Ch. 1 – 1989, Ellis, Wisconsin
On a unseasonably cold and windy summer night, July 8th, 1989, the killer who terrorized a nation by making one town hell on earth. He killed fifteen people, that the police found, and they were all different. All races fell victim to him, men, women, and children alike. Lutheran, Atheist, Catholic, Jewish, it didn't matter to him. This made it very hard to profile him, but what made it even worse is that he never left any DNA behind, not even so much as a hair.
He only gave the police one clue, and that was the name he operated under. Michael Angelo. He thought every one of his murders was a piece of art. If it was art, you'd call it the art of the apocalypse.
He also had very brutal methods in which he carried out his attacks. His first victim died of a bullet to the head, the next was found hung, the third one was found in the woods, up a tree, and beheaded. The next victim was found quartered, which was an medieval style execution technique. Other methods were drowning, freezing, burning, arson, electrocution, using a chainsaw, and draining the body of blood.
Even though he was never caught, he did stop, mercifully. The only the police knew this is because, with the last victim, who was drained of his blood, there was a note attached to his forehead. It read
"I'm getting tired of having to run with nobody to give ample chase. I have shown you how the justice system can fail, and I will let you come to realize how terribly you did. I will be back, just when you least expect it, and we'll play cat and mouse again.
And, of course, it was done with a typewriter, so no handwriting analysis (done by, yes, another person, no computers) would be efficient, but there was only a smudge of a fingerprint. Methods during that time though, were not as effective as today, and Craig Thompson's case was closed. He was sure he could find o9ut how it was, but department shut him down. He could only wait for this demented, psychotic killer to surface again.
Ch. 2 – Ellis, Wisconsin, present day.
Retired Sheriff Craig Thompson lay awake in his bed. His wife Michelle, lay asleep next to him.
His thoughts raced, as they always do, back to then, the hellish summer of 1989. He was often one of the first officers on the scene for all of those murders, and they will never leave his tortured mind.
He can't get out of his head all of those terrible sights that he witnessed, people without heads, people in four pieces, hung, even crucified
He did, however, take the case to launch a bit of a career. Even though the killer was never caught, the town praised his work, how he, new to the force, kept his cool and kept a whole town under control.
The big thing that's n his mind, for tonight, that is, is the last words in the letter that the killer left. "I'll be back"
So, with these words echoing in his mind, he reached over, wrapped his arms around his wife, and tried, without success, to sleep.
Now, as Craig tried (still without success, unfortunately) to sleep, we change our focus to Brad McPherson. We'd describe where he lives, but it changes every night. You see, our new friend has no permanent home. Today, his home is a alley behind a deserted building. A bed made of concrete and some gravel, and sheets of newspaper, and tossed out magazines for a pillow.
We can, however, get a brief description of him. He grew up in a middle class family, graduated 25th out of 145 people in his class, and joined the police academy, and later the Ellis, Wisconsin Police Force
This provided him with a great career, decent pay, and many new friends. Also, one last detail. Our new friend was responsible for the Michael Angelo murders in 1989. Before you get any ideas, he never tampered with any evidence. In fact, when he was at the scene of the crimes, he logged evidence that could have provided DNA and fingerprints had any been left behind. If anything had turned up, he would have been caught, but he knew how not to leave any evidence behind.
As you know he never got caught. Brad "Michael Angelo" McPherson, decided to "retire" from his rampage for a while. He did promise, however, that he would be back. He stayed with the police force until last year, at the age of 43. He thought the time for Michael Angelo to come back was very close. Soon, very soon.
Now, as we let these new facts simmer in our brains, it time to travel back in time to 1989.
Here, we meet a younger version of Brad McPhearson. He stands six foot two inches tall, two hundred and fifteen pounds, well built. He was yet fresh out of the academy, and all who know him could only say the nicest things about him. He was everybody "good guy"
If they had known his secret, they most likely would have thought it was a joke, or a lie. Brad couldn't have been this killer, this sadistic madman doing almost inhuman acts on his victims. Surely, they'd have thought, you must be mistaken. And, on top of that, he's a cop!
So far, Michael Angelo has four victims. Each one progressively worse off than the others. The only reason they know it is the same guy is because he keeps leaving them notes. This frustrates the police force and outrages the town. How can the cops be so far behind this man? The local cops were even mocked by the killer. he would often end his notes with "godspeed and good luck", or "see you soon."
Now, sitting in his car, is Mike's victim number five. The victims name is John Sharp, who is thirty five years old, social worker, and is running out of time. You see, John is not only sitting in his car, but he is bound to the seat of it. He has wires attached above and below both of his eyes, two wires attached to his chest, and another to his abdomen. On the other side of those wires, unfortunately for John, is a generator. Controlling that generator? Well, our friend Brad. Brad turns the generator on, but the shocking has not yet commenced. Brad is holding those wires just far enough above the internal workings of the generator that it won't shock John...yet.
John, trying to plead for his life, even with the gag, is crying now. Who could blame him? Brad, on the other hand, doesn't pay any attention to these cries. He walks over to John now, and begins reading him his last rites. Its an ironic twist, but he does this with all his victims.
Brad takes one last look at his watch, and then he attaches the wires. At first, only little shocks happen, still painful, but somewhat bearable. Then, the electricity starts flowing faster, faster, and the energy gets to Johns body. Hot lightning enters his eyes, his chest, his intestines, frying him. His flesh was burning, crisping, starting to fill the room with its roast pork smell.
For John, the experience last forever. In real time, it lasted three minutes. That was only because a breaker tripped. John died from the pain, not ten seconds later. His eyes were elastic, still in their sockets but down to his thighs, his tongue on fire, his heart, after trying to hold on, exploding inside of his chest. He is now a black crisp inside his car. Before leaving, Brad douses the car, and the surrounding garage with gasoline. On his way out, he drops a match.
As he pulls out into the street, he takes a look back over his shoulder, and the last thing he can see is hell on earth.
Now, as we jump through the void in time, as we who can see the story unfold can do, lets go back to the present. As we descend on the police department. This morning, the department is in frenzy mode.
This morning, around 5 A.M., dispatcher Jennifer Tanzer got an alarming call. An elderly man, in hysterics, called and reported that he found a body. That was only the start of it. He continued to tell Jennifer that the head was hanging from a tree, and in the next tree, the arms. The tree following that, had the legs, and in the tree after that, the torso. The man was nearly in a panic now, and it took all of Jennifer's skills as a dispatcher, and a police officer just to calm the man down. By noon, the park was almost full of citizens, and the wannabe paparazzi, and then the local press. The cops had one huge mess on their hands.
Back at the station, Craig had a huge mess on his hands. Jennifer had just come in, pale, scared, and upset. When she shut the door, Craig looked up.
"Jen, what's the matter" knowing that it took a lot for Jen to get upset.
"There is a note for you" she said as she handed the note over to him. She didn't even explain as she went out the door, but he knew that she had read it. Slowly unfolding the carefully refolded piece of paper. The note read.
Dear Craig Thompson,
I read the other day that you are on my trail again. Its been a long time since we've played this nice game of cat and mouse, hasn't it? Don't worry though. I'll be nice, and put the victims in a place where you can find them. Give you a little bit of a lead. So, without further to do, let me say it for you. I'm back.....chief.
At the word "chief", his blood turned to ice in his veins. Craig put his head in his hands, and leaned forward, with his head between his knees. He started to sob. Tears felt like torches going down his face, seeming to melt his skin right off his face. Jennifer came back into the room after about ten minutes, and was scared to see her former chief crying. She was so sure that he would never cry, couldn't cry, that her mind was in shock. She tried for nearly an hour before she calmed him down.
When he gathered himself up enough to talk, he began to explain.
"There was only one guy who'd call me chief" he said, his throat on fire with the crying. "He was one of the guys i took under my wing. I considered all of those boys my kids. They had all moved on by now, you see. The only one that stayed around here was the one i was closest too, and his name is Brad McPhearson" At this, her eyes lit up.
"you mean you know where he is"
"no, not that. I lost contact with him a few years ago. I've looked, and he doesn't have a number, no address, no car, no living family, nothing. I can't find him. I've looked everywhere, but its no use"
After talking to the Sheriff, John Leary, he gets yet another surprise.
"Craig" John says "were going to send this all to the lab for fingerprint testing. I know that if he was a cop, he has to be in the database somewhere. Then, the rest of us, who aren't' checking for prints, are going to find Brad. Come on
"Yeah. Did you think i was going to make you stay here by yourself. You'd get into too much trouble, and maybe think that you're in charge again"
Over the next week, Craig, John,n, and multiple other officers worked on the case. They read old reports, examined old evidence, and even tried to make a profile of Brad McPhearson
They looked at all of Brad's tests, but nothing came of it. There was, however, nothing out of the ordinary to his answers. All were logical and had no hint of violence in the darkest questions offered. Some actually sounded afraid of the scenarios that were put forth in some of the surveys.
Just across town, Brad McPhearson isn't feeling so well. In fact, he woke up this morning shivering in a ice cold sweat, but his skin was so hot it seemed to burn with the rage of Zeus himself. What Brad doesn't know is that he has been suffering from cancer for the last couple of months, and now he's starting to decay on the inside, the beginning stages of death. He won't ever know, of course, but he has an idea as to what may be happening. He does realize that his time is short. He started coughing blood this morning, and it just hasn't stopped. De decided right then and there, covered in blood soaked newspapers that he was gong to show himself to his old friend, who was back at work again.
He got up, wiping the blood off his face, with the picture of Craig that was in the paper. He began his walk down to the police station, and started to hum "Stairway to Heaven"
Craig sat at a desk in the corner of his old office, drinking coffee and reviewing a paper, when a deputy approached him
"Sir" Craig waved the young man on to continue
"Sir, there is a man here who wants to see you"
"Who is that?"
"The guy says he will only discuss information or speak with you. After thinking about it for a second, he allowed the deputy to send the an in. He believed that it was somebody that could help with the case, and he'd take any help that he could get.
He heard a knock at the door "Come in," he said "The door is open"
The door opened, and what Craig saw, he'll never forget.
When Craig looked up, he was surprised to see a man like this one. He was sure this would have been somebody who had information, or at least looked like they had information.
The man who now stood in front of him was most definitely not a "normal" citizen. This mad had black hair down to his shoulders, dull green eyes, a mangy beard, had tattered cloths, and smelled as if he lived in a sewer. The man (surely homeless, Craig thinks) has medium build and carries himself like a man with nothing to lose.
One thing that Craig notices right away is that the mystery man was bleeding from his mouth, nose, and his eyes were a dark crimson red.
Before he has the chance to speak, Craig is silenced by the man, who then begins to talk.
"You look confused, what wrong?" he mocked
"Who are you?" was all Craig could manage.
"I didn't figure you'd recognize me. Its been, what, five years?" he started to laugh, but the laugh turned into a tortured cough.
"Are you ok?" Craig asked, surprised to hear such compassion for this complete stranger to come out of his mouth. The man leaned in, close enough for Craig to smell the blood in the mans throat. He thinks he even smells beer.
The man suddenly, with moves so fast and precise that his hands seemed to blur, he took Craig by the throat, and threw him at the wall.
As he lay against the wall, defenseless and in pain, Craig saw the man block the door with a book case. On his way back, the man began to talk.
" I can remember the good days. We'd patrol in the cars together, talk about your wife Michelle, of my "rock star" life style, as you called it. I recognize you......Chief"
At having those dreadful words that he'd read only a week ago, Craig was stricken as if by a punch from Muhammad Ali. This can't be Brad, he thought. How? Why? What was wrong with him? was he sick?
Brad, seeing the look on his face, said "ah, i was hoping that you'd figure this out. I really ha.." He was interrupted by the door banging.
"Craig!" John Leary was screaming "are you ok!!!!"
Before he could say anything, he found the sharp end of the largest hunting knife he'd ever seen pressed against his throat.
"Say one word, i'll skin you alive"
Despretely hoping that somebody would figure out what was happening, Craig heard John run from the door screaming for somebody to get the hell into his office, the front door was blacked and Craig was hurt.
Knowing that his actions in the next five minutes mean life or death, Craig focused as hard as he could on getting out of this situation alive. Mean while, Brad got angry, very fast.
As Craig looked up at Brad, his mind kept asking the same questions over and over again. How could i have missed this, what happened. They simmered in the front of his mind, and they tormented his thoughts.
Brad continued to smile. He would often turn his attention to the still crouching Craig, and grin a psychotic, crimson, death like smile. He stood over Craig, out sizing him.
"I've been waiting a long, long time for this to happen, Chief. I was going to wait for you guys to catch me, but you never got that far. You were the only one that got somewhat close, but you were still far away. Now that i'm here, maybe i can create on last piece of art".
Brad reached down and grabbed Craig by his throat, and with the strength of an ox, he lifted him up in the air, and threw him though his desk. Before Craig could get his bearing, he found himself flying through the air again, this time into the wall, where maps of the city were laid out.
Craig, not wanting to give up, lashed out with his feet, aiming for Brads ankles. He missed, unfortunately, and Brad took his other leg and slammed the knee into the over turned chair. Holding on for dear life itself, he held on to the corner of the desk. In one fluid motion, he started rolling towards the ground while using his legs to thrust Brad forward. He was caught off guard, and ran headlong into the book case at the end of the room.
Now they both stood at opposite sides of the room, a mess of wood, paper, and office supplies scattering the room. Somewhere, the door was banging against the book case that was blocking it. Brad kicked at the case, slamming the door shut.
Brad came full force, ready with a left hook. Craig ducked under the punch, and put a well placed kick right in the kidneys, dropping Brad to the floor. Craig tried to take advantage of the situation by grabbing the back of Brads head, but he swept the feet from under Craig. This time, brad was quicker to get up, and before he could figure out what he was going to do next, Craig was thrown through the desk at the end of the office.
On his way over to a helpless Craig, Brad finally heard the noise of the door. It had knocked over the bookcase that split him open, and now John Leary was trying to get through it.
Brad advanced towards the door with the hunting knife poised to strike. John, not knowing that anything was coming, somehow moved his arm. It baffled Brad, and he just stood at the door, staring at it, as a dog would stare at its owner when they hide a ball behind their back.
He turned around, and before he could take into account where Craig was, he caught Craig's titanium knee in right between the eyes. Craig had used the book case to launch himself into the air, and came at Brad full force. He was aiming for the temples, but the forehead was just as nice.
To his surprise, Brad tried to come back with one last ditch effort. But, Craig dodged him easily and pushed him into the heap of rubble that was his desk ten minutes ago.
Slowly, and delicately, Craig wound his way toward the door. He kicked the remnants of the book case out of the way, and opened the door.
"What the hell was that," John yelled
"That, was an old friend of mine" Craig said "meet Brad"
John just stood there, mouth agape. He never expected that they'd find him. Of course, he had hoped they would, but he was skeptical. Yet, there he was. Lying in the middle of what used to be an office (now it looked like the aftermath of some extreme wrestling match)
Craig walked right past John.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"I'm not deputized, remember? I'm going home to my wonderful, beautiful wife, and then i'm going to sleep. I don't think i'll have to worry about this anymore."
He did do one last thing however. He took the hand cuffs from John, and placed them on Brad. He leaned over Brads unconscious body, and whispered "rot in hell"
Six weeks later, as Winter was knocking at the door, Bradley Michael McPhearson, former police office of the EPD, was put on trial for fifteen counts of murder. He shocked everybody by saying, guilty to all fifteen. A few weeks later, they tried him for six more counts, as he gave police all the information they needed.
The trial only took three days, and the Jury only need one hour. Actually, they only needed five minutes, but they didn't want to appear rushed, so they waited it out.
Once they told the judge the verdict, it took him only twenty seconds to hand down the sentence.
" I will not, Mr. McPhearson, try you for capital punishment. I am, however also not going to let you off easy, as other Judges often do. You will serve 21 life sentences, and with out possibility of parole until after the tenth sentence is finished. I am not the kind of Judge that gives you a weak ten years sentence for murder. I will punish to the full extent of the law, as that is how i see fit. You sir, will do your time. The punishment isn't harsh enough, if you ask me, but its the best...or worst, if you prefer, that i can do to you.
In a medical examination of you prior to your apearacnce in court, it was shown that you have leukemia. We will, in accordance to state law, provide you the medical support, which of course your insurance will pay for. You will not, however, be allowed outside the hospital. You will live the rest of your life as a condemned man, and you will not ever be free again".
Brad would go on to survive cancer, and live until the age of 96, forty-six years after he arrived in prison. He still had 20 and one half life sentences to serve. He had no funeral, no memorial, and no headstone. He was cremated, and spread in a river near his home.
John Leary went on to be Chief of Police, and was killed in the line of duty. An angry citizen came into the office, during a scheduled meeting, somehow making it past security, and stabbed John thirty seven times.
Craig went on the enjoy his retirement. He and Michelle lived a happy life for thirty years after wards, ending up with seventy years of wedded bliss. Michelle died December tenth, 2040. Craig, grief stricken without his only friend, and love of his life, died on January 15th, 2040. There ashes were mixed together, and they were sprinkled in two places. One was in Craig's home town Ellis Wisconsin, and the other half of them was placed in Utah, where the love of his life Michelle, called her home away from home. They spend eternity, ashes intermixed, in Utah and in Ellis Wisconsin, forever holding each other in their final embrace.