Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Well, it's not a lead, but it's sure as hell something.

I'm just not sure what to make of it.

Some mother called in to report that her son was acting bizarre. Staying in his room more when he used to go out almost every night, acting moody and reserved, sometimes violent. The final nail in the coffin was when she came in and saw that he had drew all over his wall, the same circles in “X's” like a messed up game of Tic-Tac-Toe.

That was enough for us. So they brought him in for us to question. Me and Lizzie watched him through the glass for about twenty minutes before we finally went in, just trying to figure him out.

His name is Sam Ford, sixteen-year-old brown-haired green-eyed kid with freckles dotting his face like a game of connect the dots. Maybe once upon a time he was outward and friendly and just a ray of sunshine for the world to see, but now he looked like an empty shell of a human, bones and limbs but no soul to operate them. His eyes just stared blankly at the table until we came in, and even when he looked at us it was like looking in the eyes of someone who had just died. For some reason, I felt chills go up my spine.

The following is the conversation as it happened in its entirety. I basically came here to write it all out because I didn't want to forget a word of it; there was too much mystery wrapped around it to let it just rattle around in a brain that drops everything the minute he steps in the door to his house. I'm starting to think this was the underlying reason that Lizzie had when she made this.

I put pauses in where they belonged, so you can get an idea what went on when this happened:

Lizzie: Sam? I'm Detective Armeen, this is Detective Strahm.

(Thirty second pause)

L: Your mom asked us to meet with you. She's very concerned. She says you've been acting strange lately...

(Forty second pause)

L: We'd like to ask you a few questions, if you wouldn't mind. About...well, about you, I suppose.

(A minute pause. He looked up at her with that same haunted look. It was at this point that I took over)

Strahm (me): Sam, right? You go by Sammy, Samuel, or just Sam?

Ford (so you can tell one “S” character from the other): ...Sam.

S: Alright, Sam. Tell us when all this started.

(Five minute pause. He closes his eyes and scrunches his face up as if reliving a nightmare. Lizzie turns on the tape recorder)

F: It started three months ago...I was skateboarding with a few of my friends out by my house...we built this skating rink for my fifteenth birthday...I had just landed a trick when I looked out towards the treeline...and that's when I saw HIM...

S: Him? Him who?

(There's another five minute pause. I should mention here that he mentions a “HIM” several times during the conversation, always putting an emphasis on HIM and HE, yet every time I try to get him to elaborate he refuses to respond; almost as if he's trying to bury the identity so that HE doesn't come back for him.)

F: At first, I didn't think anything of it...my friends saw HIM too, but we just thought it was some guy standing around...then two nights later I caught HIM staring through my window...and then I head HIM...

S: He talked to you?

F: No...the voices were in my head...next thing I knew, it was morning and I was standing in the middle of my yard...and I had no idea what had happened...that was the first night HE contacted me.

S: He who?

(Ninety second pause. It's almost like he's trying to forget instead of remember. I stand up and lean over the table so that, were his eyes open, he'd see me eye to eye.)

S: Look, kid, your mother just pulled you out of a room that has more cryptic drawings on it than it has actual wallpaper. Two teenage girls are missing, and there is a rising sense of panic growing in their wake. And everything we have found is pointing to this guy, this “HIM” as you keep saying, as being the one behind it. My only questions are who he is, and why he's doing it.

(He opens his eyes and sees me standing there, and right then I see some flicker of an emotion in his pupils. Fear. But it's not from me.)

F: HE comes to me...no matter what I do, I lock the door, I lock the window, I shut the blinds...HE finds me. HE sees me.

S: Who IS he?

F: So eventually, I just stopped sleeping...but HE still came...I can't remember the last three nights...HE's getting stronger.

S: He who? He who? Who are you talking about? Talk to me!

F: HE wants me to do things, and I...I don't want to do them...but I can't control myself...I'm NOT myself...

S: What do you mean? What does he do? Sam, who is doing this?

F: (as if he doesn't even hear me) The angel of death comes for us all...

(At this point, Lizzie takes out Victoria Krell's drawings and places two of them on the desk. One is of the Spider-Demon chasing the two kids, the one straight from the sketchbook. The other is of the weird X in the circle that keeps popping up.)

(The minute he saw them, Sam started to freak out.)

F: NO! NO!

S: Is this the guy who's doing this? Is this him?


S: Who is he? Why does he have eight arms here? Who are the kids he's chasing? Are you one of them?

F: Running running running running running it doesn't matter I'll just keep running until HE gets me.

S: What's with the symbol? What does it mean?

F: HIS mark...


F: HE marks us with it...it's his way of telling us...


F: US!




(And right then, the room just goes dead quiet. And he gives me this look and his next words just send an ice cold wave flooding down my body:)

F: We're next.

The conversation stopped there. Once we calmed him down he refused to say another word. Lizzie's baffled, and so am I. I've seen some people get hysterical under interrogation, but not the kind of fear that this kid was showing.

Nothing he says makes any sense. All we know for certain is that this guy's a pro, but we still don't know who he is, or why he apparently turns into a Were-Spider when it's just him and the kids. That part still just confuses the hell out of me.

Things I've gathered that also confuse me: His friends saw the guy. They joked about it. So why is it just this one kid? Or is it all of them, and no one's speaking up? I'm going to get the names and we'll go to the parents to check in. I'm pretty sure we'll be able to tell right away if these kids were getting hit up too.

Another thing I don't get is this symbol. Yeah, it's the same one as the others, but what does he mean “mark them?” They're the ones drawing the things, aren't they? So wouldn't that mean they're marking themselves?

And finally, these memory gaps. Three nights just erased from his memory, among countless others...I don't even know where to begin. How the hell do you just not know where you went? Sleepwalking? Or is this guy dragging them out? And the “voices in his head”, what he's telling the kid to do...

Is it hypnosis? Is that how he's doing it? Is he putting these kids under some sort of spell?

We're closing in on a possible suspect, someone acquitted of rape a long time ago, before either of us joined the force. Word is he's still in the city, we just need to track down where exactly.

I'm hoping this guy is the key. If not, I'm not sure where the trail goes from here. In the meantime, the chief's keeping Sam here over night for safekeeping. He's given a solitary cell, two officers standing guard to ensure no one comes for him. Hopefully, this guy will just give him up as a lost cause.

Again, I can't find myself being all that optimistic.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Day Off

Oh, the day off. As once quoted, the best invention since man created the atrocity known as “work”.

Every day off, I perform the same routine; get up, go for a three-mile run, shower, dress, go to the diner down the street for the best pancakes and sausage in the whole world, take a drive around town, have the best buffalo chicken ever at another restaurant, then depending on if Lizzie is working or not I'll call her, she'll come over, we'll watch a movie or something, hang around, I'll make dinner, then we'll either shag or she'll head home and I'll go to sleep relaxed and ready for the grueling work day ahead. If she is working, I'll usually just go to a club, have a beer or two, drive home (yeah, yeah, don't drink and drive, but I'm barely even buzzed off two beers so it's not a freakin' problem), hang out, go to sleep.

I imagine right about now you're all asking yourselves, “Jesus Christ, does this guy have any other friends besides his thirty-something-year-old partner?” Well, kids, I don't know if you've gathered this by now, but I fucking hate people. Besides, all the people I consider friends all moved out of the city once they graduated high school, and rarely do they come home for a visit. I still keep in contact with them, but I'm lucky if I see them once a year.

Somebody may also assume that I would be chummy with the other people in my department, and while that may be true for most people, I don't really regard people where I work as friends. In fact, the department I work with, I tend to just regard them from behind bulletproof one-way looking glass, if you know what I mean. It is my belief that they're all fucking psychos.

Lizzie's psycho too, don't get me wrong. Hell, she set me up with this fucking thing, didn't she? Hell, I remember when I came into the office one day and found my computer on. At first I thought someone had been snooping through my work (and looking through my non-work files...oh what, like you've never looked shit up at work?) and I panicked. Then when I got closer and saw what was set up, I just got confused. Lizzie was at her desk, which coincidentally is on the other side of mine, and when I saw that coy little smile on her face I knew she had been behind it.

Here is the conversation that followed:

Strahm (me): Lizzie?

Lizzie: Hmm?

S: Were you on my computer?

L: Um...maybe...

S: I'll take that as an yes. And...what the hell is this?

L: Your blog.

S:...My WHAT?

L: Your blog. I created a blog for you.

S:...Why did you make me a blog?

L: Because I think it would be good for you.


L: Strahm, you don't see a shrink. You don't talk about anything to anyone, not even me, and whenever someone tries to get to know you, your increasing level of stubbornness and just being a regular hot-head prevents them from doing so. So, you know...if you won't talk to anyone here, I figured you'd get it out on a blog.

S: So...you made me a blog...based on the assumption that I would spill all of my deepest darkest secrets and my life on it...for my use...for the whole world to see on the internet?

L: Pretty much.

S: ...Question.

L: Yes-?


And that's pretty much the whole conversation. I kind of blew up at her for another five minutes and then didn't bother with this thing for two months, despite her nagging me endlessly. It was when she told me she wouldn't give me sex ever again that I finally broke down and started using it, though I think I've used this more to describe my casework than I do update my own life.

I don't think there's really any other point to it. My childhood's nowhere near traumatic enough to warrant me pouring my heart out. My parents were good, we weren't poor, I had a full belly every night, and I did fairly well in school. Aside from twelve years of insomnia from living in the back-ass of nowhere, and the fact that girls didn't date me in high school, I've had a pretty good life.

Alright, well, I'm getting off track. The day off was fine, back to the case tomorrow...hope we've got a lead to work off of by now...

Friday, March 26, 2010

What a week. Two missing kids and a stack of drawings and journal entries pointing to some guy in a suit that's a possible pro in his area of expertise. We're doing a run on former rapists in the area, we might actually be coming close, though it's too soon to say.

But now it's “Strahm Rants” time, because I've got to get this out, because so many people bring it up and it's time I address it out right.

This “Slender Man” myth.

Believe it or not, I know the myth. What, you think just because I'm twenty-six and a detective that I never go on the internet? I've been on Youtube, kids. A buddy of mine from high school linked me to Marble Hornets way before all this shit started. I know this guy's gotten popularity, though I think a lot of it is slightly over-exaggerated.

Did the videos creep me out? Abso-fucking-lutely. Couldn't sleep for a week after watching them. Then once I got over it, I showed them to Lizzie just to scare the shit out of her. She had nightmares for a month. I thought it was hilarious. The kids have made one hell of a film project, whatever class it's for, I hope they get an A.

But that's is, guys: it's a goddamn film project. Now, maybe it's not exactly for a class, maybe they were just fucking around with the camera and it somehow got discovered and turned into a hit. I don't know. But while creative, you have to remember that IT'S YOUTUBE. Not saying everything on there is fake, but can we please just move past the bullshit?

You know what, I can even predict the rest of the plot from here. Totheark is Tim, the ark is Alex, Jay and Sarah bone, Brian shows up with the Sword of Elendil and runs it through Slender Man's chest, Alex shoots Tim right through his masked face and they all live happily ever after. The end. Wait for the DVD release. There, the remainder of the series in a nutshell. Sorry to spoil it.

But then people ask, “What about Logan Renault?” Yeah, I've taken a glance at that freaking blog too. And you know what? My heart goes out to Logan, my heart goes out to Matthew Shelby, I'm real fucking sorry about whatever happened to them, but they drove themselves nuts over a case of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Here's what happened there, folks: Shelby suffered PTSD. Two kids blowing themselves up and half his squad will do that to you. He couldn't deal with surviving, so he came up with the bogus story of an alien making Christmas ornaments of his squad and then did himself in after filling a notebook of weird shit. Renault gets it, believes his friend over the trained shrinks studying him, goes fucking nuts, runs off, carves his eye out, yada yada yada. The other guy, I forget his name, but he's the only smart one, he stays the fuck out of it and doesn't buy into all the bullshit.

Fantasy is fun. Lord knows it is. But you let it rule your life, this is eventually what happens to you. So my advice: Stay in reality. Life's a bitch and then you die, but at least you die on your own bed if you play your cards right.

Look, kids, I know you like playing these games. But that's it; they're games. Games entertain you, they end, you move on. Okay? There's no Slender Man. There's no crazy masked motherfucker. There is only the real world. And yes, it can be every bit as fucked up as fantasy, and no, you don't always win. But that's life.

This isn't a game here. We've got kids missing. We're dealing with a serial rapist, kidnapper, I don't know what, but he's human, guaranteed.

I don't like ranting. Don't make me do it again.

I appreciate the help people have offered, but leave the myth to the Dungeons and Dragons kids.

That is all.

I'm going home now. I've been on duty for over twenty-four hours and tomorrow's my day off. I'm going home early.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Journal

God damn Lizzie. She wakes me up this early in the morning, telling me she's found something. She knows I like my sleep, and yet she does this anyway. I tell her where to meet, because we sure as hell aren't doing this here.

We meet up outside some McDonald's that has long since closed up (open twenty-four/seven my ass), and we sat down on one of the picnic tables they have outside. Lizzie was holding onto the diary we got from Albright's house, and the moment our asses were planted on the table she handed it to me and told me to read.

The first half was nothing special. Just things a girl in high school would faun over; boys, schoolwork, dances, shit like that. Nothing out of the ordinary, and not worth posting on here. Some things should remain private, and there are a couple things here that probably wouldn't hurt to leave untold.

It was right around the halfway mark that things got weird. Here's a sample:

“It's been three days since I've slept. I keep seeing HIM everywhere I go. This morning I saw HIM out the window and I thought my dad would've seen him because he was right there, but he acted like there was no one there. I think I'm going crazy. HE was standing right in the flower patch, how could he not see HIM? He was looking right at the flowers, for God's sakes! Am I the only one? Am I alone?”

That's the first mention of a HIM, and every single time she refers to HIM in all capitals. I don't understand the significance. And it just gets weirder from there. It's like this journal began monitoring her decreasing sanity.

The last entry is some fucked up shit. You know that rhyme from the Freddy Krueger movies, the one that is sung whenever the characters see a bunch of kids in white jumping rope? She made her own fucking rendition:

“OnE tWo, HE'S cOmINg foR YOU
ThREe foUr, nO PoINt locKiNG tHe dOOr
FIve sIX, No hElP fRoM thE CrUciFIX
SeVeN EiGHt, HE'LL gET YOU aSleEP oR aWakE
ninE tEN, NevER LIVe aGAin...


Talk about your mind fuck. I'm not sure if there's a pattern in the letters that are capitalized, but my guess is she was just gone in the mental sense when she wrote it. I looked up at Lizzie and she just had this look on her face that I can't even put into words. I flipped the page and the only thing that was left was a circle with an “X” in the center that I recognized only after Lizzie reminded me of the same one found in Victoria Krell's room.

That just confirmed it. Before we just had suspicion, but this journal proves it. We're dealing with the same guy.

We're going to put out a warning this afternoon. All families are to keep tabs on their kids at all times and let us know if they start acting unusual in their behaviors. I just wish we had a picture of the guy so people can look out for him, but all we really have are the drawings from Victoria's room, and I don't think that's enough. Unless we come across something else, all we can really say is for everyone to be careful. Police are on twenty-four hour patrol on the streets, so if something else happens, they'll be on call.

Somehow, I can't really feel too optimistic when I think about that...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Zen Lifestyle

I need to relax. I got off work an hour ago, and I came straight home. Lizzie's still pouring over the journal, said she'll let me know if something comes up.

The minute I stepped in the door, I immediately felt a wave of relief wash over me, and I began to feel less stressed out. Home really is where the heart is. I have a strict ruling: never bring my work home with me. With that ruling in mind, I can sit back, eat my dinner, and not worry about a damn thing.

Before long, I'm in my recliner, my microwave dinner on my lap and a wine bottle next to me, red wine in the glass in my hand that I'm sipping delicately, savoring the flavor. I may be a bachelor, and I may be a police dog, but I like to drink fancy every now and again.

As I'm eating, I listen to the sounds of the cars passing by, of some jackass honking his horn at someone else, at a dog barking at some random passer-by, and instead of growing agitated, it all just puts me in a deeper sense of serenity. I like the noises of the city-burbs. There's something delightfully soothing about it.

When I was a kid, we lived out in the woods. The unbearable quiet always unsettled me, being out in the middle of nowhere with no decent civilization around. With trees all around us and very soft windows it felt like you could hear every fart, giggle and apology within a ten-mile radius. Every branch snapping and rustling of leaves put me on edge, like some maniac was prowling outside the house waiting to break in and steal all our stuff. I knew it was just animals, but it was terrifying. Needless to say, I did not get much sleep growing up in that house.

We moved to the burbs just within the city limits when I was thirteen, and despite the creepiness of adjusting to a new room, I had terrific nights of sleep. Those cars passing by meant there was a world out there, close by. I was not alone in the middle of a world made more terrifying with the moonlight. If something happened, someone would be close by to hear my screams. No more boogeymen, no more phantom branch sounds. I could rest easy.

Most people move to some desolate piece of land when they retire so that they can get some peace and quiet. God, not me. After over twelve years of that seclusion, I think I've had just about all the peace I could ever want. The city's the best place in the world to live in, and despite the stereotypical depiction, it's also one of the safest.

Where I live it is, anyway.

I live alone, though I do have a hamster named Chips that I inherited from my aunt. He's a pudgy little bastard and he makes a lot of noise, but that noise just adds to that noise I need to put myself to sleep. All in all, he's good company. Lizzie comes over a lot too, mainly just to hang out because she knows my ruling about our work in my house. Every time she's over she insists on cleaning up the pigsty that is my life. That always confuses me; men like their messes, women like to clean their messes, or I assume they must because they're always doing it. Can't we all just get along, reach an agreement? Would save a lot of arguments.

She's a terrible cook, so whenever she's over, I take it upon myself to make dinner (and sometimes breakfast, depending on if she's spending the night). It's probably the only time the kitchen ever gets any use. I'm no Iron Chef, but I picked up a few things from my mother, who is a gourmet in her own right. It's either that or we order pizza, but either way, food gets in our bellies.

Lizzie probably comes over here more than I go to her place, and she insists that it's because I have more room and my bed is bigger. Both true. I once joked that she should just move in with me, to save her the gas fare and the expensive rent where she lives. She just gave me this weird look and I realized what I had just said. We haven't talked about it since.

I flip on the TV and immediately go to NBC, see what they have for comedy tonight. I rarely ever watch the news in my house. Save it for work, online, or if the chief turns it on in case we're on there and he feels like chewing us out. My house, I say again, is a place of peace. The news just messes that up. I've got a great system working, why mess that up?

The wine's starting to hit me. I think I'll take a bath and then go to bed. Completely blissful, and just the way I like it.

Number Two

We've got another one.

Jessica Albright. Seventeen-year-old blonde at a different high school, but not far from the last one. Nice figure, outgoing, popular, had a supporting family, loving boyfriend...almost the exact opposite of the last girl that was taken.

But when we talked to the parents, it was the exact same story. In the last month or so, she started getting agitated, moody, completely paranoid. Kept it bottled up more, but they could still notice it. Her boyfriend said that sometimes when they were having fun in the backseat of his car she would stop and peer around as if she thought someone was there. Whenever he asked what it was, she would just say nothing in an angry tone that, in his words, “wasn't her”. She withdrew, shut the world out, and then one morning she was just gone.

Just like the Krell girl. What the hell is happening here? One girl showing these signs is one thing, but two showing the exact same signs was something else. And we showed the picture of Victoria to everyone we interviewed, family, friends, boyfriend. No one had a clue who she was. These two girls were complete strangers.

But they're both gone. Under the same circumstances.

We don't have a sketchbook this time around, but Lizzie did manage to get the girl's diary off of the parents. Special permissions and what not. I don't know what she expects to find, from what the friends told us, she was never really interested in anything artsy. Maybe more of what we found at the other scene? Still not sure, I suppose she'll get back to me.

I'm starting to get pretty concerned here. Two girls missing within three days of each other, both showing the same signs of paranoia and aggression before they go MIA. Could be coincidence, but in my line of work, I've come to learn that there's no such thing. There has to be a relation here. I'm starting to wonder if we're not dealing with a serial kidnapper or a serial rapist.

I'm starting to wonder if we shouldn't put the whole god damn town on alert...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lizzie's Making Me Do This...

Lizzie said that a blog was supposed to be talking about me, not my casework. Since I've never been one for posting myself out for the world to see, she thinks the idea of keeping an online journal is beyond my comprehension. No, it's not; I just think it's fucking stupid.

I'm not the kind of guy you'd want to hang out in a bar with. I'm not the kind of guy you'd watch the game with after a hard day's work. I'm certainly not the kind of guy you'd let fuck your sister. No, I'm the kind of guy you'd take one look at and go to your friend, “Wow, that guy's a dick.”

Yup. I'm that guy.

I'm twenty-six, yes, I know that's young for a detective. I basically went in right after college, did my schtick with the academy, got accepted into the investigations department, and now here I am. My partner's six years older than me, never bothered me except when she acts like my mother. Which isn't often, but it does happen.

I had my friends in high school, and that was all I needed. People tend to annoy me; once you hit past the thirty second mark, I have to get as far away from them as possible. And my reasoning for it is the same reason that ole' George Carlin used to give; I have a low tolerance for people and their stupid bullshit.

I'm good at my job. Coming off a life that most would consider “weird” but what I considered normal (dark clothing, punk music, a general idea of what teenagers go through on a daily basis), I like to think I have a keen intuition whenever I'm on a case involving teenagers. Since I'm still fairly young, I still have a bit of their psyche archived in my brain. Teenagers are easier to handle than adults. All you got to do is treat them carefully. Though with this girl, it'd be hard to say. Haven't seen anything like these drawings before.

My partner Lizzie's the kind of girl that can argue with you for hours on end and yet still greet you with a smile and a good morning the next day. She's a blonde-recently turned-brunette with glasses and still looking pretty good even though she's hitting the “tremulous thirties”, as I like to call them. I think the chief stuck her with me so that I'd get a woman's touch on my thought process, but as long as she doen't boss me around all the time, I'm fine with it. We fight, we flirt, we hang out, we get a bite to eat, we get our work done...maybe have some sex every now and again...it's a good system we've got going. She's my partner, and she's a good partner to have.

She's looking over my shoulder right now and telling me I'm getting off-topic. Put the emphasis on talking about myself instead of her. She did thank me for the compliments, though. Swear to God, you give that girl an inch, and she takes a mile.

Not too much else to say. I'm stubborn and a pain in the ass to deal with. I'm hardworking when I need to be and I'm a slacker the rest of the time. I'd rather fight with someone for hours about something stupid than just sit through another boring movie. Rarely will I ever do a good thing for anyone, unless I see that they absolutely need it. And, like I said before, I have a good understanding with what is probably the most depressing age period a person goes through.

Is that enough? Lizzie says no. Well, fuck it, that's all I'm giving this thing. I'm trying to save a girl's life, not rough draft my autobiography. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some files to look over.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Here are all the facts of the case:

Victoria Krell. Sixteen-year-old student at the local high school. Sticks mostly to herself, doesn't bother anyone, prefers the company of books over that of a regular human being. My kind of girl were I not ten years older than her. Black hair with purple streaks, hazel eyes, make-up overdose, a little on the chubby side.

Dad skipped out on her when she was two, hasn't been back since. Mom's been drinking since her high school years and it doesn't look like she's quitting any time soon. Gets average grades, not really a part of any school activities, just sticks to her own self. Only thing showing signs of depression is a history of cutting, but that was in middle school and she's been seeing a therapist for it.

Started drawing at the end of middle school, used to do it only habitually. It was only in recent months that she started drawing all the time. Before it was just sketches of the environment and people she saw, but then it turned into the freaky shit we found in her room. Her grades fell, and she grew even more withdrawn from society than she already was. Teachers voiced concern, but she just blew them off.

Over the last two or three months she reported to her therapist that someone had been stalking her. Guy in a suit, standing outside her window peering in on her. Her therapist didn't really know what to think about it, so she didn't act on the situation. Police was called in after an alleged attempt to break in, but they reported finding nothing in their report.

I guess after that was when she started getting more and more aggressive. One day she reportedly punched the lights out of some cheerleader girl that made a comment on her clothes. Girl ended up with a broken wrist and two black eyes; on last word she still hadn't fully recovered. Then there was the incident from when her mother tried to take away the sketchbook. Teachers reported a general sense of anger and fear around her. It was like she was on constant watch all around her, careful attention paid to her surroundings at all times.

I guess in the end, it all became too much for her. Last her mother heard from her was when she came down the stairs and walked right out the front door. Thought she was just going to the car for something. Now she has no idea where she is, and neither does the rest of the world.

From the information presented, I gathered three facts. One, someone had been following her. Whether it was all in her head or someone was definitely there, someone's presence kept her freaked out at all times. Two, eventually the stalking got to the point that it changed her entire personality. And three, whoever it was, no one else could see it.

Things I don't understand: She claimed that the guy kept peering into her room through the window. Only problem there is that her room is located on the second floor, and for a rundown shack, it's pretty high up for someone to look in without a ladder. And these people don't own a freaking ladder, and there are no car imprints other than the one they own, so however the hell they got up there is a mystery in itself. Climb a tree, sure, but none of them are that close to the window.

Also, why was this man only stalking her? And how could he remain hidden when police searched the area? Granted, it's a huge wood, but someone had to have heard something, right? Unless fucking Big Foot came and ate her, it seems a little unnatural that someone could be coming around constantly and not be seen or heard by anyone.

Then again, with the drunk mom and living in the middle of nowhere, maybe that was what made her the perfect suspect to victimize.

And then there's the sketchbook. All the fucked-up drawings. Sometimes just of the guy, and sometimes of the Tentacle Man. The guy I'm guessing is the one stalking her...but why doesn't he have a face? And why are his arms bent at that weird angle in every single picture? The pictures of the people she had sketched all had faces...so why not this guy?

And why does he seemingly turn into a monster? What the hell does that mean? I've gone over every possible scenario, what it could all possibly symbolize, but in the end I'm limited by how much I don't know. If the girl was here, maybe I'd have a better idea, but then again, if she were here, I wouldn't be having to deal with all of this to begin with.

My partner, Elizabeth Armeen, is obsessed with the drawings. Back and forth she keeps flipping the pages of the sketchbook, trying to catch something, so absorbed into it that not even me joking about her lack of a sex life is enough to rouse her. It actually annoys me. I had been hoping for a “wham bam thank you ma'am” tonight. Guess that's not happening.

When Lizzie really gets into a case, good luck tearing her away from it until it's over.

Me, I go over the facts, but other than my initial reactions and thoughts, I'm stumped. Where would she go...or better yet, where would he take her?

I just wouldn't mind wrapping this case up before the morgue gets another occupant.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


There are some times in my life where I wonder why evolution allows some people to live, and why they allow even more people to breed.

It just seems like natural selection should raise their expectations with people.

That's all I'll say on that matter.

We went to the house on that missing persons case today. Really rundown shack of a house, but given the family's stability I shouldn't be too surprised. There was a yappy little bulldog that barked at us, but I just ignored it. Dogs are the least of my concerns in life.

Then there's the topic of the mother. It seemed that the effect of the Captain's with lime had not yet worn off, because she was not making the slightest bit of sense. All we got out of her was that her daughter had gotten moody and aggressive and then she just took off. Sounds like every depressed teenager I had ever come across. I think she could tell I wasn't really interested, so most of the questions came from and were addressed to Lizzie.

Then she started going on and on about the girl's sketchbook, how she was obsessed with the thing, how she drew in it at every possible moment. Lizzie thought it was interesting, but I had a few artist friends in high school, so it didn't strike me as odd. Artists have a fucking field day with their sketchbooks, it's common knowledge.

What did strike me as odd, though, was the way she described the reaction when she tried to take the thing away. Almost tore her mother's goddamn head off. Went freaking crazy, almost cannibalistic, from the description the alckey told us. That interested me somewhat. None of my friends ever acted like that, but then again, no one had ever tried to take the sketchbooks away from them.

Lizzie asked if we could see this sketchbook for ourselves, but I think at that point the hangover was starting to kick in, because she just groaned and went back into the house for some coffee, basically giving us free reign. I took this as my cue to come in and make my own way upstairs; I'm an impatient man. Lizzie just gave me a look- she was the older one, so I should have been following HER lead instead of the other way around- but I just shrugged and gave her that grin that almost always wins her over. She acts like a tough cookie, but get under her skin and she crumbles. It can get humorous sometimes.

The girl's room...good God, was she on a hell of a trip when she drew these pictures on her wall. When I stepped into the room, I felt like I had stepped into a Tim Burton exhibit. All along the walls were pictures of what looked like Jack Skellington with about six extra arms and no eye holes, or any facial features, for that matter. In some pictures he looked like the Itsy Bitsy Spider from Hell, and in other pictures he just looked like a businessman, or a government agent, or something like that. All of them had no face. The businessman pictures had the arms looking bent, palms extended outwards as though he was greeting someone. If I were meeting a guy like that, and he were offering hugs, I might just have shot him. He had that creep vibe to him, and “he” was only a drawing.

There were other drawings too, mainly some circles with “X's” slashed through them and some jarbled words. The words “SEES ME” and “HE COMES” were written a lot, among other phrases and a lot of repeated lines. Lizzie and I shared a look as the idea of this becoming a kidnapping case could very well be true. Someone seemed to have been stalking her.

And yet...I looked at the Demonic Spider drawings again. What were these from? Nightmares? That made sense; everything in the real world becomes more evil once you're asleep. A businessman by day turns into a creature from an Edgar Allen Poe story by night. Whatever this guy was doing to her really did a number on her psyche.

I took some pictures while Lizzie shifted through her desk looking for this sketchbook. She finally finds the the thing in the bottom of the last drawer, underneath a bunch of other shit so that anyone looking for it doesn't find it without having to dig.

The notebook held pretty much the same drawings that the wall had posted all over. Probably the most eerie picture was a hastily drawn sketch of Spider-Freak almost overcoming two small figures, whose identities I couldn't make out...the girl, maybe? But then who was the other one? Friend? Boyfriend? Some random figure from a dream? I had no clue. I'd played a few mind games in my day, but this is one hell of a brainfuck.

We claimed it all as evidence, marking the house as a crime scene. Lizzie then went to ask the mom if anyone had come to the house recently, any businessmen or men wearing suits. She said no; though she said her daughter had claimed someone was around, she never saw anyone. Personally, with the amount of booze reeking from that coffee cup, I'm amazed she could see US, let alone anyone poking around, but her statement could be considered legit. Not sure yet.

We bid her farewell and made our exit, passing the annoyingly yappy dog on our way back out. Lizzie was perplexed by the sketchbook, but while I was slightly interested, I didn't really give it too much of a glance. I save my work for the office and at the scenes of the crimes. Anywhere and everywhere else, I shouldn't have to be bothered with it.

Never seen drawings quite like those before...though if she were using them to get a message across, she couldn't have picked a more vague way of doing it...

People are fucking weird like that.


I'm not one for making blogs. If the guys in my department found out that ole' Zeke Strahm was pouring his heart out on a freaking online journal, then any credibility I've ever had to being a male goes right out the window. Ironically, it was my partner- who happens to be female- that suggest I keep this up. You see some cruel things being a detective; keeping a journal of any kind was cheaper than seeing a shrink for your feelings. I'll do it, but I don't expect to be all emo or whiny on here.

The chief assigned us to this new case today; some disappearance around Point Hope. Nothing really out there besides the cliffs overlooking the ocean and a few thousand acres of woodlands, so it's not that unusual that someone goes missing out there. Either someone goes for a piss out in the woods and gets lost, or some suicidal teen decides to take the last step off the cliffs towards the grave. Again, nothing all that unnatural.

All that he presented me with are the facts: sixteen-year-old girl walked out of the house at around one in the morning according to the alcoholic mother and doesn't come home. No note, no bags packed, nothing. The chief says that the lack of a note rules out suicide, but I don't hold the same thought; if I were going to off myself, I'd want to leave it a mystery. Let THEM try and figure it out.

Lizzie thinks it's a kidnapping case. I doubt it. The house where they're located is literally the middle of nowhere; just their house and about seven miles of woods. No hunting shack, no free-roamers, just bare-ass wilderness. If this girl was going to visit someone without the car, or if someone was coming to visit her, they'd better have had one hell of a good pair of hiking boots on them, because a seven-mile walk in the pitch dark is not something I'd do willingly. The only ones living there are the kid and the drunk mom, and the mom says she was watching TV when she heard the door open and close.

Unless something else comes up, I really don't see this being a serious case. Cut and dry.

I guess I'll keep this updated if something comes up.