“The third victim was a paranormal type. You know, the sort of person who decided to make her own ghost hunting team after watching any of those shows out now,” Anna said as we walked into the office.
She hadn’t been able to sleep last night so I guess she’d started going through victim threes files.
“So what’s your point?” I asked. Sleeping on her couch every night was making me cranky but thankfully all the weird things had all but stopped happening and the paranoia and fear was dying down too. I could probably move back into my place soon.
“So, I don’t know. Hey, where’s John?” We walked into our office, boxes and coffee in hand. We sat down at our desks and sipped our coffee for a few minutes before diving into this God awful case once more. Before we could get too into our missing intern, one of the forensic scientists came into the room with an envelope.
“Here’s the DNA sample back, guys,” he said. We’d sent him the sample when we were working on the first victim. The CSI team grabbed blood samples from the candles he’d blown out in the first murder.
“And? Get a match?” I asked.
“Not even close. It’s not even human. I did every test I could think of a million times. It’s just not human. Humans have 46 chromosomes, right; this had 58. I have no idea what it could be.” Anna and I looked at each other.
“Weird,” she said. “Thanks Max.” He put the envelope with the DNA test results on my desk and left.
“Anyways,” I said. “I don’t know. I think someone said he called in sick or something. John did look a little under the weather yesterday.” Anna nodded in agreement.
“Hopefully he gets back soon,” she said.
Anna and I went back to the pictures of the third crime scene. It was all the same. Blood, guts, unbelievable gore. I still was not used to it though. It was all more grotesque and inhumane than I thought even possible. I got to a picture of her head. There was a slim white stick-looking item sticking out of her skull. Her hair had dried blood all over it and her eyes sat there open and unseeing, well, one of them at least, like that of a porcelain doll watching you as you sleep. From her mouth, blood ran down her cheek onto the ground. Her head sat in a pool of her own blood. But the bone-appearing item stuck into her head was pristine. A pure unsettling white. I showed it to Anna.
“I think that’s in the box,” she said, pointing to the stick.
“Forensics determined it to be a bone.” I shuddered.
Anna dug through the box and took the bone out. I took the bag from her and looked at it. Forensics is always careful to not disturb the way the evidence was found. And even with that care, it was disturbingly white.
“Let’s just watch the video and get it over with,” I said.
“It can’t be that bad,” Anna said. “We’ve seen two of the most brutal and horrifying murders already and this victim has most of her body parts still intact, unlike the first two”.
“I guess so. I just don’t want to have to look at pictures of dead people anymore. I’ve had enough for one year,” I said, exhausted.
Before she pushed play on the video player, we just sat there. I guess we were preparing ourselves for it, even if we’d already seen it all.
It was then our boss came in, urging us to finish this case. We sucked up and got him out of the room. Anna pushed play.
The video started off in what looks like a bedroom. The camera was handheld. The victim sounded excited. She had a chipper light voice and the camera was moving around rapidly. We heard a bunch of clicks and snaps and sounds of clothes rustling. We figured she was getting something together or putting something on. All of a sudden the camera swung up and we could see her hands grabbing different electronic devices.
“Ok! I’m all set up. I have my camera on my shoulder mount; I have my EVP recorder, my infrared scanner and many other pieces of equipment for my line of work,” she said while looking into a smaller camera. We would watch that tape but it this was the only tape in the evidence box.
“It is 9:14 pm here in Seattle, Washington. This is an unofficial SPA investigation. I say unofficial because nobody else in my team is here and I am off the clock. I am in my house all by myself with my little corgi puppy Samson.”
She was still getting herself ready and giving us other useless information about her house and her equipment she was using. SPA stood for “Seattle Paranormal Association” and it turns out she was the cofounder of it. We decided to fast forward a little bit until we saw her go to the door of her bedroom and open it.
“Okay all you ghost hunt fans out there, just a few minutes ago, I was hearing strange thumps and what sounded like someone talking. I could hear the voice, but I just couldn’t make out what the person or thing was saying. I hope to capture something on my equipment and share it with you guys.”
She walked down the hall until she came to her living room. Right upon entering the living room, to her right was a recliner chair and straight ahead was a couch. She stopped in her tracks.
“It just got really cold. Perhaps this is a good place to do an EVP recording. I’ll just take a walk around the rest of my house first so I know where to go after this, unless this is the only cold room.”
She walked throughout her house. Only the living room seemed cold to her. She also mentioned that the living room was where the thumps sounded like they were coming from.
“I checked the rest of the house and it all checked out fine.” she said. “Whoa… what is that? My window curtain just moved.” She walked over the window and used some weird device towards it. Turns out it was some sort of EMF detector. It has something to do with shifts in the magnetic fields. A shift is supposed to mean there’s a paranormal presence nearby. She moved the curtains. All three of her windows were open.
“Okay? I didn’t leave any of these open earlier,” she proclaimed. “Weird.”
She shut them and turned off the light to her patio. She started walking towards the hallway, but just as she reached the hall, there was a very loud crash coming from behind her near the kitchen. She turned around and just stood there. She then pulled out a flash light and shined it across the room.
“Damn it! That was the plate my mother got me for Christmas. I am now going to pull out my EVP recorder and see if we can get anything on tape.”
The little device started to beep loudly. Like something was there. She pointed her camera in all different directions and started to breath heavier.
“It just got colder. Even colder than before. I’m going to do an EVP now.” She takes out another device and sits down on the ground.
“Is anybody there?” it was quiet for a couple minutes.
“Are there any spirits here who want to make contact?” she said louder.
“No,” a voice replied.
“No?” she replied.
“My arm itches. It just started getting all tingly with a slight burning feeling,” she said, directing it towards the camera, most likely for her viewers.
“Did someone just touch my arm?” she asked.
“I’m very pleased you can feel that,” a booming menacing voice said from somewhere in the room.
The victim turned around as fast as she could. The room was dark, adding to the spooky effect for her ghost hunt archives so we could barely make out what was talking. But Anna and I both knew exactly who was there. The odd thing was… we were not listening to the EVP recording while watching this video. We could hear Stitch talk through the video camera. At least now we know more about this thing. We now know he is very real. Not a ghost or demon or anything else supernatural.
“Were you the entity that opened my windows and made the thumping sounds?” she asked in a worried voice.
“That itch that you feel… It’s rather interesting you would feel an itch,” Stitch said.
“Why?” she asked.
“That is the part of your body I was looking at. I wish to eat it.”
And all of a sudden, as loud as I have ever heard someone yell in my life, loud enough to knock the victim back on her heels, Stitch said, “And I intend to.”
“Who are you?” the woman asked, her voice shaking.
“I am known as Beul in the Netherlands. Carnifex in Latin. Pyöveli in Finland. Bøddel in Norway. I have many names. I have killed many people. At least ten per country. You will be my third here. I am your worst nightmare. I would run.”
As he was talking, the woman took something out of her pocket. It was later found to be holy water. She opened the bottle slowly and tossed some of it in the direction of Stitch. Stitch laughed. The woman got up off the ground, turned the light on and started backing up to the front door. We saw that the holy water had melted some of Stitch’s skin into the shape of a cross. It was burned into his skin, like he’d been freshly branded. It was red like you’d expect a burn to be, and crusting. Other than the melting flesh, it didn’t seem to affect him.
While the woman was backing away, we saw Stitch swinging his chains at her. They wrapped around her arm and tore into her skin. The crunching sound was disgusting as her arm was torn out of her socket and the skin was torn off. The camera landed on the ground. We heard chains clanging and the woman screaming and then we saw her. Her arm was gone.
Blood was pouring everywhere and we could see her shoulder blade sticking out of her broken bloody flesh. The woman screamed and screamed while Stitch laughed and laughed, getting slowly louder like he always did.
While she was lying on the ground, Stitch towered over her. She tried to crawl away but grabbed a piece of the previously broken dish and tried to use it as a weapon. She stabbed it into the first place she could get it, his arm. But it just went through him. Chunks of blood and guts came out the other side of his arm, dripping and plopping onto the ground. it was gorier than I thought possible. His blood was dark and crusty. Rotten. As it oozed out of his arm, he laughed. He got some of the blood on his fingers, with those awful dirty nails, and shoved the blood into the woman’s mouth.
“You cannot hurt me,” he chuckled.
As if to prove his invincibility, he shoved his hand into his chest and ripped out one of his ribs. The bone we’d found in the evidence box we assumed. The woman screamed in terror.
“Why are you haunting me?” she said.
“I'm not haunting you. I'm going to kill you. Chew you to bits and use your flesh to complete mine,” Stitch responded.
“Are you a ghost or a demon?” she said. Her voice was shaking.
“No. I am real. I am the one who makes people scared,” Stitch started to say. “I don’t hide under beds or in closets. I watch you. I like to see my victim’s faces while I study them.” He paused and looked at her. He smiled. “You’re scared. I can smell it. I can taste it so clearly." He stroked the spot her arm used to be and licked the blood off his fingers.
She tried to escape again but Stitch shoved his fingers into her eyes and held her head like a bowling ball. She kept screaming. Stitch laughed louder than she screamed. He took his fingers out of her eye sockets and took his torn out rib and stabbed it into her skull. Her head fell to the ground. Adding insult to injury, Stitch shoved his hand into her chest now and ripped her heart out and ate it. Then he stood up and grabbed her torn off arm. He sticks her fingers into his mouth and bites them off.
The sound of bones crunching rang through our ears. I could hear Anna shuddering next to me. But Stitch wasn’t done. He took the fingers out of his mouth and stuck them into the woman’s mouth. He left, leaving the woman on the floor. Her head was rolled to the side and what was left of her eyes drooped to the ground. There was blood everywhere soaking into her carpet, drying into her hair and onto her skin. Her fingers were sticking out her mouth. Her nails were broken from the struggle.
I looked over at Anna. She looked like she had been crying. She acted like she could handle all this, but I didn’t think she could.
“I’m going home,” she said. She stood up and left the room quickly.
I couldn’t blame her. If I could escape this case, I would.
“I guess I will too,” I said. I thought she needed some time alone, so I decided to go back to my house. Before I could leave though, John ran into the office, disheveled.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” he said.
“Late?” I said. “It’s three o’ clock, John. You may as well have just not come in.”
“I know, I know,” he said. “But I found something and I thought you should know. Where’s Anna?” He was talking quickly like he was panicking.
“She went home early. Well? Spit it out, kid,” I said. I didn’t really want to hear what he was about to say. But the information could help us stop this guy, so I listened.
“He’s killed more than just three people. He’s killed like…a hundred…at least. Probably more. He’s known all over the world. Like in old folk lore. You know how Hansel and Gretel is supposed to scare children into being good? I think that’s what Stitch was supposed to be. He’s got different names all over the place, but they all translate to Executioner. Beul means butcher in Dutch, but same difference.
“I thought this guy sounded familiar. In college I took a class in mythology and folklore and we talked about this guy,” he said. He kept moving his hands all over the place and could hardly stand still in the doorway of my office. He’d graduated top of his class at Harvard. I figured I could trust the things he was saying. I took feverish notes so I could call Anna later and tell her everything.
“I don’t know if this is something we can stop, Ryan,” John said distraught.
“Why?” I asked.
“He’s been at this for who knows how many years. If they have stories about him all over the world, and he’s killed all over the world, what makes you think we can stop him?”
“We have to try,” I said. “It’s our job as detectives. We have to stop him from killing anymore people. I don’t give a damn if he’s been at this for however many years; his reign ends now,” I said.
“Okay,” John said. He took the beanie he was wearing off his head and twisted it in his hands. “How, though?”
“I don’t know. Do you want to stay over at my place tonight? Maybe we could try to bait him somehow. There’s got to be something we can do,” I said.
John sat down next to me and we started researching more. I tried calling Anna while he worked but she didn’t answer. She didn’t come to work the next day either.