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Thursday, 9/30/10 – Notes From Nostradamus

“Hey, Buddy, can you help me out?”

Detective Jessop doesn’t have time or the desire to help. If he stopped to help every panhandler he would be poor and late. As it is, he is only going to be late.

The Captain’s rubber gloved hand turns the page.”Looks like you found ‘im, Jessop.”

At first the murders seemed random, disconnected, but as the number and frequency increased, patterns, as unique as fingerprints, began to stand out beside the bloodstains and the gore.

Some of these details were presented in press releases, others were intentionally obfuscated or manufactured. Other than the killer, only three of his staff members knew which were which.

The handwritten notebook he is reading is genuine. It contains all of the correct details and even talks about the dice found with each corpse.

He closes the book and places it back inside the evidence bag. “So, where do we find our killer?”

“Crestmont Cemetery. Los Angeles, California.”

“Our killer is dead?”

“And has been for twenty eight years.”

The Captain would like to start rapid-firing questions at the deputy but he knows the best way to get the information is to let it come to him. “Explain.”

“The guy who wrote the notes was Nathan Bresson. His grandson found the notebook several months ago when cleaning out the attic. He started reading it and was amazed that his grandfather could write horror so well. We found them when the grandson started publishing them online.”

“You think the kid used the grandfather’s stories as inspiration?”

“Not possible. The kid is seventy two years old, not in the best o’ health and he lives in Anaheim.”

“So, you think someone is reading the stories online and acting them out?”

“You would think that but the murders all occurred before the stories were published.”

“Lay it out for me.”

“Every murder was vicious. Victims were tortured, killed then mutilated. The methods were all different: cutting, burning, beating. What was the same was that each corpse was placed in an active pose. You’ve seen the pictures.”

The Captain remembers pictures of “The Walker”. The team had started naming the victims by the poses they were placed in. The Walker was found in his apartment, held upright by a series of thin steel cables anchored in a web-like pattern to the walls and ceiling. Skin was flayed open and left hanging in long strips where the cables screwed directly into the exposed bone.

“And each had two dice placed in front of them. We never told the media about the dice and we never knew what they meant.”

No one outside of the department knew about the dice. There were six murders and eight confessions. None of the confessors mentioned the dice.

“Then the stories started showing up on the web. They were short and gruesome but each one gave a detailed account of the murder scene. One was so vivid that we went back to the pictures and realized that there were subtleties that we hadn’t noticed in our investigations. We thought that we had our killer but all we have are more questions.”

“Is it possible the notebook was put in this guy’s attic?”

“You mean that someone in New Jersey is murdering people, writing detailed accounts and hiding the notes in an attic in California? That’s almost as crazy as what the grandson thinks.”

“What’s that?”

“He thinks that the stories were prophetic, that his grandfather saw future events and wrote them down.”

“What do you think?”

“I think that the stories were published somewhere else, our killer read them and is now acting them out.”

“How many stories are there?”

“Seven. The first six murders occurred in the same order as the first six stories.”

“Only one left? Any chance we can figure out who the next victim might be?”

“We are working on that. The problem is that the killer doesn’t choose his victim, in the stories they are chosen at random by a toss of the dice.”

“Explain it to me.”

“In the stories, the killer keeps track of everyone that does him wrong. If someone bumps him on the street and doesn’t say excuse me he puts them on his list. When he has six names on the list he rolls a die to determine who is going to be killed. He has another list that has six different methods: cutting, burning, beating… He rolls a second die to determine the method. A third is cast to determine what day of the week. In the stories he takes Sundays off.”

“And we find two of those at each of the scenes?”

“According to the stories, he gives the first one to the victim before the murder, the other two we find at the scene. He uses the way the bodies are displayed as an indication of what the victim did to deserve this fate.”

“Does the seventh story give us anything to go on?”

“Just that the victim ends up with his eyes and mouth sewn shut.”

As they discuss the details and provide theories, an hour passes, then another. The two are no closer to finding the killer when they close up the office and head for the two lone cars in the dark parking lot.

As he takes a left out of the lot something rolls across the dashboard and wedges up against the windshield. Detective Jessop reaches up and retrieves the single white die.

The number on top is six.

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