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He Could Have Done Anything

Updated on November 30, 2016

1.) The Persistent Effects Of Choice

Paul Warren had always supposed that what he had been told while growing up was true, that he could have done anything in life, because he was very bright and talented, healthy and energetic and he came from fortunate circumstances, had loving parents and siblings, a middle class family in a solid Midwestern community during good times, had been an outstanding student and athlete and had earned scholarships to more than one excellent college, but the choices he had made had led him to become one of the FBI's first "profilers" and from that time until now, in his third year of retirement, he believed THAT was what he was best at and, though it was no longer his profession, it was what he continued to be.

We all encounter chance, but Paul had always been certain that choices, bad ones and good ones, were the overriding determinants of where your life would go in the midst of an uncertain world and for whatever reasons that Paul had become passionately interested in puzzles, mysteries and human conflict as a boy, choosing to pursue those interests had determined the story of his life.

In the contemporary world, largely because of popular entertainment, most people thought of detective work in terms of forensics, but though forensics had, of course, played its part in his work and though he had earned his degree in law, Paul knew that his expertise was in abnormal psychology. Like all profilers, he had been a behavioral scientist.

2.) Homeostasis vs. Stim-Seeking Behavior

Though Paul had never sought a degree in psychology, he had studied it extensively and taught numerous courses in it and other subjects at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia and would eventually be awarded an honorary doctorate in abnormal psychology from his alma mater, Notre Dame.

There were two concepts in the field of psychology that were never quite out of his mind. One was the idea of dividing behaviors into two basic groups: those that are motivated by the seeking of stimulation and those that are motivated by the desire to maintain homeostasis or lack of stimulation.

The other concept was something he had picked up in an undergraduate level psychology course called "The Nature Of Aggression". It was the idea, well borne out by statistical evidence, that the most reliable way to elicit an aggressive response from any organism was to block goal directed behavior of that organism.

At the moment Paul was leaning more towards homeostasis than stimulation, and this had been characteristic of his life since retirement, if not his lifelong psychological make-up.

Right now he had just finished a delicious meal of his wife Joan's excellent roast duck with plum sauce and he was ready to settle in his favorite recliner, in his warm, oak paneled study, his favorite room in the house, and he wanted nothing more stimulating than a cup of good Sumatran coffee, while he watched the evening news in the peaceful company of Joan and their eight year old golden retriever, Rufrak.

It would seem this was too much to ask though, for the first item on the TV news concerned a Sparta, New Jersey woman who had gone missing in recent days and authorities now feared she had joined over a dozen women from the area who had vanished without a trace in the previous year, never to be seen again.

Paul knew they had another one of "them" out there. There was always another one of "them". They were predators, serial murderers, and at any given time it was estimated that there were around fifty of them at large and killing in the United States.

He almost wished that he hadn't begun drinking his coffee and sleep were still an option, but he (and Joan) knew that the gears in his mind had begun humming at the first mention of the missing woman and it wouldn't be possible to sleep now, coffee or no, until he'd once more juxtaposed everything he'd been learning about these women against literally everything else he knew.

"Have you spoken to Harvey about this woman?" asked Joan and immediately regretted mentioning Harvey Turner, who Paul had mentored since almost his first day in Quantico and who had risen to become one of the FBI's top profilers, because Rufrak, though reasonably docile like most golden retrievers, had an abnormal affection for Turner and had jumped up and begun to circle the room at the sound of his name and she knew he wouldn't forget it or be fully calmed again until the agent either showed up or something else that the dog held in very great esteem captured his attention.

Paul tried not to show, tried not to feel, any annoyance at his wife's indiscretion in juicing up the dog and said, "Not today."

3.) Down By The Old Mill Stream

Earlier that afternoon, a man dressed for trout fishing had carefully parked his van by where a stream crossed under a lightly trafficked road in a thickly forested section of Ogdensburg, New Jersey and stepped out into the rain that had been falling since shortly after dawn. Clearly, he had prepared for the rain, as he was wearing a Mossy Oak Camouflage rain poncho. In fact, he would only come here when it was raining. Studiously surveying the landscape, he walked around the back of the van and to the sliding passenger side door, which was now fully invisible from the street side due to the vehicle's position in the proximate brush, slid open the door and pulled fishing gear and two heavy canvas bags from the vehicle, placing them on an overgrown pathway which led into the woods along the stream. He slid the door closed and stopped to listen.

He stood still for a full minute listening. All he heard was the rain and the stream and the birds. He walked around to the driver's side and stopped and looked up and down the road, first one way, eyes peeled, ears perked up, and then very slowly rotated his head until he had taken in everything that could be seen from where he stood. He always felt like he was being watched. This was partially the result of mental illness. He knew this and it was a constant struggle, under the circumstances, to distinguish between what was good and necessary caution and what was hallucinatory paranoia.

When he was sure he'd seen and heard nothing that seemed out of place, he relaxed a little and walked around to his gear and began to carry the bags containing Rachel Lutz into the woods.

4.) Tazer

Three days earlier Rachel Lutz had been a vivacious thirty seven year old married mother of three, who sold real estate part time, played the piano for her family and friends, kept a spotless home, baked German chocolate cakes that were actually raved about by their fortunate consumers and who didn't have one enemy anywhere on the planet.

She had purchased fresh eggs, butter and milk for one her famous cakes, from the organic market she frequented, and was at the rear of her car, when she saw that a man in a black sweat suit, who had parked his van next to the driver's side of her car was now wrestling with what appeared to be a life-sized plush toy tiger in the cargo doorway of that van and there wasn't room from her to squeeze by and open her door. She was about to ask him to excuse her, but he looked up, saw her and profusely excused himself, backing into the van through the open cargo door, pulling his tiger in with him.

Rachel had thanked the man, taken her keys from her purse, slid one in the lock of her car door and turned it, when she felt a jolt from her head to her toes and in an instant she was looking up at the ceiling of the man's van. She was unable to move as she momentarily saw the man's face, flushed and wide-eyed, in place of the ceiling and then a chloroform soaked chamois cloth covered her face. She unwillingly gasped and inhaled deeply as the shock from the man's stun gun subsided and then everything was black.

5.) The Fisherman

The fisherman was a thirty-nine year old, unemployed, sometime deliveryman named Arlen Henniford, who hadn't done any actual fishing since he was a child. He hated fishing. It was one of the many things that fertilized the root of his problem.

Arlen's father had taught him to fish. Not his real father - he didn't know who his real father had been - but his mother's common-law husband, Joe Tuyers, who had insisted that Arlen refer to him as his father. Tuyers had brought him to the site of the old sawmill one Sunday morning shortly after he'd moved into the tiny house that Arlen had always lived in with his mother and had shown the boy all the finer points of trout fishing, from choosing bait to cleaning the catch.

That first morning of fishing had been enjoyable and Arlen thought that it was nice to finally have a father who took an interest in teaching him things like fishing. So what if he insisted on being referred to as your father, if he was going to play the role this well? Of all the men his tramp of a mother had brought home, this one was the first to stay longer than a weekend who hadn't ever hit him or even raised his voice.

They had worked their way a few hundred yards upstream and back and when they had returned to where the old mill had been, they sat on the remains of its stone foundation and had a lunch of bologna sandwiches and coffee from Tuyers' thermos. Arlen had never had coffee before. He thought it tasted strong and bitter. He didn't like it, but he didn't want to let Joe Tuyers know that.

Tuyers finished his sandwich and handed Arlen an apple. He polished another on the sleeve of his red flannel shirt and began to tell the boy that the old mill site had a legend. He said that he had heard the legend from his uncle, when he was a boy and his uncle had brought him there to fish. The sawmill was long since gone, even in those days. It seems that the old man who had lived there and run it, when Tuyers' uncle was a boy, had been suspected of molesting a local child and the townsfolk of Ogdensburg had promptly come to the mill one night and burned it to the ground, the old man along with it. His body had never been found!

Joe Tuyers excused himself, jumped down to the earthen floor of the depression that the stone foundation enclosed and, holding his apple in his teeth, moved a few feet away, pulled his hip-waders down against the tension of their suspender straps, unzipped his pants and relieved himself on the stone wall.

"You know what molesting means, boy?" he asked Arlen, as he stepped to the spot where he'd been sitting, took another bite from his apple and hefted himself back to a sitting position on the wall next to Arlen. He took the two last bites from his apple and tossed the core.

Still eating his own apple, Arlen replied, "Um, I guess I do," although he didn't.

"Oh yeah? What is it then?" Joe cackled down into the boy's face, spitting a tiny fleck of apple that flew into the open collar of Arlen's shirt and stuck to his skin.

"Well...um...well, I guess I'm not really sure...," said Arlen.

"Well...um...well, I guess you're not!" laughed Joe Tuyers and it was then that Arlen suddenly noticed that Tuyers hadn't put his business away after he had relieved himself and the confusion of how he could have overlooked such a thing, even in hip-waders, seemed to meld in Arlen's mind with the confusion of what happened next that he never clearly or completely remembered or really ever tried to.

He remembered cleaning fish afterward and that while sitting at a stoplight during the drive home, Tuyers had looked him in the eye very sternly and said, "Now I'm sure I don't have to tell you what might happen to you and your mother, should you tell anybody about our little secret."

After that day, Tuyers always treated him the same as he had previously. When they weren't on a fishing trip, he never laid a hand on the boy or showed any indication that he might be inclined to. They went fishing at the millstream every two or three weeks, when it was the season to and then it was the same as the first time, except that Tuyers would assault him immediately upon their arrival and then they would fish for hours, as if nothing odd had occurred, and return home.

When Arlen was twelve, Joe Tuyers was the first person he ever killed. He sliced the man's throat with a filleting knife as the moon hung in the sky and Arlen's mother, who was drunk and passed out, had lain in bed with the corpse for seven hours before she came to and screamed 'til they could hear her in Sparta.

They put her in a sanitarium.

Arlen they put in a home for wayward boys, where his treatment at the hands of others was soon worse than ever.

6.) All Over The News

In the morning, when Paul awoke, it was all over the news that every one of the missing north New Jersey area women had been found.

Their apparent abductor had been found as well.

Unfortunately, none of them had been found alive. And Paul knew that it was far too early to tell if all the missing women really had been found. This was media speculation. According to the news, a private security guard had become suspicious, when he'd seen a van parked on the side of a lonely road while he was on his way to work and when it had still been there when he was returning home, he'd called the county sheriff who sent a deputy to investigate. By now clothing had been recovered with a dismembered body at the site in Ogdensburg, New Jersey that apparently matched what the most recent abductee, Rachel Lutz, had been wearing. There were thirteen skulls recovered in addition, the number of women who had gone missing under similar circumstances that authorities believed were being taken by the same person, and what appeared to be corresponding skeletal remains, but Paul knew of course that until autopsies were performed and matches confirmed that nothing about the identities of any of the remains could be said for certain.

They could in fact be more certain that the male body found at the site was the killer. It was evidently clear that he had been about to add his most recent prey to his "dumping grounds" when he had met with an accident. He had been ID'd as one Arlen Wesley Henniford of Ogdensburg.

Paul knew the name, remembered the case. He'd killed his step father, who'd been molesting him for years, when he was twelve years old. He'd been put "in the system", the catch-all term for youth services that could mean anything from the adoption system to incarceration. He couldn't quite remember the details with Henniford; it was a local case, not FBI; but it hardly mattered. As someone who had been sexually abused as a child, he fit the potential serial killer mold and having been anywhere in the system raised the chances of his wearing it. Paul knew that the other typical factors would be there.

Still it was all he could do to keep from calling Harvey Turner. He knew he'd be busy, either at the dump scene or the man's residence, trying to learn more as quickly as he could, just in case there was still an abductee alive. But it was so unusual to have found the man dead with his victims, and apparently of accidental causes, that he didn't know if he could wait until Turner next called him.

Of course, it wasn't unheard of. In the Houston case of Dean Corll in the early seventies, one of his young accomplices, Elmer Wayne Henley, had confessed to killing him when he'd had more than he could take of the torture murder game they and another young man, David Brooks, had been playing with their male, teenaged victims and his body had been recovered with those of the victims. Also there was an occasional suicide, like that of Jerome Anthony Anthony, whose body had been discovered by his employer hanging in the basement of his Santa Rosa, New Mexico home last year where the bodies of nine women were soon excavated from the dirt floor.

The more he thought about it though, Paul was at a loss to think of an example of a serial killer dying by accident in close proximity to his victims and that statistic alone made the thought keep popping into his head that if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't true.

7.) Organized vs. Disorganized

Human beings are all the same in some ways and yet everyone is different from everyone else. Among serial killers, there are things that a profiler holds to be true about every last one of them. After that, the first division they make is between organized and disorganized killers and it's the very first thing that a professional profiler will be able to tell you based on observations of a crime scene or scenes. They're able to do this by drawing on what they have learned about patterns of behavior. They discern from the evidence what behaviors took place on the part of the criminal and from those behaviors they are able to judge with a reasonable degree of accuracy whether the killer was more methodical or more random, more calm or more frenzied, whether he had been more prepared for what he had done or less so, etc..

"Oh this guy was organized alright," said Harvey. He'd called Paul from his car enroute from the Henniford house to the Lutz family home. "It's like he did NOTHING else. You've seen it before, Paulo." He'd started calling Paul "Paulo" after the older man had flown to Venice to marry Joan two and a half decades earlier and he'd come back a changed man. For a while, it was a running joke that Paul would quit the bureau and go back to Italy to live the life of a bohemian artist and only Paul knew just how much his work alone had kept that from becoming the truth.

"So you're pretty sure he's the guy." said Paul.

"Paul, he tortured these women with fish hooks in a way I don't even want to describe and you don't want to hear. You've NEVER seen anything quite like THIS, before. He lived alone in this place that looks from the outside like it's been un-lived in since he got put away as a child, but inside it's pretty clear what he's been doing. Yeah, we're not PRETTY sure, Paul, we're SURE."

"He was living in his childhood home?" asked Paul incredulously.

"It seems his real father was some real estate tycoon. Made a king's ransom when the area went all millionaire vacation homes around the lake south of Sparta in the seventies or something. When he ran out on the kid and his mom, he was damn financially responsible about it, I'll tell you that. The house was paid for and the size of the trust fund was enormous for those days, but structured in such a way that nobody could have bought a pleasure boat. Henniford was living on that and may not even have had any appreciation of how rich he was. The property was maintained empty all the years he was away. Still looks it except for this guy's carnage. The mother died in the hospital. Never came back. I'm hoping to interview the former caretaker after I see Mr. Lutz again."

"Accidental." Paul said one more time.

"He was using the foundation stones from an old mill to conceal their shallow graves, tipping over sections of wall. A whole section of wall collapsed on him, Paul. The good Lord did it, or he did it to himself by being in the right place at the right time. That's as far as we can move from accidental on this one."

"Thanks, Harv."

"Sure. Pet Rufrak for me, wouldja? And say 'hi' to Joan. I'm nearly there, Paul; gotta go."

"You bet, Harvey."

And that was that. It was surely unusual but, like the saying says, there's a first time for everything. He'd let it rest. After all, it wasn't really his business anymore, was it?

8.) The Dream

The dream had come less frequently since he had retired, but now he was having it again.

In the dream, Paul was standing in the hallway of the courthouse in Las Vegas, Nevada with Harvey Turner and Mrs. Thomas McAdams, Shirley, the mother of a murdered girl, whose killer, one Andrew Travis Johansen, had just been released on a technicality at his trail. He was a sexual predator and serial killer and everyone knew it. He was the type that didn't even try to hide his pride in his accomplishments, but would sit in the courtroom day after day with a gloating grin on his face and Paul knew he was reliving his abduction, sexual torture and murder of Heidi Anne McAdams, Tom and Shirley's perfect daughter, as their details were being revealed by the prosecutor. She'd been an A student, studied ballet, played piano and the flute and was the spitting image of a sixteen year old Reese Witherspoon. She had been her parents' only offspring and other than a childhood bout with rheumatic fever, they had never had anything that could have been called a problem with her.

There had been at least four other young female victims, but not enough evidence to bring charges against Johansen except in the McAdams case and now his lawyer had somehow gotten his hands on the video tape of his arrest from the dashboard camera of the Nevada State Trooper who had pulled him over on the night of the McAdams abduction and shown that he had intentionally confessed that her body was in the trunk after he'd been arrested for driving drunk, but before he'd been Mirandized.

Now the judge had decided that he not only must be freed, but every thread of evidence they had on him had come subsequently and it was now all considered to be "fruit of the poison tree." They had nothing on which to hold him and they may never have.

Just as it had been on that swelteringly hot day four years ago, the air conditioning wasn't working in the dream and Shirley McAdams, who had kept her husband on just this side of sanity since their daughter had been taken, looked like she might faint. The McAdamses' best friends, Phillip Smithson, the Senator's son who had made good on his own, first as an outstanding college and professional athlete and then as a sportscaster and creator of The Gaming Broadcast Corporation, and his wife Andrea were there now insisting she have a seat on a nearby bench. Where was Tom McAdams anyhow? Oh, yes, he had excused himself and gone to the restroom. Paul had assumed he needed to be alone for a moment to be sick.

And now there was a commotion in the mass of people behind him in the hall, reporters mostly. Apparently the paperwork had been completed and Andrew Travis Johansen was about to join them in the hallway. Paul was suddenly terrified and he knew he knew why and knew just as clearly that he wouldn't be able to do anything about the reason why, because somehow whatever it was had already happened. He began to turn toward the commotion and he felt like his body was made of ice. He felt frozen and as he struggled to move, he thought his body would shatter from the stress he was exerting on it. He tried to force himself to move and he found himself awake in a cold sweat.

"Is it that dream?" he heard Joan ask him in the darkness and he felt her arm enclose him and her body pull close as she spooned with him. She placed her right leg over his legs.

"Yeah," he said, deeply exhaling, and he reached with his left hand to grasp her right forearm. "It's okay, Joanie. Go back to sleep."

She held him tight and he knew that she was trying to make him feel that everything really was okay.

9.) Prediction

"The usefulness of any theory, the accuracy of the theory itself, its acceptability as a theory, comes in it's ability to allow us to use it to predict future events," explained Harvey Turner to his partner Jim Ascuto as they walked to a morning briefing at FBI headqurters, "and in chess, the greatest masters are the ones who can see the highest number of moves ahead. The thing about Warren is he could walk into a crime scene and inside of a few minutes he could entirely deconstruct it in reverse time in his mind and tell you EXACTLY what had happened and predict most of the characteristics of the person responsible."

"Uh-huh." Ascuto had heard this before, of course. Warren was legendary. Jim had even taken a course from him at Quantico, but he'd never worked with him.

"Sure, this is what we DO! But with Paul it was really amazing. It was like having somebody walk up to a chessboard with a completed checkmate on it, and having them tell you every single move that had been made, because they had the ability to imagine the entire match in reverse. He was really the best that's ever been!"

Ascuto did not respond. He knew that what he had just heard was somehow related to what he was about to hear. Turner was just warming up. They had come to the small conference room now and the senior agent entered first to begin his briefing.

----------------------------------------------------

When Joan arrived in her kitchen she was surprised not to find her husband. On nights when he had the dream, he had always had difficulty sleeping afterwards and he'd rise early and she'd generally find him enjoying coffee and the morning paper at the dining table, having made breakfast for them both and having consumed his. In the year before he retired, she would otherwise find him either painting or drawing in pen and ink, out in his studio, which Paul had converted from one bay of what had been a two car garage, so she proceeded across the room, through the dining room and out the French doors leading to their back yard.

She found him there, sitting at his drawing table, which was yet another surprise, because he had only produced watercolors since his retirement, had done no drawing whatsoever since he had stopped working on cases. It was a thing that went hand in hand with working on a case. He'd begin a pen and ink drawing after he had started a new case. His work was very detailed. He'd draw one thin line in black ink on his white paper, usually very short , usually completely straight, then another elsewhere and on and on. He worked slowly and carefully, but appeared to be completely relaxed at his work. The thing that Joan found completely astounding was that she never could see anything at all evolving in the picture until it was almost complete and suddenly it would be done: the most magnificent rendering of a landscape you could possibly imagine!

Apparently this was going to be a morning for exceptions, for as she looked past him at the large sheet of paper carefully taped to his drawing board, she could see that it had not one line on it.

He heard her enter and turned to meet her eyes.

"Artist's block?" she asked. "I thought you'd be painting." It was a lie, wishful thinking really. He had never painted when he was working on a case and she knew, reluctantly, that he was now working on one.

He looked up at her with what she judged to be somewhat of a sly sort of grin and asked, "Want to go to Santa Fe in a couple of days?"

10.) Scientific Method

The scientific method, a process used by every scientist, can be broken down into the steps of asking a question concerning what it is you want to know, doing research or gathering information about what you want to know, formulating a hypothesis or making an "educated guess" about the answer to your question, conducting a precise experiment designed to accurately test your hypothesis, collecting data from your experiment, analyzing your data and drawing a conclusion about the correctness or incorrectness of your hypothesis.

"Ogdensburg!?" exclaimed Harvey into his phone, later that morning. "Well, sure there's no problem authorizing you to go on the site, Paulo, but it's all torn apart now, of course; you'd learn much more from the first photos..."

"Yeah, I was hoping you'd bring those by Sunday, but Joanie and I are thinking of flying to Sante Fe now on Friday, so now I'm hoping you could email them to me here in the car. I'm already on my way." In fact he'd been driving for over an hour. It would take perhaps another two to get to Ogdensburg from Paul's home in the Virginia countryside.

"Well, sure, but the question is why, Paul. Henniford's the right guy and there's only one vic left who we're not positive on the ID and we're pretty sure about her."

"I have a bigger question, Harv. Just doing a little research."

"You gonna tell me the question?" Harvey knew the man well enough to know he'd have told him already, if he'd intended to.

"If you can be patient and I see what I expect to in Ogdensburg, I may even have a hypothesis for you tonight."

"Expect to see! What is it you EXPECT to see?" asked Harvey.

"Potential."

"Aaaaah. You want to see the house, too?"

"Nah, it's not relevant," Paul answered.

"Not relevant." Harvey tried to digest that idea.

"Oh, Harv, wha'd the coroner finally say 'bout cause of death on Henniford?"

"Well the guy was crushed by some pretty massive stones, so it's kinda take your pick, but his conclusion was massive head trauma, but if it hadn't've been that, it would've been something else resulting from being crushed, like internal organ failure... The guy was flattened!"

"Massive head trauma. Okay. So I'll call you later from home or New Bedford.

"Massachusetts?" Harvey was now truly mystified. "Why New Bedford?"

"Depending on what I see in New Jersey, there's a man I might want to see there."

"You had the dream again," said Harvey.

"You know me too well, Harv. I had it last night AND the night before. That has NEVER happened before," Paul stressed.

"Paulo, I don't know quite how to say this, but we've been very good friends for a long time so I'll just say it."

When silence followed, Paul said, "But you're not saying anything, Harvey."

"Regardless of the dream, I think you're bored. Not like you miss this job or anything; that's not what I'm saying; but if I didn't know you better, I'd say you're feeling compelled to solve a puzzle, when the only puzzle is why you have this dream and it was a very traumatic experience, Paulo; the real mystery is why I don't have nightmares about it!"

"You're maybe right about that last part, Harv. Send those pictures, would you, and I'll talk to you later," said Paul and he hung up.

11.) Headhunters

Dennie Bordeaux had a self-made sign on his bedroom wall, just above and behind his computer monitor, which read: "Among Headhunters The Man Who Refuses To Hunt Humans Is Dysfunctional".

He figured everything is relative, a matter of value judgments. He understood that most people don't see it that way, but he also understood that he was WAY smarter than most people. Assholes.

Dennie lived with his mother, "the fat shit", in Buxton, Maine and wondered how such a stupid woman could have such an intelligent son. He figured his dad must have been a genius before the accident on the black ice one Winter night on Rte. 95 and the lengthy coma that preceded his death, when Dennie was only seven.

His mother didn't seem to have any idea what to do, during the almost three years that Dennie's father lay dying. "What'll we do, Dennie? I just don't know what we'll ever do," he could remember her saying and it seemed the only thing that had changed about her since his father died was that she'd gotten older and fatter.

She had made him work at McDonald's over in Scarborough, until he got fired for calling a girl a whore after she'd addressed him as "Pizza-face", which was pretty stupid, because she was a whore and everyone knew it! Assholes! When he was in high school she'd been the biggest whore in school, for Chrisake! Man, that still pissed him off and it had been what? Almost five years!

He didn't need the money. His mother gave him whatever he wanted. She'd just made him work there, because he wasn't doing anything after he graduated and she'd said that wasn't right. What did she know? He could make money any time he wanted, even in this backward place. Besides he was doing plenty. He had plans. He was going to write something that would make him famous. Either that or go to Hollywood and become an actor. Maybe even both!

But for now he was biding his time. For now he was smoking weed and taking x or acid (it really WAS mind-expanding) once in a while and customizing his badass pickup truck (there were always minor adjustments to be made when your objective was to attract "the little birds" and at the same time have the vehicle go unremembered by any would-be witnesses) and headhunting.

Buxton was a good place to live, if you wanted to headhunt. To begin with, there was really nothing to do in the whole fucking state of Maine, so all the kids were bored and looking for some excitement. Because of Buxton's location, he had his choice of great places to headhunt. He could drive into nearby Portland, where it was always relatively busy, or up to Sebago Lake or out to the shore, where in summertime the tourist girls were always ripe and plentiful. Little assholes! Ha ha! He loved the double entendre in that!

But his favorite way to headhunt was just to take Rte. 4 to Rte. 5 and then cruise north, sometimes all the way to Rangeley and back, just listening to the tunes at a reasonable level and doing the doobs and looking normal, while he waited for a little bird to give itself up to him. That's what they did, even the ones on vacation, they were so bored. They'd see him, he'd make eye contact and in a split second, without a word, they said, "Take me: I'm yours." He'd pull up and say, "You like my truck?" and before you could take a photograph, they'd be happy to accept his invitation to go for a ride to wherever and never come back.

That's the way he had decided to go this morning after his mother had pissed him off asking him if he had eaten the last piece of blueberry pie. Asshole! Who the fuck do you think ate it, if you didn't, you fat shit! He'd only traveled about five miles and now he was passing the new supermarket in East Waterboro and oh my god this was gonna be too easy! Look at that little blonde bird on the side the road. Is she actually hitch-hiking? Yes, she is! Look at those tiny white short shorts and those itty-bitty titties! Here little birdie, birdie. Here little birdie.

He pulled over next to her and she smiled in the passenger side window. "I'm just going up to Little Ossipee Pond," she said. She was wearing braces. He hated braces. She looked like she was maybe fourteen, tops.

"No problema, senorita! Climb in," said Dennie.

She took a little whiff of the scent of marijuana in the cab, her smile grew wider and she opened the door and climbed in.

12.) Potential

The Ogdensburg site was still being processed, of course, would go on being processed for a good long while. In fact there were so many graves, MOST of the bodies had not been removed. If Henniford hadn't left the dead women's clothing and other belongings with their bodies, they'd never have been able to get so many preliminary ID's so quickly. However, it was fortunate that they had been looking for all of these women to begin with, so it was a matter of matching remains to known identities. Too often they were left with victims who remained Jane and John Does.

This processing was what Turner had meant by "all torn apart." They preferred to see a scene that was as fresh as possible, before ANYONE had changed anything. Paul spoke with a deputy sheriff posted as security out on the road and, as luck would have it, he was the one who'd found the site. He'd done everyone a favor by literally backing out of the scene in his own footprints. It was an outstanding observation of correct procedure for preservation of evidence. Paul hoped he'd be rewarded for it and told him so. It turned out he already had been. He had requested his current duty.

Paul's first instinct was to walk the entire perimeter of the yellow tape, but he resisted and made his way up the path along the stream the several hundred yards to the mill site. He had a few words with a couple of the forensic techs, who were concentrating like archeologists on their tasks, mainly to let them know who he was. They told him they'd been expecting him and impulsively rattled off the "Cliff Notes" version of what they knew. Paul thanked them, clarified exactly where Henniford had been found and inspected that area thoroughly, then he walked the perimeter of what remained of the mill's foundation, surveying the surroundings and stopping to examine the wall along most of the places where it remained intact, which were many. Twice he climbed down to the floor and closely perused what remained of the corroded mortar between the large stones. It appeared the mill had covered quite an expanse, in its day.

When he got back to the path, he threw the techs a wave and went on his way. He thought about the circumference of the entire site again, but once more, decided against walking it, stopped briefly and asked the deputy what the weather had been like in the hours before he was called to investigate Henniford's van, got in his car and drove off to New Bedford.

13.) Concentric Circles

"The law's a pain in the ass, Paul. Decisions to prosecute or not being made based upon whether reasonable doubt about guilt might be shown at trial... Where's the science, hmm? Every D.A. since Pina has sworn they were gonna solve this case and here we are, after twenty years, with lugatz!" exclaimed Dr. Terrance Davis, Bristol County's workaholic coroner. When Paul had called the night before, Davis had asked him to come by the house in one of New Bedford's nicer sections. He was on a rare vacation and there wasn't so much to catch up on around the house that he couldn't spend some time filling Paul in and taking him to see what he wanted to see.

They were old friends. They'd met at a forensics conference in 1976. There had been a cocktail party after the orientation ceremonies on the first night of the conference and just when things were about as festive as they were going to get, Davis happened to be strolling past a group of folks to whom he overheard Paul saying, "Of course, we KNOW Oswald was the lone assassin."

Maybe it was the tone of voice, maybe it was the alcohol; Davis liked to believe it was because they were in the same circle of scientists; he stopped and said, "Excuse me. My name is Dr. Terrance Davis and I don't know who you are or what your expertise may be, but I have to tell you, my friend, that you've been misinformed, at best."

Paul introduced himself and quickly explained that he was being sarcastic with his Oswald comment and soon they were exchanging their favorite discrepancies in the Warren Commission's case. Now, over thirty years later, as the people who shared most of Paul's interests could be placed in tighter and tighter circles, Davis was among those closest to the center. The doctor refused to retire and since Doris Davis's passing on of breast cancer in '99, he had lived for his four kids, nine grandchildren, a few close relationships and the work. The men enjoyed coffee and some delicious pastry from a little, local, Portuguese bakery, as they got updated.

"Well, here's the thing, Terry. From my reading of this - and I was on the net last night refreshing my memory - Pina said, in 1990, that he had it narrowed down to one DEFINITE suspect..."

"Before he was voted out of office."

"Right. Straight up, do you know if he believed it was DeStefano?"

"He didn't believe it was DeStefano."

"Okay. That's what I'd figured. And Pimental, the O.D., it was an O.D., but accidental, suicide, what?"

"Well, I'll say this, Paul: the guy had enough cocaine in him to kill four guys his size. So he may have snorted a lot more than he was used to, or the purity was exceptional, right? Well, tests on the powder at the scene showed positive for nearly pure coke. My finding was accidental overdose. Happens every day."

"Okay and the police were never able to get anything on who he was with that last night?" asked Paul.

"Not sure there was anybody at the end and as for earlier, there were just rumors. There was a rolled up twenty still lying there he'd been snorting with. Would another coke-head have left that?"

"Yeah, but where does a guy who's arrested only months before for stealing food get the money for enough pure coke, all at once, to send four junkies to their maker? He'd fallen a long way since his days as a practicing attorney, Terry. I'm sure he had a lot of dirty connections from here to Florida once, but if he had the resources to be connected to anything coming in off a boat, uncut, would he be squatting in an abandoned building?"

Davis nodded at the logic of that. "He was a scumbag all along, Paul. You know about those movies with the dog, right? Whether or not he killed eleven prostitutes, he was a scumbag."

"Well, let's go see his place then, shall we?"

14.) Condemned

Kevin Pimental had indeed fallen quite a distance since occupying a sprawling home in the best part of town, fallen all the way to a decaying triple decker in the worst part of town, where, in a first floor kitchen in the rear of the house, which Paul now viewed in the glow of a powerful flashlight, he had taken his last breath. That had been the previous Autumn, but little had changed in this old building, which was now scheduled for the wrecker.

Pimental had never denied having an intimate relationship with Martine DeSimone, one of the dead women, or that he had provided legal representation for several more. He'd even been charged with DeSimone's murder briefly in 1990, but a grand jury had decided there was insufficient evidence to try him and those charges were dropped. The driveway and patio of the home where he'd lived with DeSimone had been torn up last May, in a new search for "DNA and fiber evidence", courtesy of the newly elected District Attorney, whose spokesman explained to the press that new technologies were available now which might shed some light on the cold but well remembered case and bring some closure to both the victims' families and the community at large.

Nothing came of it.

Paul examined the death scene, then the remainder of the first floor apartment. The front stairs were in disrepair and impassible, but he left Davis behind on the rear porch, urging him to rest his knees, while be made his way up the back stairway and briefly scoped out the two upper vacant apartments. He was about to return, but then he paused and instead climbed the stairs to the roof access door, which hung open on its one remaining lower hinge.

He stepped out onto the roof and did a 360 of the neighborhood, as he walked the roof's perimeter, occasionally peering down at the closer surroundings, returned to the door and was soon again in the doctor's company examining the basement.

"This is a dead neighborhood, Terry," he said when they were back in Paul's car.

"You bet. If the city hadn't been nailing up plywood and a condemned sign on every building on the street that morning, hell, he might still be in there."

15.) The Funnel

Where the Pendexter Brook crosses under Cramm Rd. in Parsonsfield and again further south where it crosses under Stone Hill Rd. in Limerick, it looks like just another trout stream, except during the snow melt and extremely rainy times and the same can be said of the Federson Brook, which runs beneath Cramm Rd. a short distance east of the Pendexter, so one would never suspect without having observed it, that approximately half way between Cramm Rd. and Stone Hill Rd., more than a mile deep in the woods from any paved road, where the Federson became a tributary of the Pendexter, they both looked like rivers and were at least twenty yards wide. If one followed Owls Hill Rd. until the pavement ran out and then continued into the woods on the dirt road, eventually this fork in the waterways was reached. Since men had been coming here, it had been obvious to them that this was a perfect hunting area, as it was a natural trap where a clever hunter could funnel his prey into the the confluence of the two brooks, leaving it no chance of escape other than to brave the water or turn back toward its pursuer. Indeed the remains of several hunting camps could be detected in the immediate area.

On one of his many re-con missions, four-wheeling up innumerable dirt roads in Maine and New Hampshire, Dennie Bordeaux had also found a cliff at the top of Cole's Hill, a few miles northeast of this spot, with similar potential for cornering a little bird, but what if she jumped? It wouldn't be wise to leave her there. No way. That's definitely against the rules. He had rules. He'd studied all the great ones, that truck driver, what was his name? O'Donnell? O'Connell? O'Connor? Whatever. Jesperson. And Bundy! Bundy was his hero. Bundy was a headhunter! They had rules for themselves and they followed them. He took THEIR rules and combined and refined 'em and yeah, no way. He'd have to climb down and around the hill...forget it! So he'd brought her here to play the game. It was the closest place anyhow and he hadn't used it yet. You didn't use anywhere twice. That was an unbreakable rule.

Stephanie had never been so scared in her life. He'd hit her in the solar plexus as soon as she'd closed the truck door, knocking the wind out of her. Then he'd grabbed her by the hair and twisted her around and down, forcing her to the floor. He'd ordered her to get down and stay down and not make a sound unless asked to or, he'd promised, he was going to hurt her really, really bad. Then he'd let her hair go and quickly pulled a strip of dark green duct tape from the dashboard and clamped it over her mouth. He'd looked her in the eye until she was afraid he would crash the truck-but then maybe she could get away!- and said, "I'll kill you, if you don't do everything I tell you to do, when I tell you to do it."

She had done as she was told to. She had gotten out of the truck and taken all her clothes off, when told to. When he'd stood there looking at her body, she knew he was trying to embarrass her and it made her VERY angry inside. When he'd told her not to try to hide herself with her arms or hands, she'd done what she was told to do. Then, when he'd bound her wrists with a single plastic flex-cuff and took off the duct tape, so she could use her mouth, she'd made up her mind right then that she would bite him, when he was at his weakest, and run like jack rabbit, but he had held a huge, black machete, that looked like something from Tim Burton's Planet Of The Apes, to her throat and now, as she was gathering all her courage, he stopped her and pushed her away at arms length and said, "Hey, you know what?"

He grabbed her wrists and stood her up and, in a stroke, he cut the flex-cuff from her wrists, pocketed it, then fastened his pants. This was his favorite part. He loved to see the surprise and relief and then the shock and disappointment and finally the terror, deeper than ever, when he said, "I think since you've been so obedient, I'm just going to let you go now," and he pointed with his machete up the road and looked, not in the direction they had come, but the other way, to where the road became little more than a trail before ending at the brookside, "but you'd better run," he said and turned his head back anticipating that delightful look of pure fear and....it wasn't there! And neither was she!

At the sound of the word "go" Stephanie had taken off like a hundred meter sprinter out of the blocks and by the time Dennie's head had completed its turning, she was thirty of those meters away and gaining speed, as she approached a gradual incline. He figured the hill would slow her right down, as he jumped and set after her, but he'd hardly taken three steps when, what luck!, he saw her turn right at the base of the hill and head west toward the Pendexter Brook! He quickly returned to the truck and got his blow gun, then bolted up the road, confident he could head her off. After all, he'd been training for this.

16.) Priority One

When Paul called Harvey Turner, he discovered he couldn't be reached short of an emergency except on bureau business, because the agent was in the air, enroute to the Sanford Regional Airport in Sanford, Maine. Five girls in their early to mid-teens and one woman who was twenty-two, but who fit the physical characteristics of the others, 4'9" to 5'2", 87 to 105 lbs., had disappeared right off the streets of Southern Maine in the past fourteen months and now another petite, sixteen year old girl from West Roxbury, Massachusetts, one Stephanie Daley, who had been spending two weeks at her Uncle Peter and Aunt Marie's summer place on Little Ossipee Pond in Waterboro, was nowhere to be found.

Having only been missing for six hours (confirmed by a Dunkin' Donuts' security camera), she ordinarily wouldn't have even been considered missing by authorities, but she fit into the M.O. of someone they were already looking for perfectly and if she was taken by him, she was now the third to be snatched in York County, the same York County that held Kennebunkport and the George and Barbara Bush compound. The first broadcasts had barely come over the police radios, when the phone rang in the Director's office and finding Stephanie Daley and her abductor suddenly became FBI priority number one and Turner was on a plane within the hour.

Paul's first urge was to get in his car and drive four hours north to Waterboro, but it didn't fit his agenda and, of course, it wasn't his job. He wasn't going anywhere tonight. Davis had cracked open a bottle of twelve year old scotch, when they'd returned from a dinner at The Catch O' The Day, a dinner Paul insisted on and Terry was reluctant to accept, preferring always to cook for friends, and it had been too long since Paul had had a chance to sit and talk with his friend over a glass of good whiskey, so he stuck with the original plan of spending the night at Davis's and driving home in the morning, after the commuter traffic rush had subsided.

"That one sounds like a bitch, sport." Terry had a tendency to call you "sport" after a couple drinks, if he liked you and to use "buddy", if he had his doubts; "pal" had resulted in more than one scuffle with people he clearly hadn't cared for. "No remains?"

"Femur from the older one, found by a hunter in North Jesus or something. Dolly Mountain. Byron's the town. The Swift River. Dolly Mountain...don't know if that means anything. But she's the one he took from Portland, on a busy Saturday night. It's two hours plus, from where the bone was found."

"Big comfort zone," commented the doctor.

"Big comfort zone," Paul agreed. "In the most heavily forested state in the nation. Did you know that? No? Yeah, the whole state's like one big forest, so..."

"So they got their work cut out for them."

"Yeah, they do," said Paul. "On the other hand, if this is a third one now in the same county, with the other four and the location of the one find to plot, the grid on this guy must be looking fairly promising."

"You'd think," agreed Terry.

17.) The Grid

The grid was looking promising to Harvey Turner. With the location of the latest abduction approximated and plotted into the computer program that would now do the work that used to require a map and push-pins, with their corresponding concentric circles representing degrees of probability of your perp living or working within them, he could be fairly certain that their current perp was based in one of four towns that met on the boarder of York and Cumberland counties: Standish, Gorham, Hollis and Buxton. He knew this much from his laptop.

When he reached the mobile base in the large motor home, in the parking lot of the new Fine Brother's supermarket, he learned that local agents had moved on to analysis of the traffic on Rte. 5, digital recordings from the supermarket's and the adjacent Dunkin Donuts' security camera systems, following Stephanie's departure from the parking lot, while local authorities had organized a host of volunteers into specific searches. They'd gathered a great deal of data on vehicles. Unfortunately the license plates on all traffic passing in both directions and not entering or having exited the parking lot were altogether invisible, but the computers were running the plates they could see for registered owners and automatically cross-referencing them with known sex offenders and various other high-risk probability data bases.

-----------------------------

If I can just make it to the water, thought Stephanie, I'll get away from this sick piece of shit rat bastard! She'd seen the glint of the setting sun on what appeared to be a river through the trees as soon as she'd looked around, when they'd first arrived and what she could see to the north and west appeared to be a flood plain, thick with vegetation, much like what she was used to seeing along the Charles River at home.

Stephanie had glanced back at him in the instant after she'd hooked a right off the dirt road and saw him freeze and turn back toward his truck. All she knew was that it would buy her a little more time, but was he going back for the truck? Would he head her off, even if she got to the water? No time to worry about it. Just run. She ran. Dennie Bordeaux didn't know he was dealing with a star athlete. Stephanie had lettered in cross country, track & field and swimming at her high school, since her sophomore year. She'd hardly been out of Little Ossipee Pond in a week.

Dennie Bordeaux made it to the top of the grade and ran a good fifty yards more on the road, before coming to a path on his right that he knew well. It led all the way to the Pendexter and as he ran along it, he figured as he reached the western edge of the hill, he'd spot her coming upon the scraggly brush of the flood plain. From there she'd clearly see that even if she took one of the few trails through it, it would only lead to the water that was visible beyond it and probably opt to follow the curvature of the hill and come right to him. The area had been logged six years earlier and there were stumps, bad logs, dead branches and holes everywhere. Plenty of places to hide. Would she hide? No, she'll run. He was sure of it.

As he came to the edge of the hill, he slowed and scanned the hillside and flood plain. Now...where is that little bird? He froze and crouched, peering intently as far around the hill as he could see. He tried to calmly catch his breath, as he rotated his gaze counter-clockwise and took a step down the slope. Wait! What is that, a splash? Right there! Oh Christ, she's in the water and she's swimming south!

He slid on the leaf covered ground, as he whipped around, almost dropping his blow-gun, and began sprinting back to his truck. A few hundred yards north of Stone Hill Rd. was a footbridge. He thought of that bridge now and was sure he could take the road south to a path the ski-mobilers used, which led right to that bridge and, if he recalled correctly, the path was even wide enough for him to drive most of the way, maybe all of the way, to the bridge. How fast could she swim? Where exactly did the brook become too shallow and rocky to actually swim? He probably had time to spare. Still, the sun was going down. It would be dark within the hour.

18.) The Power Of The Subconscious Mind

"You know how he is, Ma," explained Jeff Warren to his mother. "It's all about the failure of the super-ego, the lack of a conscience in these people. He has complete faith that very thing will always put them at a disadvantage, while at the same time he has faith in is own subconscious. What's that thing he always says about dreams? 'We don't think we understand what we haven't put...' "

"We tend to believe we can't understand what we can't verbalize, but the subconscious uses dreams every night to sort things out in symbols," Joan quoted her husband.

"That's it. And the other thing he likes to say, 'a hunch is as good as a reason,' it's all a product of having absolute faith in his powers of observation and the ability of his ENTIRE mind to sort things out. I'VE got a hunch that, in the long run, this dream is gonna prove to be a good thing."

"Well, I wish it would hurry the hell up. He had it two nights in a row. He thinks I didn't notice the night before last when the Lutz woman was taken. He's never had it two nights in a row before, as far as I know, and it bothers me because I'm SURE it bothers him. Oh, and while we're on the subject of products of his subconscious, he sat at his drawing board this morning for an hour without drawing a line. Not one."

"Really?" This definitely made Paul's son think. He had flourished on the path his father had not pursued professionally. He had found a niche in sculpting his "concrete poems". A rap music producer, who Joan had never even heard of, someone named Jet Black, had commissioned one, which Jeff had welded together out of titanium. It looked just like this:

b(all)s

except it was eight feet tall, twenty-four inches from front to back and sat on a titanium plate, which was an inch thick. Jet Black had enthusiastically paid $80,000 for it and proudly displayed it in the inner courtyard of his Hollywood Hills mansion. Ever since, EVERYone wanted a Jeff Warren. Jeff was now working on something he called "A Course In Miracles", which Oprah had her eye on. "Did he say anything about that?"

"Well, now we've come full circle. First, he asked if I'd like to fly out to see you kids for a few days, so we'll be coming into Albuquerque tomorow night on the 10 or 10:30, more likely..."

"Terrific! I'll pick you up in this new hybrid I have. You won't believe it!" Jeff loved it when his parents came to Sante Fe. Before he was born, they had bought the little pueblo style house in the community known for its ability to attract artists to itself like a magnet attracts iron filings, in lieu of Paul's fleeing to Venice. Growing up, Jeff had looked forward to every trip there, until finally, after attending college at the University of New Mexico at Sante Fe, it had, de facto, become his home. Now he lived there with his wife, Alvina and their two year old son, Kurt, but since Paul's retirement, Joan and Paul would fly there several times a year and stay as long as they liked.

"Great, I'll let you know, when I'm sure of which flight. So...the second thing he asks is, and Jeff, I sure didn't have any answer for him, but I asked him why he hadn't drawn anything and he just looked at the empty paper and then at me and then he said, 'what if one of these people had a super-ego that was functioning perfectly well?' "

"Wow."

"Yeah. Wow. There's an answer. What did you expect? I'm no artist!"

Jeff loved his mother's sense of humor.

19.) The Bear

Ever since the black bear had first made his presence known in the Summer of 2005, Albert Gustav had warned his sons repeatedly about the danger. He wasn't a "gun nut", but he made sure his two boys, Jack, who was twelve, and Billy, fourteen, knew how to shoot and were so well schooled in gun safety that it was automatic to them. Since it was clear that the bear was frequenting their property and the surrounding area, one couldn't be too careful and if they were even going into the yard, they had to keep the big creature in mind. Bears didn't want to confront a person any more than a person wanted to confront a bear, but should you suddenly come upon one another, you couldn't depend on the bear's reaction to be less than hostile. If the boys were to venture into the woods, they were to go armed. Armed for bear.

It was under these conditions that they sat on the east rail of the footbridge, with their fishing lines dangling in the Pendexter brook and two Mossberg 12-gauge, pump-action, shotguns standing nearby, as the last of the July sun shown through the trees.

Dennie Bordeaux had left his truck behind on the trail shortly after turning off the road. He'd had to. Two large boulders had been strategically placed at either side of the path making it impossible for anything more than four and a half feet wide to pass between them. He'd jumped out and run to just south of this point in the brook, where it doglegged east for fifteen or twenty yards and the latest of many footbridges had been erected. He saw them through the trees facing his way, but was pretty sure that he'd ducked back behind a tree before they saw him. Two boys fishing, early teens. He stretched, craned his neck to peer over the brush. Shotguns. Two of 'em. Okay, now think. They're kids. You can tell 'em anything.

Stephanie felt she had been making tremendous progress due to the unexpected current of this little river, but she was still very wary of the east bank and every time the brook bent to the east, she felt it was turning toward him and it was all she could do to keep herself from climbing out onto the other shore and heading southwest on foot, but thus far she'd seen no break in the thick bramble on that side and she was quite relieved when the course of the brook would again turn more to the south. Now, as she was beginning to feel a little cold in the waning light, she seemed to be coming to yet another easterly bend in the stream, but on the western bank was a break in the vegetation! She swam for it. She was on her hands and knees, half out of the water, ready to run without catching her breath, when she sensed more than saw an enormous dark beast on the path before her, no more than six feet away. This was totally unfair! She couldn't believe she had run and swam and gotten away from that dirty scumrat and now she was going to be eaten by a bear!

Dennie stepped out onto the trail. Just say: having any luck, gentlemen? and get that first gun, he told himself. If only he had brought the stolen Kimber automatic, but who could have anticipated the need? He took a second step. A big dog barked. He froze.

"Murf!" shouted the younger boy, closest to the south bank.

"Murfy!" echoed the other, spinning around on the railing and hopping down to the deck of the bridge. "Come 'ere, boy!"

Dennie saw him lean his fishing pole on the rail and heft his Mossberg. Dennie stepped back behind the tree. He looked down at the blowgun in his left hand and felt seriously impotent.

Neither of the Gustav boys had ever seen a naked girl live and in person, so when their big, black Newfoundland emerged from the side path where they were looking and a petite teenaged blonde, without a stitch on, was hugging him about the neck, they were incredulous. Billy, the elder boy, stood blinking with his mouth agape. Jack's reaction was not dissimilar.

In a crisis, many people experience the sensation of time slowing down. Many more report that all of their senses are heightened (Stephanie would later say that, in the following moments, she could smell that it would soon rain). As Stephanie approached the bridge, she gained just enough elevation to pick out Dennie Bordeaux's face in the dense brush, maybe twenty yards away. She didn't hesitate for a heartbeat, but released the dog, took two steps on the bridge and snatched the Mossberg from a powerless Billy Gustav. She boldly strode to the north end of the bridge, leveling the gun on Bordeaux, as he pivoted to run, and squeezed the trigger, as Jack shouted, "Hey!"

But the trigger wouldn't squeeze and she realized the safety was on. She looked for it, saw the red button, pushed it off and raised the weapon again, but he was gone. She darted after him.

Jack looked at Billy, who was watching Stephanie disappear down the trail, his jaw still slack. Jack turned, jumped from the railing, grabbed his shotgun and ran after her, his older brother coming to his senses at this and joining along behind.

Dennie Bordeaux heard the pellets plinking off his right, front fender followed by the booming report of the shotgun, just as he arced onto the dirt road in a rapid reverse. He slammed the stick into first gear, spun all four wheels and tore off down the bumpy road, as Stephanie's second shot fell short.

Oh, Christ! This is it! Now I've got to run! thought Bordeaux. Alright, calm down. Just get home and get the guns, the emergency flight bag and the heads, shoot the fat shit, get back in the truck and go. You've planned for this. Not really even much to think about. They don't know who you are and it will take 'em a while to figure it out. This isn't good, but you've got enough of a head-start and you'll outsmart them yet! Just get home. Okay. Thirty minutes. Calm down.

At the first clap of thunder, Billy, who was just catching up to his brother and Stephanie, jumped and would ever after say that his first thought was that it was another gunshot. Murf had reluctantly come to accept gunfire years earlier, but made a beeline for home at the sound of thunder. Jack simply watched him go, then calmly took his brother's gun from Stephanie, handed both of the Mossbergs to Billy and, turning back only halfway towards her, said, "Here, take my shirt." He quickly unbuttoned the red and black plaid cotton shirt and handed it to her, as the sky opened up.

"He kidnapped me!" she cried at them, as she buttoned up Jack's shirt, which was almost immediately drenched by the sudden Summer cloudburst. "He kidnapped me and he was going to kill me!"

"We live near here," responded Jack. "You can call the Sheriff. My mom and dad are there." He looked at his brother. "We can come back for the fishing gear, huh?"

20.) The Net

It had been Paul's habit for many years to check his email accounts immediately after rising in the morning and he had used the mainpages of major news outlets as his homepage on each of the servers he favored. In the morning, after visiting the bathroom, he clicked on the Firefox icon that he kept in the middle of the dock hidden at the bottom of the screen on his iBook and the CBS News page came up. In a column in the center of the screen was a list of stories from around the nation. The top one read: Maine Serial Killer Stand-off Ends With Suicide. He clicked on it and began to read the details. Then he retrieved his cell phone from the bedside table and called Harvey Turner.

"The net was closing. We'd've been at his place by this morning anyhow, Paulo. We had his truck on the list of possibles from the immediate area. It's a miracle he even got home, but it rained like hell here from around sundown, right after he lost the girl and took off, 'til almost sun-up. People were taking shelter and we figure he took a back route, didn't get noticed or hit a roadblock. Anyway, we had his driver's license picture for owners of vehicle possibles and this girl IDed him right away. You'd love this kid, Paul. One tough cookie. He was lucky to get away from HER!"

Harvey filled him in on the whole picture. He told him how the Bordeaux property had been surrounded just before midnight and Genevieve Bordeaux had picked up the phone on the second ring. She told them her son had pulled his truck into the garage out back hours earlier and not come out again, but he practically lived in there, so it wasn't alarming to her. She agreed to come to the door and they got her out of there and soon cleared the house. His mother said he didn't have a cell phone. He hated them. So the negotiator got on the speaker of a car at the end of the driveway and broadcast the first of many messages to Dennie Bordeaux and the hours in the Maine rain began.

Paul got the address of the Bordeaux home and had it up on Google Earth in a minute. He rotated it and noted its isolation by the surrounding pine woods and the adjacent Saco River. He zoomed out, got an idea of the surroundings and zoomed in on the two-car garage and rotated it.

Harvey told him how they'd waited out the rain, while they got no response from Dennie Bourdeaux. When the rain had stopped and the sun was rising, the attack team had hooked cables to the garage doors, slipped the lock on the pedestrian door, fired in tear gas and a shock grenade, pulled the garage doors off their frames and gone in. Bordeaux was dead. He'd eaten a bullet from a Kimber .45. The gun had a homemade silencer. They didn't know when he'd done it, but he was cold.

Then Harvey told Paul what the reporters hadn't been told. He told him about the shrunken heads.

21.) Vanished Cultures

Saturday night in Sante Fe, Jeff and Alvina Warren hosted a little dinner party for a few friends and Jeff's parents. The guests included Andy Everly, the comedian, and his wife, Loretta, who had a jewelry business, Barry Fine, Andy's agent, and his girlfriend, Justine King, who had a lot of jewelry, the foursome in town for a long weekend, and local painter Ben DeSeni and his wife Cheeto, an author, who, between the two of them, had enough looks, brains, talent and personality to be a party in itself. Paul's curiosity had been aroused by a violin case that Cheeto had been good-naturedly protective of since her arrival. He wondered where it was right then.

He was beginning to get the idea that Andy had difficulty turning it off, once he had an audience. Excepting Paul, who had driven alone to Santa Rosa and back, they had all spent the day visiting Bonito, the Native American ceremonial city ruins in Chaco Canyon. Andy had been keeping everyone laughing, no matter what topic was raised, since the first course was served. He was in the middle of explaining how people in Alcoholics Anonymous were in denial about coffee and cigarettes being "mind altering" drugs.

"Please!!!" Please was his signature. "I'm a different person, before I've had my coffee in the morning!" he waited for the laughter. "It's the absence of the drug and the withdrawal symptoms that can be alleviated by it, that demonstrate that it's mind altering... Why do you think it's called a nicotine fit?..... You're jonesin' and a smoke makes your mind 'normal' again!"

There was agreeable laughter all around, though nobody was smoking and, in fact, none of them did smoke anymore, not even Andy.

"But I've got a theory related to what we saw today." The conversation had earlier turned to the native cultures that had vanished from the New Mexico and Arizona area, some leaving behind pueblos that looked as if the people had simply walked away en masse, others, like the cliff dwellers, leaving evidence of having withdrawn into an apparent siege situation. Currently, evidence of cannibalism at some of the latter was a topic of controversy. Paul had offered his theory about it earlier and now the comedian was riffing on that. "I think it's clear that the thing all great ancient societies share is that they rose to greatness after first becoming obsessed with and then suppressing football...

"Think about it. Every time an archaeological dig unearths some great ancient temple or city, they're insistent about stressing how many football fields it covers! Please!! This can't be a coincidence!"

Jeff laughed. He nudged his dad. "He's such a wing-nut."

"He's clever. A little twisted. I liked the bit about the presidency of Russia, though it's kind of dated, doesn't really apply to Putin, of course." said Paul.

"Yeah, but it still works, because we all remember Yeltzin. He likes to tell people that he almost sold that joke to Letterman." Dinner was over. Jeff stood, picked up his coffee, indicated to his dad that he do the same. "Come on," he said.

They were dining on the stone patio, under a star filled sky, behind the house. Jeff led Paul over to the cactus garden, sipped his coffee and looked him in the eye; trying to sound non-chalant, but feeling conspiratorial, he asked, "So what's the scoop with Santa Rosa, Dad?"

Paul didn't hesitate. He looked at his son and matter-of-factly answered, "Keep this to yourself, please, Jeff. Somebody's killing serial killers. I don't know who, but I'm sure the pattern's there."

Jeff was speechless. Paul continued, "Whoever he is, he's finding people now that are still UNSUBS to The Bureau and, worst of all, they don't know he's doing it."

22.) Probability

Paul told his son about Arlen Wesley Henniford and how there was nothing he had observed about the scene of his death to indicate that it hadn't been staged.

He said that the massive overdose of cocaine that had killed Kevin Pimental seemed fishy, not only because Pimental was apparently destitute, but especially in light of the fact that he may have been in the company of an unknown stranger. The last known sighting of him had been on a liquor store surveillance camera, which captured him walking away with an unidentifiable person, who may or may not have been waiting for him.

Harvey Turner had been certain that Dennie Bordeaux's death was a suicide, but his mentioning that the team who stormed the garage had "slipped" the lock on the pedestrian door had raised Paul's suspicions and he had asked Harvey to fax him all the photos of the Bordeaux scene. Sure enough, it was equipped with a spring bolt that could easily have been jimmied with anything like a credit card or strip of flexible metal. Had an adversary been lying in wait, the Bordeaux scene may also easily have been staged.

Lastly, Jerome Anthony's hanging in Santa Rosa appeared to fit the pattern. He had stepped off of his basement stairs, with a noose around his neck. Paul had seen it before, but it was very unusual. In fact he'd seen it used to stage fake suicides before and, in his estimation, he was seeing that again. He only wished he could have visited the basement when it was still a fresh scene. That afternoon he'd had to settle for photos, a house that had been completely remodeled and an interview with Anthony's employer, who was cooperative, but clearly preoccupied with his business and who made no secret of the fact that he'd been traumatized by the event and wasn't awfully happy about having to revisit it in his memory.

"Surely you told Harvey what you think," Jeff insisted.

"Before I went up to Ogdensburg, I told him I was working on a theory, but no, I haven't told him what it is. Frankly, I'm wishing I hadn't told you."

"Does Mom know?"

Paul looked across the small yard to Joan, still seated at the table with Kurt, her two year old grandson, in her lap, conversing with her daughter-in-law. She glanced up at him. "I haven't told her, Jeff, but your mother is the smartest woman I know. There's no telling what she knows."

"Yeah, tell me about it. Between the two of you, I never got away with anything."

"You were a good kid, Jeff." Paul looked his son in the eye with a father's deep love and remembered how close they had come to losing him. A drunk driver had struck him while he was riding his bike one Summer afternoon, when he was ten, and he had lain in a coma for six days, horribly broken. "We never had any behavioral problems with you, to speak of."

Jeff was about to reply, but Paul could see him looking beyond his right shoulder and turned to see Andy Everly closely approaching.

"Paul," Andy implored, "Settle an argument for me, would you? Was Albert DeSalvo really the Boston Strangler? I got in a discussion with a friend before going on one night at The Comedy Store and it got so heated that when I went on, my focus was all off and I bombed something awful! So what's your professional opinion?"

Through the French doors to the dining room, Paul could see that Cheeto had taken her violin and bow from their case and, as she emerged from the house checking her tuning, it seemed they were about to be entertained. She came to the freestanding fireplace at the north end of the patio, stopped and turned to face the table and began to play. Paul immediately recognized the Gershwin brothers' "Fascinatin' Rhythym", an old favorite of his. He smiled.

Then he looked again at Andy, who stood awaiting a reply, and said, "Short answer: DeSalvo was a burglar, with an overactive libido and some odd fetishes, but in all probability, he wasn't the strangler. Excuse me."

Then he took his coffee and strode back to his seat.

23.) Virtuosos

Cheeto's rendition of "Fascinatin' Rhythym" was truly fascinating to Paul. She played it just like the great Stephane Grappelli. Paul was intimately familiar with Grappelli's music and was delighted when she followed it with another of his standards, "Taking A Chance On Love", yet by the time she'd finished this tune, he was dumbfounded by something else. He suddenly realized that she bore a startling resemblance to the way Joan had looked when they met. Joan had worked as an interpreter for the State Department. She had been a blonde then, though her natural color was a deep reddish brown. How could he have not noticed this right away?

"You think she looks like me when I was interpreting at State, I'll bet," came his wife's voice in his ear.

"I suddenly feel like I'm being set up," he looked at her, standing at his right shoulder, inches away and said, "but I just noticed the similarity."

"I know. I watched your face change. You looked like you'd suddenly seen a ghost!"

"Well, she pales by comparison, Joanie! What can I say?" he laughed.

"Good save, Sherlock. What would you say to a little stargazin' later?" As long as they had owned the house, they had appreciated the beauty of its pueblo style architecture, including that two flat areas of the roof could be utilized as living or sleeping space. Stargazing had been their codeword for making love under the open night sky.

"You're the most brilliant star I know and I could gaze at you all night." Paul murmured.

"Wow! You're looking for something special. What the hell are you drinking, anyhow?" Joan kidded him.

"Coffee and I've GOT something special." He kissed her, glanced at Cheeto, who was now playing something that he didn't recognize, said, "You know, I think I didn't see it, because I've always preferred the red. I don't think of you as a blonde."

"You'd better not think of any blondes, buster!" She poked him in the ribs, then giving him a squeeze whispered, "Or no sixty-eight!"

He feigned shock. Then he asked Joan, who was the best lip-reader he'd ever known, if she happened to pick up what Cheeto had said before she began playing what she now was.

"She said it's called Tears of Joy," answered Joan.

-------------

When Cheeto had finished playing and had received grateful applause, she put her instrument away in the house, then joined them all on the patio.

"Paul is a big fan of Stephane Grappelli, Cheeto. You couldn't have made him happier tonight," Joan complimented the younger woman and pinched her husband, knowing that he would appreciate the truth in the double entendre.

He resisted reacting, of course. He said, "Who would have guessed you're an author and not a professional musician?"

"I'm very good at imitation," Cheeto admitted, "but I have no style of my own. What's more, I play for pleasure. I'm sure I'd find the business of pursuing a living at it joyless. I'm a homebody, you see; a real nester, so writing has been ideal for me."

"And joyful?" asked Paul.

"And joyful," she affirmed. "I enjoy every aspect of it. I research and write about what interests me most. I have a great agent and I don't do book tours."

"Oh?" said Joan.

"The trick is to not be TOO successful," she laughed. "I write about virtuosos. Biographies. The people who are going to buy my book about Itzhak Perlman will buy it, whether I do a tour or not, so I stay here."

"Sounds like you found just the right niche," said Joan.

"I'm quite sure I did. There is no place like New Mexico!" Cheeto exclaimed. Then she said to Paul, "I understand you had something similar in mind, when you bought this place."

"What's that?" he asked.

"Staying put and being an artist."

"Oh. No. Actually, we bought this place instead of my going to Italy to stay put and be an artist," corrected Paul. "And like you with the violin, I think the pursuit of a living as an artist wouldn't have been the right choice of lifestyles."

He knew, also, that he had been a virtuoso in his chosen field.

24.) Orion

Paul was sitting at his drawing board sketching with pen and ink, when he heard Joan's voice say, "I thought you'd be painting." He looked up to see that she appeared just as he would have expected her to, except that her hair was blond. He realized he was dreaming.

"I'm drawing a virtuoso," he found himself replying, as he looked at his work, which had not yet become a discernible landscape.

"Was Albert DeSalvo really the Boston Strangler?" he heard Cheeto ask and, turning to look at his wife, found Cheeto standing there examining the drawing.

He looked at the drawing board again and found it had become a map of the U.S. and Canada, with brightly colored push-pins indicating the locations of crime scenes, like they'd used before the age of the computer to figure out a subject's area of operation and try to determine where he was based.

He opened his eyes and the sky over Sante Fe looked like a dark map covered in white push-pins. To the lower left in this expanse, the constellation Orion stood out. As he focused on the three stars of its belt, he thought he could make out a grid and, glancing around now, he could see that it clearly seemed to be there, superimposed on the entire sky. He realized he was still dreaming, squeezed his eyes tightly and when he opened them, he was lying beside Joan beneath a morning sky into which the sun was just beginning to inch.

25.) Ritual

Paul did some of his best thinking while driving. It was the effect of having to concentrate on a continuous task that was simple enough that it left his mind free to wander. Things would suddenly come to him behind the wheel of a car that he would never have thought of had he been sifting through files or deep in a brainstorming session. It held true with conversations he would have when driving, as well. Joan had always loved listening to him talk while he was driving. He relaxed.

His greatest breakthroughs, however, often occurred during his morning shower. Paul took it for granted that the robotic morning ritual, combined with not yet having been distracted by the day's onslaught of stimuli, plus the residual reshuffling of the night's dreams, were collectively responsible for how often he would suddenly see a complete picture where there had only been puzzle pieces, during the act of shampooing his hair.

This morning Paul was already thinking about the fact that he didn't know what bothered him most about his virtuoso hunter. This guy was truly unique. He was highly organized, highly resourceful, his area of operation was enormous, he was finding serial killers that the FBI had been unable to catch and in the case of the Santa Rosa murders, nobody had even realized a serial murderer was active in the area, he was using a different method of killing every time and always made the death appear to be accidental or suicide.

With the exception of Pimental, the killers had been found with at least some of the remains of their victims and cases had been closed.

This is all about motive, Paul was thinking over and over, like a mantra.

He was glad that Jeff hadn't asked him why he hadn't told Harvey what he believed yet. He was trying to imagine how this could not be someone, or worse yet, more than one someone, in law enforcement. It was this that he was thinking about, while picturing the scene in Jerome Anthony's basement and washing his right foot, when it dawned on him that the Anthony murder could not have been this UNSUB's first and if he'd seen the death scene while it was fresh, he knew he'd have realized this immediately.

26.) Message

Ordinarily what would be most outstanding about Orion (by the time Paul had put his socks on, he had decided to codename his UNSUB Orion) was the fact that the last two killings were only days apart. Normally this escalation would indicate that the killer was spinning out of control, but this was usually accompanied by a breakdown in organization and often led directly the killer's apprehension. Paul didn't think Orion was spinning out of control. If anything, he was becoming more refined. Paul didn't see any indication of disorganization and he intuited that Orion had killed Henniford at his earliest convenience once he had either figured out who he was or, more likely, once he had discovered his dump site and he probably had followed with Bordeaux so soon afterward simply because he had only just figured out who he was or, again more likely, determined where he lived, and again it was convenient.

Paul knew there was something else, too. Orion was sending a message. These last two killings, especially that of Bordeaux, had been right under their noses. Of course, he may have been trying to send a message all along. With the exception of Pimental, whose victims had been left in public places, Orion had been careful to have them all found with their victims. He was telling them he was doing this because of what these men had done. At the same time, he was smart enough not to make it obvious that the murders were murders, so with any luck they wouldn't be pursuing him. No doubt, he looked at this whole enterprise like he was doing them, and society as a whole, a favor.

Whoever Orion was, he had to have the funds that allowed him to bear the expense of the travel involved, but he also had to be free to do so and presumably in such a way that he could not be easily connected to being in the area of his killings when they occurred. Business might be a cover, but it generally left an accurate record and required interaction with others. It's difficult to establish an alibi on a business trip, if you need time to slip away to kill. Paul was beginning to imagine someone on vacation. No. On safari.

27.) Behavioral Norms

The Sunday morning blueberry pancake breakfast was a Warren family tradition going back to at least the time of Paul's childhood and now Jeff's family rarely saw a Sunday without stacks of buttermilk flapjacks filled with juicy blueberries, butter, maple syrup, eggs, bacon, toast, jellies, fruit juices, coffee, milk and fresh sliced fruit (Paul prefered peaches) and vanilla ice cream for desert.

Andy, Loretta, Barry and Justine had spent the night in a motel, but joined them for breakfast, before heading off to Las Vegas for a week long gig. Paul was mainly enjoying the fare and the company of his grandson, but the conversation had largely been directed by Andy, who seemed comparatively serious this morning, to the differences between abnormal and criminal psychology. Paul had explained, in sort of an off hand way, that criminal psychology was a sub-category of abnormal psychology, that psychology was a behavioral science and that people's psychological make-up could actually only be IMPLIED by observing their behavior. This would, of course, include what they reported about themselves. Criminal behavior implied a criminal psychology.

"In rehabilitation efforts these days, the talk is all about 'norms'," Paul told Andy, "not laws or rules, but norms, because they're trying to emphasize that you'll never fit in, if your behavior doesn't conform to the behavioral norms of your society, whatever your psychological make-up."

"What I want to know is..." Andy was apparently warming up now, "was Einstein normal?"

"Einstein was abnormal!" insisted Jeff. "He was an anomaly, even among his peers."

"Lousy violinist, too," said Barry.

Paul said, "But what matters is that however abnormal his psyche was, his behavior wasn't criminal..."

"You never heard him play the violin!" Andy shot back.

"...or dangerous," concluded Paul.

"Not counting encouraging the development of the atom bomb, of course," said Alvina, who, like many of HER peers, was outspokenly anti-nuclear.

"And while I wouldn't argue that that wasn't dangerous, it wasn't criminal," said Paul and, turning to Andy, attempted to sum up, "and ultimately, I'm concerned with criminal behavior, which isn't normal."

"What about what this guy Bordeaux said?" asked Barry. "That sign they say he had on his bedroom wall that said 'among headhunters, the one that won't kill people is dysfunctional'? Don't think I'm being facetious, but wouldn't he have been right about the norms of THAT society?"

"The point that he was missing is that he didn't live in a society of headhunters," answered Paul.

Andy asked, "You don't think he was trying to make the point that we ARE a society of headhunters?"

"We're only a society of headhunters," answered Paul, "if we allow his kind to dominate our society."

28.) "The Redheads"

When Paul was almost five years old, his parents bought a home in Hamilton, Ohio and moved the family from the first floor of the two family house they had shared with Paul's paternal grandmother in Cincinnati and their lives all began a new phase. Paul's new neighborhood was more suburban in character. There was less traffic and the houses were primarily for single families. There was a grammar school just around the corner. Behind it was an enormous playground, with swings and ballfields and a large covered sandbox. Though he was too young to understand the effects of this at the time, his neighbors were, by and large, on a higher income level than those in Cincinnati.

Paul was looking forward to meeting all the new kids in the neighborhood and at school in the Fall. He was sorry to have left behind an awful lot of friends in Cincinnati for a four year old and needed to be consoled with the assurance that he'd see them in the years to come during visits to and stays at his grandmother's place. He was not sorry, was in fact relieved, to have left behind a family who lived a hundred yards away from his old house, people they had known simply as "the redheads". They were a large brood of tough Irish kids who aggressively defended the block where they lived and bullied all who approached. For the rest of his life, Paul would be aware of the fact that, though they would never really know him nor he them, "the redheads" had set in place a dynamic that would shape his life, because he was already regularly pondering the question of why, if he hadn't done anything wrong to anyone, he should have to defend his right to be on a public street.

In time Paul would learn that the natural system of organization in human society was the dominance hierarchy, with an "Alpha" individual at the top of a pyramid of layers of individuals of lesser and lesser status. It was a system maintained by aggression, actual or threatened, and it could be seen throughout the animal kingdom, as well. He would also become familiar with the theory that in every relationship, one person is more dominant and one more submissive and he would, for the most part, come to accept it as true, but like most American kids, he knew he had rights and that he lived in a society with laws that everyone was supposed to obey.

Paul's father was an electrical engineer and an ex-marine who had fought on Okinawa and Guam during the second world war. His mom had been a legal secretary. They were intelligent and well educated and wanted at least as much for their kids. They worked hard to provide it. In later years Paul would wonder just how much aggression the war had taken out of his father. Jim Warren never talked about the war. He was a quiet man with few close friends, who did crossword and letter substitution puzzles, watched this new television thing like he'd pioneered the idea himself and ate and drank too much. Paul was always amazed at the pictures of his dad he'd look at in his grandmother's photo album, because his father had been so thin. All of Paul's life, Jim Warren had been overweight.

Paul's father taught him how to draw, how to build a radio and how to build a house. He taught him songs to sing, how to build a fire to cook hot dogs and hamburgers and how to ride a bike. Later he'd show him how to maintain and repair it and Paul, who already loved to take things apart and put them back together, took to it like a duck to water and he would enjoy a reputation that would last throughout his college years of piloting bikes and cars he had thrown together that others would literally be afraid of. Paul's father would repeatedly tell him, "They won't pay you for who you are; they'll pay you for what you know." He taught him to play baseball and tutored him at math. He taught him how to solve letter substitution puzzles, but he didn't teach him to fight. Oh, maybe a few moves at times when Paul would have trouble with a bully in junior high, but it hadn't been in the curriculum while he was being raised.

One night, several Summers after they had moved to Hamilton, the Warrens went to a drive-in movie and during the second feature, while Paul was dozing off, he heard an actor in the film say, "It's the law of the jungle: kill or be killed," and he immediately related this to "the redheads". He had already come to a conclusion about people from having noted that there were kids in Hamilton who behaved similarly to "the redheads". He had divided kids into good kids and tough kids. Good kids seemed to be smarter and they didn't get in a lot of trouble. Tough kids were like little criminals and tried to dominate the good kids and each other. He wondered about the difference between these kids long and hard, on the Sunday afternoon that followed having been to the drive-in. He concluded that the difference between the two sets of kids was their parents, that good kids' parents cared enough to teach them to be good and tough kids' parents apparently didn't care about their being good and probably taught them the law of the jungle. Being a good kid, he decided the tough kids' parents were wrong.

29.) Motive

At the root of the dominance hierarchy lies competition: competition for the choice of whatever is desirable, be it territory, sustenance, possessions, or sexual partners. It has been argued that sexual aggression is at the root of all competition.

Paul had always had an attitude about competition and even he wasn't exactly certain why it was what it was. His older sister, Jenny, had been the most competitive and, arguably, the best athlete in the family, excelling at team sports. Paul, on the other hand, while an exceptional center-fielder, preferred individual sports and had shone at running cross-country and track and field events, particularly distance running.

Paul had become more and more selective about games until he got to the point where he claimed not to play any, though in truth he could be depended on to accept an invitation to play softball or touch football because he loved them and didn't take them seriously and he would also play volleyball or badminton, but only if the strict rules of the sport were observed. But Paul hadn't played a game of cards since his twenties and you couldn't pay him to play ping-pong. He'd played chess since his dad taught him as a child, but it no longer interested him.

Of course, he admitted to himself that he competed in his own way by being good at what he chose to do. He'd always had the type of self-confidence that said the kind of people he respected would recognize what he had to offer. He had outright refused to compete for women for the same reason and he knew, when he thought of Joan, that he had been right.

The overall scheme of things was about competition, though, and there was no getting around it. It was why he was who he was. Paul believed that man had come out of nature to rise above the law of the jungle. It was probably the influence of his Jesuit educators that caused him to think humanity had made this move to use the power of numbers to defend the weak against the dominant. Paul had committed to using his mind to stop bullies from attempting to act like alpha individuals.

The motives and behaviors of a serial killer are not to be confused with what we call "normal sexual aggression". The mis-shaped psyche of the serial murderer is sexually stimulated by the acts of violence he performs and very often the terror he instills in those he is in control of. Control, domination, is always a key component in why he does what he does. He is always attempting to conquer his feelings of NOT having control and he is doomed to failure. After a cooling off period, he is forced to kill again.

Paul knew, however, that this did not apply to Orion and the reason was simple. Orion wasn't sexually motivated. He was stim-seeking, though he'd probably deny it, but that wasn't his primary motive either. Orion was motivated by revenge.

30.) Long Division

When Paul and Joan purchased the house in Sante Fe, the first thing Paul did was convert the second bedroom to a studio. After Jeff's arrival, it soon returned to being a bedroom and Paul added a large lean-to structure to the side of the garage, mainly of glass construction. Jeff still used this space for smaller projects, but with his large sculptures, he had needed a much larger work area and for years he had been leasing a small warehouse. It was there that he was completing work on his newest concrete poem sculpture, A Course In Miracles. Paul was seeing it for the first time on Sunday afternoon, as Jeff was finalizing the burnishing and polishing phase of the massive titanium piece.

Jeff explained to his father that A Course In Miracles was a 1600 page tome, said to be "channeled" from Christ to the mind of its authoress, over a period of seven or eight years. Essentially, it makes the claim that all misunderstanding arises from the misguided idea that one can be separate from God and that salvation comes in the acceptance of the reality that one is "at one with" God.

Jeff's sculpture was a nine and a half foot tall example of an equation in long division, just like one would see in a grammar school textbook, with the long division sign separating three identical versions of the word "one". One divided by one is one.

"The idea is that we are all 'one in Christ' and Christ is at one with God The Father, The Creator of all that is real," said Jeff. "Not really different from traditional Christianity. But what 'The Course' stresses is that, because one has had the thought that one is separate from God, an entire space-time continuum of illusion, based on division, has appeared in one's 'Godly' mind and it has been accepted as reality, because it has been so well imagined. Things immediately become complicated by separating the self into billions of egos all over the place throughout time and the text insists that the ego's only purpose is to convince one that the illusion is real. So the method of correction is to 'forgive' the illusion and accept that one actually exists in the 'eternal now', at one with one's Creator, because there simply is no satisfactory alternative available in this ungodly universe. This, of course, would be in keeping with Christ's statement: 'My kingdom is not of this world' and, at the same time, seems to me to be consistent with Buddhist thinking."

"I can see why you boiled it down to this," said Paul.

"Most answers can be expressed in very simple terms, once you know the answer to begin with. 'The Course' says acceptance of 'the at-one-ment' is THE answer. I simply restated the problem and the solution in a mathematical equation that we can all accept as a simple truth."

"Good job."

31.) Above The Clouds

" A Course In Miracles likes to stress things like the idea that everyone seeks happiness and fails to find it, until they seek it at its source, the self that is with its Creator, and once one has this joyful awareness, it's just a matter of remembering to remember it," Jeff told his father, "To remember to let go of the perception that you are separate from God and embrace the knowledge that you are not."

Paul didn't like to talk about it, but beginning in high school, he had been what he would have said was a "lapsed Catholic". Throughout his years at Notre Dame, there had, of course, been church attendance, but it had become less frequent until it virtually ceased after his graduation. Jeff's reference to "this ungodly universe" had surprised him only in who was using the adjective.

"So what we're doing here is shifting responsibility for the state of the world from God to man, at the same time that we're saying 'it isn't real, so don't worry, be happy'," observed Paul.

"That's pretty close," agreed Jeff. " 'The Course' says, 'you are the dreamer of the dream'. I like to think of it this way: the universe is our ultimate practical joke on ourselves; eventually, everyone goes to Heaven, because no one ever left Heaven."

Paul was replaying this conversation in his mind, as he dozed off in his seat aboard a DC10 over Elkhart, Kansas, on Wednesday afternoon.

32.) What Happened In Vegas

Paul was standing in the the hallway of the courthouse in Las Vegas, Nevada with Harvey Turner and Mrs. Thomas McAdams, Shirley, the mother of a murdered girl. Now there was a commotion in the mass of people behind him in the hall, reporters mostly. Apparently the paperwork had been completed and Andrew Travis Johansen was about to join them in the hallway. Paul was suddenly terrified and he knew he knew why and knew just as clearly that he wouldn't be able to do anything about the reason why, because somehow whatever it was had already happened. He began to turn toward the commotion and he caught Harvey's eyes widening as he looked past Paul at whatever it was. This scared him even more and he tried to turn faster, but felt like he was moving under water against the force of the stifling humidity and his inner awareness of the futility of trying.

As he completed his turn, out of the fifty or sixty people in that part of the hall, reporters extending microphones and beginning to shout questions, lights and TV cameras, and although the man was among those farthest away from him, Paul immediately focused on Tom McAdams. Tom's attention, like that of everyone around him, seemed to be riveted on Andrew Travis Johansen, and as he closed the distance between himself and his daughter's murderer, who was now only steps away from the intersection of the north corridor of the T-shaped hallway where Paul, Harvey, Shirley McAdams and the Smithsons were, Paul was sure, from the look on his face, Tom needed to be stopped. Paul started to shout, knowing it wouldn't help and, as he remembered what happened next, he awoke with a start in his seat next to Joan on the DC10.

33.) Obsession

Ancient wisdom tells us that one can be said to be three things: what one is believed to be by others, what one believes oneself to be and what one truly is.

When searching for the identity of a serial killer, what others see him as is what keeps him from being identified, for as normal or as odd as he appears to be, he won't appear to be who he really is.

Who he believes himself to be may be more helpful, especially if he gives you clues to what he believes. Frequently, as in the cases of BTK, The Zodiac or The Black Dahlia Murderer, an UNSUB will actually communicate with authorities and often he will attempt to explain why he is doing what he does and this betrays who he believes himself to be.

Usually, this also indicates to an experienced profiler what is at the heart of the killer's obsession. Having a good idea of what any serial perpetrator is obsessed with is generally the greatest clue to learning who he really is.

34.) Experience and Control

Paul had a professor in college, Dr. Harry Haak, who he considered to be one of the best educators he had ever met. Dr. Haak had said, "People learn from WHATEVER happens, so good teaching involves controlling what happens."

Paul was thinking about that Friday morning, as he sat at his computer reviewing data on unsolved serial murders and multiple similar missing persons cases across the country, looking for evidence of a killer who had been stopped, but whom they had not become aware of, someone preceding Jerome Anthony Anthony.

Everyone is a product of their genes, their environment and their experience. Something in the experience of serial predators leads them all, whatever their obsession is, to have a common need to prove to themselves they are in control.

In Paul's experience, one could expect that after each act of violence, the sense of having control would wear off and eventually the cycle would repeat itself, because the underlying feelings of inadequacy that drive the need for control never really go away. So a predator will continue to prey until caught. In most cases there will be a visible evolution in his crimes toward what he imagines the fantasy to be that might most satisfy him. But unless he is indisposed for some reason, such as sickness, imprisonment, military service or death, he'll keep doing what he does over and over, until he is stopped.

There are very rare exceptions, like Edmund Kemper III, who shot his grandparents to death at fourteen and after being freed as an adult, killed six young women in the Santa Cruz, California area, before he finally bludgeoned and decapitated his mother and killed her best friend. Apparently he felt he'd finally done what drove him to it all, because he then called the authorities and asked them to come and get him. Kemper has offered investigators tremendous insight into the phenomenon of the serial killer psyche, but he's not alone. Many serial predators have been surprisingly forthcoming, once they were imprisoned. It's a way for them to get attention and attempt to exercise control, a way to feel powerful and important. All the same, Bundy, Gacy, Dahmer, Kemper, BTK, most of them who would talk at all added to the authorities understanding before their time to go arrived. Bundy, in fact, had been shocked that he was actually going to be executed when he felt he had so much more he could teach them!

A series of five young girls had been abducted and found dead along a stretch of Rte. 88 between Schenectady and Schoharie, N.Y., in the year before Anthony's hanging. The abduction murders had stopped without a suspect being apprehended, but after speaking to the D.A. in Albany, Paul was convinced that a man in a mental hospital, who had confessed, was, in all likelihood, the killer.

Now he was focussed on a group of disappearances of girls and young women from Juneau, Alaska in that same year. Nine females, ages seventeen to thirty had vanished suddenly without a word: a college student, a nurse, a waitress, a deckhand on a salmon trawler, two exotic dancers, a cashier in a grocery market, a bartender and a stay-at-home mother. To this day there was speculation that every one of them had left of her own volition. Only the seventeen year old college freshman was a native Alaskan and one of her friends thought she had seen going away to college as having provided her with the opportunity to flee the state altogether. Even the stay-at-home mom drew rumors of affairs and her husband's frantic protests did nothing to change that. However, the more authorities looked, the more they were convinced that each of these women had made no preparations to leave, each had told nobody where they were going, none left a trail or had ever been heard from again and all had apparently left everything behind except what they had been wearing and carrying. Three had left their identification behind. After almost exactly a year, there were no more unexplained disappearances. Suspects were questioned and released. There were a few debunked confessions. Nobody was ever arrested in the case and it all went cold.

Paul found the number for the D.A.'s office in Juneau, punched the digits on his phone and clicked back to the news article about the salmon boat deckhand, while he listened to the ringing.

35.) Games

Dr. Harry Haak had drawn the distinction between play, games and sport. While all three suspended the rules of everyday reality, to varying degrees they all took on rules of their own. Play was generally less regulated and carried on mainly for fun. Games were a more structured form of play and were regulated through a variety rules. They could be played for fun, but very often were played for more serious reasons. Sport was an even more structurally organized and regulated level of game playing. The reasons behind sport fill volumes.

Dr. Haak was essentially a professor of principals of education, but in truth he was a sociologist.

Paul was on a Monday morning flight to Alaska, thinking about territory and games. Paul had withdrawn from game playing more and more beginning in childhood. His problem was with cheaters, kids who wouldn't play by the rules, but insisted they hadn't broken them. It took all the fun out of the experience and then what was the point of playing? If you challenged them, things soon escalated into real world aggression and Paul was then doubly exasperated at the total unfairness of having to fight or back down, when the other person was wrong in every respect. Kids were always breaking the rules in games and getting away with it. He was truly grateful for the adult supervision and regulation that came with organized sports.

It seemed to Paul there was a parallel relationship between the ethics of all of this and those seen in the practice of man's territoriality and indeed many games were territorial in nature, the Japanese game of Go and American football being only two of the better examples. Territoriality played an enormous role in human psychology.

Paul was flying to Juneau to study the territory from which nine women had vanished. He was doing this to determine how Orion had found their abductor and he was sure that he had. If he was successful, he hoped to find remains of them and their abductor, because they were all long dead, of course.

He mainly was hoping to see something in the territory that would give him a better idea of just how Orion had discovered the Juneau abductor and he was becoming convinced that learning the territory and the habits of the killers had been the key to each of Orion's successes thus far, except perhaps Pimental, though he wasn't completely certain about it. In fact, the only things he was sure of were that Orion was only killing men who murdered young women and that he was having what he believed to be his righteous revenge.

He was making an educated guess that Orion had begun in Juneau and for some reason, perhaps related to his being a beginner, he had failed to leave the abductor's body where it would be quickly found.

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This novel was completed on 10/21/11. My literary agent is hard at work seeking a publisher, but I will self publish, should it become necessary. Information will be available here as things progress.

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    • Bob Druwing profile image
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      Bob Druwing 9 years ago from Van Nuys, CA

      Thanks, Rhoda. Hey! Is that a doozy joke?

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      rhodapell 9 years ago

      this is a doozy of a gripping serial murder mystery! keept it coming.