Spooky Story Three: Prophetic Fiction
In 1991, I was still in high school. I was a pretty good writer and loved reading Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe. That year I took a creative writing class that sophomore year. It was an elective that was filled with mostly seniors wanting a blow-off class, but there were a couple of us underclassmen that wanted to actually become storytellers.
One of our assignments was to write a gruesome story. We had been studying how to be more descriptive, and since it was Halloween time - what a great way to celebrate by writing the grossest, goriest story we could write.
Of course we had guidelines so Mr. Bowen wouldn't get fired, but we had the freedom to be as grotesque as we wanted. I had been a fan of B-movie horror flicks, so I decided to write a short story depicting a couple of police detectives making a terrible discovery at some insane and crazed homicidal maniac.
I started my story with an innocent victim I named Edward Tracy. He had been kidnapped by a lunatic, but was lucky to escape. He ran into the streets flagging down a police car. The police followed him to the home where he had been taken in order to investigate.
The crazy man opened the door, very calmly. Earlier in the year, I had read Edgar Allen Poe's Tell-Tale Heart, so I used that as my inspiration for my story. In fact, the bulk of my story was sort of an homage to Poe's tale. The seemingly tranquil homeowner welcomed the two cops inside and allowed them to look around.
Immediately, the police officers knew something was wrong. There was this putrid stench invading the entire house. As soon as he realized there was no fooling the cops, the maniac tried to run, but they handcuffed him.
They called for more police, and when they searched the house, they made one gruesome discovery after another. Scattered throughout the house were pickled body parts in jars, all kinds of knives and surgical instruments too. Silence of the Lambs had been a box office hit earlier that year, so I put some of that movie's elements in my story. Police found human body parts in a refrigerator and more in a freezer. I had the cops also discovering bones and skeletons under the floorboards and in closets.
My story was so disgusting, and when I got to read my story out loud to the class, they were all pretty grossed out. Because of all the descriptive detail I had used to write my gory tale, I received an A.
Several months later, I received a phone call from my best friend Jeffery. He had asked if I had been watching the news. It was summertime, and I spent most of my days at the pool or playing basketball at the YMCA. I never watched the news. He told me about a recent investigation and arrest, and the circumstances surrounding it all sounded eerily similar to that story I had written nine months prior.
In my story, I had named the crazed killer after my best friend. And I gave the fictional maniac my mom's maiden name: Daimler.
The name of the real life killer: Jeffery Dahmer
I did some quick research on the infamous serial killer Jeffery Dahmer. He was arrested on July 22nd, 1991 - and that matches up with the timeline from the above story. Also, the character in the short story that survives the killer's abduction and brings the police to the killer's home is named Edward Tracy.
In real life, the name of the guy that actually did escape Jeffery Dahmer and led police to his house was Tracy Edwards!