QUESTIONS 33 - 41: THE AFTERMATH


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... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... what

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... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... dId

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TEN DIE IN JOKER'S MACABRE GAME

Innocents murdered as the Joker baits vigilante

By Marcus Fowler

Gotham Herald Correspondent

The Gotham Police Department announced early Wednesday morning that it has recovered a body that appears to be another victim of the Joker. No details have been disclosed yet about the identity of the victim. The location of the crime scene is also being withheld.

Though no confirmation has been given yet by the GPD, it is widely suspected that this latest victim is the tenth person threatened in a letter penned by the Joker to the Batman. The victim could be the last in a string of killings that has terrified the city over the last seventy-two hours.

On Monday the Gotham Herald Correspondent first broke the story of a threat made by the Joker against the lives of ten citizens, after receiving a copy of a letter apparently written by the Joker himself. Though intent to kill was not stated explicitly, harm against unnamed victims appeared to be strongly insinuated throughout the letter.

Before running the story and printing the Joker's letter, our sources contacted the GPD to share its content. We learned that the police were already aware of the threats and were working to contain the situation, but chose not to make the letter public knowledge for fear of creating a panic.

When questioned outside of police headquarters last night about an increased threat to public safety possibly caused by the delay of making the letter public knowledge, Commissioner of Police James Gordon was curt and noticeably defensive: "We acted in the interest of the safety of the victims as well as the public. I felt that disclosure of this letter in a public forum would have caused unnecessary panic, which could do more damage than allowing the police to do their jobs covertly."

Gordon was further asked if he were working directly with the vigilante Batman to prevent each killing. He deflected the query, changing the subject. "It is my job to ensure the safety of the citizens of this city, and I stand by my decision. If any fear-driven public misconduct ensues because of irresponsible journalism, that's on you."

He declined further questions, despite shouting from the throng of reporters and by-standers that had gathered.

Commissioner Gordon has been besieged by angry citizens, who charge that by the police's failure to disclose the Joker's latest threat immediately upon receipt, lives were put in danger unnecessarily. Some members of the city council are calling for Gordon's resignation in the wake of this alleged law enforcement misstep.

It appears that nine of the ten victims threatened may have had a direct connection to the Joker. The Joker recently made his second successful escape from Arkham Asylum, before he could be tried for the murder of Grace Rathbun, the advice columnist found dead in the foyer of her building. The Joker is ostensibly replying to advice questions, published despite admonishments against the media from the GPD. It's believed that nine of the victims may have written to the Joker directly, seeking advice of some sort.

None of the identities of the victims has been confirmed by the police at this time, pending notification of the victims' families.

It is unknown if the Batman made any attempt to thwart each threatened killing.

The original letter follows, reprinted in its entirety. The Major Crimes Unit at GPD did not disclose whether the letter were written after all ten victims were killed, or if the letter were an ensemble of threats, made piecemeal to the police and assembled into one letter only after all victims were killed.


An oPen leTTer to tHe BatmAn

Let's pLaY a game.

ShaLL we?

comMissiOner GorDon, you cAn play, tOo.

It's caLLed... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... "tEn cHanCes to saVe a uSeLess waSte of sPacE":

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TeN worthLess cIPhers

aLL big Fans oF miNe

tHis one feLL eXtra hArd…

and nOw there aRe nIne

9

9

9

baiTIng mE for fuN

BeGets unFortuNate faTe

BusY? ouT to dinNer, BatMan?

beCause noW theRe are eiGht

8

oCho

8

8

8

ThiS one LooKed QuiTe startLed

wHen I puLLed out mY weaPon

i caRVed a baT in her beLLY

AnD now tHere aRe seVen

7

C(o)Unt of the SWans a swimMing

7

7

You'Re miSsing ouT on the FUn, bAtman

i'm stiLL gettiNg my kiCKs!

SnuFfing out faWning sYcoPhants

So nOw there are siX

6

6

6

6

3.74 + 2.26

pRofessinG theIr obSession for me

wOn't KEep them aLiVe

sTill on the FenCe about pLaying, Batman?

weLL… Now therE are fiVe

5

5

cuBe rooT of 125

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

tHis is raTher disaPPointing, BatMan

you'Ve becOme QuiTe a boRe (rhymes wiTh whOre)

Not wiLLing to giVe chaSe

And now There are FouR

4

4

i gueSS you'Ve reaLLY gone daRk

leaVing this citY to me

gAme on - baTter uP, BatmAn!

and now thEre are tHRee

3

3

thReE

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

And comMissioNer GoRdon,

Have you giVen uP, tOo

oR am i juSt too sLipperY to caTch?

BecAuse now tHere are tWo

2

2

to

tWo

too

2

JoKer: 8, JusTice: 0

noWhere to hIDe or to Run

tHis oNe's come aPart at tHe seAms

And now THere's onLY onE

1

1

won

(I) won

(I) won

(eye) won

1

i'M no onE's wHite knight or priNce

anD i doN't want a wiFe

no One, but NO ONE anaLyzes me

aLL i waNt is mY kniFe


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wOnder whAt becaMe of those nIne reaDers whose leTTers irKed me?

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Arahin was the fiRst one to go. heR face had a littLe chaT with the pavement. afTer stePPing off of a fiFteen-storY buiLding. i doN't know wHat she did tO ofFend the parking loT. maYbe she insuLted its motHer or somethinG, but the asphaLt tooK isSue with her, and scatTered her faCe intO liTTle pIeces aLL oVer the pLace.

Head-over-heels-for-Unreachable was neXt. i waNted to seE how manY saLad forKs you can stiCk into a huMan neCk beFore someone bLeeds to deaTh. AnsWer: 31. (juSt like BasKin-roBbins ice CreaM! and she scReamed, beLieve me.)

~Smiles was noT smiLing when i caRved that bat in her aBdomen. buT i recYcLed! i feD the fLap of skin to a straY dog. WooF wOof!

Bunny Rina =D was numbEr four. (whIch coLor pooL baLL is that?) she maY have asPhyxiated in a HappY Bunny pLastic bag. maYbe. afTer i kicKed her rePeatedLy in the hEad and ribs. posSibLy. witH mY special pointY shoes.

aFter that, Pink lemonade waS on a fence. tHen she was soRt of in a feNce. and aRound it. tHat's what hapPens when you get imPaled on sharP spindLes.

nuMber siX was Jennie. we pLayed a spirited game of taG. i won. I cHased her down aNd tagged her witH a FedEx tRuck. (sPeciaL deLiverY, comIng thrOugh!)

Crazy in Love was lucKy nuMber seVen. i tOok her to a batting caGe for a littLe sWing prActice. i goT in lots of goOd sWings in. Lots and loTs. LouiSville SLuggers have nothing on a soLid Old HickoRY.

nExt in line was InLoveWithScarecrow (and you'Re the onLy onE, toOts). i sTuffed her inTo an oiL drum. whiLe it stiLL had oil in iT. eVidentLy lunGs aRen't compatiBLe with petroLeum pRoducts.

tHe lasT reader was Lisaa~. i chained her wRists around a LaMppost and cuFfed her feeT to an 18-wHeeLer. Then i cLimbed in the caB and stepPed on the gas. iRon and sTeel beaTs out fLesh and bone eVerY time. thAt's the Law of PhYsics tip-of-the-daY for you.

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(but wHo was numBer teN?)

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Let's seE if you can PuzzLe that one ouT for yourseLves, Gotham...

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-4oC, 2012.01.02