As you (should) know, I've always been particularly fascinated by David Carpenter, the Trailside Killer. Recently in the news, I've been talking about this nut for ages. And with the mysterious disappearances in Pt. Reyes and death at Cazadero Creek last month, I've spent a lot of time lately focused on my theory that something is...wrong.
Saturday, I started out on a hike up Mount Tam and before heading out, texted my brother, Melissa and Brock of my plans, just in case.
"Someone's got their thinking cap on!" My brother responded. "Text me when you get back."
I stayed mainly on paved roads, marching like a nerd and singing along to my showtunes much to the distaste of various people working in their yard.
Monday, I started another hike in the opposite direction. I headed down into Blithedale Canyon. At the end of the road, there's a tiny parking lot in the middle of the redwoods and a county maintained dirt path up the side of the mountain.
As I started up the path, I realized I hadn't texted anyone. I pulled out my Blackberry and...shit. There's no service down there. None the less, I plugged on, but the seed was planted. A knot started to grow in my stomach as I marched uphill. My iPod coincidentally began to shuffle the scariest songs ever as my walk took me in and out of the shadows of the forest, around a bend and into sun, around another surrounded by woods.
Forever lacking grace, I often had to look where I was walking, lest I trip or fall on rocks and branches. So caught up in my music and my foot placement, I didn't notice a jogger behind me.
When he brushed past me, I let out a scream I can only imagine. For a brief moment, I was hysterical, paralyzed, terrified, preparing to fight to the fucking death.
It was a yuppie, works from home, drives an Audi, jogs before edemame, stay-at-home dad. And he looked at me like I was the serial killer.
I turned around and headed down the mountain, making my way along the main streets, back up another hill until I was a quarter of a mile or so from my car. In the home stretch, I kicked myself for heading off into the wilderness without telling a soul and said a little prayer of gratitude that I wasn't begging for my life in a clearing.
The roads up there are windy and when it's sunny, you can see around the some of twists and turns in the road. The twist in front of me revealed a white van parked in the middle of the street. I power-walked closer and closer, soon realizing that the van had it's engine running.
And no one was in the driver's seat. No one was anywhere, anywhere I could see, at least.
So there's this van with no one in it and the engine running in the middle of the street in a relatively remote residential neighborhood. And me.
I really felt I had no choice but to pass it, especially since I was obviously being paranoid.
I have said before that I hate running. "I'd never even run for my life."
Well my friends, I ran.
Pulling out one earpiece, which seemed like a good thing to do, I sprinted past that van hugging the other side of the narrow road. I was practically running in dirt, actually weighing the option of sliding down the side of the mountain into a ravine should I suddenly have to.
I made it back safe and sound, obviously. There's no exciting end to this story. I have no idea why there was a fucking goddamn van with the motor running in the middle of the street. I have no idea if those poor women in Pt. Reyes fell into the hands of someone sinister and I have no idea if the poor woman who was found in Cazadero Creek was murdered.
It's weird, tho, that as all of this is going on and reminds me of the Trailside Killer, the very man pops back in the news. They connected David Carpenter through DNA to another murder: a jogger in 1979.
Ever since I proposed my theory that something unnatural might be up, ever since Brock and I went to Pt. Reyes to look around and ever since Eve, Brock and I discussed serial killers on SF Views, I have been getting some SERIOUSLY INTERESTING EMAILS. Never has any post I've written drawn such a response from folks.
Okay, I am sufficiently creeped out.
Alarm's on. No more solo hikes. And maybe I'll take a break from watching Copycat again tonight...