After school that same day, Laura went as quickly as she could to the local library. She knew that there had to be more to the story about Jessica’s murder. It was too much of a coincidence that someone had painted on the wall across from her room to get out, calling her Jessica in the process and the way that Mrs. Carson had seemed shocked to see her and there had been an angry guy glaring at her. She needed answers and she was sure that the library’s old archives would have the answers.
Laura’s heart sank when she got to the library. It was a very small building, maybe a one-floor house. This could be a lot harder than she thought it would be. Once again, Oberlin’s small size was making it hard for her to do anything. Laura went into the library. It looked even small on the inside.
Laura looked around. There was no sign of a librarian. Laura was sure she wouldn’t be surprised if she found out that every adult in town took a turn as the librarian. Laura spotted a computer in a corner of the room. She went over to it and turned it on. She snorted a little when she saw she didn’t have to log in to an account. That was very different from her library back home where she had to use an account and only had about an hour’s worth of time on the library computer.
She brought up the internet and typed in Oberlin Vermont, Prom Accident. Several results came up. “Finally I’ll get some more answers.” Laura said to herself. She clicked the first link and it showed a scanned copy of the town newspaper from the time the murder happened. “Let’s see what this is about.” Laura said softly. She started reading the newspaper.
March Thirty First, Seventy-Four
Last night, murder shook the town when Jessica Smith was found dead in her bedroom in a pool of her blood. According to the police and investigators, she had been murdered. At this time, the most likely suspect, James Hathaworne, was reported to have broken out of prison. However, there was no sign of the prison door being forced open. Police are still unsure how he got out and murdered Jessica. No weapons were found by the murder victim’s body. The police have offered a substantial award for anyone who comes forward with information about where James Hathaworne is.
“Jessica Smith was supposed to go to prom with her date last night. Please help us find her killer.” This is what Mrs. Smith had to say when asked about how she was doing. Jessica Smith’s date, Anthony Jones, was the one who found the murdered girl when he went to pick her up for prom.
Laura scrolled down a bit to get to the next page of the article. Her eyes widened when she saw the picture of Jessica Smith. It looked a lot like her. She couldn’t believe it. No wonder Mrs. Carson seemed so shocked to see her. No doubt the woman had thought she was seeing a ghost. Laura looked at the article to read more.
Jessica Smith was seventeen years old. She has left her parents, little brother, sister and several relatives behind to remember her. She was a senior at Oberlin High School. She will be missed by many.
Laura leaned back in her seat. So that was why her home was called Abandoned House. She thought about what she had found out. It sounded like James was a jealous possessive jerk and that, if he really did do himself in like her friends said, wanted to keep Jessica to himself even after death.
Laura thought back to the message that she had seen on the wall in her house. It had told Jessica to get out. Maybe whoever it was had decided to prank her because she looked so much like Jessica. But that was impossible. Her dad and she had just moved in. It didn’t give anyone enough time to get in, paint the words and then cover it up. Laura shook her head. There probably had been some sort of cover that had been brought down quickly to hide the words.
Laura’s thoughts went to the angry boy she had seen. He was probably the one who had painted the words on the wall and then had stuck around, waiting to play that prank on whoever moved in. Which could make him be playing the role of James.
Laura clicked the next news article. Once again, it was a PDF copy of the original newspaper that had covered the murder. This one seemed to be about James Hathaworne. She leaned towards the screen to read it.
Jealous Ex Found Dead in Woods
After four days of searching for James Hathaworne, police had gotten a phone call from an anonymous caller saying he had seen James Hathaworne going into the woods. According to the caller, the suspect had a large bag with him. By the time the police had found James, the suspect was dead, having taken his own life. James Hathaworne’s parents mourn for the loss of their only son. Jessica’s parents have mixed feelings about this discovery.
Well, that was mean of the writer to write that last bit. Laura knew that the dead girl’s family had every right to have mixed feelings about finding out their daughter would never get justice because the killer had killed himself. They might have been sad for James’s parents but James had killed their daughter.
Laura scrolled down and stopped. She couldn’t believe the picture that went with the article. It was the picture of the angry boy she had seen staring at her back when she had moved into her new home. Laura quickly turned off the computer and stood up. It was time for her to get out of the library and to forget the whole murder. It was in the past. There was no point in looking it back up.
Laura heard a book fall. She spun around. There was no one there. She slowly walked in the direction of the book that she had heard falling. She still didn’t see anyone. She went around a corner and stopped. There was a book lying on the floor. Laura looked around the fallen book. What scared her was that there were no shelves with books around it.
Laura took a step back. She had had it with the creepy library. She had to get out of there. She turned around and ran out of the library. She looked back at the door to the library once she was on the sidewalk by the road. There was no sign of anyone there. Laura shook her head and ran home. Had she paid attention, she would have seen that the library sign had read closed.