The following is a collection of official police reports and files from the Stirling County Sheriffs office. They are part of an unsolved criminal investigation and deemed sensitive material.
911 call: June 20th 2021, 12:04am
Dispatcher: 911 what is your emergency?
Caller: Hello my name is Kevin Watts and I need help. Please for the love of god please send someone! They are all dead!
Dispatcher: Who is dead?
Caller: My friends, all four of them are gone, they….oh god this is my fault. This is all my fault! I did this to them.
Dispatcher: Where are you located Kevin?
Caller: I’m in Blackfeather Woods just near the top of King’s Canyon. Hurry please I don’t want to be out here alone anymore.
Dispatcher: Stay where you are Kevin. The police and forest rangers are coming to your location right away.
Caller: Oh god what have I done? What have I done?
Police report: Deputy Fuller June 20th 2021
Tonight at 12:04am our operators received a call about someone in distress with probable causalities. We ventured out to the location in Blackfeather Woods and found the caller Kevin Watts huddled around a large camp fire. It looks like he had burned all his and his companion’s camping gear just to keep the flames going. He was covered in both dirt and blood. As my flashlight rested upon him he immediately sprang up and ran towards me. I unlatched my service pistol but did not draw nor fire. He pulled me in an embrace and began to weep. He demanded that I take him out of the woods immediately. Watts seemed extremely uneasy as we traveled back to my cruiser. He kept insisting that I stick to the path no matter what. As I put him in the back of the squad car and drove off Watts’ demeanor seemed to calm. I brought him back to the station and turned him over to Chief Rogers for questioning.
Suspect Interview: Kevin Watts 1:37am. Interview preformed by Chief Trevor Rogers
Chief: State your name and date of birth for the record.
Kevin: Kevin Watts May 18th 2003.
Chief: You have the right to wait for questioning until you feel mentally fit to do so or with the presence of legal council. Are you sure you wish to proceed at the current time?
Kevin: Yes, no amount of time is going to make this any easier and I imagine any lawyer worth their salt would advise me against telling my story. However I have to tell you. You need to know the truth of the matter.
Chief: Very well. How are you feeling Kevin? Do you need some water or coffee before we begin?
Kevin: Is there any chance I could get a cigarette?
Chief: Well seeing as you are 18 and indoors at a police station I am going to have to go ahead and say no.
Kevin: Well it was worth a shot I guess. I am ready to proceed then.
Chief: Alright why don’t you tell me what happened out there.
Kevin: I am ready to tell, the question is are you ready to listen? I don’t just mean hearing what I am saying, I mean to truly open your mind. I know you are an investigator and that you deal in hard facts but if you are to believe me then you must have an open mind. You need look beyond how things look at first glance.
Chief: Well let me tell you how things look at first glance. You called us saying that your friends were dead and in your own words said “I did this to them.” We then find you covered in blood and dirt alone. Things aren’t looking so good for you son. You would do well to come clean and tell us what happened.
Kevin: Oh I’m going to tell you what happened, you just need to look past your sense of reality.
Chief: I’ll do my best. Now start at the beginning. Why were you in the woods at night?
Kevin: To be blunt, we were tired of all the crap from the last year and a half. We were tired of all the lockdowns, all the social distancing, all the masks and all the restrictions. Losing our junior year was bad enough but this is our senior year. This was supposed to be our time but instead we get no sports, no dances and no field trips. I spent my 18th birthday alone and that in itself is a crime. So we wanted at least one fun time, one last hurrah before we graduate. We went out to Blackfeather Woods to party and go camping.
Chief: Who is this we and where are they?
Kevin: Mark Anderson, Claire Westbrook, Maria Sosa and Kelly April. They were all classmates of mine at school. As for where they are I already said they are dead and you will never find the bodies.
Chief: Is that why you are covered in dirt? Did you bury them on in the woods?
Kevin: No I just know they won’t be found, not in any recognizable form anyway.
Chief: What do you mean by that?
Kevin: Let me finish telling my story and you will understand.
Chief: Very well. What did the five of you do in the woods?
Kevin: Oh well we did bible study and discussed current issues plaguing the youth of the world. What do you think we were doing? We were drinking, doing drugs and hanging out. Well except for Kelly, she kind of stayed back and watched us party mostly. She was always a quiet girl. She was mostly there because Maria said Kelly had been having a rough time at home lately and needed cheering up. Anyway that’s beside the point I believe. Around 10:30 we were gathered around the fire. That’s when I told them the legend of the lost trail.
Chief: The lost trail?
Kevin: Oh come now Chief, you have been an officer a long time. You must have heard the legends of the lost trail. For decades hikers and campers have gone missing well exploring Blackfeather Woods. The place isn’t exactly the Appalachian Trail, it’s not big enough to get truly lost, especially not big enough to completely disappear. The stories talk about a lost trail that will only appear to a chosen few. It is said that it is flanked with dead and rotting trees. That there an oak that looks like a gargoyle guarding it’s entrance, trying to scare away would be victims. Anyone who stumbles onto the trail will vanish forever.
Chief: I’ve heard the stories but I hardly put much stock in schoolboy tales.
Kevin: Oh come on there are stories of unexplained hauntings and phenomenon all over the world. The screaming tunnels in Niagara Falls, the mysterious village of Northridge in Romania, the disappearances near Hemlock Hill Cemetery. No one can explain them and there is a lot of smoke for there to be no fire. So all of us decided it would be fun to go looking for the trail to see if there was any validity to it.
Chief: Oh yes and so what happened?
Kevin: To be blunt we found it. Maria spotted the gargoyle oak and I swear to you her caramel complexion turned completly white for a moment. She started chanting and clutching the silver cross around her neck for dear life. The rest of us didn’t really believe it. We figured some kids like us carved out the tree after hearing the stories. We had a good laugh but we still wanted to investigate further. The girls took some convincing especially Kelly who wouldn’t say a word and kept shaking her head. After a while she reluctantly agreed and we all stepped onto the trail together.
Chief: And what did you find?
Kevin: At first nothing, we walked for what felt like hours and there was nothing to be found, just some dead trees. Then we stated to notice that there was something off about the whole area. It was quiet and I don’t mean peaceful, I mean dead quiet. No crickets chirping, no squirrels rustling in the trees, not even the sound of the wind blowing. We started getting that creepy feeling like we were being watched. We were about to turn around but that’s when we found it.
Chief: Found what?
Kevin: We found a cellar hatch. It was just sitting in the middle of the ground. It didn’t make sense to us because it was too cheap to be anything government or a storm shelter. It appeared to be made of a smooth wood. Kelly and Maria begged to turn around and go home but how do you come this far and not investigate? I know someone of your stature would understand. We opened the latch and found a set of rickety stairs. Accompanying the stairs was a stench that none of us could identify, we almost couldn’t go in but we just couldn’t stop ourselves. We made our way down going deeper and deeper into the Earth. The stairs seemed to go on forever and the further we went in the stronger the stench became. I was ready to vomit but then we reached the bottom.
The whole area was pitch black, even the moon didn’t reach. Mark lit his lighter and as soon as the walls were illuminated, that’s when the screaming started. Lining the walls were entire catacombs made of nothing but bones and skulls. Even the stairs we came down were fashioned from them. That was when we realized the smell was the stench of decay. Claire backed up in fear and cut herself on a sharp bone attached to the wall. I think that is what woke it up.
Chief: Woke what up? What the hell are you getting at son?
Kevin: Well we have reached our tipping point. I’m going to tell you exactly what it is I saw. You can give me the polygraph later and I promise I will pass. You have a choice wither you believe me or not. I am either the teen who snapped and killed his friends as you currently believe or I am the boy who looked pure terror in the face and lived to tell the tale. Are you ready to make your judgement Chief?
Chief: Just tell me.
Kevin: Once a drop of blood hit the ground the ash coating it began to move. For the first time since coming on the trail the wind blasted and swirled around us. The ash spun around and around until it started to take form. Skeletal hands formed and bones started to flow up until the outline of a figure began to take shape. The ash and dust flowed around it like a living cloak of jet black. It became a specter of shadow, bone and ash. In it’s eye sockets two smouldering embers of fire blazed. The wind stopped and the only sound now was the sound of our panting as we were frozen with fear. The creature began silently stalking around the room, it’s feet never touching the ground. It was making a strange sucking noise as it passed by. It stopped at each of us and it wasn’t until it got to me that I knew what it was doing.
It was smelling each of us. It came inches from my face and took a big whiff of me. It took all of my courage not to break down into tears. Thankfully the creature kept moving and I thought it might leave us alone. That was until it got to Kelly. The thing took a huge sniff and if possible I thought I saw it’s dust and bone jaw curve into a smile. It sniffed and sniffed again. There was a moment of tense silence then it let out a loud banshee like screech. It was just a scream but I swear I got the impression of a single word. “Unclean.” The beast snapped into action, it grabbed Kelly and I could hear a horrible sucking sound. Kelly screamed but it did her no good. Slowly her body started to turn to dust and ash that flew into the creatures mouth, making it’s shadowy cloak grow larger.
Only when Kelly was little more then a memory and a ringing in our ears did Mark snap into action. He did a straight run at the being but that thing was too fast. The phantom’s bony arm began to snap and reform taking on the shape of a curved blade. With a single swipe it cleaved Mark in two scattering blood everywhere. Claire let out her own banshee wail as he high school sweetheart fell to the floor in front of her. She turned and ran for the stairs. I thought she was going to get away but that fiend had other plans. The bones that made up the stairs grabbed onto her legs. She fell down and the stairs wrapped around her trapping her in place. Slowly the creature floated over to her. I watched it’s ashy shadows envelope her as she screamed into the night. I don’t know if I felt more terror or relief when the screaming stopped.
Once it finished with her it slowly turned towards me. I debated running, I debated begging for my life but in the end what was the use? I knew it was futile and that I would share the same fate as my friends. So I simply closed my eyes and accepted my fate. I felt it come closer to me, I could feel it’s dusty breath on my neck. Suddenly it released another scream. Again I could feel the impression it was saying something with that scream but I couldn’t make it out. Then everything went quiet and I could feel ash raining down. I opened my eyes and it was gone as if it had never been. I knew it was my only chance so I ran for it. I raced up the stairs and pelted down the trail and through the woods and the next thing I knew I was at my camp site. I didn’t know what to do so I picked up my phone to call 911. I was completly blown away to find that our little excursion only took just shy of an hour. It felt like we were out there all night. I called you guys out of desperation and here we are. So Chief what do you think?
Chief: Well it’s a hell of a story and it would seem almost air tight but I have a question for you. If it is true then why did that thing leave you alive?
Kevin: Now that is the one part that I can’t figure out. I don’t know if it had simply eat it’s fill or if by ridding myself of fear it was no longer interested. Maybe it just wanted a martyr to take the fall for his work. I truly do not know Chief but it will keep me up for the rest of my days along with everything I saw. So once again I ask you Chief what is your conclusion?
Chief: Well I suppose I have two options. I could believe that somewhere in those woods there is some sort of boogeyman living in a lair of bones that no one else has ever seen or found before or I could believe in the more likely option. I could believe that a teenager went out with a group of friends to party. Wither because of drugs or a psychotic snap brought on by a changing world he killed his friends and buried them in the woods. I’m sorry Kevin but I have to believe in the latter. I have to go with the evidence and with every officer and bloodhound currently canvasing the woods I presume that the evidence will be found soon.
Kevin: You will never find the bodies or the trail. I think it can only appear to those it wants to and that’s why no one has found it before and lived.
Chief: Well time will tell. Until then you will remain in custody until your arraignment where based on your statement you will likely be sent to an asylum. That is unless you drop the act and tell me the truth here and now.
Kevin: I have told you the absolute truth, you simply refuse to see it.
Chief: Then I have no choice but to officially charge you with the murder of your four friends. You have the right to remain silent.
Police Report: Chief Trevor Rogers, June 22nd 2021
For two days straight my men have scoured the woods in search of the bodies. State troopers were called in on the second day and together they have covered every inch of the forest. Outside of the campsite no sign of the missing teens has been found. I have spoken to the families personally and informed them of the grim news. The families have been taking it hard especially the parents of Kelly April. Her parents were shocked that she had gone out with friends in the first place since her father had Covid 19 and it was possible that Kelly may have had it as well. We will continue the search until the locations of the teen’s remains are found.
Police Report: Chief Trevor Rogers, June 25th 2021
Five days now and still no trace of the bodies. I have made numerous visits to Kevin Watts who now resides in the Barlow Asylum. Despite my pleading he is still under the delusion that they were killed by a monstrous creature and will not deviate from his story. Well we were convinced that he must have buried them, new evidence may suggest to the contrary. Photos taken with Mr. Watts’ smart phone feature the 5 teens together and the time stamps read between 8pm and 10:45pm. The idea that he could have killed, moved and buried them all in under 90 minutes is a stretch in logic that not even I would accept. We are still waiting on lab results on his clothes for clues to their resting place.
Lab Report: June 28th 2021
We have finished our analysis on both the blood sample from Mr. Kevin Watts and well as the dirt particles found on his clothes. The blood sample was unremarkable with trace amounts of alcohol and marijuana in his system. This would not be considered sufficient amounts for hallucinations nor memory loss as suggested by police. The dirt and dust found on his clothes however is a genuine curiosity. There is a mixture of several elements found with the small sample. There is soil that is not native to North America but is instead one common to burial sites in western Europe. There are large components of burnt ash found throughout. However the most curious element is traces of degraded human bone that after extensive testing we have carbonated it back to 600 BC. We will continue to run additional tests to discover the cause of these anomalies.
Police Report: Chief Trevor Rogers, July 3rd 2021
Today we have received word from the Barlow Asylum that at 7:32am Kevin Watts was found dead in his room. The cause of death remains unknown however my officers report he died in a look of terror. All that was found was a small note on his desk torn from his journal which has been logged into evidence. However with the main suspect deceased and no discovery of the bodies in two weeks I am afraid the case of the murdered teens will be moved to the cold case folder and forever remain unsolved.
Evidence #4 Case 2847
Contents: One letter written from the late Kevin Watts left on his desk. See attached photo.
“He comes for me tonight of this I am sure. I still don’t know why he let me live but he is coming to finish the job. To my lost friends I am truly sorry for leading you into those woods. I will be joining you soon.
He lives in the shadows and in the blinding light.
From him there is no refuge, no way in which to fight.
We all live in fear of his face and his blade.
He is the one to whom all debts are paid.
He is the bane of all those who draw breath.
He is the man of ash and shadows.
He is Death.”
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