You can read earlier parts of this story starting here: Eric John
Mrs. Wirsing was worried sick when Eric John didn’t show up for class after the second period. She just knew something bad had happened, the children’s services worker that she had met had assured her he would be in the same school district. Time just seemed to drag as she waited for lunch so she could call him.
The call was answered right away and she expressed her concerns, which actually gave the children’s services worker some fear himself. Kathy was very reliable with the kids placed in her home and would have let the school and children’s services know if Eric John were sick or unable to come to school. After getting off the phone with Mrs. Wirsing he rang the Smithton’s but all he could get was a busy signal. After several tries with no difference he decided it would be best to head on over there to check on the boy’s safety.
On the way to the Smithton’s he rang Mrs. Wirsing to let her know he was headed over there and he would be in touch. The relief in her voice assured him he had made the right decision, he’d never seen a teacher this dedicated to a student before and thought again what a lucky kid Eric John was.
As he approached the Smithton’s house he noticed the police cars and then an ambulance and a first responder vehicle. Dreading the worst possible outcome he parked his car and rushed toward the vehicles.
Waddling out of the house with her hands cuffed in front of her, escorted by two policemen who were dwarfed by her size, was Kathy Smithton. There were splotches of blood all over her face and bright orange ensemble, her hair a mess and her head bowed low. He was floored, what on Earth had happened here. Kathy saw him, tears in her eyes she yelled “I had to kill him, I just had to – he was a monster, a monster.”
Before he could ask her any questions she was placed in a police car. Sweet Mrs. Smithton, a killer but who had she killed and why? That was the question he had to find out.
Mrs. Wirsing was desperate to check her phone for messages from the children’s services worker or Eric John, or anyone. But she had 15 other students in her class that needed her attention so she focused on the course schedule she had planned. The children could sense something was wrong with her but were unsure what it was. The had all cautiously asked about Eric John but there was nothing she could tell them – she was in the dark.
When the last bell rang and she could check her phone she saw she had three missed calls and two messages on her phone – all from the children’s services worker. With caution she listened to the first message and was confused and horrified at the same time – someone at the foster home had murdered someone else, he was unsure who the victim was and none of the police were speaking freely about it. He’d call her back shortly with more information.
Sorrow filled her, the thought of this little boy losing his life after so much promise was too much. She was afraid to listen to the second message, fearful of the doom that might be heard on the other line. Courage replaced the fear, she had to know, she still had hope the boy was yet alive and would still have a good life ahead of him. She tentatively pressed play on the second message and heard the horror of what had happened.
Eric John had been raped by the Mr. Smithton and when Mrs. Smithton found the evidence in Eric John’s bed and pajama bottoms she confronted him with this. Though he had denied it happened she could see the lie on his face and couldn’t let a monster like this continue. Her disgust at what he was and the damage he had done to such an innocent boy was overwhelming – before she knew what she was doing she had stabbed him five times. Once she realized what she had done and the anger died down a little she stabbed him a few more times to make sure it took. Mr. Smithton would never hurt another soul. The police and DA were already praising her and thinking a conviction of murder would be unlikely.
As all of this tumbled out of the voice message Mrs. Wirsing experienced an avalanche of different emotions – so horrified and disgusted that this had happened to her sweet Eric John, but also so full of relief that the perpetrator wouldn’t do it again, and sad again that his wife had to experience that.
The message ended with a chilling note – he didn’t know the whereabouts of Eric John, and neither did Mrs. Smithton.
Read the next chapter here: Eric John – Part VIII