Welcome to installment twenty five of Devil at Dusk.
The next day I went to see Hazel’s aunt and uncle, after sitting down and talking to them for an hour, it was very clear they were not involved in her murder. Of course as always I would go and double check on a few things to confirm all of this. The aunt and uncle were just kind and concerned relatives trying to help their young niece out of a bad situation that she got caught in.
A couple weeks later the Sheriff’s Office gets a call just right after the sun went down. It was a 17 year old girl named Rose; she called and told them a man in a vehicle tried to get her attention and then tried to grab her and pull her into the car. The Sheriff’s Office then called me to come in to interview her after I got off the phone, I called my office gal Charlotte to see I could come by to pick her up and take her to the Sheriff’s Office to do a drawing, she said yes. When we finally arrived Rose was already there. I introduced myself and Charlotte to her. Rose told us her name was Rose Marie O’ Malley.
I asked Charlotte and Rose to follow me into the little room where the interviews are conducted. I had Charlotte and I sit at one side of the table and Rose sat across from us. I asked Rose to describe the circumstances which led her up to the possible abduction attempt. She said she was on her way home from her friend’s house. She left her friend’s house right when it was just starting to get dark out, she said she knew she was supposed to start making her way home way before dark but they had started a board game, she was winning and she wanted to finish it. So finally they got done with the board game and she told her friend good bye then dashed out the door.
She got about halfway home when a man in a car at a stop sign motions for her to come over to him; she went over to see what he wanted. He had an address written on a piece of paper, he was asked her where Maple Street was, she told him it was several blocks that way and she pointed North. He told her he had been in that direction several times and could not find it. Then he asked her if she could get into the car, sit next to him, while he drove then she could show him where Maple Street was. She said um… I am sorry, I can’t do that. Then he said awe come on all I need is just a moment of your time, I really need to get to Maple Street, and she shook her head no. Then he opened the door and proceeded to try to grab her.
She ran away from him to the first house that she saw. She knocked on the door and an elderly lady answered it, she told her I am in trouble ma’am could I please come in and use your phone? The lady said why yes dear come on in. The lady said please explain to me what is happening dear? Rose told her a creepy man in a car tried to grab her and that there had been a serial killer on the loose for a while now and that she was scared. The lady showed her where the phone was as soon as possible. That was when Rose called the Sherriff’s Office.
Next I asked her to give Charlotte and me a detailed description of what the man looked like and to also describe his car. This way Charlotte could do a sketch of the guy and I would take down the details in my notepad. Rose said he had on a dark green fedora with a black grosgrain ribbon. She said his hair was cut very close (almost to the skin) on the sides and he was very clean cut looking. Rose said he looked like he was about 40 years old. She said he was kind of pale and had light blue eyes, round face and a small slightly turned up nose. He had on a white shirt and tie with dark slacks. Charlotte was sketching away and when done she showed the sketch to Rose. Rose said yes, that's him! Then Rose moves on to describing the car she says it was a cream colored car, she thought it was a 1950 or 1951, she did not know the make or model but she said the top was rounded and it had four doors. She did not have a chance to look at the license plate except for just a brief second and all she could tell was that the car had Mississippi license plates.
I asked Rose if she could recall anything else at all about this guy or his car. She said no at the moment she could not, I gave her my card and told her that if she remembered anything at all to please contact me. Sometimes when a person is under an unusual amount of stress and they are in a little bit of a shock state, after a day or two they will recall some more details that they did not remember at the time. When we were finally done I thanked Rose for her time. Charlotte and I walked her to the door. I asked Charlotte to draw up a duplicate sketch of the suspect and she whips out another fast sketch. Then I spoke with Deputy Miller (he was the deputy that was on board that night) I told him that I had a gut feeling that guy was our serial killer. I had Charlotte give one of the sketches to Deputy Miller. Then I mentioned that it was interesting how at first his target group was girls in their 20’s and 30’s, now it seems as though he has switched to teenage girls considering the last victim was 19 and now this girl Rose that was here was 17. He may have switched to the younger ones thinking they were more naive and vulnerable but who really knows why, who really knows the mind of a killer?
To be continued….