March 12th, 2009
page two of two
In regard to the unusual cause of death, the county coroner who examined body #2 was quick to point out the precise nature of the cuts, the clean saw-marks through the top of the cranium. She concluded without doubt that some form of saw or surgical instrument, honed to an extremely sharp and serrated edge, is the only kind of tool that could have made this kind of incision so neatly and cleanly. The tops of the victims' skulls were all removed, Dr. Metzger is still researching the methodology. His findings and conclusions will be forwarded to us forthwith.
The conclusions that can be drawn at present are as follows:
The more extensive FBI coroner's reports confirmed extensive head trauma as the cause of death. Police have already examined the house in Memphis, the crime scene and neighboring gulleys in San Diego and Sacramento. No sign of the victims' scalps have been found. We can only assume that the killer, towards his own ends, took them with him.
There is no sign of struggle, though slight bruising around the neck suggests a possibility of strangulation prior to the fatal head trauma, perhaps only enough to subdue the victim. The FBI coroner is certain that all three victims were alive when their skulls were removed, though possibly unconscious. A proper tool was used, which means the killer was prepared to kill, bringing supplies with him.
None of the victims' were otherwise mutilated or desecrated, which discounts an act of uncontrolled rage, as well as a crime of strict violence. The importance, therefore, is shifted to the intimacy of the act -- each of the killer's rituals attached with the killings are precise, methodical. The distance at which he keeps his victims, however, offsets this intimacy and control. There is no indication that the killer or killers touch the bodies in any way, shape or form, either before or after death. This shows an unwillingness to get close to the victim, even though the rituals attached to death show a clearly felt intimacy to the victim.
It is in this dichotomy, perhaps, that one can find the motivation for these crimes.
There are several other murders, all over the country and going back almost three years, which have also been linked to this same group. Three are in the south Los Angeles area, one in San Diego, one in Tampa and a final one in Idaho. None of the victims, from these three cases or the other possibilities, have anything in common. Four men, five women, ranging in age from twenty-two to fifty. There is not even any clearly identified ethnic group within the victims -- three white, three black, an Asian and two Latinos.
Previous reports on these killings suggest the possibility of a unknown first victim, someone close to the killer, as stated earlier.
Normally, a series of patterned and almost ritualistic killings would be viewed as a statement or a message. These appear to be more of a question. The killer, perhaps, in removing the scalps of his victims, desires to understand them, to "read their minds": the ultimate literal metaphor. It is possibly a question of intimacy, of connection, as much a question of violence.
This first victim will have been someone close, someone the killer knew. He will have possibly touched them in the act of violence, triggering either revulsion or fear, pity perhaps. The lack of connection, even in death, felt with this first victim has outlined the pattern of subsequent victims. This may be the reason that there are no prints lifted off these bodies: the killer, who touched this body -- someone he knew, someone that he perhaps loved -- is still caught in that moment.
Whoever this first victim is, the killer must have strived to understand them and then felt a great frustration when he failed to do so. He now seeks to capture this understanding with strangers, his random and innocent victims, and he cannot find it, since they are not anything like his perceived perfection -- that of his first kill. Unfortunately, because of the disparities between these identified victims, it will be next-to-impossible to identify what, exactly, the killer is striving to understand or connect with in these people. It is possible that we may never know what attracts this killer to his victims, as what is governing his choices is that first moment of death. Though he seeks to recreate the circumstances of his first victim, subconsciously the desire to keep this first victim pristine, on a pedestal, forbids him from achieving a connection, or touching their bodies and heads, before or after death. No matter how much these victims may remind him of his first kill, his is quite aware that they aren't.
This is, however, all speculation.