JUST A BITE OF CANDY ON HALLOWEEN
By T.R. Heinan
originally published on Thewriteroomblog.com
om Thibodaux was the first uniformed officer on the scene. Until he saw the body, he thought the call would turn out to be another Halloween prank. That’s what he told Homicide Detective Bart Pellerin. The two cops stared down at the bloody corpse as the crime scene crew finished taking photographs. Every cop present was asking the same question. “What happened to the rest of her face?”
After returning to the station, Pellerin played back the tape. A “demon” killed a girl on Governor Nicholls Street next to the Lalaurie Mansion. At least that’s what all five callers told the 911 operator. None of the callers had actually seen this “demon”, but that’s what the only eye witness kept screaming. The flurry of cell phone calls weren’t going to be much help.
Even with half her face missing, it didn’t take long to get an initial identification of the victim. Her name was Candice Boggs, a student at Tulane. According to her boyfriend, Candy had become obsessed with a new television series about Delphine Lalaurie. She wanted to take a haunted walking tour on Halloween night to see the building people in New Orleans call THE haunted house.
The only person who would admit to witnessing Candy’s death was a drunk who called himself Pauley. Pellerin would know his true identity in a few minutes, after his prints were scanned. Pauley was beyond intoxicated, so Officer Thibodaux was keeping an eye on him in Interrogation Room #3.
Pellerin watched boyfriend Steve Iverson in Room #2. The young man was nervous and his mood appeared to shift from confusion to anger to extreme grief and back to confusion in the span of less than two minutes.
“What happened?” Pellerin asked Steve in a calm, controlled tone of voice.
“Candy took a photo when our tour group was standing on Governor Nicholls Street. It showed an orb in front of the Lalaurie Mansion,” said Steve.
“A ball of light in the photo,” Steve tried to explain. “Sort of a big deal for people into ghost hunting.”
“And Candice was into ghost hunting?”
“She loved all that paranormal stuff. Can you take these cuffs off me?”
“Maybe in a few minutes. Why is it that you didn’t see what happened?”
“Our tour group had rounded the corner onto Royal Street so the guide could explain the front door of the mansion. It has all these odd carvings. Candy, ran back to see if she could get one more orb picture.”
“So she went back to Governor Nichols Street and the rest of you were on Royal, is that right?”
“For a few minutes, yes.”
“Then what?” asked Pellerin.
“This drunk guy came around the corner screaming at us.”
Pellerin was about to follow up with another question when a knock signaled that Officer Thibodaux was outside the door. Pellerin walked out to the hallway to see what the uniformed cops had learned.
“Our witness is Paul Jefferson,” Thibodaux said in a low voice. “Been in and out of every rehab in New Orleans. He’s useless. Delusional. The tour guide thinks the girl left the rest of the group and disappeared around the corner. The ticket agent for the tours doesn’t even remember her.”
“Boyfriend probably bought the tickets,” said Pellerin. “So, tell me about this demon.”
“Pauley says he was having a drink on the sidewalk when a ball of light appeared over the Lalaurie house. Says the girl came around the corner with a camera, from then on it just gets weird.”
“Weird, how?” Pellerin asked.
“He says the light grew in size, turned into a fourteen foot tall female with bat wings, bit the woman on the face and then vanished into thin air. I’m gonna ask him for a blood sample. See what else he’s on besides booze.”
Pellerin scratched his head and asked, “So what do you think happened?”
“Boyfriend did it,” said Thibodaux. “It’s always the boyfriend.”
“The tour guide says he was with the group.”
“The guide thinks he saw him, but none of the rest of the group remembers whether he went with her or not. All they recall is Pauley running around the corner screaming about a demon.”
“Maybe”, said Pellerin, “but her face looked like it was bitten by a shark. How long did it take for you to respond to the call?”
“Less than two minutes”, answered Thibodaux.
“So where is the rest of her face?” We talking about an eye, and a chunk of flesh, bone and brain larger than my fist!”
“We’ve searched everywhere, not a trace”, said Thibodaux. “I don’t know how, but that kid did it.”
“Detective,” the desk sergeant called out. “You better hear this. Caller says a creature from hell is attacking a taxi driver in front of the Lalaurie Mansion.”
T.R. Heinan is the author of L’immortalité: Madame Lalaurie and the Voodoo Queen