Charles Lee Ray, also known as the Lakeshore Strangler on the streets, was a mystery. No one knew much about him, excluding Eddie Caputo, his partner in crime and the only friend. Eddie had met Charles not so long ago in Chicago. Charles had appeared out of nowhere and the reason for his sudden need to leave Lakeshore had something do with his ex, Tiffany Valentine. Eddie had planned to have a drink one night and that's how they ended up introducing each other. From that point on, they began working together.
Eddie didn't know who Charles truly was until two weeks afterwards. They were having a drink at the same bar they always went to. Since it was a weekday, they got to enjoy their whiskeys in peace. Charles had acted odd, more than he usually did. He had wanted to play some kind of game which included personal questions, and Eddie was forced to ask them. So he did and then Charles had stared him straight in the eye and said he had killed over 20 people. He confessed that he was the Lakeshore Strangler, the same killer from the news. And he just laughed it off like he had told a good joke. Eddie couldn't sleep that night.
A month goes by. Charles was keeping a low profile with the murders. Some cops were after him. Eddie saw this irritated him but he chose not to get too involved. One evening, they were sitting in Eddie's van, smoking and waiting. Charles had played with this pocket knife out of boredom. He had asked if Eddie wanted to hear about his first kill. Of course Eddie didn't want to but he had no choice but to listen. Charles had told him that the first victim had been his mother when he was around 17-year-old. The motive behind this was not an act of revenge or self-defence. He had killed her because he couldn't stand to see what a helpless dwarf she was. In Charles' words, he had done her a favour. And there was that sick laugh again.
Eddie preferred guns over any other weapon. Charles preferred his own bare hands. Eddie found this out by witnessing Charles' madness during a robbery. The shop keeper had managed to call the police before Eddie had shot him on the back. The guy had fallen on the ground, barely alive. He was no longer a threat. Eddie had taken the cash and other valuable items and expected Charles to follow suit. He was not doing any of that. Charles was busy strangling the half-dead shop keeper instead. Eddie thought this was unnecessary. He had seen the twisted look on Charles' face as the guy finally dropped dead and heard him chuckle in joy.
Sometimes they spent time in Charles' apartment. Drinking beer, smoking, playing poker or doing nothing. Eddie never got used to that creepy place, no matter how many times he visited. The wall paintings had been the worst part. They represented gory voodoo rituals. Charles had said he painted them by himself. He had given his soul to Damballah right after he had discovered voodoo and its true power. Eddie was surprised to see Charles taking spiritual things this seriously. He didn't believe in spirits or ghosts or anything else, but he never had mocked Charles about his religion. He couldn't dare.
Charles had told him on one typical Friday night that if he stopped worshipping Damballah, terrible things would happen to him. Eddie had asked then what he was most afraid of. Charles had given one word: weakness.
Eddie remembered that one time they had passed a mental hospital. He hadn't paid attention to it, but Charles had. He had stood there for a few seconds, watching the building. Suddenly, he admitted that he knew what it is like to be stuck in there. Eddie had laughed at him and wondered why the staff ever let a madman like Charles free. He thought he had escaped. Turned out that wasn't the case. Charles had explained during their walk that he used to deal with severe stuttering for years. He had begged for treatment from a local mental asylum and the doctor diagnosed him with social phobia after staying there about a few weeks. That all happened right before Charles killed his mother. He had finished by saying the pills did nothing but it was the blood of his dead mother that cured him for good. And Charles had not laughed, he had smiled and stayed silent for once.
Officer Mike Norris had been investigating the Lakeshore Strangler case for a while at that point. Both Charles and Eddie were aware of him but they hadn't been careful enough. On November 9th, they had planned to meet up a couple of dealers to get some cash. Charles, being a classic psychopath, chose to get out of the van after spotting a lonely woman down the street. Just because he had been "in the mood for a warm-up". Eddie had let him. What Charles nor Eddie hadn't noticed was the fact that the woman was Mike Norris in a disguise. Gun down ensued and Charles got shot on the leg. Another policeman was driving from behind to catch Eddie's van. He didn't have time to think twice. Eddie drove off and left Charles to save himself. It had been the right thing to do. Although they had been friends, not even Eddie couldn't fully trust Charles. He always had a bad feeling around him. A feeling that Charles could snap any second. His friend's cries outside didn't have any effect.
The news reported the serial killer Charles Lee Ray dead the next morning. Eddie felt only a little bit pity for the poor Charles. No one would miss him anyway, Eddie thought and smirked at the TV screen.