Elizabeth inherited her mother’s home in August of 2004. She decided to move to Fort Wayne Indiana where the home is located. Along with the home, Elizabeth received enough money to quit her job.
For the first time in her life, at the age of thirty-one, she had enough money to start her life over and follow her dreams. She wanted to write murder mysteries. Elizabeth had always wanted to write murder mystery books.
Her new home was large. It was a two-story, four-bedroom home, plus it had a small office. Her bedroom was downstairs next to her office. She was without an income so she decided to rent out two bedrooms to help pay the utilities.
She didn’t really need the money, but she thought that having someone living with her would keep her from being so lonely. Also, she reasoned that the house needed some updates, and maybe she could get someone who would be willing to work on the house for a discount on rent.
Elizabeth placed an ad with an online roommate website and quickly had several people wanting to move in. She had already decided that she wanted one female and one male to move in. She wanted people who were close to her own age just so they would have a few things in common.
Elizabeth finds new roommates
After going through a dozen applicants, she chose Sam and Cindy. Both were employed and had clean backgrounds. They were also single. The roommates had access to the common areas of the house, including the kitchen and entertainment room.
Cindy worked for a car dealership selling cars, and Sam was a security guard who worked the graveyard shift. Since they had different schedules, they rarely saw each other. Cindy would usually get home at about 6:00 PM, and Sam would leave for work at about 9:00 PM.
On Sunday everyone usually shared dinner together. They would invite some of their friends and it usually turned into a small party. This was a perfect house for a party because it had a great backyard patio area complete with a swimming pool.
Sam agreed to start doing some handyman stuff around the house for a discount on rent. He had previous experience with this kind of work, so this was a perfect match for a roommate.
Elizabeth decided to do a few upgrades to the house, including installing a new garage door opener and repainting the interior.
Elizabeth starts writing her first Murder Mystery book
She got her office repainted, and a new desk and computer setup. Now she was ready to start her first murder mystery book. She had been thinking about this for several months, and now it was time to go for it.
Her roommate Cindy helped Elizabeth install some software on her computer. Cindy was very knowledgeable about computers and the Internet. If anyone in the house had a problem with their computer, they always called Cindy.
Both Sam and Cindy were very encouraging toward Elizabeth starting her first murder mystery book. They would all get together on Sundays and try to come up with ideas for the book. Sam was a big fan of true-crime books and he watched lots of true-crime TV shows.
Sam offered to proofread her book after each chapter. This seemed like a good idea at the time. This would allow Elizabeth to get outside opinions about the book before publishing.
Elizabeth decided to write about a serial killer.
Her book character was to be someone who murdered people at random, just for the excitement. He was someone who would hide the bodies, then give clues to the police on how to find them, like a game.
This serial killer was smart, and yet mentally disturbed. Each time he killed, he would use a different method. This would completely throw off the police because there didn’t seem to be any patterns. Except for the handwritten letter he would send to the police department in a red envelope. The letter talked about the murder, and give clues on where to find the body.
In her book, Elizabeth decided that this serial killer would murder people who lived in and around Chicago.
The killing begins
The book’s first victim was killed by a guitar string wrapped around the neck. The serial killer sent a detailed letter to the police telling them where to find the body. The victim was reported as a missing person.
The police followed up on the letter, and sure enough, they found a body with the guitar string still around their neck.
The serial killer would mock the police by describing the next murder before it happens.
In his letter, the serial killer told the police that the next murder victim would consist of an overdose of sleeping pills.
The next week the police received another letter in a red envelope. It contained details of a murdered flight attendant who could be found at an apartment, laying in her bed. The police followed up and found the second victim.
Elizabeth’s murder mystery book was coming together fast.
Sam was reading each chapter as it was finished, then he would give constructive criticism. Elizabeth had to remind Sam on several occasions that she was writing the book. She just wanted him to just proofread, not add to the story. She wanted this to be her book.
Sam agreed, so Elizabeth continued to let Sam read her unfinished book, one chapter at a time. After several months, Elizabeth was about halfway through her book. Her fictitious serial killer had murdered more than six people. Each one using a completely different method. Each time sending letters to the police describing the murders.
Elizabeth watched the news every day to get ideas for her book
She wanted her book to be believable so she watched the news, paying close attention to missing person reports, and murders. She didn’t want to copy true reports, but she did want to explore the minds of criminals who murder.
Elizabeth read the Chicago Tribune newspaper each day, exploring all of the different missing person reports and homicides.
While reading a newspaper, a story about a particular murder grabbed her attention.
It was an article about a missing female person found dead in a Chicago city park. She was killed while jogging. Her body was found hidden in some brush with 23 stab wounds in the chest and neck area. The story went on to say that the murderer was still at large.
The murder just happened the night before and there were no suspects. This was a complete mystery. The police were asking for help from the general public. They posted a phone number to call for tips.
What a strange coincidence, this sounded just like one of the murder victims in her book.
The details where she was found and how many times she was stabbed was matched in her book. The more Elizabeth thought about this, the more concerned she became. She even considered calling the tips hotline and reporting the coincidence.
She decided to not call the tip line because she knew that no one had access to her unfinished book, except Sam. He was the only one who was proofreading her content.
About a week later, another murder matched her book.
This time the victim was killed by gunfire and burned beyond recognition in his car. Details of the murder matched exactly to the details of her unfinished book. This was so disturbing to Elizabeth, that she called the tip hotline and reported the coincidence.
Elizabeth was stunned. How could her unfinished book contain so many details of actual murders months before they actually happened? Was she physic? Maybe this was just a coincidence? Was there a connection to Sam proofreading her book? He was the only person who would know about the details of her book. Was Sam a serial killer? Lots of thoughts ran through her head.
The police interview
Elizabeth was asked to come into the main police station, and bring her unfinished book. She drove to Chicago and spend several hours going over the details of her book. She told the police detective about Sam being the only person who had access to her book.
There were more coincidences.
One detail, in particular, was the fact that the car of the burn victim was missing the radio knobs. They had been pulled off. The police received a small package a few days later containing the radio knobs. This was not reported to the general public, and yet it matched Elizabeth’s unfinished book.
At this point, the police, and Elizabeth knew there was a definite connection between the book and the actual murders.
Sam became the prime suspect.
Sam was the only person who knew the details of the murders in Elizabeth’s book. In fact, it was Sam who suggested that the knobs should be pulled off the radio and sent to the police in the book. Sam said, “That would really be freaky.” Elizabeth usually didn’t include Sam’s ideas. She wanted this to be her book but remembered that his idea sounded good. So she included it in the book.
The police asked Elizabeth to provide more information about Sam. Since Sam was a roommate, she had all of his information in an application he filled out before moving in. Elizabeth had his full name, his driver’s license number, his cell phone number, even his social security number.
She remembered doing a background check on Sam, and he seemed to be a pretty good person. At least that was what she thought at the time.
She thought about Sam’s work schedule and the time of the murders in Chicago. They always seemed to be a night, starting at about 2:00 AM. Sam left for work each night at about 9:00 PM. It only takes about 3.5 hours to drive from Fort Wayne to Chicago. So it could have been Sam.
The more Elizabeth thought about Sam, the more convinced she became.
He had something to do with the actual murders in Chicago. Also, Sam is a security guard at a small advertising agency. He is the only person who guards their building, so he could have left, and got back before anyone would even notice.
The police detective agreed so he started investigating Sam. They got his cell phone records and past employment records. The police brought Sam in for questioning. He volunteered to take a polygraph test and passed it.
The police are back to square one with no suspects.
Elizabeth and Sam’s friendship crumbled and Sam moved out. Sam was mad that he was a suspect in the first place, and Elizabeth was still not sure that Sam was innocent.
The book writing came to a halt. Elizabeth was no longer interested in continuing her murder mystery book. She was upset that her book had a connection with actual murders in nearby Chicago.
Now that Sam has left the household, things are a lot quieter. Cindy still lived there, but pretty much kept to herself. Once in a while, they would get together on Sundays and invite a few friends over for dinner. Cindy would invite her boyfriend, Joe to spend the night once in a while.
A break in the murder case
One night about three in the morning, Elizabeth went into the kitchen to get a drink of water, and Joe was sitting at the table eating a sandwich. She sat down and started talking.
Elizabeth asked Joe, “How did you meet Cindy?” Joe said, “she sold a car to me.” I learned that it was Joe who taught Cindy how to use the computer.
Then Joe asked me about my book. I was surprised, “How do you know about that?” I assumed that Cindy had told him all about it. “No, your book was uploaded at a computer backup network.”
When Cindy configured my computer, she had it automatically back up all my files to a network so that if my computer ever went down, I wouldn’t lose my work. The backup network was owned by a small company that Joe worked for.
I asked Joe, “So you have been reading my book all this time?” He said, “Well we got pretty bored at work, so yes, several of us were reading your book.”
Joe admitted that one person seems to be very fascinated about it, and went into a depression when the story stopped. His name was Robbie.
Robbie was the one! He had to be the killer!
I told Joe about the police, about me blaming Sam. All this time it was someone I have never met named Robbie. I had no idea he had access to my book.
I told Joe that I needed to call the police and let them know about this new development.
Joe said, “That’s not going to happen.” “Why not,” I asked. “Robbie committed suicide a few months ago.”
I called the police later that morning and told them about Robbie. After the investigation, they revealed that they did find evidence that linked Robbie to the unsolved murders. They closed the case because Robbie was already dead.
I reached out to Sam to apologize. He understood, and now we are the best of friends. Who knows, we might even write a murder mystery book together.