Things to do in Freehold

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Chapter Fifteen:

Sue Mackenzie (Late morning of September 9, 1994)

I decided to do some further digging on the Joey Grace case at the local library. I went on to look at some old newspapers they had stored in the back. I started with the ones dated back to when Amy and Piper first went missing, then the McNealy girls, and ended with the final two victims, Laura and her daughter, Gabriella Brooks. It was a bittersweet feeling to find out that a majority of the reports were more so about the victims and how they lived, rather than how they died. Although, as much as I hate to admit it, that wasn’t quite came here for.

A reporter by the name of Carrie Thompson had covered most of the case and while her writing itself seemed to remain unbiased, I couldn’t help but feel was purposely leaving an abundance of information out. For instance, according to her articles, the only sufficient evidence pointing towards Joey was an argument between him and Amy Russo the day before she went missing and his suicide note. There had been no fingerprints anywhere at the crime scenes, absolutely no witnesses, and no real motive other than him having mommy issues and hating women. Granted that was enough for Norman Bates, but still, I was expecting a little more than the plot of some old Hitchcock movie.

I mean, there was that incident that happened with Tommy Russo which sort of explained Amy’s and Piper’s murders, in a sense. Although, the more I read about it, the more it seemed as if they had a better motive to kill him rather than vice versa. Let’s face it, if Joey hadn’t reported Adeline’s accusations to the police, the young man may as well still be alive today.

Also, even if with that incident at hand, it still did not explain why he wanted to kill the other four victims. From what I heard at the salon and what I had found in old news articles, the man cared deeply for his daughter and said nothing bad about his deceased wife, at least not publicly. Yet, all of the victims had been mothers and their daughters. All had been found with their skulls bashed in, as if he hit them once in the head and as soon as they were down, started going in like a madman. It couldn’t have just been for the hell of it, especially if he had buried every single one out of guilt. There was something else there, I just couldn’t seem to put my finger on it.

As I was leaving the library, I noticed a familiar face, getting into her car, across the street. It had been Ms. Louise Grace, herself. She had gotten into a shiny, jet-black, 1969 Mercedes-Benz. Figures, she seemed like the type to come from riches rather than rags. I quickly made the decision to get into my car as well and follow behind her at a safe distance. I figured if I could get any useful information disregarding her son, she’d be the person to get it from.

She had surprisingly driven fast for an older gal; it was quite difficult to keep up. Fortunately, I was still able to see where she was heading. It had been a wealthy neighborhood only a few blocks from where we lived. Though, it looked nothing like our neighborhood. Each house had looked like a small mansion and each car had been freshly waxed. It had been where most of Freehold’s old-timers and retirees had resided.

It wasn’t until we had driven to the very end of the cult de sac that we had stopped in front of a large metal gate. The gate, of course, had opened for her, which meant that she most likely had a key to get in. I, being the stalker in this scenario, wasn’t as fortunate.

Shortly after Ms. Grace had pulled into an excessively large driveway, I parked my car on the side of the road and had gotten out of it. I then went to examine the fluorescent writing, spray painted on the brick wall beside the gate’s doors. It read: JOEY GRACE BURNS IN HELL. Other words had been graffitied around there as well, but I’d much rather not repeat those ones. Damn, people can be harsh, I thought to myself as I scanned through all of the derogatory terms and death threats.

Just like that, I decided to give up on my quest of seeking out the truth, at least for now. I knew, from one mother to another, this poor woman did not want to be bothered with anymore heartache.

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