Dalton V. // Without a Choice

Dalton V. was delivered to us on Wednesday. When I say ‘delivered’ I mean it precisely that way – his hands were bound behind his back, his legs were shackled together and his mouth was gagged. He fought against the shackles, his whole body constantly seemed to be shaking. Both of his arms were heavily bandaged.

His short black hair was well groomed and his beard trimmed short. We were warned that Dalton, an athletic 28 year old would likely “try to harm himself and others” if given the opportunity.

About four months ago, the 22nd of February, a twelve year old girl called Jillian disappeared on her way home from school. A witness saw the girl pushing her bright red bicycle along a side road.

The search mission as well as the appeals to the public were unsuccessful. The police received a whole barrage of hints about Jillian’s whereabouts and at least one witness mentioned a white van.

Still, without any corroborating evidence the white van was dismissed along with a range of other ‘reported’ cars.

On the 20th of March Eliza, a single mother of two, didn’t return home from a trip to the supermarket.

The last person that saw Eliza was one of her neighbors. The neighbor said she had been talking to a young woman with curly red hair.

The public appeal received large interest. The community rallied for the police to increase their efforts. For nearly three weeks there were protests and candlelight vigils.

The public provided a large amount of hints about Eliza. The most promising one was that three different people reported a white van standing at the side of the road along which Eliza would have walked.

In the early morning hours of the 20th of April Oliver, a young but slightly overweight male told his friends that he had been propositioned to “join a threesome.”

Oliver left the bar together with a young woman with bright red hair and a yellow dress. They left through the back door and were trailed by an athletic man with short black hair.

At 3:22am a CCTV camera recorded a white van driving off the bar’s parking lot.

Details of the case were published in local newspapers. Several white vans were reported by the public but none of the owners matched the description of the couple that Oliver’s friends had seen.

Shortly before midnight of the 25th of May three girls, two of them 18 and one 19, left a house party to return home. They walked through a residential neighborhood when a white van first drove past them, turned right into another street and, about a minute later, drove past them again and stopped.

A young woman with curly red hair waved out of the back of the van. She told the girls that the neighborhood was dangerous and that they should not walk alone at night. She offered to drive them home.

Feeling safe in their group and soothed by the friendly demeanor the two 18 year olds entered the car. The 19 year old, Liane, objected and warned her friends that a white van was involved in the recent disappearances.

As Liane later described to the police, the red haired woman grabbed her arm and tried to pull her inside. While the driver pointed a weapon at her friends. Liane screamed and managed to wrest herself free. While the red haired woman was still trying to grab Liane again the van began to drive.

Liane managed to remember part of the number plate.

At 4:11am a SWAT team raided the house of 46 year old Matthew V. who happened to own a white van with a matching number plate.

Matthew V. reported to the police that his son, Dalton, had borrowed the car for the night. He also reported that Dalton had short black hair and his wife Katherine long and curly red hair.

At 6:40am the SWAT team arrived at the house of Dalton and Katherine V. At precisely 6:46am the team broke through the front door and stormed the house. The house was vacant but bloody footsteps and hand prints covered the living room floor and parts of the furniture.

At 6:58am a team member spotted movement in the garage.

While taking his position a member of the SWAT team found a half-rotten body in a small space between the house and the garage.

At 7:03am the team stormed the garage.

Dalton and Katherine V. were found sleeping at different ends of the garage. They did not wake up when the team stormed the small room.

Between them, in a large puddle of blood, were the bodies of the two 18 year old girls that had been abducted just seven hours before. The heads had been severed from both corpses and placed in the center of the room next to two other adult heads and the head of a young girl.

Large chunks of flesh had been ripped from the arms legs and torso; some of the organs had been removed from the stomachs; one of the girls’ lungs had been removed. The missing flesh and organs were not found.

The coroner determined blood loss as the cause of death; the heads had been severed afterwards. He concluded that the victims had been alive while their bodies were being ripped apart.

The coroner also found bite and scratch marks.

Dalton and Katherine V. were brought to the police station. When attempts to wake them up failed they were transferred to a local hospital and placed under constant observation. Two days days later they woke up.

Both Dalton and Katherine were severely disoriented and seemed stressed. They refused to eat anything but meat.

Katherine was observed crying several times. Neither of them spoke.

Another day later, when their health was ascertained they were transferred to holding cells at a local police station.

During questioning Dalton consistently remained silent. He avoided looking at the questioner. Katherine remained quiet during the first four days of questioning. The fifth day, the 2nd of June, Katherine began to speak.

Every time she was questioned Katherine, in between sobs, only repeated one phrase:

“We didn’t have a choice.”

Each night Katherine and Dalton were placed in separate one-person holding cells.

On the morning of Monday the 6th of June the officer in charge of the morning rounds noticed blood on the corridor floor. He found Dalton in Katherine’s holding cell.

Dalton was curled in a fetal position in a corner of the cell. He was covered in blood and had severe bite wounds on his arms.

Katherine’s body was lying on the center of the cell. Katherine’s head was severed and placed on her bed. Large chunks of the flesh of her arms as well as most of her internal organs had been removed.

Again the coroner found clear bite and scratch marks.

Again the cause of death was blood loss.

Katherine must have been alive for at least thirty minutes after the initial attack. Still, neither the personnel nor two men that were sleeping in drying-out cells only steps away heard any struggle or screams.

To this day it is not clear how Dalton V. got into Katherine V.’s holding cell; several officers swore under oath that they saw the two on Sunday evening in separate isolation cells.

Dalton V.’s wounds were treated in a local hospital; he remained unconscious for nearly three days.

After Katherine’s death Dalton was clearly more distraught than before, still he refused to speak.

Since the incident he was held in handcuffs and shackles; the gag was added only when he was transferred to our institution.

Dalton has been here for five days. Initially we removed the gag but on Saturday morning our personnel found fresh bite wounds on his arms and the gag was reinstalled.

Since Saturday Dalton has been under constant observation. From the fact that his demeanor is rather calm but interspersed with occasional rapid and forceful movements it seems likely that the cause of his behavior are hallucinations or psychotic episodes.

Our attempts at treatment so far have shown no effect.

Most of the time Dalton sits calmly on the floor of his room. While sitting he stares at a particular area of the room near the window. At the same time, during the sparse times when he stands or walks in his room, Dalton clearly avoids approaching that same area.

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