Sunday, February 27, 2011
FBI Agent Matt King knew when he saw the manila envelope mailed to the local news station, it was a clue. His heart beat faster. This was yet another message directly from the killer. Local news stations had dubbed the murderer "The Puzzler," as he'd sent out a picture puzzle with every life he'd taken, giving the authorities clues as to where they could find the body.
A serial killer like this had never before been seen in the Southern Utah community. To say people were freaked out was understatement. The Puzzler preyed on young women, usually out late at night alone on their way home from a party, a date, or a friend's house. Even though news media and the authorities had been on TV and radio day after day exhorting women to walk in pairs or groups and never venture out alone at night, there were some who didn't listen.
Matt pulled on latex gloves and carefully removed the envelope from the plastic evidence bag that had been brought to him. The envelope wasn't special---you could buy them in bulk at any Wal-Mart. The writing on the outside was done in a black marker and Matt knew from prior analyzing done on other envelopes it was also untraceable.
He pulled the pieces out one by one and carefully arranged them on a clean surface. His partner, Sheila Long, took pictures of each piece as he laid it out. They quickly put the puzzle together and looked at each other.
"The park just outside of Parowan near the highway to Brian Head? What's it called? Pioneer Park?" he asked.
Sheila took a deep breath and pulled out her cell phone. "Yeah. It is. I think we've got another one. I'll call the authorities there and have them take a look."
"Tell them we're on our way, not to touch anything they find."
Matt and Sheila had researched and scoured every park in every town, big or small, in Southern Utah, trying to familiarize themselves with the Puzzler's playgrounds. There were only so many parks in the area, but the area they were covering was large.
With heavy hearts they climbed into their unmarked car with government plates and headed towards Parowan.
Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit: Tess Kincaid @ http://magpietales.blogspot.com/2011/02/mag-54.html