Chapter 12:  Epilogue

Upon loosing the telephone connection, and being unable to get a hold of his son, Mr. Craft had alerted the police that Lizzie and Ethan were in trouble at the Kessler house.  When the call went out every unit in the vicinity drove as fast as they could to the location fearing that they might be too late to save anyone currently there.  The sight that greeted them was one for the record books.  Five bruised and bloody figures; Jo McGuire, Lizzie McGuire, David Gordon, Kate Sanders (the least bloody of the group), and Ethan Craft who was not dead, just seriously injured, sat on the front porch awaiting their arrival.  David Gordon was currently applying pressure to the wound on Ethan's back while Kate Sanders held his hand and tried to help keep him conscious.

The police found Jo McGuire holding her teary-eyed daughter, trying to reassure her that everything would indeed be all right now.  The girl was clutching her mother and sobbing something incoherently.  Her mother seemed to know what she was muttering and just responded, "I know sweet heart and I'm so sorry."

When the officers attempt to take Jo into custody Lizzie wrapped herself securely around her mother and told them that she was innocent.  She refused to let them take her away and before the police could argue Gordo and Kate stood by the McGuire's and informed the police that the real killers were dead inside. The crime scene was very bloody, and a few of the police officers lost whatever food they'd eaten before arriving. The strong stomached officers found the bodies exactly where they were told they would be, one in the kitchen, the other in the hallway.

Kate was trying to remain calm as she looked at the body of Danny Kessler.  She couldn't believe that she'd shot him.  She never thought she was capable of killing someone, much less someone she knew.  True the person was trying to kill her and her friends but it was something she didn't think she had in her.  Chief Miller arrived and asked the group, save Ethan who was being attended to by the Emergency Medical Team, to tell him everything that had occurred that evening.

From the safety of her mother's arms Lizzie McGuire recounted all that she'd been told by Ronnie and Danny.  She started with her father's death, the framing of Emmanuelle Jordan, the attack on her brother and Melina, all the way to the last few days.  When it came to Ronny and Danny's death's Gordo and Kate made the report.  The events that transpired were too much for Lizzie to recount.  She just sobbed quietly in her mother's arms, happy that the woman was alive and well after spending the last few days prisoner of two deranged psychopaths.

Chief Miller apologized for doubting Jo; the older mother nodded and forgave him.  The man was just doing his job and even she had to admit that Ronny and Danny had fooled her, and done an amazing job of framing her.  The two had told her in detail everything they'd done.  She had been privy to the truth about her husband before Lizzie.  Ronny had particularly gotten off telling her how he'd relished the feeling of killing her husband for what he'd done.  Jo would never have believed that the caring young man who had dated her daughter for two years could be capable of such hennious acts.

When they were done making their statements Chief Miller instructed an officer to take the group to the hospital to make sure there were no internal injuries for the beatings, and in Gordo's case the gunshot wound.

~ * ~

The sun was beginning to rise as Kate Sanders stood, microphone in hand, in front of the Kessler house.  Her blood had been wiped away, makeup freshly applied and she was ready to report the story, her story for the local news station.  Kate's dream of finally being on television as a reporter was about to come true.  She had made the call to the news station informing them that the murder spree was over.  If they wanted to know first hand what had occurred she wanted the reporter position.  She promised them exclusive interviews with all the survivors (she had been already gotten their consent) if they complied.  Otherwise she'd go to another news station.  Considering that they would be the only station with these interviews, creating a reporters position with a rather sizeable salary was a small price to pay.

"This is Kate Sander's live with an exclusive first hand report on the end of the Hillridge Murders.  The blood bath that many thought began last month with the deaths of Mathew McGuire and Melina Bianco actually predates those deaths.  One year ago Samuel McGuire, father of Mathew and Elizabeth McGuire was brutally killed after a supposed affair with one Emmanuelle Jordan.  Last night I, and several others, were on hand to hear the confessions of the true killers.  The duo claimed that they hired Ms. Jordan to seduce Mr. McGuire.  The drugged the two and when Ms Jordan was in a delusional state the duo killed Sam McGuire."  Kate stated with a calm and cool look on her face.

"The killers, one Ronny Jacobs age eighteen and his accomplice Danny Kessler also eighteen proudly claimed responsibility for the deaths of, Mathew McGuire, Melina Bianco, Principal Ungermeyer and Veruca Taylor, seventeen who was murdered here, at the Kessler family home, late last night."  Kate said, a tear forming at her eye with the mention of the second person's name.

Kate quickly regained her composure and continued.

"The two deranged teens gloated as if the whole thing were a game without consequences.  Danny Kessler's sole motive for his heinous acts was that 'He did it for Kicks'.  Why a young man who was athletically as gifted, and socially popular as he was would feel the need to do this is anyone's guess." Kate paused briefly to catch her breath, and then continued speaking. 

"Ronny Jacob's motive on the hand was more personal. He claimed that his mother had an affair with Samuel McGuire, and that this affair led to the break up of his family.  Emotionally distraught over this, he sought revenge.  Unfortunately his thirst for vengeance was not sated with the death of Sam McGuire.  He passed his hatred on to Lizzie McGuire, the daughter of his victim and the girl he was dating. The two demented teens proceeded to attack Lizzie physically, mentally and emotionally.  Their plan was to kill her on the anniversary of her father's death and frame Jo McGuire for the killings."

Kate then moved towards the house and the camera crew followed as Kate continued her report.  In a few short hours this location would become a media circus, unfortunately for those stations, Kate Sanders' was reporting live and the broadcast was already at the network level.  Millions of people were watching and listening to her report of the events and the nineteen year olds life would never be the same again.

~ * ~

Deep in the woods near the Kessler's house, standing very close to Jo McGuire's car, a lone figure watched everything that was transpiring at the Kessler's home through a set of binoculars.  The lone figure was wearing a long black cloak and a ghost facemask.

Deciding now was a good time to make a hasty retreat; the unknown person quickly discarded the Halloween costume and stuffed it into a rucksack.  They then removed the pistol strapped to their thigh and placed it in the sack covering it with the mask   Thinking back to the last few moments the lone figure shook their head in amazement.  The bullet that Kate Sanders had fired at Danny had missed him completely, and zoomed right past the figure's head.  It was shear luck that the bullet missed.

I still can't believe that twit thinks she killed Kessler.  The mystery person thought

"Next time Lizzie… next time." The figure said aloud then disappeared into the woods.

THE END