Jack the Ripper: A Forensic Look

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Forensic Sciences 101: Jack the Ripper
The Victimology & The Profile

Welcome to Forensic Sciences 101. Today class, instead of build a bear, let’s play some build a killer. Start with the weapon of choice… throw in some childhood traumas, a psychotic break, a trigger event and victimology and what do we get class… a bona fide serial killer… Let’s talk Jack the Ripper with Agent Leo Desbrates.

Course Materials

  • Victimology : Photos, Crime Scenes, Post Mortems.
  • The Ripper Letters : Assessing Forensic Information.
  • Mary Jane Kelly : The Fifth Victim.
  • Jack the Ripper Profile : Profiling a Serial Killer.

  1. Jack The Ripper
  2. WhiteChapel Jack
  3. Wikipedia: Jack The Ripper
  4. Types of Serial Killers
  5. Organized -vs- Disorganized Killers
  6. Mass, Serial and Spree Killers
  7. The Mammoth Book of Jack The Ripper Edited by Maxim Jakubowski and Nathan Braund

Thank you to all the resource materials listed above for the research that you have all provided. My post is loosely built on Jack the Ripper and not all information may be fully accurate or of historical accuracy. If you want more information about Jack the Ripper please visit the above or grab the book mentioned in point 7.

Leo looked across the classroom and noted the fresh young faces of the students in front of him. There was a time he was one of those fresh faces. He was dreading this class right to the last minute. He really didn’t want to do it, he hated crowds and what Ari called “peopling”. He was acutely aware of the stares from the students as he stood there, staring back quietly at them. Gritting his teeth he began,

“Good morning students. This is Forensic Science 101. Today we are looking at the most infamous case that ever graced Scotland Yard.” Leo looked around again, they hung on every word he was saying. Every syllable. Leo grunted, he’d forgotten to introduce himself, damn it.

“I’m Leo Desbrates and we are going to examine none other than Jack the Ripper or what we refer to as The Whitechapel Murders. We will examine the victimology, the possible motives, and profile Ripper himself, shall we begin?”

“Wait!”

Leo glanced up from his case notes and files to follow the sound of the female voice. A small petite woman, dark haired with green eyes staring back at him. Those green eyes took his breath away, they felt familiar somehow. Why did this tiny little thing of a woman feel as if he knew her intimately. She felt like some sort of connection to something he couldn’t quite put his thumb on.

“What is it?” Leo responded with irritation at the interruption.

“What’s the point of beating a dead horse, the Jack the Ripper case can never be solved.” the dark haired woman replied equally as annoyed.

“Well, for one, we can absolutely learn from the case. Whether it was solved, not solved or unsolvable. Another reason to beat the dead horse is to learn the victimology of the Jack the Ripper case, how the serial killer may have become one and what his profile would look like compared to modern day profiles of serial killers. For example, Ted Bundy for one. Jack the Ripper is the prototype of the Ted Bundys of the world afterall.”

She seemed satisfied with his answer as the other students muttered approvals and nodded in excitement. He smirked, it was a good question. Quick on the smarts this green eyed beauty in the front row. She was staring at him as if she knew him, again making him feel as if he knew her intimately somehow. Leo shook it off, nodded back at the class and began his lecture as he riffled through his notes nervously.

Let’s start with the victimology shall we. There were five victims, or at least that’s the going theory. The last victim doesn’t actually fit the victimology but we’ll get to that soon enough. We also have a theory that Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols wasn’t Jack the Ripper’s first victim. Some speculate that Martha Tabrum was his first victim and that there were two more victims, Alice McKenzie and Frances Coles. Let’s meet the victims first.

Ripper

Victimology

The Victims of Jack the Ripper

Mary Ann Nichols

Mary Ann "Polly" Nichols

ripper_victim_mary_ann_polly_nichols

Name: Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols
Age: 43 years old
Height: 5’2″
Description:
Dark hair, grey eyes, front teeth missing teeth.
High cheekbones, scar on forehead from childhood accident.
Time of death: August 31st 1888 Location: Buck’s Row, Whitechapel.

Post-Mortem:
1 September 1888
Bruise on right side of face and circular one on left side of neck. Looked to be thumb and finger placed in a manner to steady the head to lacerate the throat of the victim. Two cuts, both started on left side of neck below the ear and ran below the jaw. One 4 inches the other 8 inches. Both cuts reached through to the vertebrae. Large vessels of the neck on both sides severed. No other injuries to upper body. A sharp, straight object, purported to be a knife was thrust into the lower part of the abdomen, creating a 2-3 inch deep wound from the left side, running jagged. Tissues cut through, several cuts across the abdomen, 3-4 similar running downwards on the right side.
All the wounds\cuts caused by same instrument, a moderately sharp, long-bladed knife.

Conclusions drawn about the killer:

Killer is left handed, attacked Nichols from the front. The mutilations took about 4 to 5 minutes to complete and the work of someone with a rough anatomical knowledge.

Annie Chapman

Annie Chapman

anniechapman

Name: Annie Chapman
Age: 47 years old
Height: 5’0″

Description:
Brown, dark hair, blue eyes, 2 teeth missing.
Thick nose, plump, fair complexion.
Black eye and bruises on her chest from a recent fight
with another woman, Eliza Cooper.
Malnourished and diseased with a lung/brain membrane (meningitis?) disease that would have killed her if our perp had not gotten to her first.

Time of Death: September 8th, 1888  Location: 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields.

Post-Mortem:
8 September 1888
Note: Body was stripped and washed by nurses. Shed was unsanitary. Contaminates likely present.
At first sight, the tongue and face were swollen. The throat sliced from left to right through to the spine. A fresh bruise over the temple and over the upper eyelid. Two distinct bruises the size of a man’s thumb on the forepart of the top of the chest and on the right hand. By the bruising, it is likely that the killer held Chapman by the lower jaw when he cut her throat. The abdomen had been opened and the intestines cut from their attachments, lifted out and placed on the ground above the right shoulder. Part of the stomach and a large quantity of blood lay above the left shoulder. Body was cold however the intestines were still warm. The uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, upper portion of the vagina along with two-thirds of the bladder were removed from both the body and the murder site. The incisions avoided the rectum and divided the vagina low enough to avoid damage to the cervix uteri.

Conclusions drawn about the killer:

Some anatomical knowledge.

The Killer could not have performed the all of the injuries himself in less than 15 minutes.

If the injuries had been done deliberately by a surgeon, it would have taken at least an hour.

Likely the injuries to the throat and abdomen were done with the same instrument, a knife with a thin, narrow blade of at least 6 to 8 inches long. Not a bayonet or a knife used in leather trade. More like a ground-down slaughter man’s knife or a small amputating knife.

Murderer strangled or suffocated Chapman to death before mutilations and throat cutting.

The lips, face and hands were livid from asphyxia.

Elizabeth Stride

Elizabeth Stride

Elizabeth_stride_100

Name: Elizabeth Stride
Age: 44 Years old
Height: 5’2″
Description:
Dark brown hair, light grey eyes, pale complexion, oval face, upper front teeth missing.
Time of Death: September 30, 1888 Location: Dutfield’s Yard, Berner Street, Whitechapel.

Post-Mortem:
October 1, 1888
Note: The body was stripped by the doctors themselves unlike the last two victims.

A clean incision of about 6 inches from left to right was found on the victims throat. There were no other cuts or marks to suggest strangulation. There were pressure marks over both shoulders, under the collar bones and in front of the chest caused by the pressure of two hands on the shoulders. Cause of death was exsanguination from a partial severance of the left carotid artery and the division of the windpipe. There is a possibility that Stride’s throat was cut while she was falling to the ground or when laying on the ground due to the blood spatter patterns.

Conclusions drawn about the killer:

This suggests that the victim was grabbed by the shoulders and pushed to the ground. Murderer was on her right side and had cut her throat from left to right. It would have taken mere seconds to inflict the injury.

Catharine Eddowes

Catharine Eddowes

eddowes

Name: Catharine Eddowes
Age: 46 Years old
Height: 5’0″
Description:
Dark auburn hair, hazel eyes, “TC” tattoo in blue ink on left forearm.
Clothing: Black straw bonnet with green trim and black velvet. Black beads,
black cloth jacket with imitation fur around collar and sleeves, green chintz
skirt, brown linsey dress bodice and piece of old white apron.
Time of Death: 30 September 1888 Location: Mitre Square, City of London.

Post-Mortem:
September 30, 1888
The first victim where the face was mutilated. A cut of a quarter inch through the lower left eyelid, dividing the structures completely through. There was a scratch through the skin on the left upper eyelid near the angle of the nose. The right eyelid was cut through to half an inch. A deep cut over the bridge of the nose starting from the left border of the nasal bone, down to the angle of the jaw on the right side of the cheek. Cut went to the bone, dividing all structures of the cheek except the mucous membranes of the mouth. Tip of nose was sliced off.

A downward cut from the wings of the nose joined the face, dividing the upper lip and cutting through the gum line. An incision was found on each side of the cheek which peeled up the skin and created a triangular flap. Throat was slit across and the would was 6 to 7 inches in length. Cut started about 2.5 inches below and behind the left ear and extended across the throat to about 3 inches below the lobe of the right ear. The sternocleidomastoid muscles of the neck (larger platysma muscles) were divided through the left side, and the larynx was severed below the vocal cords.

Cause of death was exsanguination from the left common carotid artery. Death was immediate and the mutilations were inflicted post mortem. The front walls of the abdomen were laid open from breast bone to pubis. Incision went upwards. Liver was stabbed by a sharp instrument. Another incision into the liver of 2.5 inches and below this the left lobe of the liver was slit through by a vertical cut. The Abdominal walls were divided into middle line within a quarter inch of the navel. The cut took a horizontal course 2.5 inches toward the right side. It divided around the navel on the left side and made parallel incisions to the former horizontal incision. It then went down the right side of the vagina and the rectum.

A stab on the left of the groin and an incision of 3 inches below this was also present. A cut was made an inch below the crease of the left thigh down the inner side of the thigh, separating the left labium and forming a flap of skin up to the groin. The thigh present with a flap of skin caused by the same type of incision. Pancreas was cut but not removed. The left kidney was carefully removed and taken by the killer. The uterus was cut through horizontally and taken away with some of the ligaments while leaving a three quarter inch stump.

This suggests that the victim was supine on the ground, on her back. The instrument was at least a 6 inch blade. It is likely that the mutilations were performed on site where the body was discovered and that the site was not a dump site due to the clotting of the blood at the left of the body and blood spatter patterns.

Conclusions drawn about the killer:

The injuries are seen to be the work of one killer. Has anatomical knowledge due to the precise removal of the kidney. The killer is an organized, intelligent male. He has escalated his mutilations suggesting a primal rage towards women. The close quarters of the attacks suggest these are of a personal nature. He is not an ambush killer, he approaches with charisma, poise and head on.

 

Leo paused briefly, scanning the room of faces in front of him. They always missed this part. The fact that Eddowes and Stride were a double homicide. This was an important piece of information that the students should have picked up on. It was a classic testament to an evolving serial killer who was escalating his kills. It also suggested that Jackie boy had possibly either felt exposed at the first site or was interrupted by someone – even both and had to abandon his first victim that night leading to the second victim. That meant he needed a replacement hence the double homicide and the primal rage in the second kill.

“Why are we jumping to the letters, isn’t there one more victim”

Leo chuckled softly, of course the green eyed beauty in the front row would pipe up. He wasn’t surprised, she seemed keen to the subject matter. Almost giddy for it. That was a touch disturbing to Leo in a way. “They” say that you pass by a psychopath at least once in your lifetime without even knowing about it and meet up with plenty of sociopaths in that same lifetime while both knowing and not knowing about it. Leo had seen his share of both while knowing it. He had vowed a long time ago, just barely out of childhood, he would never not know it ever again. If he didn’t know any better, he was staring into the emerald green eyes of a covert psychopath who may not know she was one herself.

“Yes, there is a fifth victim. I’m getting to her. The boss letter is important at this point in the lecture because it ties into the profile of Jack the Ripper and gives us a little bit of an inside look at what he was thinking regarding his victims” Leo responded.

“But aren’t those a hoax? They deemed them a hoax at the time.” She spat back.

“Well, personally. I don’t think they were a hoax. I think the investigators were too quick to deem those letters a hoax. The “From Hell” letter alone suggests forensic counter measures which would suggest an organized, intelligent killer. The box with the partial kidney that came with the letter, although at the time they couldn’t and didn’t have DNA testing, it could be logically said that, after the physician who examined the partial kidney deemed it a human one, possibly from a woman of 45 years was in fact likely Catherine Eddowes’ kidney that was removed from her body prior. So are the letters significantly relevant at this time?”

Leo watched the woman roll his words around in her head. He waited patiently for that all telling sign, the one a person gets when the light bulb goes on and the brain bells go ding, ding, ding, ding. His lop-sided smile flashed as he saw what he was looking for on her face and he nodded with satisfaction. Back to the lecture then.

“So, lets look at the “Boss” letter shall we?” Leo went on, “The letter itself was mocking the investigators with the fact that they were blaming the killings on a different serial killer, one they had deemed the “Leather Apron”. While, John Pizer fit some of the profile as a lunatic who had just been released from an asylum he was not Jack the Ripper. He didn’t possess the organizational skills or intelligence that required the knowledge of anatomy, where to cut and remove organs and so forth. This likely, as seen in the “Boss” letter, upset Jack the Ripper in the fact that his work was being credited to someone else. He had to tell the world who was really behind the murders. Mocking them was out of anger and frustration. Teasing them that they were too stupid to figure it out, showing them that his superior intellect was no match for them.

This shows that Jack the Ripper was a narcissist, an intellect and desired recognition for his work. It also showed that he desired a particular set of control over the investigation. Steering it into his perceived way. He was injecting himself into the investigation by saying “here I am, catch me if you can”. He was telling them I know who you are while you don’t know who I am. I can get to you anytime I want to. He was also trying to control the flow of information from the investigation by asking them to “hold back the letter, there’s a bit more work to be done first”. This also denotes, an organized killer who is meticulous and precise. He thinks it through, he plans it. He will follow the investigation, maybe even inject himself into it. He takes pride in his work.”

“But, he left the bodies where he killed them. That suggests disorganized killer.” Again the green eyed beauty Leo smiled. She was challenging him head on. He was starting to like this woman despite the creep factor she had.

“Granted, yes a disorganized killer will leave the body at the site they killed the victim at. However, if the killer is already employing forensic counter measures than suffice it to say he may be leaving his kills out for everyone to see on top of the counter measures. He lured those women, he spoke to them. He killed them with precision and knew how to quickly. Witnesses came forward to say they’d seen these women with some strange man. Can we assume it was Jack the Ripper they saw them with. Yes…and no. We can only assume, all we have is theories.”

Again, Leo watched his words roll around in her head. She mulled them over, opened her mouth to say something but then closed it again. This happened a few times and then as suddenly as she challenged him she nodded as if to say okay, go on then.

“Speaking of counter measures, The Lusk letter a.k.a. the “From Hell” letter is a fine example, if we hypothesize that Jack the Ripper was using forensic counter measures. The poorly spelled words, the spelling of kidney as Kidne. The taunting nature of the letter. It’s quite different from the postcard and the “Boss” letter. This also suggests an organized killer. The fact that he indicates that he is “down on whores” and will not stop “ripping” until “buckled” suggests that Jack the Ripper is challenging the investigators to catch him while the “catch me if you can mishter” of the “From Hell” letter reiterates that sentiment while being suggestive of a forensic counter measure. The letters were sent to top investigators and organizations that supported the investigation. Showing them that Jack the Ripper was well aware of them and could easily get to them.

In the letter he indicates that one victim he would “nip the ear” as if she were cattle, possibly cattle like pigs as he also indicates he gave no time for the one victim to “squeal”. This is the piece of evidence that may suggest the letters were not a hoax because this letter was received three days prior to Eddowes being discovered murdered and her ear was indeed “nipped” as it were. It suggests the writer of the letter is indeed the killer as that killer would only have that kind of detailed information.”

“Moving on, lets talk about the “Saucy Jack” letter.” Leo continued. This is where he will find out if these students can really put two and two together. Whether or not…

“Isn’t that the letter about the two killed close together?”

Leo was visibly started from his thought. He looked at the woman who had been challenging him all morning with a raised brow. This was a first he thought. Well then, time to see what this young lady is made of and how this will play out he smiled.

“Yes, it is. Care to elaborate …What was your name?”

“Ivy, and I sure would like to elaborate. The Saucy Jack postcard indicated that there were two victims killed close to one another and that it was a “double event this time”. Which of course, refers to the fact that Stride and Eddowes were both killed nearby each other and on the same night as each other. I believe you’re going to suggest that the killer was interrupted and may have felt out in the open for the first victim which incited a rage at being interrupted and consequently pushed him to escalate his violence due to rage and frustration and that’s why Eddowes is so mutilated while being the first victim with facial mutilations. Anger, rage, frustration and de-evolution of a normally organized serial killer into a disorganized serial killer.”

“Well, I’ll be damned. Couldn’t have said it better myself,” Leo grunted, “Shall we move on to the last victim then, maybe you should be giving this lecture instead of me Ivy?”

He watched her blush fiercely and stare down at her desk. Leo sighed, he hadn’t meant to be that harsh or dismissive. He’d have to apologize after class to Ivy for being a bit of a brute.

Mary Jane Kelly

Mary Jane Kelly

mary_jane_kelly_mutilated_face

Name: Mary Jane Kelly
Age: 25 Years old
Height: 5’7″
Description:
Blonde, blue eyes, fair complexion.
Time of Death: 9 November 1888 Location: 13 Miller’s Court, Dorset Street, Spitalfields.

The Crime Scene:
Mary Kelly was laying on her back in the middle of the bed and was dressed only in a linen undergarment. Head turned to the left cheek, and left arm close to the body with the forearm lying across the abdomen. Right arm rested on the mattress with the elbow bent and fingers clenched. The body was moved from the right side after the victim was killed  due to the pillow and sheet at top-right corner being saturated in blood. Clothes had been burned in the fire, and a fire was made to illuminate the room to work in by the killer and Mary Jane’s clothes were found on a chair at the foot of the bed. The throat had been cut from ear to ear down to the spinal column and the face had been hacked beyond recognition. The breasts cut off. Arms had jagged wounds and the legs wide apart. The skin of the abdomen and thighs had been removed. The abdomen emptied of its viscera. The uterus and kidney had been placed with one breast under the head. While the other breast was found by the right foot. The liver placed between the feet. The intestines by the right side of the body. The spleen by the left side of the body. The skin that had been removed were resting on the table.

Post Mortem:
November 10th, 1888
Cause of death was exsanguination from the carotid artery. The face had been cut in all directions. Nose, cheeks, eyebrows and ears were partly removed. Lips were blanched and cut by several incisions running down the chin. Neck was cut through the skin, other tissues and down to fifth and sixth vertebrae of the spinal column. The air passage was cut the lower part of larynx, through the cricoid cartilage. Both breasts removed by rough circular incisions, skin tissues of abdomen from costal arch to pubis removed in three large flaps. the right thigh was cut to the bone, left was stripped of skin, fascia and muscles as far as knee. Left calf had long gash through the skin and tissues to deep muscle. Went from knee to 5 inches above the ankle. Lower lobe of right lung broken and torn away. Heart was missing, partly digested fish and potatoes found in abdominal cavity with the remains of the stomach sack.

Conclusions drawn about the killer:

Ritualistic behavior. Primal rage? Less knowledgeable of anatomy? Is this Jack the Ripper or a copycat? Less organized killer.

“Wow, that’s the most brutal murder out of the bunch yet” A student from the back row exclaimed loudly. Leo regarded him for a moment before continuing on with his lecture.

“Well, I’m not sure it was Jack the Ripper. The victimology changed drastically. His victimology is women between forty and fifty years old. Dark hair, between five foot and five foot two, light eyes. While the first four meet that description of his preferred victim, Mary Jane doesn’t at twenty five years old, blonde and five foot seven. Yes she has blue eyes, that may be inconsequential however.”

“I don’t understand, are we missing something?”

“Yes you are. Accounts of a description of a man seen at the time of some of the murders. One account states that a witness saw a man of about five foot seven inches in height, late twenties, dark complexion with a small dark mustache. He was seen with Elizabeth Stride. The description of his clothing was given as wearing a black diagonal cutaway coat, a hard felt hat, white collar and a tie and was carrying a parcel of 18 inches long and 6 to 8 inches wide.

A second witness that night describes the man with Stride as five foot five tall, about thirty with a fair complexion, dark hair, a small brown mustache, full face and broad shoulders. Wearing a dark jacket, dark trousers and a black cap with a peak. The third witness who saw Stride with a man described him as five feet seven inches tall, stout and wearing a long dark overcoat.

When they found Stride, or rather a Jewish jeweler did, she was still warm to the touch and the jeweler articulated that he may have interrupted the killer as he thought that maybe the killer had been in the alley way beside the body and had run off as he went in to alert others in a nearby club. This would support the ideology that the killer was stunted in his work and had to flee prematurely. Getting back to the description, they are similar descriptions however one detail is slightly different and that’s the complexion but we can surmise that witnesses aren’t always accurate to a degree. We can theorize, if we leave out complexion for this purpose that Jack the Ripper’s profile falls along these lines…”

Conclusion

The Profile of Jack the Ripper

Victimology:

  • Age range is between 40 and 50 years of age
  • Height between 5 foot and 5 foot 2 inches
  • Dark hair, light eyes
  • High risk persons – example: prostitutes, addicts, drinking behaviors, physically smaller and weaker.

Jack the Ripper:

  • Left handed and preferred method of killing is exsanguination of the victim by way of slitting of the throat and severance of the carotid.
  • Between 5’5″ and 5’7″ in height. Taller than his victims, perhaps choosing smaller women to over power them.
  • Knowledge of anatomy and surgical precision with cuts suggests a slaughter man or medical background. Likely slaughter house.
  • Solitary man but has enough charisma to lure the women in and get them to follow him or let him in.
  • Knowledge of the area suggests he lives in the immediate area among the women he stalks and watches and also suggests that he may be acquainted to these women and known to them.
  • May have had a domineering, narcissistic mother or female head of the house hold. This would explain the extreme mutilations of the female genitalia and sex organs. An ingrained hatred of all that represents a woman.

Put that all together and what do we have for a profile? We have a man in his late twenties to early thirties with a moderate to high level intelligence, who has charisma but not enough to be noticed by witnesses. He likely lives in the area as he knows the area well enough to get around undetected and escape possible detection when interrupted by someone during a kill. He is bold, wants recognition and will taunt the investigators while injecting himself into the investigation in order to control or dictate said investigation. He is intelligent enough to employ forensic counter measures. While composed for the most part and an organized serial killer who plans his kills he can be triggered into disorganized behavior, as is the case with Catherine Eddowes after being interrupted for Elizabeth Stride. This shows a certain amount of instability, and emotional deterioration.

As for Mary Jane Kelly, she doesn’t fit the victimology at twenty five and five foot seven inches with blonde hair and blue eyes. The manner in which she was mutilated shows that the killer was inexperienced, lacked the knowledge of the previous four murders for anatomy. This murder was ritualistic while the other four were not. The organ placements and the heart missing indicates that the killer for Mary Jane Kelly was delusional, unhinged and a disorganized killer perhaps with his first kill and trying to evade forensics with counter measures and copycat behavior. In light of that last comment, it could be said that Jack the Ripper may have become unhinged or was using forensic counter measures to continue to control and thwart or throw off the investigators. It is possible that Mary Jane Kelly was a Ripper victim and that Jack the Ripper may have even evolved and escalated and that the previous, in his eyes, lesser women were practice killings. Perhaps the women were quite possibly a substitute for his true target. Miss Mary Jane Kelly.

***

The class gasped in unison. Even Ivy in the front row was visibly stunned by Leo’s conclusion to his lecture. He grinned and nodded. Got them every time. He didn’t necessarily ascribe to his lecture theory in full but that was the nature of theory wasn’t it. Leo started gathering up his papers and lecture notes when her hand lightly touched his. His jaw tightened as he looked up into her green eyes. She was smirking as she stared at him.

“Is Leo short for Leonard?” She quizzed him playfully.

“Most would think so and would be right, but no. Not in my case,” he shot back tightly, “Just Leo.”

“That theory of yours is interesting, it’s the first time I’ve ever come across it before.”

Leo looked beyond Ivy’s shoulder line, watching the rest of the class. They were in fevered discussions all over the room. Some arguing that the lecture theory was a load of crock, others arguing that just maybe the theory was exactly why the case had never been solved. It’s exactly what Leo had wanted for the students. To always question and nothing was as it seemed at any given time. Leo looked back at Ivy, raising a brow. She was outright grinning at him, looking him up and down as she did. Leo shivered, this woman really unsettled him.

“Have you ever heard of the asylum case, you know the one with the mutilated male victim in the middle of butt fuck no where forest?”

Leo had to hold back a gasp but the startled look on his face he couldn’t hide. He looked down at his lecture notes, shuffling them over again. That was the one case in his younger days that had gotten away on him. The assailant was still at large, most of the case details had never been seen by the public and it was now a cold case. It was his fault that case was in the cold case pile right now. He’d fucked up, missed details way too late. Evidence had been trampled and he had nearly lost his job over it. It was a black mark on his file that he absolutely couldn’t stand being there.

“How do you know…”

She was gone, Leo cocked his head to one side feeling like he had lost his damn mind. Thinking, maybe he had been talking to himself all this time. He knew she had been there, he could still smell the soft, sweetness of her perfume lingering in the air in front of him. He felt those green eyes boring holes in his own even after she was gone. They were haunting him already. Leo packed the last of his lecture notes and stalled a few moments more. Maybe to avoid possibly running into that strange woman in the hallway but he forced himself to convince his mind it was to see if any of the students decided to ask him more questions. Funny how we convince ourselves out of our fears and feelings isn’t it Leo mused. Slipping his hand into his own pocket he grunted out of surprise. There was a folded up piece of paper in his pocket that wasn’t there before. Looking down at it, Leo observed a loose, easy going script like hand writing. A woman’s. The only word on the paper was “Lenore“. He crumpled the piece of paper angrily and tossed it away from himself. Why, why would she… How could she know…Who the hell is this woman?

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