|Prey For Me
Pt. IV: CirCUMstantial Evidence
by Dvora Sosan ©
In the drive up Interstate 15 to Salt Lake City which took all night and part of the morning, Jack thought about how it was not one of his favorite places. He had been there twice before. Getting information was often like pulling teeth. One of the strangest places he had ever been; like a totally different planet. His past experiences, however, did prompt him to become familiar with Mormonism and the lives of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, among others.
Jack's first stop was the Salt Lake City Police Department. He had asked Sam Hanson to call ahead and alert them of his pending arrival.
Sandra Burton was the chief's secretary and she immediately recognized Jack by name and reputation. "You are rather famous around here, Mr. Davis. Everybody talks about you. The chief is not in, but please talk to the administrative sergeant, Dave Webb. He knows everything that is happening, and he is expecting you." She rang his office and Jack was immediately ushered in.
"My pleasure, Jack. Sam Hanson called and filled me in on what you are looking for. Here is a copy of everything in our file." Webb continued, "Let me summarize what we know which is not much. Alicia Dunn is age 27, a redhead, 5'7", 125 pounds. Very, very attractive she is. Wife number three of one James Dunn. Right, number three. James Dunn is a polygamist and one of the main spiritual leaders of the Latter-day Church of Christ. The church is actually a conglomerate that owns 27 companies at last count. Many of these companies are involved in computer hardware or software merchandising or providing internet services. The headquarters is just south of the city. Mr. Dunn did report his wife missing but he has not been a wealth of information. He has his own private investigator, Steve Hawkins, working on the case."
The moment Jack heard Hawkins' name he knew where he would find what he wanted to know. "OK, Dan, thanks," Jack interrupted abruptly. "Let me look over the file and I'll get back to you."
Jack called Steve Hawkins and they agreed to meet at a nearby restaurant. He knew "Hawk" as by reputation only. Not a good reputation. Hawk was rumored to be an enforcer on occasion for various elements of organized crime. Now what was he doing working for a religious zealot and polygamist Jack wondered.
Hawkins was already in the restaurant and was seated at a small table and toying with a chef salad. He barely acknowledged Jack as he motioned for him to sit down.
Jack didn't mince words, simply said, "Do you remember Vince Fabrizio?" That got the Hawk's attention quickly.
"You, you're the one who got him busted, right?" Hawkins snarled. Fabrizio was currently on death row in a federal prison, convicted on kidnapping, rape and murder charges. Jack had discovered the body and led the Chicago police to Vince the Vicar of Vice as he was known. The victim was Fabrizio's former mistress. Her father had hired Jack to find her. Hawkins had once served a stint as a bodyguard for the Vicar of Vice several years before the murder of the mistress.
"Well, your old boss did have his former girlfriend's breasts cut off and legs broken before they ended her young life. Just because she no longer wanted to screw Vince. Nice guys."
"You killed one of Vince's men as I recall," Hawk commented. "Louie the Liar. They called him that because he had been indicted numerous times for hits but they never could pin him down. Witnesses disappeared. How did you stiff him exactly? I don't remember that story ever being completely reported."
"Ah, ancient Chinese secret," Jack snarled sarcastically. "Why did you leave Vince's employ?"
"He caught me doing coke on the job. What the fuck do you expect with all the crazy shit those greaseballs were into? I couldn't get any jobs with the mob after that."
"I'll tell you what I know, then you tell me what you know," Jack said in a tone that could only be described as menacing. He told many of the relevant details pertinent to the disappearance of Laurie Johnston but only what was in the police report. He did not tell what he had subsequently learned and did not mention Danel. He did refer to the other similar cases he was about to investigate and added that he would bet big money there were more that had not yet been reported.
Hawkins looked puzzled as he began to speak. "I thought she just ran off. She was very unhappy the way I hear it and totally disillusioned with this polygamy business and her husband's church activities. I can't find any trail leading to where she might be. She was last seen standing in front of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the former Old Utah Hotel, two weeks ago. A man was with her when she was last seen."
"Tell me about the man, the biker," Jack interrupted. Hawkins looked almost shocked. "And the biker was tall, muscular and rode an expensive Harley, right?"
"Well, yeah. I didn't think the police had that information."
"They don't. Tell me everything you know about him. But start with the Harley," Jack demanded.
"The Harley was a 1993 custom built Fatboy." Hawkins pulled a small notebook from his jacket pocket. Many high performance parts and accessories. S & S rods and pistons, Edelbrock hand ported heads, Sifton 141 cam, PM 4-piston rear caliper, Lepera bare bones solo seat with gel pak, Merch performance case, Truett & Osborn flywheels, S & S Super-E with thunderjet, Dyna 2000 ignition and single fire coils, Pro-1 billet forward contols, Avon Super Venoms ..."
"OK, OK, I get it. Quite a detailed description and quite a machine," Jack interjected.
"Yeah, well I got that information from the guy who sold it to the two bikers, who apparently could have passed for twins, just a week before Alicia Dunn disappeared. The one who purchased that Harley was named Danel Jones. The one who rode off on it was named Ezequeel. The same Ezequeel who was seen with the Dunn woman on at least five occasions, including that last day in front of the Smith Building. She was also seen on that Harley with this Ezequeel on two occasions."
Jack had almost had enough. "Is there anything about this entire episode you found very unusual?"
"One thing. The husband let me search her room. They had separate bedrooms. I guess you have to when you have three wives," and Hawkins guffawed at his own joke. Jack didn't break a smile. He did not like this guy.
Hawkins continued, "I found some strange books in her room. Mr. Dunn was present while I was looking through her things and he was astounded that she was reading such literature, which he called pornography. The names of the books," he paused and referred to his notebook, "were Aranga-Ranga, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night and The Perfumed Garden of Sheik Nefzauoi. All published by a guy named Sir Richard Francis Burton."
"Thanks. I will let you know if I find out anything about the whereabouts of Alicia Dunn." With that Jack got up and walked out, having found out what he wanted to know. He didn't feel Hawkins could be of much further help.
Jack got in his Mercedes and headed toward Denver. He decided to take Interstate 80 because he wanted to stop briefly in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and visit an old friend, Samantha Aikens. He had helped her out of a jam when she was a dancer in Vegas and got her off cocaine.
Samantha's mother Irene had answered the phone when he called. Her mother, Irene, Jack reminisced fondly. The one who hired him to go get Samantha out of the sewer. A grand lady and she paid him grandly for services rendered. Irene insisted that Jack stay for a few days and spend Thanksgiving with her and her family and friends. And her daughter, Samantha, of course. Irene actually encouraged their relationship and wished it was more than it was.
Jack and Samantha got together three or four times a year, whenever he was in the neighborhood. Samantha was thirty-six but still, no not still, Jack thought, even more beautiful than when she danced in Vegas. She had an eighteen year old son Jason who was born before she left for her showgirl career. She left Jason with Irene in Cheyenne for several years.
people came and went over the course of Thanksgiving day. One interesting
character who struck up a conversation with Jack was an elderly Native
American named Charley Red Cloud. He filled Jack's head with all sorts
of nonsensical stories, but Jack found it incredibly entertaining. Usually
he was not one for crowded rooms and chit-chat but this old codger had
him laughing so hard he was choking on his tongue. And
Although Charley was thought to be mostly Shoshoni and was born on the Wind River Reservation, he claimed to be a descendant of Makhpiya-Luta, better known as Chief Red Cloud. Charley told the story of Chief Red Cloud's victories over the U.S. Army that eventually resulted in the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868.
"All that of course went down the toilet when Custer began the Black Hills expedition in 1874," Charley explained. "Red Cloud refused to join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in the Lakota War several years later. He knew they would eventually be defeated and humiliated. Red Cloud chose to match wits with the white eyes in other ways."
Then Charley went into his annual Thanksgiving spiel. Irene spoke up sternly, "I wish you would just shut up, Charley. You have told this story every Thanksgiving for the past five years and it is getting a little old." But she let him tell it anyway.
"Thanksgiving has been a lie for 362 years. It was murder. In Connecticut in 1637 the colonial militia surrounded a Pequot village and attacked just before dawn. More than 700 Pequot including the women and children were slaughtered. The militia celebrated with great joy after this massacre and convinced Governor Bradford to declare by law this deplorable incident a day of celebration and thanksgiving. The story of the Thanksgiving dinner in 1621 with the Pilgrims is hogwash. Never happened."
Jack was totally speechless when Charley finished. Everybody else in ear shot was chuckling which made Charley even more agitated. He threw up his hands in the air as if to say the hell with you all. He pulled Jack aside.
"Jack, these white eyes are fools. You, I believe, must have some Native American blood. You probably don't even know it. I believe we are blood brothers. I want to share a secret with you. These others would think me just a rambling old fool."
Cloud told Jack the legend of the Sasquatch and he listened patiently
and attentively for an hour. Charley described several encounters he
Charley talked on and on and on. Jack had eaten too much and kept dozing off a few minutes at a time. Finally Samantha rousted Jack and delivered him from Charley with, "Jack, let's head out to the cabin."
The log cabin was built by her great-great grandfather just outside the northeastern border of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest near Elk Mountain. Irene had considered selling it after the death of her husband but Samantha talked her out of it. It was a great place to get away, and to bring her lovers out of the sight of her mother and her son. Jack especially liked the solitude and quiet of the place.
The cabin was about a two hour drive from Cheyenne. They decided to take Samantha's Isuzu Hombre 4wd Spacecab for obvious reasons. Depending how close they might decide to venture into the forest, the weather might be quite several. Due to blowdown some roads within the forest were nigh impassable. Jack took his large bag out of the truck of the Mercedes and put it in the back of the truck. Not only was he anxious to be alone with Samantha and her unusual sexual fantasies, he knew he would soon have the opportunity to test fire what was in the bag, his new weapons.
Jack opened the bag and admired the Ruger Super Redhawk .44 magnum revolver. He picked it up. It weighed three pounds and the barrel was 7 1/2 inches long. Samantha liked to shoot but he doubted she could handle this baby. He then picked up the Ruger KP97D pistol. It weighed about half as much as the revolver and was much better suited for Samantha. The idea crossed Jack's mind that he just might give it to her for Christmas if she liked it. He planned to return in a month at the invitation of both Samantha and her mother Irene. Jack knew he would never give up his Glock 27 mini-pistol for the Ruger. He had taken to wearing cargo khakis and the Glock fit just perfect in the lower right pocket on his hip and Jack could get to it very quickly. There was also a Ruger KRLP-1236 12 guage shotgun in the bag. Jack had disassembled the barrel to fit the gun in the bag.
As they drove to the cabin and Samantha napped, Jack recalled how he came to acquire his new Ruger toys. Billy "The Kid" Westbrook had given the three Rugers to Jack as a token of his gratitude. Jack would not accept money from Billy but he did take the guns only because "The Kid" would not take no for an answer.
Billy was a gun dealer who lived just north of Bonner's Ferry, Idaho, not far from the Canadian border. A close friend of Jack's from the war days and a paraplegic who had lost both legs above the knees in a land mine explosion. Not that he ever let that get him down. "The Kid" had a beautiful wife and three great kids. He also had a big van especially equipped with hand controls and on both sides of the vehicle he had boldly stenciled, "Billy the Kid. Gun Dealer Extraordinaire. Antique Firearms and War Memorabilia." Billy and his van were on their way to the Las Vegas Gun Show at Cashman Field scheduled for September 4th and 5th. The event was run by Claude Hall, another old friend, and Billy was Claude's favorite vendor because of all the great stuff he brought and the attention he drew. "The Kid" had hundreds of entertaining and funny stories and he was the star attraction for the entire two days. Of course, his Purple Heart, Bronze Star, pictures with several generals and one president, not to mention his wheelchair, just added to the legend.
Whenever Billy made the trek to Las Vegas every couple months for a gun show he always stopped for the night at a motel halfway there just off Interstate 84 in Twin Falls, Idaho, not too far from the Nevada border. The owner of the motel, Freddy, and Billy had become fast friends over the years. Freddy usually had a substantial gun order for Billy upon his arrival and they would sit around reminiscing and sipping Southern Comfort for hours. Freddy would always make sure his friend's favorite room was available and he would push the bed up against the window so Billy could push open the curtain and look out the window getting out of bed which took him about ten minutes to do.
Jack snickered and thought about how damn lucky the two guys who stole Billy's guns didn't try to rob him and instead broke into his van. "The Kid" could outshoot anybody Jack ever met and had a piece of one sort or another just about everywhere you could think of. The only thing Billy couldn't do was move very fast or easily get around, as in, walk into a crowded bar looking for somebody or run after a bad actor. Although Jack admitted, Billy could make that wheelchair roll pretty fast when he wanted to and he drove that van like a bat out of hell. The only thing that surprised Jack was that it wasn't painted camouflage and didn't have a .50 caliber machine gun turret mounted on the roof.
As soon as the alarm sounded in his van, Billy looked out the window and saw the two men quite clearly. He saw their white Toyota Tacoma pickup and he saw the Washington state license plate although he couldn't make out the number. The men were scared off by the alarm and just took two crates of guns out of the back of the van before they fled. What they took was Billy's favorite guns and not ones they could readily sell. They took the ones he just showed off and would never sell. But how would they know without looking inside the crates. They took the French Model 1822 Service Pistol, the Civil War Lemat Percussion Revolver, the British Flintlock Sea Pistol, and the Silver Mounted Queen Anne Pistol and the Blunderbus with the spring bayonet.
The police arrived within fifteen minutes but Billy did not tell them what all he had seen. What he wanted was what to him were his priceless guns back and not a lengthy investigation, a bureaucratic nightmare and his possessions to be held as evidence indefinitely. He called Jack immediately because he knew he was in Las Vegas because they had planned to meet at the gun show.
It took Jack less than a day to track down the two men in the Toyota and the guns. Sure enough, they headed right up Interstate 84 toward Seattle just like he figured. He found them in a bar on the outskirts of Pendleton, Oregon. In a brief ten minute conversation he convinced them to haul ass to Las Vegas and return the guns to Billy who could be found at Cashman Field. They didn't seem like bad guys to Jack, just stupid. Of course he looked at their identification and made a phone call to verify that they had never been in any real trouble with the law like they told him. Billy "The Kid" had his guns back before the show even began and demanded Jack pick out what he would like from his amply stocked Ruger inventory. What really amused Jack was that these two guys were with Billy at his table helping him when Jack showed up. He could only imagine the lecture these two had endured. Much more conducive to rehabilitation than the slammer and of that Jack was certain.
Samantha began to stir and wake from her nap. Jack thought about how fond he was of her. And her mother. And her son. It wasn't anything like love, at least on his part, but she was a true friend and a great sexual playmate. They both understood their relationship for what it was. Although Samantha had never been married, she was once engaged and very close to the wedding date when her husband-to-be, Richard, committed suicide. A very tragic story but it had nothing much to do with Samantha. Richard had embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from his employer and was found out and about to be arrested when he decided he didn't want to face the music.
The fantasy Samantha always liked to play with Jack was that she was a virgin bride. She would put on the wedding dress she never got to wear for real and the evening would progress from there. Each time he played the Newlywed Game with Samantha there would be slight variations but the eventual outcome was the same. After the wedding night they would pretend they were on their honeymoon. Jack somehow never tired of Samantha's fantasy and looked forward to being married again, although he had never actually been married. And he thought it very humorous indeed how convincingly Samantha, a former Las Vegas dancer, could play a virginal young bride. She definitely should have been an actress he thought.
Three days later Jack arrived in Denver. This time the missing woman was the youngest sister of a Roman Catholic priest. Jack had the police report faxed to him while he was being entertained by Samantha in Cheyenne. He also called the priest, Father John Murphy, from there and made an appointment to meet at his church, Saint Peter's Cathedral.
Father Murray was very distraught and somewhat incoherent as he talked about the disappearance of his sister, Kathleen. Jack already knew from the police report she was 23, a graduate student at the University of Denver, 5'5" tall, 115 pounds, long blonde hair and quite a knockout as evidenced by the picture that came with the police report.
"Father, I have much of the information the police have. Now, if you want to help find Kathleen, tell me something new. Tell me something you didn't tell the police. Why do you think she disappeared?"
"I heard her confession. Which might seem very strange but that is just the way it was, right or wrong. We had a special relationship and had no secrets. Before I became a priest, we ... " Father Murray paused and looked pensive and embarrassed.
"Come on, Father," Jack encouraged. "Anything you might think could be important."
"Kathleen and I had an incestuous relationship for several years when she was a young teenager and before I became a priest. I tell you this only to emphasize our, our ..."
"OK, I get it Father. I don't judge and I've heard just about every story you can possible imagine. Now, what exactly did Kathleen confess?"
She was having a tempestuous fling with a new man in her life. Kathleen had been with him just a week before she disappeared and I could only describe it as total infatuation on her part. He was called Sariel, quite an unusual name but I have heard it somewhere before, he was very tall and according to her incredibly handsome. He rode a motorcycle. Kathleen has always had boyfriends and lovers, but it was obvious this was quite different. She talked about him as if he were some sort of god. Even read the bible to her. On the other hand, she said he also read erotic literature to her. I don't recall the names of the books offhand. Not something I am very familiar with."
one of the titles The Perfumed Garden of Sheik Nefzaoui
"Yes, that's it! I remember that."
The priest paused momentarily as he contemplated about what he was going to say next. "One more thing I should tell you, Mr. Davis. I was indicted a few months back along with a small group of other priests located all over the world for distributing pornography over the internet. The Church has taken an 'innocent until proven guilty' position."
"Father, you have helped considerably just in this brief conversation. I'll call you if I think of anything else and you do likewise. I promise you I will let you know immediately if I find out anything about Kathleen's disappearance. I do believe this is related to several similar cases I am working on. There is absolutely no evidence that these women have been harmed so keep your hopes up."
The third seemingly related incident involving a missing woman that Jack had found on the Missing Person Index occurred in Albuquerque. He headed down Interstate 25. Best direction anyway because he figured whatever happened next was likely to occur in a southwestern state. It was getting a little chilly to be riding Harleys too far north. It would draw too much unwanted attention Jack surmised.
Rebecca Ziegler was a disc jockey at an alternative rock station in Albuquerque. She was also was the lead singer in a band called Rephaim. Her husband, Paul Ziegler, was Chief Executive Officer of a major ISP, internet service provider. He was also a prominent leader of the Promise Keepers group in the area. All this information was in the report on the MPI.
Jack decided to talk to the radio station manager first. Wally Williamson was an old hippie. Janis Joplin was his all-time favorite.
"Rebecca is a stone cold fox," Wally explained to Jack. "You know, like in the lyrics of the late great Jimi Hendrix, a 'Foxy Lady' in every way. Her husband didn't care much for her rock music career though. Her band was really into some heavy stuff. You ever hear of the band Fields of the Nephilim?"
"No," Jack replied, "But no doubt you are about to tell me all about them."
"Fields of the Nephilim were a German alternative rock band very popular 10-15 years ago. Then they broke up. Real wild and crazy material. I just happened to be in London in 1991 when they did their last gig at the Town and Country Club. "
"Wally, what significance do you attach to the name of the band, Nephilim?"
"Nephilim, fallen angels, what else. I got some of their stuff here, let me play something." Wally left the room to search through his archives and came back in a few minutes. "Here's one of my favorites, Watchmen."
is hurting, a world speaks out of tune.
tides are changing, my world slips out of you.
turning pages, I see a promised day.
you'll see her when she starts to form.
In the name
of Jesus Christ won't you fear my name.
you'll see her when she starts to form.
You sleep, you sleep, follow me.
another day, remember I am calling you.
off the sound. "Some would call this music part of the Goth genre,
but it was much more than that. Quite biblical in fact. The name, Rephraim,
which Rebecca gave her band is of course related to the Nephilim.
"Wally," Jack interrupted, "who was Rebecca seen with in the days before she vanished? Anybody unusual?"
"You got that right, Jack. A big dude named Baraqijal. An astrologist or some such thing so he said. Rode a big bad Harley. I caught them banging away in the back storage room when she was supposed to be spinning discs."
"Thanks, Wally. That's enough for now. Maybe I'll talk to the members of the band, the husband and the police. I dunno. I doubt they could add much of importance. I might want to talk to you again, though. You seem to be pretty up on this Nephilim business. By the way, did you ever hear the names Danel, Ezequeel or Sariel?"
"Nephilim. Fallen angels. Just like Baraqijal."
Jack got in his car and drove into the Sandia mountains on I-40 and turned north on State 14, and took the crest road at San Antonito, drove another 20 miles and pulled off into a picnic area. He just sat in his car with the top and watched a breathtaking sunset. Over and over he sifted through the latest developments. He thought, we have several members of some sort of motorcycle gang who are seducing and causing the disappearance of beautiful women. Beautiful women who are the loved ones of men involved in religious endeavors. At the same time, we have a beautiful woman who goes by the name Lilith, sometime vampire and sometime witch, who is executing men. Men who seem to have some information she either wants or wants to keep hidden.
"I need somebody smarter than me to make sense out of this," Jack said out loud but only to himself. He was exhausted and decided to check into a motel. He called Brett who was not in and left a message on his answering machine. "We need to meet, Brett. Be in Las Vegas by Saturday." Jack had done some research on Dr. Caitlin Cornplanter, the name Nathaniel mentioned. She was the one he wanted. "And find me Dr. Caitlin Cornplanter, late of the Harvard Divinity School, and bring her with you. I don't care what it takes. Money, whatever. Have Tommy Boy call her personally if necessary." Brett, of course, would know to whom he referred. His good friend the governor.
Next Jack plugged in his notebook computer to check his e-mail. He had a message from Sam Hanson. There may have been another Lilith murder in Vegas. The body had not yet been found but the circumstances were very suspicious. Jack was quite sure from just the minimal information in a message that she had struck again. Well, he was headed back to Las Vegas in the morning anyway.
Jack decided to call Father Murray. "Hey, Father, what is the Catholic doctrine regarding fallen angels, the Nephilim? No, forget Catholic doctrine, I don't care what the Pope says, what do you say?'
"Well, Jack, first this is something that the Catholic bureaucracy would just as soon ignore. But let me quote from the bible I teach from, THE CATHOLIC LIVING BIBLE. Genesis 6: 1 & 2, 'Now a population explosion took place upon the earth. It was at this time that beings from the spirit world looked upon the beautiful earth women and took any they desired to be their wives.' And verse 4, 'In those days, and even afterwards, when the evil beings from the spirit world were sexually involved with human women, their children became giants, of whom so many legends are told.' I guess that says it all, doesn't it?"
"Father, that name Sariel, the man seen with your sister Kathleen before she disappeared. Someone told me Sariel is the name of one of the Nephilim. Other women who disappeared under circumstances similar to Kathleen were seen in the company of men named Danel, Ezequeel and Bariqijal. Also the names of Nephilim according to my source."
"Of course!" Father Murray cried. "The Book of Enoch, that's where those names are."
"Well, Father, I don't know what it all means, but you think about it and let me know if you come up with anything that can shed some light on these mysteries."
Jack spent all night researching information on the internet. He was drawing blanks and was looking forward to his friend Brett and this Dr. Cornplanter helping him make sense of all this. When the sun rose the next morning he got in his Mercedes and drove toward Las Vegas.
To Be Continued...
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