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The mind is an amazing thing, operating on so many different levels. And the fact that each mind reacts differently to various stimuli is also mind-boggling.
It is equally amazing how a physical event can trigger a mental change. The body and mind truly act as one. I am sure it must be fascinating to do research into that intimate connection between mind and body.
But I diverge from my story. I shall start in the middle and later return to the beginning. And then I will end it.
A substantial inheritance from a deceased uncle permitted me to be a man of leisure, to spend my time traveling the country. I wanted for no material possession. I could discard items at will knowing that I could easily replace them.
This made my hobby all the easier. Though it has always been more than a mere hobby. It is a passion, an integral part of my lifestyle.
And it is illegal. Both crime and sin.
How the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered my activities mystified me. As I sat on my bed in the Red Roof Inn, watching Saturday morning cartoons, two agents burst into my room, their pistols at the ready.
I offered no resistance as they patted me down for weapons. I knew my hotel room was clean, free of any incriminating evidence. I remained calm though my mind raced over my recent activities, trying to discern where I might have made a mistake.
The agents then closed the door and sat down on the two chairs in the room, the barrels of their firearms pointing toward the floor.
Of course I said little, only evidencing shock that they were in my room. Feigned innocence. An overly garrulous criminal too often betrayed himself or even confessed.
Both agents were similar in appearance, tall, well-built men with dark hair and wearing black suits. They possessed a definite air of authority, a natural dominance. These were seasoned agents and not rookies.
Strangely enough, they did not press me with questions. In fact, they did not ask me anything at the start. Instead, one of the agents began to recite a list of crimes, the same offense in each example yet the methods varied significantly. It seemed to be a random list.
A mother of three was carjacked in Boston. Her bullet-riddled corpse was found six days later in behind a suburban mall.
A female college student was abducted from a California campus. Her body washed ashore two weeks later, apparently the victim of strangulation.
A female attorney vanished from her apartment in Chicago. She was never found and there was no evidence of a forcible abduction.
And nine more incidents were recited.
The agent was quite confident in his recitation, almost smug. Somehow he knew the truth, knew things he should never have known. How had I erred so badly?
The agent stopped after listing twelve crimes but it was clear that he could have continued listing them if he wished. He simple chose to stop at that point.
Twelve crimes that began with abduction and ended in murder. Twelve crimes that occurred in twelve different states. Twelve crimes that did not appear related on the surface.
Yet that list depicted my last twelve crimes.
Fear now began to insinuate itself into my bones. My crimes were sufficient to warrant capital punishment.
My eyes scanned the room quickly, trying to note the exits. I was sure though that I would never get past these two armed men. They were professionals.
I was a professional as well, yet in a different field. Or at least that it was I thought at that moment.
I consider myself a serial kidnapper. The murders are incidental to the abductions, simply a way to reduce the evidence. To eliminate the witnesses.
Sixty-seven women over an eleven-year period. Each abducted. Each kept for a short time, no longer than ten days. Each killed at the end of that time period.
I reveled in the hunt, a predator thrilled by the pursuit of the innocent game. I was a particularly skilled hunter, intelligent, meticulous and imaginative. The rapes and killings were of only tertiary importance at best.
I was thoroughly familiar with modern-day forensics. I knew how laboratories could develop minor bits of evidence and amass enough to lead to a conviction. So I took great care to eliminate as much trace evidence as possible.
I also knew that law enforcement relied on patterns. That is how they catch criminals who engage in frequent crimes. Most criminals are creatures of habit and act within a certain pattern. That allows law enforcement to better correlate similar crimes and eliminate potential suspects.
I did my best to avoid any pattern. I varied my methods, my choice of victims, my locale, my physical appearance. I traveled the country, remaining only briefly in any one location. I did not want law enforcement to connect my crimes together.
And I thought I had been successful.
Had it been only arrogance? Had I failed to see the obvious? Had my lack of a pattern actually created its own pattern?
Obviously the FBI had been onto me for quite some time. They had connected up twelve of my crimes and obviously knew of more as well. That indicated I had been an utter failure in concealing my crimes.
Had I desired subconsciously to be caught?
But, if the FBI knew for so long then that begged the question of why they had not arrested me previously. For how long were they aware of me? Or in fact had they just figured out the puzzle?
After reciting the litany of my crimes, both agents just sat and waited, waited for me to respond.
What should I say? Would a denial be of any worth? Did they have the evidence concerning my crimes or was it mostly speculation, accurate but still only a theory?
I decided to allow the agents to make the next move. I simply asked them what they wanted. I did not admit or deny the charges. They were here for a reason or they would have immediately arrested me and taken me to their offices.
The second agent now spoke and this time all he did was list the evidence they had in those twelve crimes, including photographs and video surveillance. Sufficient evidence to convict me in any court. Sufficient evidence to guarantee a lethal injection.
Now I was very puzzled. If they had so much evidence then why did it take them so long to arrest me? Were they even FBI agents?
Once he finished, I then told them to either arrest me or stop playing games and tell me what they wanted. I tried to maintain a façade of bravado though I felt my world crumbling.
They both smiled and the first agent then spoke again. He told me that they wanted me to work for them. As a kidnapper.
He was completely serious and I was stunned. Why in the hell did they need a kidnapper? To abduct mobsters and spies? Couldn’t the CIA help them? It made no sense whatsoever.
The first agent went into greater detail and the more I learned, the better I felt. They were not actually agents of the FBI. The gist of the matter seemed to be that the two men actually worked as agents for an international slavery ring.
They abducted women and sent them to areas where slavery existed. Probably places like Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
They needed professionals to assist them in obtaining women, men skilled in eluding the authorities. They highly respected my skills, having been watching me for some time.
They would pay me well for my work and also help to protect me from the authorities. They could supply me with the necessary equipment and intelligence needed.
All to do what I was now doing for free, on my own. My passion would become my occupation. How fascinating.
Could their offer have been any better? It was like a dream come true. How could I refuse?
But if I did refuse, what would happen?
Obviously their evidence would end up in the hands of law enforcement and I would soon thereafter be arrested. Or they just might kill me now.
I had to know though how they had discovered me. I needed to know where I had made a mistake. I needed to correct any errors that I was making. But, it was more professional pride than anything else.
The agent informed me that one of my victims had been under surveillance by their organization, as they had desired to abduct her. They witnessed me kidnapping her and then placed me under surveillance.
They then followed my career for a time while doing a thorough background investigation. They had pursued me from state to state, admiring my technique. They even wanted me to share some of my techniques with their other abductors.
I was hooked. I agreed to join their employ.
A pleasant and fruitful year passed.
My efforts had become almost routine. My employers chose the targets and did the preliminary surveillance work. I showed up, spent a week stalking the target, getting a feel for the area and getting to know the woman. Then I kidnapped her.
Everything went smoothly and I worked quite steadily. I abducted 35 women that year, vastly more than I had ever done in a single year before. I had no complaints and my employers treated me very well.
I even ran a couple seminars for their other employees on abduction techniques.
And during that year I learned much more about my employers. I learned the ultimate destination of the women I procured. That revelation was quite shocking and almost unbelievable.
The women were being transported to another planet, a place called Gor where slavery was actually legal. My employers operated a few black spaceships that traveled between Earth and Gor. Gor was located in the same orbit as Earth but on the other side of the Sun.
I did get a brief ride in one of the ships and my employers promised me a vacation on Gor in the near future. I eagerly looked forward to that opportunity. There were men on Gor, Slavers, who abducted women for a living.
I then received an unusual assignment, a difficult case that had been specially ordered. I was not told exactly who was choosing the women but knew that she would not be taken to Gor. The buyer wanted to keep her somewhere on
The private buyer had chosen a woman who lived behind extensive security. In fact, she rarely ever left her home. And when she did leave, she was surrounded by bodyguards and other forms of security. It would be a difficult abduction.
If I could succeed though, I would be well rewarded. And I would immediately leave for a vacation on Gor.
Based on the preliminary security data, I was fairly sure that I could do it. It would be a challenge but well within my capabilities.
No security system is perfect. There are always flaws and potential weaknesses. It was simply a matter of determining where they existed, locating the area to exploit.
I carefully analyzed the surveillance data. I made careful notes, assessing possible flaws in the security arrangements.
I then perused the reports on the target, trying to learn her routine, her personality. The more I knew of her, the easier the abduction. I could predict her behavior, her responses.
I examined the few photos of the target, most of them at too great a range to see much detail. But there were two that were much closer, giving a vivid picture of this stunning woman.
Stunning and shocking. I knew this woman. And she was supposed to be dead. Suppressed memories flooded my mind.
Step back about fifteen years. I am a man in love, newly married. My bride is a wonderful person, beautiful, intelligent, witty, creative, and so much more.
Soon after my marriage I came into my inheritance. It was unexpected and I knew that my bride had not married me just for my money. I had been a struggling attorney when we wed.
But, a year after our wedding, tragedy stuck. Utter devastation. A time of great change, of great sorrow.
A significant turning point.
My wife, Susanne, was abducted. Two men broke into my house, kidnapping her. They took nothing else, just her.
I returned home that night after work and found the chaos in my house. Susanne must have put up quite a fight. I immediately contacted the police.
The next few days were hell. I could not sleep or eat, nervous and scared. I imagined the horrors that Susanne must have been enduring.
I made television pleas for her releases. I cooperated with law enforcement in every way, especially as I realized that they might consider me a suspect. I wanted them to have to reason to doubt me.
Her dead body was found a week later, horribly burned.
A single police officer stumbled upon the scene, Susanne’s two abductors also close by. They had been watching her burn.
The officer tried to arrest the men but they possessed pistols and shot at the officer. He returned fire and killed both of them.
The two men were later found to be drug addicts with lengthy criminal records. The shooting was considered justified and the officer was declared a hero.
But Susanne was dead.
I could not handle the situation. I quit my job, remained within my house and refused all visitors and telephone calls. I had constant nightmares that only alcohol could blot out so I spent a month in a drunken stupor.
And matters just got worse.
My mind snapped. I lost touch with reality. I wanted revenge against the world, to make others feel my pain. So much anger, so much hate and rage.
I realized how alone I had always been, without any real friends. My family members were all deceased. My wife, Susanne, had been everything to me. And without her, there was little reason to exist.
If there had been even one friend, maybe things would not have gotten to the state that they did. But with no support, I walked to the edge and jumped into the great abyss of darkness.
A psychiatrist might have some elaborate rationale for what occurred to me. All I know is that I became the monster I hated.
As the months passed, I transformed into a man of evil. My only release from my anguish and torment was when I submitted to the darkness within me.
I forgot about my past, suppressing everything I had experienced. Susanne became a non-entity, less than a ghost. My life began again.
Everything before that was darkness.
Nearly one year after Susanne’s death, I committed my first crime. I kidnapped a young woman from a dark parking lot.
I held her in a motel room for five days, keeping her bound and gagged. I sat for hours just watching her. I knew she was petrified and sad. I watched her tears fall.
But my soul was dead and I felt no sympathy for her. Maybe this had been a test for me. And I had failed. Failed miserably.
I placed her into the bathtub and then slit her throat. I waited until she was dead and then dumped her body deep in some nearby woods.
After that, the crimes got easier. I wanted to avoid being caught so I planned everything very carefully. I traveled frequently so that it would be harder for the various law enforcement agencies to create a pattern.
I became a kidnapper, rapist and murderer.
I felt no remorse, no guilt. I felt only anger and rage. I wanted every man to know the pain I had experienced. The fact was though that I rarely thought about exactly what I was doing.
And now a door had opened, and the truth burst forth. This Jekyll and Hyde transformation became self-evident and I screamed in agony. At that very moment, I wished to die.
I wanted alcohol, drugs, something to blot out my memories once again. I wanted to retreat back to my shell, to resign my memories to an endless pit. I needed the wine of oblivion.
But I refused to succumb to those desires. It was an incredible effort but I had to face myself, confront my demons. If only I could stop shaking. If only I could stop vomiting.
A few hours passed as I sat on my floor, trying to stop my shaking, trying to prevent myself from just slashing my wrists.
What gave me strength was that photograph of Susanne. She had changed her name. She was now Erika but it was my wife. I could not mistake her face despite the years that had passed. It was not a twin or a look-alike. It was her.
As I finally went back to reading the report on her, my surety increased. Her file only began about twelve years ago. Prior to that time, no records had been discovered though efforts continued.
What had happened? How was she still alive? Who was the burnt corpse that had been found with the kidnappers? So many questions and not a single answer.
What should I do?
What should I do?
What should I do?
I was expected to begin the abduction in about two weeks. And I knew my employers would not permit me to refuse this assignment. And even if they did, they would have someone else do it. They had an order for her abduction and they planned to fulfill that order.
I knew at that moment that I could never again abduct another woman. Not with the clarity of memory I now possessed. How did I convince my employers I wanted to quit? They were the type to give me a permanent retirement, a bullet in the brain.
Yet only one thing truly mattered. I needed to prevent Susanne from being abducted. I needed to make her safe, no matter what the consequences to myself.
I was a dead man walking. My crimes were horrendous and worthy of death. I could never live with those memories. My behavior could not be excused under any circumstances.
But before I died I would like to know the truth about Susanne’s abduction. And I vowed to prevent her abduction as well. Though I was not sure how I could do that.
I used my mind to develop a plan, to counter all the kidnapping techniques I knew. I used my mind to devise a scheme to cheat my employers of their intended target.
It was easy to fool my employers. After a year, they trusted me greatly. Plus, I was a good enough actor that they did not realize I was any different. I asked the right questions and gave the right advice.
I was supposed to stalk Susanne for one week prior to the actual abduction. I would thus have that single week to enact any plan I devised. My biggest obstacle would be avoiding all of the surveillance. I needed time alone with Susanne.
So, after three days of stalking, I suggested a few changes to the surveillance patrols. I advised them of certain areas I wished covered based on my preliminary findings. This was not an unusual request so it was granted.
There would now be a couple gaps in the surveillance, gaps that could be exploited.
On the fifth day, I chose to act, to confront Susanne. To learn some answers and to warn her. And possibly to make plans to help her vanish.
I used the surveillance gaps to approach Susanne’s house undetected by my employer’s team. I then bypassed Susanne’s own security and entered her home. She should be alone at this time.
As I crept through the house, I finally located her in her library, reading a book on Hannibal. The Carthaginian general, not the cannibal.
She was startled by my sudden appearance, readied to scream and then stopped when she recognized me.
I was unsure of how she would react when she recognized me. I was not prepared for her rushing over toward me and embracing me tightly. I felt the warmth of her body through her thin silk kimono. She clung to me fiercely, near silent sobs just audible.
I felt so dirty that I did not want her touching me but I also could not force her away. I then asked her to quickly tell me what happened so many years ago.
She continued to hold me and in between sobs, told me her story. She had been abducted by the two men, repeatedly raped and beaten. There had been another woman there as well, one who looked similar to Susanne. She too had been kidnapped.
But this other woman was a hitchhiker, a transient. No one even knew she was missing.
The two women were kept bound and naked. A week after Susanne was kidnapped, the hitchhiker found a way to escape from her bonds. She then donned Susanne’s dress and took her personal items and prepared to flee.
Just before she left, she loosened Susanne’s bonds just enough so that she could escape as well, though it would still take her some time to finishing undoing her bonds.
Susanne did flee, about five minutes later, clad in only a dirty men’s shirt. Only seconds later, the two men returned to their cabin, just missing Susanne.
The kidnappers must have went in pursuit of their escaped victims and caught up with the hitchhiker. They chose to kill her, trying to burn the body to eliminate the evidence.
They were killed by the police officer before they could say anything. Based on finding Susanne’s identification, the police simply assumed the burnt corpse was her. The case was considered closed.
Susanne ran and ran through the woods only to stumble upon some other derelicts. They captured her and then abused her as well. She endured their abuse for several months before finding a way to escape.
At that point, her mental state was very fragile. She hid in the woods, a frightened animal. She remained there for a few more months, scavenging for food.
The shock and trauma had numbed her. She became nearly feral.
Eventually, she traveled on a few trains with some hoboes, relocating away from those terrible memories. She then began to integrate herself back into society, willing to do whatever it took to survive.
She had forgotten much of her past, as I had. It was much easier to forget than to deal with a series of traumatic experiences.
She eventually got a job as a waitress. It paid her just enough to afford a tiny apartment and some basic essentials.
One day, one of her customers asked her to dinner. That was a common occurrence and she had always refused such requests before.
But this time she did not. He was a handsome man, a confident man who seemed well off.
They began dating and three years ago she married him, using a fraudulent driver’s license. She had become Erika. And she would not look to the past. She always remained forward looking, away from all her pain. Her new husband accepted it.
She still had occasional nightmares of abduction though and that is why there was so much security. Her husband, Nathaniel Abbott III, was a wealthy stockbroker and gave her anything she desired.
She had not thought of me in almost thirteen years.
But she was so very happy to see me once again. The pleasant memories of our life together, before the tragedy struck, swelled within her. She began remembering so much that she had repressed.
And I deserved none of it.
She begged to know about my life, what I was doing now, what had happened to me. I sat her back down so that I could talk to her.
I told her that I was aware of a plot to abduct her, a sophisticated scheme that could penetrate her security. She was in grave peril and I doubted her house was safe. She needed to flee, to elude the surveillance on the house.
I told her that I did not have sufficient time to explain more but that she needed to flee immediately. The urgency was that serious. I promised to tell her much more once she was in safety.
Without a further question, Susanne trusted me.
Susanne wasted little time preparing to leave, packing a small bag and recovering some cash and jewelry. She was trusting me implicitly and that made me feel even worse.
We exited her home and I directed her through the surveillance gaps so that no one would know we had left.
We then got into my car and drove off, headed north. I kept checking for anyone attempting to shadow us but our escape seemed clean.
We eventually stopped at a small motel to rest for a bit. I rented us two rooms though Susanne said it was not necessary. It was obvious she still loved me, despite all these years and despite all she had undergone.
I left her in one room while I went into my own room to shower. I warned her not to use the phone and told her that I would see her in about an hour.
In my room, I first checked on a couple matters. I had rented this room on previous occasions and made some alterations in it. Some of the baseboards could be removed, hiding a cache of items in the spaces behind them. My car was also fully stocked. I always preferred to be prepared.
When I went back to Susanne’s room, she was eagerly awaiting my return. She had so many questions for me.
I told her that I first had to guarantee her safety. I had to return to near her house to confront her would-be abductors. I told her that law enforcement was expecting to meet me near there.
I told her to remain in the motel for another day until the matter was over. I then gave her a sealed envelope and told her to read this if I did not return. She could watch the news and wait for the incident to be broadcast.
Because she trusted me she agreed. But I would not return. This would be my final stand. The monster must die.
I drove back to her house the next morning, just before the shift change on the surveillance crew. With a silenced Sig Sauer, I eliminated the entire crew and then waited for their replacements to arrive.
I killed them as well.
Some of these men had become my friends. Yet they were all complicit in a long string of heinous crimes. I could show no emotion. They all needed to die and I had to do so efficiently and without error.
In their surprise, they were unable to reach their own firearms in time. It was a slaughter.
I then contacted my employers and told them there was an emergency situation and I needed to see them immediately. They trusted me so readily agreed to the meeting.
We were to meet at their safe house. I knew that they did not maintain bodyguards there. They had plenty of electronic security but it was useless as they would allow me free entrance into their place.
I was cognizant that both of my employers were skilled in martial arts. They were especially conversant with the short sword. I would need to act quickly against them, to exploit the advantage of surprise.
When I met them at their safe house, my pistol was in my hand behind my back. I then whipped my hand around and shot them both in the kneecaps.
They dropped to the floor in agony. They would not die from the shots but would be in great pain. I wanted them to feel the intensity of that pain as it would make my interrogation easier.
I demanded to know the identity of the man who wanted Susanne.
My employers possessed a high tolerance for pain and much stamina. It would not be easy to get them to answer my question.
And I still needed to be careful as these men were still dangerous, even with bullets in their knees.
I had to eventually kill one of my employers and shoot the other men in the genitals before I got the name. A name I immediately recognized.
I continued to interrogate my remaining employer to ensure the name was correct. In the end, I ended his misery with a bullet in the head.
I then scoured the safe house for anything useful. I reviewed their computer records and written documents. It appeared that my employers worked largely as independents. If their records vanished, then no one else would know of Susanne.
So I destroyed everything, the computers, paper files, videos, photographs, etc. I then set the house on fire, ensuring there was plenty of flammable liquids throughout the place.
Darren Ignatius Thorn was a wealthy politician, a Senator who was known as a good friend of Bill Clinton. It was also said that Darren had a wandering eye just like Clinton. Obviously Darren’s eye extended further than just some illicit sex. He wanted an actual slave.
Somehow Susanne had caught his eye. And I could not allow him to claim her. I had no choice.
Darren was in town at some political convention, supporting some local politicians coming up for re-election. It was not hard to find out which hotel he was staying at.
I called the Senator, bypassing his assistants with a vague mention of a special delivery that the Senator had ordered from a very discrete party. The Senator was anxious and confused when he first got onto the phone.
I told him that there had been some snags that required a change in plans. Though the girl had been taken, some of the details of the exchange needed to be altered. The Senator started questioning me, providing me with many details of how it was supposed to have occurred.
Such a trusting fool.
I improvised quickly, changing the hotel where we were to meet. In the hotel lobby, he would give me the final installment on the payment. I would then give him a room key that he could use to access the room where the girl was secured.
Why was he handling all the arrangement personally? Someone of his stature should have delegated these matters to underlings. Maybe he did not trust them.
Such a careless fool.
I waited in the hotel parking lot, watching for the Senator. He pulled up a few minutes before our scheduled meeting time. He was actually alone. No cars appeared to be following him either.
I intercepted him on the way to the lobby and made him follow me into one of the rooms. I had a gun to his back.
Inside the room, I interrogated him and it did not take much for him to break down, begging me to let him live. He told me everything I wanted to know.
The Senator knew Susanne’s husband and had met Susanne at a political function, one of her rare public appearances. He had been mesmerized with her since that day. His desire had intensified with each passing day.
The Senator had some vague connections who had gotten him in contact with my recently deceased employers. The Senator had then dealt with them who arranged for the abduction. Susanne would have been kept in a remote mountain retreat owned by the Senator.
There was little else he could tell me of any value. No one else knew of any of the specifics of his plans.
So I killed him as well.
Susanne should be safe now. There was no longer a buyer for her. And she did not fit the profile for Gor. She was too old at this point, in her 40s. Still beautiful but just not the right profile for Gor.
There remained but one loose end, myself. I was damned for my sins, the evil I had participated in for so many years. Susanne did not need me in her life. She needed stability and love.
I could give her neither. All I could give her I just had, by eliminating those who desired to abduct her.
When she read the letter in her envelope, she would understand. I had written much of my story. The envelope also considered my newest will, granting everything to Susanne.
She would be glad that I was gone.
There was no way to repent for all of my crimes. No other human being should have to be with me. Especially not Susanne. She had endured so much already.
She could return to her husband, her safe life. It was time for me to move on.
So I sit on the hotel bed, my pistol in my right hand. The Senator’s body lies in a pool of sticky blood on the floor.
It is time for the final act in this tragedy. The monster must be destroyed so that the beautiful princess can live happily ever after.
My eyes close and I say a silent prayer, knowing I will soon end up in hell.
I place the barrel of the pistol against my temple.