- The development of events outside of a person's control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.
I try to look at things objectively and when I do so, things that provide me with no logical or scientific explanation are discarded by me outright!
But again, life has its moments with depths of secrets in them; most often hard to comprehend yet sometimes meaningful!
Here is one story of a Fate, that I deem meaningful-
Back in 1980's in United States, arose a Cult Group lead by a man in late 20's named Jeff James aka JJ. The group made their own music, idolized the Rock band ‘Guns n Roses’, obtained weed as they nomad-ed themselves from the West Coast to the East Coast.
The group was called "Hither Slither" and JJ was a self proclaimed Prophet with Radical views on Christianity, had implacable taste in music and a charming influential personality that attracted numerous youngsters who also became a part of this cult.
The group comprised of 40 people, 20 men, 15 women and 5 of their children but none knew who their leader really was until one day, Hither Slither traveled to Florida- perched their tent in a non-marshy patch away from domestic population and the following day, JJ was arrested on accounts of 24 first degree murders.
The Story goes like this -
Almost 30 years back, in the wee hours of a cloudy morning, a man wearing a dark oversize coat and a hood knocks at the door of a Fresno resident in California. An old woman and the only resident of the house partially opens the door to inquire on the visitor, within moments the man pushes the door open and strucks the old lady dead with a baseball bat and leaves with the only piece of jewellery on her - a small diamond ring that was her remembrance of her dead husband.
A year later, another home-alone woman in Portland is killed in the early hours of the morning and the only missing thing was a flimsy gold chain. But this time, the pendent in the chain slits a finger of the killer and he leaves behind few drops of blood in the driveway. At that time, the forensics had not advanced to DNA testing, the drops of blood were collected and analyzed only for its blood group; which was co-incidentally a match to the victim’s own blood group and so the blood was assumed to be of the victim’s.
The count of these home-alone old women killings increased to 24 in 30 years and the FBI failed to get any tangible evidences - finger prints, blood, tissue or eye witnesses that could lead them to the murderer.
The killer was called the ‘home-alone’ killer by the media and the only established MO (Modus Operandi /Method of Operation) was known to be- the time of the killings - all early hours of the day, all victims to be old home-alone women and only one piece of jewellery missing from their body.
In the present day, a bizarre accident is reported in Central Park, Florida. A young jogger identified as Amy Watts, pounces and attacks a hippie. The hippie shoves her attacker with a pocket knife that accidentally slits her jugular vein and Amy bleeds to death before the medical aid arrives.
The hippie is taken into custody and all eye witnesses are questioned. The statements from all the witnesses are unanimous - Amy was seen attacking the hippie without any provocation and her only words were - "It is mine".
The police investigate into Amy's history and find that she had reported a house theft couple of months back and a gold chain with a blue carved stone pendent was listed as one of the many items stolen. The description of that particular stolen item was a match to the jewellery the hippie wore that day.
The hippie claimed it to be a gift from her boyfriend JJ and this lead the police to raid the Hither Slither tent. Their belongings were searched and few jewelleries along with some cash and weed were recovered.
JJ and others were questioned about Amy’s house burglary. But the police could not place them to Amy’s house at the time of theft and the group also had their alibis in Alabama. On questioning, JJ stated that he found gold chain in a pawn shop few weeks back.
Just when the investigators had made up their mind to let go of Hither Slither, Amy’s parents arrived at the Police Station. Amy’s mother was given the gold chain for identification.
She oddly stared at the chain for what seemed to be more than couple of minutes and then burst into tears. She told the investigators that though it seemed to look like Amy’s stolen chain but it wasn’t. The stone carvings of the pendent was different from Amy’s but she could still recognize the chain. It was her mother’s -Amy’s grandmother’s. She was killed 29 years back in Portland and this was the chain that was taken away by the ‘home-alone’ killer. Amy’s mother had custom-made a look-alike in her mother’s memory and had presented it to Amy on her high school graduation.
This unexpected turn of events baffled the Investigators and all the old data leading to ‘home-alone’ Murders in different states in US were pulled out.
Sure enough they found the Portland Murder Case that happened 29 years back and the missing jewellery description matched with the one they had in their procession. It was still important for the Investigators to place Hither Slither at the crime scene to build enough evidence for a conviction.
As they read the Murder Case file they learnt about the suspected blood in the driveway which was ruled out as the murderer’s after a blood group match. Requests were sent to Portland, to retrieve the evidence boxes and meanwhile every piece of missing jewellery from the home-alone victims were compared to those found in the groups’ belongings. All the 24 jewelries were found to be a confirmed match to the 24 victims.
The following day, the evidence box that also contained the driveway blood swab reached the Investigators. Hither Slither’s DNA samples were taken. And the blood swab was run against the DNA from every member of the group. The report came back with a positive match to JJ.
JJ was rigorously interrogated and he finally confessed to all 24 killings –killings without any provocation or motive in the last 30 years and the jewellery that he took from his victims were their souvenirs to him!
And so the ‘home-alone’ mystery was solved and a serial killer was put out for good.
At this stage, I particularly think of Amy Watt’s role in this story. Was she a victim of fate or an angel with a destiny, which prevented many more women from dying and in pursuit, also brought justice to her own grandmother?
Objectively, it could just be a chance or a coincidence. But a chance this elaborate is hard to comprehend or to be objective about. These are one of those situations that I cannot discard or disregard.
Although in a different context, I do feel sorry about Amy for not surviving to see how she had turned the history & the future around!
PS – The story is work of fiction, the characters written and created are by Pooja Das.