Sometimes the eeriest story is about what didn’t happen. It’s about the faceless and abrupt circumstance of…nothing.
I am frequently struck by plot ideas while reading the news. I think “what if” and my mind flies ahead, conjuring layers and levels of vague convoluted plot development.
Earlier today, Los Angeles police announced a $100,000 reward to anyone who could help them solve the murders of a pair of Hispanic girls in 2011 which occurred about 8 months apart. The scope of the cases was small and relatively confined to the local police blotter. Not much media play here even though the cases promise a nice dose of that morbid Los Angeles backdrop to the assorted evil deeds of men and women.
Michelle Lozano, 17, was murdered in April of that year. Her body was found in the brush by the side of the Golden State Freeway in Boyle Heights. She had been strangled, wrapped in plastic, and shoved in a plastic container which the murderer dumped over a concrete barrier. When the container hit the ground, it broke open and Lozano’s corpse fell into the brush.
The second girl, Bree’Anna Guzman, went missing on December 26 of that year after failing to return from a quick trip to pick up cough medicine from a local Rite Aid. Her family reported her missing and it wasn’t until a month had passed that her body was found dumped by the side of the Glendale Freeway in Silver Lake, near the Golden State Freeway.
Both murders had various geographical elements in common: both originated in Lincoln Heights, both bodies were found close to the Golden State Freeway, and the location of the bodies was only about 4 miles apart and part of the same congruent freeway chain. The fact that both girls disappeared from Lincoln Heights (near Dodger Stadium) set the neighborhood on edge. They were young, Hispanic, and for the longest time there was speculation that the cases were related but no one would or could confirm. Various stories surfaced that maybe it was a disgruntled boyfriend, or that a serial killer was loose in Los Angeles. There was talk of a white van.
From CNN transcripts:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JESSE CAMPOS, LINCOLN HEIGHTS RESIDENT: We seen a white van going really slow and there was a girl across the street. And me and my two friends walked up next to it to try to see who it is, and they just drive off real fast.
DOLORES RUIZ, LINCOLN HEIGHTS RESIDENT: They actually had her, but being as she was yelling and screaming that they released her, they threw her out of the van and told her that they would be back for her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now three years later, almost to the day, of Lozano’s murder, police have announced that forensic evidence indicates the two murders might be related.
It did not appear the two victims knew each other, according to Capt. William Hayes of the LAPD.
Investigators, citing forensic evidence, announced that they believe the same person was responsible for both slayings.
However, officials said that with no surveillance video, eyewitnesses or a description of the killer, they have little to go on.
Hoping to generate fresh leads, investigators along with grieving family members addressed the media in front of the Police Administration Building in downtown L.A. on Tuesday.
The rewards, totaling $100,000, were being sponsored by Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo, according to the release.
As I said, the eeriest stories are those left unsaid. Is there a serial killer roaming Los Angeles yet again? And why has he not struck since 2011? It’s been three years.
Did he die?
Is he incarcerated for another lesser crime?
Did he move operations to another state?
For the police to link the killings leads me to believe there may be DNA evidence present. In which case, it’s merely a matter of time while they scour national databases looking for a match.
Now this is the story I speak of. A story about someone who began his illustrious serial killing career only to have it stopped short, and the possible reasons are the genesis for the story I’m thinking about.
It can be a horror story. A malevolent evil spirit slasher killer haunting the foothills of Eastern Los Angeles.
It can be a political story. The white van has been traced and the police know who the killer is, but the killer has…connections which result in a massive cover-up.
Or it can be a strange little existential morality play. The killer experienced a dramatic epiphany after killing Guzman (the day after Christmas) and made a New Year’s resolution in 2012 to never murder another person. So he embarks on killing animals to sate his evil dementia. The story examines the method by which he traps and tortures the animals and the parallel human-animal theme is the weird tension that drives this story.
When a chain of serial killing stops, psychologists will tell you that serial killers don’t just consciously “stop” killing. That there are probably other circumstances that have rendered the killer unable to kill. Where is he…?
Maybe outside your door.
The killer is a misogynistic HBD blogger who despises crude, unrefined, and decidedly unsophisticated Chicano culture, but finds a cathartic outlet in blogging and no longer experiences the urge to kill Mexican girls anymore. Until Word Press shuts his ass down, then the killing begins again, in earnest this time.
That’s it. My pitch!
Or…are my plots all foiled because he’s back?
**Postscript: interesting that Lozano and Guzman were killed/found around the 25-27 of each month, as was Arellano. Excuse my armchair detective quarterbacking.