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The Many Killers of Shadyside, Ohio

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Buzzfeed Unsolved -Supernatural S? E?

The Many Killers of Shadyside, Ohio

 

“This week on Buzzfeed Unsolved, we’re investigating a small town with a history of violence as part of our ongoing investigation into the question: are ghosts real? This is, without a doubt, the most deadly case we have ever investigated on the show.”

 

the most deadly? how deadly are we talking?

 

like, really fucking deadly, dude.

 

“This case is somewhat difficult to discuss because it is, in many respects, a collection of multiple cases. However, those cases are so interconnected that we have decided to discuss them all together.”

 

and when i say multiple cases, i mean, we could have made multiple episodes out of this. we could have made an entire season of the show just focusing on this one small town.

 

“Our story starts in 1666, in a small town called Union located in what is now Ohio.”

 

1666? dude, that’s like- that’s hilarious. of course this starts in 1666. that’s literally- how sure are we that this isn’t made up?


very sure.

ok, but maybe the story actually started in like 1665 or something, and they just fudged the numbers to make it sound cooler.

 

i… i guess that’s technically possible, yes. but we do have records that seem to indicate it started in 1666, including an actual historical document that’s dated that year.

 

alright then, carry on. but i swear, if you end this by suggesting the devil was somehow involved, i am going to laugh in your face.


duly noted.


that won’t stop you, will it?

 

it absolutely will not.

 

“Not a lot is known about the history of Union, but it is believed that the town was founded in the early 1650s. In 1666, it was a small town of about forty or fifty people, although there is no official census to give an exact number.

 

One of the founding families of Union was the Fier family- a farmer, his wife, and their young daughter. The wife, whose name is unknown, died shortly after the founding of the town.”

 

and just to be clear, that’s spelled f-i-e-r.

 

if you live in 1666 and your last name is literally fear- even if it’s spelled differently- that’s got to suck, man. do you think people ever looked at them and were like “these guys are probably devil worshippers”?

 

what?

 

i mean, people were superstitious back then.


i- okay.

 

“In 1666, that farmer- George Fier- and his daughter, Sarah, were still members of the Union community. Not much is known about them, or the community at large, because of the lack of historical records from that time. However, we do know that there was another member of the Fier family, a boy named Henry, who was possibly a few years younger than Sarah.”

 

now, there’s no way of confirming this, but it seems likely that henry was sarah’s brother. he would have been born not long before the mother’s death.

 

maybe she died during childbirth.

 

a definite possibility, yeah.

 

“Things were, at this point, going fairly well for the town of Union. It wasn’t until late summer or early fall that this would change very drastically.”

 

ooh, spooky.


shut up.

 

i’m just saying, you’ve got the ‘dramatic narrator’ voice down pretty well.

 

thanks. but it is spooky, actually, and if you’ll let me finish talking you’ll see why.

 

“Things have been going fairly well for Union up until this point. But all of a sudden, in 1666, that changed… seemingly overnight. As I mentioned before, historical records from this era, especially for such a small town, are few and far between. However, we do have one document, written by a man named Solomon Goode, that sheds some light on the situation.


“In this document, he details the food spoiling and the animals going wild. In particular, he describes food that was freshly harvested one morning being completely rotted the next. The well was poisoned after an animal fell into it and drowned. A pig, he claimed, ate six of its own babies.”

 

so you see what I’m getting at here. things are normal- things are great, actually, from the way solomon goode describes it- and then all of a sudden, it goes to shit.

 

i mean, that sucks, but that’s life. food spoils, ryan, it’s what it does.


not perfectly fresh food, not overnight like the way he describes.

 

i dunno, man, it just sounds like bad luck. it’s shitty, yeah, but i don’t think there’s anything supernatural going on here.

 

you never think there’s anything supernatural going on.


no, i don’t, and you know why? because the supernatural isn’t real.

 

“Very shortly after things start going wrong- possibly only a few hours later- tragedy strikes Union. The pastor, Cyrus Miller, goes insane.”

 

are we talking, like, ‘needs therapy’ insane? Or is it more like ‘axe murderer’ insane?


axe murderer, definitely. although i don’t think he used an axe.

 

damn.

 

“According to Solomon’s account, Pastor Miller gathered the children of the town into the meetinghouse, which doubled as a church due to the town’s small size. He then proceeded to lock the doors. By the time the townspeople managed to get through the doors, he had killed all children in particularly gory fashion: he carved out their eyes.”

 

holy fuck, this dude is insane. when you say children?

 

no official ages are given, but i will say that the term ‘children’ would refer to everyone below marrying age, which would include younger teenagers as well. so we might not be talking toddlers here, but it’s still fucked up.

 

and he carved out their eyes? that’s just- how does that even work? i think you can survive without your eyes. or at least it would take a while to bleed out.

 

i don’t know, man. this is one dude’s account of things from three and a half centuries ago. maybe he stabbed them through the eye socket or something- oh, ew, now i’m picturing it.

 

“Solomon describes being the first one through the door and finding the childrens’ eyeballs in a pile on the floor. He says that Pastor Miller carved out his own eyes, as well, before waiting for the townspeople to enter. He was killed by Solomon in defense of the townspeople when he tried to attack.”

 

a pile on the- (wheeze)- a pile on the floor? what the fuck, man. this would make a great horror movie though.

 

sure. so, anyway, he killed twelve children and then was killed himself. remember that this comes possibly less than a day after the food rotting, animals going crazy thing from earlier.

 

or maybe nothing really happened earlier that day, and the psycho-killer pastor upset people so much that they started embellishing their story of events.

 

...once again, technically possible, if only because we have so few records from this time.

 

ha! a win for the shaniacs.

 

don’t be so smug just yet. we haven’t even gotten to the meat of the story. (pause). oh god, meat. are eyeballs technically meat? wait, don’t answer that.

 

it will never not be funny when you psych yourself out like this.

 

shut up.

 

“Notably, included on Solomon’s list of the dead was Sarah’s possible brother, Henry Fier, as well as a girl named Constance Berman. That name may not mean anything to you yet, but remember it, because it will be important later.

 

“In the hours following the tragedy at the meetinghouse, the townspeople discussed the situation. They came to the conclusion that Pastor Miller had not acted of his own accord, but that he was possessed by a demonic force. Over the course of this meeting, several people identified two girls as being the cause of this: the pastor’s daughter, Hannah Miller, and Sarah Fier.”

 

ok, so a guy goes crazy and kills some people. it’s the 1600s, i can see how they would jump to the conclusion that he was under some sort of demonic influence. but where do the two girls come in? it seems like that kind of came out of nowhere.

 

solomon goode writes that sarah fier was a trusted friend of his and that at first he could not believe she was a witch- and yes, that is the term he used, he said that sarah fier was a witch.

 

a literal witchhunt, then.

 

pretty much.

 

were they, like, particularly witchy girls? did they dabble in herbal medicine or something? or was this just completely out of left field?

 

well, it was apparently a big shock to the town, so make of that what you will.

 

“Hannah Miller was quickly captured by the townspeople, who planned to have her hanged at dawn. Sarah Fier escaped at first, but was caught later that night by none other than Solomon Goode, the man writing this account. She was missing a hand- a hand which, the legend would later state, she cut off herself in a pact with the devil.”

 

(wheeze) so this guy, this solomon goode fellow, he’s just into everything isn’t he? he’s the first one inside the meetinghouse after the pastor goes crazy, he’s the one to catch the witch. sounds to me like he’s overstating his own importance a bit.

 

quite possibly.

 

wait a minute, his last name is goode. and the ‘witch,’ if we can call her that, was named fier. that’s… that’s too perfect. like, that is actually too perfect. there’s no way this is real.

 

well, this is what his account of events says.

 

you know what i think? i think he lied.

 

oh?

 

i think he’s evil. i don’t know how yet, but he is. he’s somehow gonna be the bad guy in this.

 

that… is not entirely wrong. although it is of course impossible to prove.

 

“Sarah Fier and Hannah Miller were brought to the hanging tree at dawn. There, Sarah confessed to the crime of witchcraft, admitting that she had been responsible for the tragedy that had befallen their town.”

 

why would she confess? did she, like, believe she was a witch? was this some sort of delusion? or maybe a big ‘fuck you’ to the town since she was gonna die anyway?

well, you’ll see.

 

oh?

 

“When she confessed to witchcraft, Sarah Fier confessed not only to having manipulated Cyrus Miller’s mind, but also Hannah’s. With this confession, she seems to have convinced the townspeople to let Hannah Miller go, as there is only a record of one hanging that morning.”

 

yeah, that… that checks out.

 

she was gonna die anyway, so she did what she could to save her friend from joining her.

 

this town fucking sucks, man.

 

you have no idea.

 

“Almost immediately after Sarah Fier’s death, Union split into two towns: Sunnyvale, where Solomon Goode lived, and Shadyside, where just about everyone else was. Both towns grew over the years, but notably, Sunnyvale seems to have had remarkably good luck in just about everything, while Shadyside’s streak of bad luck continued.”

 

this guy again? he has fucking got to be evil.

 

like i said, you’re not wrong there.

 

“Over the centuries following Sarah Fier’s death. Shadyside played host to a number of different spree killers and mass murderers. It seems as though every few years- somewhere between fifteen and twenty years, generally, although it varies- a new Shadyside resident would ‘snap’ and start killing people.”

 

note that i said spree killers and mass murderers. none of the so-called ‘shadyside killers’ would be considered serial killers, despite their high kill counts. to be a serial killer, there has to be a certain amount of time between kills, which these people did not have. they all seem to have been perfectly normal people until, all of a sudden, they completely snapped. they were all killed within a few hours or days of their first kills.

 

fucking weird.

 

yeah. yeah, it is.

 

“Because of this dark and troubled history, Shadyside gained the nickname of ‘Killer Capitol USA.’ We don’t have time today to talk about all of these killers, so we’ll be focusing specifically on the events of 1978 and 1994. A full list of Shadyside killers would include people such as: the Milkman, who brutally murdered housewives along his delivery route in 1953; the Humpty-Dumpty Killer, who did some dismembering in 1935; and the Farmer of Death, who ran over six people with a combine harvester in 1890.”

 

jesus christ, man.

 

it’s fucking insane.

 

who comes up with these names? i mean, the killings are terrible and i’m not discounting that, but these names are cringeworthy.

 

that’s your problem with it? really?

 

“All in all, there have been over thirty known ‘Shadyside killers.’ Almost all of them were killed, either by intended victims or by police, within a day of the start of their killing spree. The few who weren’t- like Ruby Lane, who killed eight people with a razor in 1965- ended up killing themselves. None of them survived more than two days after beginning to kill.”

 

i said it before and i’ll say it again: what the fuck.

 

it’s fucked up.

 

is this some sort of april fools’ thing? like, is this an elaborate practical joke? because there’s no way this shit is real and people still live there.

 

it’s real. and also it’s november as we’re filming this. why the fuck would i be playing an april fools’ joke on you in november?

 

i have never been so glad that i was born in chicago. suddenly, our crime rates don’t seem so bad.

 

anything that can make chicago look good in comparison… well, i’m not even gonna finish that sentence.

 

“It didn’t take long after Sarah Fier’s death for a legend to emerge: residents of Shadyside believed that the witch had cursed the town prior to her death, and that it was this curse- or perhaps the witch’s spirit- that was causing these killings. Of course, not everyone believed this, but it was a widespread legend throughout the area.

 

“A rhyme about the witch became incredibly well-known throughout the town. Excerpts of this read: “by cutting off her cursed hand, she kept her grip upon the land,” and, “she’ll take your blood, she’ll take your head, she’ll follow you until you’re dead.” It was believed that, in cutting off her own hand in some sort of Satanic ritual, Sarah Fier entered into a deal with the devil and was therefore directly responsible for the town’s misfortune.”

 

obviously not true, but it is a good rhyme. i’ll give them that. whoever wrote that poem, it’s- it’s quite good.

 

you’re not gonna say anything about the satanic witch that cursed the town and, potentially, possessed people into committing murders?

 

i did say something about that. i said ‘obviously not true.’ i don’t know what else you want me to say there. it’s an interesting legend, but it has no basis in reality.

 

why do i even bother?

 

i dunno, man.

 

“The first killer that we’ll focus on in-depth is Thomas Slater, more commonly known as the Camp Nightwing Killer. His story starts in 1978, when he was eighteen years old. It was the summer before his senior year of high school.”

 

camp nightwing killer, ok. at least that’s a fine name. not particularly unique, but it’s straightforward and gets the job done. you tell me about someone called the camp nightwing killer, i’m interested.

 

you and the fucking names-

 

now, you start talking to me about the humpty-dumpty killer or, god forbid, the farmer of death, i will laugh in your face.

 

hey, i didn’t name them.

 

i’d like to meet whoever did.

 

...i have a feeling that wouldn’t be a good idea. also, whoever named the farmer of death is definitely dead by now.

 

shame. i would’ve liked to make fun of them to their face.

 

of course you would.

 

i mean, that just… that’s a bad name.

 

it really is, yeah.

 

do you think maybe it’s good, actually, to give them bad names? that way potential killers are like ‘oh, maybe i don’t want to kill people, they’ll give me a stupid nickname’ and not do it.

 

no, i- i don’t think that would be a deciding factor in most people’s desire to kill people, no. if someone is genuinely planning to commit a murder, i don’t think the potential for a bad nickname is what’s gonna dissuade them.

 

i just don’t think i’d want people remembering me as ‘shane madej, the farmer of death.’ if i’m gonna kill people, i want a cool nickname. (pause). just a disclaimer here: i am not going to kill people, that was a joke.

 

you’re fucking weird, man. and i sure fucking hope you’re not gonna kill people, because i’d probably be the first to go.

 

nah, i wouldn’t kill you. unless you’re responsible for giving me a shitty serial killer nickname, in which case i would 100% kill you.

 

...thanks for the heads up?

 

“Tommy Slater was, by all accounts, a good person. He was a solid B student, got on well with his teachers and classmates, and was generally a well-liked person around town. He started attending Camp Nightwing in the summer of 1971, when it opened for the first time; by 1978, he was in his second year as a camp counselor.

 

“Slater’s girlfriend was a girl named Cindy Berman, also eighteen. She was the top of her class and expecting to be valedictorian that year. Note the last name; the Berman family have been residents of Shadyside since at least 1666.”

 

oh, because one of the kids in the eye-gouging was named berman.

 

right. constance berman.

 

weird that a family would be in that one town for so long. especially a town where people seem to die, like, a lot.

 

a concerning amount of death, yes. but as you’ll see in a minute, her family wasn’t the only one to stay.

 

“Also present at Camp Nightwing was Cindy Berman’s little sister, Christine Berman. She was known as Ziggy to all her friends, to the point that many people were surprised to learn that wasn’t her real name. She was sixteen. Ziggy Berman was less respected than her sister and Thomas Slater; she was considered by many to be a ‘troublemaker’ and often got in trouble at school.”

 

ziggy. that’s a nice name, ziggy. i like that. very seventies.

 

well, it was the seventies.

 

exactly.

 

“Camp Nightwing started on July 12, and it was approximately one week later, on July 18, that trouble began. Ziggy Berman was accused of stealing money from other members of the camp. In revenge, they strung her up from a tree and burned her arm with a lighter. Camp counselors noticed the situation and intervened. No one was punished for the incident, as the counselors did not want to get in trouble or have the camp shut down. We only know the incident happened because, when police were searching the camp the day after the massacre, they came across an entry about it in one of the campers’ diaries.”

 

these people are fucked up.

 

they are so fucked up.

 

who the hell burns someone else with a lighter? these are supposed to be kids, not psychopaths.

 

if movies have taught me anything, it’s that you should never underestimate the cruelty of high schoolers.

 

burned with a lighter- i mean jesus christ, i just can’t get past how messed up that is. i wouldn’t be surprised if they were throwing punches, but a lighter?

 

apparently, they thought it was funny to accuse ziggy of being possessed by the witch, and burning is what you do to witches, so… yeah, it’s fucked up.

 

“Following the incident at the tree, Ziggy went to the camp nurse, Mary Lane, for treatment for her burn. She described Nurse Lane’s behavior as ‘weird’ and said that she was ‘totally wigged out.’ She also mentioned seeing a book on Nurse Lane’s desk that seemed to contain information about the witch, Sarah Fier, although she did not have a chance to take a closer look.”

 

i’m guessing the nurse had access to drugs- maybe she was high. and you can’t really blame people for being interested in the true crime thing or the local legends.

 

she was not, in fact, high.

 

how do you- wait, did you say her name was lane? didn’t you mention a ‘lane’ earlier?

 

i did!

 

“Ruby Lane was, as previously mentioned, a teenage girl who killed her friends and herself with a razor blade in 1964. She was, prior to the Camp Nightwing massacre, the most recent of the Shadyside killers. Nurse Lane was her mother.

 

“Approximately an hour after her interaction with Ziggy Berman, Nurse Lane encountered Tommy Slater and Cindy Berman, who were cleaning the mess hall. The mess hall was otherwise empty, as it was between mealtimes. Nurse Lane’s odd behavior continued in this interaction. She reportedly said some very odd things to Tommy, including that she “can’t save him,” and that she had “seen his name on the wall.” Most sinisterly, she followed this up by saying that “one way or another, you’re gonna die tonight.”

 

“After saying this, she pulled out a knife that she had taken from the mess hall kitchen. She attacked Tommy- completely ignoring Cindy Berman, who was also in the room- and attempted to stab him. He was able to fend her off. During the scuffle, she hit her head on one of the tables and was knocked unconscious. Cindy and Thomas then reported the incident to the other counselors and phoned the police.”

 

creepy nurse, wow.

 

she literally tried to stab him.

 

wasn’t tommy the one who went crazy, though?

 

he was, but not yet.

 

huh, ok.

 

anyway, that’s how i knew she wasn’t high. they did a drug test when they arrested her, but as far as they could tell, she was clean.

 

“Despite the attack by Nurse Lane, the rest of the camp carried on as normal. That night was their annual Color War, which was essentially a series of traditional camp games in which campers from Shadyside wore blue and campers from Sunnyvale wore red. In the seven years of Camp Nightwing’s existence, Sunnyvale had never lost a Color War.”

 

sheesh.

 

yeah. from what i can tell, they were kind of dicks about it, too.

 

yeah, i bet.

 

“Now, it’s difficult to know exactly what happened that night, as most of the people who could tell the story ended up dead. However, here is what we do know: at the start of the evening, just after sundown, most of the camp started off the Color War with a game of Capture the Flag. Several people- namely, the counselors- did not take part.

 

“Four of the counselors ended up, for some reason, exploring the woods with Nurse Lane’s book and an unlabelled bottle of Tylenol. Those counselors were Cindy Berman and Thomas Slader, who we have already discussed, and Alice Reynolds and Arnie Callaghan, two known drug addicts. All four of them were Shadysiders.

 

“They apparently stumbled upon an old stone structure, which they entered. There, Tommy Slater brutally murdered one of the other counselors, Arnie, with an axe he took from the building’s wall.”

 

well, that escalated quickly.

 

it really did, didn’t it.

 

he just, like, grabbed a random axe and started swinging?

 

from what i can tell, yes. obviously we don’t know what really happened out there, or if there was something that set him off, but four of them went in there and only one came out.

 

well, i’d say the crazy nurse trying to kill him earlier was probably a contributing factor. i can’t imagine that was great for his mental health.

 

well, no, but i don’t think there’s a very clear line from ‘someone threatened me with a knife and got arrested’ to ‘i’m gonna grab an axe and start chopping up children.’ that just doesn’t seem like a natural progression to me, regardless of what underlying mental health problems he may have had.

 

true, but also, nobody fucking knows how brains work.

 

i’m pretty sure they don’t work like that.

 

“At approximately 9:15 PM, a Sunnyvale camper was being escorted to the Shadyside ‘jail,’ having been captured during the game. This camper found a body waiting for him just inside the doors: that of Jeremy Gage, a thirteen-year-old Shadyside camper who had been guarding the jail. He was the first body to be found, although it is believed that the murder of Arnie occured first.

 

“Upon finding the body, this camper screamed, which drew the attention of many other campers and counselors. Upon reaching the scene, counselors ushered everyone into the mess hall and rang the dinner bell to signify that the game was over. They also attempted to phone the police, but found that phone lines had been cut, presumably by Tommy. It is worth noting, however, that police later determined that the damage to the phone lines was done by a small knife, and Tommy’s only known weapon throughout the entire night was an axe.”

 

so, either he had a knife at one point and only used it to cut the phones, or someone else did it.

 

pretty much.

 

i honestly can’t think of a reason someone would cut the phone lines at a random summer camp if they weren’t in on the murder thing.

 

the good news is, we actually do get an answer to that. i won’t get to it for a little while, but just keep in mind that we do get answers for at least a little bit of the crazy shit that goes on in this town.

 

well, that is good news, because i am officially interested.

 

“There were two counselors in the mess hall at this time, with several others unaccounted for. It is unknown where Cindy Berman and Alice Reynolds were at this time; two other counselors were apparently having sex in one of the cabins. The two counselors who were in the mess hall were Gary Schultz, nineteen, and Nick Goode, seventeen.”

 

did you just say nick goode?

 

yes.

 

first of all, that name sounds really familiar, so i’m gonna assume he’s important somehow. second of all, another family that apparently stayed in this hell town for multiple centuries?

 

well, to be fair, the goodes lived in sunnyvale, not shadyside.

 

“Nick Goode was seventeen years old and lived with his family in Sunnyvale. He was a direct descendant of Solomon Goode, the man who founded the town. His family had been in power in Sunnyvale throughout the town’s history; for example, there was never a time, up until the 1990s, when neither the sheriff nor the mayor was a Goode. They were, quite literally, the ruling family of the town.”

 

well, that’s concerning.

 

it really is, isn’t it?

 

“The two counselors- Gary Schultz and Nick Goode- counted the campers and found that several were missing. They left the mess hall, instructing the campers to remain inside, to search for those who were missing. Only moments after they left, Ziggy Berman, who had been among the campers gathered in the mess hall, left as well.

 

“It is believed that Ziggy left in search of a girl named Sheila Miller, also sixteen, who had been locked in the outhouse earlier in the night as part of a prank. Sheila was also, reportedly, the same girl who had burned Ziggy with a lighter that same day. Ziggy was heard calling for Nick Goode as she left the mess hall, presumably to tell him Sheila’s location.

 

“Approximately ten minutes later, another counselor- Kurt Proctor, one of the few counselors  from Sunnyvale- entered the mess hall. He had blood on his hands and appeared to be in distress. He informed the frightened campers that he had run into Nick Goode outside, who had appraised him of the situation. He was to load everyone onto the camp bus and, in ten minutes, drive them to safety- even if the remaining campers and counselors were still missing.”

 

i have to say, that’s a good call. there’s an axe murderer out there, anyone missing is probably dead or hiding. waiting around is just gonna put the kids in danger for no reason.

 

true. actually, i’m surprised they waited the ten minutes instead of going sooner.

 

“Although Kurt did not say as much, campers surmised from the blood on his hands that there had been more deaths. This turned out to be true: by this point in the night, seven people were dead. Apart from Arnie Callaghan and Jeremy Gage, who we already discussed, there had been five murders. Four of those were Shadyside campers who had been waiting in Sunnyvale ‘jail’ during Capture the Flag. When they heard the bell ringing, their ‘jailer’ went to see what was going on, while they waited in the isolated building for him to return. All four of them were later found dead and in pieces in that same building. Also dead was counselor Joan Schmidt, another Shadysider, who had been with Kurt in his cabin and was killed while he was in the bathroom.”

 

pro tip, kids: don’t go to summer camp, you might get murdered.

 

(wheeze)

 

(wheeze)

 

you’re awful.

 

i’m sorry, this shouldn’t be funny, but i had to say that. i just had to.

 

i wouldn’t expect anything less.

 

ok, so i’ve got some questions here. two questions. possibly three.

 

ok, shoot.

 

first of all, the counselors get private bathrooms in their cabins, but the campers have to use an outhouse?

 

i guess so, yeah. is that really relevant right now?

 

well, i just think that’s a bit of a design flaw. give everyone private bathrooms, it can’t be that hard to have indoor plumbing.

 

it was a summer camp, outhouses are not uncommon. you said you had other questions?

 

yes. these are all teenagers, right? seven teens dead so far? how the fuck is nobody at this camp an adult?

 

nurse lane was an adult, but she got arrested.

 

they only had one adult, and when she got arrested for literally trying to murder a kid, they didn’t send anybody else to make sure things were ok?

 

guess not. nobody said this was a well-run summer camp.

 

i just- i just want to meet whoever planned this and ask them what the fuck they were thinking when they designed this. i mean, i know you can’t reasonably plan for axe murderers, but what if somebody had fallen and broken their ankle? would they just not see a doctor about it? or would they have to drive the camp bus into town? like, how is this… how is it even… i just don’t get this system.

 

it was the seventies and also i get the feeling that ‘child neglect’ is something of a staple in this town. also i think that was only two questions.

 

huh? oh, yeah, third question: are these all shadysiders? i know you said it was a mixed group at camp, but i’m pretty sure all six of the murder victims you’ve listed so far have been shadysiders.

 

they were, yes.

 

is that, like, a really fucking weird coincidence? or is there something more sinister going on here?

 

sinister like what?

 

like he’s only targeting shadysiders? you said it was a small town, tommy was a counselor so probably knew everybody, it wouldn’t be impossible for him to deliberately target the shadysiders for this.

 

plus, almost all of them were wearing color-coded shirts.

 

oh yeah, the shirts! he was definitely doing that on purpose then, right? especially if he killed the one girl- Joan, you said her name was- while the sunnyvale guy was in the bathroom and didn’t, like, wait and hit him with an axe the moment he stepped out. it’s not like he has a lack of sunnyvale targets.

 

i am genuinely so impressed with you right now, man, you have no idea. yes, he was absolutely going after only shadysiders. we’ll get to that later.

 

i’m a genius.

 

“No one arrived during the ten minute wait, so Kurt led the campers onto the bus and drove towards town to get help. This left several people back at camp: Cindy Berman, Alice Reynolds, Ziggy Berman, Sheila Miller, Gary Schultz, and Nick Goode. Prior to this point, we were able to draw off of witness testimony to determine what happened. However, most of the surviving witnesses left on that bus, so from this point forward, it becomes very difficult to be certain of what really happened. The information compiled here is based off of the official police reports, which used a combination of testimony from the survivors and forensic evidence to determine the order of events.

 

“Upon entering the outhouse to rescue Sheila, Ziggy ended up engaging in a fist-fight with her. Sheila was not aware of the killer and wanted revenge on Ziggy for the prank. During this fight, although Ziggy attempted to explain the situation, Sheila would not listen; Ziggy eventually knocked her out. She was then approached by counselor Gary, who heard the commotion and wanted to make sure they were ok. However, at this point, Tommy entered the outhouse, decapitating Gary and dropping him through the toilets into the underground cavern below.”

 

hold up, their outhouse was built on top of an underground cavern? you don’t just mean like a little hole they dug with shovels, do you?

 

no, like an actual natural cavern.

 

who the fuck builds an outhouse on top of a cave? that could be, like, a fun attraction. they could’ve gone caving in there. and instead, it’s full of poop.

 

once again, i was not responsible for designing this camp.

 

maybe they were just lazy and didn’t want to dig a hole. that’s you know, that’s fair enough.

 

anyway, moving on from the toilet cave.

 

“Ziggy fled from the outhouse, closely pursued by Tommy. Sheila was left unconscious on the bathroom floor, completely unharmed by the killer; this makes sense, as she was from Sunnyvale and the victims all seem to have been from Shadyside.

“Ziggy hid inside of one of the buildings, in which the camp kept several displays of insects and reptiles. There, she was joined by Nick Goode, who hid with her from the killer. However, the killer found them by apparently breaking a snake out of its enclosure and following it to where they were hiding behind a table. He grabbed Ziggy and was about to kill her, but Nick Goode got in the way, taking an axe to the leg but buying her time to run. Tommy chased after Ziggy, leaving Nick Goode there alive but with a wounded leg.

“It is important to note that most of this information came from Nick Goode himself, including the parts about him heroically attempting to save other campers. Thus, it is impossible to verify this in any way, although forensics do seem to support his account of events. You’ll see why, later, I question the veracity of his statements.”

 

veracity. that’s such… that’s such a weird word. veracity. why can’t we just say ‘truth’?

 

what does it matter? it’s a word.

 

it’s a stupid word. it sounds fancy, but also dumb. i really don’t know how else to explain it.

 

you’re a stupid word.

 

how does that even make sense?

 

i don’t know. it made sense to me when i said it.

 

so, nick goode is definitely a bad guy, right? just like solomon goode probably was, which you still haven’t fully explained. i don’t trust these guys.

 

oh, yeah, definitely don’t trust them.

 

“At some point shortly after this, Ziggy returned to the mess hall. There, Tommy caught up to her. Cindy Burman and Alice Reynolds also arrived at the mess hall, coming up from a grate in the floor via the system of caves and tunnels that apparently run under the entire camp. It’s worth noting that these caves are never mentioned in any sort of official documents before or after this event, although the police report does confirm that they exist and that evidence suggests the two girls spent considerable time in them that night. The police did not explore these tunnels in any way beyond retrieving Gary’s body from beneath the outhouse, despite the fact that it would have been very relevant for their investigation to do so.

 

“Details of this confrontation are sparse, but somehow Tommy ended up with a burlap sack pulled over his head and several stab wounds in his chest and abdomen. Alice was killed via an axe to the torso which, according to the coroner, nearly cut her in half. There was also a strange, unidentifiable black goo covering the tines of a pitchfork and a small section of the wall; police were unable to determine what it was, and they no longer have any samples.”

 

strange black goo, yum.

 

not yum. yuck. very yuck.

 

it’s probably just badly cooked camp food, they were in the mess hall after all.

 

it was on the wall and a pitchfork, not the tables. and also, even if it was food, that wouldn’t be ‘yum.’

 

well, i mean, i’m not gonna eat it.

 

then why did you say yum?

 

mostly just to gross you out, if we’re being honest.

 

i hate you.

 

“Despite the fact that the confrontation clearly took place in the mess hall- as evidenced by the blood spatter as well as the fact that the knives used to kill Tommy were left on the floor there- his body was never found. Based on the amount of blood he lost, it would have been impossible for him to walk to the other side of the room, much less leave the camp, but police could find no trace of him beyond the blood spatter. It has been theorized that his body may have eben dumped in the lake, but no evidence of this was ever found.

 

“Cindy and Ziggy Burman were both found, dead, by Nick Goode later that night. Both had multiple stab wounds to the torso. They were not found in the mess hall, despite evidence that one or both of them killed Tommy Slater there; their bodies were discovered in a field underneath ‘the hanging tree.’ Legend has it that this is where Sarah Fier was hung in 1666, and that her body was laid to rest beneath its roots. Nick was able to revive Ziggy and keep her alive until help arrived, but he was unable to save her sister.

 

“Again, this is according to Nick’s account of events. Ziggy claimed, rather vehemently, that the witch’s curse was responsible for the massacre. However, no detailed account of her story was ever taken, as police dismissed her as being in shock or delusional. What we do know is this: beneath the hanging tree was a small shovel and a hole in the ground, as though Ziggy or her sister had started to dig. At the bottom of the small hole was a stone- one which, according to investigators, seemed to have been buried there for many years- that read ‘the witch forever lives.’ Although Cindy Burman’s wounds were caused by an axe, the medical examiner noted that her sister’s wounds seem to have come from knives.”

 

so basically, none of this adds up.

 

none of it at all.

 

i don’t know why two teenage girls would start digging under a tree while being chased by a murderer, and i assume that’s not the kind of thing we can figure out without context. but the rest of it is just as weird.

 

for me, the biggest question is ‘what happened to the body.’ maybe i’m a bit biased there because i know how this story ends, so i know a bit more about what probably happened than you do. but where did the body go?

 

tommy slater’s body? i dunno, how big was the lake?

 

not that big. they didn’t even try to search it, though.

 

i’m smelling a bit of corruption here.

 

i would- i would have to agree that i, also, am smelling corruption.

 

might it have something to do with the goode family, which clearly has ties to the sheriff's department and has the influence to get stuff done?

 

quite possibly, yes. almost definitely. but you’ll see that when we get to ninety-four.

 

(pause). oh, ninety-four. 1994.

 

yeah.

 

i thought for a second you meant, like, ninety-four years old. i was like ‘i don’t want to have to wait that long!’

 

why would i be saying ninety-four years old? literally why would that-

 

i don’t know, dude, that’s just what it sounded like.

 

ok, whatever. when we get towards the end of the 1994 section, then you’ll get it. (pause). well, i definitely still think there’s a supernatural element at play here, and you probably won’t get that. but the rest of it-



the case is weird as fuck, i’ll grant you that, but it’s not supernatural.

 

it pretty clearly is.

 

there are no such things as demons and ghosts.

 

technically i haven’t said anything about either of those today-

 

or witches. there are no such thing as real-life, magical witches.

 

well, obviously sarah fier isn’t a witch. but you can’t deny that there is something not normal about this.

 

not normal? it’s an axe murderer!

 

“Ziggy Berman made a full recovery from her wounds, although the police report notes that she may have been stabbed ‘as many as seven to ten times.’ At this point in time, she dropped out of high school, most likely due to the trauma of having seen so many deaths. Very little is known about her for the next sixteen years following this incident, although we do know that she remained in Shadyside.”

 

sixteen years. so, she was involved in the 1994 thing.

 

yes. and this was, like- this lady was traumatized. she was sixteen years old when she was chased around by an axe murderer.

 

she got stabbed ten times?

 

and she saw her sister get killed right in front of her.

 

holy shit.

 

i don’t know what kind of psychiatric help they had available back then-

 

not a lot, i’m guessing.

 

-but based on the police report, it doesn’t look like it was great. they basically just said ‘yep, she’s fucked up’ and moved on.

 

fuck these people, man.

 

“That brings us to a total of at least ten deaths during the massacre: five counselors and five campers, all from Shadyside. Newspapers at the time commonly reported the number as twelve; this number included Ziggy Berman, who was resuscitated, and Thomas Slater, the killer whose body was never found.

 

“After the Camp Nightwing massacre, the town was quiet for just over sixteen years. The next major incident- which was also, so far, the last one- took place in September 1994.

 

“In the time between these incidents, Nick Goode- who, if you’ll recall, was seventeen at the time of the massacre- became sheriff of Sunnyvale.  Camp Nightwing was shut down following the massacre and, in 1983, the land was converted into the Shadyside Mall.”

 

they tore down the camp? shame, i would have loved to visit.

 

ten- or twelve, depending on how you count- of the town’s children died there in one night. of course they tore it down.

 

oh, i understand why they did it, i just think it would have been cool.

 

“It was at this very mall that, on September 22, 1994, another tragedy occurred. At 10:16 PM, only minutes after the mall closed for the night, 911 operators received a phone call. The call originated inside one of the stores of the mall. The call contained no words, but the operator reported hearing heavy breathing and then sounds of a struggle. Police were dispatched to the location immediately.”

 

so, mall closes at 10, shit goes down fifteen minutes later.

 

yep. this one’s not as detailed as the camp nightwing massacre, because there were no survivors to explain what happened, but shit definitely went down.

 

“Police arrived on the scene only minutes later, at 10:21 PM. In particular, it was sheriff Nick Goode who arrived alone, as he had already been in the area.”

 

this guy again? i don’t trust him.

 

good. don’t.

 

he’s just too involved. there’s no way one guy would just happen to show up every time something bad is happening. let me guess, he saved the day?

 

“Sheriff Goode arrived on the scene just in time to see a man in a skull mask brutally attacking a teenage mall worker, stabbing her multiple times in the chest. Sheriff Goode shot this man in the head, killing him, but it was too late to save the victim. In fact, it was too late to save any of the victims; officers found a total of eight bodies at the scene, including the killer himself.

 

“The killer was identified as Ryan Torres, eighteen, who was a senior at Shadyside High School. He was not a good student- in fact, he was reportedly failing multiple classes- but had never shown any signs of homicidal tendencies prior to the mall massacre. He simply snapped, like so many Shadysiders before him, and went on a rampage. In particular, Torres’s use of a halloween costume during the murders earned him the nickname ‘the Skull Mask Killer.’”

 

well, it’s not the most creative name, but it’s leagues better than ‘farmer of death.’

 

can’t really argue with that.

 

where did he get the costume?

 

torres worked at what was basically the small town version of party city. and it was september, so they were all decked out for halloween.

 

ah, ok. (pause). just out of curiosity, what weapon did he use? i’m assuming they don’t stock axes at the local party city.

 

he used a kitchen knife stolen from the food court.

 

so he probably wasn’t planning this ahead of time, or he would have brought his own weapon.

 

right. i don’t think food court knives are anyone’s weapon of choice.

 

“Interestingly enough, Torres’s final victim- a fellow mall employee named Heather Watkins- was known to be a good friend of his. She was also eighteen, a senior at Shadyside High, and worked full-time at the mall’s bookstore. Despite reportedly having been friends for several years, Sheriff Goode reported that he showed no hesitation when killing her.”

 

ah, but it was sheriff goode that said that.

 

exactly. a lot of information in both the camp nightwing and mall massacres came from him.

 

suspicious.

 

“The mall massacre took place on a Thursday night. The following day, there was a football game between Shadyside and Sunnyvale.”

 

what, they couldn’t- (wheeze)- they couldn’t just cancel the game? eight people just died, these people are harsh.

 

they actually did end up cancelling the game, but not because of the massacre. or at least, not directly.

 

“Prior to the game, which took place in Sunnyvale, people from both towns took part in a moment of silence. This was interrupted by students from Sunnyvale. One student, in particular, is reported to have said that “it’s not a tragedy if it happens every week.” Students from the two schools ended up fighting, although this was soon broken up by teachers and police.”

 

jesus christ. sunnyvale people are assholes, aren’t they?

 

you’re just now getting that?

 

it’s just- damn. even i wouldn’t say that, and i say a lot of shit.

 

the divide between sunnyvale and shadyside seems to literally be ‘rich assholes’ vs ‘everybody else.’ so yeah, they’re assholes.

 

eat the rich, that’s what i always say.

 

“The game was cancelled due to the fighting. However, only a short while later, police received a report of a car accident on the road to Shadyside. Sheriff Goode, along with two officers, arrived to assess the situation. A car containing three Sunnyvale students had swerved off the road and crashed into the woods, while a bus full of Shadysiders stopped to help.


“There were, however, inconsistencies with the event. The Sunnyvale students had no reason to be on this road, as it was in the opposite direction of their homes. Police noted the presence of a skull mask, much like the one worn by Ryan Torres, in the backseat of the car. The car’s windshield was shattered, despite not hitting any trees. The Shadysiders’ cooler was found in the middle of the road, despite the bus not having crashed, and the driver of the Sunnyvale car reported seeing the bus’s emergency exit open just prior to the crash.

 

“Due to these inconsistencies, police speculated that the Sunnyvalers had been pursuing the Shadyside bus, possibly wearing the skull mask as a way to taunt them, and the Shadysiders threw the cooler at them in retaliation. However, every single person involved in the crash- including those on the bus as well as the Sunnyvalers themselves- claimed that it had just been a freak accident. With no one willing to come forward, police were unable to pursue the case and it was labelled an accident.”

 

ok, you know what- fuck the sunnyvalers. i can’t even blame the shadysiders for maybe throwing that cooler. sunnyvale fucking sucks.

 

they could have killed somebody.

 

i’m not saying it was a good thing to do, but i just- i get it.

 

“The driver of the Sunnyvale car was a boy named Peter Ford, a member of the football team. His girlfriend- cheerleader Samantha Fraser, known to her friends as Sam- was also in the car. She was taken to the hospital following the crash due to the fact that she was coughing up blood; doctors determined that she had merely bitten her tongue, rather than suffered any internal injuries, but she remained in the hospital for observation.

 

“Among the Shadysiders, there were three particular students who we’ll be focusing on. Those are Deena Johnson, who was Sam’s ex-girlfriend and a member of the marching band; Simon Kalidova, the team mascot and a known drug dealer; and Kate Schmidt, who was valedictorian as well as a cheerleader and known drug dealer. All of these students were seniors, with Sam, Simon, and Kate being seventeen while Peter and Deena were eighteen.”

 

lots of drug dealers here. and weren’t there drug dealers at camp nightwing too?

 

those were addicts, but not necessarily dealers.

 

ah.

 

still, a lot of drugs, yeah.

 

i’m curious- what exactly is the shadyside mascot? did they go with something like ‘the squirrels’ or whatever to be completely unthreatening, or did they lean into it and go-

 

the witches.

 

huh?

 

their mascot is the witches.

 

wow, they- (wheeze)- they really leaned into it.

 

you wanna know the sunnyvale mascot?

 

what, is it like ‘the angels’ or something? fucking rich assholes.

 

better.

 

alright, lay it on me.

 

they’re the sunnyvale devils.

 

i- jesus christ, yes they are, but i was not expecting them to admit it.

 

it’s great, isn’t it?

 

i want to meet whoever named these mascots and shake their hand.

 

same, man. same.

 

“The next night, on September 24, Deena Johnson saw a figure in a skull mask lurking outside of her home in Shadyside. She immediately assumed that it was Peter Ford, the Sunnyvaler, trying to scare her. Deena called her friends, Kate and Simon, to complain about it; very shortly after this, the figure in the skull mask broke into the home where Kate and Simon were babysitting. He left without harming anyone, but Kate and Simon dropped the kids off with a neighbor out of concern for their safety.

 

“This group of Shadysiders- Kate, Simon, and Deena, along with Deena’s sixteen-year-old brother Josh- drove to the Shadyside hospital. There, Deena confronted Sam Fraser, who was still under observation there, and demanded that she tell Peter to leave them alone.”

 

oh, because sam and peter were dating?

 

right.

 

and deena is the ex? that’s got to be messy.

 

from what i can tell, it really was.

 

kudos to them for being out in 90s ohio, though. that’s got to take some guts.

 

especially when just about everybody there was an asshole.

 

and this is definitely not peter who’s stalking them, right? that would be too easy.

 

we’ll get to that in a second.

 

“Sam did not react well to this accusation and pointed out that Peter could not have been stalking them, as Peter had been with her all night. The two briefly argued, but this was interrupted when Peter- who had, in fact, been in the hospital with Sam- was stabbed in the back by the man in the skull mask.”

well that answers that question, i guess.

 

peter was definitely not the man in the skull mask, since he literally got murdered by him.

 

“Deena and Sam managed to flee from the hospital room, closely pursued by the man in the skull mask. They then-”

 

wait, hold on a minute.

 

hm?

 

this is very detailed. like, insanely detailed. we didn’t even get this much detail with the camp nightwing thing, and that one had witnesses.

 

most of the camp nightwing witnesses left on the bus, and even before that it was very chaotic. most of the information on that one came from nick goode, which… as i’ve said before, i have reason to doubt his testimony.

 

because he’s evil.

 

shush, we haven’t gotten there yet. anyway, the events of september 1994 have multiple witnesses that i trust a hell of a lot more than nick goode. so, yeah, it’s a bit more detailed.

 

makes sense. carry on.

 

“They then escaped the hospital via a stolen ambulance, as their friends apparently managed to lose the car keys in the chaos. The receptionist and one of the hospital nurses were killed by the masked killer, but the teenagers managed to get out. They drove to the police station, where they attempted to tell the police what they had seen.”

 

let me guess. the cops didn’t listen?

 

well, the sheriff was nick goode, so no. they did not.

 

fucking assholes.

 

“Deena and Sam entered the station seeking help, while Simon, Kate, and Josh stayed in the ambulance. Sheriff Nick Goode refused to take the girls’ statement, even going so far as to suggest that they were making it up for attention and that nothing had happened at the hospital at all. The two girls left the station after realizing that they would not be getting any help from the police.

 

“The teenagers felt unsafe in their own homes, as the killer had already demonstrated that he knew where Deena and Josh lived. They drove the ambulance to Shadyside High School, thinking that the killer would not find them there.”

 

i mean, he only knows where those two live, and the kids kate was babysitting. i feel like simon or kate’s house would be fine. or sam’s house, they could go to sam’s house! she lives in sunnyvale, right?

 

theoretically, that might have worked. i honestly don’t think hiding anywhere would work, as there is a supernatural element to this-

 

of course.

 

-but going to sunnyvale might have helped. but, well, they went to the high school.

 

also, where are their parents? if the cops won’t help, at least call your parents.

 

from what i can tell, literally all of their parents were neglectful alcoholics, except for sam’s mom, who was homophobic.

 

ah.

 

“This is where the story gets a little bit murky. Police reports seem to skim over what happened during the rest of the night. In their official statement, the survivors of this incident claimed that the man in the skull mask attacked them at the school. They then fled to the grocery store, which was located nearby. The man in the skull mask attacked them again there, this time more successfully. Kate Schmidt was killed in brutal fashion; the killer first stabbed her in the gut, then forced her head through a bread slicer.”

 

oh my god.

 

yeah.

 

that’s disgusting.

 

it was- i’ve never been so glad the crime scene photos weren’t available to the public, because even just the written report was horrific.

 

is that even possible? can you even-

 

apparently, yes.

 

why the hell was the bread slicer active in the middle of the night?

 

from what i understand, someone accidentally hit the lever during the commotion. or maybe the killer turned it on on purpose. i really don’t know.

 

that’s just… we get so many stories on this channel about stabbings and beheadings and whatnot, but i can honestly say that i’ve never heard of ‘death by bread slicer’ before.

 

doesn’t sound like a great way to die.

 

no, not at all.

 

“Simon Kalidova was killed shortly after, when he found Kate’s body and was momentarily distracted. According to the witness reports, he was also killed by the man in the skull mask, but his cause of death was an axe to the head. Sam Fraser was drowned in the lobster tank, apparently by the same killer, at which point the killer left the building. Sam was then resuscitated by Deena via a combination of epi-pens and CPR.”

 

so there were five teens here, and somehow the same guy manages to kill three of them? not one of these kids managed to get in a hit on this guy?

 

they were just kids.

 

i’m not blaming them, i just think maybe they could have grabbed a knife and shanked the guy.

 

kind of sounds like you’re blaming them.

 

five of them, one killer who’s armed only with a knife…

 

i’d like to see you do better.

 

i will not be taking you up on that, mostly because i don’t want my head being pushed through a bread slicer.

 

“This story doesn’t fully explain what happened that night. Little to no information is given on the attack at the school, but the police report notes that there was a mixture of blood and water painted in lines on the floor, as if indicating a path. These lines led from the various entrances of the building to the girls’ restroom, which had been doused in gasoline and lit on fire. The melted remains of what appear to be a mannequin were found in one of the stalls, but the bathroom was otherwise empty.”

 

what the fuck?

 

exactly.

 

who was painting blood on the floor?

 

the witness statements do not address any of what i just told you.

 

it had to be the killer, right? and whose blood was it?

 

they never found out.

 

they never found-? jesus christ.

 

“Despite the odd nature of this crime scene, no samples were taken of the blood-water mixture on the floor. After visually determining that it was, in fact, blood and water, the officers failed to take a sample for DNA testing and instead turned the crime scene over to the cleaners.


“More of this blood and water mixture was found at the grocery store. There, it was painted in an x shape on Kate, Simon, and Josh’s clothing. These clothes, which appeared to have been stolen from the school lost and found, were not taken as evidence. Once again, no DNA analysis was ever done, as officers failed to secure a sample of the blood.”

 

i’m not sure if this is incompetence or a conspiracy. maybe both.

 

i’m leaning towards both.

 

“When police first questioned the survivors of this incident- Deena, Sam and Josh- things were much different. According to the police report, all three teens claimed that they had not seen their attacker. Police blamed the incident on the two dead teens, Kate and Simon, claiming that they were ‘junkies’ who got high and went on a killing spree. This explanation makes no sense, as both Kate and Simon were killed in ways that could not possibly have been self-inflicted.”

 

that’s ridiculous. they couldn’t have done it, they’re dead. do they think kate put her own head through a bread slicer?

 

the police report didn’t really explain much. but then, it was written by nick goode, so.

 

well, that would explain it. was he the killer the whole time?

 

i haven’t gotten there yet.

 

you haven’t- how is there still more to go? that’s, what, ten people murdered in two days? this town is fucking insane.

 

thirteen. eight at the mall, three at the hospital, and then kate and simon. fourteen if you count sam.

 

and it isn’t over yet?

nope.

 

“Immediately following these events, Deena and Sam got back together. That has little to no bearing on the case itself, I just thought it was worth mentioning.”

let’s go lesbians!

 

“The following day, Deena made contact with a certain C. Berman- the woman who used to be known as Ziggy. The teens met with her and discussed the events of the previous night. Apparently, the police report was a lie: they knew exactly who killed Kate and Simon, but couldn’t safely tell the police.”

 

it was sheriff goode, wasn’t it.

 

it was sheriff goode.

 

“Christine Berman- who we will continue to call Ziggy- found that their story made sense. Again, she never gave a formal statement after the Camp Nightwing massacre due to the police deciding she was ‘delusional.’ However, after speaking with the group of teens in 1994, she came to the conclusion that Nick Goode had been responsible for the Camp Nightwing Massacre as well.”

 

so, what, he frames tommy slater and convinces people that the one witness is crazy so they won’t listen when she points the finger at him?

 

pretty much.

 

that motherfucker.

 

it’s also worth noting that, back in 1978, she did make some claims. she never made an official statement, but several of the officers and paramedics did make note of what she said. not only did ziggy berman claim that the witch was responsible for the massacre, but she kept saying- reportedly- that ‘he was possessed.’

 

not tommy.

 

everyone assumed she was referring to tommy, but looking back on it…

 

even if she’d named names, they probably wouldn’t have listened.

 

probably not. it’s just kind of sad, isn’t it?

 

i was going more for ‘infuriating,’ but sad works too.

 

“On the night of September 25, 1994, this group headed to the Shadyside Mall. It was still closed following the mall massacre, which had occurred only three days prior. There, they set a trap for Sheriff Goode.”

 

they couldn’t just, like… go to the fbi about it?

 

apparently not.

 

“The mechanics of this trap are not entirely clear. The mall was covered with glow-in-the-dark graffiti, which as far as police could tell served no purpose other than decoration. This graffiti contained phrases such as ‘Goode is evil,’ ‘suck it, Goode,’ and my personal favorite, ‘psychos this way’ with an arrow pointing towards the center of the mall.”

 

they’re setting a trap for a murderer and they pause to put up decorations. respect.

 

rude decorations, at that.

 

so rude. i love these guys.

 

“There were also lines of glow-in-the-dark paint on the ground leading into several of the stores. There were ropes tied to the metal gates of those stores as though to keep them closed; the inside of these gates showed signs of damage, as though someone had been trapped inside and violently trying to get out. Perhaps most interestingly, there was a bucket of glow-in-the-dark paint hanging from the ceiling, which they tipped over onto Sheriff Goode’s head when he passed beneath it.”

 

(wheeze) this is great. this is- how is any of this supposed to be helpful?

 

maybe they wanted to make sure he couldn’t sneak up on them?

 

there has to be a better way of going about that. i just- this is awesome. i hope they don’t die.

 

“The already-established group of Ziggy Berman, Deena and Josh Johnson, and Sam Fraser was joined by a man named Martin Williams, another Shadysider. The five of them triggered the mall’s alarm system, thus signalling their location to Sheriff Goode. However, they were first approached by two other officers who arrived at the scene first.

 

“These two officers were killed by Nick Goode, who then attempted to kill the rest of the group. However, they fought back, causing him to flee into the cave system that ran underneath the mall. He was followed by Deena Johnson and Sam Fraser, while the others remained in the mall. Sam was knocked out in the scuffle, but Deena killed Sheriff Goode with a knife to the head.”

 

you know what? good for her.

 

she was only a teenager, she must have been traumatized.

 

i mean, yeah. but she was probably already traumatized by seeing her friend murdered by a bread slicer- yes, i’m still on the bread slicer thing- and this guy needed to die.

 

that’s fair.

 

yeah.

 

you know what’s cool, though? like, actually genius?

 

what?

 

they didn’t have bulletproof vests, so deena-

 

oh yeah, doesn’t this guy have a gun? why wasn’t he shooting them?

 

I think he lost it early on in the fight. but anyway, you know what she did?

 

what did she do?

 

she duct-taped a bunch of books together as a makeshift vest.

 

would that even work?

 

against bullets, probably not. but it definitely did work against a knife, as proved when sheriff goode stabbed her.

 

jesus. glad she had the book vest, then. (pause). heh.

 

you’re smiling.

 

her life was saved by a vest made of books? you know what i call that?

 

oh god, please don’t-

 

plot armor.

 

i hate you. that’s such a good pun.

 

it’s a great pun.

 

i probably would have said it if i’d thought of it first.

 

“Ziggy, Deena, and Martin were largely unharmed during the attack; Josh suffered a broken arm, and Sam’s concussion worsened, but otherwise they were okay. Deena and Sam emerged from the caves through another entrance: a door leading right to Nick Goode’s home in Sunnyvale. From there, they called the police.

 

“Police searched Sheriff Goode’s house and found ample evidence that he was a serial killer, responsible for not only the deaths in 1994, but the Camp Nightwing Massacre as well. He became known as the Sunnyvale Serial Killer.”

 

fucking asshole.

 

alright, are you ready to get into theories?

 

i already know you’re gonna bring satan into this, but yeah, sure. let’s get into theories.

 

well, satan is involved, yeah.

 

the devil did not make him do it, ryan.

 

well, theoretically, the witch did. or maybe not, depending on how you look at things.

 

i’m going with ‘not’ here.

 

“Our first theory is that the official story is correct. Shadyside’s history of death truly was just bad luck, and Nick Goode being a serial killer was entirely unrelated.”

 

sounds like my kind of theory.

 

the thing is, it doesn’t explain anything though.

 

what doesn’t it explain? the man’s insane.

 

well, for starters, the trails of blood at the school. the fire in the girls’ bathroom. the graffiti that said ‘psychos’- plural- ‘this way.’ and that’s just the stuff in 94.

 

like i said, the man’s insane.

 

“This theory has numerous holes in it. First of all, it offers no explanation for Shadyside’s dark history. There are also numerous unexplained events during the 1978 and 1994 massacres. Why was Ziggy Berman stabbed with a knife, while every other camper was killed with an axe? Who lit the school bathroom on fire, and why? Why was Simon Kalidova killed with an axe, when everyone else that day was killed with a knife? Who was trapped inside of the stores at the mall? This theory leaves too many unanswered questions, and so I think it is very unlikely, although I can’t rule it out entirely.

 

“The second theory is that Sarah Fier, the witch, did it. According to the town’s legend, she would possess innocent Shadysiders and force them to kill. However, as we already discussed the events of 1666, this seems incredibly unlikely. There is no evidence that Sarah Fier was actually a witch, and in fact, the evidence suggests that she was not. With that said, I think we can safely rule out this theory.”

 

wow, are you actually agreeing that this isn’t supernatural?

 

no.

 

“The legend claims that Sarah Fier’s powers, and her grip over Shadyside, came from a deal with the devil. With that said, we have our third theory: it was actually the Goode family that made a deal with the devil, not Sarah Fier.”

 

of course. i should’ve known.

 

hey, it makes sense!

 

it makes slightly more sense than the sarah fier story. which is still less than zero.

 

this is possibly the most obviously supernatural case we’ve talked about yet, i can’t believe you’re still denying it.

 

can’t you, though?

 

“Solomon Goode was the founder of Sunnyvale, and thus the first person to experience its good luck. His family remained in power there for over 300 years. As soon as Nick Goode was killed- literally on that same day- Sunnyvale’s luck seemed to completely reverse, as did Shadyside’s.

 

“This would also explain the large amounts of satanic memorabilia found in and around Nick Goode’s home. Investigators noted a book filled with satanic symbols at the crime scene, but it vanished overnight before they had finished examining the scene.

 

“Supporting this theory, is this quote from Deena Johnson. In the days following the showdown at the mall, she was quoted as saying, “Sarah Fier wasn’t evil, and she wasn’t a witch. She was a lesbian, and Solomon Goode was a fucking creep who didn’t like being told no.” While there is no way to verify this, it does supply a possible explanation for Solomon Goode’s deal and the framing of Sarah Fier.”

 

so this theory literally doesn’t explain anything more than the first theory does.

 

well, it- it suggests that there’s a supernatural explanation.

 

like what?

 

i don’t know, i wasn’t there. i don’t know how the devil’s mind works.

 

how do you- that’s such a cop-out.

 

there’s clearly something supernatural going on. that’s all i’m saying.

 

a supernatural explanation for simon being killed by an axe… please tell me you’re not about to suggest zombie killers.

 

what? no. that would be ridiculous.

 

good.

 

...unless…

 

i was joking. that was a joke.

 

i know.

 

“With so many questions left unanswered, the mystery of Shadyside will remain… unsolved.”