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Witness: Crystal
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Date of Encounter: January 15, 2004

My mother's fiancé and I were very close, he was more like a father to me in my adulthood than my own, so when he scheduled to meet me for lunch and didn't show, I was a bit dismayed. I got back on the train from downtown Chicago, rode back to where I had parked my car, got in, and drove to his house. Upon my arrival I noticed his car was still parked outside, so I picked up my cell phone to call, but got no answer, so I called my mom, who in turn called a friend of his to come over. As I stood outside the house I had a sinking feeling, something told me he was dead. I climbed over the fence (this was not the best area of Chicago) which was locked, grabbed a ladder from under the back porch, climbed up and broke the window. I discovered his body lying nude in the hallway, partially in the kitchen. I started to cry and phoned my mom, who said she was on her way.

After the police came and went, the friend left and I was left sitting alone in the house with his body. I started hearing creaking on the stairs, I called out, "Mom, mom, is that you?" But no one was there. Again creaking, and no one. Finally my mom shows up and the coroner comes. They take his body and we're alone looking through paperwork. All the while there is creaking all around us. We find a $50,000 tax bill for him from a failed business he helped his son launch on the kitchen table next to where his body was lying on the floor. We dig further through his things and find 2 of his 3 firearms.

His son flew up from Florida the next day with his 2 sisters. He dug through more of his dad's things and found the third gun and laid it on the dresser. He walked out of the room and back in with his two sisters on either side. The gun mysteriously goes off and shot him in the leg. After that, the creaking we had all experienced stops. The next day, the autopsy reports come back and we learned that he died of a heart attack — probably from the tax bill. So, I asked his son at the funeral how it feels to be shot by a dead man. He didn't laugh, but I'm sure his father got his last laugh.

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