Hourglass of the Hostile
It is difficult to determine exactly what circumstances, or indeed, what core nature the creature known as the ‘Herd Murderer’ is made from.
While there is some conjecture surrounding the creatures first series of ‘misdemeanours’ there is strong evidence to suggest that the creature was first linked with a series of brutal rapes and assaults on women which occurred in the north eastern foot hills of Adelaide. A series of assaults occurring during the late autumn months of 2005 perpetrated by an individual who mostly eluded description other than consistent reports of ‘dirty skin’ ‘earthy dirt smells’ ‘body odour’ and ‘facial hair’ by the 5 victims. To date these crimes remain unsolved.
For the kindred of Adelaide, trouble with this creature first started around Saturday the 5th of September 2009, where two seemingly unrelated murders were performed, the first occurring in the early evening, around 7-8pm where victim Laura Patterson, a paper medium artist was found brutally murdered in her home Corromandel Valley. The second murder occurred some 20 kilometers away, in the centre of Adelaide city around midnight Royston McDouglas met his untimely end at the end of a rope suspended from a steel I-beam in the underground carpark of his Grenfell Street penthouse apartment.
The death’s, while seemingly unrelated, were later connected through the discovery of similar obscure injuries located in the oesophagi of both bodies, small weals (raised purple edged wounds) were found in the throat of both bodies. These marks were also noted on the breast and neck of the female victim (Laura Patterson).
The modus operandi of each death was distinctively different, the first victim was left with portions of paper (her art medium) violently forced into her oesophagus and trachea, however the coroners cause of death was listed as being cardiogenic shock and myocardial infarction secondary to anaemic hypoxia.
Conversely the second victim was found hanging by the neck, some 3 meters from the concrete floor of the private car park where he was found. Again while the assumptive cause of death would be suffocation secondary to strangulation, again the coroners cause of death was listed as cardiogenic shock and myocardial infarction seconday to anaemic hypoxia. Two seemingly unrelated murders, however the cause of death of both was related to some kind of acute blood loss, yet the only evidence of any kind of blood letting were the strange purplish inflamed weals (wounds) discovered on various parts of the body.
The other issue surrounding these first two murders concerned a lack of obvious signs of forced entry, and indeed in the case of Royston McDouglas, the closed circuit TV surveillance failed to show anything obvious on review, in relation to the hanging up and/or subduing of the individual (on camera it appeared that the individual never left their vehicle). In summary, the investigative team were slowly building a picture of the creature, a creature which could climb walls and buildings with ease, move with uncanny degree’s of stealth while being strong enough to haul an 80 kilogram body.
A 3rd murder was committed on Tuesday the 7th of September 2010. The victim, a Ms India Martinez, was a recent addition to her vampiric patron’s herd. This murder evidenced an escalation in the violent nature of the crimes, with the third victim having been forcibly pressed into a wire fence with near sub-human strength. Marks similar to those found on the first two bodies were also found on this body, again these were seen inside the victims oesophagus. The vampire patron of this herd member was present at the initial investigation, however despite the rumoured prowess of the Tremere Clan’s ability to decipher mysterious occurrences, he was only able to give elusive cryptic answers about the nature of the creature.
Further investigation of the crime scene revealed several small pools of what appeared to be regurgitated blood, forensic investigation later confirming the presence of bile and acid intermingled with blood from the victim.
At this stage it was clear that there was a serial murder at large, and that whatever it was, it was preying upon herd members of Adelaide’s kindred.
Entry to Ms Martinez’s residence appeared to have been via the roof, which was consistent with the method of entry from the previous two murders.
First sighting of the creature responsible for the murders was made during the same evening of Ms Martinez’s demise. Due to a matter of sheer chance, the investigative team, headed up by Randal Shepherd, were in close proximity to the location of the 4th murder (Radcliffe’s cleaner Miss Monica Romero).
First sighting occurred at the scene of the murder, where the creature, having delayed its departure was discovered by one of the investigative team members, at which point an acrobatic chase across the rooftops of semaphore was conducted.
Unfortunately the creature managed to get away, however the investigative team had learned quite a great deal more about the creature and its capabilities:
Wiry and ropey muscled form, its skin nearly black due to being encrusted with filth, dirt and grease. It bore a unkempt beard and long dread-locked hair, all of which was greasy and dirty. Its teeth were yellowed, as were the ‘whites’ of its eyes, and it’s tongue was near-black in colour and flickered like a snake. It’s gonads were covered with dirty pieces of torn cloth, crudely wrapped around it’s waist and thighs. Its hands and feet were human, although its finger nails were significantly extended, claw like and sharpened.
While unpleasant to the eye, perhaps the most disturbing thing about the creature was the way in which it moved. It appeared to be able to dislocate its joints at will, lending it an unearthly method of movement, a scrambling, lumbering loping movement which was accompanied by the subtle popping and groaning of sinew and bone.
Its alien-esque movement seemed to enhance its ability to move rapidly and with a superhuman level of dexterity, enabling the creature to make near 90 degree movements mid flight.
The creature was eventually traced to a small cave situated on the cliff face of a north western facing hill located in the Black-Hill Conservation Park east of Adelaide. Prior to the final confrontation with the creature, several items of note were discovered in the cave. First and foremost the cave contained a strange type of soil, an ochre laden soil, which when dampened ran the uncanny consistency of blood. Secondly a large collection of 50 or so 750ml water bottles were found, some neatly stacked and other scattered around the floor of the cave. The third discovery concerned partial human remains (a hand) which was found buried amongst a collection of clothing. In addition to the partial human remains a uniform marked as belonging to Dale Peters, an Ecosurv employee reported missing by the company some weeks prior to the discovery of the cave.
The creature met a rapid and brutal demise at the hands of Sebastion Doyle, having tracked the creature’s haven to a cliff side in the Blacks Hill Conservation Park, a brief and bloody encounter ensued. Seb, reeling from an initial ambush assault from the creature, was assisted by Sheriff Randal Shepherd and his deputies Dr Freida Otto and Raisa McVeoy.
Both Seb and Dr Otto sustained serious injuries during the fight, but were able to finally overcome the creature’s considerable speed and superhuman agility with their own vampiric strength. The creature expired shortly after having been dealt a brutal rending strike to its head by Seb Doyle.
The body of the creature was carried by the investigative group to the kindred headquarters situated in the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds. The corpse was handed over to Dr Edward Bishop, senior coroner.
On Friday the 11th of September a post mortem was performed on the body of the creature known as the herd murderer.
The post mortem revealed that the cause of death was exsanguination post traumatic dissection of the mandible and subsequent rupture of the left carotid artery.
Taken from the transcript of Dr Edward Bishop post mortem examination of John Doe
The general condition of the corpse was described as a Caucasian male in their early 20’s, bearing extensive signs of malnourishment and dietary deficiency. The creature was subject to animalistic levels of hygiene, having lice present in both dermis, scalp and hair. It’s nails on both hands and feet were hyperkeratotic in nature, thickened and claw like.
Dissection of sample connective tissues revealed what appears to have been some kind of tendon and cartilage malformation, with nearly all tendons in major connecting mobile joints evidencing elongation and hypercontractibility. It is unknown whether this anomalous anatomical discovery or perhaps reflective of some kind of congenital connective tissue disease (query Marfan’s Syndrome). Cartilage and surrounding joint capsules of randomly sampled parts of the body contained evidence of serial dislocation, and one could hypothesise that this individual’s life would have been one filled with constant unrelenting joint pain.
Preliminary blood pathology reveals elevated urobillogen, liver enzymes and high erythrocyte sedimentation rate indicating a possible endogenous anaemic process, however cross sections of bone marrow and major vital organs have revealed no evidence of tumour making this a potentially paradoxical finding.
Haemoglobin was also found to be excessively concentrated, again with not associative anomaly in bone pathology this too may be a paradoxical finding.
Toxic screen demonstrated that the creature was clear of all known narcotics and pharmaceuticals, however there was an elevated level of chlorine metabolites.
Post mortem dental record database search confirmed the body having belonged to a Mr Kevin Hayford, born 30th July 1988, foster child to Piers and Erin Radcliffe. Last known address 30 Hall Street Semaphore.
Police report search on this name revealed multiple missing person reports filed 17th March 2005, 24th March 2005 and 2nd April 2005.
Other items of interest include enrolment in a TAFE certificate of electrical engineering February 2004, due for completion July 2005, certificate not completed.