The Murder of Jonathan Delaney
By Delphinius Tucker

January 29th.

It had been days since anyone had heard from him. My good friend Jonathan had suddenly gone missing. It always bothered me when Jon went out on these cases for fear that he wouldn't come back. I had known him for roughly 14 years when he became a detective. We had been friends since primary school. The problem was I took the soft desk job and he took the dangerous field job, and it had always bothered me and his wife, my sister, when he went out on travel for work. We always knew that he was working on a big case. And the big cases have big people behind them, big people you do not want to mess with. People like the Mafia, the KKK, and Neo-Nazis. He dealt with the worst kinds of people on earth when he went out on these investigations. My sister and I had always worried about him, and this time it seemed we were right to worry.

Yesterday in the mail we got a letter. It told us to come down to the station; we knew something had to be up. When we went down there we got a letter. Apparently, Jonathan had written a letter with his dying breath. On the outside of the letter in his handwriting was a name. It was the name Gabriel McBride, Gabriel was a member of the local satanic cult. He had done a little "hell"-raising as a kid and he had been through years of intense psychological treatment when at one point he seemed to think he was an Angel of God. Apparently, after he left treatment, Gabriel then thought he was a fallen angel. That's when he started committing the murders in the letter we got from Jonathan.

Dear Friends and family,

It all began three weeks ago. I had been sitting in my chamber wondering over the thousands of cases I had once had, and one stuck out of my mind a lot clearer then the rest of them. It was a murder case I investigated. Looking back on the details of the case, I was not entirely sure the right person had been convicted. Seeing as how I am now in the clasp of the true murderer, I am entirely sure the wrong person was convicted. It is my solemn duty to recall all the details of this case to try and right the world, and hopefully someone will find this account before the true murderer does. It needs to be done that this person is convicted. Luckily I have found these few pages; however, I am not entirely sure how long I have to write, so I will do my best to make sure all the accounts are in this letter so the world sees the truth.

It was a year and a half ago. The courts and the police of the locality had been baffled by a series of four murders. They had all been killed in the same most gruesome manner. Each victim had been stabbed in the feet, the ribs, and their hands, and hung on a wall in a very grotesque anti-christal manner. We had been investigating the series of murders when we had found one of the victims in critical condition, but he was not yet dead. We immediately had him evacuated to the local hospital. In the course of three hours we had managed to get the victim to describe his killer before he died from severe blood loss and trauma to the head. Even with this vague description, we were one step closer to finding the murderer behind these sick murders. Sadly, we would never find the true murderer.

It was only two weeks later that the first of the four autopsies had been returned, inside the throat they found a scroll in one of the victims with seven numbers and a strange code: 25376 EBHTR FGERRG 12. It completely baffled us. We ran the code through numbers of cryptographers before we could even get a clue as to what it was. We had figured out that the first number must have been a street address, and the last number a relation of time, but we couldn’t yet figure out how it tied into the murders at all. It seemed as if the murderer was trying to throw us onto a false trail of evidence to secure his release. We then asked the coroner to reexamine the body to see if he found anything else interesting. With the exception of the strange stigmatic marks upon the victim’s hands, chest, and feet, there was nothing interesting to find after the scroll.

It was not long after that we learned the name of the first victim had been Tracy Johansen. She was a five foot tall blonde woman who had a very slender frame and lived at 17456 Stratford Road in the south west side of town. When we examined her residence we learned far more about this murder then we had been told by the original detective. In her home we found evidence of a strong struggle between her and who appeared to be a rather small man. There was a small pool of dried brown blood on the crimson carpet, which would have been difficult to site upon an immediate investigation. The baby blue couch had also been stained by what looked like some sort of acidic chemical. We then followed the scratches on the wall and the path of disastrous wrecking to the stairs to the lower basement. At the bottom we found another pool of blood and what appeared to be a fingernail.

Across the basement, on the far wall was an upside down outline of a cross, traced around the body of poor Tracy. We also saw that there had been quite a bit of struggle on the wall as there were marks from were she tugged at her nailed arms, and bashed her head against the wall so violently she had ruptured her skull with the blows. Behind where the body had been there had been a cellar door, so we opened it. It appeared as if, in the excitement when the body had been first found the investigators had completely ignored this possible wealth of evidence. What we found on the opposite side of this door was anything but pretty. The walls had a series of demonic circles painted on them in blood, and on the floor we found an inscription in classic Latin, also done in blood (which at this point we assumed to be Tracy’s), that was read: Solve Lora Infernis. At this point we ran to fetch the original team of investigators to check this room and tell us what they could make of it.

As we got back to our office and had telephoned the investigation team, we got a call from the Coroner’s office; our second autopsy had been conclusively finished. We gathered our overcoats and hats and went with as much haste as I, a new asthmatic, and my large partner could muster. As we reached the office we were met with yet another new piece to the puzzle. Yet another scroll with the same basic pattern on it: 17856 OEBNQ FGERRG 16. Again we were met with more confusion then assistance by this enigmatic peace of evidence. We then started working at finding any possible shred of connection between the two victims.

It took us about three days to find the man’s name. His name was Steven Garret; he was a five foot three brown haired man. He was very thin and he lived at 25376 Rouge Street. As we investigated the pre-details of the incident before we moved to the house to do the in depth investigation, we learned that the murders had happened about 12 days apart and where we thought they had both had similar injuries, it appeared that Steven had given less of a struggle then Tracy had. After learning this we went to the house where Steven had been found. Again we followed the drag lines to the basement of the house where this time we found many more interesting things then the first. On the walls there were grotesque paintings done in blood, images that could be described as, at best, demonic. On the southern wall was another message, one inscribed this time in German: Wir bringen Hölle Again we found the upside down cross on a wall where the man had been found hanging. We scoured the basement for any hint of another clue as to finding the murderer. Alas, as we searched we found nothing other than more bloodstained images. One I recognized as an image of Loki, the angel of death from my studies of religion and mythology.

The third victim was the first victim we found a real clue. This time, not only had the killer involved the scroll, but almost positively unintentionally included the key to his code. Upon close examination of the paper we found an imprinted text that was as follows:

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
nopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklm

From this small error we learned the killer's code. After doing that we went back to every scroll, where we decoded the addresses of the following victim. What we still didn't know, was what the numbers at the end meant. What we didn't know then was we would soon find out the truth about those numbers. As we studied the cases deeper we learned that the second number in each code was the number of days before the next murder.

We, then, went to third victim's house, and alas, we learned nothing new from the house. All we found was the same series of Symbols, and sadly, no new inscriptions of languages. Although in this instance, the cross had been less perfectly upside down and was more at a crooked angle. Showing that the man had struggled himself to a point that he would not be perfectly upside down.

The very next day a man was arrested for the Crimes. It was my partner, who, despite our best efforts, we could not provide sufficient Alibis for and we ended up having to let him go to trial where he was convicted. He was sentenced to life in jail, with no chance of parole. Soon after that I set to work trying to find the real murderer. I had found a trail of evidence that led me to the house of our local satanic cult. I knew I was getting myself in a little deep. But I had to save my friend from a lifetime of prison that he didn't deserve. I talked to the head of the cult about the murders, he told me his regrets that the great lord was being used in such a horrid manner and the cult did not condone human sacrifices, he said that if Satan wanted a soul, Satan will take it, to deliver one is the greatest form of satanic blasphemy. So I learned nothing new from this cult, but I would soon see that I knew a little too much.

It was before we managed to extract the scroll from the fourth body that I was taken from my home to what is, to me, an unknown location. However, if they ask my partner, or if they check with the coroner's office, I am almost positive they will find the address I am being held captive on the scroll. As I lay here I realize that I recognize my captor. He was one of the worshippers at the cult meeting; his name was Gabriel McBride. He keeps babbling about how he is Satan's angel doing the work of Judgment. I now understand why one room always shows evidence of more struggle, and how the struggle to the stairs is always strained, or barely there. He weakens his victims by putting them in a hidden room. I can only now pray that he will not check my pockets and find this letter.

Before I go, I would like to tell my wife and children that I love them dearly and I am sorry I could not find my way out of this before I was tapped. To my wife, I love you dearly and I am very sorry for everything. To all of my friends, you can find my will in the dresser, underneath the bottom. I have already distributed my things in this will among you, my wife, and my children. I am exceedingly sorry, and in these times I must pray before my death is brought upon me with such swift wings as this pain. I am, once again, extremely sorrowful for all of you, and the pain you will face. I will miss you all, but I must now hide these words, to clear my friend of his burden, and face my death so I may attempt an escape.

I must also ask that you present this to a court as an appeal for the release of my former partner. I owe this to him. I beg of the court to also take these words and convict the man who has committed these atrocities to humanity. Thank you all for being my life and my love, I love you all.

Sincerely,


Jonathan Delaney

My sister cried over the letter. In my shock, my instincts as a psychiatrist took over. I asked to see Mr. McBride so I could talk to him about his problems. What I didn't know was what was going to arise from this short conversation.

"I'll have to see if he's willing to speak to a therapist, Mr. Bouveaux," the investigator who had given us the letter told me. I simply nodded in reply and took my sister back out to the street. It seemed strange to me that the world went on when your best friend had died. There were children playing in the streets; there were stores along the avenue opening for business, and there were men and women on their way to work just as they had every morning for years. We continued to walk to the house. I wondered the whole way home if I would ever get a satisfactory explanation of why Jon was killed, and why all those other innocent people had to die at the hands of an insane Satanist.

The next day a runner arrived from Lincoln Asylum. Mr. McBride had accepted my request to speak with him. I was soon in a carriage riding up the long winding road that covered the hill to the asylum. I had grabbed only a notebook and pencil (pens were not allowed in the asylum, for fear they'd be used as a weapon.) As I arrived and was recognized by the guard, I quickly hurried into the visiting room that had been prepared for my visit with Gabriel. When they brought him in I heard myself gasp allowed. The man had carved a pentagram into the sleeve of his right shoulder, and a cross in the sleeve of his left. The blood trickling down his arms drew my attention more than anything else on his medium sized body. I tore my sight away from the ghastly tattoos and looked him in the face. In his eyes I saw only pain and fear. There were only those emotions. There was no remorse, only pain and fear. He sat shaking in a chair. The guard had long since left the room leaving me and Gabriel to our visit.

"Do you know why I'm here?" I asked trying to cover my intense concern for both my well being with him in the room, and his well being while being locked in a place like this. I felt like he might do far better in a church setting.

"You want to know why I've committed these crimes. You want to know why they had to die, and most of all, George, you want to know why I had to kill Jonathan." He spoke with a deep raspy voice. It sounded almost inhuman and the fear it instilled in me still sends shivers down my spine.

"Yes I do, Gabriel, I want to know why you would kill so many innocent people, and by the markings on the walls, why you would want to bring Satan into this world." I tried to sound just as professional as I when I asked my first question. I was hoping the tone in my voice would hide the obvious fear I was feeling. After all, he knew both my name and exactly why I was here.

"I did only what I was told to do," he said in a different more frightened voice. Then he changed back to that deep raspy voice. "And I have no more reason to raise Satan. He's already here." He rose out of his chair and slowly started to move around the table towards me. I could hear the scraping of keys on the door as the guard tried to find the proper key to get into the room. I had not yet known fear until the chair Gabriel had been sitting in slid across the room into the door causing the guard to audibly drop his keys.

Gabriel stopped walking towards me and spun around, jogging, almost running, out of the room. I stood up and quickly ran back to my carriage. When I got home that day I vowed that despite the deep questions burning in me about what Gabriel had said I would never to return to Lincoln Asylum. I stayed as far away from the place as I could, and I hoped no one would ever again try and figure out the mystery that was behind the McBride Murders.