The Germantown Mystery

29 year old Piotr Tarkowski looked up from the Germantown Gazette and wondered.  The article in the paper was just like previous ones from 1979, 1984, and 1989.  Every 5 years on the exact same date, a young boy had been found alongside the Cresheim Creek not far from a modest waterfall that partially fed the Wissahickon Valley waterways.  Always occurring on October 31st, local authorities had been questioning whether the unexplained deaths might have been from a serial killer living around the Germantown area.  Authorities were cautioning people to stay away from the Wissahickon Valley area with Halloween once again coming.  The police promised to patrol the area in hopes of stopping the deaths.

Piotr rubbed his eyes and contemplated the article.  He wondered about the first strange death when it had occurred on October 31, 1979.  The young boy was just slightly older than Janek was at the time of his death.  But 15 year old Piotr wrote off the death as being a coincidence.  But then another came in October 31, 1984.  The second death was similar to the first one.  And then there was the death in October 1989.  The pattern was too specific to ignore.  But while the authorities searched in vain for a serial killer, Piotr pondered the unthinkable.

As October 31, 1994 came, Piotr decided that he had to address his nagging suspicions.  He drove to his old neighborhood and parked next to his family home.  With the death of his parents in 1990, the family home was now owned by a young family very much like the Tarkowskis.  Piotr paused as he looked at his old home, knowing that the young children now living there could be at risk.  Tears came down his cheeks as he thought about how much he had lost.  His brother and his parents.

After a few moments, Piotr headed for the woods.  The path leading into the heavily wooded area looked the same as when Janek and he had played there 20 years in the past.

Inside the woods, he could hear police patrolling Cresheim Creek.  He stopped at the top of the waterfall while police moved downstream further into the woods.  He checked his watch.  It was 4:15 PM, close to the time when Janek had passed away just 20 years earlier.

Piotr slowly descended from the top of the waterfall to the creek below.  He headed left and in a short time he reached it.  The location where Janek’s body had laid back in October 1974.  Tears came down Piotr’s cheeks as he looked at the large rock that had crushed Janek’s small head.  The guilt of that day came back and Piotr felt embarrassed.  Couldn’t he have done more?





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