Friday, April 30, 2010

We got him.

They're bringing him into the station now.

Oh, I can't wait for the interrogation, so I can wipe that fucking smirk off his smug face.
We've got movement in the city. Conaghan's walking about.

Today's the day.

We're moving in as fast as we can, observe and go in for immediate take down once we have confirmation.

I probably won't be able to update further until the end of the day.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I've taken the last few days off. Not really my call, but the chief's word is official law, no matter how much we don't like it. That, and I've switched Internet provider, so I did not have Internet for the last couple of days. I can't even begin to tell you how many hours I've wasted watching mindless television and playing old school Super Mario on my old school Nintendo system.

Yeah, I have an NES. So sue me. I haven't used it in years.

Lizzie comes by, but abides by my ruling not to bring work into my house, despite my saying she was allowed to break that rule just for this one time. I have no idea what's going on at the office. For all I know, Conaghan could be behind bars and Eric and the others could be rescued and resting at home for the first time in months.

Nah. I think she would tell me if something THAT big had happened. Then IS Lizzie.

But over the course of the last couple of days, I have learned quite a few things about myself.

One: I lose my fucking mind when I don't have Internet, or work. Apparently work is my counter-balance to the scale of Zen.

Two: I really suck at Super Mario. Like, badly. Like, I can't even finish stage 2 without an extra lives cheat.

And Three: Television is a dying art. Or a dead art. Or a art that has been shot, burned, buried, dug back up, pissed on, shat on, and buried again.

Why is all television just mindless reality shows and cartoon spin-offs of shitty movies? Why did they remake Garfield? When did ER finally breathe its last breath? Why the fuck is Charlie Sheen still on the air? When did High School Musical get turned into a TV show, and why does it have three characters from Heroes on it? Why is Lost the only show that makes any bit of sense to me? When did Disney stop caring about lovable mice in pants that teach friendly kid values and start caring about pop stars that can't sing and sell sex to children subtly? When did Nickelodeon stop being funny? When did Syfy change its name? WHY did Syfy change its name? Why would I rather watch a cat ninja its way across a room in a Youtube video than see who becomes the next American Idol?

And how the HELL did that guy from Tosh.0 land that job? Seriously, who do I need to be talking to? In high school I would have KILLED to have a job like that.

Oh, I can't wait to be DONE with this quarantine bullshit. Nothing's happened to me. Nothing. Other than me losing my mind with boredom I'm a picture of health.

With the free time, though, I have had time to ask a few questions. The message, of course, taking predominant stance over everything.

Those letters were in Albright's journal, that SHE wrote. So how the hell could the message have been in there the whole time? There's no way they could have been gunning for me that early in the case. He must have just pulled them out at random later on down the road for convenience's sake. Slimy bastards.

Alright, assuming I am the target here...why take Eric? He was barely involved. I barely knew the guy. Why not take Lizzie if they wanted to intimidate me (and don't think me uncaring; if that ever happened I think I'd kill ten people just to slit the throat of the bastard who took her)? Or hell, why not just come for me? Hell, I'd love a fight, bring it on.

You scared, motherfuckers?

I'm not.

I'm waiting.

I go back to work tomorrow.

And when I do, you'd better start saying your prayers, because I'll be gunning for you.


You scared yet?

You'd better be.

I'm going to go make lunch. Try to get back into a calmer state.

But I stand by my words.

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lizzie stormed into the bathroom while I was in there a little while ago. Normally she doesn't do that unless she absolutely has to, so it was a little disconcerting when she storms in and catches me with my fly down. Not that she doesn't know “”ME” by now, but that's fun time and this is the public restroom.

“You need to back off the case,” she says as I zip myself up.

I frowned. “What are you talking about?”

She tells me to take a few days, lay low. Now I know she's screwing with me, and I ask her if she is being serious. She responds by handing me a sheet of paper that, typed in what had to be 72-font (jeez, big enough?), were the following letters:


Of course, I recognize them immediately. But I still don't understand what it has to do with me.

“Lizzie, is this a joke? What are you-”

That did it. She grabs me, pushes me so that I slam against the counter (she's never this rough, not even during fun time), and holds the sheet up to the mirror.

Does this look like a fucking joke?” she screams.

And this time, I see it. Really see it. The letters that were written in backwards were now showing so that they were finally legible. He never wanted me to unscramble all the words; he wanted me to find the one hidden message in them. I didn't know what to say as I looked at the four words that were staring back at me as though taunting me:



I...I can't even comprehend this right now.

We've got four bodies piled up in an apartment room in the suburbs of town.


That brings the total to eight.

Oh, sorry, did you think I meant the four bodies that were missing already? Sorry to deceive.

Nope, these are four completely new bodies.

We got the call when the landlady received complaints of a foul odor on the fourth floor, and then a neighbor on the third floor reported something leaking through the floorboards above her. When she went to go check it out, this was what she found. Those bodies had to be at least three days old, though how they got there I couldn't tell you.

I didn't even know what to expect when I went to go and investigate. When I saw the scene, let me tell you, I haven't thrown up on the job yet, but this threatened to break the streak I had going for me. These bodies were carved up like jack-o-lanterns on Halloween. From the looks, I'd say anywhere between a ten-inch blade and a machete. The one girl was hollowed out completely, just skin and bones and a lot of blood. The guys are just as bad, but I'll spare those of you with a weak constitution the details.

I couldn't tell on glance who they were, and DNA hasn't come in with results yet. But on glance, I don't think- think being the key word- that they're any of the kids already missing. Just a hunch, but there's at least three guys and one girl here; different ratio. The girl may be Krell or Albright and one of the guys may be Ford. Again, I don't know yet. But what I do know is that none of them are Eric.

At least there's one bit of good news.

And of course, there's a message waiting for us. This time, all it said was “SMHARTUOYESEI” and then “TOO LATE” written underneath that.

That really makes me freaking hopeful.

I can't even write any more. My mind just exploded at this. How do you sneak four bodies into an apartment without anyone seeing them or hearing the commotion? Piece by piece? Or did they go in through the window off the fire escape? Are they just mocking us now, or are they sending a warning that more of this will follow?

We've finally got bodies stacking up, and it just makes everything worse.

What else is new?

Friday, April 23, 2010


You want an update? Here's your update:

Eric's still missing. It's been three days. Chief's been putting off talking to the press, but he can't avoid it forever. I wonder if there's any way we can avoid telling them that it's a detective from the case that's gone missing, but I suppose press have ways of getting their sources.

Every day I keep coming in to the office expecting to see him working diligently at his desk, but every day I stare at the empty seat and remember that that's not going to happen. Not now, at least.

Out of curiosity, I went through his desk the other day...and, well, three guesses what I found. I guess he and Lizzie must have been sharing information. Pictures and printed out websites all revolving around Secret Agent Man the Alien.

Yeah, not my best pun, but what do you want from me, I've got a lot on my mind.

I'm getting tired of this. Everyone's finding connections to this thing but I just don't want to look there. The minute I start looking there, then it starts to become real, and it's NOT real. I'll acknowledge that Conaghan is using the meme as part of his MO, but I'm not going to dig into everything. I need to keep a clear head, and not get bogged down with shit like this.

We're getting close to Conaghan, I can just feel it. And when we find him, then we find Eric and the kids, and all this blows over...well, not after a lot of therapy for the victims, but it'll blow over.

I just hope they can hang in there a little while longer. Almost there...

Oh, did anyone figure out this frigging anagram yet? I'm horrible with these things, I must have tried five different ways and I'm still not getting any clear sentences. Let me know.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Alright, I'm back, I'm alright, no need to fret.

Though yesterday was no weirder than you'd expect.

People showed up for work about an hour after I got that call. I told the chief, he sent me over there with a couple of officers to investigate. I could tell the whole place was worried, but I just tried to keep a cool head.

Eric lives in a house on the west end of town, not too far from where Jessica Albright's family lives. It's more of a two-story shack than anything else, but it's pretty homely, at least, on the outside. Blue paint, green shutters, even a little garden out front. I never took Eric for the type, but then again, you learn something new every day.

We tried not to make a scene. We just went up to the door and I knocked. They stood on either side, ready to go in on my mark.

“Eric? It's Zeke, you home?”

No answer. I open the door, my gun's out, and we all but storm inside.

Eric's place was a wreck. The couch was overturned and the stuffing was torn out of one of the cushions. The TV was smashed up, the vase was shattered, and almost every single picture that was hanging on the wall had the glass smashed or was hanging crooked. The only picture that wasn't in shambles was the one on his table, the one of him and his old partner, Mickey Scott. I'm still not sure why it was the only one untouched.

I must have searched the entire first floor twice before I moved upstairs. The rest of downstairs was just as big a wreck. The kitchen lost every single dish it had had all over the floor, the bathroom was just unrecognizable (not to mention flooding somewhat), and the dryer in the laundry room had actually been overturned. Over-fucking-turned. Now that's something I've never seen before.

But no Eric.

His bedroom was a mess. The mattress was flipped so that it was leaning against the wall, the springs on the underside twisted and broken. His dresser was rummaged through, and clothes were all over the place. His alarm clock was on the floor in hundreds of little pieces, and the mirror on his door was cracked so bad you couldn't pick your reflection out of it.

The whole place is just a fucking mess. Some of it is just too extreme. This wasn't a robbery or a kidnapping, somebody waged the Vietnam War Part Two in here and bombed the shit out of it. And still, no sign of Eric. No wallet, keys were found under one of his jackets, no visible sign of him anywhere.

Something new happened here. None of this matches the patterns we've been seeing so far. The other kids were taken with almost no effort, and yet here it looks like a fucking rhinoceros charged through here to grab him. Conaghan couldn't have done all this without who else did he have do this?

I told one of the officers to call the station and get more people over here, and I told the other one to start marking outside, make sure no one decided to come snooping. The first one immediately took off, but the second one just stood there looking up at the ceiling like he had mental issues. I snapped my fingers in front of his face to bring him back down to Earth, and he just looked at me for a minute and then went right back to looking up at the ceiling again. Annoyed, I looked up to see what had him so damn transfixed...and saw what was quickly becoming the most redundant part of this whole fucking case. A damn message:



Yeah, I am officially getting sick and tired of that fucking line. If I wanted a preacher's quote, I'd go back to church.

Well, at least it wasn't ALL blood writing this time. But the letters...assuming my memory hasn't gotten fuzzy, because I haven't thought about it much since we discovered it... those are the letters from Albright's diary, right? The capitals from that freaky-ass rhyme-thing she wrote? Some of it's written in what I'm guessing is paint or tar or something...and then the specific letters and the last line are written in blood (for some reason, there's no color options on this damn thing, so I just bolded them so that it would be easier to understand).

I guess there was a message in there after all. Though I don't if it's intentional or just coincidence.

The rest of the department got there and immediately got to work, taking pictures, dusting for prints, all that. Someone was going to take a blood sample, but based off of experience I believed it was safe to assume we weren't going to get anything off of it. Lizzie got here, and when she saw the writing on the ceiling she just gave me that look I knew all too well.

This just got personal.

I'm back at the office now. Eric's face is being printed on a million “Missing” posters as we speak. I look over at his desk, thinking about the conversation we had had barely two weeks ago...and wondering how the hell he got targeted.

He wasn't a threat. He wasn't a major player. He was just doing his job.

And I know what I'm going to hear; how this coincides with the latest Marble Hornets entry. Yeah, well, fuck you. You're saying Eric was kidnapped so that it could be in sync with a fucking video? Kiss my ass. I don't know how you'd plan something like this around a fucking video; especially one that just got put up hours before.

Eric is missing. I don't care what happened in the stupid entry. I care about finding him and the others.

So Slender Heads, piss the fuck off.

I'm finishing this entry before I get angry.

I'll write again when I know more.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Phone Call

Anyone here catch the new Marble Hornets video?

I saw it as I was taking a break from the all-nighter I was pulling. I thought I could just watch it real quick and then get back to work.

Yeah. Guess who still hasn't managed to get back to work, three hours later.

Lizzie is actually passed out on her desk right now, which surprises me. Normally she would have chugged two whole things of coffee and would be up all night. I guess she's finally starting to relax herself more.

So I made the decision to let her sleep now, and I would show her the video later.

Oh what, it's funny when she freaks out.

It's a quiet night out, as I went outside for a coffee break. Plenty of stars in the sky, a little cloudy due to all the rain we got these past couple of days, but still a pretty night. It's hard to really appreciate it in the city, though...I guess that's the one thing that living out in the boondocks has going for it.

But anyway, that's not the reason for the entry.

Like I said before, Eric's been out sick for almost a week now, so I decided to give him a call and check up on him. Yeah, I know it's still early, but when your mind is too jumbled from that freaky fucked-up video (seriously, man, that ending was a mind fuck if I've ever seen one) you basically do anything to calm yourself down. Besides, it was only 5:30 when I called, and we're all usually awake at that time because we all come in to bitch about it later.

I dialed up his number that I got off Lizzie and waited. It rang once, twice, three times, four...then went to voicemail. Maybe he really was asleep, I thought.

Fifteen minutes later, I called again. Again, no answer. This time I leave a message: “Hey Eric, it's Zeke. Listen, I haven't heard from you all week, man, I'm just checking in to make sure you're okay. Gimme a call when you can, alright?”

It was about forty-five minutes ago that I called him again. This time, the phone picked up after two rings, but no voice came on to greet me. I should have realized then that something was wrong, but I just let it go.

“Eric?” I said.

“Eric is not here.”

I tensed up. The voice on the other end almost sounded like Eric...almost. It was too raspy, too sinister, to be his, although the tone and volume were the same as the one he spoke in.

“Who is this?” I demanded.

From the other end, I could hear classical music playing. Beethoven, maybe Bach. Not entirely sure, but it was creepy shit, just music, no voices or anything. My brain was already freaked out from that stupid video, and if this was a prank, I was not in the mood. But before I could say anything, the voice came back on the line:

“Get out while you can, Detective. There is still time.”

That's when the guy hung up. I stood there for another ten minutes, wondering if that conversation had really just played out like that. It was way too unsettling...and all of it came from Eric's home phone, so it's not like someone could have just stolen it off him.

I'm going over later today, once everyone else gets here, just to check up on him and make sure.

I have a bad feeling about this.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oye vey. And I'm not even Jewish.

Sorry for the lack of updates this week, but I have literally been up to my nose hairs in paperwork and reports. It's been a slow, slow week, and I don't think I've left my desk for longer than five minutes at a time.

We've had two more sightings. Two. Both times he just disappears as soon as we're on the scene. It's like he's taunting us...but it also means that something's being planned. He wouldn't be showing himself now if something wasn't up. To the chief, it looks like he's slipping up. To me, it looks like he's being a cocky pissant.

Eric's been out sick since Tuesday, so I've pretty much had to deal with all the paperwork. I hate paperwork. Don't let anyone tell you paperwork is fun; those who do are just lying to make their lives sound important. For every action, there is a heap of forms that has to follow it. I don't know how the guy does it.

Life's more or less how it normally is. Lizzie's fine; she's actually laying off the work a little, which is surprising but reassuring. She comes into work same as she always does, we work, we talk, we argue...just another day at the office.

Still can't shake the feeling that something's coming...but whatever it is, I can't place my finger on it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

So Eric says there was a possible Conaghan sighting outside a café in town. Unfortunately, by the time he got the troops rallied and mustered them forward, he had dropped off the map again. And, since he's really only the back-up man on the case, guess who came back to work to find a giant pile of paperwork on his desk?

I'm pretty aggravated, but I can't even get mad at him. He's just the guy who stays at the desk and finds articles or files or anything to help us out; I'm the one who usually sounds the alarm and marches into battle. He's had enough shit in his life without me making it any worse.

Besides, he's coming down with something. As much of a jerk as I am, I don't yell at sick people.

Lizzie stayed at my house all day yesterday. Not that I really minded. She looked and acted like she always has, but there was still a hint of something being off. I made her waffles, and tried again to get some answers out of her, but she just smiled and insisted it was nothing major.

That's Lizzie for you. She never lets anyone know what's going on in there. I don't know how she survived with that bastard for as long as she did. I guess that's why she still voluntarily goes to see her therapist. She's a strong girl, if only on the outside. On the inside...I can't even begin to guess.

That's what I'm around for. Trying to patch her up. Though sometimes I wonder if I'm doing a good job at all.

We've spent all day trying to work off that lead and not really getting anywhere. Just another day in the office. I feel like we're getting close to something, though...just not sure what.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Carnival

So...yesterday. Yesterday, yesterday, yesterday.

Yesterday was...good, for the most part. Very enjoyable day.

But...well...I don't know...okay, let's just go from the beginning:

I went and picked up Lizzie at around 9:00, because I wanted to get an early start to the day. The plan was to get there early and stay there late, so that we were there for all the main aspects of the day. The carnival's got a lot going on, and I wanted to get to every moment of it.

I bought a little thing of flowers, because that's what my mother taught me to do. Tulips are her favorite, the only reason I know that is because she told me her mother always grew them and stuck them in a vase for her when she was a child. She wouldn't be able to resist it.

I knock on the door and she opened it about ten minutes later. I guess she saw me out the window and decided to make me wait a while. Not that I blame her. But she did eventually open, so she wasn't planning on giving me the cold shoulder forever.

I offered the flowers and she just took them without saying a word to put them in a vase. I don't really get to go into her house, she hates it when people see it. I'm assuming because she brings her work home with her and she covers the place with it. Give it another five minutes and then we're out the door and on our way.

The carnival takes up an entire field, and as we got closer we could see the giant Ferris wheel looming over the hills like the symbolic beacon that it was. I looked over at Lizzie and she was giving me this evil little look, and I knew what she was thinking. Not if I had anything to say about it. I would do the roller coasters and the haunted house, but I was NOT sitting on that Ferris wheel.

At 11:45 we had done the House of Mirrors (I bumped into those fucking walls about seven times...I still have a bit of a headache) and a couple of the smaller roller coasters (a couple of which I had to coax her to get on; she can be a bit of a baby about some rides) and then we were getting some food. I had a good ole' American hotdog with ketchup, and she had some fish n' chips. Her face was starting to light up, and I could tell she was having a good time...even if she was kind of mad at me still.

We walked around for a couple of hours, while she pet all the farm animals that they drag around with them for the little kids. I laughed as she fed the goats and one of the chicken's nipped at her pant leg. Then we got to the part I had been waiting for; the shooting galleries. I walked up and looked up on the wall at the big stuffed lion that was just waiting for someone to claim himself worthy to bring him down.

Well, the new challenger was police-certified with a handgun AND a rifle, so he was about to meet his match. I picked up the rifle, gave Lizzie a wink, and brought the stock to my shoulder.

Five minutes later, we were walking away, me looking quite pompous and Lizzie looking very happy with her lion. I swear to God, we're like a couple of kids.

The rest of the day goes by with us just going on a few more rides, and then before either of us know it, it's dark out and we're looking up at the giant Ferris wheel. She's looking at me with a pleading look, her lion looking at me so that it looked like I was getting a fucking audience. I shake my head. And she pulls the Lizzie face; her lip pouts and quivers, and her eyes just look like Bambi's. She only pulls that face out as a measure of last resort. And God, do I hate it when she does.

Now, I'm not afraid of heights. I can ride the world's tallest roller coaster without a care in the world. It's the speed of the thing that I have a problem with; it just goes so God damn slow. And then it just fucking STOPS, right at the top, for a good five minutes. I mean, seriously? Why would you do that to a person?

But in the end, I have no choice. This was Lizzie's day, and I wasn't about to ruin it.

But I'll tell ya, it was hell. Sitting in that fucking thing, watching as we just spun slowly around and got higher off the ground. Every single time we rose I would squeeze my eyes shut, and then every time we would descend I would gradually open them again. I think Lizzie was enjoying this more, because she just looked out with an awestruck look at our surroundings. I guess this must be what flying was like. Remind me to never travel on a plane.

And then, of course, we stop. Right at the top of the fucking world. My eyes are shut and I refuse to open them, but then I feel something warm and soft wrap its way around my hand. I take a peak and I see Lizzie's hand holding mine. She's not looking at me, but I can tell she's smiling, and despite the situation I felt a smirk come to my face as well.

Thankfully, the nightmare ends. By now the carnival is starting to wrap itself up, but we're not quite ready to go, so we just walk around for a little while, eating cotton candy, until the fireworks go off. The fireworks, honestly, are the best part. It's no Fourth of July, but God damn, is it satisfying.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see all of it. Because that was when the night kind of...I don't know, just ended, I guess.

I tear my eyes away from the fireworks to look at Lizzie for a moment, but she's not even paying attention to the display. Her eyes are looking past me, off to our right, and she looked...scared. And I've never really seen her scared before. She doesn't GET scared; and why should she, I'm her partner, I've got her back. But right then, she looked absolutely terrified.

“What? What is it?”

“Can we go now?” Her voice sounded shaky, as if she was about to have a panic attack or something.

“Lizzie, what-?”

“Please? Can we just go home now?”

I look over to where she was looking, thinking maybe her dad was there, or someone she knew from a past case or an ex-boyfriend that was just staring at her...and if it was either of the three, they had picked the wrong woman to mess with.

But...there wasn't anything. No one looking our way, at least.

“Lizzie, what the hell's wrong?” I ask, looking back at her.

She just looks at me for a second, now disbelievingly, as if...I don't know what. I look back to see if there was something I missed, but I scanned every face in the crowd and for the life of me I still couldn't see anything wrong. I turn back again and she looks a little more composed, but still looking shaken.

“I'm just...tired. Let's go back to your place.”

The ride home was just awkward. I tried to coax some answers out of her, but she just stared ahead of her and clutched that big lion like it was some safety net or something. When we got in the house, she just went upstairs and went straight to bed, no talk, no nothing, just got comfortable and went to bed. So I sighed and just lay next to her, thinking she just had a little panic moment, when I felt her arm creep around my chest and her body pull herself closer, her face burying itself in my chest.

I've never seen her this freaked before. I have absolutely no idea what caused it.

On the plus side, at least she's not pissed at me anymore.

Friday, April 9, 2010


So I figured...well, okay, YOU guys figured, I just agreed with it, but, well, we needed a break. Lizzie more than me.

And, with the carnival in town (she goes fucking nuts about that thing; it's like the one time of the year where she actually ALLOWS herself to be four years old), I figured this was my chance to make up for it. As much of a workaholic as she is, even she can't resist the carnival.

The trick, though, was getting her to agree to a day off. That was easy, though, because of my little back-up card.

Besides Lizzie and I, there's one other guy that's a permanent attachment to the case. See, with any case, there's a detective team, and then there's the regular police. Whenever we need evidence gathered, or perimeters set up, or guarding or whatever, we call in regular officers and they help out. Other than that, though, it's just the three of us that's assigned to this case.

Anyway, the guy's name is Eric Riley. He's thirty-four, he's been around about as long as Lizzie has. About my height, short brown hair, blue eyes, pretty friendly but not in the open-smile kind of way. If you say hi to him or engage in conversation, he'll reply back and carry on until either one of you have to get back to work. Unless engaged, however, he pretty much just sticks to himself. He used to be a working detective, but some shit happened a few years ago and he's been working behind a desk ever since, which suits him.

I don't mention him too often because, well, I don't really know the guy. I mean, I've talked to him a few times, but nothing substantial, Lizzie's normally the one who talks to him. I figured, though, that he wouldn't be opposed to doing me a favor.

So this morning, I walk over to him, trying to catch Lizzie's eye and failing miserably. Eric looked up at me and one look was all he needed to get the idea that I was probably going to yell at him for something. What can I say? I've got a reputation around here for a reason.

Here's the conversation:

Strahm (me): Hey, Eric me boy, how are we today?

Eric: Hey...Zeke...

S: Listen, I need a favor-

E: Uh huh...?

S: I need you to cover the casework tomorrow while I take Lizzie to the carnival.

E:...You're skipping work to go to the carnival?

S: I'm not skipping. I'm taking my day off and I'm giving Lizzie the same opportunity.

E: She never takes a day off, though.

My fists start to clench, and I made sure he saw that to get the point across that he was starting to get on my nerves. Like I've said before; get past a minute in the conversation, then the white flag is taken down and I start looking for heavy objects to beat them to death with.

E: Well, I mean...if you really NEED to-

S: Trust me, we need to. SHE needs to.

Thankfully, this guy's not stupid. He understands. He almost got kicked in the groin by Lizzie earlier today just by asking her if she was okay. He had known her longer than I had; he knew just as well as I did how much she needed it.

E: Okay, um...what if I need to get a hold of you, if I find something?

S: Write it down, put it in an envelope, spread your cheeks apart and stick it up your ass until the next day. This day is for us, alright?

The way it sounded, I realize now, he probably thought we were actually dating. I even saw him raise his eyebrow, but he lost it when I raised my fist as if to threaten him. Reputation. Got to love it.

So, that was settled, I approached Lizzie. She glared at me as I stopped at her desk and gave her an apologetic smile. She returned it with an angry face. Who says this girl ain't as stubborn as me?

I tell her about the carnival, and I see her face slack for a second, before she shrugs it off and tells me she's got too much work. I tell her Eric will take care of it, to which she gives me another look. I give her a smile and tell her it would just be the two of us, and, if she played nice, I might just win a stuffed lion for her.

She's wanted one of those forever...and in the end I think that was what won her over. Not so much the part where it would just be me and her. I knew she wouldn't just forgive me right away, but there was no chance she was going to pass this up.

That went about fairly easy. Now to just make sure tomorrow goes without anything going wrong...

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Horrible fucking day.

Lizzie and I got into a fight. I mean, really fought. We've had arguments and stuff before, plenty of times, but this time we were full-out screaming at each other. Thank God there was no one else in the room with us, or I'd never hear the end of it.

I've never been so angry at her. I'm never seen her so angry with me either, but then again, I'm me, and she gets exasperated with me easily sometimes. Still, this time...Jesus Christ. I can't believe that happened...

I came into the office this morning to find it completely empty. I guess everyone was either eating or on call. It was weird not seeing Lizzie there, but when I walked to her desk and saw her computer on, I knew she was around somewhere. Just another day in the office.

Those fucking drawings were all over her desk. I shook my head as I started clearing them off, because I figured, better to give her a fresh start for the day. And then I happened to glance at her computer, which normally I don't care about because she'll usually tell me whatever she finds...

She had websites up...websites on that fucking Slender Man. All sorts of blogs, pictures, sites that were supposedly studies of the guy...she had maybe eight or nine browsers up, all of them on that fucking son of a bitch urban legend...

And I lost it. I just fucking snapped. I grabbed her mouse and just started clicking all of them off. I don't know if she saved anything, I don't care, she's not pulling that bullshit up when I'm here, I'm not putting up with it...

And of course, she comes in the room just as I'm turning this shit off, and she flips her shit, and I flip my shit back. She's pissed at me because I'm going through her stuff behind her back, and partners don't do that, and I'm livid because she's pulling that myth bullshit up, when she already knows full well how I feel on the overused and overtalked about subject. And how I feel is what I've already said before; it's a crock of shit.

She says to me, “Strahm, you can't honestly tell me you don't see the connection. Never mind the camera and the blood, how about the fact that he's drawing the fucking symbol all over the place! The drawings are of him, isn't it obvious? The guy is using the Slender Man story to scare his victims, to get them nervous, and then he gets them, see, he's mimicking-”

But I don't hear it. I full out scream at her that there was no Slender Man, it was a myth, and...well, then I said that she should start actually doing her job instead of goofing off and looking up ghost stories. That maybe if she did her job, we would have found the kids already.

Yeah, I fucked up. I was mad, do you blame me? But that wasn't even the worst thing I said.

Her eyes started getting watery right after I yelled that. Now, Lizzie doesn't cry, at least, not often. Usually she'll cry when her dad calls her (don't ask), but that's it. She's tough, but at the same time, she's also pretty fragile. She's thirty-two, but she doesn't LOOK thirty-two, you know? And sometimes she doesn't act it either. And right then, seeing her tear up, it looked like I had just screamed at a six-year-old.

“Look, Lizzie, I'm sorry. I'm just mad. Come on, let's grab a bite to eat and look over the evidence again. Maybe we can come up with something we missed before.”

Does that sound nice? Yeah, I think so too.

That's what I SHOULD have said.'s what I actually said:

“Oh, what, you're gonna cry now? You're gonna cry over your little fairy tale being bullshit? Jesus Christ, grow the fuck up and start acting like a fucking cop. I'm not dealing with this bullshit.”

The end. Of course, I also got pissed enough to throw some shit off my desk, but for all intents and purposes it was over. Lizzie stood there, looking like I had just kicked her puppy, and then she grabbed the pictures that I had just cleared off her desk and stormed out of the room without giving me so much as a second's glance.

I didn't see her for the rest of the day. I didn't exactly go to find her either.

God, I feel like shit...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Painting a Better Picture

Sorry for the wait. I've just spent the last couple of days gathering all the information on Conaghan. Figure it's best to paint the entire picture, make sure you- and me- get the entire picture.

Conaghan runs an import/export company that conducts trades with a lot of smaller-to-middle-sized countries. He's got business connections all over the freaking globe. He trades things people need- water, food, tobacco, tools, you name it- and gets what people here want-oil, minerals for weapons, other odds and ends. I know that doesn't sound like much, but think of how shitty the world is right now and you'll see how this would be a big deal.

How he gets this stuff and makes a profit, I'm not entirely sure, but it can't be legal or he wouldn't have gotten five years for fraud. Believe it or not, he gets loads off this stuff, and he can use it to hire his lawyers if anything goes awry. He's got a lot of friends doing what he does. To everyone else in the world, he's an angel; to everyone here, he's a demon.

Conaghan's properties are a bunch of warehouses and storage buildings that he uses for his goods. Of course, over the years they've also been used for his little “extracurricular activity”. Two girls were found tied up in one of the storage facilities, and I don't even want to talk about what their physical condition was in. It's wasn't pretty.

Even with them being found in his fucking properties, he still won't get convicted because of his his lawyers and his bribes. He bribes the parents to keep their mouths shut, he bribes the judge, all that shit. It's despicable. I get pissed off just thinking about it. The five years in jail, he basically continued to run his company from behind bars. The world doesn't think any less of him.

Like I said before, his technique is a simple snatch them in the middle of the night thing. Most girls are let go once he's done with them, but every once in a while he holds on to one of them if he feels a “special attachment.” And, like I've said, any attempts to convict him get stopped dead in its tracks. He's on top of the fucking world, basically. He never admits to anything, and he dishes out the money wherever he can.

There's been a lot of talk from the older guys on the force about just letting ultimate justice handle him. As in, someone goes up, knocks a round into his skull, pop goes the weasel. Hell, I've said it a few times, though I won't admit to it outright. We all know it would do us a favor, but there's shits all we can do about it.

And I know, a lot of this is circumstantial. A lot of this is just my opinion. My opinion, though, isn't far off from the stuff we've gathered on him. We know the truth, even if the rest of the world doesn't want to admit it. We could put him behind bars for a long time if we wanted to, but with the judicial system being what it is here, it's not going to happen.

That's why I'm so sure he's responsible for what's going on now. He got away with the other stuff, and now he's trying to expand his abilities. In my mind, he's the only one who could-and would-attempt it, at least, here. And like I've said before, if he would just come forward, I might just listen to him. If he's not coming forth, even with a public manhunt being issued with his face on it, then that just makes him all the more guilty to me. Yeah, I may be prejudiced towards him, but I don't think he deserves someone being fair towards him.

Lizzie, on the other hand, she isn't so sure. She's holding the same opinion that a couple of you have; that someone else is working here, someone behind the scenes. As good as he is from evading prison time, she doesn't think Conaghan could jam police equipment, knock two guards out, steal a kid, and write a cryptic message in untraceable blood on the ceiling. That, I'll admit, doesn't match up with his pattern. Like I said, he got off before, so he's seeing how far he can take it. But she insists there's something none of us are seeing. Something different.

I don't know, it's possible. What we have on this case doesn't amount to much to begin with. It's a gut feeling and past evidence that's convicting Conaghan right now, and as much as I want to go off that, it's not enough. We need real proof.

I'm just starting to wonder if we're ever going to get it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

Chief's giving me the day to recollect myself. Lizzie says she'll call me if something comes up. I've long since stopped asking why she doesn't take the day off too.

I'm going home to relax. This week's been even worse than the one before it, and this next week is probably going to be just as bad. I'm going to grab a lot of chocolate and just eat until I'm a fat sack of shit.

I'm not saying anything else. I'm just going to de-stress myself.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I am completely at a standstill.

We have nothing. Literally, nothing. No evidence from the room, no clues, nothing. Just an empty cell, three missing kids and a suspect that doesn't want to be found.

The camera? Unreliable. It goes dead during that twenty minute time frame between Sam being there and then being gone. I mean, it just FREEZES. The picture doesn't move. It's STILL not moving, and the techies are still trying to fix it. I don't know what happened, miniature EMP maybe? Yet the other cameras in the precinct are fine...they just don't show anything.

The blood? Untraceable. There's a compound in there that shouldn't be in there, and it's making it impossible to figure out whose blood it really is. There are no fingerprints either. Either someone watched Boondock Saints before they pulled this off, or they're just smart.

I'm not a pleasant person to be around today. Even Lizzie keeping her distance. I'm just livid. Another kid is missing and we have nothing to work off of except more tall tales of the Boogeyman.

God damn it...

We pulled more information on Conaghan, and we discovered a connection between him and Sam. Apparently he had some legal issues with his father a few years ago. Mr. Ford, who is a building contractor, was trying to get a city permit to take down one of Conaghan's warehouses to build another aqueduct for the city with some cleaner water, and Conaghan threw a pissy fit and it didn't get built. There's bad blood there, and it's the perfect motivation for this guy to want to get back at him.

The more information we pull, the more I'm convinced it's him. The evidence just continues to mount against him. He's got the ties, and he's got the locations to pull them off. The man's got buildings all over the city, but as far as I can see none of them go to any use. He's probably got bodies stashed all over this city, or people just waiting and praying for either rescue or a quick release.

The more he makes it obvious, however, the harder it is to get a grasp on his location. The man has literally fallen off the grid. We've searched his apartment and found nothing aside from more drawings. The fucking drawings. We see the fucking drawings everywhere we go. If I see one more crossed-out circle I'm going to go ballistic.

Chief is about to make this a state-wide emergency. That's what I was hoping to prevent but with three kids missing and no end in sight I'm starting to agree. His poster is going out to all neighboring cities and towns, and everyone's putting a curfew into effect. It may be premature, but everyone's getting nervous.

I don't know what to do aside from get more evidence so that when we DO find him, we've got a good case to make against him. Lizzie doesn't help; she's just obsessed with the fucking drawings. She pours over the symbol like it's a fucking religious artifact. She's trying to draw a connection to Conaghan with it and figure out what exactly it's supposed to mean. I personally don't care enough, but she's just really into it.

I'm just waiting for Conaghan to screw up. Because when he does, I'm going to be all over it.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Sam's gone.

His guards have no idea what happened. I'm not sure what to believe. They say one minute he was there, then somehow they BOTH blacked out, because next thing they know it's twenty minutes later and he's gone.

I'm called in, I'm furious, I scream and cuss them out for a good ten minutes, and then I do my inspection. The bed is neatly made, his bag is still right at the foot of the bed, and the kid is just gone. Cell door was closed, window was barred, but he's not here, or anywhere else in the station.

Son of a bitch.

I'm wondering, if it is Conaghan, how the hell he did it. Was it hypnosis, was it some ability to project thoughts into heads like Matt Parkman from Heroes, or did he just drill a hole through the floor and take him that way, burying it back up as he left? This is freaking ridiculous, we have the kid IN THE STATION and guarded and he still goes missing. These two guys are in a load of trouble right now.

There's something else...something I'm still not entirely sure about, but definitely could not write off. I'm not sure how you'd be able to write off something like this. As I was about to leave, I glanced up at the ceiling, wondering if maybe he came in through a hole in the roof, and I spotted...well, it's hard to know until the lab reports come back in, but I'm guessing was blood. Blood writing. As if this wasn't creepy enough for me, someone had to go and write this:

EZEKIEL 3: 16-21


That last statement...Sam said the exact same thing during the interrogation. I'm hoping that's not his blood, but at this point it wouldn't surprise me. What is it supposed to mean, though?

As for the Bible passage...I don't know what it is, I haven't read the Bible since I was ten. If anyone out there knows what it is, knock yourself out. But it's not the passage itself that bothers me.

It's the book it's from.


That hits just a bit too close to home for me. And I don't think I have to say why.

I'm just hoping no one's about to make this personal, because if they are, God help them.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Albert Conaghan.

Forty-three-year-old man, runs a warehouse on the outskirts of the city. Acquitted of rape three times, got off on technicalities twice. The third time, another technicality got him only five years. The guy's good at what he does, and right now, he's our only suspect.

Recent pictures put him at balding, with a blank face like nothing ever fazes him, and almost always dressed in formal attire. That right there was enough to convince me, but it's not enough to book him. His habits, though, would be enough to at least put forth an investigation. He was always one of those “sneak in through the windows and drag them off into the woods” kind of guys; fast, dirty, and never letting them see his face. That would explain Victoria Krell, at least. Maybe she had gone out to look at the sky and he finally nabbed her.

Two irregularities here, at least, at first glance. There may be more, I'll need to look more into it. One, he had never been known to target males. In my mind, if your side-profession was a rapist, the only thing that meant was that you hadn't tried it yet. See, in my little world, if you like forcefully sticking your dick in things you shouldn't be sticking it in, then before long you'd try to stick your dick in a crocodile's mouth for pleasure. That's just in my world, though. You can tell I don't think too highly of the subject, huh?

The second irregularity is that he never left a calling sign. In this case, the “X” in the circle, which, although I'm sure this will re-attract all the Slender Man fankids, does look a lot like the Operator symbol. Maybe the guy's watched the videos and decided to make it his own calling card, like he's trying to be funny. Yeah, well, I'd like to see him laugh behind bars, because I'm making sure that he goes away permanently this time.

He's got a lot of properties in this city. Problem is, we can't seem to locate him at any of them. He dropped off the map about six months ago, and no one has an exact clue as to where he is. My guess is that he conducts his business like he does every other day, just a bit more quietly.

We've put out a bulletin to all local towns telling him to keep a lookout and handed over the most recent pictures. The guy can't hide forever, and when he pops up, we'll be on him like vultures to a dead carcass.

In other news, Sam's spent two nights here, and nothing bad has happened. He's actually even calmed down a little bit. Chief's thinking about sending him home and keeping a few guards outside his house. Might not be a bad idea; only problem is, how long can we afford to keep it up?

We interviewed all the other kids who saw him that day. All of them are perfectly healthy, doing regular routines, not having a care in the world. They all remember seeing him, but none of them thought too much of it and they pushed him out of their minds. So again, I'm back to asking what is so special about Sam. Did he just look more vulnerable? True, he's probably been stuffed in a couple dumpsters in his day, but that can't be the only reason.

Lizzie keeps going over all the stuff we've found. The drawings, the journal, the tape recording from the interrogation, all of it. I tell her to take a break, but she just smiles and waves me off. She's a fanatic with her work, it's unhealthy. She's got more vacation time saved up than any of us combined, and yet she still shows up here six days a week, seven if she's not feeling like taking a day off or needs to get some work finished. I admire that about her, but at the same time it bothers me that she works herself to near-death.

She needs a life. I try to make her have one, but nothing I do works. That's just how she's programmed.

Alright, I'm stopping here, because I should have eaten lunch an hour ago and I'm starving.