Introduction and Background


The characters are members of a special task force to succeed where so far all attempts by the police to catch a serial killer have failed. They have been chosen personally by the Archbishop of the Diocese of New York, The Reverend Carey Fergusson. The serial killer has killed six people and each crime scene contains ritual and occult elements. Although the police refuse to discuss it in detail, the superstitious or paranormal aspects of the case have been leaked to the media. The killings also seem to correspond to sightings of a local legend, the Jersey Devil, on the wrong side of the Hudson River.


Magazine Article

From "The Jersey Devil Has Jumped The River" by Brad Keeling in The Village Voice, Wednesday 19 May 2004

The creature lately reported wandering the midnight streets of Manhattan bears a remarkable resemblance to an old friend of this region, the Jersey Devil. Across the river and in the Pine Barrens south of Jersey City, this sprite has terrified locals and visitors for nearly 300 years.

According to legend, the Jersey Devil, or J.D., as he is more affectionately known, was born to a poor woman who already had a dozen children. On learning that the thirteenth was on its way, she was heard to exclaim, "I am tired of children! Let it be the Devil!" Others say this poor Quaker woman "had traffic" with infernal powers, or had a curse laid on her by the lecherous curate she refused or the gypsy family to whom she refused charity one bitter winter.

Regardless of the origin of this imp, he has been seen consistently, if sporadically, since then -- and not just by the locals. Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon and one-time King of Spain, was pestered by ol' J.D. during a hunting party sometime around 1820. Before his death in 1701, Captain Kidd said that he summoned a "spirit of Hell" to guard his buried treasure.

The Jersey Devil is generally considered harmless unless you happen to be a small farmyard animal. In the week of 16-23 January 1909, J.D. made another appearance to continue his now familiar trade of ransacking the hen-houses of many residents of Woodbury, NJ. Each morning, the victim whose farm had been selected for nocturnal visitation, awoke to find his poultry torn apart and scattered all over the yard. Dogs set to guard the coop suffered a similar fate. These antics continued off-and-on to the present day when, in 1966, Marvin Welch woke one fine spring morning to find the mauled remains of 31 ducks, three geese, four cats, two large dogs and seventy five chickens thrown around his poultry farm.

A few brave souls, determined to stop this menace to their livelihoods, have set vigils to catch the culprit in the act. Their descriptions of the beast vary considerably. One report described it as "six-feet tall, covered in alligator skin and spewing flame from its mouth." Another made it "a winged kangaroo with a long neck and wings." The descriptions may vary but the one constant throughout all of them is, in the surprisingly loquacious words of Thack Cozzens, proprietor of the Clayton Hotel in 1935, "two red spots of phosphorescence, the eyes of a beast."

So, if you're walking the streets late at night and see two eyes like burning coals more than six feet off the ground, the chances are that you, too, have joined the distinguished list of those who have seen the Jersey Devil.

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Amateur Video Footage

From http://www.parapsi.org/downloads/ny-horror.mpg posted Friday 4 June 2004


A hand-held video camera show two young guys climbing a chain link fence into a rubbish filled inner city New York alleyway. GUY ONE and GUY TWO, very middle class college types, GUY THREE holds the handicam.

SUPERIMPOSED: 01:40 TUE 05-25-04

Keep up, dude.

Yeah, fat boy. You might even lose some weight.

The camera struggles over the fence and in to the dark between street lights.

Hey! Wait up.

Guy One and Guy Two stop on the far side of a dumpster and examine the ground. There's the remains of police crime scene tape, chalk marks on the ground and other official disorder.

Are you sure this is the place?

Sure. Look. Get a shot of that. There's the blood. He cut her up right here, man. Look at all the blood. Oh, man.

Yeah. This is definitely the place. The cops were here. (picks up some trash) They got Starbucks.

The camera swoops around and looks back down the alley.

What was that?

What was what?

I heard something. Are we done yet? Can we go now?

Dude. There's nothing there. You've been bitching all night. Quit it.

The camera zips around to the fire escape above the dumpster.

There! Something's there.

Get the camera over here, fat boy fat. I think I've found the knife. Cool.

The camera twists again and points into the dark space between two buildings just behind Guy One.

Don't move. Whatever you do, man, don't move.


In the darkness, two red points of light raise themselves from about waist level to around seven feet high. The red eyes blink slowly. Something beneath them is moving.

Don't move a muscle.

You're spoiling everything. Get that camera over here.

There's a glint of street light on steel in the darkness below the glowing eyes.

Oh, crap.

(getting angry) What?

The two seconds area confused blur: something launches itself from the dark space, the college guys scream in fear, the camera is thrown around, something slashes across the frame, screams of pain.

The camera, fallen to the pavement, show shows Guy Two and Guy Three dragging Guy One out of the alley. He's screaming and holding his innards in. He leaves a wide trail of blood behind.

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NYPD Interview

From NewsNight Live, Sunday 6 June 2004, 7:35pm

The kids in the video were stupid. They had no business being there at that time of night.

So you're saying that the city is unsafe and the people's fear is justified?

Don't put words in my mouth. I mean that sensible people avoid dark alleys in the middle of the night and don't go looking for trouble.

There's been four murders so far. And all have been linked to sightings of this creature. What are you doing to explore the connection?

There's no connection. As soon as a death is reported we're flooded with phone calls seeing this thing everywhere from Brooklyn to Statten Island. I think it's better than we concentrate on the evidence in front of us and not be distracted by ghosts and apparitions.

Archbishop Fergusson says that there is a spiritual dimension to the killer which is not being explored. He says that there is no way you can catch the killer without recognising this.

Yeah, he's said that. But he's refused to elaborate or give us any useful information to help us catch the guy. I think that the Archbishop can best help the investigation by getting out of the way.

How do you respond the neighbourhoods which are forming themselves into protection committees? Doesn't that tell you that the people have lost confidence in the ability of the NYPD to look after their well-being.

I can understand their concerns. We haven't had a situation like this since the Son of Sam murders more than thirty years ago. But their actions do not help. We have to divert manpower from the case to clean up the mess they make and charge any one of them who is found breaking the law. I can see a large number of civil suits looming from their actions as well. I think it's better for all involved to stay at home and let us do our job.

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Talkback On AM Radio

From transcript, Morning Talkback, Thursday 17 June 2004, 10:41am

WKRX and we've got George from Brooklyn. You're on the air, caller.
I just wanna say that I think there's more to these murders than meets the eye. I think...
Why do you say that? What have you got in mind?
Well, I was readin' this article in the paper about how the look of the thing is like something that was seen at the start of the century .. last century, I mean.
You mean the Jersey Devil? We're not in Jersey. We're on Manhattan.
But it looks the same, don't it? That can't be co-incidence, can it? And New Jersey is just across the Hudson, isn't it? So, maybe Archbishop Fergusson is right and the Devil walks the streets of New York?
A lot of questions there, buddy. Next caller is Fran from Queens. What do you think of what George had to say?

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Late Night News Article

News Item: News at Ten, Monday 28 June 2004


Late night news report. In the cut screen behind the female presenter, there's a still of a night time city riot.

We cross now live to the scene. What's the latest, Malcolm?

Cut to an Lower Manhattan street corner where police and ambulance are tidying up after a riot. Blue and red flashing lights give the night an air of the surreal.

Paramedics stretcher a beaten man wound in blood soaked bandages past the camera and into the back of an ambulance.

Police have wrestled one man to the ground and are trying to cuff him. A bloody baseball bat lies nearby.

Other men, mostly late thirties family men, are either cuffed and sitting on the sidewalk or are standing apart being questions by police.

Uniformed police hold the gathering crowd at bay. A detective finishes interviewing a witness, an elderly resident.

The reporter taps him on the shoulder.

Officer, what's the latest on the situation here? Is it true that these men think they found the Jersey Devil?

I've got nothing to say right now.

With citizens increasingly taking the law in to their own hands like this, do you think that the police are doing enough to catch this serial killer?

I'm sure PP1 will release a statement in due course. Now, please, just get out of the way and let us do our jobs.

The detective is called and disappears into the sea of uniforms. The reporter chases after the witness.

Can you tell us what you told the officer? What did you see?

I saw it all. Those guys chased the guy in the ambulance around the corner. They had baseball bats and iron bars and things. They said anyone out at night with a knife that big is up to no good. He said he was a chef. When they caught him in the alley, they started in on him. I called 911.

Thank you.

The witness walks away.

That's all from me. Back to you, Stephanie.

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Timeline of Terror

From New York Times Tuesday 6 July 2004

The First Sightings
The first of the sightings of the entity named 'The Jersey Devil' occurred on Feb 2. The sightings did not become publicized until the third week of May and the appearance of Keeling's article in The Village Voice on May 19. At this time, the sightings are treated with curiosity only.
The First Murder
Sat, May 22 - Noelene Lovitts mutilated body was found in an alley near the corner of Pike and Henry Streets. She had received nine deep knife wounds. Noelene was discovered by short order cook Jim Wong who went outside afterwards to investigate the disturbance. Jim called 911. Noelene died before the paramedics arrived. On her body were drawn what police describe as "magic symbols".
The Jersey Devil sightings continue.
The Second Murder
Tue, May 25 - John Brownjohn and two other college dorm room-mates make a midnight excursion to the scene on Noelene Lovitts' murder. John is attacked by, in the words of Chief of Police Roebuck, "some kind of wild animal, a rapid dog maybe". The NYPD refuse to link this murder to the Jersey Devil sightings.
The Third and Fourth Murders
Fri, Jun 4 - Frank Marshall is killed in his home. His body is hacked apart with some sort of "sharp, cutting instrument". The body is not found until his cleaning lady turns up for work Monday morning. Nothing is disturbed in the apartment. The Jersey Devil is sighted within three blocks of Marshall's residence.
Sat, Jun 5 - Cinema patrons from The Regal, coming out of a late night session, hear screaming from the abandoned office building across the street. One of them calls 911. Police discover the body of Barbara Tulliver on the second floor in a chalk circle on the concrete floor. Occult symbols are written in marker pen on her corpse.
The Serial Killer
Sun, Jun 13 - The Jersey Devil sightings have by this time been firmly linked in the public mind to the spate of murders in Manhattan. Radio talk back programs are full of nothing else. Archbishop Fergusson, in an unprecedented move, makes a statement from the pulpit stating that the police will fail to find the serial killer unless they understand the killer's occult motivations. Residents begin forming Neighborhood Watch groups that patrol the streets of their community.
The Fifth Murder
Sat, Jun 19 - Suzanne Weisenfeld, a nurse at Ninth Avenue Medical Centre, takes a short cut home through Chelsea Park. Her screams attract a gang of Hispanic youths who all describe "a demon with glowing red eyes" repeatedly stabbing Suzanne to death. The creature takes flight when it sees them and disappears in to the darkness and the trees. Several incidents of Neighborhood Watch groups attacking strangers are reported to police.
The Final Murder?
Sat, Jul 3 - Emmanulle Feuer is ambushed while parking her car in the parking lot beneath her building sometime around 11:30pm. The Bennetts, also living in the apartment block, disturb "a man wearing a real animal skin with deer antlers" drawing ritual patterns on her corpse. They insist to police that the man was not wearing a fancy dress costume and that he had "red, shining eyes".
Mon, Jul 5 - Chief of Police Roebuck appeals for calm and patience. He says that the trouble and civil rights abuses caused by the neighborhood vigilante groups is diverting vital police resources away from the hunt for the Jersey Devil Killer.

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Primetime TV News

From Lerher News Hour Thursday 8 July 2004, 6.41pm

Archbishop Carey Fergusson stands at a news conference podium on the steps his private chapel at the episcopal palace. He is surrounded by reporters. The conference is finished and the Archbishop is fielding questions.

(pointing) Mr Sutherland. You're with the Chronicle, are you not?

Correct as always, your Eminence. What reaction do you expect from Police Plaza One about this? Don't you think it's irresponsible to usurp their authority in this way?

The issue is this. For the last two months, the police have made no headway in this case. They are no closer now to an arrest, if such a thing is possible, than they were at the start of the killings. This city is living in fear and whatever is behind the killings feeds on our fears.

From the start I have pointed out that there is more to this case than just a mentally unstable individual wandering the streets. The police has refused to acknowledge these signs and have refused all of my offers to help them. As for their reaction, I care not for I only do that which is right.

The task force that I am putting together is drawn from all walks of life. They have experience in the arenas of law enforcement, abnormal psychology and, to give it its modern name, the paranormal. This city's current affliction calls for people such as these who can see by other than simply the light of forensic science the events that are taking place.

There is pure Evil at work here, ladies and gentlemen. Make no mistake of that. If Evil is not the province of the Church then I do not know what is.

How do you respond to Papal Legate Sidona's claim that you are jumping at shadows and that your ideas are something straight out of the Middle Ages?

Has he made such a claim publicly? I have not heard of it. If he does, I will answer him. I suspect that he will soon be returning to his ivory tower in the Vatican Library, leaving us mere mortals to manage our own problems.

You said that the murders are the result of evil. Are you saying that the Devil is responsible for them?

(wry smile) I believe I have said enough for one day. Thank you.

The Archbishop steps down from the podium.

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