Saturday, 30 April 2011


So it turns out that getting caught up in a case of people disappearing or being murdered immediately after being stalked doesn't do wonders for the psyche, especially the realisation that the person doing so is probably still at large. On top of my being worried sick almost all the time about Joey, I've become increasingly paranoid over the last few weeks. It's odd. I find myself unconsciously avoiding windows - being near them, or looking out of them - and finding excuses not to go outside, staying in the house.
Did anyone here know the etymology of the word uncanny? I mean, we use it to describe something which is just slightly off, with an emphasis on creepily so; familiar, yet at the same time, alien. And of course, canny indicates knowledge, or knowing. So the word itself means "not known", or in the modern sense, "outside of knowledge". But that's not where the word comes from. It's descended from the German word Unheimliche, which means "un-home-like", or the feeling of being "not at home", like those pictures Ms. Fisher took of her apartment. Familiar, yet not the place it once was. Off. She and her boyfriend both died in that place. It's now a burnt, blackened shell. She was right. It wasn't her home.

And that's my problem right there. I'm not at home. Paranoid, uncomfortable. Full of unease. My eyes not allowing themselves to linger on the dark places. My mental state was pretty damn fractured after finding Ms. Fisher, and I feel like I should admit that my tone on here is me actively hiding just how fucked up I still am about that. Better to keep smiling, eh? And I never smile when I'm alone anymore.
P.S. Joey's name is actually Joey. The fake name thing was a double bluff. I figure, since his name (Joseph Walker) is now a matter of public knowledge, what with all the press coverage, it can't hurt to say now.

P.P.S. I had not read House of Leaves when I wrote this! I feel kinda embarrassed...

Thursday, 28 April 2011


Today, a nagging little fear was confirmed. There's no way that Halderman could have worked the computer mojo on the security cameras. No-one can figure out exactly how that was done. The recorder was a closed system. They have a theory involving some kind of hyper-complex virus, but it's a stretch. Additionally, while Halderman is wily, his little Harry Houdini trick in and out of that house seems beyond him. I have no doubt he was involved. Guys like him, with that description and that track record aren't exactly ten-a-penny. But he can't have acted alone. That's the only explaination anyone can think of. Which means that someone still probably has Joey. The police force is back up to its full capacity, taking in detectives from all over the county. They're scouring everywhere. No luck.

In other news, my head still hurts. I expected quite the hangover, but this is ridiculous. I guess, with my constitution, problems like this are unavoidable.
Head hurts. No memory of what happened past about 10 o'clock.

Nothing like a good night out on the town, eh?

More sleep now zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


I'm feeling at rather a loose end. I'm not going back to Motcombe because, well, a teacher's death is as good a reason as any to cancel classes for a while in their management's eyes. I've been sitting at home, restless, waiting for a call about Joey having been found or Halderman confessing. I can't sit still. Daytime TV sucks, it turns out there's only a finite mumber of things to read on Cracked, and most of my DVDs have ended up round Simon's house somehow...fortunately, Simon put me onto TVTropes, which I was sceptical about after my first lookaround, until I realised that two hours had passed since I first went on in what definitely felt like fifteen minutes. So, if nothing else, it's a pretty good time-sink. Even then, I'm feeling uneasy - restless, like I said. I feel like I should be doing...something. Instead, I've elected to do almost nothing.

I'm going out tonight with Simon and a few friends. Hit a few clubs, probably get inordinately drunk, do a little dance, make a little etcetera etcetera. Get down tonight, is what I'm saying. If anyone's in Eastbourne tonight, maybe I'll see you around!
Slept well for the first time in weeks. Everything is working itself out :-)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Okay, here's a transcript of the interview which took place about three hours ago.

Richard Duncan: Alright, Mr. Halderman, have a seat. This is Mr. North, he'll be your appointed lawyer for these preceedings.

(sounds of chairs scraping)

RD: Do you know who this boy is?

(sound of dry chuckling)

John Holderman: I've seen him in the paper. I hear you guys are having trouble finding the one who took him.

RD: Well that's the thing. We got this photograph of the one who did it.

(Sound of photo paper fluttering)

JH: Ahhhhh...picture's a little low-resolution to be just wheeling me in, isn't it?

RD: Tall, gangly, thin frame, bald, wearing a suit with a black tie. Almost exactly as we found you.

JH: I was on my way back from a job interview. What would you wear, shorts? That's not me. Besides, how'd you get a picture? Last I heard, the one who stole the kid did it without you seeing hide nor hair of him.

RD: This is from the schoolteacher murder, the first crime. She has dozens of pictures of you following her.

Barrister Geoff Paige: Chief Inspector, if you're going to be so casually accusing my client of murder and child abduction, I'd at least expect you to have better evidence than bad photos of a tall bald man.

RD: Tall bald men aren't in short supply. but tall, thin, bald men with histories of vicious violence and sexual assault...

GP: What evidence is there of sexual assault here? Was there any evidence of sexual assault with the teacher?

JH: Are you calling me a paedophile?!?

RD: ...Tall, thin, bald sadists are fewer and further between, Mr. Paige, Mr. Halderman. That is why you are here. You fit the description, you fit the M.O.

JH: When was that taken?

RD: It's timestamped for...Friday 8th. At 7:32. Why, got an alibi?

JH: ...Well I was at home, having just got back from my old job, probably watching television.

RD: Anyone who can confirm this?

JH: No, I was alone.

RD: Well then...

JH: So, you've arrested me for murder and child abduction. I hope for the little boy's sake you haven't called off the search...

RD: Oh, don't you worry. We'll be doing everything we can to make sure you tell us where that boy is...

JH: I wouldn't kidnap that boy, you smug son of a bitch, I'm not a fucking paedophile! Now while it may be hard for you to get your head around this, I always liked kids, and I don't want to see another body turn up around here any more than you do.

RD: Oh, because you're a paragon for peace, aren't you? Louise Fisher's murder was a fucking display of sadism and mutilation, and here you are, fitting the description of her stalker and with a history of slitting up women!

JH: I've changed!

RD: You stuck a knife in a 17-year old girl after she tried to stop you raping her. You mutilated her arms, her chest, her genitals. People like that don't change. People like that only get worse!

GP: (slams hands against table) This interrogation is over, Richard!


RD: I'll take him to his cell.

GP: I'll come with you. Can't have something bad happening along the way, now, can we?

(Tape ends)

No real alibi, a history of violence, the right shape. As I said, I'll be sleeping better knowing "daddy"'s behind bars, though I hope they find Joey soon. I'm still holding out hope that nothing too bad's happened to him, poor kid.

At least, they caught someone.

Just got a phone call from DCI. Duncan. John Halderman. 6'8, 143 pounds. Bald. Practically emaciated. Former sex offender - two violent rapes. No recorded interest in children, but hey, no-one's putting it past him. After a string of minor violent crimes, steadily escalating, he was arrested aged twenty for raping two teen girls at knifepoint and stabbing one of them through the hand when they tried to escape, before torturing her. Rape, kidnap, GBH, torture. Now 46. Got out of prison two years ago. Arrested in town after being on the suspect list for a while. Wearing a suit. I'm so excited right now. I don't care about all the weird shit around this whole thing, folks, it looks like this is all on one very tall, very thin, very violent man. If we're lucky, we'll even get Joey back.

Everything might not be going to shit!

EDIT: Duncan has promised he'll e-mail me a transcript of the interrogation. Either he's a little too enabling, or he really IS trying to sleep with me. I don't even think that's legal, but I'm not complaining. I'll put it up when it comes through.


Joey's gone. No-one knows where. He disappeared on Sunday/Monday night. The police watching their house saw nothing, despite the fact that there should be no way for him to have gotten in. No alarms tripped. No glass broken. The security cameras around the house show nothing, except that at about 2:15, the video file becomes corrupted, framerate slows to a crawl, and picture quality plummets. After about thirty seconds, it goes to a short bit of video of Joey in bed from just before the distortion, playing on a loop. The only bit of image they can get is about five minutes into the file, of Joey, standing beside his bead, looking up at something in front of him. Whoever "Daddy" is, he got into that house at the centre of one of the biggest police cases in East Sussex history, despite the fact that it was being actively surveiled, took a kid, and left, and we only knew the next morning when his mother found his empty bed and started screaming.

What no-one can figure out, as I understand it, is how the camera got sabotaged. It's not attatched to any outside connection other than a police computer being hidden in a cupboard in the next room. It too is under video surveilance and no-one went near it the whole time.

Either way, the press is screaming blue bloody murder over this latest kidnapping, and considering this investigation had brought in police forces from all over East Sussex, the whole county's police forces have egg on their face. It's not common to read about this town in the national paper, you know, let alone when the entire county's best and brightest let the murder suspect they're hunting waltz into a house they're watching and steal a child they're protecting, before slipping away like he was never there. At the last I heard, the phones have been taken off the hook just to stop them ringing. DCI. Duncan's superior'll be resigning in disgrace, from what I hear. Good riddance. If they can't protect a seven year old child, every one of them should hand in their badges.

This has effectively halted my mental recovery from the last incident. I'm not sleeping. I can't bring myself to eat, I can't sit still. I find it hard to go outside. Everything's going to shit.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


Hey everyone. After what I found out in last Friday, I've been pretty busy. I'm now almost certain that "Daddy" was the one who killed Ms. Fisher; that she knew about him - or just about Joey being stalked - for a while, but that she became particularly aware after getting him back on the Monday, and that Joey's in danger. After spending a few days trying to set out how to present this to the head of the investigation, a Detective Chief Inspector Duncan (whose phone number I have, in case I remember or hear anything, assuming he doesn't just want to sleep with me while I'm vulnerable) I got it crystallised in my head. He's a tall, thin, bald Caucasian man, who seems to wear a suit a lot. No facial description unfortunately, and I think it's best if I don't mention the supposed long arms and the fact that headaches seem to break out near him, because that'll make me sound crazy.

I told DCI. Duncan all this, and he yelled at me for five minutes about not telling him about this before, then thanked me for my lead and hung up. On Thursday, I got the call that he and his household are under police protection. I also received some other, interesting information. Firstly, there was not only one photograph. There were thousands. She had in her purse about five Micro SDHC cards, full of pictures. Mostly of areas around the school, at all times of day. A lot of the time they were down alleyways, into dark windows or out of her flat window into the night. Sporadic at first, but increasingly frequent as time went on. In her last week, she was taking over two hundred a day. And every so often, far off in the background, was a featureless bald head and thin black-clad shoulders peering out towards her, at first rarely, but then with more and more frequency. He was following her. A chill ran down my spine when I heard this. How long had he been planning that murder, how long had he been choosing the exact right moment to maim and kill that poor woman?

More chilling, when I thought about it, were the photos with nothing in them. Some were just of corners of rooms in her apartment, or hallways in Motcombe School. Places she should have felt safe, turned into hunting grounds for her eventual murderer. I don't know what's scarier to me; that she was paranoid enough to distrust even her inner sanctums, or that he may well have been there.

Anyway, today, I got bad news. According to Joey's mother, they don't know any bald men who wear suits with any regularity, let alone on every occasion anyone had seen them. More bad news, several of the police staff had dropped off the case, particularly those in the photo labs, complaining of terrible migraines.

Can anyone tell me how this headache thing is possible? Because I'm drawing a blank.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

On Joey

This afternoon went pretty smoothly. I went over to my friend's house and spoke to her mother about Joey's parents. Told her that the school was having me drop off homework for his class, seeing as how they didn't get it from the end of the term. It turns out the two kids have had a few playdates, and she had Joey's address written down on a stack of paper, which she handed over.

Joey...doesn't live well at home. The house he lives in is one his family can't really afford; his mother works multiple jobs for it just so she has the right postcode to get him into decent, middle-class schools, and while it's in a nice area, it's a dump. They'd honestly have a better residence in a council estate. I knock on the door - coarse, unpainted wood and the glass of the windows long since smashed and boarded up - and a woman with hair that seems prematurely greyed answers. Crow's feet across her eyes. A uniform for a minimum wage job on under her jacket. Instantly I feel self-conscious, until I remember why I'm here.

"Hi, I'm Ms. Dawkins, an assistant in Joey's class. Is Joey in? I need to talk to him about homework for school, catch up after the rather chaotic end of term, if that's okay."

She looks at me, scanning me up and down, and then her gaze softens.

"He's in the lounge. I have to go now, but feel free to go in there and keep him busy."

She can't afford a sitter, it would appear. Okay, that makes my life easier.

"Hey, just for security's sake, let me take a photo of you."

She produces a cameraphone and takes a photograph of me. If I were some kind of paedophile, then she's certainly gone further towards solving this crime than preventing it.

"Right, I'll get out of your hair. Let yourself out whenever."

And with that, she walks past me, down a vegetation-tangled garden path and into an old, beat-up car before driving off to some shitty job. I walk into the house proper. It looks like someone was in the middle of a large DIY project and stopped halfway through; walls stripped and with splashes of old white paint and cement filling in cracks. The hallway stretches out to a tiny kitchen in front of me, and to my left, a staircase and a door to the lounge. Blu-tac'd at seemingly random intervals (covering up holes in the wall) are drawings seemingly drawn by Joey. I enter the lounge to find Joey sitting on the floor, drawing eagerly. He looks up at me and grins.

"Heyyyyyyy Kari!"

I sit down on the sofa. "Hey, Joey. I'm just here to ask about Daddy."

Joey looks confused.

"Ms. Fisher already came over and asked about Daddy. She had pictures on her phone. He was in some of them. There were more pictures than I can count. She asked what his face looked like."

She was here? She was asking about Daddy?

"Joey, stop drawing, this is very important. Tell me everything about Daddy. Is he your real Daddy?"

Joey's face scrunches up in concentration as he tries to find the right words. "No, but I never had a Daddy. He started being there, and so I called him Daddy, because he was the first person who was there for me."

"When did he start appearing?"

"About two months ago. At first he was hiding. I'd see him off in the distance or outside the house. Then he got more open. He watches me through windows, presses his face right up near them. Sometimes at school, he comes right up to the glass on the door. He comes into my room at night while I sleep. Look, I drew a picture."

Joey pulls a sheet of A4 from out of a pile. It showed Joey in bed, with a smile on his face, while the same tall, suited man stands right next to the bed. He looks like he's staring right at his, but his lack of a face means I'm just guessing. What was really bizarre were his dimensions; despite the fact that Joey's art skills are well beyond that of a normal child his age, he insists on drawing Daddy with long, thin arms and legs. The arms touch the ground even from standing. By comparison, the dimensions of other characters he draws are very realistic. It makes me wonder about that artistic choice.

"He always comes to keep me company when my head hurts."

Suddenly everything clicks.

"Did he take you with him that day you went missing?"

Joey's face turns red with anger. "He's my Daddy! I wanted to go with him!"

"What's wrong with Daddy's arms and legs?"

He stops. I press on.

"Why do you draw his arms and legs like that?"

He's completely quiet. Just looking at me.

"Who is Daddy?"

He suddenly looks scared. I can tell I'm not going to get any more information out of him. I back off, try to comfort him calm again. Eventually he relaxes.


By the time I walked home, it was already dark. Colder than it had been previous nights. Deeper shadows, stretching out from behind cars and walls. I walked quickly.

Friday, 15 April 2011

New things, junk, and in other news, stuff.

The Easter holiday makes me feel out of the loop. I've only found things out about Ms. Fisher's murder during repeated police questionings. I got the number of the guy in charge "in case anything comes to me", but it was pretty heavily implied that he still doesn't trust me. All I know is what the rest of the town knows; that her apartment was lit on fire last night. Her boyfriend was asleep inside, and was trapped. He's dead too. It seems to me that it might be the murderer trying to cover up any evidence which might be left. A shame that another person had to die horribly, but at least it's better than what happened to Ms. Fisher. Smoke inhalation probably put him under before the flames got to him. Quicker. Less painful, in the grander scheme of things.

Yesterday, however, I found that apparently the police already got what they wanted to hide. It turns out that, dropped under the bed near her, was her phone, on camera mode. She took a photograph of someone, a photograph I was shown. The problem is that the culprit is very far off in the distance and her phone camera wasn't very good, so all the police are going on is that they're tall, wearing black and bald. They can't even get any kind of clarity on his face. It just looks like white.

I know what you're thinking, but this is why I feel out of the loop. I can't tell if they've made the connection to Joey's "daddy" yet, because I haven't seen Joey or anyone who knows Joey since they broke up for Easter holiday, but it can't be a coincidence. The whole scene after she got Joey back, the days off afterwards. Her growing fright whenever Joey mentioned him. This "daddy" has a lot to answer for, possibly a murder.

A friend of mine's little brother was in the other class, and I saw them playing together once or twice; there's a chance his parents know Joey's. I'm going to go ask around. I'll update you later.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Breaking the Silence

Kari here. Sorry about the absence. Things have been a bit frantic here. Thank you all for being patient, assuming there's anyone still reading this. I've needed some time to myself.

So, here's what happened. I went over to Ms. Fisher's apartment at about eight with her books. She lived on the fourth floor of an apartment building in town near the seafront. The elevator was broken, so I took the stairs up. As soon as I got to the landing I saw that her door was ajar, but there was no light coming in from inside, so I assumed someone had broken in or something. I crept up to the door and listened for footsteps. Hearing none, I went inside. I turned the light on, and saw their living room in front of me; all tasteful, neutrally coloured furniture, arranged straight out of a catalogue. The door I entered was on the far left side of the wall, and so to my right was a TV with a cream sofa and some chairs arranged around both it and a wooden coffee table. In front of me was a dark wooden dinner table and chairs, and behind it, a door, which was also open, showing just enough of the wall inside for me to see a streak of red. I sprinted to the door.

The police arrived about two minutes after I called them, along with an ambulance. I couldn't stay in that apartment, so I crawled into the hallway, where they found me. I was sobbing and shaking. I've never...I didn't realise I lived in a world in which something like what happened to that woman could happen. I never even thought that something that grotesque could be a part of the same reality that I inhabited happily, safely, for all this time. I...

I'm not going to say what had been done to her. You don't want that.

 A paramedic, a young woman, wrapped a blanket around me while police and other paramedics ran into the bedroom. The sight of the body quickly sent them all back out again. None of them were prepared for that. After about half an hour later, when I was sitting in the back of the ambulance, still draped in the blanket, a rather ashamed policeman told me that I needed to come to the police station for questioning, and to deliver a statement.

That took hours. I recounted finding the body over and over and over and over and over until they were sure that the details were consistent. Eventually my parents came to pick me up.

When we got home, Simon was sitting on my house's doorstep. As soon as we pulled up, he sprinted over to the car, pulled open the door and hugged me, tight, squeezing me tight into his chest. I started crying again, like a fucking baby.

We went inside and we both went to bed. I felt that I needed him there or I couldn't sleep. I was wrong. Even with his arms still wrapped around me tightly, I woke up screaming and crying from a nightmare. This happened again and again throughout the night, and most nights since then. The worst, however, was one two nights ago, a repeat of that one nightmare, complete with the splitting headache.

Ms. Fisher had a headache.

I think I might be sick.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Simon here. This news article from the local paper got posted about an hour ago. Only just heard. Kari's not answering her phone. I don't know what to do. On my way to the police station now. Click on it to view full-size:

Friday, 8 April 2011

Today's findings.

Ms. Fisher hasn't been into work since the incident on Monday.

Sorry, I should start at the beginning.

I went into school for the first time in a while after my sick spell, only to find Mrs.Swift at the head of the classroom, all pursed, wrinkles lips and steely gazes towards the children, who'd given up all semblance of the sweet little tykes who I'd first met. They were unfocused, disruptive and uncooperative to her, and while they still seemed to like me, they wouldn't obey me if I were advocating for her. She seems to have proven herself unpopular.

The day dragged on; maths into history into...nothing much really. The more I thought about it, the more I became worried about Ms. Fisher's condition. An opportunity to find out more came at the end of the day. Ms. Fisher left one of her class planner books in the classroom, so I'm heading over to her apartment to give it to her. Figured I'd leave it late, so that if she's indisposed, her boyfriend can answer the door. I'll let you know how she's doing.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Not so ugh

Feeling better. Hopefully I can get into work tomorrow and find out what's going on with Ms. Fisher. Something's not right here.


As the title says, ugh. I've been off for two days, ill. Had to leave halfway through the school day Tuesday. Ms. Fisher's still not all that stable either. Phoned in on Tuesday, to give instructions. She says she's not sleeping. If it's any consolation, neither am I. She still wouldn't say why she was in this state. When I'm better, I'll go and find out.

In the meantime, me brain no werk when I'm ill, so that's all for now.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Simon again. Kari e-mailed me this as a word document from her phone.

Hey everyone. Sorry I wasn't around to post last night. I've been wanting to get this written all day. I ended up writing this on my phone in my break and e-mailing it to Simon to upload when he can. Yesterday, Joey went missing. During morning break, he just vanished. No-one saw him leave; he was there one minute and gone the next.

Naturally, once we established that he wasn't on the premises, everyone panicked. Ms Fisher had me take over the class while looked everywhere within two streets' radius, knocking on doors and looking in gardens. Eventually, she came back to the classroom, the young boy in hand. He was crying his eyes out, completely incomprehensible through the sobs. Ms. Fisher, however, was something entirely different. She was white as a sheet, and shaking. Her warm, kind demeanour was gone, replaced with what I can only describe as utmost dread. Real, unadulterated horror. She looked older, more worn, than she had been a half hour before. I understand that losing a child like that is worrying, but something was obviously very wrong. It turned out that he'd gotten through the fence around the school somehow - it's a tall fence, even by adult standards, with nothing to climb up, so he can't have gotten over it - and into the large park next door. Ms. Fisher had found him hiding amongst the trees, curled up into a ball. That was all she said - nothing to indicate why she was in the state she was in. After a while, the shaking gave way to a sudden, splitting headache, which rendered her useless. 

Her boyfriend came to pick her up and a substitute teacher, an old, short-tempered woman called Mrs. Swift, who the children were in turn not very cooperative with. It seems like the only thing stopping them from being as...well, as variable in their behaviour as most kids their age was the influence of a teacher they loved. I had to work my ass off getting them all calm.

Anyway, I'll be back with another one later today.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Kari's busy

Hey all, Simon here. Kari's got some stuff going on tonight - her brother's back in town to visit and they're all going to be out until the wee hours. She said she has some stuff to tell you all when she gets around to it, and she'll get it to you as soon as she can. Until then;

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Third Day

Had a new experience today. It turns out one of the children, who I will be calling Jenny for the purposes of this blog, had her father leave her mother last night. She was in pieces all day. What sucks was that she wanted someone to hug her, but for obvious reasons, I can't. If she hugs onto me, which she did, I actually have to raise my hands above my head to show that I'm not touching her inappropriately... At this point, Ms. Fisher tells me to "stop being ridiculous" and ushered her into her arms. I felt terrible.

Anyway, this girl was bawling her eyes out, and Joey walked up behind her and said "Your dad'll always be with you. Mine's always with me." And as creepy as this kid's getting, it actually seemed to comfort her, the way it seemed to comfort him.

Meanwhile, I could see Ms. Fisher's face turn white.

Still not all bad; the weather sucks, but that means we get MISTY NIGHTS! I FUCKING LOVE misty nights! Specifically, I love how light goes when it's illuminating mist or rain. Shadows streaking through the air and the like. I took some snaps on my way back from Simon's at about 9 last night.

On that note, I should probably head off. It's approaching 2 A.M. and I have shit to do tomorrow. Weekend and all.