Sample: My Name Is Not…

Here is your first look at Two Guns. I just wrote this about five minutes ago, so please excuse any flaws.

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In the early springtime of 1998, a group of preteens on ATV’s discovered the burnt-out hull of a house on the far edge of an abandoned ranch outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Digging through the ruins for anything of interest or value, they uncovered two bodies. Local authorities were called, and further investigation revealed four bodies had been burnt with the house, two male and two female. Three of them had been dead at the time the house was burnt, and at least one of them had been dead several weeks beforehand.

The four bodies were identified as four graduate students from Grand Canyon University, who had been reported missing by friends and family the previous autumn. They had last been seen in the company by another student, Cooper Prousa, a student of Classical History. No photographs of the young man could be located, although one had been taken by the university upon enrollment. Classmates could only describe the man as mid-thirties, tall, dark-featured, handsome, and brilliant. He introduced himself as Roc.

Performing their own investigation, Grand Canyon University found that transcripts for “Cooper Prousa” were falsified, and his recommendations were forged. No such person existed. However, his work for the month before the disappearances appeared to be original, and he had the highest grades in all of his courses.

No one knows for certain what occurred in the house in Phoenix. Although there were signs of sexual assault and torture, the police dismissed the case in the back of their minds as drug-related. In fact, no drugs had been found at the scene, and only one of the bodies at the scene tested positive for drugs – the male victim that had been alive at the time of the fire had consumed a large amount of jimsonweed.

At the close of 1998, no one thought twice about the bodies and the house. Not until ten years later, when Caleb Escobar of the Phoenix New Times landed his dream job as a writer for the Detroit Free Press. Overwhelmed with stories of drugs, murder, and gang violence, he was fascinated to discover a small story of firefighters discovering human remains following a house fire. Four bodies, two male, two female.

Although Escobar had no pull at his new job, his cubical was just in front of the office of a journalist with a significant amount of influence. His colleague contacted Detroit PD, who was persuaded to contact Phoenix PD and compare notes. Two days after the house fire, Detroit PD reluctantly contacted the FBI to report a suspected serial killer.

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