A Halloween Murder

December 20, 2007
By katie schoeff, Markle, IN

The wind was rustling the leaves on a cold Halloween night as Julia walked home from her boyfriend’s house. It was late and all she could think about was getting home to her warm and cozy bed. As she walked the night’s events rolled through her head like a movie projector. She thought about the movie that her and her boyfriend Dave watched, how they kissed, how he told her for the first time that he loved her. About half way home,
The sound of twigs breaking under pressure flooded the night time air. She spun around, but nobody was there, however she couldn’t help feeling like somebody was following her home. She continued walking, but at a slightly faster pace.

About five minuets later Julia heard the sound again, this time however when she turned around, she saw a large man with a black trench coat and a ski mask on. Julia screamed and began to run away but quickly the man caught up with her and wrestled her to the ground. The man carried Julia to an empty lot on the outskirts of town. “Get off of me!” Julie screamed, “Leave me alone!” But nobody was around to hear Julia’s cry for help.

The Sun rose high above a vacant lot, dew still sparkling on the green grass. Unsuspecting families woke up and looked out their windows. The police and coroner were in the lot, examining a fresh crime scene. Detective Franklin walked around the crime scene examining all the evidence.
Why this girl, why today?
The very first thing he noticed was Julia laying face down in the dirt. Without even flipping her over he could tell that either her attacker was bigger than her, or she knew her attacker and didn’t give up much of a fight, from her bruises and lacerations to her arms and legs.
Who could do this to a young woman?
When he did turn her over, her shirt had been torn and her chest was bruised.
“Cause of death, single laceration to her jugular vein,” he heard the coroner say, “Detective I would say that your victim was beat at least 20 minuets before her death, based on the size of her bruises. I won’t be able to tell you more until I get her back to the morgue for an autopsy.”

As the coroner readied the body for transportation, Detective Franklin continued to wander around the lot in search of something…anything that could lead him towards his first suspect. It would be difficult to find any suspects before they even knew who the victim was, she had no identification, nothing that could give the cops any idea of her identity. The detective searched and searched but the only thing he could find was a single business card. This card wasn’t like any other card however. It only had a name, Mr. Harold.
As Detective Franklin continued to examine his crime scene, his partner informed him that a missing persons report had been filed that seemed to match the description of his victim. Her name was Julia Hall. Notify her parents. Her body is on the way back to the morgue, it can’t be released but we need them to identify the body.
Mr. Harold, what kind of a name is that?
After deciding that there was nothing else to be found, Detective Franklin climbed into his new ‘68 back mustang to drive himself to the morgue to see what new evidence had been uncovered. After arriving at the morgue, Detective Franklin was updated from the coroner. “Well you victim has been identified as Julia Hall by her parents. They want to know when the body will be released, I told them that some tests still needed to be done, and it should be released by the end of this week,” The coroner announced, “The victim’s rape kit has been sent in, it should be back in a couple of days, but after the preliminary tests, I don’t think your victim was raped. I stand with the cause of death. I believe the time of death was about 11 pm to 1 am last night.” Detective Franklin drove off in his car towards the police station. Later that day he drove to the victim’s house to talk to the parents.
“Mr. and Mrs. Hall I am so sorry for your loss. I have just a few questions for you to help out with the investigation,” Detective Franklin stated, “What was your daughter doing out so late last night?”
“She was at her boyfriends house, Dave Jacobson, they were having their usual Friday night date, dinner and a movie, this week it was at his house, they alternated each week,” Her parents told the detective.
“Do you know of any enemies that Julia might have had, from school, or maybe athletics,” Detective Franklin asked, “anything you could possibly know would help us greatly.” Both of Julia’s parents looked at each other, finally her father replied, “Julia was loved by everyone, she made friends with everyone at her school, and nobody would want to hurt her. Now if you don’t mind, my wife and I are going to pick up our little girl, and take her home.” As Detective Franklin drove back to the station, he was puzzled by the lack of evidence in his case.
A month later the case still had not been solved and no leads existed. Detective Franklin had lost all hope, and decided to leave the case as a cold case. While detective Franklin was filling out the proper paper work, fifty miles away another body of a teenage girl, Janelle Rafael, was being uncovered, in yet another vacant lot. The crime scenes were identical, if only the precincts knew about the similarities. A detective there was being told the cause of death was a single laceration to the girl’s jugular vein. The detective searched the crime scene, and found nothing, besides a single business card, but this business card was nothing like what he had seen before, it had only a name printed on it, Mr. Harold. This puzzled the detective, just as it had Detective Franklin. But this time Mr. Harold wasn’t as careful. He left a thumb print on his victim. However this didn’t do much good, because he wasn’t in the database at the precinct.
After a couple more months of investigation at the second crime scene, a letter was delivered to Detective Franklin.

Detective Franklin,

Hello. For the past five months you have been investigating the murder of a young woman, Julia Hall. I have noticed that you still have no strong leads. Well I am writing you now to inform you that you are nowhere near catching the murderer. How do I know that you might ask, well you have never talked to me. For you see I am your murderer. To answer a couple of questions for you, I had no motive, I was not hired. I just saw an easy prey. She was easy to take down. She put up a fight, which only excited me more. You might think that it was foolish of me to leave my card, but I had to get credit somehow. So now I leave you to ponder this letter. You will never catch me, maybe you should be talking to the other state precincts, and maybe they could relay this information to another family of the young woman who had the same fate as Julia hall…Janelle Rafael.

Mr. Harold

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