CHAPTER 2 I found it behind a stack of wooden pallets. Or rather, I found him, my would-be john, the rat-faced asshole who’d leaped over his car and started this merry chase. He was naked, face-down on the filthy concrete, his skinny—and hairless—body slicked with sweat. It looked like he’d crawled until his body gave... Continue Reading →
Saturday, 7:17 a.m. 2500 Crescent Drive, Mitchum Bay, Texas Brittany (she preferred Britt) Parrish trotted across the front yard belonging to her best friend and neighbor Daniele Peterson, feeling irritated but not concerned. The two families had planned to spend the day at the Houston Zoo, and they were supposed to be on the road... Continue Reading →
David It occurs to me, as I cover Elizabeth with my jacket, that I'm an idiot. I should have tried to make it to the car, to see if there really is a barrier. I know I walked up to the house with no problem. Maybe whatever stopped her from leaving wouldn't have stopped me.... Continue Reading →
I snagged David's jacket sleeve and stopped him from crossing the threshold. I whispered, "Hold on a sec, just hold on." He turned his head to me, his eyebrows raised. "We can't do anything," I said. Quizzical look on his face. "Do you really want to watch a family get murdered and not be able... Continue Reading →
"Nope nope nope," I repeated as I got to my feet. I set my sights on the car and started walking toward it. Eyes front, Elizabeth. Ignore the house at your back. Ignore the hard-packed dirt under your boots, when by all rights it should be mud and scrubby weeds and the occasional styrofoam soda... Continue Reading →
I got out of the car and paused, one hand on the door handle, the other on my Maglite. David had removed the dome light after we'd parked, the better to sneak up on dipshit ghost hunters, so it stayed dark, no light to mess up my night vision. Not that I was using my... Continue Reading →
(From Ghostly Legends and Monstrous Myths of Texas, by Harrison Folger, copyright 1994 by Big Armadillo Press at the University of Texas) On October 30, 1920, Merllyn Sanger came home to his two-story frame house after a 12-hour shift at the Collins Paper Mill. Sanger, like most people in his tiny community, didn't have a... Continue Reading →
Ricardo "Richard" Ramirez was born February 29, 1960, in El Paso, Texas. The youngest of five children, he suffered two serious head injuries during his childhood: at age two, a dresser fell on top of him, cutting open his forehead; at age five, a park swing knocked him unconscious. The latter injury caused epileptic seizures... Continue Reading →
(Rerun here, because it’s the hundredth anniversary of these attacks.)
I’m profiling a different sort of killer today: the shark (or sharks) responsible for the Matawan Creek attacks in 1916.
It started on July 1, 1916, when 23-year-old Charles Van Sant arrived in Beach Haven, New Jersey. Eager to escape the heat, the vacationing Philadelphian dove into the Atlantic Ocean. He was about fifty feet from shore when other swimmers noticed a large shadow following him. He never heard their warning cries. The shadow pulled him under. A few moments later, the area where he’d been turned red.
Alexander Ott, a former Olympic swimmer, raced to Van Sant’s rescue. Ignoring the injured man’s attacker, Ott found Van Sant, pulled him up to the surface, and then to shore. Van Sant’s legs were mangled. He bled to death on the beach.
If this had happened today, it’d…
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