The Trade

By Tim Bloodfield

This story that I am writing I have kept secret for thirty years. I put it in my will that upon my death my wife would get this letter. Please forgive me, my love, but it was for your own good. Now many years have passed and I am dead so it is okay to tell you what happened the time I was out all night. I know you had your suspicions—you thought that I had cheated on you—well my love, it was a lot worse than that. I did not cheat on you that night. I love you and would never hurt you that way. Now I will tell you what happened that February 12, 1985.

I know you remember I was on the drum kick and wanted an acoustic set of drums. I wanted to trade an amp that I had for a complete drum set. I found someone that wanted to trade. He lived in Rosdell. I went to check them out. You didn’t feel well and didn’t want to go. Thank God you stayed home. The story I’m about to tell you—the outcome might have been different if you had been with me that day. As I tell this story please understand I had no choice in what happened and what I did that day and I do not regret any of it, other than the fact that you thought I had been unfaithful to you all these years. I will not hold back the details of that day and night. I hope this will give you some comfort in knowing the truth. Please forgive me for what you are about to read it is not going to be pleasant but you need to know what happened to me that day.

If you recall I had talked with a guy named Kirk. He had a nice Mapex drum set. He seemed nice enough on the phone and the trade was all but done. All I needed to do is take him the amp and pick up the drums…and that was what I thought was going to happen on that Saturday. I was excited and looked forward to getting them.

Saturday came and I set out to Kirk’s house. It was only about an hour’s drive. You were sick—I thank God again for that and you will too when you finish this story. We had set up a meeting place; I think it was a Kroger parking lot. I arrived at the Kroger early, of course. You know me: if you’re not fifteen minutes early you are late. I waited. Kirk showed up about ten minutes late. He was in a nice Ford Bronco. He was a younger guy, mid twenties. It is hard to put a face with a voice but I kind of pictured him as a younger guy, with his shorts and flip-flops, and ball cap I was dead on. We shook hands and talked about the amp for a few minutes. He suggested we go to his house—it was only a few miles away—and check out the drums. I said I would follow him to his house but Kirk wanted me to ride with him so we could talk on the way, and said that in his neighborhood there is no parking. I thought that was odd but whatever. We loaded my amp into his car. I locked up my car and we were on our way.
We got to his house. It only took about twenty minutes. He was right; there wasn’t any parking. He backed into his driveway and opened the garage door. It led into the basement. The room had shelving on both sides, filled with the collection of junk most people store on these shelves and then forgot about. There wasn’t a drum set here. I assumed it was in the house somewhere. I asked if he wanted to unload the amp first so he could check it out. He thought it would be better to wait and see if I liked the drums and was interested in trading. That was cool. We walked in and he closed the garage door, which I did not think anything about at the time.

Straight ahead was a staircase leading upstairs. On the right side of the room it went into another section of the basement, and there was what looked like a walk-in freezer like a butcher shop would have. I did not ask but either his dad or he himself must be a butcher. We went to the left. There were some unfinished rooms on the right. There was only one room finished in the basement it was on the left of the garage door. The other rooms were studded in, but no drywall. Each room had of course the shelves.

We got to the back of the basement. Kirk walked in first. In the corner of the room there was a drum set, but is was a child’s drum set. I was confused. I asked, “Is this the set that you want to trade? This does not look like the set on your post.” He said yes.

I knew then it must be a scam or something. I said, “Dude, I am not interested in a child’s drum set. They are for me so I would not be interested.” He apologized for the confusion. I ask him to take me back to my car. He started talking about the attributes of this child’s drum set. I thought this must be a joke and he has the real drum set somewhere else. I laughed a little and ask him, “Is this a joke? You’re pulling my leg, right?” He stopped talking and just stood there. I was getting a little agitated. “Ha ha, very funny. Now where are the real drums?” I ask again. “Hey man if this is not joke and there is no drums I would like to leave now. This is not cool. You had me come all the way—”
At that moment I turned a little to the right and out of the corner of my eye I caught movement. Someone else was down here. I was getting mad. I started to the door. Kirk said, “You can’t leave.” I asked why not. He grabbed me and started pushing me to the wall. I could see someone coming down the hall. These a-holes are trying to rob me.

Kirk punched me in the stomach. It knocked my breath out a little. Now I’m mad. The other person had entered the room. I knew if I didn’t act these two shit-for-brains would take me out. I was struggling with Kirk the other guy had a large knife. He came up and stabbed at my stomach. I moved out of the way. These guys are trying to kill me. Kirk punched me again in the stomach, trying to get me down on the floor, but I was ready this time. The punch had no effect. I turned to keep Kirk between me and the other guy. He swung the knife again. It cut my shoulder. It was not too deep, but painful just the same. Okay, it is time to fight back now. My love, again, forgive me for what you are about to read. Keep in mind I had no choice—they were going to kill me.

I was still struggling with Kirk. I bumped into the child’s drum set. There were a couple of sticks sitting on the small snare. I knew if I didn’t do something I was finished so I reached down and grabbed the sticks. The other guy wielded the knife at me again. I pulled Kirk into the knife’s path. The knife went into his side. He let out a scream. It was my turn. Kirk went down on one knee. I took the drumstick, which was about eight to ten inches long. With an upward motion I pushed it up through the other guy’s chin into his skull. Blood sprayed from his mouth. His eyes rolled back into his head and he fell motionless onto the floor. I guess the fear and adrenaline filled me—at that point there was no stopping me. Kirk was still on his knee, clutching his side where the knife was still lodged. I walked behind him and pulled the knife out. He let out another scream. I grabbed his hair to hold him up. I took the knife and cut across his throat. Blood sprayed across the room, covering the child’s drum set that I was lured here with. Kirk went face first to the floor gargling on his own blood. When that stopped both lay dead in a pool of their own life fluid.

I ran to the garage door. I tried to get out but there was some kind of magnetic lock on the doors. It all seemed planned now. I have stumbled into a serial killer’s home. I did not care—the police could sort it out—all I wanted was to get out of there. The garage door was the only way out. I would have to go upstairs. I wanted to believe that these two were the only ones here, but I knew better. If their parents are here and they don’t know about their son’s activities I would have to explain to them why they are dead in the basement. I took the knife with me and slowly made my way up the steps, trying not to make a sound. I reached the top. I could hear someone talking. It was faint so I turned and went back down the steps. There has to be another way out. At the bottom of the steps I went to the left toward what appeared to be a walk-in freezer. I thought, maybe there is a way out there.

When I opened the door I could not believe what I saw. There was someone lying on the floor. This person had been in here for a while. There was frost covering his whole body and he was tied up. I thought, oh my God, these people are murderers. They were going to kill me and put in here I assumed till they could dispose of the body. It took a moment to pull myself together and I knew one thing—they are not going to put me in here. The freezer was about eighteen feet long and ten feet wide. At the back there was a corner to another section. Maybe that was a way out.

I stepped into the cooler. It was cold, and not just in temperature. I could feel something else in the room. There were shelves on both sides with various containers. I could not see what was in them. I walked to the corner and what I saw sickened me. I almost lost my breakfast. There was another body, but this one was hanging from hooks that were put through the Achilles heel, just like you would see at a slaughterhouse. This person had been skinned and drained of all his blood. I didn’t want to think about what they were doing but it was clear that there was more to this than murder. I did not want to look into the containers, but I had to know if my suspicions were true.

The containers were different sizes. I opened one. Oh God. There were human body parts in the containers. These people are cannibals. My heart started racing. I have got to get out of here. I guess I was still in shock—I could not get my feet to move. I started to panic. All of a sudden something grabbed my leg. I was paralyzed with fear my legs gave in and I fell to the floor. I saw it was the guy lying on the floor—he was still alive. The fear went away. I was able to get up. I was on one knee. I picked him up. He was trembling. The only thing he could say was, help me. I told him not to worry; I will get you out of here. I was not sure he would still be alive. He was in bad shape. He could not open his eyes. I picked him up as best I could and took him to the finished room. It had a couch and television and a various table games. It must be the hang out room before they butcher their guests. I put him on the couch. There were a couple of blankets, so I covered him. I told him I would be back for him. I just hope that I can get us out of here.

There was no way out of the basement. The garage door had some kind of magnetic locking system. The button Kirk pushed must have just closed and activated the lock, but it would not release it. The release must be upstairs. I walked back to check on the freezer guy. He was okay. I turned and looked into the room where I fought Kirk and his accomplice. The floor looked like it had a carpet made of blood. I knew I needed to stop stalling. The only way out would be upstairs but Kirk and company laying there turned something on inside me—something that I couldn’t explain. My mind and body were running on fear and adrenaline. I felt different. I felt like someone else. I thought to myself, I will get out of this place even if I have to kill everyone here. The thing was I was not sure that there was anyone else here, other than the voices I heard before at the top of the stairs. That could have been the TV or something. At that moment I heard a thump on the ceiling above me. Okay, that answered my question. There is someone else here. I still have the knife that the other guy had. I started up the steps again. The door wasn’t locked. I didn’t know what, or rather who, I would find. I did not care. I was not going to be killed and eaten by a bunch of serial-killing cannibals. I know it sounds like a bad B movie but nonetheless, that is what I have stumbled into. I opened the door slowly. In between the kitchen and front door there was a stairway leading upstairs. The front door was to the left. I could hear voices in the room to the left. I stepped out and made a beeline to the front door. It was only about ten feet. I could see that it had the same kind of magnetic lock on it as the garage door. What are the odds that it is unlocked—slim to none, of course? I stopped and thought, are they all in on this horrible ritualistic death house? I had to assume they were. I moved a little closer to the door.

I was almost to the door when a female—she looked to be around fourteen or fifteen—she came around the corner. Our eyes met. Her face turned cold and she turned to her left where all the voices came from, and said, “Dad, our dinner is trying to get away!” That statement made me furious. “I am not your dinner.” I grabbed the doorknob. I knew that it was locked but I had to try. It was locked. I turned and ran up the stairs. I would find a way out of this house even if I had to jump from the second story. I heard the man say, “Where are your brothers?” They didn’t know, but I did. I heard him say, “Get your knife and you can skin this pig.” That made me even more furious. When I reached the top of the stairs something inside told me to hide in the closet. In the center of the hall way there was a banister with a railing. There were bedrooms to the left and right. I got into the closet. It was the louvered kind so I could see someone coming. I remembered I still had a knife also. I could see the girl coming up the stairs. In her hand was a sword like a samurai would have. Outside the closet door was the railing overlooking the front door. It was about a ten-foot drop to the tile floor. I don’t know why I was thinking about these things. My heart was racing but strangely I was calm at the same time. She got to the top of the stairs and looked to the right but turned to the left I saw the sword she was caring passing by the door. Then she took a few steps forward and stopped. She turned to her right. She knew I was in the closet. I did not like the fact that I had to fight a teenage girl but I will do what I need to do. She stopped. The sword she was carrying was positioned straight out. I could see, for lack of better words, an evil smirk on her face. She thrust the sword forward. It came through the louvered door breaking two of the slats. I was to the right, it did not cut me. I knew it was time to move. She started to retract the sword. With all my force I hit the door, knocking the sword from her hand. She scrambled to pick it up. The door was open and I could see her clearly. I stepped on the sword, smashing her hand. She screamed profanities at me and pulled her hand up. I pushed her away from the sword. I did not realize how hard I pushed—or maybe I did—but she stumbled backwards and toppled over the banister. She fell to the foyer floor. I heard a loud pop. I wasn’t sure what it was but I did not hear any more out of her.

The one she called dad came running. He let out a loud scream. “My baby, my baby!” I could hear another voice; it was another female. I heard her scream also. I heard the man tell the women to get the gun. Then he yelled upstairs, “I am going to kill you and then find your family and kill them too.” There was no way I was going to let that happen. I ran to the right, to a bedroom. I assumed it was the master bedroom; it had its own bathroom. Something in me was telling me that now I was the predator and these people were the hunted. I went into the bedroom. I ran to the left side of the bed. I took my shoes off and placed them on the floor, slightly under the edge of the bed to appear to be under the bed. I didn’t believe that they would fall for it. I wanted them to think I was in the closet to the left of the bed but that is not where I will be. I hide behind the main bedroom door. There was an armoire next to the doorway. They would not be able to see me. Yes, an old childhood hide and seek, at least I hope it worked. I had no time to hash out a better plan. If I was going to die here it would not be without a fight. I heard them coming down the hall. The man came in real slowly. I could see him through the door hinges. The female was behind him. She had the gun. I still had the sword that I had taken from the daughter—but if I could get the gun that would be a game changer. I have to admit I was a little excited even if they killed me but I wasn’t going to let that happen.

The guy made his way to the other side of the room. He turned to look into the bathroom, but I saw him turn back quickly. He noticed the shoes. He motioned to his wife that I was under the bed. The wife stepped forward in plain view. She motioned no and pointed to the closet. The husband stepped toward the closet. The wife had the gun pointed at the closet. They had fallen for it. Now it was my move. Please understand hon: I had to do what was necessary to survive.

They both were looking at the closet. I pushed the door closed enough to get out. I guess adrenaline took over. I brought the sword up. The husband must have caught the movement out of the corner of his eye. He started to turn and yell but it was too late. With one precision swing of the sword I decapitated the wife. Her head fell to the floor with a thump. Her body stood motionless while blood started spraying out of her neck like a sprinkler watering the lawn. The man came at me but with a move that would make a samurai proud. I spun around three hundred sixty degrees with the sword and decapitated him. Another thump. Both bodies fell to the floor almost simultaneously. It made two louder thumps. They were dead. I was sure that was all of them but I got the gun and searched the rest of the house. No one else was there. I am not proud of this but I had killed the whole family and was still alive.

The next part I am going to tell you is the worst part. I guess a mixture of fear and adrenaline— Things got a little blurry. I am not sure why I did this but I got angry because these murderers trick people and then kill and eat their victims. They deserved far worse than just death. I dragged all the bodies downstairs to the basement. This is where they carried out these horrible crimes. When I had got all of them into the garage area where all this started, I proceeded to cut off the heads of the other three—Kirk, the daughter, and the other guy, which I assumed was the other son. I had seen pictures of the whole family. I do not know why I did all these things but I do not regret any of them. Then one by one I striped off their clothing and hung them up in the walk-in cooler upside down. I do not know how many have died here but one thing for sure—there would not be any more. I then took the knife that I still had in my back pocket and disemboweled each one of them. Their innards fell in a pile beneath their bodies. I then placed their head on each pile. I knew they were dead but I wanted them to be humiliated as well.

When all of this was done, I checked on the guy that was in the cooler. He was still alive. He was resting. I was sure he would be okay. I sat down for a minute to think. I needed to call the police, but how would I explain all that I had done here? I decided I would not call them until I got away from this place. I would wait till late tonight take Kirk’s car, which still had my amp in it, and drive back to my car, which was about five miles from here. It would not take me long to get to it. I went upstairs. I had blood all over my clothes. I took them off and washed them. I found a robe to wear. I hoped it wasn’t one of the victims’. I went and showered and wiped down everything that I possibly touched. Then I took the robe and the towels and washed them heavy with bleach. I was sure that all traces of me were gone. If by chance they found something I hope the police would think it was another one of their victims.

It was about nine PM now. I would wait there another three to four hours before I left hoping that everyone in the neighborhood was asleep. I,m sure the guy in the basement can hold out a little longer. He is resting but he is moving around a little more. I don’t need him to see me. I would not have hurt him even if he did. This guy had been through hell and survived. He will have this horrible story to tell for the rest of his life, but at least he will be alive to tell it. I stopped for a minute and tears started rolling down my face. I had survived this horrible ordeal also. My wife must be worried sick. I had left my phone in my car. Real smart, huh.

I knew I could not tell you what happened and I am sorry for that but I didn’t want you to have to live with my secret also.

Twelve-thirty came around. I looked out the windows and the neighborhood was quiet. There were no lights on. Everyone was asleep. I checked on the guy again; he was doing fine. I still don’t know why I didn’t just call the police. I guess it must have been when the husband said he would find my family and kill them. That turned some kind of switch on inside me. I was not going to let that happen no matter the cost. I thought about the guy on the couch. How long has he been missing from his family? He will see them soon. That helped me feel a little bit better. I thought about all the victims, all the bins in the walk-in. At least this would help with closure with the families. The thought made me sick. I ran down into the bathroom and threw up. I then located the release for the front door. I pulled myself together, got in Kirk’s car and made my way to my car. It was in a Kroger’s shopping center. There were a few cars in the parking lot so my car didn’t stick out. I loaded my amp into my car and whipped down Kirk’s car and came home.

I picked up my phone. I had seven messages. You sounded so concerned and worried. I started crying again. I was grateful that I would see you again even though I would have to lie to you. I did not want you involved with this. I was about ninety percent sure that they would not find any evidence linking me to Kirk. I went over a checklist—before I left I wiped down everything; I took Kirk’s phone; I used it to call the police once I had gotten away from there. I called and reported that I had heard shots fired and screaming coming from their house. I gave them the address, and then I wiped down the phone and threw it into a river. I hoped it the police would not come and see me…but that is why I could not tell you what had happened. As you know the police never came out. I watched the news reports. The guy I pulled out of the cooler survived. He was in the hospital a few days, then released. He talked about how an angel had saved him. Well I am no angel but I am glad that I was able to save him. I hoped you would not see the news—I was afraid you would put it together if you heard Kirk’s name—but we don’t watch the news much. You never knew about what the news was calling “The mystery of the butcher’s butcher.” The news report said the police had no clue about what they are calling the gruesome house of death. They are not clear on what happened here or who is this mystery man that saved a Milton Hills resident. Thank God the police never came to our home asking questions and you were none the wiser.

I am truly sorry hon that all these years you thought that I had cheated. After reading this letter you probably wish it was that simple, but I hope you understand, hon, I had no choice. These people were murderers. They were going to—well you know what they were going to do. I do not regret what I have done. We all have a dark side. Maybe I let mine go a little far, but those animals deserved what came down on them and I would do it again if I had to. Please know that I love you and would never hurt you or allow you to be hurt. I just hope you still love me and forgive me for all these years keeping this secret from you. Know that my heart was always yours and I will be watching over you. Enjoy the rest of your life and I will see you on the other side.
Lovingly yours, Ronny

PS. the lawyer sent a letter to the police. I am sure they will want to see you but it won’t be more than an aggravation for you. Sorry hon, but I wanted the police to have closure for a case which I am sure it has been closed many years ago. Good-bye, my love.

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