Hell's Hammer: Supernatural Horror with Scary Ghosts & Haunted Houses (Haunted Village Series)
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"The Eighth Sister" by Robert Dugoni
A pulse-pounding thriller of espionage, spy games, and treachery by the New York Times bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series. | Learn more
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From the Inside Flap
Abel M. Worthe, Ph.D., DM
It is often said that the worst instances of human depravity occur not in cities, but in the small towns and quaint villages of the world.
The history of Oskar Jessen seems to take this statement out of the realm of supposition and into that of truth.
Oskar Jessen was born on May 2nd, 1948, to immigrant parents who originally hailed from Norway, although there has been an argument made that they were actually Finnish and had collaborated with the Soviets prior to the conclusion of the Russo-Finnish War at the beginning of World War Two.
Regardless as to the political leanings of his parents, Oskar Jessen was raised as an American, with all the love of country one could expect in a booming economy in post-war Illinois. He was not a stellar athlete, nor was he a scholar of any renown. Oskar made it as far as the 10th grade at his local high school, but in the summer between his sophomore and junior years, he obtained a position in a local quarry.
Being a large man, Oskar found the work easy and enjoyable, and since he was bringing home a regular paycheck and working an abundance of overtime, his parents were not concerned with him dropping out of high school. Unlike today, young men and women were not expected to finish their schooling.
While Oskar filled out his Selective Service information and registered for the draft, his draft number was never called, and thus he never served in the military. Instead, Oskar continued to work in the quarry until 1970, when he took an interest in fine stonework. While still working his regular hours at the quarry, he supplemented his income with side jobs. First, he worked on basic bricklaying contracts, then moved onto finer work, such as dry-fitting stonewalls and producing the occasional original but uninspired carving.
It was during this time that people started to disappear from the surrounding towns and counties. Specifically, young couples. Some of them were newlyweds, others were engaged, and some were in the beginnings of their relationships.
Occasionally, the police would find the missing couple's vehicle, or perhaps their baggage if they were traveling.
But no remains were ever discovered.
Word leaked of blood splatter on the cars or trucks, of Samsonite luggage stained with the same. And while the police were always careful with the words in which they couched their reports and releases to the press, people talked.
Because it is what people do.
Word spread that there was a madman, at least one, who was preying upon young lovers. This last bit of information most people knew, for the simple reason that no middle-aged or elderly couples were on the list of missing and presumed dead.
For some time, the disappearances occurred with gaps of four and five months between them. Then, after several years, the vanishings ceased altogether in Illinois.
And they began anew in other states. Kentucky for three years. Indiana for another two. Missouri and Tennessee.
There is no hard and solid information regarding the number of disappearances during this time span. The main reason for this is the transient nature of American society in general, but doubly so because of the political upheaval that spilled out of the 1960s and into the 1970s. Then, with the mobility of the Baby-Boomer generation, keeping track of individuals became even harder.
Not until September 2nd, 1979, did Oskar Jessen become a person of interest in the missing person's cases of multiple states.
Shortly after 11 AM, Oskar was pulled over by Iowa State Police Trooper Erich Wallen for a malfunctioning taillight. He was driving a battered Volkswagen bus painted in colors associated with free love and virulent anti-American beliefs.
Oskar didn't look the part.
He was clean-cut, wearing a workman's shirt and pants, and he was genuinely thankful for the trooper pointing out the malfunctioning light. When asked to produce the paperwork on the vehicle and questioned as to why he was driving it, it was revealed the vehicle was not his, Oskar smiled and stated that the bus belonged to his brother-in-law and his sister. Both of whom were asleep in the back of the bus.
The trooper peered into the vehicle, confirmed there was a couple asleep under an old Army blanket, and handed the paperwork back to Oskar.
Months later, when the trooper was questioned about his interaction with Oskar, he spoke of the conversation they had engaged in.
"It was strange," Trooper Wallen said. "The guy never broke a sweat. I told him he was a better man than me. I did a tour in Vietnam with the Marines, and I didn't have any patience for the hippy crowd. He merely smiled at me and said, 'I get why you feel that way. I do. But hey, you only have one sister. They asked me to catch a Greyhound out there, help fix this damned jalopy up, and get it back home in one piece.'"
Trooper Wallen didn't know that the man and woman, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph E. Bryant of no fixed address, weren't asleep, but unconscious. Later medical examiners would state that even if the trooper had learned of their condition and sought medical aid, it would have been too late.
The damage done was irrevocable.
By 1979, Oskar Jessen knew exactly what he was doing when it came to his 'hobby.'
- Item Weight : 10.2 ounces
- Paperback : 193 pages
- ISBN-10 : 179183048X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1791830489
- Publisher : Independently published (December 18, 2018)
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 0.49 x 9 inches
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,592,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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