Of Mayhem & Peril

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The Devil Made Me Do It

"I plead not guilty by reason of insanity, your honor." The courtroom was in disbelief and an uproar began as the words nobody expected him to utter left his mouth. The gavel banged against the varnish greenheart wood of the judge's podium. A universal signal to the court to be silence.

The insanity defense: Is when a defendant admits to the action but asserts a lack of culpability based on mental illness.

To the world it is viewed as a lazy defense. An admission of guilt yet the perpetrator dare not take the full responsibility of their actions. This defense is a rarity in the courtroom. The most difficult to prove because of it's nature. How can you prove that the individual was truly of unsound mind at the time of the crime? How can you convince a jury that though your actions were criminal, it wasn't your true intentions? How do you convince anybody to blindly follow the words of a monster in undeniable faith?

Technically I did murder that poor girl but...The aliens are after her. Technically I did chop up that man into tiny pork chops but... He wore the face of the devil's sons. Technically I do admit to my crimes but I want you to throw me a freebie; because I may have been spiraling down a rabbit's hole at the time of these alleged crimes. You must be mentally ill yourself to even consider actually believing the words of an admittedly insane criminal.

Judge Hayes scrutinizing brown eyes observed the boy's unblinking soulless grey eyes intently; a wave of deja vu chilled the older man to his core. The boy's lawyer scrambled to his sit besides him, looking for a way to mitigate the situation. This was not what they had agreed upon prior to coming to court. Attorney Mason Collins, his defense lawyer strictly advised his client not to plead insanity. Instead a verdict of guilty by reason of coerce.

His defense lawyer spent two weeks slaving over a reasonable plea bargain agreement form the prosecutor. He had gotten the son of a bitch down to 15 years of imprisonment. Down to 15 freaking years for murdering his own twin sister, with 5 years of home confinement. All the evidence pointed to him. There was his twin sister's blood on his hands-Quite literally. There was a murder weapon in his possession-a santoku knife. However, the missing body and lack of substantial eye witness made his case a little (not by much) difficult to prove for the prosecutors. All the boy had to do was confess. All he had to do was give up the whereabouts of the corpse of his deceased sister and his accomplice. Now he have gotten himself in a whirlwind of trouble.

Judge Hayes has been part of law enforcement for well over 30 years. His salt and pepper hair and the permanent frown that adorned his face told the public of all the times he had played god with individual lives based on pure evidence. Sentencing men to their death or giving them an another chance at freedom. He have lived to see the guilty declaring innocents and the innocents pleading guilty. Of all the years he have been a judge, only once had he had a case eerily similar to the one that is before him now. A serial killer named Luke DeMark stood before him once, pleading insanity, while adamantly proclaiming that 'the the devil made him do it.'

°°°

Luke DeMark, infamously known as The Red Cross Killer had up to 58 known victims. It's believed he had many more victims...some even outside the United States. Judge Hayes remembered the time he was unfortunate enough to meet the monster. It was the year 1995, serial killer Luke DeMark had been caught by officers Kendrick and Randall of the New York Police Department. They had gotten an anonymous tip of the whereabouts of a missing woman. The lifeless body of Dakota Marshal affectionately known as Dottie was the first thing the two officers saw as they burst into the old abandon warehouse. A red cross loomed over her head on the off white wall. Forensic later discouraged that it was indeed the blood of Dottie that was used to draw the cross. And by Dottie's body stood the notorious killer, bloody weapon in hand.

The Red Cross Killer dropped the evidence that had both his and the victims DNA to the floor. He slowly raised his hands in surrender. As a lamb to the slaughter he obliged to every word the older officer Mr. Kendrick commanded. The younger of the two officers stood petrified at the scene as he slowly moved his flashlight around the room. He observed the black and white blown out candles that encircled the woman. The woman had on a once beautiful orange casual floor length dress. Officer Randall knew this because his wife owned one just like the one that's now barely covering the woman. This replica was ripped to shards and polluted with dirt and blood. Her once black hair was now the colour of her blood. Slowly as if not to startle her remains, he placed to two fingers to her neck. It confirmed his initial hypothesis. The only sign of life the girl displayed was the warm sticky red substance that once fueled her heart, now seen slowly oozing out of cuts that littered her body as it dripped onto the cold pavement.

Officer Randall felt sick. He can faintly hear the words of his senior officer as the sound of his heart pumping filled his ears. Why would anybody do this to an innocent human? What did she do to deserve this treatment? His mind race with questions that were never answered and still asked to this day. He looked at her killer in disgust and hatred. Randall noticed how apart from the man's shoes and murder weapon, the man didn't have an ounce of blood anywhere else. This told him that the monster before him was a professional. Officer Kendrick pushed the man forward harshly towards the door making Randall jump to his side in assistance.

"Call this in Randall." Officer Kendrick hissed loudly, "I think we caught ourselves the Red Cross Killer."

The rumble of thunder shook the old dark warehouse slightly. A storm was coming and the officers needed to get the criminal and the body into police custody before the roads closed. Officer Randall stared at the body one last time before following his senior officer outside. Hoping for a miracle, a twitch of a finger, a gasp of breath, a groan of pain. But nothing came. The woman was pale, limp and lifeless.

Thick grey clouds filled the sky blocking the moon and stars from shining. Chaos plagued the night sky as thunder and lightning seemed to screamed in distress at the scene that had unfold. Tiny droplets of water fell lightly against the brave heroes that had captured the beast. The Red Cross Killer lifted his head to the sky as a strike of white light beat against the clouds. Cold rain drops fell against his face freely. His lifeless grey eyes watched the havoc that had began in the heavens. He whispered his first words since the arrest to himself:

"The devil did it."

He later changed his stance to the infamous mantra, most who heard his name would repeat; "The devil made me do it." Judge Hayes recalled the day the Red Cross Killer signed the declaration stating that he did in fact killed the other victims. An anonymous tip was made with a list of 58 names, all victims of the killer. 58 lives that was taken by the hands of that wicked demon. Yet still, as he sign away his own freedom the man mercilessly tried to defend himself. He constantly recalled fables of something supernatural lurking in the shadows that took away his innocents and freedom. Tales of a demon that reflected his dark unforgiving soul.

The man was 30, five years younger than he was at the time and completely disturbed. Judge Hayes couldn't help but wonder if the man actually believe the nonsense he vehemently declared in court. But the last day of his trail told judge Hayes all he needed to know. As the jury declared him guilty. Luke DeMark was sentenced with the death penalty. As he banged his gavel one last time to seal the man's fate he watched as the man's lips turned upwards in a smile.

"May God have mercy on your soul." He told the man as he stood to leave the courtroom.

"No chance Hayes." Luke DeMark said in a low dark voice. "I'm already going to hell."

Luke DeMark died 6 days later in a prison cell from natural causes. A far more merciful death than the ones he endowed on his victims.

°°°

Judge Hayes have lived long enough to now see history repeat it's self. To peer beneath the curtains of a generational curse. A young and promising man was now a culprit of his father's sins. The law believes that a person is innocent until proven guilty. But Judge Hayes couldn't stand to hold such naivety. He knew in his heart that Everett was guilty as sin. There was no trail needed unless the devil came to earth himself and confess.

"Very well." Judge Hayes said unamused as he scribbled down his next words to the court. "The trail of The State of New York vs Everett L. DeMark will commence on October 31st, 2020. Bail is set at 1 million."

The slam of his gavel finalized his ruling.

A bailiff placed hand cuffs on the orange jumpsuit criminal as he guarded him down the aisle to an unwelcoming destination...Jail. Everett watched as the red carpet floors slowly turned to large puddle of blood in a grassy field. His black sneakers where covered in blood. And as he walked he made a firm trail of bloody foot prints. Telling everyone that followed it, that he indeed murdered his own flesh and blood.

"Everett..." The word fell out her mouth before her brain could even registered it.

The boy lift his head from the tragedy beneath his feet to the direction of his mother's voice. Andrea DeMark didn't know why her fingers touched her lips slightly in alertness at the name. A name she whispered to her stomach for nights felt foreign, as if she never said it until today. The grey of his eyes were like burnt out coals identical to one's of a memory she tried so hard bury.

And as she whispered her next words the scene unfolded before her eyes of that of a different era...

"Why?" Tears rolled down the younger version of Andrea DeMark face. A man she once thought of as her soulmate was now her greatest nightmare.

"Drea...I-I didn't do it." Luke could see the fear in her hazel eyes as he tried but failed to reach out to her. All he wanted to do was hold her close and tell her everything was going to be alright. But he knew he was the nightmares that kept her up at night. He was the reason why tears stain her face. His once perfect wife was now broken and he was the cause of this distress. His wife's once happy face now looked as if she was dying.

You see, Luke DeMark knew that Andrea Demark would never leave the house in a crumpled white dress. Or dare let the public see her long black wavy hair disheveled. She would die first before wearing sneakers paired with a dress. She was bare without her jewellery and her wedding rings had gone missing. She didn't have on an ounce of makeup which was a rarity in its self especially if her face and eyes were red from crying. This lady was not Andrea Rose DeMark.

"Why?" This time there were no tears just pure confusion. Andrea felt as if she was in some sick twisted horror movie. As if the universe was personally toying with her.

"Mother...I didn't kill my sister." Everett knew how disturbing his words were. His words made her heartache. It made her want to scream. She was on the verge of tears but she didn't dare think of crying- not here anyways. There was whispers and stares all around her. She knew there was a hefty bounty on her head to witness her mental breakdown. She knew the public was waiting for her to break and she wasn't going to give them that satisfaction.

So she wore a vibrant blue dress that hugged her curves and on her feet she wore matching heels. Her hair was in a slick back in a bun showcasing her statement jewellery. Her makeup hide any evidence that she was once in distress at the events that played out itself. She stood at the pew stoically as she watched her only son get dragged to jail. Her hazel eyes showed no emotion as Everett tried to look over the bailiff head to catch her attention. This was Everett's mother, the perfect Andrea Rose DeMark. The only way Everett ever knew her.

And as her son and her ex husband got to courtroom doors the memories merged together. Their words were eerily similar... both about a beast made out of darkness. Both completely insane. She didn't know which memory was in the present or which was something of the past. Everett was a splitting image of his murderous father. All she could do was shake her head slightly as she felt the cold hands of deja vu running down her spine.

"The devil did it Andrea!"

"The devil have her Mom!"

The doors slammed shut.

A warm hand rest on her shoulder. Andrea wiped away invisible tears as she as she turned to stare into the dark brown eyes that knew her pain all too well.

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