~Fairmount, the series: Pt. 7 ‘That Damned River’~

 

“Fairmount”

the series:

Pt. 7

‘That Damned River’

By

Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.

/*

The ides of December brought no new activity from the beast. The people went with their daily activities as they prepared for the upcoming Christmas and New Year Holiday events. The ranger and his team were mapping out strategies for their assault on the “Killer Kodiak.”

There weren’t any new signs or tracks to be followed along the banks of the Schuylkill River since the last attack. There were no signs of activity or attacks. Glenn and his team started their search at the last killing scene along the West River Drive in Fairmount Park. They contemplated setting up bait traps, steel claw traps, and prowler stations. The river was now in a state of sporadic ice packs scattered out on the water. Ice platforms gathered at the edge of the dam where the majestic view of the Art Museum peered out over the river. The mini glaciers piled up along the edge of the dam where the East and West River Drives meet in the park. A driveway bridge connected the two roads that allowed access into the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and I-95 corridor via route 676.

Snow began to fall at eleven a.m. on December Seventeen, a Saturday. It began to form heavy flakes at four p.m. The layer of snow on the ground measured at two and a half inches from the ground. At 6 p.m., the snow fell heavier and the layer on the ground exceeded the earlier measurement. The wind was mild. It blew about five to 10 miles an hour at a nor’ easterly direction that eventually blew nor’ westerly. The ranger wondered where this beast had gone. Did it just up and leave? Did it eat enough? Did it decide to hibernate? If so, where? “Where the fuck did it go?” He began to stare at the dam along the river and wondered about the pumping station wells underbellies.

The ranger shouted aloud…”Damn!” His staring at the river-dam evolved into an all-out eyeball examination of the location. He turned to one of site searching rangers with the communications backpack. It contained a field radio and satellite telephone. “Get the city archeological engineering department on the horn – I want to know what’s under this dam and pumping station shacks – pronto!”

The City of Philadelphia Records Department, city archives division, responded to the call almost immediately. They could not get the original plans out to him for fear of disintegration – exposure to air and light. The electronic facsimile was available but could not be made immediately available. It could take more than an hour to locate the electronic backup. The field unit also needed to get a notebook computer out to then as well. The portable computer delivery would not necessarily create a problem to dispatch… The date would. It was faster to go to the source – the records department at city hall. Glenn was just five miles away.

Sirens screamed down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Pavilion into the City Hall Courtyard. The police car drove directly up and onto the sidewalk surrounding the building – through the breezeway into the courtyard and entrance doors nearest the records department. Ranger Glenn exited the vehicle and dashed through the double doors into the first floor corridor. The records room was just off to the right. The records staff was ready and waiting. They were at the rangers beckon call. The data was being uploaded as Glenn and Police Sergeant Macauleany, the officer from the Smith Playground attack site, and a ranger lieutenant by the name of ‘Asa Wells’ stood by.

It was Lieutenant Wells who noted the fresh footprints in the old snow on the bike and jogger trail. The jogging trail continued into the other side of the river from under the overpass of the west river drive that lead down to the Southside of the Schuylkill River.

The prints in the snow were out of the team’s search area. They could not see them. The trail of prints was pounding a path in the direction of the Philadelphia Zoo.

At the records department, Glenn was able to pull up the archived data on the river’s dam. He was not surprised to discover an underpass right under the water at the dam’s edge. The underpass lay directly at the base of the dam. It is an existing access causeway for the construction crews to make repairs on the dam. No one ever realized such a space existed. It’s been there since the dam’s construction and has never been used. The records staff watched the ranger as he researched other unknown tunnels under the river and along its banks. They were surprised to see all sorts of underground passageways. These excavations were established about the time the dam was built by the “Free Masons of Pennsylvania.” The research brought to light, even more tunnels of ingress and egress points appeared throughout the city’s underground realm. The ranger instructed the department staff to make him copies of the maps immediately. They complied with an exuberant amount of excitement and pride in their ability to jump too in an emergency. The time was three forty five in the afternoon.

At five o’clock in the afternoon, staff of the Philadelphia Zoo, closed its gates for the day. At 10 p.m., one of the zoo guards was completing his 30-minute rounds. The guard who patrolled the area near the polar bear exhibit noticed their agitation. He thought it unusual. The bears are usually calm and settled at this hour. He made note of it on his report sheet attached to a clipboard. On his way to the brown bruins exhibit alarms rang throughout the establishment. They were quite loud. The surrounding neighborhood knew something was amiss when these alarms went off. It drove them out of their sleep…out of their beds.

The guard froze at the sounding of the alarm. The alarms screamed the scream of the wailing witches of Othello fame. The shipmates of Ulysses could bear witness to the screams. The ship in which they were traveling did crash because of it. The covering of their ears didn’t help either. Odysseus was warned of the screaming witches…the alarms of warning.

Realizing his ass was on the line should he shirk his duties, thought the guard. He recalled the fire. Members of an endangered species, a family group of six lowland gorillas, a family group of three orangutans, four white-handed gibbons, and ten lemurs (2 ruffed, 6 ringtail, and 2 mongoose), died in their sleep from smoke inhalation – carbon monoxide poisoning.

At about 10 pm., two security guards smelled smoke by the Philadelphia Zoo’s primate house as they made their rounds. This happened on Saturday December 24, 1995. They took no action. They dismissed the smell as coming from nearby trains on the railroad tracks as had happened frequently. Almost three hours later, at 12:40 a.m. Sunday, the guards returned and found flames on the roof. Fire and zoo officials pinned the blaze on an electrical malfunction caused by improperly installed wires that heated ceiling pipes. Snow on the roof of the 10-year-old World of Primates building muffled any noise that might have been produced by smoke alarms, and fire officials discovered upon investigation, no one who had heard them sound. This engagement happened within the walls of the world famous landmark.

The guard was not in the frame of mind to receive blame for any wrongdoing. He wanted to be recognized as a guard who was Johnny on the spot…proficient and steadfast. “Shit…they caught me once for sleeping on the overnight shift. Two years ago they caught me for drinking a fuckin beer on New Years Eve in the parking lot. It was my lunch break for Christ’s sake. Shit, I’ve got five fuckin years to lose…unemployment just ain’t gittin it!”

The frantic guard snapped too – and like greased lightning, he bolted towards the designated report station. Once there, another guard was dispatched to the power and alarm and shut-off terminal and grid shack. It’s still called the shack after the new building was erected since the fire. No longer was the guard focused on himself and his troubles. His mind was on his job performance and the saving of animals and zoo property. He thought of all the animals and his designated patrol area. The bear exhibit. The bears needed him.

*/

 

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~Fairmount The Series Pt. 6: “Physical Alterations”~

“Fairmount”

The Series

Part 6
“Physical Alterations”

By

Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.

http://www.BoulwareEnterprises.com

/*

“Well gentlemen, shall I enlighten our esteemed gatherers to you’re – shall I say, most recent activities?” The ranger smiled. The four zoo officials looked at one another. The mayor, the commissioners, and the three captains looked at them as well. They did not answer.

The ranger waited as he nodded to his colleagues. Professor Francis stood with several papers in her hand. “Madame Mayor, Commissioners, and Gentlemen of Our City’s Law Enforcement Community…I have documentation that supports a belief that our city zoo officials have first hand knowledge of counsel given and granted to a research project on the Alaskan Bear Project.” Genailia peered directly at the four learned and stunned men. She put down the papers and picked up a batch of photos. One by one, she passed them out to the panel members. They in turn viewed them while passing the pictures back to Genailia. The ranger said, “I’ll ask you once more…what in the hell have you all to do with this bear and its physical alterations?” He glared directly at the assumed leader of the group – Dr. Horatio Martin Mulberry, P.H.D., D.V.M. The dumbfounded group leader frowned and grew angry. “What are those damned papers in your possession?” The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine barked. His questioning demand was announced with ferociousness as his eyes narrowed and reddened with a cold and defiant stare. The evil eyes darted and fixed directly on Ranger Glenn after glancing off the two professors.

Gerald replied, “They are documentation and photographic proof of you and your revered colleagues’ involvement in this insidious experiment with wildlife manipulation!”

The three other officials, Dr. Stephen Lazzaro Steigleton, P.H.D., Dr. Martini Rossi Henrikson, P.H.D., and Lawrence Salzy McGorsky, Anthropologist, Archeologist and Doctor of Veterinary Science. Mulberry stood and motioned to the other zoo officials. They rose in tandem and filed out of the meeting room arena. In the corridor outside the mayor’s office was a contingent of reporters. They’d gotten wind of a heated discussion in connection with the mauling attacks of last month. One particular journalist found a way to listen in on the private conversation exclusively.

Salestian “Sally” Michaels was born and raised in Philadelphia. He got his start as a ‘South Philly’ newspaper boy. In the heart of the ‘Mafiosi’ community, Michaels shined shoes, ran errands, and did odd jobs for the guys. “Good Fellas” like Angel Brondidi and Nick “the Needle” Scarily. Sally, as his friends and adversaries called him, hung around the corner bars on Passyunk Avenue. The little Black Kid was a pest. But the guys liked him. Nobody dared call him ‘Nigger’ or “Lil Black Sambo.” Angie didn’t like it. The last man that did it went missing a couple of days later. He was found six months later. The body turned up while workers were rehabbing an old pier of the Tioga Docks on the Delaware River. The body was found in an old rusted out fifty-five gallon oil drum in the basement of one of the storage piers on site. He seemed to have a rather large clown like smile. It turned out to be a blood-coagulated slit from ear to ear, just under the chin. The lips were frozen shut around a sausage that was shoved in his mouth. He’d been there for some time. The coroner estimated a five to six month period. The drum, like many others, went unnoticed n the waterfront of the old docking pier that was mired and caked with sludge from oil off many barges docked at the old piers along the strait.

The missing man slapped Sally n the top of his head and kicked in the butt. Laughing with his friends, the drunken white man chided about the little nigger kid’s hanging out and panhandling for dimes and handouts. He said to his compatriots, “Look at them sambos…beggin and shinin for our hard-earned dough. The Black bastards ought to be lickin my spit and wiping my ass just for the privilege of lookin at me!”
But the dude messed with the wrong lil black kid. This kid was Angie’s kid – his protégé.

Michaels knew of a little closet-like door right next to the personal entrance to the mayor’s chambers. It was an old broom closet not in use for years. The walls were paper -thin. One of which rotted to the point of disintegration. It was due to be replaced and had been neglected for work elsewhere in City Hall. The reporter kept this accidental info to himself. He stumbled upon it one day while chasing a story. City Hall suffered a temporary blackout one summer during his first year of reporting. He stumbled upon the room in the dark while seeking the men’s restroom. Sally got wind of some of the best inside stories for a rookie reporter right from that little room. At the young age of eighteen, he got the job through an acquaintance of Angie’s. The guy owed Angie a couple of favors, so he hired Sally in order to appease his situation with the good fellow. He really didn’t like the kid because he was black…but he was Angie’s kid. From an errand boy in the copy room, Sally grew on Adam Silvestry. The two old guys sponsored and paid for Sally’s college education. After graduating Philadelphia University with a degree in Business Administration, Sally worked a few jobs around town. They were basically dead end jobs where many yes men hung out – hoping and kissing ass for promotions. Salestian wanted to write. He took a few journalism courses at Temple University and chased a few stories for the Globe. He was always under the watchful eye of Silvestry.

During a mayoral election, Sally got an inside scoop while hanging out with one of his Old Italian buddies. His buddy was a South Philly committeeman who had some pull around town. After his first feature story, Sally was hired full-time as a reporter for the Globe. From that point on, he was and had become an ace reporter as well as earning journalistic respect and town and in Camden too.
The inside scoop on this story will win him a Pulitzer Prize, he thought. He was enjoying the birds-eye view on this scoop – a big time story and its unfolding events.

Glenn said to the mayor, “The animal that we seek is a product of an insane experiment. The zoo guys are directly involved in it. They are manipulating plant and animal species for the purpose of stimulation and enlargement of growth. I suspect their capitalistic egos are tasting and smelling huge financial and notoriety gain – at the expense of the animals and us… Deaths be damned – its collateral damage in their eyes.”

“So what do we do about it?” Asked the mayor. “What do we do to get this animal and keep it from killing anyone else?”

“My team and I will deal with the animal. The question is what will you do in dealing with the assholes that brought this shit here?” Replied the ranger.

Finkles’ green eyes seemed to flash red. “OK men…that’s it…let’s get to work! I want this nightmare ended – give the ranger anything and everything he needs and or wants!” She paused and glared at the two captains. “And I mean everything!” She placed special emphasis on the word everything as she stormed out of the reception room through a door into the private mayoral chambers. Once there, she snatched the receiver of the telephone from its cradle. Buttons were punched feverishly. She was more than angry. She was pissed…totally. From outside of her chambers, the demanding and tumultuous screams could seemingly be heard throughout the city hall infrastructure. Professor Rockford just followed along in silence.

The police captains glared at each other while standing in place like pillars of salt. The commissioners nodded at one another upon departure from the meeting room. The ranger, Genailia, and Vernon were already descending the stairway from the top floor. They had no time to wait for elevators. Glenn was anxiously screaming orders to his pre-assembled team by way of two-way radio. He kept the unit on his holster attached to his belt, next to his cell phone. Genailia was anxiously giving directions to her staff via cell phone. Her administrative and investigative staff was centered and housed in the old “Germantown Hall” located at Germantown Avenue and Haines Street in the Germantown area of Philly. The 14th District was right next-door – it used to be housed within the Town Hall structure until they became separated with the construction of the new and modernized building, The command center of Captain Samuel!

Bk.Fairmount.FrtCvr_9.27.13

>

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*/

 

~”Fairmount” – the series Pt. 5: ‘The Myrtlewood Street Funeral’~

“Fairmount” 

The Series

Part 5

By

Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.

‘The Myrtlewood Street Funeral’

 

/*

Mayor Finkles, Commissioner Talis, Lieutenant Commissioner Talis, Fairmount Park Commissioner James L. Blake (the Fairmount Park Board of Commissioners was abolished a year ago-only one elected official exists), several members of City Counsel, four Police Captains – the 14th, 39th, 5th, and 55th districts – were in attendance of the funeral of Officer Scott Randolph. The second officer with his wife and psychiatrist were there too. He was placed on medical leave because he witnessed the horrible attack and suffered major anxiety attacks and nightmares from that infamous night a week and a half ago.

 

The news media swarmed the event. They surrounded Officer Leonard Kirkpatrick, his wife Evelyn, and his doctor – asking all kinds of questions while shoving microphones recorders and cameras in their faces. “What was it like to see your partner bitten in half by the beast?” “Why didn’t you shoot the monster when he attacked?” “What did the thing look like, officer?” “Why didn’t the thing eat the other half?” “How come you didn’t get eaten by the beast?” “Did the monster eat…?” “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE!” Screamed the inundated cop. Other officers in attendance to the funeral heard the commotion and came to his rescue. The group of relatively large cops escorted the overwhelmed man, while physically keeping the reporters at bay, and his companions across the street to their parked car. The doctor drove the weeping man and his wife away from the barrage of demanding questioners. Officer Kirkpatrick was the third cop to show on the  West River Drive scene. He saw the monster attack and devour the two officers. He arrived just after the beast had walked off. He had no direct contact with the assailant. The bloody testament would remain with him for the rest of his life.

 

Standing on the other side of the street from the Northeast Funeral Parlor was Ramses Irvin. He attended the funeral services of both attack victims, Czerpaky and Randolph. His brother Akeem, Uncle Rue McCallister, and a few of the men accompanied the father of the slain boy from their neighborhood. The group of Black men crossed the street to where the reporters were congregating. Ramses grabbed one of the reporters, who happened to be a white female. The group of cops stopped their conversation to watch the confrontation. The embittered father demanded a verbal response from the journalist. “WHY WEREN’T YOU PEOPLE ASKING QUESTIONS WHEN MY BOY WAS KILLED?” “WHY IS IT THESE QUESTIONS ARE ADDRESSED AFTER MY SON WAS KILLED BY THIS THING?” “WHY WEREN’T YOU ALL FALLING ALL OVER YOURSELVES WHILE INVESTIGATING MY BOYS KILLING?” Ramses got the attention of all the reporters present. “WAS IT BECAUSE THIS IS THE FUNERAL OF A WHITE NORTHEAST COP AS OPPOSED TO A LITTLE BLACK BOY FROM NORTH PHILLY?” Screamed the distraught teary-eyed father. “I WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS…LINDSEY WAS A HUMAN BEING TOO!” Said Ramses.

 

Prior to the funeral, the mayor wanted to hear what Ranger Glenn had to report. She was dressed in a pastel color of lime green…a pants suit and white blouse with black patent leather pumps on her feet. Modest looping ivory earrings draped her ear lobes. Her flaming shoulder length red hair was nicely arranged. The meeting attendees – Police Commissioner Tanex, Lieutenant Commissioner Talis, Fairmount Park Commissioner Blake were adorned in business suits of brown to navy blue suits, shirts of white and color coordinated ties. The police commanders dressed in the formal uniforms indicating their respective rankings. The meeting was held at the mayor’s office on the seventh floor of city hall. The meeting time was set for 10:A.M. The ranger had not yet appeared. The group was becoming noticeably agitated.

 

10:22 A.M. arrived when the striking 6ft.1’, square jawed, raven-black curly and flowing manned, well-muscled man of about 230 lbs swaggered into the room. Ranger Glen was accompanied by the beautiful olive brown complected, slender framed, crowned with waste length silky brown hair, thirty-ish Professor Genailia Francis. She wore very little makeup…not that she needed any…a natural beauty indeed. She was dressed in a modest maroon colored business suit with a skirt that was gifted by a pair of long well shaped legs and beautifully tapered ankles that settled into a pair of comfortable black soft leather shoes. Professor Vernon Rockford, a stocky but stout and healthy looking elderly gentleman in nicely fitted eyeglasses that portrayed intelligent eyes, dressed in an outdated brown pin-striped suit with a greenish spotted tie, atop a yellowish shirt and ending ensemble of brown wing-tipped loafers covering his feet, brought up the rear of the trio.

 

The three, two unexpected, professionals approached the table that faced the podium of the mayor’s audience chamber. The table was backed by several chairs, which the trio pulled out and sat upon after they rested their briefcases and several manila envelopes. They offered no apologies for arriving late to the meeting. Ranger Glenn made it very clear that he had lost his patience for the mayor’s party and the mismanagement of the situation at hand. He began to explain his investigative research trip to Alaska, Canada, and New York as well as speculative opinions of wildlife experts, game wardens, and other rangers regarding the recent attacks within the city’s parkland.

 

Before he could continue, the chamber doors burst opened…exposing Philadelphia Zoo Officials, its CEO and curator. The group demanded to know why they hadn’t been invited to this meeting. The ranger addressed the usurpers…”because you don’t know shit about this animal – or do you? He said with an accusing arrogance. The zoo officials stopped talking and seated themselves in the seats of the meeting room gallery. The ranger had their full attention.

 

The separate groups, all seated, began to listen to the ranger’s report and investigation conclusions. Ranger Glenn passed out hard copy printouts of the report to the panel. This maneuver allowed visual aid; insuring the comprehension and confirmation of information to be shared. The report also contained various photographs and wildlife leaflets of advertisements for fishing, camping, and boating trips.

 

The report states the following:

 

“Alaska is renowned for its wildlife viewing as perhaps no other place on earth. Viewing of Kodiak bears, schools of spawning salmon so thick you can almost walk on them, giant moose, vast herds of caribou, pure white tail sheep, whales of various species, puffins, seals and walrus,” said the ranger.

 

Kodiak Island:

Kodiak, Alaska, for brown bear viewing; Aniak Alaska, Fishing and Hunting, in remote regions of Western and Southwestern Alaska with experienced bush pilot. Fishing for salmon, trout, pike, grayling and shellfish. Hunting for brown grizzly bear, moose, and caribou; including river rafting, wildlife viewing, and backpacking trips in remote regions of Western and Southwestern Alaska.

 

Anchorage, Alaska:

Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city and the gateway to a state full of adventure. Fairbanks, the Golden Heart of the Interior – Juneau is Alaska’s capital.

 

Talkeetna, Alaska:

Located in the heart of Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska’s finest stream & lake fishing for king, red and silver salmon, arctic grayling and rainbow trout; Fly-fishing Kennebec River.

 

Denali:

Denali National Park is home to the tallest mountain in North America and an impressive array of wildlife.

 

Glacier Bay:

At Glacier Bay, you can see tidewater glaciers and kayak through valleys and fjords carved by retreating glaciers. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Mountains, mines and glaciers are key to the largest national park, a world unto itself.

 

Kenai Fjords:

This national park is perfect for wildlife viewing and kayaking near a glacier.

 

National forests:

Alaska’s two national forests are great for fishing, hunting, or mountain biking. The state has over 100 state parks and recreation areas for camping, fishing or a picnic. Brown, black and polar bear species enthrall visitors to the state. Alaska has flourishing populations of all three North American bears – brown, black and polar. Brown bears are famous for their salmon-fishing antics, their size and their ferocity. On Kodiak Island, browns grow to 1,200 pounds or larger because of the easy supply of salmon and the mild winters. Although many people fear the hump-shouldered bears – and rightly so – careful behavior in bear territory makes bruin viewing safe in such widely scattered places as Denali National Park, McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, Katmai National Park, Hyder’s Fish Creek and the Anan Creek and Pack Island bear observatories. Occasional browns wander out of Chugach State Park and into Anchorage and its suburbs.

 

“The distinction between brown and grizzly bears is geographical. Brown bears that live close to the coast are called brown bears. Browns living inland and in northern lands, such as Denali, are called grizzlies,” Glenn said. “They share the scientific name Ursus arctos.”

 

Professor Genailia Francis added, “Black bears are smaller than browns and also cover a great deal of the state. Their fur color isn’t always black; it may even appear brown, cinnamon or (rarely) blue.”

 

“Black bears may be seen feeding on salmon at Anan Creek, but they’re common enough in Juneau, Seward and parts of Anchorage to be considered pests. A male bear that’s ready for hibernation may weigh 240 pounds. The scientific name is Ursus americanus,” she said.

 

“Polar bears inhabit the northern coastline, living on pack ice much of the year in search of ringed seals to eat. These long-necked bears often visit coastal towns such as Barrow and Point Hope and move as far south as the Kuskokwim Delta. Mature males reach 1,200 pounds. The scientific name is Ursus maritimus,” interjected Professor Vernon Rockford.

 

The report continued…

 

Bears of the Interior:

Denali National Park is a great place for viewing grizzlies.

 

Bears of Northern Alaska:

Polar and grizzly bears can be seen in Northern Alaska.

 

Bears of western Alaska:

Western Alaska is famous for its brown bears.

 

Bears of Southeast Alaska:

There are three great locations for viewing black and brown bears.

 

Bears of South-central Alaska:

Bears can be seen in the zoo as well as in the wild.

 

The hard copy print out showed a wildlife reporters rendition:

 

A bear hunter in Alaska holds the paw of a bruin with 3- to 4-inch claws. The hunter sent a message to the U.S. Forest Service in Juneau with attached photos of a grizzly killed in Prince William Sound in the fall of 2001. Other reporters wanted to know if the photographs were real.  “Are you able to verify for us that they are indeed genuine and true?”

 

“Forest Service Officials marveled at how giant bruins grow,” stated the Anchorage Daily News reporter.

 

“Think about it. This thing on its hind legs could walk up to the average single-story house and could look on the roof at eye level.” There was never a question that the brown bear that a 22-year-old hunter shot to death in October 2001 on Hinchinbrook Island was huge. The grizzly measured 10 feet, 6 inches from nose to tail. Its front claws were 3 to 4 inches long. An Alaska master guide estimated the bear’s weight at up to 1,200 pounds. (The average brown bear weight for Hinchinbrook is less than half that.) One photo shows the hunter holding the bear’s paw as it obscures almost his entire chest. A second photo shows him crouching like a child behind the bear’s massive, bloody head. It’s over one thousand six hundred pounds . . . 12’6” high at the shoulder,” stated the reporter.

 

“The young hunter was stationed at the time at Eielson Air Force Base. He shot it while deer hunting with several partners. The Anchorage Daily News published the story about the kill in December 2001 accompanied by the two photos taken by one of Winnen’s partners, an Eielson Staff Sgt. Print and TV reporters wanting to know if the story was true. They’ve gotten calls from media all over the world regarding the bear shoot. People who are skeptical and want confirmation of their doubts. About 30 percent of the messages come from hunters who are all but certain the tale is a tall one,” according to the reporter.

 

Somewhat concerned over the circumstances of the bear’s death, the story morphed into what terms as an urban myth – about a killer beast taken down by a Forest Service employee. According to the men on the hunt, “they were out deer hunting when a large world class Griz charged from about 50 yards away,” according to one of the hunting party members. “The guy unloaded a 7mm Mag Semi-auto into the bear and it dropped a few feet from him. This thing was still alive, so he reloaded and capped it in the head. It’s a world record. It’s been reported to the authorities, this bear, had killed a couple of other people. The Forest Service’s Web site provides a news release about the hunt and the rumors. But now a third photo is making the rounds, a picture that shows a person’s body, the bear’s victim,” the reporter said.

 

Another reporter said. “I have no doubt the Internet is keeping the story of the killer bear moving.” (Anchorage Daily News reporter 907-257-4582. This story was published May 7, 2003).

 

Here’s the story as told by the hunter, a 22-year-old crewmember of the 18th Fighter Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks.

 

“Four hunting buddies were dropped off on Hinchinbrook Island in the heart of Prince William Sound by an air taxi on a cool, rainy Oct. 14 morning. Hinchinbrook is a 165-square-mile island near Cordova with an estimated population of about 100 brown bears, giving it the distinction of harboring the highest density of bears of any island in the Sound,” according to the reporter. The reporter continued, “A Cordova area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game was also informed of the kill. Four to six bears are killed by hunters on the island every year, though rarely one of more than 400 pounds. The hunters weren’t there to hunt bear. Instead, the hunting buddies packed for a week of hunting for Sitka blacktail deer on the remote, wooded island. They did, however, pick up a permit to shoot a bear just in case.”

 

Reading further of the hard copy information…

 

Loaded for bear:

On day two of the group’s hunt, the skies cleared at 8:30 a.m. The three hunters and the Eielson Staff Sgt. set out to follow a creek bed upstream looking for deer. One of the men was carrying a .300-caliber Winchester Magnum. Another was carrying a significantly more powerful .338-caliber Winchester Magnum in case a bear crossed their path. In the creek, they spotted a deep pool with 20 salmon circling.

 

‘’By this time, the … run was over and the salmon were looking pretty nasty,’’ the first hunter said. ‘’We started thinking that we were looking at a bear’s dinner plate.’’ That got the group in ‘’bear mode.’’ Two of the men continued following the creek upstream until they came to a small island ringed with thick brush. Some end-of-season blueberries clung to the surrounding brush. In the middle of the island was a spruce tree larger than what a man could fit his arms around. At the base of the tree were signs that an animal had tried to dig a hole. About 9:30 a.m., the first man glanced upstream. Forty yards away was a big brown bear with all four paws in the creek, flipping over logs looking for salmon,” said the hunter. ‘’He’s a shooter,’’ the second man said under his breath.

 

‘’So I started getting in the zone,’’ said the first hunter. ‘’When I am going to take an animal, I am really concentrating. We racked shells into our guns and took off our packs and left them by the tree.’’ The hunters stated that they moved a few feet upstream. About halfway between them and the bear was a large fallen tree. The first hunter said, “When the bear crawls over that log, he will present his vital areas and we’ll take him,” he recalled. ‘’I brought the rifle up to take a shot, but the bear moved over the log like it wasn’t there. I didn’t have a chance to get a shot off.’’

 

As the bear kept coming along the creek, the two hunters momentarily lost sight of him in a thicket, so they retreated back to the big spruce.

 

‘’We were sitting there concentrating when, a few seconds later, he pops up right in front of us, about 10 yards away and he was coming toward us,’’ the second hunter said. ‘’I don’t know if the wind was in our favor or what. We were dressed in camouflage. He might not have seen us.’’

 

‘’I put the scope on him. I wanted to hit him in the chest, but all I seen was nothing but head,” said the first man. My partner said, “Shoot! Shoot!’’ ‘’I aimed for his left eye, but the bullet takes an arc and I hit about two inches low in the side of his muzzle and into his brain. He buckled backwards and raised his head like he was going to howl at the moon, but nothing came out,’’ according to the first hunter. ‘’I put two more rounds in the vital area, then three more after that. Six total. It was amazing” “We watched for a few minutes, I reloaded and my partner brought his gun up on him,’’ he said. ‘’I approached from the rear and poked him in the butt to see if he was going to jump, but he didn’t move. He was dead.’’ ‘’It was amazing when I got close to him,’’ the first hunter said. ‘’I picked up the paw and it was like, ‘good God.’ The thing was as wide as my chest.’’

 

The two hunters spent a fair amount of time getting photos of the bruin. One photo shows his statement is no exaggeration. The paw is almost as wide as the hunter’s chest and sports 3- to 4-inch-long claws. A Master U.S. Forest Service guide said he was impressed with the group’s story.

 

‘’Sounds like he did everything perfectly,’’ Gerald Glenn said of the reported incident. ‘’I can’t overemphasize how many people screw that up, even after you explain it to them.”

 

According to the news report, after the kill, the men spent six hours skinning the bear – and trying to drag its hide and skull back to the Forest Service cabin they had rented. The meat was left behind because grizzly meat is generally considered inedible. Assuming the bear’s hide weighed more than 200 pounds. They took turns carrying it, but eventually put it on a tarp and tried dragging it together. When they were within a half-mile of the cabin, they summoned their hunting partners and the Eielson Staff Specs. And a flight chief based at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage. The hunters spent the next three days at the cabin working with his knife to scrape fat from the hide. He packed the hide with salt for the return trip to Fairbanks.

 

Once back, the shooter took the hide and skull to the state Department of Fish and Game to get it sealed, as required by law. Unofficially, Fish and Game records show, the skull scored 28 and 8/16 inches. Skulls are scored for size by combining the width plus the length. The skull of this particular bear was 10 11/16 inches wide and 17 13/16 inches long. This is called a green score, which is the unofficial score until the skull dries and can be remeasured. The Boone and Crockett Club, which uses a 16th-of-an-inch measurement system to keep records on the biggest animals shot in the world, requires that bear skulls dry for 60 days before an official measurement is made. A tooth was pulled from the jaw of the skull by a state biologist so the bear can be aged. One of the Biologists said he suspects the bear was 15 to 20 years old. He added that the bear was no stranger to guides who know the area. ‘’One of our local guides has been after it a couple of times,’’ she said. ‘’Its luck finally just ran out.’’

 

Bears are hard to hunt on the brushy and heavily wooded island, the biologist said, because the season doesn’t open until Oct. 15, after the salmon run is over. The bears have largely dispersed from salmon streams by then, making them harder to find. World-class brown bear, the hide measures 10 feet, 6 inches from nose to tail. While it is impossible to know exactly how much the bear weighed, master guide Want has measured and weighed dozens of Kodiak brown bears over the years. Based on the measurements and information he got from Winnen, he suspects the bear weighed between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds. By any standards, that’s a world-class brown bear. All brown bears taken with skulls that score over 28 inches are eligible for listing with Boone and Crockett, the official record keeper for North American trophy hunters.

 

In Alaska, the biggest brown bears are found on Kodiak Island and the Alaska Peninsula. The record Alaska brown bear – killed on Kodiak Island in 1952 – had a skull that scored 30 12/16. Only 19 bears have been shot with skulls that scored over 30 inches since the early 1900s, according to Boone and Crockett. ‘’Twenty-eight is the magic line,’’ said another examiner. ‘’Anything over 28 inches has everyone sitting up and taking notice.’’ The fact that this bear came from Prince William Sound makes it even more remarkable, the examiner added. “Once a hunter told me that he’d shot the biggest damn bear he’d ever seen, after the bear drops, they stand up and pat themselves on the back, and the animal gets up and takes off while they are standing there.”

 

‘’This bear is exceptional. It’s unbelievably unusual,’’ one of the guides said. ‘’It’s safe to say that it is more than double the average size of brown bear coming out of Prince William Sound.’’ The years between 1970 to 1999, about 600 male brown bears were killed in Prince William Sound, according to state Fish and Game records. Of those, only two had skulls that scored more than 28 inches. The vast majority had skulls that scored 22 to 23 inches. Bears with heads that size, typically weigh 350 to 400 pounds, they added.

“The hunter is having the skull preserved and mounted on a plaque. The hide is with a taxidermist, being made into a rug. With the small rooms in base housing, it’ll be more like wall-to-wall carpeting,” the first hunter said. “Meanwhile, the e-mails keep circulating. The genesis appears to have been a radio talk show in Fairbanks on which the four men appeared. Photos from the hunt showed up later on the radio show’s Web site. And that appears to have been what got the Internet humming,” the second hunter said. ‘’I can guarantee you, in a year or two, someone will tell him (the shooter) how big the bear was and it will be up to 1,800 pounds. And when he tries to correct them, they will call him a liar.’’

 

Statistics for the brown bear taken on Hinchinbrook Island in October 2001:

 

  • 1,000-1,200 lbs. – Estimated weight

 

  • 15-20 years – Estimated age

 

  • 10’ 6’’ – Hide measurement from nose to tail

 

  • 10 11/16’’ – Skull width

 

  • 17 13/16’’ – Skull length

 

  • 28 8/16’’ – Skull score (length and width combined)

 

  • 30 12/16’’ – North American record brown bear skull score

 

  • 19 – The number of bear skulls with a score above 30’’ in Alaska since 1904

 

(This story first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News.)

>

(Leon Unruh / Alaska.com, reports…) Bears of the Interior/Alaska.com:

 

Denali shuttles carry passengers into grizzly-viewing country for many people; Denali National Park offers the most reliable chance to see bears. Although other wild areas have more bears and greater concentrations of them, those areas often require an expensive boat or plane trip. Denali, however, is just a two-hour drive from Fairbanks and a four-hour drive from Anchorage and is reachable by plane, train and bus. Denali has 300 to 350 grizzlies on the north side of the Alaska Range and an undetermined number on the roadless, undeveloped south side. The south side has some salmon streams and may support more bears than the relatively bleak north side. Studies are being performed to determine the number of bears. Most visitors see the bears by riding on shuttle or other tour buses along the park’s single road into the back country, a 95-mile adventure of mostly gravel road that slips across valleys and along cliffs to Wonder Lake and then Kantishna. Because human interaction is kept to a minimum, the bears are still the king of the open tundra and wander curiously and unafraid across the land and sometimes up to the buses.

 

Unlike Katmai National Park, McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, Pack Creek or Anan Creek wildlife areas, Denali has no “bear viewing area.” The bears don’t congregate because there’s no centrally located food source, such as a salmon stream. Denali’s grizzlies – the visible ones – don’t have a high-protein diet that includes salmon. They get most of their food from plant roots and berries and from catching small animals and occasionally moose and caribou. (Sometimes bus riders get to watch a moose-bear battle unfold). The grizzlies have blonde coats, are smaller than their coastal counterparts and are sometimes called Toklat grizzlies, after one of the park’s large river valleys.

 

Professor Francis added, “Bears appear just about anywhere in the park. Especially in the backcountry and in closed-in areas (such as trails through streamside willow breaks), hikers should take precautions such as making plenty of noise and watching that they don’t surprise a bear. Hikers who cross between a sow and cubs face great danger. Bear-resistant food containers are required for backcountry campers. The containers can be rented in Anchorage or borrowed from the Backcountry Desk at the Denali visitor’s center. Denali also has black bears, particularly in forested areas and not so much along the Park Road. Campgrounds may be visited by black bears.”

 

“Bears of Northern Alaska…Big white, brown bruins patrol the Arctic. Polar and grizzly bears are present in Arctic Alaska, which covers the upper third of the main part of the state. Polar bears are considered marine mammals because of the amount of time they spend on the Arctic Ocean’s pack ice and in the water chasing ring seals. Occasionally they come into coastal towns and villages such as Barrow, Wainwright, Point Hope and Kaktovik. The best viewing time is during the spring and fall whaling seasons, when whale carcasses may attract bears to shore. Visitors should be aware that polar bears have no fear of humans. Bears have walked into villages and field camps and have killed several people and mauled others. Hikers must be alert, and Halloween has sometimes been postponed in Barrow when bears posed a danger to trick-or-treaters,” stated Professor Vernon Rockford – the teaching Professor and Carnivore Expert.

 

“Barrow, the country’s northernmost town, is reached by commercial air service from Anchorage and Fairbanks. Expect to pay Alaska Airlines between $440 and $570 for a round trip in summer. Kaktovik, on Barter Island just north of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, is reachable from Fairbanks; expect to pay about $640 for a round trip on Frontier Flying Service. Barrow, which is also a destination for birders, has several hotels and restaurants. Taxi drivers can take visitors to likely polar bear-viewing areas in season. Kaktovik has accommodations that are more modest and local residents may be persuaded to take visitors on a tour. Grizzly bears are found in the Brooks Range and other mountains in the southern Arctic region. Hunters and raft riders along the Noatak River often meet up with grizzlies. In Gates of the Arctic National Park, adventurers are encouraged to carry bear-resistant food containers. Sharp-eyed travelers along the Dalton Highway may see bears,” said Gerald Glenn – Forrest Ranger.

 

The hard copy report continued to show more data on Bears of Western Alaska:

 

Katmai, Kodiak and McNeil River offer outstanding encounters.

 

Western Alaska – specifically, southwestern Alaska and Kodiak Island – is famous for its brown bears. Some are giants.

 

Katmai National Park, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and McNeil River State Game Sanctuary give observers great – and generally safe – close-up looks at bears weighing more than 1,000 pounds as they feed on salmon heading upstream.

 

Gerald Glenn continued his report to the panel, “Reaching these locations requires a flight to the Alaska Peninsula or a plane or ferry ride to Kodiak; they’re not on the highway system connecting Anchorage, Fairbanks and Homer. Small planes ferry passengers to Katmai and McNeil River from Anchorage, Kenai and Homer.”

 

“Visitors to the parks and refuges can camp, stay in public use cabins or live in relative luxury at wilderness lodges. Although the bears may be entertaining, they’re also wild animals and dangerous, as rangers and lodge owners will warn visitors. Sometimes hunters get good looks at enormous bears – and some nearly lose their lives. Nevertheless, following general precautions can make bear viewing safe,” he said.

 

The ranger continued, “Bears of Southeast Alaska, Brown and Black species thrive along inside and along passages on many trails. Southeast Alaska has three accessible viewing locations for viewing brown and black bears. Anan Creek on the roadless mainland southeast of Wrangell. Pack Creek on Admiralty Island west of Juneau and Fish Creek near Hyder, northeast of Ketchikan on the Portland Canal. Fish Creek is the only site accessible by road, but it’s still somewhat off the beaten path. Hyder is in extreme southeastern Alaska and is reachable by road only through Stewart, British Columbia. Fish Creek is freely accessible. Visitors to Pack Creek and Anan Creek will need permits in addition to transportation by air or water taxi.”

 

A further report by Leon Unruh (Alaska.com), on Bears of South-central Alaska states:

 

Bruins appear in Anchorage zoo; on trails and along streams, Wild bears sometimes appear on the fringes of Anchorage, where the city adjoins the sprawling Chugach State Park. Children walking to school in Anchorage, Eagle River and Girdwood occasionally see black bears near the schools. Bears, mostly black, raid garbage cans and chicken coops and eat dog food carelessly left outside overnight. In Seward, hungry and curious bears appear out of the Resurrection River Valley and other “bear highways. Bears also pop in on Cordova and Valdez, among other South-central towns.

 

Most of the time, black bears are reluctant to meet people and can be shooed away. Juneau has particular problems with its numerous black bears, however. The city even created a committee to deal with the bears. Hikers in Chugach State Park, Chugach National Forest and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge need to be aware of bear habits and habitat. Bears show up during the salmon runs, usually mixing peacefully with anglers. Look for bear warning signs along the Kenai, Russian and Little Susitna rivers and along many creeks and trails with road access.

 

Homeowners and wildlife officers shoot several bears each year in defense of property, and many other bears are tranquilized and moved out of the area. Each species of bear is represented at the Alaska Zoo in South Anchorage.

 

Although bears species usually aren’t mixed, the Alaska Zoo in South Anchorage has had great success with Ahpun and Oreo. Two cubs – one polar, one brown – grew up together and until May 2003 shared a large enclosure. Both bears frolicked in the pool, which is deep enough to allow underwater viewing through thick windows. But Oreo, the brown bear, started showing a mean streak, so each of the two bears now gets the run of the cage on a split shift. Other sections of the zoo have brown and black bears, as well as a blue-tinted variety of black bear known as a glacier bear.

 

The Alaska Zoo is located at 4731 O’Malley Road, about two miles east of the Seward Highway. Look for the blinking light above the road at the zoo entrance.

 

The mayor, appearing perplexed, paradoxed, disconcerted, and satisfied wanted to also know how this beast was to be dealt with. She looked directly a Glenn…and then at Talis. Her denoted glare returned to Glenn. “What would you suggest we do about this animal – sir?” Talis moved to respond. Finkles threw up a hand with all five digits to signal a halt to the interruption. “I can stalk and trap this creature with a certain level of assistance,’ replied the ranger. Without looking for confirmation from the commissioner, Captain Samuel assured the ranger of his support. Captain Noodles barked, “You have no authority to offer anything to this man!” The two captains glared at one another, one was filled with hatred and bitterness toward the other. Captain Samuel looked to his commissioner for support. The commissioner, in his usual divergence and belied acquiescence, gazed vicariously elsewhere. Mayor Finkles deftly replied, “Yeah, but I do!” The mayor beamed a sardonic, dour, and non-faggoted glare at the commissioner and offending captain, well aware of their canted behavior and practices.

 

“We need to deploy all resources in the capture and removal of this animal…at all cost.” She fiercely replied to the oppositional attitude of Noodles’ baneful disposition.

 

The cop sneered and steered his gaze towards the commissioner. Talis just stood there. He appeared to be a military type style of attention. The mayor had complete control over the situation. “Let’s hear it, Ranger!” The mayor sat down amongst the commissioners and zookeepers.

 

“While I was in Alaska, there was talk of a group of foreign speaking men. The locals referred to them, as German or Russian sounding…could’ve been Yugoslavian – I don’t know. These individuals got off a bus – a Greyhound or Trailways or something…a caravan of about fifteen or more trucks – the tractor-trailer type – and vans came barreling down the highway. They were all painted black. They stopped and picked up these foreign guys. The foreign guys, about six of em…looked like professors of some sort.” The ranger stood and walked around the table to which his entourage sat. He positioned himself in the center of the room. He stood atop the Mayoral Municipal Insignia for the City of Philadelphia. Glenn faced the mayor sitting with the commissioners and zookeepers seated on the right…Genailia and Vernon, to the left. “This black vehicle caravan disappeared in the region beyond Kodiak Island. It’s been said, they’ve never been seen since.” The mayor asked, “How long has it been since this group is suspected of supposedly not being seen by the locals?” “This sighting occurred about three years ago,” said the ranger. Gerald stood erect and strong in his appearance. His muscular frame was in a relaxed stasis as his gaze bemused, swept the people in attendance. Glenn continued explaining what the locals of Kodiak and Aniak, Alaska, told him. He stood in an august fashion. The attention of the audience was completely his to enlighten. With further consternation, the ranger apprised them of his investigation of factual implications.

 

“These so-called professionals,” he stated, “were brought to that location to perform experiments on the animals of that region.” What type of experiments were not known, thought Glenn. The ranger continued speaking. He spoke of several hunter-trappers who were included in this party of clandestine black vehicle trekkers. Their equipment, mainly bear traps were being off-loaded from the trucks. Teams of hunters fanned out throughout the area encircling Kodiak Island, according to the locals. “Now if I saw what these guys were doing…was I supposed to doubt the word of the local inhabitants?” The ranger thought out loud, “It takes about a couple of years for a bear cub to start maturing – can you imagine what kind of things mad-scientists could do to change things on the planet?”

 

“If they are working for the government or some secretive DNA sadist group, what would they be doing to the bears and their cubs? I’ve seen one of their teams at a secluded and highly dense area on Kodiak Island, bring a full- grown Kodiak bear into one of the metal buildings. The bear appeared to be sedated while lying in the larger than usual steel cage. The cage was atop a large open bed black colored truck with an attached crane on the backend. They have three maybe four single floored metal fabricated structures in their camp. I believe they are laboratories,” said Glenn. “What in the hell were they going to do with that bear?”

 

The bear in the park is a monster. I suspect that it is also a product of the surreptitious people within that encampment,” exclaimed the ranger. The ranger vehemently expressed his belief.  “I believe that this bear is an experiment that has gone wrong…because it has escaped and is now here with us – eating, living, and hunting.”

 

“The only way to kill it and/or capture it is to find out what’s in it…what’s been done to it…what made it so big…and what is its weakness? In all probability, its intelligence has been altered as well!” The ranger turned his statuesque form to face the representatives of the Philadelphia Zoo. He focused a stoic stare that brought a peevish blush to their faces. “What kind of shit are you putting in these bears?” “What kind of shit is in this bear, fellas?” “What in God’s name are you all up to?” “Tell us now…now before someone else is mauled to death by your damned meddling with nature and God!”

 

Til Next Time…

 

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“Fairmount” – The Series Part 3

 

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“Fairmount” 

The Series

Pt. 3: ‘A Sweet Briar License’

By

Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.

The news media took the ball and ran with it. The headlines blasted the story of the attack of Czepaky and her children on the front pages of their respective papers. Television news programs portrayed the mother and her children as their leading news story. Radio news did likewise. And still they did not mention Lindsey Irvin.

The zoo officials blasted Professor Rockford’s account of a creature the size and magnitude as described. “It is impossible for a bear to be roaming around in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park…even with its vast resources and acreage. A Kodiak Bear is highly unlikely to be roaming about in this part of the country. It’s the middle of November for Christ Sake…bears hibernate in the winter.” A reporter from one of Philly’s papers was hanging around after the mayor’s meeting. The reporter fired a question to the zoo official. “How do you explain the attack on the woman and her kids?” “And what about the little Black Kid that was killed a few weeks ago?” “You did say bears hibernate in the winter…what about Professor Rockford’s explanation of bears stirring and taking a walk while sleeping in the winter?” “What about the people who saw the thing…how do you explain all that?” The zoo officials walked out of the room and down the stairway to the parking area. The reporter headed towards the police commissioner who was standing just outside the Mayor’s Office, a few feet from the meeting room. He then asked the commissioner about the way the meeting was held. “Commissioner Talis, do you think the meeting was utilized for public safety or for personal gain?” Talis glared at the reporter who also attracted other reporters that were hanging about in the corridor. He thought carefully before answering, “I think the mayor knows what she is doing. However, I feel that it should have been handled a bit more privately – my concerns are public safety – public panic…especially with the upcoming walk-athons, regattas, and general park users. I’m afraid of public panic over this situation. Personal gain is not on my agenda…now if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.” The reporter fired back while pursuing the commissioner to the official user’s elevator, “what did you think about the professors’ presentation…what about the Black Kid?” The commissioner answered, “the presentation was informative…I could have gotten that stuff from the zoo people”…the elevator doors closed. The reporter, himself Black, wondered about today’s events as he double-checked his digital voice recorder. He also wondered, while walking down the stairwell of City Hall, how the family of Lindsey Irvin was dealing with the latest attack.

A heavy police presence saturated both sides of the Schuylkill River, from the East Falls Bridge to the Art Museum and Eakins Oval. The Marine Unit of The Philadelphia Police Department could not find anything that would indicate the whereabouts of the bear or the body of he suspected dead teenager. The order was given to start a diving search and rescue effect. “We don’t expect to find the boy alive, “ said one team commander to another diving squad commander. “But we do expect to find his body.” Two divers were set to go into the water. Assistant team members double-checked their gear. They made sure that the underwater radios and flashlights were operating correctly. The divers entered the water under the Girard Avenue Bridge, just down river from the viewing stand and Goose Island, which sat smack in the middle of the river directly across from the viewing stand automobile parking lot. Another set of divers was preparing to enter the water from up-stream, the East Falls Bridge shoreline. The first set of divers reached Goose Island while police water craft motored above, from one end of the river to the other. The first set of divers dove deep into the river bottom and root of the island. The murky water disclosed various underwater caves around the perimeter or the island. “There’s a bunch of cave openings at the center and bottom of the island, Sergeant Miller,” said the first diver. “Besides a bund of fish and fowl carcasses, car parts, a car chassis, tree limbs, and other debris…I’d like to see what’s in one of these caves.” “Make sure your partner keeps watch behind you, diver…I don’t want any mishaps down there.” I’m dispatching a couple of boats to monitor above you while you’re in there.” “Go ahead and investigate the cave,” said the sergeant. The diver signaled to his partner to watch his back. The first diver entered the water, climbing over large tree roots and stumps, he was careful to stay afloat…the muddy river bottom was like quicksand. In an attempt to stand, the officer’s feet made contact with the rivers muddy bottom. The muck seemed to envelope his entire foot and leg as it virtually sucked him downward into the mire. The muck seemed to suck down anything that made contact with it. The diver shined his light up and down and side-to-side of the cave walls submerged under water while marine inhabitants scurried.

The Carp, Sunnys, Blues, and Eels scurried out of the path of the light and the diver. “Hey Jeff”, said the first diver to the second. “There’s a path and open air in here.” The diver traveled about twenty-five feet from the murky black bottom entranceway into the cave. The trail in the island’s belly began to turn into dry soil as the diver ascended. He turned off his oxygen while removing his scuba mask and spoke into his radio. “Jeff…come in here…you’ve gotta see this.”

Harold Risehold (the 1st diver) was astonished at the discovery his partner Jeff Scott, was about to disclose and he…about to witness. A skull, partially decomposed, lay between two rocks in a corner of the cave. When Harold reached to pick it up, a small catfish darted from the socket of an empty left eye socket. Harold jumped backwards and fell with a loud splash into a pile of gucky and smelly mud. The two officers were shocked at the find and spooked by the thought of being here if and when the creature decided to come back here to this cave. After composure set in on he pair, the men gathered the skull and a few scattered bones, which appeared to be the lower lumbar section of a human, for evidentiary examination. They also photographed the unusually large paw and claw prints as seen throughout the cave. Live and dead inhabitants with other specimen was documented and photographed as well. “Let’s gather this shit and get the hell out of here. I’ve got a bad feeling about this place!” exclaimed Harold while caressing the large Bowie knife strapped to his right leg. The two men hurried their work. Suddenly, a loud splash and gurgling sound caused the hair on their necks to stand at attention. “Jeff…let’s go – NOW!” “If we’ve missed something, let the big wigs handle it…let’s move…get out.” Quietly, excitedly, and panicky – almost silently was the high pitched cry of Risehold. The divers raced into the water away from the sound…donning their gear on the fly.

The divers reached the surface of the water and hurriedly entered the waiting police marine search and rescue boat. They were happy the backup boats were there because they did not want to swim back to the point of origin. They were visibly frightened and glad to be on the way back to shore. The West side of the river endured a traffic backup just as the four officers reached their destination on the East side of the Schuylkill. The other boat headed back up river towards the Falls Bridge.

Officers arrived at the accident scene on the West River side just before the “Sweet Briar Cutoff.” A car and a pickup truck were engaged in a fender-bender just about at about 8 p.m. The female driver of the car stated that she’d seen something huge run across the roadway. The other drivers of stopped vehicles concurred – “It was huge”, screamed another of the other motorists! “It disappeared into the woods up the hill towards the expressway!” One of the cops appeared to be complacent, “yeah…ok, let’s see your cards”, referring to the vehicle owners’, insurance identification cards, and drivers license(s). Both drivers produced the required documentation. The other cop walked over to where the motorists pointed the animals running route. Four motorists, two men and two women with outstretched fingers, pointed to the direction. The owners of two of the six stopped cars stood frozen with uncertainty…their eyes wide open as they peered from the left and to the right. They were very afraid. The cop was out of sight for all of a few minutes. Suddenly, the cop appeared from the bushes…running from the thickness of the wooded area – straight to his waiting police cruiser – the man screamed into the radio microphone! “EMERGENCY – EMERGENCY, THIS IS CAR #1407…BADGE NUMBER 3722, GET BACKUP OUT HERE IMMEDIATELY – ALERT…ALERT THE CAPTAIN AND THE SWAT TEAM – IT’S HERE, IT’S HERE!”

The motorists who were fearful had every right to be alarmed. The larger than life beast, silhouetted by the full moonlight, burst from the thicket in hot pursuit of the inquisitive bush- searching officer. The unfrozen motorists ran for their cars. One of the female motorists became a pillar of screams. The cars attempted to flee…but could not due to the police cruisers blocking the westbound lanes of the West River Drive. The Giant Kodiak roared. The sound was deafening. It sounded like thunder and lightning as the monster crashed and cracked tree limbs with its massive frame. The beast roared again and showed its glistening seven-inch fangs that dripped with spittle and foam. It attacked the cruiser of the escaping cop while he was still in it. The cop sat in horror – screaming into the radio’s microphone. The officer never had an opportunity to draw his service weapon, glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun. The over-whelming attacker hit the driver side door with a swipe of its right tree-trunk sized arm. The thick paw housed eight-inch claws. The driver side door of the car crumpled as glass shattered from its window. The second blow from the beast ripped the door from the car completely. The door disappeared into the night. The third swipe brought the helpless cop into the jaws of the giant. The blood curdling screams of the man pierced the otherwise quiet nighttime air. Blood gushed from the mouth, ears, and eyes of the bears prey as the beast’s punch-press jaws cracked the rib cage and ripped his middle with the seven-inch fangs. The Kodiak’s jaws were massive…several thousand pounds of lightning fast jaw muscle crushed the officer’s torso like teeth cutting a potato chip. The innards were ripped out with the splashing of blood, flew everywhere as the beast began to dine. The bears mouth was so large that it enabled the envelopment of the large mans’ entire mid-section. The second cop, as were the witnessing motorists, was frozen in horror as he was forced to watch his partner being eaten alive. He fired his weapon at the beast to no avail. The officer emptied his service weapon into the back of the ravaging behemoth with no affect. The animal, annoyed at this nuisance, turned and looked at the thing that was interfering with its meal. The large red and white moonlit hate filled eyes sent ice water through the veins of the assaulting officer. The animal stood on its hind legs, looking down on the hapless being. Fifteen feet of bristled fur and muscle was too much for the eyes of the officer to drink…standing on its hind legs, the beast swung its massive paw and flipped over what was left of the dead cops cruiser. The flying car missed the surviving officer by mere inches. The police officer was frozen with fear as he starred at the glistening fangs…white as ivory, dripping blood and guts. The officer attempted to re-load his weapon while the approaching animal descended upon him. Before the cop could look up again, the mouth of the bear engulfed the human from head to waist. One bite of its vicious cavernous jaws left the lower half of the man standing…the limp remains, waist to feet, dropped to the pavement in a bloody heap. The lower half of the man was picked up by the beast with its jaws and carried off as the animal glared back at the remaining fright-filled, dumb-founded, and frozen motorists. The monster bear sauntered off towards the rivers edge; its jaws dripped human blood and human legs dangled as it disappeared into the river-brush.

The pickup truck driver managed to make a statement out loud while standing with several other horror-filled people, “Damn…the cop didn’t give me back my driver’s license!”

Next Week: Part 4: “A Pillar of Salt”

~BoulwareEnterprises~

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~”FAIRMOUNT” – The Series: Pt. 1 ‘Strawberry Mansion’~

‘Amazon Books by Gregory V. Boulware’

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“FAIRMOUNT”

The Series – Part 1

‘Strawberry Mansion’

By

    Gregory V. Boulware, Esq. 

“The Horror of It All…!”

The race against time begins in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Dead bodies were compounded from one side of the river to the other. From Alaska and down through Canada the dealers of death are pursued in the hope of bringing the killing to an end. The city’s officials are at odds with one another. The populace is on edge and demanding closure…an end to the terror that has the city in a grip of fear, turmoil, and a cold sweat of terror.

Anger, racism, and greed are exposed among the highest order. Philadelphia Police commanders are placed under tremendous strain to control its inner city workings to quell this evil overshadowing of the town. One Black Cop and the Native American Ranger are in the battle of their very lives and careers with the confrontation of white apprehension in the capture of the killer.

Read All About It the newest form of Terror that has gripped the City of Philadelphia…

The Fairmount Park Rapist became second fiddle to this latest horror in our city’s parkland…where no one is safe! No one in able to control, contain, or prevent the attacks of this killer that stalks the area…save one man who knows the inner workings of the mind of this murderer!

~

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1

Addendum:

~
“In this chapter, the first, it was ‘Malcolm’ who was attacked; not ‘Lindsey.’ The revised volume(s) of “Fairmount” (and this installment as well) will show the corrections made, suttle as they may be… Thank You Readers/Followers for your indulgence.
~

>

It was a bright and crisp mid-fall morning in Fairmount Park. The bikeways’ were full of people. The early morning allowed the enjoyment of being out of the city, sort of. The river was full of rowers in their sculleys practicing their craft as if they were competing in a race at Oxford, Westminster, or Cambridge. The anglers bitched and shook their fists as they rowed by, causing large ripples in the water where they dropped baited lines, anticipating the fish to bite. Joggers were sucking it up as well and breathing the fresh crisp air. The weekend mornings were usually busier than workouts during the week. Children were out collecting leaves and exploring the parkland. Parents, coaches, and other responsible adults were busy directing the young ones in organized game playing and such. Three boys, about the age of twelve ran by the busy groups of chess players, hikers, picnickers, bird feeders, and newspaper readers. Saturday morning was one of the best mornings for exploring and cliff climbing in the Fairmounts. Sundays were good too.

“Hey you guys, come up here!” “You can see everything from up here!” The guys came running to the cliff in the hillside and climbed up to where Malcolm was standing. “What took you slow pokes so long?” “I should have left you.”

“Aw shut up, we could’ve beaten you up here if we knew where you were sneaking off to.” Jason was Malcolm’s best friend and classmate. They lived on the same small block in North Philly near 30th and Lehigh Avenue. Lindsey was Malcolm’s cousin. He lived on the block too. Leon was another member of this band of merry fellows. They were usually inseparable. Leon had to go with his uncle to get new shoes. He was not able to make the traditional Saturday morning trek. He complained to his uncle. He even attempted to trick his uncle into letting him go out with the guys. “Uncle Rue, we can go to the shoe store this afternoon just before dinner time.” “That way, you can make your stop at the barber shop and the liquor store on the way back.” His uncle looked at him with a curious eye and replied, “No.” “We been puttin off this thing for a couple of weeks now.” “Its time to get you some new shoes for school.” No need in waiting til the last minute!”

A thunderous roar erupted just as Lindsey placed his hand on the last rock in the cliff, pulling himself up onto the plateau. Dirt and shrubbery flew all around as if a strong wind-gust blasted through signaling a squall in a rainstorm or twister. The boy could not believe his eyes. He nearly fell backward off the ledge of the cliff. But he knew subconsciously, that he had to hang on. It’s about a twelve hundred foot drop to the bottom.

Painful fear gripped his heart as he watched the massive tree-trunk sized object strike his cousin and lift him from the ground. Malcolm’s eyes were fixed on Jason and then on his cousin. His eyes screamed at them as if he were saying, “why don’t you guys reach out and grab me?” “Something hit me!” “It hurts!” “I’m falling!” Jason and Lindsey could do nothing as they watched in terror. The flying, broken, and bloodied body of their friend and cousin twisted and turned in the air while falling away from the cliff’s surface and down towards the bottom of the hillside. The angry and piercing eyes of the thing were now upon them.

The Canadian truck that hauled a load of timber rolled down the Alaskan hillside, headed towards the United States boarder. The driver had no idea he was hauling away the offspring of a fierce and most deadly creature. The lumber being delivered had been sitting on the work site for a long time. The half cut trees were harvested last spring and had been grown over by vines and moss. One would not have known the lumber was marked for the mill in New York. Several trunks of the wood had boreholes in them from the wild birds and burrowing animals. The ground under the wood was soft from the seasonal rain. It made for a perfect cave and shelter. The rain could not get in under the pilings although the ground was very warm and moist. A burrowing creature living under the pile was shielded from the environmental elements of the changing seasons. The burrow made a perfect year round shelter. No one would notice the den beneath the piles of massive timber amongst the collected piles chopped tress of the lumberjacks’ work site. In Alaska, it was a normal sight.

The 65 ft. tractor-trailer rumbled onto the New York Interstate. Around noontime the driver came up on a rest stop and parked the 18-wheeler in the truck parking area behind the Petro Station restaurant. The driver took a quick look at his cargo lines and checked the tie downs before heading towards the eatery. Two man-sized balls of fur squeezed out from the middle of the piles of wood on the back-end of the truck. They stumbled into the wooded area of the parking lot. Snow began to fall on the foot tracks that the fur balls made in the soil. The creatures wandered for several hours around the wooded area. They began to realize that this was not home.

Captain Willice Samuel stood looking over the edge of the cliff, peering down onto the East river Drive. The screaming sirens of emergency vehicles filled the normally quiet environment of park life. Speeding past the stopped traffic below, the EMR vehicles made their way up the hill to the spot were the kids were playing. The Strawberry Mansion Bridge was at a standstill as was the East River Drive traffic. Nothing and no one was being allowed to move through the area. Traffic was backed up all over. Ridge Avenue was being over-crowed with the over flow of rush hour traffic. Both river drives, East and West, were backed up into the East Falls area of Midvale Avenue into Henry Avenue. The downtown out bound traffic was a mess. The local news on automobile radios reported the traffic mess as an accident in the park. They were not aware of the trouble that was amiss. Emergency vehicles were parked at the spot were the body of ‘Malcolm Xavier’ lay at bottom of the twelve hundred ft drop from the cliff of the Strawberry Mansion roadway. The first EMR personnel on the scene could not believe their eyes.

They’ve seen hillside falls before. The boy’s body was not only twisted from the fall, he was mutilated. The entire left side torso of his body was missing. The child’s inner organs were spewed out all over the ground and around the spot were he came to rest. It was like a large airplane propeller swiped him and cut him in half. His lower torso was twisted around in the opposite direction of the upper half. The look on his face was of utter horror. His eyes were wide open. His mouth was set in such a way that it appeared that he was trying to say something. “He can’t tell us what happened but maybe his friends can”, said one of the workers. The other three boys were whisked away by an ambulance and two police cars. They were whisked away in a state of shock. ‘Lindsey’ screamed all the way to the hospital. The missing parts of the dead boys body were not found during the intensive search area.

The Forrest Ranger walked over to the Police Captain and stood right in front of him and quietly requested his attention. The two men walked to another side of the search area for the private conversation. Gerald Glenn has been a Forrest Ranger for more than twenty years. Four of those years, his assignment had been the Northeastern Pennsylvania Region. Ranger Glenn knows everything about everything in the wild, from its greenery to the smallest of animals. Ranger Glenn pointed to something on the ground next to one of the Cherry Blossom trees, a print of something large was present. A few feet away in a southwesterly direction, off the roadway of Strawberry Mansion Drive, another large print was found. One of the CSI Investigators spoke to himself aloud, “What the fuck is this thing?” Ranger Glenn noticed the look on the face of the investigator. He and Captain Samuel walked swiftly to where the man was standing and staring. They joined the investigator in his bewilderment. Gerald Glenn leaned on the thick trunk of the Cherry Blossom tree and thought to himself, “I know this print…they’ll never believe me when I tell them!” The ranger walked to the other side of the drive and bent over to see the mark of something on a patch of rhododendrons. He could not believe what he was starring at. The mark on the bushes and grass gave him no room for doubt. The size of the mark and footprint was at least four times the size of the beast that Ranger Glenn was familiar with. He just didn’t know how to begin to explain exactly what kind of danger this community, this area, this city would be in if he were to be correct. The horrified look on his face was a dead giveaway to the other investigators. They wondered what it was that scared the ranger.

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“The Horror Of It All…!”
http://comingsoonthehorrorofitall.blogspot.com/

My goodness, Mr. Gregory Boulware, your back cover blurb doesn’t prepare us for the interior. Thank you – and your author photo is beautiful also.

Mr. Boulware is an excellent storyteller and, with definite twists and turns, this book is not for the faint hearted. Gruesome and grizzly, but at the same time highly readable, at no time does the story fall flat.

Eliza Earsman

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 This bestselling novel has 31 chapters to the conclusion. To the author’s discretion, the remaining chapters may or may not be shortened, while Parts 1 and 2 have been submitted in their entirety…Stay Tuned and Happy Reading!