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People Of Interest - Part Five

    • As you will recall, the police are now investigating the possibility that the disappearance of elderly teachers might be related to two badly behaved boys. Both teachers and boys had been present together at the same school - as had Hazel. Hazel has now been terrified by the appearance of a stranger in her home.
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      Hazel just stared, unable to speak, paralyzed with fright. She tried to think, to scream, to run, to fight - kick, kick, punch, punch. It now all seemed so ridiculous. She was just a helpless old woman.

      The man spoke again.

      "Don't you remember me Hazel? And my brother? You were not nice to us Hazel, and now you must be punished."
    • The man took another step forward. Just as Hazel opened her mouth to scream, a shape shot forward, snarling as it fastened its sharp little teeth on the man's leg. Startled, the man stepped back, lost his balance, and fell head first down the stairs.

      Only then did Hazel spring into action. Grabbing up her little hero, Hazel ran shaking to the front door and out into the street, screaming. Fortunately it was still early and in no time the street was full of neighbors, calling the police, consoling Hazel, and heaping praises on her wonderful little dog. Everyone stared in fear at Hazel's front door.

      In mere moments the police arrived, listened briefly to Hazel's faltering words, and then entered the house. They soon returned to report that the house was empty except for a man in Hazel's basement. The man was dead. His skull had been shattered by the fall.

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      The next few hours was chaos. More police arrived. The crime scene was taped off. The press arrived, and Hazel, wrapped up in a neighbor's blanket, shaking and hugging Archie to her chest, answered countless questions. She told them who she thought the man might be, and how it all seemed to tie in with the missing women.

      Realizing that she was at last safe, Hazel had a question of her own. How had the man gained entry to her basement with all the windows locked and barred?

      That was easily explained. Though the windows were secured, the fact that her neighbor was away made it easy for the man to take his time, quietly prying the whole window loose from its frame.

      As the night wore on, Hazel realized how exhausted she was and willingly accepted a neighbor's offer of a bed for the night or as long as it was needed. Tomorrow would bring more questions, and hopefully more answers to the questions buzzing in Hazels mind.

      That night Hazel slept, though fitfully.

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      It would be many weeks before all the evidence was gathered and put together in a meaningful way, but some things soon became evident.

      Archie was to become the hero of the day. The whole town heaped him with praise and every day gifts arrived for him, to be eaten, worn or added to his growing mountain of toys.

      The intruder was indeed one of the Elson brothers. It was Jimmy, the older brother.

      More information was to be revealed, but it would take time. Meanwhile, the police would keep an eye on Hazel, who now lived with the fear that the other brother, Jeremy, may be lurking nearby.

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      The walkers resumed their weekly rambles. They were saddened by the news that Herb, their missing member, had died from an inoperable brain tumor. He had not revealed his condition because he did not want anyone's pity.

      Hazel received a long syrupy letter from Mabel, sending love and many kisses to Archie and promising that, when she returned, she would hold a celebratory dinner for all the walkers. Hazel appreciated the letter but couldn't help but think. You are a lovable but silly woman, Mabel Withers. Why didn't you think to include a return address so I could answer you?

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      One bright and and sunny morning, Hazel heard a knock on her front door. It was the police coming to advise her that she had nothing to fear from either of the Elson brothers. Apparently Jeremy, the younger brother, had been killed in a knife fight over a year ago. The killing of his brother had probably tipped Jimmy into complete madness, making him to decide to wreak vengeance against all their old enemies, real or imagined.

      Hazel breathed a sigh of relief. It was finally over.

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      The following days revealed more information about the Elson family. The boys' early behavior had only worsened after they left Hanover Elementary. Two years later, the boys' parents had both been killed in an accident, the authorities suspected may have been caused by the boys themselves. The doting grandmother had taken over as guardian, which did nothing to improve the situation, as she was the type of woman who lived by the maxim that 'Boys Will Be Boys'.

      As a result of the grandmother's lax discipline, the boys boys spent their early years brawling and fighting, and breaking any laws that got in their way. Before they turned eighteen, they had both been arrested and charged with a particularly grisly murder. It was hoped that they would be sentenced to life or at least a very long term behind bars. Unfortunately, in the process of being transported to court, the boys had managed to escape and had been on the run ever since. Most gruesome crimes, that remained unsolved, were usually attributed to the two brothers.

      Because the boys, now men, never stayed long in one location, they had been all the more difficult to apprehend.

      But now that chaos was over, life for the walkers could return to normal.

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


      Although they suspect she may already be deceased, the police continue to search for the grandmother of Jimmy and Jeremy Elson. The woman has been difficult to locate as she changed her name frequently. Her original moniker was "Margaret Watts," a name she soon changed to "Mavis Wesley." Authorities later traced her under the names "Mary Winters" and "Mildred Waters."
      The search continues, but with little hope of success.
    • No trace of the missing women was ever found.
    • The owner of the severed finger remains unknown.

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