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A friend is one who knows all about you, and loves you just the same.

-Karla Homolka

 

Some people share an interest in antique cars, or military history; with me and Dean, it’s crime. He knows even more about old murder cases than I do, and I know a lot.

I’m sitting on the floor wrapping knick-knacks in newspaper. Dean is here early, wiith donuts and coffee, packing tape and boxes. I have a theory, he says, and hands me a cruller.

There’s more Sharpies on that table over there. Shoot.

Okay, you remember Wayne Williams.

Atlanta Child Murders.

And how at first, the local police thought they were dealing with hate crimes. A 25 to 35-year old white man was killing young black people. Children mostly. That was the profile. That was their idea.

Yeah and the more killings there were, the more that didn’t make sense. It was an insular community. A 25 to 35-year old white guy, in that part of Atlanta, at night? Someone would’ve noticed.

Okay, now, you remember Danny Rolling.

The Gainesville Ripper. Sure.

They arrested another guy before they knew it was Rolling.

I remembered seeing Edward Humphrey on the news. A recent car accident left him badly scarred; he was manic-looking and wild-eyed and if you were casting a TV movie, you'd want Edward Humphrey to play the killer.

Ed Humphrey, I say, had some issues, as I recall. Not like Danny Rolling though. Nothing, like Danny Rolling.

He had a previous arrest. Bipolar disorder. And a face only a mother could love.

Humphrey looked the part.

He looked the part. Precisely.

So wha—

Okay no groaning please—The Ripper Murders—

The Ripper Murders?

You have to understand. For hard-core, true crime aficionados, who eat and breathe this stuff, Ripper theories are…lowbrow. Ho-hum, vanilla. Jack the Ripper. Danny Rolling. It’s the difference between Tim Burton and David Lynch. Dean must have a Jack the Ripper theory I’ve never heard.

Wait a minute, I say, let's see if I've got this straight. In Georgia, they were looking for a white suspect. Which Wayne Williams was not. In Florida, they were looking for someone who was howling at the moon. Not sleepy-eyed Danny Rolling.

Right. Williams and Rolling looked like they belonged where they were. So in 1888, who belonged to the streets of Whitechapel—and what’s the one thing all those Ripper theories have in common?

It has some holes. But it’s intriguing.

Dean pokes me in the ribs.

Come on, I say, help me get these boxes in the car

Oh, he says. The old Ted Bundy ploy.

 

-for TerribleAspect

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