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Tricia
10-11-02, 12:04 AM
The Color of Life


It was night. As I walked back to my dorm room, I tried to ignore the shadows that played around the street in evil shapes. My friends can vouch for me, saying I am not one given to fancies, but neither have I walked alone in the dark when the calendar marked October 31. My path led me next to a copse of trees. Even in broad daylight, few tendrils of light could pierce those trees. That was why I was very surprised to see a flicker of light dancing in the midst of the small forest. More than that, I heard singing in a language foreign to me. Quickly looking around the street, I decided to investigate. I crept to the edge of the trees, and had to will myself to go on. Barely breathing, I hid behind a large oak, as far as I could get myself to go. I peered from the side of my hiding place. My eyes met a strange sight: a group of men laughing and singing around a fire. Strange, I thought. Something did not seem quite right. I stole another glance and saw that the men had pointed ears. No way. There is no way. Oh, of course, this is Halloween. They are just dressed up…like…elves. I looked at one of the men. He had a sky-blue tunic on, complimenting his long brown breeches. Suddenly his bright green eyes struck mine. In what was probably thirty seconds (though it felt like an eternity) which he locked my eyes, my heart swam in pain, sorrow, happiness, weariness, energy, too much to comprehend. When he finally released me, I ran as fast as I could to get away. It felt like he delved at my very soul. I am hallucinating. I saw nothing but a few guys dressed up on Halloween.
A year later, many things had happened. I could never forget what happened that night on the way home. Soon after that fateful day, I noticed a guy following me around the campus. I turned around to confront him one day.
“Can I help you?”
“Oh, hi. My name is James. I just wanted to…well…say hi.”
“Oh, ok. Hi, my name is Tricia.” I decided to give the guy a chance.
“Hi Tricia. Um…I have to go to class now, but here is my email address. Will you write me?”
“Why not.” Innocent enough, I thought.
“Thanks. Later!”
Upon reaching my home sweet home, I dumped my books on the table and got on the internet to check my mail. I was about to log off when I remembered James. What the hay, I mused. I will just write a little note to say hi. I went about my homework, not realizing I had encouraged a monster.
My email box was inundated by emails from James. At the beginning, they were not too personal. Gradually, however, he started asking questions that I will not even grace this paper. He would follow me around campus with a daunting light in his eyes that I soon interpreted as lust. I blocked him from my email, but he registered under new names constantly. He left notes in my desk, someplace he would only know if he sat in my class. He did not. After I began ignoring his emails, notes and confrontations, he became angry. Angry like a wolf deprived of its hard-earned prey.
One day he finally cornered me in between two vacant buildings.
“Hey Tricia.” The way he said my name made me want to sick up.
“Oh, hi James. You know, I really don’t want to be late for--”
“Shut up,” he interjected.
“What do you want, James?” I managed when I had built up some courage.
“Oh, you ask me what I want? You know what I want, or rather, should I say wanted. I am too good for you. But I have decided upon something. Would you like to know what it is?”
“Not really, but I’m sure you are going to tell me anyways.”
“Cute, but it will not save you from death.”
“What was that?!” His grin was pure malice.
“Since you didn’t understand my words, why don’t I let my knife do the talking.” He whipped out a long dagger. I started backing up, but James quickly covered the distance. He raised the knife, but one of my friends rounded the corner at that moment.
“Tricia! Tric- oh! There you are! Will you walk with me to English?”
“YES!” I said a bit loud. My friend just looked at me and nodded as she turned the corner.
“You were lucky this time, but next time I will get what I want.” He truly looked crushed. I took several deep breaths before joining my friend, but as I walked away I saw something dart among the few nearby trees. It was a sky-blue blur.
Too afraid to call the police or confide in my friends, I let the situation be. I took extra precautions to make sure I did not run into James again. Halloween was approaching once more. My friends tried to get me to go to a costume party, but I was not feeling up to it. Before I knew it, I was traveling home by myself again. Walking down the empty, dark road, my steps quickened. I glanced back often, my eyes betraying my mind by playing tricks on it. I began sprinting until I was almost upon that same copse I passed the year before. As I was running and looking back, I tripped on a rock. I fell flat on my face. Unhurt, I started to push myself up. Roughly I was shoved back down by a foot.
“I always get what I want,” the sinister voice said smoothly. James jerked me up by my backpack. “No, you will look at your murderer as you die.” He bared his dagger, daring me to struggle. I was at a loss of what to do. He raised the knife to my throat and whispered, “see you in hell, baby.” The weapon had not even brushed my skin before it was brought down again. I turned to see James, more importantly James‘ slit throat. He gargled blood, some spilling out of the side of his mouth. It was black, like his heart. He looked at me with horror in his eyes before they glazed over, staring at the bright moon and clear sky. Suddenly I noticed a person standing next to the new corpse. I stared in wonder at the man I saw exactly one year ago by the fire. Looking into his beautiful eyes again, I did not know what to say.
“Namarie, melamin.” Those eloquent words rolled off his tongue, and instantly I had not doubt that standing before me was an elf. Quickly as he had come, he vanished into the night.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I think it's so-so for having only about an hour and a half to write it.

butterfly
10-11-02, 03:43 AM
:eek: I've got goosebumps! *shiver*

Cheri
10-11-02, 07:53 AM
Whoooooooo I liked it. :biggrin:

Tricia
10-11-02, 06:13 PM
Thank you. Yay, I got some elves in it. :D

Kittycat
10-11-02, 09:47 PM
Of course I like it.

I know all the back story though. ;)

Spider
10-12-02, 12:55 AM
Well, ya got me hooked. :D That was cool....

Cheri
10-25-02, 07:05 AM
Are you done? Or is there gonna be more? email me. I wanna ask a question.

Tricia
10-25-02, 06:31 PM
Yes, it was only supposed to be a short story. I guess I could expand on it if I wanted to.

(I tried to email you, but it said I couldn't.)

Phantom Tuba
10-27-02, 05:22 AM
awsome story!

:spin: :spin: :stinkeye: :stinkeye: :smash: :smash:

Cheri
10-28-02, 08:57 AM
I posted your story at http://www.houstonstreets.com/forum along with a real horror story out of Baytown TX.


The other story goes like this:




Contact our news staff at (281) 422-8302.

A Baytown Halloween horror story

By Whit Snyder
The Baytown Sun

Published October 27, 2002

Gary Stiles was worried. It was Halloween 1985 and he had been waiting for his daughter, Mary, to come home so they could join the crowds of other children out trick-or-treating. Neither Mary’s brother nor sister had seen the sixth-grader since about 5 p.m. Nor had any of the neighbors in the Woodhollow Apartments where the Stiles lived seen the blonde, blue-eyed 11-year-old.

The Stiles family knew something was wrong. Mary was a cautious girl, not the kind who wandered away from home without leaving a note or telling someone where she was going. Besides, it was growing late and Mary feared the dark.

After receiving word the young girl was missing, Baytown police searched the Woodhollow Apartments as well as the adjacent sprawl of apartment houses to no avail.

By 11 p.m. police sealed off the single street providing access to the apartments and began searching every car attempting to leave the area until 4 a.m. By sunrise Nov. 1, they were combing the vast and tangled wooded area behind the complex on foot and on off-road vehicles. A helicopter borrowed from the Houston Police Department scanned the locale from the sky. Not a trace of Mary was found.

By noon of Nov. 1, the search was called off and police began seeking out residents who may have seen Mary sometime after 5 p.m. The lack of anything to go on had authorities frustrated and baffled. Mary Stiles, it seemed, had vanished without a trace.

Police began to fear Stiles’ disappearance might be linked to the savage Sept. 10 stabbing murder of an 11-year-old Mont Belvieu girl named Carolyn Hahn. Hahn’s killing and Stiles’ disappearance had distinct similarities: both victims were girls and in the sixth grade. Both were shy and good students. Their fathers both worked as air-conditioner repairmen at the same Baytown plumbing company.

Having enlisted the help of Houston-area television and radio stations, reports of people who claimed to have seen Mary far from the confines of Baytown began to roll in. Local police, Texas Rangers and FBI agents checked out hundreds of leads, all of which quickly tapered down to nothing.

To make matters worse, rumors began bubbling up and drifting through the city, rumors that Mary had been seen in a car with a man, that she was the victim of a Satanic cult and that she had been snatched while walking down the street.

Just when it seemed they had exhausted all the possibilities, Baytown police received an envelope marked “Urgent — Mary Stiles” on Nov. 9, 1985.

Inside was an article on Stiles’ disappearance clipped from The Baytown Sun and a crude, hand-drawn map detailing an area in the marshy woods behind the Stiles’ apartment complex. Adding a bizarre play-by-play of the events of that Halloween night, the artist drew a thin line representing a trail through the woods. Along the line he marked locations where he said he stabbed and strangled the girl. The line ended under the depiction of a large tree where it was written, “Find her and give her a decent burial.”

Following the map, police discovered the body of Mary Stiles 150 yards behind the apartment complex. Still clad in her Halloween costume, she was covered with leaves and debris in the dense undergrowth police had searched nine days before. Her body was so badly decomposed, her identity had to be confirmed from fingerprints on her school papers.

Baytown police Detective Ron Moser, who coordinated the department’s search for Mary told reporters the sight of the young girl’s corpse haunted him in nightmares for a long time after her discovery.

“It’s not something that’s easily forgotten,” he said.

An autopsy revealed Mary had been stabbed four times in the neck, and the killer had stuffed one of Mary’s socks down her throat. According to the medical examiner, her death could have taken hours or minutes.

“We have gathered a large amount of evidence,” Baytown Police Chief Wayne Henscey told reporters, “some of which is unique to this type of crime. We believe it will certainly lead to an arrest in the near future.”

But it did not.

“It was one of the hardest times I had as a police chief or as a police officer,” Henscey, now retired, recalled.

By early December, police were still grasping at straws. They still believed in a connection between Stiles and the Hahn killing.

It was a strong theory since the slayings had occurred only weeks apart and just 10 miles from each other. The fact that both girls died from strangulation with four stab wounds to the throat also fed police suspicions in both Baytown and Mont Belvieu.

But on Dec. 3, police received a second letter.

“The time is soon coming,” the dispatch read, “that the madman will surrender his tool of death — the pain — is more than I can stand. In time the truth will be opened for all to hear.”

One day later a third letter threatening more deaths arrived. On Dec. 5, authorities took delivery of a fourth, taunting communication.

“The game begins now,” the letter read. “If correct answers are given — the name — will appear, that if incorrect answers are given the price will be a life.”

The author, going by the sobriquet “Madman,” informed police that clues to a riddle would be sent to them daily. The answers, the author insisted, must be published on the front page of The Baytown Sun.

“This time has past from long ago, but a name remains,” the first question read. “The name of the weigher (sic) of the heart against the truth of the feather — The Genesis in this name hold the letter that belongs to mine. Twice do I wright (sic) this, when my signature is written, once in the first and once in the last.”

The riddle perplexed police causing them to turn to the Harris County District Attorney’s office for help. Ray Speece, a 39-year-old general counsel for the office who read Plato and was fascinated with the Bible and mythology, quickly recognized the clues as being connected to an Egyptian myth involving the gods Osiris and Anubis. The pair weighed a person’s heart against a feather after death. If the heart was full of lies, it was lighter than the feather and the person was devoured by a monster.

The answer — Anubis — appeared in the paper’s front page “Around Town” column on Dec. 6, 1985. Editors published all the answers without telling readers it was a communication between police and a killer.

However, authorities soon learned the answer was wrong. Another letter arrived demanding the puzzle be redone, adding “and don’t forget to put it in the paper.”

The name Osiris was published the same day.

A letter dated Dec. 9 reached police and included an additional clue.

“In the beginning, there was no land but only a place ruled by his hand,” the clue read. “The Romans worshiped him every day even more so when they had to travel far away — His name serves your purpose for the letter at the end comes in fourth in the first of mine.”

Speece reckoned that was a reference to Poseidon, and that name was published in the Dec. 10 issue, but police later learned that, too, was the wrong answer.

“Don’t make me angery (sic) again!!!!!!!” the Dec. 10 letter read angrily. “Chrismas (sic) will soon be here, it be (sic) a shame to have to ruin that holiday cheer. Madman.”

While playing the cryptic game of Q and A, cops were also keeping a number of Baytown mailboxes under 24-hour surveillance.

On Dec. 11, Baytown Police Detective Harry Gore was staking out the mailbox across the street from the Woodhollow Apartments. Also a resident of the complex, Gore was the father of a girl only slightly younger than Mary Stiles.

“Harry spent the majority of his time — on and off duty — working on the case,” Henscey said. “It was his idea to put the mailbox under surveillance.”

At 4 p.m. Gore observed a young man on a bicycle. As the boy rode up to the mailbox, he stopped and looked in various directions as if he was trying to see if anyone was watching him. He dropped a letter into the slot and peddled away.

The boy’s actions were also captured on a police video camera located in a vacant apartment nearby.

Gore summoned a postal inspector to open the box. Inside was a letter addressed to Baytown police similar to the other letters they had received.

“It is Wensday (sic) and there is no answer in the paper!!” the note stated. “I promised and I shall, you will pay with another life just like Mary Stiles. By Christmas night at 12:00 there will have been done!!!!!!! There is but one way to change it and that is to put in the paper by Friday the reason for not having the answers their (sic) and give the answers then do not forget — or my word is to say the same another will die!!”

At last, authorities had a suspect, even if it was just a face.

The next day, Gore watched the suspect get off a Sterling High School bus. Police quickly obtained a student directory from the school and compiled a list of 26 Sterling students who lived in the apartments.

Police officer Joyce Diaz then went to Sterling High School and showed a copy of the video surveillance tape to Assistant Principal Charles Ray Polk. Polk positively identified the young man in the tape to be a 16-year-old sophomore named Joseph Lee Fordham.

After watching Fordham repeat his mailing routine, police scoped their investigation down around him.

The effort quickly paid off after they observed the teenager leave his apartment and toss a plastic trash bag into a dumpster. After retrieving the bag, police found in it a number of items which tied the sophomore to the brain teasing correspondence they had received.

The trash bag contained a letter written with a black marker that had been addressed to Baytown police; a letter containing the same puzzle and clue received by them on Dec. 9, and a letter containing a puzzle and clue never sent to police.

After obtaining a search warrant, officers explored Fordham’s apartment and his locker at school, confiscating felt tip markers and pens, postage stamps, maps and practice letters. Authorities carried away newspaper clippings about the Stiles’ killing; books on mythology, folklore, symbols and legends.

But also obtained in the searches were bloodstained clothing and shoes and a pocketknife they later identified as the weapon that killed Mary Stiles.

Police arrested Fordham later in the afternoon as he stepped off the school bus. A neighbor of the Stiles’, Fordham was the stepbrother of one of Mary’s playmates and knew the girl.

Further strengthening the case against the high school sophomore were 55 fingerprints taken from the letters they had received which were later identified as belonging to Fordham.

“It was just a very dedicated effort by a very hardworking department that got the job done,” Henscey said.

Described as a polite, passive, cooperative boy, Fordham’s mother and stepfather, Carol and Larry Akins, expressed shock at the murder charge leveled against their boy.

However, it was soon discovered Fordham had once been diagnosed as suicidal and homicidal and had been hospitalized in Houston International Hospital in 1984 for his problems. Nevertheless, the couple removed him from the infirmary against the advice of doctors.

Dr. Ninfa Cavazos, a child psychiatrist, described Fordham as, “a manic depressive — he has more repressed emotional conflict or turmoil than a normal 16-year-old.”

Fordham’s difficulties undoubtedly stemmed from a pitiable childhood which few knew the clean-cut but pale and slightly built young man had endured.

Young Fordham never had a relationship with his father. His mother was three times divorced. As she moved in and out of her marriages, she frequently shuttled Joseph back and forth between her residences and her parents’ home in Georgia.

In 1982, Fordham, only 10 at the time, witnessed the murder of his grandfather and uncle who were shot to death on his grandparents’ front lawn by an in-law. The killing cost Fordham the only real male role model he had ever had.

In the hospital, Fordham was prescribed anti-psychotic medications which improved his state. But he was never told to continue taking the drugs after his release. The boy’s relatives never really believed anything was wrong with him in the first place.

As a result of this history, Fordham’s attorneys, Roger Bridgewater and Jim Leitner, prepared an insanity defense for their client who had been certified to stand trial as an adult.

When Fordham’s trial finally did get under way in the spring of 1987 in state District Judge Joseph Guarino’s court, jurors were warned the evidence against Fordham would be so bizarre they may feel they are listening to a movie script.

The accused killer did not take the stand, but his version of Mary Stiles’ killing was read to the jury from a report by psychologist Jerome Nathaniel Sherman.

The report stated Fordham saw Mary Stiles on the afternoon of Oct. 31, 1985 and asked her about some candles she had tried to sell him earlier in the week as part of a Horace Mann fund-raising project. According to Fordham, he and Mary then began walking away from the apartments toward the woods when he began to have “weird feelings.”

As the two talked about going into the woods, Fordham claimed he suddenly stabbed Mary with his pocketknife.

“She started crying,” Sherman recounted from Fordham’s statement, “and he started feeling agitated and his mind started racing; he wanted her to be quiet. He told her, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t want to kill you.’”

At that point, Fordham claimed to hear voices again. Losing control, he stabbed Mary again and again before they both tumbled down a slope.

“He told her he was going to take her to the hospital and then the voices and feelings started up again,” Sherman said. “He felt anger and feelings of explosion starting. She started biting him, and he said stop and she did. He states that he felt out of control and went ahead and killed her, not knowing what was going on.”

After washing the blood from his hands in a nearby stream, Fordham, claimed he hid Mary’s body then emerged from the woods and wandered around the apartment development.

“I wanted to turn myself in,” Fordham told Sherman, “so I took a walk toward the police station, but I did not go in.”

Sherman described Fordham as a schizophrenic with a slightly below normal IQ of 96. A loner, she claimed, he was suspicious and distrusting, worrisome and apprehensive. Fordham, she alleged, was given to hopes that “magical solutions” will solve his afflictions. He was insecure, alienated from his family and extremely depressive.

Prosecutors Ted Wilson and Speece countered with the testimony of Houston psychiatrist Jerome Brown, who noted many of the things Fordham did in the aftermath of the murder are indicative of a sane person.

The fact Fordham washed blood from his hands and then tried to hide the girl’s body are a sign he knew he had done wrong and wanted to hide it, Brown told jurors.

Telling Stiles he would take her to a hospital, Brown also testified, is a sign Fordham realized the extent of harm he had already caused her. Since nothing ritualistic occurred during the actual killing also indicates Fordham was not psychotic, Brown argued.

And, the psychiatrist said, playing the postal riddle game with police shows Fordham was “psychologically together.”

“He is not psychotic in my opinion,” Brown testified. “I don’t think people are insane in fractions of a second. Insanity is a constant. It does not go in and out.”

After 10 hours of deliberation the jury returned a guilty verdict against Fordham and then sentenced the 17-year-old to 25 years in prison.

Even though jurors convicted the youth of the murder, meaning they did not buy the insanity defense, some nevertheless must have believed the killer had some degree of insanity.

Having numbly sat beside his lawyers throughout the two-week trial, observers noted Fordham — sedated on medication throughout — showed his first signs of enthusiasm when he heard the sentence.

“Everyone should be disappointed,” Gary Stiles shouted out in agony. “The 25-year sentence is crazy.”

About a year after the trial, Fordham turned 18 in the Tennessee Colony prison unit. At the time, he had an opportunity to file an appeal of his sentence but dropped the effort so he could stay in prison and complete his college education.

“I am at the present time pursuing my associate degree,” the convicted killer told reporters through his attorney. “I would like to have a chance to complete my bachelor’s degree before I am released.”

Fordham earned his high school diploma in prison through a GED program and was enrolled in business-oriented courses.

“He got a free college education when he was in there while I worked 60 hours a week to get mine. My sister will never get hers,” said Carrie Stiles, Mary’s sister who told reporters she continues to have nightmares about the murder.

In 1994, prison overcrowding won Fordham a mandatory supervision release. But in July 1998, the parole was revoked after he moved to Indiana without permission and failed to report to his parole officer for three months. As a result, the then 29-year-old landed back in prison in the Ramsey II Unit in Rosharon.

At this time, Fordham remains behind bars at the Vance Unit in Richmond.

SingPraise4ever
11-26-02, 05:51 PM
this is to tricia,
is that true story? or just a scary story that not real? j/w!!!!

Tricia
11-26-02, 08:06 PM
It's mostly made up. :)

Texan
10-06-04, 05:04 PM
[B] I came Across this and tears jusst filled my Eyes,, I knew Mary L, Stiles very very well. I have pictures of her and I, We both went to Horace mann Middle school. And I remember that night very very well.. It still makes me cry, I never stop thinking of her,, I was the last one to see her alive, that day, We were supposed to going to the Halloween party there ant the complex. My father was the Maintance supervisor ther, I remember it as if it were yesterday, I think It was the saddest day of my life,I remember the day they found her body, I was out there, Because the wooded area that they found her in was behind my bedroom window, They had to fly her mother in fromout of state, she was going threw enough with her cancer, Then to come back to texas to this, Its almost time again for me to go and put flowers at the site where they found mary, , To this day I do not do Halloween,, I just say to all the parents out there,, I pray that you never have to go threw what they had to,,

Mary I miss you and I love you,,

Metta
10-07-04, 12:36 PM
tricia... this is a part of writting I don't see much of *smile* I love the elves... of course.

Tricia
10-09-04, 12:32 PM
Wow.


That was me two years ago.

I used to write that crappily? :no:

Metta
10-11-04, 04:40 PM
oh wow... *LAUGH* okay, and I was going to say, "I know there's more potential there" but I let it slip... wow..

Tricia
10-15-04, 09:35 PM
Oh bob no, I think I write a little more coherently nowadays. :p

Danielle
02-27-08, 08:51 AM
Hello
I am one of Carolyn Hahn's Classmates. We were in 5th grade together In Laporte Elementary, I still have our class photo. I remember her death so clearly and I have been wondering about her case all these years does any one know if it was ever solved?
here is her memorial site I built for her on Find a Grave
Carolyn Hahn (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSvcid=45484&GRid=24901785&)
Carolyns Friend ..
Danielle
http://s2.excoboard.com/forums/15776/user/293151/427085.jpg
the photo above is Carolyn Hahn In the blue blazer and i am in the green sweater.

I miss you my dear friend you were such a joy to be around.

Ann
02-27-08, 01:48 PM
That is sad.

I don't know Carolyn's story so now I am wondering if you think there is a comnnection between that and this story and how you came to ilj?

Danielle
02-27-08, 07:31 PM
Hello Anne
I found this board while looking for information on my friends case.
it just brought up the hoorstroy post and then i found the baytown halloween story. from what i have been able to find so far Carolyns murderer was not Fordham it was another man by the name of Duane Edward Hiser he was sentence and and found guilty of her murder in 1990. He recieved 99 years and is up for parole soon after he serves 20 years so we are looking at 2011 for his release. that is IF he is still alive. Forgive me if i say this but i personally hope he is not after what he did to my friend.

Ann
02-27-08, 08:21 PM
I am sorry that you and especially your friend went through such a horrible thing. Is it possible for ppl who knew the victim to oppose parole in your state? I know it is here and the parole bd often does pay attention. Also the criminal's record in prison (further trouble or good behavior) can effect when and whether they are released.

I pray that the Lord will help to heal your hurts and also that He will reach this man and cinvict him of his need for salvation and becoming a new person in Christ.

Danielle
03-01-08, 02:20 PM
Ann
I think the Family are the only ones who can speak out at his parole hearings.
how ever i have not found out if he is still alive In the prison or not.

Ann
03-01-08, 09:54 PM
http://www.tdcj.tx.us/offender-information.html may help you learn how to find out.

BTW we have a prayer board with a specal section for prayers for ppl in the service. Your email addy made me think that might interest you.