our munitions capacity. Very well, of course. Burger Industries is an old, family firm.”

The embers of the cigarette glowed as ashes fell to the carpet.

“That summer was the beginning. Every time I felt the urge, I struck. Terrible to keep things bottled up. The psychiatrists say it is healthier to let it out. I agree. Let it out. It overcomes me, and I seek a way to let it out. Then I am all right again.” The voice was silky smooth. He waved the cigarette around, tiny stars sparkling in the darkness.

“My occupation allows me freedom of movement. Over the years I have traveled through Bavaria, Prussia, and throughout all of Germany and parts of Poland. Auschwitz is a nice little town. I hear rumors about what the camp is about on the outskirts. Very efficient, we Germans.” He exhaled, smoke curling up towards the ceiling. “There have been other girls, sometimes an auxiliary or two. The men, who grew too nosy. It depended on circumstances, of course, but Detective Marcus Kringle and his colleagues would realize that I have preyed throughout the country.” A dry chuckle bounced off the walls. “The dear Hammelburg police. So earnest, so dedicated, blustering their way through this case. And now here am I on the loose again!” The laughter was maniacal.

“Ah, such amusement.” The Strangler wiped his eyes. “And here they are, running around again. I suppose I shall have to move on. A pity. I have always liked these hunting grounds. Their familiarity makes it all easier as I slip through alleys and walk the streets.”

From the alley a cat mewled, stopping the Strangler’s recitation. His muscles went rigid as the cat howled again, only relaxing after the animal stopped.

“Cats. Truly loathsome creatures. I practiced on them, you know. The less cats in the world, the better, in my humble opinion.

“Now, where was I? Oh, yes, the Hammelburg police. As I said, earnest and dedicated men. Certainly less annoying than Hochstetter and that crowd. He hangs around like a vulture, waiting to pick your bones! I make my kill and leave. I do not hover. Well, except for tonight. Your American arrogance inspires me, Colonel.” He chuckled. “My cover has always been perfect. No one ever suspects a respectable German. Especially one who serves the Fatherland in my capacity, though the things I could tell you!” His eyes glowed in the light of the cigarette. “It is fascinating to watch people react to what they think you are. Imagine what their faces would look like if they knew the truth!”

His tone grew contemplative. “The war is a fine cover. It allows me freedom that one cannot get in peacetime, though in Germany, ‘peacetime’ is merely lulls between wars. I have seen two great wars, one a Great War, and despite the uniqueness of each conflict, the basics are always the same.” His voice grew calm with an undercurrent of excitement. “Kill, kill, and more killing. And the police have the nerve to hunt me down while killing is all around us!”

The town clock struck, the melodic chimes bonging six times. The cigarette ashes fell like tiny stars to the rose-patterned carpet. Smoke drifted out lazily as the Strangler blew out.

“Back to Hochstetter. What a loathsome little man. Arrogant, smug, bullying. A man like this is in a position of power! Contemptible. There are times when I have itched to snap the necks of men like him. Generals like Burkhalter and Goering are such fools! Stuffed geese, the lot of them. I would be doing the Reich a favor if I hung them up by their thumbs. To think my brilliance is overshadowed by these fools. Bah!” The Strangler shifted in his chair. “The red ribbons are a brilliant touch, ja? They represent my old school’s Honor Society. They represent accomplishment.” He laughed, a dry, crackling sound.

The Strangler finished his cigarette and started another. Clouds had moved in outside the window and it began to rain. It drummed on the roof and kept up a steady rhythm. The Strangler listened for awhile, then began to speak again.

“Your arrogance, Colonel Hogan, actually amuses me. You are so sure of yourself. I suppose that is New World thinking. If the Third Reich is defeated, how will your people match up with the barbaric Russians? They are devious, you know. They live for backstabbing and betrayal. Your people’s straightforwardness will match up poorly with the Russians’ Machiavellian maneuvers. They are savages with no sense of honor. You will find that out the first treaty you sign with them.”

The Strangler rose and stretched. He looked around, flexing gloved fingers. He took out a plastic bag and dropped his cigarette butts into it, and stuffed the bag in his jacket pocket. He shrugged on his topcoat and leaned down over Hogan’s body.

“A pity, truly, Colonel. I enjoyed our sparring. You were a formidable foe, but your death means that I will have to move on. My record is no longer perfect, ja?”

The Strangler straightened and put on his fedora. He opened the apartment door and Colonel Wilhelm Klink walked down the staircase and out into the stormy night.





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