During a foggy moonless night Robert Mathew walk thru the swampy ground lighting his way with a torch made out of an oil wet rag. Scared out of his mind, he continue walking, thinking about all the scary tale he had heard about the stinky marsh he end off due to a stupid bet. The wet land full of dangerous night creature wasn’t a place to be in pitch darkness ; specially alone. An owl made a creepy noise; when he saw his big round yellow eye in the dark he almost shit on himself. Robert walk faster his leg felt like yellow, he quiver but it wasn’t cold since it was summer. He said to himself in a loud voice, “that fucking owl frighted me to death” and laughed. He didn’t see all the eyes hiding in the bushes looking at him; preys and predator of the swamp on the look out some to stay alive other for an easy meal. Every step into the marsh was one pace onto unknown territory. He has gone so far inside the vegetated area that he didn’t know how to get back without the map. The one Tom gave him to follow a route mark on it. So, he can complete the task and win the bet. Ten thousand dollars prize for a night work is easy money, he thought at first, but now doubts came to his mind. He thought, “Is it worth to risk my life for few miserable dollars?” His brain wander from one thought to another, “what’s the purpose of doing this, what Tom want him to accomplish?” His head has a lot of question for which he didn’t has the answer. The test supposed to last the whole night there were check point where he has to stop along the way to pick up proof of being there.
Robert reached the first check point where he sat on the dried earth; eat fruits, a piece of bread and washed down with a cup of coffee. while he rest his tired body something caught his eyes; it look like a human headless torso. He jump to his feet, walk to it, what was there turn his stomach upside down. Human part were sparse all over the place and it look like it have been there for a long time. The body was surgically dismembered so it wasn’t an animal kill. Somebody with knowledge of human anatomy butcher the victim. He thought about going back to report the crime but greed got the best of him. Robert thought, “I report it when I finished the cadaver won’t go anywhere.” He continue the route draw for him by his friend. His fear was gone and he feel comfortable and sure of himself. “The unpleasant part of the trip is over,” so, he thought. A howling of a wolf brought him back to reality and fear ran up his spine. Then he knew the grave of his situation. The place is full of predator who could eat him plus a murderous psycho was on the loose. A horrible thought came to his mind, “what if Tom is the killer after all he used to help my father in his butcher shop. Then he became an orthopedic surgeon.” He disregard that immediately they have known each other their whole life. Robert stop to pull out a pistol from his back pack for protection. what was happening around him make him nervous. He went to find the next site mark on the map.
The humid air in the heat of a summer night dehydrated his body. He has to drink plenty of water to prevent fainting in the marsh and end off in the belly of a predator. Robert continue down the trail to his next check point. Noises from wild boar, coyote, wolf, owls, and other creature can be heard in the distant. He tumble on something. It was a lifeless human body with the extremities separated from the trunk. Now he was afraid because look like it was the work of a serial killer. He forgot about the bet; turn around and follow the map back to the town. Robert didn’t realize he ran back thru the swamp and has lost most of his equipment. Near the edge of the marsh he stop to catch his breath. The closest police station was one mile from the wetland. Exhausted from the journey thru the woods he collapse in from of the police front desk. The officers pick Robert up and sat him on a chair, called the paramedic and hydrated him. The rescue team came check his vital sign and told him what he already knew it was fatigue from the long distant ran. Once he gain conscience the police ask him what happen. He explain his finding to the officer and the case were assigned to two homicide detective.
Sergeant Thomas Hicks and his partner Chris Calking have the case assigned to them. They interview Robert about what he saw in the marsh. Officer hicks ask him to tell him everything from the beginning. While Calking stand in the corner watching Robert every move and gesture. He began, “A friend of mine called Tom Richards let me a note with a map indicating that he will pay me ten thousands dollars if I follow the instruction on the paper.” Do you still have the note? Ask Hicks. “No I lost most of my equipment on the way here including the map and the paper with the direction,” replied Robert. “The note said that I have to go to five check point in order to win the bet. He also let me a back pack with all I need for test.” Officer Hicks look at him incredulously, it was the nature of being a detective you have to be suspicious of everybody. Robert continue with his declaration which they recorded in a cord cam. “I walked the path mark on the map. When I reach the first stop I saw a human headless skeleton trunk and looking the surrounding I found body parts all over the area.” “The strange thing is that they were removed with surgical precision.” Hicks stop him and ask, How do you know the body was surgically dismembered?” Robert said, “I Had a doctorate degree in medicine.” “I see,” replied Hicks. Detective calking took his own note to compare them with the mental note his partner was taken. “what do you do after you saw the human remain?” ask the detective. “I kept walking down the trail to finish my task and win the prize,” Robert answer. “Why you didn’t come to report the crime immediately?” Officer Culking interrupted somewhat angry. “I want to win the ten thousand dollars. I guess greed got the best of me.” He replied. So, what happen then? ask Hicks. “I found another body down the trail and ran back here to report it.” “Can you take us to the crime scene?” He said, “yes”. Ok, let me get my gear ready.
The two detective grab what they need to go find the crime scene in the swamp. Daylight has come so it was easy to get to the site. Along the way they found the written note, the map, and the rest of the stuff Robert has lost. Hicks look at the map and saw another check points drawn on it. He put the map and the note in a plastic bag for future reference. They arrived at the first crime scene marked and called a forensic team to gather evidence. Then, move to the second site and found other mutilated body. Sergeant Hicks realized that the location of the bodies coincide with the check point on the map. He let the crime scene investigator know the location of the second body. They went looking for the other three site. The putrefied stench of decomposing flesh impregnated the air. They saw in the location a ripped apart female body no fully disintegrated. Now, they knew it has to be a very disturbed serial killer. The sergeant called for back up to search the marsh for more victims; starting with places mark on the map. Two more bodies were found in the last locations. The detective let the forensic and police officer search and process the multiple crime site.
Back in the interrogation room they ask him about his friend Tom because it seem he didn’t exist. How do you meet this friend of yours? Ask Hicks. “I didn’t have friend growing up only Tom. He live next to my home but we meet secretly because my mom didn’t want me to have friends.” Tell me about you mother? The detective ask. “She was a very strict witch I didn’t like her a bit.” “Always telling me what to do and keep me lock in my room.” “I didn’t know what happen to her; one day she disappear and I never saw her again.” Robert told the detective. What about you father? Hicks ask. “He has a butcher shop and let Tom and I help him in the shop. He is the best.” “Do you mean he still alive?” “Yes, he is in Rose Mary Home care but he has Alzheimer.” “It is a long-term home for the elderly.” “Yes, I know what it is,” said Hicks. “You and Tom used to help you father cut the animal in the butcher shop.” “Yes, he taught us how to do it.” “So, you and Tom will know how to dismember a body?” “Yes sir, but you don’t think we have anything to do with those murders.” Robert said. “It is to early in the investigation, so, everybody is a suspect.” “Now tell me more about Tom; when you see him last.” “I don’t remember; he let the map and the instruction on my home desk along with the ten thousand dollars.” “Oh, I see. You haven’t seen him or talk to him in a long time.” “Yes, that’s correct,” replied Robert. “Ok, I will corroborate all the information and I will get back to you so don’t leave the town.” Detective Hicks told him and let him go. “The case is clear,” he thought, “but I need evident.”
The forensic and search team found six human remain so far but have to stop because it was getting dark. They will go back the next day to cover the rest of the area. In the meantime the forensic were trying to identify the victims. They were all female about the same built, age and characteristics. when they assemble the bodies there was strange thing; all of them were missing a different bone. One didn’t have the skull, other missed the forearm, another a leg and so on. That mean the perpetrator have taken souvenirs possibly to revive the experience or something worse reassemble a body out all the different victims. They put faces to all the victims except the one without skull which it look like it was the first victim. After a search of the missing person data base they came up with the name of all the victims except one. The first victim because it didn’t have a head to put a face on it. All of them were drug and kill the same way. He cut the femoral artery and let them bled out. Then remove all body parts with surgical precision.
The search of the dumping site begin early in the morning. The police and forensic team cover the rest of the area. They found six more corpse in pieces like the others. The look every inch of the marsh for evident but there were none. They took the remain of the victims to the morgue for further analysis. All of them have similar body structure. The last six were also identified from the data base. Who ever was the killer started with the first headless corpse. That’s the clue to solve the crimes the forensic examiner told Hicks. He said, “I believe the first victim is the mother of the person who found the first two bodies.” “He told me his mother disappear and no-one have seen her again.” “I have her DNA but I need something to compare too,” Said the examiner. “Ok, let me see what I can do.” “I need you to contact the victim’s families for closure.” “I will call them,” said the detective and walked out of the morgue.
Hicks and Culking went to the county judge for a subpoena to check Robert house for evident and DNA to compare to the headless corpse. After checking the documents were in other he signed. The two detectives thought Robert was the murderer but have to prove it. They drove to an old brick house at the end of meadow street. Knock on the door three-time until Robert open it. “Good morning, Mr. Robert with have an order to search your house.” Detective Culking said and gave him the document. He read it and let them inside the house. While Hicks interview him the rest of the police officer search the place. “Do you have anything belong to you mother like hair brush?” Ask Hicks. “Yes, her room haven’t been touch in case she come back.” He respond. “Can you take me to her room?” “Sure come this way.” They went of the stairwell walked to the end of the hallway enter a room. It look like nobody has put a foot in the bedroom for a long time. Dust and spider web were every where you look. Hicks walked to her vanity drawer where he found a comb, a hair brush and tooth-brush; put them in a plastic bag to examine the DNA. The officer didn’t find any useful evident in the house. Detective Hicks told Robert to contact Tom and tell him to report to police headquarter.
He called Tom who live four hours away, “Hello, who is it?” ask Tom. “Hi, It’s Robert.” “Hello Rob what can I do for you?” “The police is investigating a series of murders and believe you are a person of interest in the case. They want you to come to the police station for questioning.” “I haven’t been there in years who gave him the idea that I know something about it.” He didn’t wait for an answer and replied. “Ok, I will there tomorrow.” Said Tom and hung. The next morning Tom got inside a taxi in the airport and told the driver to take him to the police headquarter in Little Creek county. He got out of the car in front of the station paid the driver and went up the stairwell and inside the building. He ask the police at the front desk for Detective Hicks; that was the name Robert gave him. “Yes, he is here wait a moment.” He made a call and few minute later a tall man with square jaw came out and escorted him to an interrogation room. “Hello, I am Sergeant Hicks and you must be Tom.” “Yes, I am. Why you ask me to come here?” “Well, you friend Robert told us that you make a bet with him. He said you gave him a map and a paper with instruction to follow in order to win ten thousand dollars.” Hicks continue, “The problem is in every check point mark on the map we found human remain and that’s when you come a person of interest on the case.” “We found a total of twelve bodies in the swamp murdered by the same person.” “Oh, I see! you think I have something to do with it.” Said Tom. ” Let me tell you something I haven’t been in this town for more than ten years. I haven’t made any bet. I believe Robert is a very disturb individual due to his over protective mother.” “You said it wasn’t your map or instruction who lead us to those corpse? Ask Hicks. “That’s exactly what I am telling you.” Tom replied. “Ok, Let me verified you story and I will come back to you.”
Detective Hicks and Culking investigated the where about of Tom for the last ten years. Nothing out of the ordinary he worked in Dr. Perkins Memorial Hospital for the last fourteen years. Where he spent most of his time in the operation room. They talked to his peer and nurses and all said the same. He dedicated his time to the patient and the hospital. They describe him as a workaholic. That take him out of the suspect list. Hicks went into the interrogation room, “Dr. I am sorry to drag you here. You could go with my more sincere apology.” “Can I get you anything a cup coffee or a soda,” Hicks ask him. “No, thanks I have to get back to the hospital.” Tom said. “One more thing before you live; what can you tell me about you friend Robert?” Detective Culking ask. “There is no much to tell we were friend growing up but his mother keep him lock in his house. He grew up isolated from everybody else that make him a loner. I don’t know what else to tell you it have been a long time since I share time with him.”
They were back to the original suspect; Robert. “It is time to put pressure on him,” said Culking. “You are right let check if he owned other properties.” Hicks replied. The forensic called the investigators and told them that the DNA of the headless corpse was a match to Mr. Robert’s mother. During the investigation an apartment belong to his father came up. A new subpoena was issue for his father flat. The place was in an abandoned building close to the swamp. Sargeant hicks called Robert and ask him to meet him at the police station. Once he got there they drove him to his dad place. On the way he gave him the order to search the apartment. They found plenty of evident to link Robert to the murders. There was tissue, surgical tool, blood and a skeleton made of multiple parts. They read him his right and arrested him. He didn’t know what happen and was in shock. “I am innocent he cry out loud someone frame me.” He said. Agent Culking handcuffed him and put him inside the police car.
During the interrogation the two agent pressure him to confess but he maintained his innocent. “You kill all those women don’t denied; we got you by the nut. We have all the evident needed. All I want to know is why you did it.” Agent Culking keep pushing. Until something unsuspected happen. Robert got up from the chair grab Culking by the neck and said, “He doesn’t know anything I kill them all. He is a wimp could stand up to his mother so I murder and dumped her on the swamp.” Sgt. Hicks have to get him away from his partner. Culking was coughing and puffing until he calm himself. Hicks ask, “who are you?” “I am Tom. Who do you think I am? All those women remind me of that abusive mother of him so I end their life.” “Why you reassemble her with different parts? The detective ask. “I try to make a good woman out them that’s why I keep a body part of every one of them.” “Robert know you exist?” “No, when I take over the coward hide. I am his protector; like I said his a wimp.” “Oh right, don’t you go away I will be back in a minute.” Agent hicks said.
The detective when to consult the case with the Attorney General Assistant Mr Erick Gray. As soon he left the room Tom fainted and Robert emerged wondering what happen. He try to get up but this time he was chained to the table. Sergeant hicks returned with the attorney and ask, “Tom can you tell him what you told me?” Disoriented and confused he replied, “My name isn’t Tom; I am Robert, what kind a game are you playing?” He ask. “Guess what, you and Tom are the same person. You killed all those women even if you don’t remember.” Hicks said. The attorney said to the detective, “He has to be evaluated the department psychiatry to see if he can stand trial.” which he doubted.
Mr Gray called Dr. Norway a psychiatry specialize in multiple personalities to evaluate the suspect in question. He show up in the afternoon before two o’clock. While waiting for the evaluator Robert ate in ham and cheese sandwich and tastes like heaven because he hasn’t eat anything the whole day. The doctor ask detective Culking, “take off the handcuff?” He refused to take them off because Tom was a psycho. Then, he said, “I am take them off, but, I won’t live the room.” “Alright,” said Dr Norway. Robert sat in front of the doctor while he evaluate him. He introduce himself, “I am Dr. Norway and have couple of question to ask you. If it is ok with you. Do you know a person call Tom?” “Yes, he live in Little Lake County four hours drive from here.” “Have you see him lately?” “No, Dr. Norway but I talk to him on the phone yesterday.” “Do you kill all those women?” “No, I told them that it wasn’t me. I even take them where the body were.” “Oh, I see,” Dr.Norway said. Detective Culking tired off waiting interrupted the Doctor, “You know you kill them stop playing game or I beat the truth ou of you.” He didn’t learn first time. Tom came out grab him by the neck and squeezed so hard that his eyes almost pop out his socket. “I told you it was me who kill of those women. Robert didn’t have anything to do with it.” Two police men pull Tom away from Culking who ran out the interrogation room. The two officer cuff Tom to the table after seen what happen the Dr didn’t say a thing about the hand cuff.
“Tell me how you kill them?” ask the Dr. “first I drugged them drove to Robert’s father apartment close to the swamp. Cut their femur artery let them bled out and surgically remove all the extremities. Kept a part for my creation and dump the rest in the marsh.” Tom said. Do you have any sex with them? ask Dr. Norway. “Who you I think I am a degenerated pervert. I didn’t do such thing.” Tom replied. “Robert know what you did?” the Dr. ask. “No, he doesn’t know. I try to tell him with the map, note and the ten thousand dollars bet but the coward went running to the police and here we are.” “What can I do to talk to Robert?” “Nothing, you have to wait until I live.” “You told the detective Robert was weak and you protected him.” “Yes, I said he has always been a coward so his mind created me to defend him.” “Ok, That’s all for now and will come back later.” Said the doctor and left.
Dr. Norway told the attorney the defendant wasn’t able to stand trial. The best thing for him is to internalizing in a mental hospital. Robert lawyer and the attorney went in front of the judge where he pleaded guilty with the condition to be sent to a mental institution for the rest of his natural life. The family of the victims in the court room weren’t satisfied. They wanted the death penalty. In the hospital Tom took over and try to strangle one of the nurse. A family member of one of the victims have a plan to kill him. He has a syringe full of snake venom. He disguised himself as a hospital orderly and instead of injecting him with a sedative. He use the venom in that instant Robert resurface and begin convulsing. He died believing in his innocent and wondering who frame him.
Autor; Melito Santos