With so many well-wishers wanting to catch up with Emily to share in the excitement of her release and to welcome her home, Boyd and Emily hosted a celebration party at their Belmont home on Saturday night, the day after she walked free from court.
Even the weather was on her side. Saturday night was dry and balmy, as close to one hundred partiers filled Emily and Boyd’s sizeable back yard. Bass heavy music pumped in the background while the alcohol fuelled revellers drank, ate and chatted the night away. The large central fire pit was a favourite location among the group to gather and share a drink or three.
As the popular guest of honour, Emily spent all night moving among her family and friends, posing for endless selfies and regaling them all with stories about what it was like spending time in jail.
Following such a turbulent period in her life, the party was just the panacea Emily needed to aid her return to normality in her life.
Once the champagne corks were popped and the speeches and toasts were out of the way, the one hundred strong guests belted out three of the loudest cheers for Emily, then joined in a reverberating chorus of ‘for she’s a jolly good fellow’.
The party continued well into Sunday morning. Emily didn’t want it to end. Even the police turning up in response to a noise complaint failed to put a damper on her night. This was the life she missed and she was so thankful to finally have it back.
After the taxi ferrying the last of their party guests home slowly rolled away from Emily and Boyd’s home at 5.30am, Emily stood on her rear deck surveying their now empty back yard.
A satisfied smile filled her face. The embers in the fire pit still glowed. The music was now silenced and the endless chatter had ceased but the memories remained. Today was the first day of the rest of her life and she couldn’t wait to start living it again.
Three weeks on from Emily’s court case, life for Max Higgins was no different. While he had located the seven missing persons, he was no closer to solving the mystery of who killed them. Their murders remained unsolved cold cases that would gather dust until new evidence could be discovered.
Friday had been a long day for Max. Normally he headed down to their favourite watering hole with his work mates for some end-of-the-week beers. Tonight however he chose to work late to follow up on one of his other active cases. The person he wanted to meet with worked 9-5 in Melbourne and was not available until after 8.30pm.
It was 7.30pm when Max checked his watch. He decided to grab a quick bite on his way to his 9pm appointment. Witness statements took time to compile, so if he didn’t grab something to eat beforehand, he would more than likely miss out altogether.
Max parked his car on the street a few doors down from his favourite CBD café. As he strolled, he pondered the culinary preferences on offer.
Ten metres ahead of him Emily Davis emerged from one of the stores and walked briskly towards Max. He initially felt a little awkward given their recent history. As she approached he smiled and said, ‘good evening Emily.’
Max frowned at the lack of response. Her expression failed to show any recognition. She snubbed him, while holding a focussed glare straight ahead of herself.
Max watched her pass by and continue walking away from him. Maybe she’s holding a grudge.
The only other time he saw a similar expression on Emily’s face was on the CCTV footage the Department of Corrections gave him with their report from Emily’s stabbing incident while on remand. Emily held that same determined expression in the footage, as she wrestled the knife from her attacker and used it to stab her attacker to death.
Max glanced at the shopping bag she carried. His face tightened. He quickly ran into the homewares store Emily had just exited and approached the young woman standing at the front cash register. He held up his police ID to the woman. ‘I need to see the transaction receipt from that last purchase,’ he blurted while gesturing towards the street. ‘The woman dressed in black clothing who just left the store,’ he added.
‘OK. Sure.’ The cashier pushed some buttons on the cash register. A receipt spewed out. She tore it off and handed it to Max.
‘Thank you.’ Max read the print out as he ran from the store, moving in the same direction as Emily.
Around ten metres along Max stopped in his tracks when he noticed Emily climb into the driver’s door of a car about fifty metres up the street. She pulled out into traffic and drove towards him.
Max rushed to his car, nearby. The indicators flashed twice as he approached. He quickly jumped in and followed Emily. The experienced Detective’s gut told him something was not right. He didn’t like the way she looked and he was concerned about what she purchased. All could amount to nothing, but he had to find out where Emily was headed.
Friday evening’s busy traffic provided the perfect cover for Max as he tailed Emily’s vehicle from four cars back.
Max called on his skills learned from earlier in his career where he spent many years as a ‘dog’; the affectionate name given to scruffy, undercover cops whose job it was to follow suspects in vehicles and on foot.
Max was a master at surveillance, only ever being burned once in his decorated career.
Emily drove a lap of the outer perimeter of Geelong’s CBD before driving out through the Eastern Gardens; an area of over eighty hectares of tree filled park land on the eastern fringe of the bay side town.
Max had to be careful Emily wasn’t employing anti-surveillance techniques. A switched on driver could easily spot the same set of headlights following in their rear vision mirror.
Emily drove a slow lap through the Eastern Gardens. Max followed with his vehicle’s head lights off.
Where are you going…?
Max would be happy if she drove home. That would in some way explain her recent purchase. If she drove somewhere else however, that would concern the ever vigilant Detective.
Emily exited the gardens and travelled east. Max followed. Traffic was light, so he had to remain well back. Emily stayed on the same road for around fifteen minutes, until she reached a large roundabout. She took the exit towards Ocean Grove. Max followed.
Emily drove to the popular coastal town of Ocean Grove on Geelong’s Bellarine.
After navigating a series of left and right turns through the neighbouring streets, she pulled over and parallel parked her vehicle in a quiet street. She didn’t get out.
Max parked in an adjoining street and exited his car. He monitored Emily from the safety of darkness, one hundred metres up the road. She remained seated in her vehicle. The longer this went on, the more he grew concerned. Why make that purchase and drive way out here?
After a wait of thirty minutes Emily alighted from her car. She secured the car and walked away from Max at a brisk pace. Unlike her driving earlier, now she moved with purpose. Max followed from the other side of the street, moving quickly in and out of the street light shadows.
At an intersecting street Emily turned right and continued her brisk pace. Max jogged to the corner and peeped around a fence, to check it was clear. Emily was about fifty metres along, walking away.
Now his cop gut started to worry him. Why did she park so far away and walk? What is she hiding?
Emily checked her left and right then jogged across the road to the other side. She disappeared into the darkness. Max strained his eyes. He couldn’t discern if she entered a front yard, or was waiting on the street in the dark shadows. He risked being burned if it was the latter.
He switched to the opposite side of the road to Emily, to maintain a line of sight. Keeping close to the fence line, Max edged his way towards the area he last saw Emily.
Bright headlights from a vehicle entering the street, illuminated the road way. Max took cover, while scanning for Emily. She was nowhere to be seen.
The vehicle passed Max and slowed. It turned into a drive way in the vicinity where Emily was last seen. Max crept closer towards the vehicle, now parked in a driveway.
As he neared, he saw Emily, but she didn’t see him. She was too focussed as she emerged from the shadows of the front yard where the vehicle was parked. She quickly moved around to the driver’s side and opened the rear passenger door and slid in to the back seat.
What Max saw made his heart sink. ‘Ah shit…’ Max blurted under his breath. He removed his service pistol and rushed to the stationary vehicle. Without pausing, Max ran up the drive to the driver’s side of the car.
He opened the rear door and levelled his pistol. ‘Put the knife down, Emily and slowly get out of the car…’ Max ordered. With his pistol remaining trained on Emily, he tugged open the driver’s door. ‘I am the Police. Get out of the car, now,’ he said to the driver. Max returned his focus to Emily in the back seat. ‘Get out of the car, Emily.’
The driver slid from the car and ran to stand behind Max. Emily failed to move. Max moved around to the door opening. He pointed his pistol at Emily. ‘I said…get out of the car, now.’ Again, she failed to move.
Max reached in through the open door and grabbed a hand full of her clothing and forcibly dragged her out of the car. Emily wasn’t a big woman. She fell heavily to the ground.
Emily lay sprawled on the ground. She wore leather gloves and a dark balaclava. She held a large kitchen knife in her hand. If he was not mistaken, it would be the same knife she purchased earlier when he saw her in town; the same knife he now had the receipt of purchase for.
Max stood on Emily’s hand and forced her to release her grip on the knife. With the knife secured he said, ‘take off the balaclava…’ Emily didn’t move. She remained prostrate on the concrete drive.
‘It’s over Emily…take off the balaclava.’
‘Who the fuck is Emily?’ she snapped, in a voice he didn’t recognise.
Max frowned. He glanced at the man standing behind him. ‘What did she say to you in the car…?’
The man gestured to the knife in Max’s hand. ‘She stuck that knife in my neck and told me to drive. I asked where to, but thankfully, you arrived before she told me.’
Max dropped a knee into the centre of Emily’s back to secure her in place. He holstered his pistol and removed his cuffs from his belt then secured her hands behind her back.
As he stood back up he grabbed a hand full of the balaclava and wrenched it off her head. Max rolled her onto her back. The scowling face of Emily glared up at him.
Max’s mouth fell open as he glared back at Emily. He was stunned. It was unmistakably Emily glaring back at him, but something about her expression was different to what he remembered.
‘Do you recognise this woman…?’ Max asked.
The man shook his head. ‘No. Never seen her before.’
Max removed his phone and called for assistance to transport Emily back to the police station.
While he waited for police units to arrive, the gravity of what occurred sunk in. Emily bought that huge knife from the homewares store in the city, drove out here and waited for this guy to arrive home. She gave an order to him to drive somewhere, presumably a secluded location, where she would’ve no doubt slit his throat. Just like he now suspected she did to five of her seven other victims, whose photos grace his office whiteboard. But why this guy? She obviously knew his routine and waited for him.
He never saw that coming. He would never have picked this outcome. Emily fooled him from the start. She fooled the Jury and she fooled her experienced lawyer, who fought so hard to secure her release.
Lines of concern etched into Boyd’s face as he jogged into the reception area of the Geelong Hospital.
Still dressed in his navy blue paramedic’s uniform, Boyd was in the middle of his night shift when he received a call from police.
Max and a doctor met Boyd at reception and escorted him through a number of doors, down several long passage ways to a room. The words ‘Viewing Room’ were printed on a sign beside the door.
The doctor opened the door and they stepped inside. A large window overlooked the adjoining room. Boyd moved to the window when he saw Emily sitting on her own at a table in the other room. She wore a light blue hospital gown. Her wrists were restrained by a belt. She sat with rounded shoulders and a lowered head.
‘What the hell is going on here?’ Boyd asked.
‘My name is Doctor Spencer Green. I am a psychiatrist attached to the Geelong Hospital Psychiatric ward.’ He gestured to Emily seated in the other room. ‘Things have quietened down. We have Emily sitting in there … I had the chance to meet her briefly before I came to meet you at reception…’
Boyd’s eyebrows plunged into his face. ‘What are you talking about? Of course that is Emily…’ His glare shifted to Max. ‘Why is she in restraints, Detective?’
‘I think you may have misunderstood me, Mr Davis,’ the Doctor said. ’That is Emily sitting in there now…but as much as thirty minutes ago that wasn’t Emily sitting in there.’ Boyd glared at the doctor. ‘Do you know, or have you met Felicity…?’
‘Who?’ Boyd’s face screwed up in frustration.
‘Do you know Felicity? Have you met Felicity before?’
‘Look, I’m a little over these questions, Doctor… Who the hell is Felicity?’
‘Mr Davis, were you aware that your wife suffered from a Dissociative Identity Disorder?’ Boyd’s gaze shifted to his wife. ‘It’s what we previously referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder.’
Boyd slowly shook his head. ‘No. I had no idea.’
‘I appreciate you are a Paramedic, Mr Davis,’ the doctor flicked a finger at Boyd’s uniform, ‘so forgive me if I am telling you something you already know…but Dissociative Identity Disorder is characterised by the presence of two or more distinct personality identities. Severe forms of dissociation produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity.’
Boyd nodded his understanding. ‘I have a basic understanding of what it is Doctor.’
‘I have examined your wife for the past three hours and from what I can establish, Emily has the presence of one other identity…Felicity. Felicity is a much stronger personality and somewhat troubled, bordering on psychopathic. Has there been any occasion where you have been talking to your wife and you thought she acted completely different…out of character to what you expect, say unusually violent…?’
‘Never. Why is she in here? What happened?’ Boyd looked to Max.
‘Around 9pm last night,’ Max began, ‘your wife, um…er, Felicity jumped into a male’s car at Ocean Grove and held a large knife to his throat, telling him to drive to an undisclosed location.’
‘Is that man alright?’
‘Yes. He’s safe. Your wife…ah, Felicity, was interrupted before anything happened.’
Boyd’s focus shifted to his wife. ‘Does she know…? Does she understand why she’s in here…?’
‘At this time, I don’t think she fully understands, Mr Davis,’ the Doctor said.
‘Will she be charged, Detective?’
Max shook a firm head. ‘No. No we won’t be pursuing charges for last night’s incident. Your first priority should be to get Emily the treatment she deserves.’
Boyd nodded his agreement as his troubled eyes shifted back to his wife.