Extracts from The Diaries of 'Professor' Cornelius Crane

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April 4th, 1969

Twice today my blood has turned to ice.

The first was just after I got home from school. I had just closed the front door when I heard my mother’s voice say, “Joaq Du Maille? No, I’ve never heard of you.” I moved swiftly, yet cautiously down the passage and peeked into the living room. She was on the phone. I listened from the doorway. “That Italian chap who stays in the old mansion near Willow Creek Park?” There was a short silence as the caller responded. “Well excuse my French, but how the bloody hell did…just hang on…I think I may have heard Connie come in. Connie! Connie, is that you?”

I waited a couple of seconds before moving into the room. “Hi ma,” I choked nervously. “What’s up?”

“You know that Ital…French artist who stays near Willow Creek park?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“You do? Have you ever spoken to him?”

“Uh…yeah.”

“When?” she asked sounding almost hysterical.

I felt the blood draining from my face. “Not too long ago, I guess. He was walking his dogs and we had a short chat.”

“Oh, my God!” She said slapping a hand over her mouth. Then, “I thought we made it clear to you to never talk to strangers?” Then she spoke into the receiver again, “Connie says he knows him…actually spoke to him. I don’t feel too good, Mavis. I’ll call you back later. Sorry…bye.” She put the phone down and sat down on the brand new sofa. “Oh, God, I think I’m going to be sick. Then she ran off to the bathroom and was.

I had heard wrong. Mother had obviously said, “No, I’ve never heard of him.” And not, “No, I’ve never heard of you.”

She had actually been speaking on the phone to Mavis Colder, one of those old biddies from the bridge club.

I guess the shock of hearing Joaq Du Maille’s name on entering the house had somehow caused me to hear incorrectly.

Still, I was confused for a long time, and finally figured out from between a series of my mother’s ravings and retchings that Joaq Du Maille had been arrested by the police two days ago for attempted murder, and on further investigation it was discovered that he was most likely the homicidal maniac that the papers had dubbed The Willow Creek Killer.

Anyhow, I decided to wait for my father to bring home the late edition and get a more sober view of what had happened.

The headline read:

Willow Creek Killer Caught!!!

And the story ran:

Joaq Du Maille, a French immigrant who was arrested on April 2nd, for the attempted murder of Harold Jorge Kowalski, has now also been charged with the murders of the three missing Willow Creek children.

According to Kowalski, a homeless one-legged veteran of the Vietnam War, he was approached by Du Maille on the evening of April 2nd, with an offer of a hot meal.

‘He said that he had often seen me in the area, and felt impelled by God to extend charity towards me. He said if I went back home with him, he’d make sure to give me a good hot nourishing meal. He also said that he would give me a little something extra. That little extra something turned out to be a piece of piano wire around my neck.’

[It was on reading the next paragraphs that my blood had turned to ice for the second time]

Kowalski also claims that, prior to the attack, Du Maille had started to accuse him of blackmail and extortion.

‘He kept saying that he knew it was me. He had seen me taking the money. I had no idea what he was on about, so I decided to leave. It was then that he attacked me from behind. I thank the Good Lord Above…and my army training, of course, for saving my life.’

Kowalski managed to defend himself and neutralize his attacker by using his crutches.

‘I hit him hard. I mean really hard. I thought that I may have killed him. He wasn’t moving when I left.’

He had then made his way to the nearest police station.

‘When I reported what had happened, they started to treat me as though I was the criminal. It was only by luck that the detective investigating the Willow Creek killings was at the station at the time. Something about my story made him pretty excited. Within minutes he had assembled a large squad of men and headed out.’

We spoke with the arresting officer, Detective Inspector Tallis, who said that Du Maille claimed that Kowalski had entered his house uninvited and with malicious intent.

‘He claimed that he was attacked and robbed of $3000.

There was something about his side of the story that just didn’t ring true for me. Call it sixth sense or intuition, but I decided to arrest both Kowalski and Du Maille until the matter was sorted out. Next, we got a search warrant for Du Maille’s place.

‘My suspicions were correct. We found positive evidence linking Du Maille to the three Willow Creek murders.’

He went on to say: ‘We now also know that Du Maille was a victim himself. We have evidence showing that he was being blackmailed and that he drew a substantial amount of money from his bank account on the 20th of March of this year. We know that the blackmailer was then paid on the very following day.

‘Someone knew that Du Maille was the Willow Creek Killer and decided to make a quick dishonest buck.

‘For reasons yet unknown, Du Maille believes that person to be Harold Jorge Kowalski.’

Joaq Du Maille is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation as to whether or not he is fit enough to stand trial.

Harold Jorge Kowalski remains in police custody and is being held for further questioning.

Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!

They obviously found the letter. It’s only a matter of time before Tallis joins all the dots together.

I am soooooo fucked!!!

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