You never forget the first person you kill, anyone who commits murder will tell you this. Haunting memories plague your sleep, paranoia seeps into your mind, you spend your day wondering if a mistake will lead the police to your front door. Even though I planned my first murder down to the finest detail, I still didn’t know what I was doing. I discovered the hard way how the perfect murder takes time, planning, and a lot of research. Things went wrong because I was naive, I expected my victim to cower down before me and beg me for their life. Well, the mortal sin didn’t happen this way and three hours later I had my first dead body buried deep in the woods.
Afterwards, I looked down upon myself in disgust. My clothing was covered with dirt, my skin stained with blood, my hands couldn’t stop shaking from the adrenaline flowing threw my veins. It was a horrific experience, but I also felt a strange sense of euphoria washing over me too. It was an odd feeling of vindication knowing what I did set things right. It’s a hard feeling to explain, but this epiphany made me realize my vengeance was transcendent and this transcendence will justify my later killings.
My story begins over a decade ago while living in the city of Boston. I recently graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering. The school is one of the finest engineering schools in the country and I ranked in the top tier of my class. I was proud of myself and I eagerly looked forward in starting a career in my field. But the economy was stagnant and unemployment was high. Finding decent employment was tough because most companies were laying off engineers and shipping production jobs to China rather than employing Americans to fill the void. After every interview I went to, I ended up with the standard rejection letter thanking me for my interest in their company and human resources would keep my resume on file for future reference.
It was frustrating, but after a few months of searching, a distribution and catalog company offered me a position in their customer service department. I was grossly overqualified, but I took the job anyways. I was desperate for work because I wanted to propose to my girlfriend. She too was getting frustrated with my lack of employment because she was eager to start the next chapter her life, marriage.
The distribution company sold everything you could imagine, tools, generators, compressors, electronic devices. You name it, our company sold it. We didn’t manufacture any of the products, we functioned as the middleman by marketing and distributing the equipment. I discovered I had a natural talent toward providing quality customer service because of my engineering background. My degree provided knowledge base of how varies machines operated and whether or not they were compatible with other brand-name products. Sales and service was easy for someone with an education like mine.
The company hired me a year before they hired my friend Bob. We’ve been buddies ever since we joined the local Masonic lodge together during college. When I found out he was unemployed and looking for a job, I handed my supervisor a copy of Bob’s resume and put in a good word for him. The company called him down for an interview and my supervisor hired him on the spot.
Over the years, we went through the same training seminars and did the same job. We worked the phones, solicited sales and place orders. We met the same people, hung out with the same co-workers. We did everything a junior employees were supposed to do, but year after year Bob kept moving up the corporate ladder while I remained in my cubicle doing the same job. Why me? I was just as good as Bob; in fact, II was much smarter and more productive than him. I produced more, sold more, and sacrificed more than he ever did. Why was he able to get a better position, higher pay, and a company car? To save money, I had to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch while he was out wining and dining clients over lunch. The company provided him with everything he needed to have a decent life while I was left counting pennies every day to get by. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job and the people I worked with. I developed strong friendships with my co-workers and with other company liaisons who we regularly supplied equipment too. For years I had social satisfaction and a strong sense of loyalty, but my efforts were never recognized by my supervisors and my paycheck never reflected my years of devotion.
It took me years to understand how Bob managed to weasel his way up the corporate ladder. He did so by stepping on the heads of those around him. To appeased management, he coddled up to the top echelon and bent to their whim. I am sure you know the type. If you had something Bob wanted, he would be your best friend. He would charm you with his charismatic smile, laugh at your jokes, and pretend to have a genuine interest in your life. He was sharp and had great communication skills. But his gift of communication was offset by laziness. He had no problem stealing your ideas and making them his own. Sometimes during the monthly business meetings, I heard echoes of conversations I had with Bob while having lunch together. The proposals he had sounded similar to my ideas, but spoken with different wording. No big deal, I thought I was part of the team and eventually I would be rewarded for my hard work. But over the years, I learned what Bob’s pilferism was all about, and I realized I would receive no reward for my many years of company loyalty.
Bob was a leech, a bloodsucking charismatic leech. Someone who steals ideas and makes them his own. He sold himself well and he managed to catch the attention of upper management. They promoted him to office supervisor. From there, he was offered a job as manager and put charge of regional sales. You would think he would remember the individuals he stepped on to obtain these positions, but he never looked back. Or in his case, he never looked down at the workers he stepped on to receive his precious promotions. Well almost; if you were a member of the opposite sex and knew how to flaunt it, then you could ride his coattails as he weaseled his way up the corporate ladder. For years, I watched as people suffered from Bob’s manipulative ways, but it was me who suffered the most from his narcissism and I was determined to stop it.
The fateful day that changed my life forever and obsessed me with revenge happened while working in my cubicle soliciting another phone sale. Bob came by and loudly banged the side of my file cabinet three times to say hello. He chuckled when he saw me jump; in a sick way, I knew he enjoyed startling me. Over the years, I became accustomed to his twisted sense of humor. He started the conversation the usually way by smiling a pretentious smile and asking cordial questions about my life while pretending to have a genuine interest in my weekend activities. He asked questions about my kids and acted concerned about my well-being. I knew he didn’t care; he never remembered how my wife divorced me a few years back and retained full custody of my two children. My low paying job and lack of financial instability made having a normal life impossible since I had to pay child support. My wife ran off with a wealthy businessman who provided her with everything she needed. We tried to be amicable about the divorce and negotiated outside the courtroom to keep the legal costs down. My lawyer thought this form of mediation was a good idea and encouraged me to do so, but I quickly realized how my ex played me for a fool. I trusted her, and she promised me I would see my kids on alternating weekends and stay in touch with all aspects of their lives. I would be invited to witness all their major milestones in life such as little league games, band concerts, and graduation ceremonies. This was true for a while, but 2 years after the divorce, she moved further away, two hundred and ten miles away to be exact. It would take me three hours to drive to their house to have lunch with my two boys. I could barely drive to work let alone hire an attorney to fight for closer mandated-visitation rights. But anyhow, I am getting ahead of my story.
The day when Bob came by my cubicle to brainstorm made me realize how much Bob depended on my analytical skills to solve internal company problems. Over the years I had obtained a strange reputation for being able to solve unusual dilemmas. Even a few of my clients would bounce ideas off me when it came to importing and exporting products. Sometimes I could solve their problem by calling in a favor, or arrange a deal between two companies to barter for services rather than pay for them. This was why Bob was banging on my cubicle again; he had another problem and wanted me to solve it. He suffered from what I call The Lack of Totum Picura. I had a postcard with a satellite image of the earth pinned to the inside of my cubicle with the words Totum Pictura written on the front of it. I received it from a friend of mine who works for NASA and used it as a daily reminder for me to step back and reevaluate my customer’s situations. Those words are Latin, and the phrase loosely translates to “the big picture.” This was why I was successful in customer service because I could always see the Totum Pictura, but to Bob and half the people I worked with, they could not. Anyhow, Bob knew I had a knack for simplifying complex situations and provide a viable solution. This time, the problem was one he created by not properly overseeing fleet operations. He was looking for ideas on how to save the Viking account from being removed as a supplier.
Viking was a small company that imported frozen food products from Europe and kept its inventory in cold storage units around the country. Their problem was shipping. The cost of importing the products rose greatly because cargo carriers decided they could make more money transporting products out of China than Europe. Viking export costs went up because they had to find another cargo company to export their products and the shipping fees were increased due to higher fuel prices. The higher fuel cost caused their prices to go up, which inflated the market prices and made Viking unable to compete with the local venues. Their problem was basic economics and a simple one to solve.
Bob told me about Viking’s situation in a sympathetic manner. He said he hated to lose the account do to shipping costs, and it would force him to lay off a few of our drivers. I sat back and thought about the situation for a few minutes and asked Bob some basic questions about our truck fleet. I suggested we have our marketers make calls to other companies in the delivery area looking for cheap ways to ship products back to the Boston area. No sense in having empty trucks returning to Boston when they could be loaded up with anything for transport. In turn, the profits made from the return trip could be used to offset the shipping costs for Viking. It would be a win-win proposition for us because the proceeds would enable us to keep the Viking account and maybe gain a few full-time accounts in the future.
Bob laughed at the idea and walked away. Two weeks later I found out our shipping department made arraignments for our trucks to stop off at various warehouses along the way to do quick halls for local companies. Sometimes we didn’t make money, but the cost of running the operation did make a profit and the Viking account was saved.
The CEO hailed Bob a hero, a man who saved jobs on two continents. He boosted the company’s portfolio and our stock value went up; everyone was happy. Everyone except for me, I was miserable. Changing the way we move products around the country was my brainchild, yet Bob laughed at me when I mentioned this idea to him. I discovered later he barged into the CEO’s office the next day with an outlined presentation on saving the Viking account by utilizing the truck fleet to offset the costs. The CEO gave him the full blessing for an experimental test run and he used his little coat-tailing bitches to start calling various companies around destination sights to solicit businesses.
After the hype of his success had died down, I confronted Bob in the hallway and asked him why he stole my idea. At least he could have given me some credit for helping him out rather than leaving me in my cubicle to suffer. He cocked his head to the side and looked at me with an expressionless stare, he chucked and told me he already had an idea about using the fleet to offset the shipping costs for Viking. He was hoping I could come up with a better solution, he slapped me on the back and walked away.
I knew he was lying to me. I could tell by the way he postured his body towards me. He lied straight to my face and expressed himself so convincingly I almost believed him. The Halo Effect is what psychologists call it. It’s a special charisma a person has that creates an aura of confidence around them which convinces a listener to believe anything they tell you. Cult leaders have it, dictators have it, rock stars have it, and Bob has it. He was using this halo to make me believe his pathetic lies. He took my ideas and presented them as his own. He received all the credit while I never received any recognition. I had to suffer day after day in my cubicle doing the same mundane job while someone else received a promotion for my ideas.
Bob never struggled for anything. His salary is almost four times higher than mine, he received a commission off the company’s profit, he didn’t have to pay child support to a rich wife, buy gas for his company car, or take responsibility for his job. He had the company credit card to spend on whatever he needed. He was able to see his wife and kids every day while I was lucky to see my kids once a season. Bob never had to suffer anything during his career, but that’s all I’ve been doing my entire adult life, suffering. Well, no more, when I confronted him in the hallway I resolved right then and there to stop helping him. I knew I would never move up the company ladder by offering my ideas to others, I was stuck right where I was unless I made some changes. No more would I offer him my advice, no more would I solve the company’s problems, because from now on I was looking out for number one, me.
The only thing I desired in life from that point forth was to destroy Bob and make him fail. He thought he was so smart, well let’s see how smart he is without me. The analytical side of my brain began to kick in and I began to think of ways to punish him. Hurting Bob became my new mission in life. My destiny was to destroy him. If I built him up, I could tear him down. I became obsessed with thinking of ways to extract my vengeance and I daydreamed about it while sitting in my cubicle waiting for the phone to ring. The fact that I could look out my window and see Bob’s company car parked in the executive parking space only fueled my passion. Every morning I heard him opening and closing the car door as he arrived to work. He theatrically slammed the door with a distinct sound so everyone would notice his arrival. From my desk, I could see him walking into the building with his charismatic strut. Sometimes he brought his stupid dog with him to catch the adoration of the secretaries within the building. After noontime, I watch him leave for an hour or two and come back, most likely he had a business lunch somewhere at a five-star restaurant while I was stuck washing down home-made peanut-butter sandwiches with water from the fountain so i could save a dollar a day by not buying soda.
My interest in revenge dominated my thoughts every time I saw him standing in the hallways, I felt a wave of anger surging throughout my body because the question perplexed my mind, how can I make Bob suffer without him knowing? Even more important, how I could destroy him without getting caught? I knew I would lose my job if I pulled some schoolboy prank on company property. I needed to think outside the box and fortunately for me thinking outside the box was my specialty. If an impossible problem could be solved, I could solve it, this was why Bob and other co-workers always asked me for advice. Unfortunately, the more I tried to crack this problem, the more I realized how an invisible cocoon protected Bob. There was nothing I could do at work to hurt him. Sabotaging him on company grounds was impossible because there were too many cameras and witnesses around. My plan had to be one outside of company property and one away from the inquisitive eyes of witnesses.
I decided to follow him after work and see if I could find a pattern. If I watched him long enough, I could find a weakness and exploit it. I felt like a private investigator following a suspect around. My mission of stalking the boss gave me a new sense of control. My car was an ordinary blue Ford Taurus, one of many seen on the roadways today. I would not stand out in traffic and I don’t think he would recognize me if I kept my distance.
After work, I waited up the street in a parking lot belonging to another business. I knew Bob would be leaving soon and I wanted to see where he went after work. I waited over an hour before seeing him drive by in his black Cadillac. The car accelerated smoothly as he drove up the roadway and I quickly started my car to follow him. I kept a good distance away to avoid being spotted. I tried to get a little closer every time we approached a set of traffic lights, but my plan did not work. By the time we arrived at the fourth set of lights, he had the green light and I had the red. He was always lucky like that. That red light was symbolic of everything wrong in my life; Bob was always stopping me from something.
The next day, I drove to the opposite side of the red light and waited for him there. I figured this was the route he usually takes home. I was right too, I saw him driving by and I followed him again. He went right to his neighborhood where he lived. I stopped following him after he turned down his street. I am sure he would have recognized my car if I followed him down the little cul-de-sac.
After a couple of weeks of following Bob, I figured out his patterns in life. Most of the time he drove home, but sometimes he would stop off at the local elementary school and pick-up his kids, or meet his wife at a little league baseball game. Nothing I could do about any of that, but after a month, I did notice he would stop by the local pub to meet up with other employees who worked in the company area on Thursdays. Thirsty Thursday was the term they used for the get-together. The place was called the Iron Stone; it was the bar most people who worked in the industrial park frequented when they wanted to socialize after work. I had been there a few times to bond with my co-workers and have a few drinks. But after my divorce, I could not go there anymore because the beers were too pricey. Since my divorce, no one thought to invite me to hang out with them. Probably because they were sick and tired of listening to a man who worked in a cubicle talking about nothing relevant. The pub was a place where office workers could loosen up their ties and relax. The men and women that went there were all married and had nothing in common with me. It wasn’t a singles bar; though I am sure a few of them satisfied their inner office urges out in the parking lot afterward.
An idea hit me one day after I saw Bob pulling into the bar. I knew he would have a few drinks because most of the patrons did, hence the term Thirsty Thursday. I waited for him to leave and immediately used my flip phone to call the police. I told them a drunk driver had just left the Iron Stone and was heading towards Route 128, I gave the dispatcher a description of Bob’s car, the plate number, and the direction of travel. I immediately jumped in my car and caught up with him a few miles up the road. After a few minutes, I saw a police cruiser behind Bob’s car with its blue lights on. I passed by laughing to myself thinking how I finally screwed him and felt ecstatic. If the police arrested him for drunk driving, I knew it would be the beginning of a downward spiral for him. A lot of his job consisted of him traveling from one client to another. If he lost his driver’s license, he would be without a job, case closed. But as Bob’s luck would have it, he charmed his way out of it.
From a distance, I watched as the police gave Bob a field sobriety test on the side of the road, Bob passed the test with flying colors, he was not intoxicated. I watched how he used his sparkling personality to charm the cops by co-operating with every test they asked him to do. I found out later Bob only drinks one martini when he stops in at the Iron Stone and that amount of alcohol is not sufficient to make anyone drunk. He shook the police officer’s hand and thanked them for their service using that fake charismatic charm and then drove away.
I discovered there was no way to hurt this man without crossing the lines of legality. He had a simple life with simple patterns, and none of what I learned could be used towards my advantage. I needed to change my focus to something else. Since I could not hurt him, I decided I would do the next best thing. I would hurt something or someone he cared about. A new focus came to mind and all sorts of ideas ran through my head. I became excited thinking about them. I could burn his house down, maybe slash the tires on his precious Cadillac, I could kill his dog or break into his house and pour concrete down the drain pipes. They were all good ideas, but if I did any one of them, the inevitably of getting caught was high and I would find myself out of a job and in jail. Neighbors tend to be nosy, and I was sure to be spotted snooping around his house. I needed something else, something away from his property and away from prying eyes. What to do I did not know, but my obsession continued to grow and it consumed me for months after what happened next.