Analysis of a Serial Killer part 3

Brian-Head-Shot-for-ExtremelyAvgTuesday, May 22, 11:00 a.m., Bobby Jones, Session III.  Jon had it written on the top of the pad long before 11:00 because he didn’t want to waste a second when Bobby arrived. Bobby was right on time. He sat down and asked, “Where did we stop last time?”

Jon didn’t hesitate. “You were saying that you had not figured out how to use the phone to randomize your choices.”

“Ah, yes,” he said, smiling. “Have you heard of Foursquare?”

“The game kids play?”

“No, there is an iPhone app. It is sort of like a game.”

“Never heard of it.”

“Well, as I said, I had built up a following, or more accurately, my ghost had, and so it seemed like Foursquare might be the answer to my problems.”

“How so?”

“The way it works, one downloads the app to his phone and then signs up. It is simple, and I used my ghost’s information and avatar to get started. Once I figured out the basics, I started another account just for the Travel Phone. I’m a student of human nature, and I estimated that most of the people who would be using and passing along the Travel Phone would be tech savvy and might also be on Foursquare themselves. I added the instructions, 5) Check me in with Foursquare. Actually, I retyped the list and made that the first instruction.”

“How did that solve your randomization problem?”

“It wouldn’t, if I were wrong about human nature, but I was ready to send the Travel Phone out into the world and test it out. I picked a Starbucks on 5th Avenue and left the phone, but a helpful old man caught me before I was out the door and returned it.  Thankfully, there are Starbucks every hundred yards, and, this time, I left it under a newspaper. Travel Phone’s adventure had begun.”

“Did it go as you had planned?”

“It did. Actually, it went better than I had planned. But let me explain my victim selection logic first.”

Jon grabbed his pad and pen. “Please do.”

“The first victim would be chosen from the first location on Travel Phone’s adventure. I would choose them from the pictures. I should mention that Foursquare has the ability for one to take pictures at the location after checking in. I added “take ten pictures” with Foursquare to the instructions. The best part of the Travel Phone’s victim selection plan is that it lets me view the pictures online.”

Jon looked up. “Brilliant, so you didn’t need to get the phone back to see the photos.”

Bobby smiled at the compliment. “Yes, that is correct. I could log on anywhere through an anonymous IP address and see where the little guy was going. I still needed to figure out who the people in the photos were in order for my plan to work, but that wouldn’t be too much of a challenge.”

“That seems like a huge challenge to me.”

“Social media and the internet have given us an unbelievable resource for tracking people down, but, in the end, it didn’t matter.”

“It didn’t?”

“No, because something quite wonderful happened that first afternoon. The first person who took the phone to a new venue also ‘friended’ Travel Phone. A surprising number of people who were in the photos did, too. In just the first stop, Travel Phone had twelve friends.”

“That does make it easier.”

“Yes, and I changed my rules for victim selection.”

“Most serial killers don’t deviate from their methods.”

“True, but I hadn’t killed anyone yet.”

“Fair point.”

“The new rule was the first new friend at the next location, then the sixth at the next, then the first, then the eighth, and, if Travel Phone didn’t get six or eight new friends, the count would continue even if it moved to a new place.”

“So you’ve adhered to the Golden Rule.”

“I had, but I wanted more.”


“The plan was to create a masterpiece of death that was unrivaled in history. The selection was perfect, but the execution of each kill would be the brush strokes in my painting. As I said, I had little interest in sticking to one method of killing. What I chose to do instead was add to my canvas with the body placement.”

Jon flipped through his notes. “Have you told me what was on the brand yet?”

“I haven’t.”

There was a pause, then Jon said, “This is all confidential; you can trust me.”

“In good time, Doctor. Let me see, where was I? Oh, yes, the placement of the bodies. Once I had that nailed down, I could begin. The golden ratio is also found in the spiral of sea shells. It starts with a right triangle of one unit by one unit by the square root of two units. Then the second larger triangle continues at 90 degrees from the first, but the new side is now the square root of two, with the hypotenuse now being two.”

“Yes, I’m familiar with Pythagoras.”

“So, the first victim would be left near the original spot of Travel Phone, and then I’d have to see where the second spot would take me. As it turned out, Travel Phone moved only 50 meters between stop one and two. This gave me my starting distance of 50 meters and my direction. Are you with me?”

“I believe I am, but what if the next location didn’t land on your Golden sea shell?”

“That wasn’t an issue, because the body placement was separate from the selection. I merely used the first two destinations to choose where to begin.”

Jon wrote down some notes and said, “May I ask a question before you continue?”

“Ask away.”

“You’ve put a lot of thought into this, but I don’t see the connection to the stockbroker who took your mother’s money – is there one?”

“Yes, it is the final stroke of my masterpiece, but I don’t want to ruin the ending.”

“Please continue then.”

Bobby stood. “I’m feeling a little tired. I think that is all I have in me for today. I’ll see you next week.”

Jon replied, “You still have a lot of time.”

“I know,” he said and walked out.

Jon rubbed his hands over his face. His head was spinning. He yelled, “Kimberly, I’m going to need you to run out for lunch again.”

She popped her head through the door. “Meatball sandwich?”

Jon got up and fished some bills out of his wallet. “I think the one I want is called the Italian. All I know is that it has salami, cappricola, ham, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onions, mayonnaise, and all on a baguette.”

“Yes, I think you are right. I’ve had it.”

“Great, get me some chips and another six pack of Coke. Buy yourself whatever you like.”

Jon didn’t bother with digging out his research; he had been writing almost non-stop for the last week, and all he wanted to do was get today’s session down while it was fresh. The words flew from his fingers like angry hornets. When Kimberly returned with the food, he didn’t even stop to eat. At 1:00 p.m., he told Kimberly to call Mr. Mayer and cancel, but he couldn’t be reached. Jon wrote for the next hour and begrudgingly saw the rest of the day’s patients. He made Kimberly stay late again then worked well into the night. Somewhere around midnight he started to scour the internet for anything about his client, but he eventually gave up.

The next morning came much too quickly. He hadn’t left the office in eight days, and Kimberly had added dry-cleaning to her daily routine. Jon changed clothes and sent Kimberly to Starbucks. He told her not to pick up any strange phones. She had no idea what he was talking about but did as she was told.

Jon spent the entire weekend roaming the internet. He found countless forums and blog posts about people who had done things similar to the Travel Phone. Some had sent out disposable cameras, others little cut out of a character (one named Flat Stanley), which was done by a 5th grade class. Flat Stanley travelled to nine states then to France, Italy, and Hungary before being sent back to the class in Alabama. The kids wrote reports about Stanley’s adventures, and the teacher put them online. The pictures were rather cute.

It was 2:00 a.m. Monday morning when Jon found the first reference to Travel Phone. There were three pictures on a forum taken from a bar in the Meatpacking District. In total, seven comments, all positive, but that was it. Travel Phone had not gone viral, as they say.

tomstronach242 1 Like

I think Raindom must lead a very sheltered and somewhat clinically clean existence with  no TV or newspapers,  When I was reading this I was thinking Meeks, has a twisted mind and I am loving this.  Only around 7 1/2 thousand words Brian, well so far I am finding it a gripping read and want more 

ExtremelyAvg moderator

 @tomstronach242 I'm not sure one can tell a good story without trying to find a raw nerve to tweak, now and again.


 @ExtremelyAvg I think you may be correct but come on your writing, in this story is no worse than writing through the ages and some of the classics are full of murder, death kill, with people always inventing new ways to go about their gruesome and gory trade.  To say that you are adding to the 'decline of society' is more than a tad unfair, but free speech and all

Juliabarrett 1 Like

Um.... I've been away, but you're scaring me!


This stuff is entirely too creepy to read.I have enjoyed your other stuff, I originally found your blog following woodworking references, but this I find disgusting. You are capable of much better work,and I find this pandering to the lowest common denominator symptomatic of the decline of society as a whole. I look forward to the continuing adventures of Teddy,Vikram,and Wendy, but I will delete further postings of this repulsive trash unread.

ExtremelyAvg moderator

 @Raindon I'm sorry you're not enjoying the story. It is definitely different from my other works.

BetsyKCross 1 Like

Now I'm paranoid about lost and found items. Thanks.