Should you want to know the mind of a killer, you must first know the mind of a saint. Just like you, I was once a child. I went to church and prayed. I believed in a God that was pure, and I thought my life had meaning.
Life happens, and thoughts changed, as I became a man. I discovered that success from prayer was random and more often than not ignored. I realized that death, whether human or the family pet, could not be resurrected no matter the fervor expended. Death is final.
I do not look to you for sympathy or compassion. I tell you this so I may illuminate the fact that I am so very much like yourself. My roots were not poisoned. I did not kill small animals or start fires as so often described by the doctors of psychiatry. I am not a psychopath nor do I kill by random disregard. I will not watch the life ooze from a man without sentiment. Instead, I relish the verity that the life leaving is not my own. It is an inspiration you should learn to embrace.
Sitting alone at his desk, Mr. Smith was pleased with what he had heard on the news. He thought long and hard about all of the planning he had accomplished and smiled about the way things were progressing. He believed beyond a doubt that his selection of Benjamin Simeon was perfect. The do-gooder detective from Small Town, USA, was perfect. He was green about the ways of big city crime and young enough to believe in fairytales. He didn’t have a clue how to take on an investigation of this magnitude. He was scared—a virtual cripple. He would squirm and trip over himself trying to do the right thing. The fool only had one redeeming quality: he would work until he dropped. That would be something to be counted on.
The first nine killings had been simple enough. With what he knew about medical science and law enforcement, Mr. Smith was confident he could continue to easily outwit the local authorities. The imbeciles were all amateurs. He knew that fact as well as he knew his own name…his real name. The officers would prance around in their nice blue or tan uniforms, carrying big guns on their hips with a superiority complex, believing their traditions were better than any criminal.
Their uniforms were to get the attention of the sluts. Mr. Smith believed their guns compensated for their small dicks, and of course, their attitudes were nothing more than false bravado. They pretended to know so much more than they could possibly comprehend.
You think you will get to know me, don’t you? You think that I will fit into a classic program that you put into your computers. Presto! Out pops Mr. Smith. I know your games. I know your ways. I know your systems and tools and programs. You will learn from me as I have learned from you. I will make believers out of you all. You won’t learn your lessons through intelligent discussions. You won’t learn by your mistakes. You won’t even learn from the deaths of other, detached souls. You have too many politicians to ever be judicious; too many lawyers destroying the system and the minds of those who truly attempt to do well. So I will force you to watch. I will force you to sit back and for my next move. You will watch the crying, the pleading of the families of the dead. You can’t stop me because it would be too costly to hide me from the voters. You will be angry. You will try to get to me, but you won’t. I will see you, and I will hide from you in the day...and in the night.
Mr. Smith turned from his desk, stood and walked over to his bay window. He could see the lights on the governor’s mansion just to his left, and he thought briefly of its history. A layer of fog was hugging the city, and even though it was evening, the city streets below were still busy.
Looking back at his desk, he observed the list again. The list was the next project he would be starting soon. The list was what he had been spending months preparing. It was the next project he to be implemented. It was a list of more disconnected people that would soon suffer. People that didn’t realize they were on the endangered species list.
The killer thought Detective Simeon was a fool. Simeon didn’t realize the attention he was getting by following the rules and doing what he was being told, that he was being played as the unwitting pawn in helping with new goals. By drawing attention to himself, Simeon would create so much attention about the past that nobody would be thinking about the present.
So tonight, we begin. Tonight is the beginning of the future, and I will take my first: Laurie Brady. Tonight Miss Brady will disappear and not even be missed by anyone but her family. No one will hear her screams for help. She will quake with fear. She will know of her own death before it happens. Her naked body—her perfect young innocent body—will stop breathing, and she will be alone. No one will care because everyone will be thinking about the past. The masses will cry and demand justice for the loved ones of the past and will drown her voice.
Mr. Smith closed his briefcase, put on his overcoat and left to meet with his new target.
Laurie Brady was a 20 year-old university student living in San Jose. Her plans for the evening were to go shopping with some friends and then maybe to one of the bistros or coffee shops downtown. What Laurie didn’t know was that her trip was about to be cut short. Mr. Smith had placed a small device in her car’s engine compartment that would disable it. That was the easy part. The difficult part, of course, was the timing of disabling the vehicle. It had to be somewhere secluded. It had to be somewhere that virtually assured him that for at least fifteen minutes he would have the time to do what was needed. For that, he placed a roadblock in front of where she was heading. Once the engine died, another obstruction would be placed behind to detour traffic for as long as he needed. The plan was simple, and she would be alone and desperate. Of course there was the matter of her cell phone, which all young people seemed to own these days. A signal disrupter would be needed, and he already had it in place.
Laurie was a creature of habit. Mr. Smith had watched her often, and when she was going to meet her friends for shopping, she would always go a certain way. She also went home by the same avenues. The trip offered the perfect place for what he needed. The last aspect of the plan would be getting her to be in such a way that she would not only lower her guard, but would actually be happy, even thrilled, to see him.
Mr. Smith had such a plan. Laurie would soon be his.
Driving home, Laurie was tired. She had bought a few items at the store and was pleased with her purchases. Tomorrow morning she would call her mom and tell her what she had bought.
When her car died, she could have sworn that she heard a popping sound. However, she had no idea what it was or why it had happened. All she knew as the car drifted to a stop was that of all the places for this to happen, this was by far the worst that she could imagine.
For two full minutes she tried re-starting the engine without success. She tried calling AAA when she discovered her cell phone had no signal. She was almost becoming panicked when she noticed a tow-truck turning onto her street about two blocks ahead, turning toward her. About half a block ahead, his turn signal came on, and he turned into a small parking lot. A man got out of the truck and went to open the garage door. In a moment of inspiration—Or was it desperation? —She jumped from her car and ran the half block, hoping to catch the man before he closed up for the night. Just as the man was getting back into his truck to park it, Laurie ran up to him, out of breath and scared.
“Mister! Mister!” she was yelling, waving her arms. “Wait a minute! Please!”
“Look, lady,” the man said when she reached him. “This has been a long day. What do you want?”
“Look, I’m sorry about this, but my car just broke down. Would you please help me?”
“Look, honey,” he said gruffly. “Like I said, it’s has been a long day. Call Triple-A, and I’m sure they can have somebody here in about an hour, maybe an hour and a half.”
“Please.” She was panicked now. “I’ll pay you extra if you’ll just come take a look and maybe get it started for me. Please.” Laurie didn’t even want to walk back to her car alone, let alone wait around in this neighborhood for another hour or longer. Tears started flowing down her cheeks as she turned back to her car.
“Wait a second,” The man said. “Damn, girl. I feel sorry for your boyfriends if you can turn on the water works like that. They don’t have a chance in hell competing with you and those baby blues. Get in, and let’s take a look. But remember what you said. You are going to pay for this.”
“Whatever the price. I’m good for it.”
“I’ll just bet you are.”
Of course, the price she was going to pay was much higher than she could have imagined.
Laurie was barely waking up, but already knew something was wrong. Her legs and arms felt numb. She tried to open her mouth to speak, but the words wouldn’t come. Her eyes were open, yet everything was pitch dark. Where am I? she wondered. What’s going on? She thought about panic, but couldn’t figure out what she would be panicked about. She remembered shopping with the girls. She even remembered her car breaking down. After that, everything seemed to be a blank. Had she been in an accident? Maybe she was already dead, and this was some part of the afterlife. She didn’t know. The one thing she did know was that, whatever was happening to her, her future would be very different from her past.
Slowly, feeling came back to her legs—and then her arms—but they still wouldn’t move. A soft, strong cloth was restraining her legs and arms. She was naked, yet warm enough that she didn’t feel cold or uncomfortable. Her nipples stood out, not from the cold, but from fear.
“Good evening, Laurie.” The man’s voice somehow sounded familiar. “Please do not attempt to speak. I don’t need or want to hear anything you have to say. But, I have something very important for you to hear. I know that you are awake and understand every word I say to you, so listen carefully. Tonight you are going to die, Laurie. How you die will be in one of two ways. All of which will depend on you. The first method can be painless. You will be put to sleep, then frozen. You shouldn’t feel much when your heart finally stops. The alternative will be much more painful. You will be slowly bled to death by multiple cuts all over your beautiful, young body. The choice is actually up to you. Now, I know that if you had a true choice, you would actually choose not to die. Unfortunately, that is not going to be an option.
“Here are the rules. I need you to teach me a few things before you die. If you do what I ask, and do it the way I ask, I will spare you the suffering that most certainly will come should you fail. The questions will be simple. So will your answers. You will hold up one finger of your left hand if your answer is yes, and two if your answer is no. We will start now. Do you understand what I am saying?”
A few moments passed then the index finger of her left hand slowly extended.
“Very good,” the man whispered. “I hope you realize that you are the first ever allowed to decide for yourself as to the method you will die. You should be honored. I know you are scared, Laurie. You have every right. Death is not something one so young is prepared to face, especially in this manner. But you should also be proud. You are going to be one of the rare people to teach the world about what is truly important. It’s your youth that makes you special. So teach me, Laurie. Teach me what it is that youth has to offer.”
Mr. Smith spoke to Laurie for nearly two hours. The tears streamed down her face. Somehow she knew that pleading or speaking would do no good. She was going to die, and there was nothing she could do to stop that from happening. What surprised her most was that the man, this mad and crazed killer, was a perfect gentleman. He did not touch her. She was beautiful and considered quite sexy to those who met her. Yet even with all of her charms exposed for him to do whatever he wanted, he never touched her. In a way she could not figure out, she actually respected him. She even trusted what he had said in the beginning: death would not be painful. That alone gave her a sense of comfort that got her through those last moments.
And then there was a pause that seemed to last several minutes before the man spoke again.
“Laurie… It’s time. I’m sorry that your life has to end now. However, I’m very proud of you. Most people believe that the young are weak and foolish. Most believe that your generation has nothing to offer. If you are truly representative of your generation, then I’m pleased that our future will someday be in their hands.”
Laurie heard words she had never thought of before. She thought about boys. She dreamed of graduating, going to college. She thought about meeting her future husband and having two or three kids and growing old with the man she loved. But never, never in her young life, had she ever thought about dying. And now that’s all she would have left to think about. She was sad that she wouldn’t get to live her life better or make more of it. Laurie was sad, but was surprised that it wasn’t about dying. She was sad that during her life she hadn’t helped those who needed help. It was surreal.
“I know you love your parents,” the man said. “I know that you have thoughts you would like to tell them. Unfortunately, child, I cannot let you do that. But, with your permission, I will let them know that you loved them. Would you want me to do that, Laurie?”
Laurie started sobbing uncontrollably. Slowly, she raised her finger. She felt something cover her mouth. Moments later she drifted into a deep and dark sleep.