While visiting Miami, serial killer Mark Darkling had turned himself into police after telling them that he had murdered 50 women over a 40 year period. He also had turned over to them 40 notebooks and his diaries which were very detailed accounts of his killing spree. The only reason he had turned himself into police was because he had cancer and knew that at some point it would be terminal.
The investigation had taken months even though Mark Darkling had provided officials with names of victims, dates, how they were murdered and where the bodies were dumped and other details only the killer would know. When it became known that he'd also killed women in other states, a National Task Force was set up to investigate his crimes. It also went international as well when he said that he murdered women in Spain and Puerto Rico.
The victims were females and ranged in age from 15 to 30. All were of Hispanic ancestry but from different parts of the world. The victims in the Miami killings were Cuban. The victims in the Southwest/California killings were from Mexico. The international victims were from Spain and Puerto Rico. With the exception of one person, nearly all of the victims were those who few people noticed when they went missing or who were never reported missing. This included runaways, those who were homeless and those who were working the streets.
The FBI and several law enforcement agencies drove to a home outside the Everglades that Mr. Darkling owned. He had murdered several women in this house. He also had buried 4 women on the property. The bodies were in the back yard just as Mark Darkling had said. Also found buried in the back yard were a couple of boxes that had cameras and film.
The film footage had been reviewed. There was film footage of a young woman who hadn't been identified which was very troubling to officials. It seemed odd that Mark didn't know who the woman was and couldn't say for sure if he'd killed her.
The tape was very grainy and no audio could be heard. The woman was seen on the tape briefly talking to someone on the phone. When she hung up, the film became static. Newer technology had made it possible to clean up the tape so that a clearer picture of the woman could be seen. The new footage with the audio was shown on national TV.
She was dressed in a red teddy which was sexy but at the same time conservative. It was more alluring than sexy. Many of the others on the other tapes dressed in lingerie which left little or nothing to the imagination. They seemed to be comfortable. It was evident that this woman was very uncomfortable the way she was dressed and really didn't want to be in this situation. Her body language clearly showed this.
Unlike the others, she changed into the teddy in the bathroom and then came out. The others did so in front of the camera and were totally comfortable with it. Instead of lying in the bed, she was sitting on a chair next to the bed, her hand folded. She also seemed extremely nervous.
"Does anyone know who this woman is?" Said Investigator Michael Green who headed the National Task Force. .
The footage was about to be played on all the stations that carried news.
"We would like to find out if this woman is still alive. This woman looks to be young, perhaps between the ages of 18-25 years old and has long dark hair. We don't know if she's of Hispanic origin or ancestry, but mostly likely she is given that all of his victims have been Hispanic. If you recognize this woman or if you are this woman, please contact us. We would like to hear from you."
Investigator Green ran the footage which included better quality picture and the audio.
"Hola. Como Estas?"
There was a smile on the woman's face.
"Estoy en casade Mark Darkling en una fiesta y estoy muy nervioso."
She was silent for a couple of minutes and then said bye and hung up the phone.
The tears came and then the sobbing. She started looking around the room, like she wanted to escape. There was a window in the room and she tried to open it. It wouldn't open. Panic and terror came over the woman. Although no more words were spoken, it was evident that the unidentified female was in fear for her life and was utterly terrified. On the video, someone was pounding on the door. The woman ran into the bathroom and locked the door. Mark Darkling broke down the door to the bedroom and the bathroom door. The woman who is crying and sobbing is seen being dragged out of the bathroom by her hair and then thrown on the bed. She is heard screaming and begging for the man not to harm her. Then the footage went static.
"Please give us any information about this woman. If you are the person she spoke with, we needed to talk to you as well. We are concerned about her well-being and need to know if she's okay."
Jose Rodriguez who was sitting in the Miami Dade County Jail knew who the female was on the tape. He had lied to authorities telling them he didn't know who she was. He hoped for her sake that they didn't find out who she was but knew that they would at some point. It would be quite a shock to investigators if they discovered who she was.
The one thing he knew is that she was very lucky to have come out of the house alive without any physical injuries because she was the sole survivor of a madman who hated women and who brutalized them prior to killing them. .
Father Hector was still trying to make sense of what he'd been told prior to taking Jose to the county jail to turn himself in on an outstanding warrant for violating his Probation. . Some of what he was told was shocking. Mark Darkling wasn't exactly someone he'd pictured Maria dating but Jose had told him that she wasn't really dating him. She'd been invited to a party and was told to bring some sexy lingerie. It was also doubtful that she'd ever told anyone about this.