Estimated reading time — 19 minutes
I am a retired Private Investigator turned Real Crime Blogger. I have been receiving anonymous manuscripts in the mail detailing heinous acts of appalling psychopathy.
For reasons concerning my work and this situation, I don’t want to give you my true identity. You can refer to me as Mr S. I started out in my early years as a detective. Not to toot my own horn, but I was highly effective at my job, and before too long I started taking much higher paying jobs as a freelance Private Investigator. Over the years, I have solved several high profile cold murder cases.
Unfortunately, in a work related attack, I was seriously injured and retired from my job as a Private Investigator 5 years ago. Since then, I have started a well known Real Crime blog and podcast.
Recently, I started to receive anonymous handwritten manuscripts in the mail detailing heinous acts of dark psychopathy. No return address. On the outside of the first envelope there was the following note:
“As my glorious life nears its end, my only regret is that nobody knows my greatest works and accomplishments.”
Below is the first manuscript I received. This manuscript was titled, “High School.”
Be warned, I believe that what you are about to read is the Journal of a Psychopath.
It was my third week at my new high school. I’m used to being the new guy, so it doesn’t bother me much. I’m an introvert anyway. I grew up in the Foster Care System and had never stayed in one place for too long.
I wasn’t known as a problem child, I just never bonded with any of my foster parents. They could tell, and my lack of attachment always bothered them. They could send me off and hope that their next foster child would give them the happiness they were looking for. The living conditions were usually substandard anyway.
Most foster parents need to be needed, so I never took it personally. I never felt like I needed anybody. It’s whatever. I was in my Junior year anyway, and in just under 2 years I’ll be liberated from the system and on my own. College will be all but free, as they practically beg us foster kids to go to college.
Nonetheless, I was three weeks into classes at my new school, and I had already made an enemy. Jake Pearson.
In this suburban High School, these idiots were just like the kids at every other school. A bunch of dudes trying way too hard to look cool and tough to the gaggles of girls who were trying way too hard to stand out by ironically doing the exact same thing that every other girl was doing. These hallways are filled with drama this, drama that, look at these 100 dollar shoes daddy bought me. People are so drab.
The day I arrived, I knew that Jake would be a problem. Jake was somehow the single most cliche high school jock I’d ever seen, including in the movies. He was tall, built, a lady’s man, and had rich parents. The most standout feature about Jake was his incessant need to act overly tough at all times. I was never sure if he was compensating for a tiny ego, or he just had a really large ego. Maybe the true answer was somewhere in both of those options. Either way, I hated this kid so bad that just the sound of his goddamn voice made me want to move to the next foster home.
I was minding my own business one fateful morning when some pathetic nerd had the misfortune of lightly bumping into Jake. Commotion stirred as students all around the hallway gathered to laugh at Jake’s beratement of the scrawny nerd.
“Did you just push me, tiny?” He said way too loud, garnering the attention of the other idiots.
The terrified scrawny kid stammered garbled apologies “I’m sorry, I’m sorry It-it-it was an acci-.” Before he could finish his stutters Jake smacked the large stack of books and binders out of the kid’s hands, scattering books and loose papers everywhere. Laughter erupted from the crowd of idiots. Has this kid ever heard of a backpack?
I saw my opportunity, it was time to set things in motion. “I bet you get off by pushing little kids around, don’t you?” I spouted out, with a laugh. Silence fell so immediately that it was comical. As Jake turned around, I could see the blood vein popping out of his temple. This kid had some anger problems. I don’t think mommy ever told him no.
“Who the hell do you think you’re talking to, new kid?”
“Some idiot,” I responded without delay. Jake was really about to lose it now. He pushed me into the locker and put his face so close to my face that I could smell his spearmint gum and nauseating cologne. I had just insulted him in front of his peers, Jake’s primal instincts dictated that he had to ensure everyone saw him as the, “Alpha Male.”
Sure Jake was taller, bigger, and stronger than I, but what he didn’t know is that when it comes to fighting, I’m a ragtag, scrappy kid with fast hands. Also, I knew how to take a hit. When I was 8 my foster home taught me how to be tough the hard way. Jake might be a brute, but I knew how to fight smart and dirty.
I placed my left foot slightly behind his right heel and slammed my shoulder into his chest as I swiped his foot out from underneath him. The thud as he hit the floor brought shock to the growing crowd. To purposefully add insult to injury, I chimed in with some commentary. “Looks like your dad isn’t the only one who beats you anymore.”
The statement may or may not have been true, but either way, the goal was to get in his head. Fighting is as much mental as it is physical. He got up and came bumbling my way putting all of his weight behind a haymaker that I could have seen coming from two blocks away. I ducked as his fist flew over my head and landed right in a locker. This was too easy.
His back was now turned toward me, and his body twisted, providing a perfect angle to go on the offensive. I gave him a powerful knee to his side, aimed precisely to give a blow to the kidney. Body shots should always be aimed at major organs, that’s what causes the most pain. I was rewarded with a grunt of pain as he dropped to a knee doubled over his side.
I could have stopped there, but I hated this kid and needed him to hate me. With a quick and easy, but powerful right hook, I delivered the final blow. His nose made a crunch under my fist, and I loved it. Satisfied, I picked up my backpack and carried on my way. Leaving Jake laying on the ground with blood on his face, surrounded by a baffled audience.
I went ahead and walked straight to the administrative office, helping myself to a chair. The lady behind the desk had a nose that pointed upwards, displaying her nostrils to anyone and everyone. She reminded me of a pig.
“Can I help you?” Mrs. Pig asked, with a high pitched tone that stank of fake kindness.
“The Principal is going to want to see me soon,” I told her, with my legs crossed and hands behind my head.
“Oh, do you have an appointment?” She asked. I don’t understand why this lady feels the need to speak with such a high pitch. It reminded me of nails on a chalkboard
“No, I stumbled across a bullying incident and long story short I broke someone’s nose.” The amusing look on her face was somewhere between confused and shocked.
“I’ll be right back.” Mrs. Pig said slowly as she got out of her chair. She disappeared into the back hallway and came out a couple of minutes later being trailed by a tall trim man wearing a worn grey suit that was almost as old fashioned as his ridiculous bushy grey mustache.
In remarkably good timing, the glorified hall monitor, who was officially called hallway security, came walking in holding the arm of Jake. To my pleasure, Jake was gingerly holding a large wad of blood-soaked paper towels over his nose. There were several drops on his beloved letterman’s jacket. I hope it stains.
Behind Jake and Mr. Hallway Monitor was the stuttering little kid who had nearly become Jake’s chew toy that morning. I almost forgot about him. Stutters shot me a grateful look, but he still remained panicked and terrified. He reminded me of a wide-eyed Chihuahua who had been beaten too many times. He was pathetic.
The remaining process took several hours. First, the principal and Mr. Hall Monitor interviewed me while Jake was working on getting his profusely bleeding nose under control. Afterward, they interviewed Stutters, who backed up my story. Lastly, they interviewed Jake, who naturally claimed that I sucker-punched him.
After that, I was forced to call my Foster Parent, Dean, and now he sat beside me as the principal explained my suspension. Dean wasn’t having any of that though. Lucky for me, he’s a Lawyer. Not a big-time fancy corporate Lawyer, he was a public defender for the city. Still, his skills would prove useful.
His arrival marked the beginning of a long argument, in which Dean laid out the legality of self-defense and ranted about anti-bullying. The School Administration refused to show any documentation concerning previous complaints concerning Jake’s bullying, which likely meant that it did indeed exist and the school needed to cover up their inaction. After Dean threatened to file a lawsuit, and go public with it, the Principal actually backed down.
I was surprised, I’ve never had a foster parent go to bat for me. Maybe Dean could prove useful after all.
Of course, he didn’t really do it for me. Dean was nice enough, but I could see that he was only on board with the foster parent thing to appease his wife, Sarah. I’m assuming that they tried for years to have a child of their own, but for whatever medical reasons they were unable. Why or how they ended up with a teenage foster child was beyond me.
Sarah was the single most generous Foster Parent I’ve ever had, but she had a pathetic need to be loved and needed. I don’t share this need, but frankly, my current Foster situation is pretty good, and I like this part of the town they live in. It’s off toward the end of the suburban part of the city, and the woods were nearby. The woods provided me with plenty of quiet places to visit. For this reason, I would play into Sarah’s needs for as long as necessary. It was too easy to turn on the grateful orphan persona and allow Sarah to feel needed. In return, I’ll be provided with as cushy of a life as a foster kid can get.
Dean and I were now alone in the parking lot. As he reached to open his car door, he stopped and looked at me. “Listen Rich,” Oh god, here comes the emotional talk about how he understands that I’m going through a tough time yadda yadda. “I just wanted to let you know that, I’m impressed with what you did, standing up for a kid that was being bullied. So umm, let’s just not tell Sarah about this, okay?”
“Sounds good, Thanks, Dean.” He looked like he was about to give me an awkward hug, but thankfully he settled with a slightly less awkward fist bump. Apparently, he was touched by my bold display of anti-bullying, saving Stutters from the big meanie. Honestly, my actions had nothing to do with defending that spineless shrimp. I don’t give two shits about him. I did it because I hated Jake, and Stutters gave me a golden opportunity that I couldn’t waste.
The rest of the day was dismal and ordinary. Classes were easy for me. I didn’t do most of my homework but managed B’s and sometimes A’s simply by getting good scores on the tests. My motivation depended on the class. Math was easy but boring, my Reading teacher was a true moron who loved over-analyzing worthless poetry, but my Psychology class was actually interesting and useful.
At this point, I’d already read the entire Psych textbook and continued research on my own. It was helping me to understand more about myself. I had been reading about Personality Disorders, and I saw a lot of myself in the section about Psychopathy and Antisocial Behavior. At this point, I wondered if I myself was a Psychopath. It didn’t bother me one bit. It just made sense.
Psychopathy is characterized by many things, including an inability to feel empathy. This is where I felt uncertain. There was one person, only one, who I’ve ever truly felt empathy for, Addy. Addy was once my foster sister, but we had been separated when I was 8. I’m not sure if I have the inability to feel empathy for another, or if I simply learned not to after losing Addy.
As I was walking home, only a 25-minute walk, I turned down the back road right next to the woods. Houses were scarce on this road. Nice, quiet, and out of sight. About 10 minutes into my walk, I realized I was being followed by a maroon Mustang Convertible. The car pulled up, and out clambered Jake and 3 of his minions. A group of idiots who followed Jake, like little neglected dogs hoping to get a compliment and some positive attention.
I can fight, sure, but I’m not stupid either. I was outnumbered four to one, so I turned and ran for the wood line. I’ll admit, these kids were fast, I quickly realized that I wouldn’t be able outrun them for too long. So I said to Hell with it, I’m more about fight than flight anyway. I ducked behind some thick brush and grabbed a hefty but manageable log. If I’m going to go down, I’ll go down swinging.
The footsteps were arriving quickly, so I swung my log right as victim #1 came around the corner. The log connected so hard with his blocky head that it broke in half. Unfortunately, the log was useless now, but the damage had been done and victim #1 hit the ground hard.
I gave Victim #2 a hard front kick straight to the chest. He grunted as the air escaped his lungs and he landed on his back with his feet in the air. King Leonidas would be proud. I dodged the 3rd guy, a fat but strong kid who only knew how to bull rush. That’s when a hard rock connected with my temple.
I was on the ground now, and I didn’t recall the fall. I was getting kicked repeatedly. A blow to my gut knocked the wind out of me, but I grabbed his foot and pulled, putting all my weight into his knee. Whoever that knee belonged to shouted in pain. I probably just hyperextended his knee. The rock hit me again, this time in my nose. I was dazed now, but I could see Jake standing over me with a decent sized stone.
“Alright, let’s stop this before it gets too out of hand.” Someone said. I think that was Victim #2.
“Shut the Hell up, Bryan.” Jake snapped back. “I’m not done.” Another two kicks hit me hard in the ribs.
“Okay, seriously Jake, I think that’s enough.”
“Quit being a pussy!”
Another two kicks found their home in my stomach as I struggled to get air in my lungs.
“Kick him, Bryan,” Jake ordered
“Come on man, he’s already almost unconscious.” Objected Bryan.
“I Said KICK HIM!” Jake ordered again, looking threatening with the rock still in his hand.
“I bet you like being his little Bitch, don’t you, Bryan?” That sentence flew out my mouth before I could stop it. I always knew what to say if I wanted to hurt someone. That statement was the last push Bryan needed, and his shoe connected hard with my head. My vision was now covered with black dots.
Through my blurry vision, I saw Jake lean down. “You’re messing with the wrong person, Rich. You’d best find yourself a new foster home before I make your life so miserable you’ll want to kill yourself. Not that anybody would care.” He stood up, gave me one last kick, and then ordered his brainless minions to go back to the car.
I watched them leave, one kid heavily limping, Victim #1 just as dazed as I was. At least I did some damage. Despite the pain in my head and ribs, I laughed. Jake may have won the battle, but I knew that I would win the war. I knew I’d have the last laugh. Jake had no idea what I was capable of. My limits are beyond the sky. I always win.
Sometime later I made it home. As I walked through the door trying to act natural, it was immediately apparent how haggard I must have looked. Sarah gasped and rushed in to guide me to the couch, demanding to know what happened. There was no way to hide this now, I might as well tell her the truth. Dean would understand.
Sarah called Dean, who dutifully came straight home to support his distraught wife. Sarah was choking back tears and she explained to Dean how I had been jumped. She threatened to call the police and take me to the hospital, to which I objected. I did not need the police to get involved in my war with Jake.
“If the system finds out about this, they might make me move to a new home. I don’t want to move again.” I pled to Sarah, playing into her emotional state.
“I think he’s right, Sarah.” Dean chimed in, “Those boys can feel like they’re even now, so there is no need to take any unnecessary risks, you know how the system is.”
Dean had come in clutch again, this guy was proving himself more useful every moment. Sarah nodded in reluctant agreement. It was just too easy to get her to change her mind.
“But you’re not going to school tomorrow.” She demanded, “You’re going to stay home so I can take care of you and make sure you’re okay.
I reminded myself of how I need to play into Sarah’s need to be needed, so I agreed. For good measure, I gently touched her hand and told her thanks. She allowed a tear to escape after that move. Something was wrong with Sarah, I could see it in her eyes. At some point, she’s had a traumatic experience that hurt her deeply.
I woke up late Friday morning, to Sarah bringing in fresh breakfast. Eggs, bacon, and pancakes. My ribs twinged with pain as I sat up, and my head pounded too. Sarah was on top of that too though, offering me 800mg of ibuprofen to be downed with some orange juice and a cup of fresh coffee. This treatment was another display that I was not used to. Never had anybody brought me breakfast in bed.
After assuring Sarah that the breakfast was wonderful, I told her I was going to rest. After she left, I pulled out the computer that I had purchased with the money I stole from my last foster parents. I was pretty good with computers. They were useful and underrated tools that most teens just used to stir drama on social media and post stupid fake photos.
People are so oblivious to how exposed their personal information is. It took me less than two hours to know everything about Jake and Bryan that I needed to know. I had his address, his phone number, and learned the fact that the family was on a trip to their lake house for the weekend, about a 5-hour drive away. Probably his parents attempt to draw attention away from his school suspension. Rich people in the suburbs are all about image.
That night, after Sarah and Dean were long asleep, I quietly got ready. The house had a security system that monitored and logged every time a door or window opened or shut. They probably did it because they knew I was moving in. It wasn’t a problem though, I easily detached the device without breaking the magnetic seal. Actually, it was perfect. The security system logs would provide me with a good alibi, should things go wrong.
I exited the house through the window and stepped off on the pre-planned route that would mostly take me through the wooded area and out of sight. I enjoy the woods at night anyway, it’s so quiet and peaceful. It took me about 30 minutes to arrive at my destination. Jake’s house was huge and sat on a lot that must have been an acre or more. I searched through the property near the backdoor, expecting to find a spare key somewhere.
They weren’t dumb enough to keep the key under the doormat, but they didn’t hide it very well either. The rock looked convincing at first sight, but when I looked at it up close I could tell that it was a fake. I carefully lifted the rock and found a little compartment underneath containing a key. Just like that, I had gained access to the house.
Although the house was large and immaculate, it didn’t take me long to find the room I was looking for. Jake had a life-sized football poster of himself on his door. His room was huge, the size of a small apartment. I carefully searched for anything that would be of use. On his shelf designated for keepsakes, I found an old but expensive-looking sheathed knife. The knife had someone’s initials engraved in it, signaling that it might be a family heirloom of sorts. I picked it up with my gloved hands and pocketed it.
Jake didn’t seem too worried about his parents snooping through his stuff, his computer wasn’t even password protected. Thanks to Jake’s carelessness, I now had access to all of his personal information, including social media and his chat messages that were backed up to the cloud. This was the gold mine, where I would get all the information that I needed. I sat down and went to work.
You can learn a lot about someone’s life by going through their text messages and photos. I found out that Jake and his friends had a certain spot in the woods where they would meet up to drink alcohol and smoke weed. Thanks to the photos being geotagged, I now knew exactly where that spot was. Most importantly, I learned that Jake had pestered just about every girl in the school for nudes. If they rejected him, he then pressured and insulted the girls. When I came across his conversations with Bryan, I found my lucky break.
Jake has tested his luck with a girl Bryan was dating. When she refused his requests, Jake called her a whore. After Bryan had found out, he finally stood up for himself, and the messages show that they had quite an argument. They were not currently on talking terms, and Jake made it clear that he would not speak to Bryan, and would, “Ruin his popularity.” This was perfect, I now had a perfect plan.
I saw that Jake and his family would be home Sunday afternoon. Bryan’s status showed currently active, so I sent him a message through Jake’s social media, asking him to meet me at the spot Sunday night at midnight. After Bryan replied with one letter, “K,” I deleted the messages so Jake would not see them on his end.
On my way out, I stole a hoodie, some pants, and an extra pair of gym shoes. I made sure to grab stuff from the back of the shelves, to ensure their absence would not be noticed. I took one last look around to feel secure that I left no noticeable trace. After locking the door and carefully putting the key back where I had found it, I went back home the same way I came, undetected.
Saturday and Sunday, I continued to allow Sarah to look after me. It made her feel good, and I needed her to think that I needed her, so I could continue living here. Finally, Sunday night arrived. I put on the clothes that I stole from Jake and headed on my way.
I waited in the shadows for Bryan to arrive, and about 12:05 AM I heard the footsteps approaching. “What do you want Jake,” Bryan started as he entered the small clearing, “We have school tomo…“
Before he could finish I hit him hard in the face with a rock, Jake’s signature move. Bryan fell to the ground, putting his hands on his face as if that would somehow dull the pain. I didn’t care, I kicked him in his head and his gut over and over. I watched with pleasure as he rolled around in agony, betrayed, and incapacitated.
“Ahhh…. What the Hell, Jake?”
“Oh, I’m not Jake,” I told him coldly
Bryan squinted up at the sound of my voice, shocked. He stammered a few disconnected words, trying to catch his breath through the pain. I knelt beside him.
“Wha-wha- what do you want?” Bryan finally managed to muster between heavy breaths.
“Revenge.” Looking Bryan straight in the eye, I plunged Jake’s knife straight into Bryan’s torso, stabbing right into the liver. I was rewarded with an agonizing groan from Bryan.
“And to get rid of Jake.”
Another stab, this time off to the side, making sure I got his kidney.
“It’s really not about you.”
Another stab, and another moan.
“You’re just on the wrong side of this war, and a convenient means to an end.”
Drawing in the delectable thrill of the moment, I thrust the knife deeper, and listened to Bryan’s agonizing moans and shortening breath. I stared into his eyes, so I could see the look on his face as he realized he was about to die.
“And you really, truly, shouldn’t have kicked me.”
I gave him another hard stab. This one I placed just under his left pectoral. The blade slid right between his ribs, piercing his heart. I pulled out the knife as blood sputtered out the wound like a fountain. I sat back to admire my handiwork. Bryan’s breaths gurgled and rasped in the silent woods.
I realized the attack looked way too clean, everything was too precise. I needed this to look like a stupid brute had lost his temper. I gave a dozen or so more wildly placed stab wounds, ranging in depth. That looked better. In less than a minute, the groans and breathing stopped. Jake lay there, or his body did at least, covered in blood.
I dragged Bryan’s body and hid it in some thick brush, where I covered him in branches and leaves. I took my time, to make sure that it looked sloppy and hasty. I hid the knife about 100 feet away, knowing full well that the police would scour the area and find it.
I took off the hoodie, sweatpants, and shoes, and deposited them in a park garbage bin that was just a yard off the wood line, about a half a mile away from the scene. I had worn long layers underneath Jake’s clothes and made care to never touch his clothes with my skin. I even wore a swimming cap to make sure my hair didn’t get anywhere. The only evidence left that could tie me to the crime was the pair of latex gloves that I had worn to avoid getting fingerprints on the knife or blood under my fingernails.
I made it back home with the same stealth I had used the previous night. I quietly went into the bathroom, where I soaked the latex gloves in bleach, scrubbing until they were spotless. After flushing the toilet to make sure Dean and Sarah would believe I was just taking a bathroom break, I used a little more bleach to vigorously wash my hands, and then topped off the bottle with some water, so it wouldn’t seem that any had been used. Finally, it was bedtime and I was exhausted. Murder is hard work.
It seemed like only a couple of minutes later when my alarm went off. I hurried to the bathroom and took one more hard look to make sure the gloves and cleaning supplies were in their proper places. I then took a scorching hot shower. Scrubbing every part of my body with vigor, just in case. I then relaxed and used the rest of the time to reflect on the kill. Sarah insisted on taking me to school, seeing as I had been jumped last week.
In my reflection, I found it interesting that I felt enjoyment out of the kill this time, I didn’t recall the same satisfaction from my first kill. Maybe that’s because that was the day I lost Addy. I was 8 years old and finally understood what my alcoholic foster father was doing when he was going into my sister’s room and locking the door. Addy was only 6. One night when he was drunk, I put his revolver in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The police ruled it as a suicide. I hadn’t seen Addy since, because we were sent to new homes that day. She was the one and only person I ever remembered feeling love for.
School started the same, business as usual. By the second period, the gossip news network was buzzing with the news that Bryan’s parents had reported him missing. By lunch, it was common knowledge. The best part happened just as school was getting out.
I could see, and hear, the commotion from down the main hall. I walked over, peering over the crowd of idiots all trying to get a good video on their flip phones. Three police were forcing out a handcuffed and panicked Jake. He protested and resisted, but the police overpowered him and forced him into the car.
By the 6 o’clock local news, it was a headliner story. “BREAKING NEWS: Jacob Pearson, a local high school athlete, charged with the murder of classmate Bryan Jones.” I had a hard time holding back my satisfactory smile, but Dean and Sarah were in the room.
I already had Sarah wrapped around my finger, but for good measure I told her that Jake was the kid that attacked me. I put on my best scared orphan face during the newscast. “That could have been me who got killed,” I told her, forcing myself to sound scared. Her heart melted and I received instant sympathy as she pulled me into a tearful hug.
Dean, being a public defender, was in the know. He, also believing I was scared, offered me some comfort.
“It’ll be tough to defend this one.” He assured me, “Jake will be going away for a long time. I mean, the prosecutors have everything. The body, the weapon, fingerprints, even motive. It’s like someone handed the AG this case on a silver platter.”
Indeed I had.
It was the next day that Sarah and Dean sat me down and told me that they wanted to push forward with adopting me. I had gained their trust, and more importantly their sympathy. I’d now be able to live in this cushy home with pushover parents until college. Even then, they’d probably send me money and give me a place to stay in the summer. They were good-natured idiots, but useful idiots.
What a success my first month in my new home had been. I locked in my preferred living situation and got rid of the only problem with my new neighborhood, Jake. The best part is, Jake hung himself in jail before the trial had even started. The police called it good, certain that Jake was their man, and the case was closed. I still laugh when I think back to when Jake told me that he’d make ME want to kill myself.
Like I said, I always win.
That’s where the first manuscript ended. After reading this manuscript, I was unsure as to the validity of the story. I thought that someone may be trying to pull an elaborate hoax on me, maybe to score a spotlight on my website. Or perhaps, more sinisterly, it was an attempt to delegitimize my work and tarnish my credentials.
Nonetheless, I was intrigued enough to dust off my Private Investigator hat and do some research. What I found that this story is, at a minimum, based on real events. I found the news articles about Jacob Pearson, the promising High School Athlete that threw his life away by murdering a fellow student.
The question I now face is, Is this the true story from a psychopath named Rich, or a simple fabrication based on real events?
What do you think?
Credit : R. M. Staniforth
Reddit : https://www.reddit.com/r/HorrorsOfStaniforth
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