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ALL I WANT TO DO IS KILL
By DALE HUDSON
PINNACLE BOOKSCopyright © 2007 Dale Hudson
All right reserved.
Chapter One"Spalding County 911 Emergency."
The dispatcher at the Spalding County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) logged the call in at 6:14 P.M. on Monday, August 2, 2004. The caller identified herself as Jamie Donaldson, the mother of fifteen-year-old Sara Polk. There was pure fright in her voice.
"Yes, sir, there were two girls over at my house who just claimed to have killed their grandparents," Donaldson said, not quite steadily. She took a quick, deep breath, then blurted out, "They had blood all over them ... knives and everything."
The dispatcher had difficulty hearing everything Donaldson was saying. A young girl, with a voice shrill and breaking, was wailing in the background. "Where did they say the girls-" the soft-spoken dispatcher asked before the girl's wailing drowned out his words.
"Huh?" Donaldson asked dryly.
The dispatcher raised his voice. "Where did they say they were at?"
"Where did the girls say they were at?"
"Yes," the dispatcher acknowledged colorlessly.
"Well, my daughter knows more about it, but she's got to stop screaming to be able to tell you."
The dispatcher correctly assumed the woman's daughter was the one wailing. "Then get her to calm down, okay?" he suggested politely.
"That's who they called," Donaldson clarified, referring to her daughter. "They had blood on them and stole their truck and everything."
"Where are they at now?"
"They're in a blue model-Chevrolet truck," Donaldson replied. "A pickup truck." She then put her distraught daughter on the phone.
Speaking through her tears, Sara Polk, the daughter, began, "This girl named Holly Harvey, who lives in Riverdale, she came over to my house with my friend Sandy ... Sandy Ketchum."
She breathed in little gasps. Panic spurred her on.
"It's Holly Harvey and Sandy Ketchum. And they came to my house in a big blue pickup truck. King Cab. They had presents in the back and a big butcher knife in the car with blood all over it and they were covered in blood from head to toe. Everywhere. First she told me she got mugged and I asked her why and she didn't tell me. I gave her a towel to dry off and then she told me she wasn't [mugged], that she killed her grandparents."
"Okay, do you know-"
Sara cut the dispatcher off in midsentence. As if reading his mind, she replied anxiously, "I don't know where their house is, but it is in Riverdale."
"Where are they at? Where is Holly and Sandy at now?"
"They just left my driveway."
"Which direction would they be headed in?"
Sara sounded dazed. "I don't know which direction they would be headed in, but they just left my house." She gave the dispatcher her home address.
"Okay, and you're at that address right now?"
"Yes, sir," Sara acknowledged, repeating her street address.
"Okay, and your name."
"Sara Polk." Panic still spurred her on. "And Sandy lives at ..." She paused, consulted with her mother, who gave her the correct address, then repeated it back to the dispatcher. "[It's on] Chandler Street in Griffin."
"Did you say her name was Sandy Ketchum?"
"Sandy Ketchum and Holly Harvey."
"Now, what's your name again?" The dispatcher was working to get both Sara and the situation under control. "Calm down and give me your name again."
The dispatcher asked her to repeat her name a second time and she complied. "All right, Sara, and both of these are white females?"
"They are both young white females. One is fifteen ... both are fifteen ...," Sara said, hardly daring to breathe.
"Okay," the dispatcher said in a calm voice.
"And Sandy is on probation and the other one is too. If you'll look them up on the record, you'll find them both, I know you will." She described both teenagers, then added, "Sandy has short brown hair, looks like a boy, and the other one is really girly."
"And you say Sandy lives in East Griffin at the address you provided earlier?"
"Yes, I can show you where she lives, but I don't know the name of it."
"It's okay, we've got the address. An officer is on his way there now."
Sara felt her heart swell with fear until she was sure it would burst. With an expression of gratitude, she assured the dispatcher she and her family would be on the lookout for the officer, then hung up the phone.
Dead and bloated bodies. Bloodstained butcher knives. Killer friends.
Those thoughts flittered in and out of Sara's mind in one long, hard deafening sound. Her face, a twisted mask of emotion, was puffed and streaked with tears. She felt like her stomach was full of leaping frogs and her head was being worked on with a jackhammer.
Afraid her nerves might crack, Sara didn't like the way she was feeling.
Not at all!
Chapter TwoPolice communications are essential, and to facilitate communication, codes have been devised in which one or two words tell the whole story. Inside the SCSO dispatch cubicle, the radio crackled with lots of codes. "We have a 10-25 (made contact) with a Sara Polk."
Then the dispatcher provided Polk's address before completing his urgent message: "A 10-37 activity and a 10-43, already occurred in Riverdale. Sara Polk complained about her friends who had just left that location and complainant advises that they had already committed a 10-43 in Riverdale. These two white females by the name of Holly Harvey and Sandy Ketchum, they left that location in a blue Chevrolet King Cab. One of the suspects lives on the east side of Griffin; complainant not able to provide exact location."
The dispatcher's tone was neutral, but everyone knew what he meant. A deadly assault using a knife as a weapon had taken place.
Another officer broke in. He asked for dispatch confirmation of suspects and the vehicle. His eyes were locked on a Chevrolet King Cab truck making a "ueey" in the middle of the highway.
"Yes, two white females in a Chevrolet King Cab truck, one with short brown hair. They would be covered in blood and had a 10-32 knife in the truck with them."
"Do you know what direction they're traveling?"
The dispatcher said he couldn't advise.
A few minutes later, another of the patrol officers came back with, "Are you pretty sure the truck is blue?"
"Ten-four. It's a blue King Cab."
The patrol officer had spotted a blue-and-silver Chevrolet truck headed south on Highway 362. It was occupied by two white females. They were trying to turn around in the middle of the highway.
The radio crackled, followed by: "We are in pursuit of a blue-and-silver Chevrolet truck."
The dispatcher straightened up in his chair. Sirens could be heard in the background. He held his breath, waiting for the officer to respond. Every second seemed like an eternity. He was relieved when the officer came back on and the sirens could be heard blaring again. He and another officer were both in pursuit of the truck headed south on Highway 362.
"We have apprehended the truck in question," the officer finally announced after a few long seconds. "It has a silver stripe. But it's not blue on blue. The driver of the car is dark-headed, but there's a child in the car. It doesn't check out."
The dispatcher let his pent-up breath escape in a low, slow sigh. "Ten-four," he shot back.
A few minutes later, the radio crackled again. This time, Spalding County deputy D. W. Gibson acknowledged he was familiar with Sara Polk's address. The dispatcher informed him that Sara Polk would probably be upset when he arrived at her Griffin home. As expected, Gibson found Sara still in a grip of fear and anxiety.
"Both girls were covered in blood," Sara volunteered to the deputy. Tears blurred her eyes, and she agonized over her friends' troubles, the way a mother would agonize over her own daughter's troubles. "They had a butcher knife with blood on it, too."
Gibson talked softly and soothingly to Sara, quieting her bit by bit. "Okay, start from the beginning and tell me what happened."
Sara's pulse thudded steadily and deeply in her throat. "Sandy and Holly called me and said they needed to come see me. I said, 'Okay.' They came over and pulled in by the house."
Familiar thoughts of Sandy Ketchum suddenly passed through Gibson's memory. She was well-known to him and other deputies in the Spalding County Sheriff's Office. He took notes while Sara described what happened.
For a moment, Sara fixed on the shocking memory and her mind seemed to jump backward, replaying all the details all at once.
"At first they told me they got into a fight, but they had no wounds at all. I got them a wet towel; then they told me they had killed Holly's grandparents from Riverdale and left the bodies in the house. They were covered in blood, mostly their arms and pants. When they took off their shoes, their socks had blood on them. Even their underwear had blood on them."
On the verge of tears, Sara stopped talking and looked away. She was bent over and wheezing like an old man with an ache in his belly. She was trying so hard not to cry, trying so hard to be mature. Whatever that means for a fifteen-year-old girl.
"Are you okay?" Gibson asked sympathetically.
Sara shook her head slowly, as if she were trying to dismiss the memory, then nodded she was okay. Looking up at the wide-eyed deputy standing across from her, she told him the last thing she remembered was seeing the bloody knife in their truck.
"They had about a seven-inch butcher knife on the floorboard. It had blood all over it. That's when I told them to leave and not come back. I was talking to my boyfriend on the phone and hung up with him. I laid my phone on the dash in their truck they were driving. When they were pulling out, I ran down the driveway and got my phone. I then lit a cigarette and threw the lighter in the woods. I got my phone and walked back to the house."
"What can you tell me about the truck?" Gibson asked.
"The truck belongs to Holly Harvey's grandparents," Sara said in a low voice. "Their names are Sarah and Carl Collier, I think. The truck was dark blue. Two-door. An extended cab. It was clean and looked almost new."
"Did you see which way they went when they left?"
Vague thoughts of which direction they were headed passed through her mind, but something else about what had happened was beginning to nibble more strongly at her. She thought about what might happen to her friends, then let it pass. Through her tears, she said, "No, sir, I'm not sure which way they went when they left."
The jackhammer in Sara's head had returned. She sat at a table across from Deputy Gibson, thinking about her friends and wiping the tears from her eyes. She showed him a picture of Sandy Ketchum, and for a moment, she fixed on the memory of her friend. Then her thoughts again panned back to all that had happened during the previous hours.
Holly Harvey! she suddenly thought, searching for an answer why all this had happened. It must have all been for Holly. Why else would Sandy have done this?
Chapter ThreeDeputy Gibson had been through this routine hundreds of times. Although he was confident Sara Polk was telling the truth, there was a possibility her two friends, for whatever reason, had made up the whole story. Gibson was aware that small pieces of information needed to connect someone to a crime often came to the police a little at a time, and sometimes that information revealed a person has fabricated the story. So it didn't surprise him when he relayed all the information garnered from Polk to the SCSO, only to learn from the dispatcher they could not locate anyone by the names of Carl and Sarah Collier residing in their jurisdiction.
Maybe this was some kind of sick practical joke? Just maybe they were trying to frighten this poor girl to death?
Over the years, Gibson had learned to expect the unexpected. There was only one way to find out for sure. He turned to Sara and asked if she had Sandy's cell phone number.
Sara was silent for a moment. Then a thought shot through her head like a meteorite, too bright and too quick to hold, but she caught the tail end of it. "I don't know her cell number, but I can punch star 69 on the phone and the number she called from will pop up."
"Would you mind calling Sandy and ask her for the names and addresses of the grandparents?"
Sara shrugged, her eyes sliding away. The deputy was asking her to call her friend and rat her out. That was a bitter pill to swallow.
"All I need is for you to tell her you want to make sure these are the deaths of the grandparents when they are reported on the TV news," Gibson added. He suspected Sara was reluctant to make the phone call.
With the approval of Sara's parents and Deputy Gibson, Sara walked to her bedroom, punched in *69, and waited for the number of her last incoming call to appear. The number to Sarah Collier's cell phone suddenly appeared on the small screen.
The call to Sandy Ketchum was not answered.
Sara stood nervously by the phone, suddenly aware that the room had grown deathly silent. A minute passed, then two, and by the third minute, her heart was whamming frightfully against her chest. She guessed this was going to be like some kind of surreal game of hide-and-seek, but felt she had to do something to help. Sara hit *69 again, but this time Sandy did answer.
"Sandy, there are reports all over the news about a double homicide," Sara said huskily, repeating exactly what Gibson had told her to say. Her mouth felt as if it had been stripped of its moisture; her words were dry and bare. "I just want to know if the people you said you killed were Holly's grandparents? Can you tell me what their names were?"
"Sarah and Carl Collier," Sandy answered in a flat and emotionless voice. "And they live on Plantation Drive in Riverdale up in Fayette County."
Tears blurred Sara's eyes. "Listen, Sandy, you better get out of town." When her friend didn't respond, she quickly asked in a whisper, "Which way are y'all headed?"
The phone suddenly went dead.
Somehow, Sara believed, Sandy must have caught on that she was working with the police. Sara redialed the number several times, but Sandy never answered.
Still dazed, Sara walked into the living room. Staring wildly at Deputy Gibson, she surrendered the information Sandy had given her, saying she recognized it as the names and the address of Holly's grandparents.
"A couple of weeks ago, Holly ran away from her home in Riverdale to be with Sandy in Griffin. I was there, that particular day, visiting Sandy at her mother's home. We finally convinced Holly she should call her grandmother and have her pick her up at Wal-Mart in Griffin, before she got in any further trouble. We waited with Holly in the Wal-Mart parking lot until Sarah Collier had arrived."
Sara paused for a moment and lowered her head to regain her composure. She then looked up, put her hand over her mouth, and said in a small, tearful voice, "I still remember what her grandmother looked like."
Deputy Gibson scribbled the Colliers' names and address on a piece of paper. He walked out to his patrol car and immediately contacted SCSO headquarters. At first the Riverdale Police Department (RPD) and the Clayton County Police Department (CCPD) had been contacted in an attempt to locate the Colliers' address. After they learned the residence was in Fayette County, the Spalding County 911 dispatcher alerted Fayette County 911, which, in turn, relayed the same information on to the Fayette County Sheriff's Office (FCSO).
The FCSO received the call in official police jargon at approximately 7:32 P.M. In layman's terms, the message was loud and clear: "We need a welfare check on two of your elderly residents. There's a possibility they have been stabbed to death."
Chapter FourThe town of Griffin, Georgia, is just off the beaten path, thirty-two miles south of downtown Atlanta. Since its inception in 1840, this railroad boomtown had grown from a little dot on the state road map into a thriving metro Atlanta suburb of twenty-two thousand people. Located in Spalding County, Griffin is some twenty miles south of Fayetteville.
In 1823, the town of Fayetteville was incorporated and made the county seat of neighboring Fayette County. Both the town and the county were named in honor of the Marquis De Lafayette, a French nobleman who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to fight with George Washington against England in the American Revolution. Built in 1825, Fayetteville's courthouse is the oldest in the state of Georgia.
Excerpted from ALL I WANT TO DO IS KILL by DALE HUDSON Copyright © 2007 by Dale Hudson. Excerpted by permission.
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