Somewhat refreshed from a rare night of sleep, I walked into my division prepared for some strategy. I was convinced to act quickly, no matter how far afield my burning desire to see this through. I entered the break room where Luther and Wyla were drinking coffee.

I began talking without permission, “Wyla, your theory about Amado Rathbone is mute. I found out some revealing and bizarre details yesterday.”

George came bursting in, holding a short stack of glossy 3 x 5” photographs. He brought them up to my face. “I got these developed from the autopsy in Milwaukee. Detective, look at this particular one.”

What I viewed gave me quite a shock but at the same time revealed much. The photograph was a close up of the victim’s face, or what was left. His right eye, nose, and mouth were no longer there, looking like a jagged, missing puzzle piece.

Fighting back complete repulsion, I kept staring and recognized the left eye. Here from this shocking image, we had solid confirmation of the identity of the victim. I shouted, “It’s official. That is Romeo Blanco. I could not forget the dreamy, deep rich color of his eyes when Luther and I first met him.”

All the photos, including the one I made such a fuss about, were passed around to Wyla and Luther. Wyla said, “I think Glenda that you are perfectly correct. We have a green light to go after Ms. Rathbone.”

George spoke up, “I think us guys are in. You three have been tiptoeing around us about who this Rathbone chick really is. We need full disclosure to join the ranks.”

Wyla, Luther and I looked at each other. Wyla looked at George and nodded. “Round up the guys. To call her out means there are specific guidelines to be discussed in detail.” She turned to Luther and I, “George, the three of us held our belief to ourselves for a reason. What we will disclose to you guys is so bizarre, it is going to take a lot for you to believe us.”

One of the interrogation rooms was empty. I put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the glass window while Luther disengaged the overhead camera and intercom devices. First, as the guys brought in extra chairs around the small square table, Wyla brought out several bits of evidence with the victim list that verified the “Special Person of Interest” to be this human cursed to become the supernatural creature with an ancient past.

All three sat there in deep thought as Luther began talking. “If we choose to bring her in, we have to implement a finely orchestrated course of action.”

The agent John asked, “From what I believe of you embracing this woman turning into this monster, how do we proceed?”

“I need to know, since you guys are going to join us crazed fighters of such evil, what the hell are your real names?” I interrupted.

John said, “My real name is Bertram Little.”

Paul said, “My real name is Irving Nussbaum.”

George said with a smirk, “My name is Octavian Lancer.”

I looked at Luther and Wyla, “Wow! I can see why Wyla penned those Beatle names to you. I guess we will leave it at that, John, Paul, and George.”

Wyla pointed to me, saying, “Glenda and Luther have a way of contacting Amora Rathbone. We are going to call her out. If she takes the bait, we will go about apprehending her at the park where all the attacks began.”

“A shaman or Filipina holy woman who talked to Althea and I in Algiers sent me four jars of a solution to leave her powerless for a short time,” Luther disclosed.

George asked, “How much time do we have to bring her in? Will she still be like vamped out?”

I responded, “It is important that she be in her beastly form. Before we bring her in, we have to string her up onto a strong thick branch with heavy cables. Beat her back between her wings until the form of a chick spews out of her mouth.”

John shouted with an alarmed expression, “For chrissake, that sounds barbaric!”

Wyla jumped out of her seat, “We are dealing with an evil our agented experience has not come across ever! All of us have to realize that by banding together, we need to put what we’ve been trained out to pasture. This suspect is defined to be something that could possibly take all of us over, with the horror right in your face!”

All of us became silent for some minutes. Wyla’s words were not only sobering but made us question our inner courage when faced with something so grotesque and so savage. Paul got up, then went to stand in front of the chart I had propped up on an easel.

“I can climb a tree. If the creature gets cornered, I can pour that jar stuff onto its back. Of course, getting as close as I can to where the wings intersect.”

“Since this fiend has it out for me, I will expose myself enough for her to chase me to the spot we pick to surround her. A month ago, a giant tree split in two from a passing tornado. We can locate that tree and map out how we can get her to that precise spot. Knowing the park system in this city, the broken branches haven’t been hauled away yet,” I said.

All of us were about to head out to Shadyside Park. Mitch Gable ignored the sign and opened the door. He directed his reason for interrupting us with an alarming statement.

“Glenda and Luther, got off the phone with Indy Metro chief. He wants you two to meet a couple of his detectives at the Marion County Coroner Office,” Mitch said.

“Can we go along?” Wyla asked.

“No can do. This gentleman, Wesley Thornton, emphasized Glenda and Luther only.”

No argument, and I did not venture any questions towards Mitch. His expression and body language read to me that he was not in the mood for any type of discussion. We drove to the county coroner’s office building, a brand new facility on West McCarty Street, downtown Indianapolis. As we entered the lobby, two Indy Metro detectives approached us.

Both had the odd look in their suit-and-tie attire that they would be more comfortable wearing striped overalls with a white dirty T-shirt underneath. The older one with a balloon-belly and a striped red tie poorly put together spoke up, “My partner and I will escort you to the Observation Area, a bit of a maze of corridors. So bear with us.”

The lightness of the painted walls over a noticeable concrete block possessed newness. Graphic signs of where we were to be headed appeared with each left or right direction going into an ongoing corridor until we finally came to an arrow above which read “Observation Room”. One of the detectives offered us a short explanation as we went through the stainless steel heavy door, “This discrete area has been created for families to identify the recently brought in body, and also a way police and prosecutors can view and study the body before and during an autopsy.”

We saw Wesley Thornton and a tall morgue technician dressed in a long, lightweight white coat standing over a sheeted body on top of a long, rectangular, stainless steel table. No matter how new this facility appeared to me, and the overall clinical feeling, it was still a morgue. The coldness of the room hit my nostrils, as if I had put my head into the freezer section of a local grocery store.

I looked at Wesley; we shared a quiet exchange with a polite nod. His body language was his usual stiff and professional stance, as his station in the Rathbone household. His eyes were red from lack of sleep and apparent bouts of tearing up.

The man in the long white coat spoke as the Metro detectives, Luther, and I took our respective positions around the sheeted corpse. “I take it the Metro detective has brought in Detective McMahan and Detective Charles in from the APD in Anderson. Mr. Thornton didn’t want to begin until you arrived.”

The sheet was removed. No one uttered a sound, but it was as if some unforeseen entity gasped, surrounding all of us with a cloud of shock and dismay at what we were about to discover. Wesley Thornton nodded, speaking in a tone of somberness on the verge of breaking down into heavy sobs. “Yes, this is Ethan Rathbone.”

Luther gagged, taking an exit from close to the victim to an area across the room near a work area. I stood there studying the dead man’s face. The remains of how it appeared reminded me of Romeo Blanco’s face, or the lack of it. Ethan Rathbone’s face was only there with his left eye, left cheek, and chin remaining. This shocking picture confirmed this to be Victim Number 28.

The younger, ginger-haired Metro detective asked Wesley, “Do you want to have some privacy before we take you to headquarters?”

“No, sir, I’m ready to comply. I would like Detective McMahan and Detective Charles to be there for the interrogation.”


Luther and I followed the detective’s vehicle with Wesley Thornton in the backseat to Metro headquarters on North Alabama Street. We quietly followed the detectives and Wesley through some hallways into a small interrogation room equipped with appropriate tables and chairs and, to our surprise, an overstuffed red armchair and matching sofa.

The young, ginger-haired detective introduced himself as Detective Matthew Felts. The older, bulky detective followed by introducing himself as Detective Vernon Lutz. Wesley sat in the red upholstered chair in front of the detectives, seated at the ends of the square table. Luther and I took our seats at the sofa to the side of Wesley.

Detective Lutz began the interrogation of Wesley, “What is your relationship to the victim, Ethan Rathbone?”

“I have been Master Rathbone’s butler for the last 35 years. In that time, we have become very close.”

“The coroner gave us a timeline of how long Mr. Rathbone was dead before his discovery on the Monon Trail, four days from September 28th. Where were you at this time?” Detective Felts asked.

“I spent the evening with Clarissa Ross, Amora Rathbone’s secretary, at Saxony Research Facility.”

“Can we get her to corroborate your statement?”

“Yes, Detective, by all means, she will tell you I was with her all night.”

I agreed to hold back, but I could not help myself, “Detectives, I have one question that could connect a victim found in Milwaukee. Can I proceed with Mr. Thornton?”

The detectives looked at each other and nodded. I faced Wesley, “Mr. Thornton, do you have a revealing knowledge of the murder of Romeo Blanco?”

“Yes, I do. I was there when he was murdered. I drove the couple sitting in the back seat to a dense woods outside of Milwaukee,” Wesley calmly said, staring intently at the noticeably shocked pair of Metro detectives.

Detective Felts stopped himself from falling onto the hard tile floor. He said, “Mr. Thornton, you will have to remain in our custody until we get a chance to discuss what you’ve told us to the authorities at Milwaukee District 1.”

Detective Lutz stayed in the room with Wesley Thornton while Detective Felts escorted Luther and I outside into the hallway. “Detectives, could you send us an overview of your case so far?”

“I can fax over a brief I compiled when we get back to our division,” Luther said.

“Whoa! Detective Felts, just one minute! Are we going to continue to be a party to anymore of your questioning of Mr. Thornton?” I probed rather strongly.

“Our hands are tied. We will not be asking any more questions until we hear from Milwaukee. From what he confessed, he will most likely be extradited up north. Both of you full well know this to be true,” he said, insisting in his expression with a downward positioning of his bushy eyebrows.

I realized I better back down. Luther silently agreed with them by putting a vice-grip on my right elbow. I took his cue and we drove back to Anderson. Most of the drive north, I was silently steaming inside.

“I realize, Glenda, what you’re thinking,” Luther said as he entered I-69 North.

“Once those detectives read your outrageous and not-to-be-believed brief, they will pin those murders of Blanco and Ethan Rathbone on Wesley,” I ranted on.

“So, this is what we will do. All of us, FBI agents, you and I will go as planned. I advise you to calm down and really concentrate. If we are successful in bringing Amora in, it will take the heat off of Wesley. Besides, he is safer in police custody,” Luther carefully sorted it out, making perfect sense.


For all installments from The Islands Tell of It, click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Chapter 1: The First Victim
  2. Chapter 2: Four Months Before October
  3. Chapter 3: Bobber’s Café
  4. Chapter 4: Heat Wave
  5. Chapter 5: Deep-End Dining
  6. Chapter 6: Rathbone Estate
  7. Chapter 7: Althea’s Run
  8. Chapter 8: Emergency Interrupts
  9. Chapter 9: Girls Talk Turkey
  10. Chapter 10: There Came a Lull
  11. Chapter 11: Dangerous Mind
  12. Chapter 12: Luana Barba
  13. Chapter 13: Trip to Milwaukee
  14. Chapter 14: Enough Killing
  15. Chapter 15: A Parking Lot Visitation
  16. Chapter 16: The Restaurant
  17. Chapter 17: Late-Night Work
  18. Chapter 18: Grandpa Pete