That especially malevolent individual, that I thought I might have to have an encounter with, had disappeared. I hoped he was dead and would suffer the purgatory I was enduring. You could wish nothing better on your worst enemy. My curiosity had gotten the better of me and I had touched the man just a week before he left and what I saw even disconcerted me beyond my wildest expectations. I discovered that the man's actual name was Marcel André Henri Félix Petiot and he had escaped the guillotine when this latest fight in France had started. He was scheduled to die by decapitation on May 23, 1946 but a stray bomb had enabled his escape from his holding cell in Paris on the 20th.
This man was a monster in the true sense of the word. He prayed on the desperate in Paris during the Occupation mostly in 1942-1943. It seems that he and three accomplishes spread the word that they could facilitate the escape of anyone from the Nazi dragnet and attracted many Jews and criminals who were running for their lives. Marcel Petiot was an actual doctor and former mayor and that held various other offices of import in pre-war France. He constantly embezzled from every town, province or institution he was associated with. Millions of francs slipped into his pockets. He consequently was thrown out of office as frequently as he was elected or appointed.
His favorite form of recreation was opiates and used the same drug on many of his patients, killing some in the process. He was indicted and sanctioned numerous times for the over prescription of these drugs. Yet the desperate kept seeking him out. He and his associated would convince the unfortunate that he or she would be whisked to Argentina or Portugal etc. for a mere fee of 25,000 francs. Once they had paid and were under his control he would inoculate them "on the insistence of the Argentine government". Having no intention, nor the ability, to carry out his promised duties, he would kill his victims by injecting them with cyanide.
Initially his henchmen would dispose of the bodies by depositing them in the Seine. During 1942 and 1943 body parts were popping up like corks in the river like clockwork. Eventually they started using quick lime and then finally incineration in a cast iron stove in the basement of 21 Rue Le Suer. Some were identified, many were not. The Paris police was not interested in investigating dead Jews in the height of the occupation.
The Gestapo heard of this legendary underground escape route and coerced a Jew, Yvan Dreyfus, into approaching the network for passage, but Dreyfus vanished with the rest in May 1943. Eventually the Germans actually caught and tortured confessions out of Dr. Petoit's and his gang. They long suspected that the gang was actually smuggling out the Jews and others, and were actually relieved when they found out the they were just being murdered instead. The Germans somehow overlooked 21 Rue Le Sueur in their investigation and since Petoit was only killing Jews they amazingly, let them all go after 8 months of torture and confessions.
The Dr. took up his old habits after being released. He was finally caught by the French police when he was too enthusiastic in burning the bodies on March 11th, 1944 and the ensuing smoke and stench alarmed his neighbors who called the authorities. They discovered a roaring fire made up of human legs and arms acting as kindling along with other remains strew about the premises of 21 Rue Le Sueur. They also found partially decomposed bodies buried in quicklime at other locations owned by the Dr.. All toll the body count was over 60.
The doctor escaped after actually showing up in front of his house as it was being searched. He was confronted by a policeman but manage to escape. He was on his bicycle and was not caught until the war was just about over. Even though the trial was held in Vichy France, the story was so salacious that it made international news, and even crowed out the news of the war on certain days. Despite a spirited defense by the doctor himself, he was convicted and was set to meet Mr. Guillotine on May 23rd 1946. Then just another amazing happenstance in this ghouls life occurred when a stray bomb collapsed part of the jail in which he was being held. 24 other prisoners, including Dr. Petoit, made their escape.
Petoit must have had a secrete of cash and false identities because he disappeared from Paris and eventually France. He ended up not far away in London and convinced the authorities that he was an expert in supply and was drafted to work as the head of supply for the RAF Fighter Command control room at 50 Berkeley Square. This is where I encountered him much to my dismay. You see I cannot directly kill or hurt living beings. Oh I have tried but my hands, feet and even teeth just pass right through the intended victim and they are never the worse for wear. If the conditions are right I can cause a very high degree of fright and even permanent damage by reveling myself. But the conditions have to be right. My chance looked like it would never come concerning Dr. Petoit and he just didn't show up one day for his assigned duties. I overheard conversations about him just disappearing but no one knew what ever happened to him.
Hopefully he was killed by a stray bullet or contracted consumption or some other dread disease. Then as luck would have it he showed up late one night and snuck upstairs to my usual room where I tended to exist. At first I did not recognize him. He had lost a great deal of weight and looked like a hunted man. He was dressed in tattered clothing and looked like your common street person. I was planning on just scaring this beggar away when that feeling of wickedness come over me and when he took off his hat. I saw who he was.
Now the truly wicked are much easier to scare and haunt then the righteous. Something to do with a good imagination for the macabre I surmise. You have to have a fertile mind in order to do the things that the Dr. did to his victims. I knew that I had to set the stage properly and had only one chance to end this reprehensible excuse for a human life once and for all. He had to wait for the right moment and somehow lure him gently so that he was out in the hall with his back to the rail before I reveled himself in all my horror. I was in fact a horror to those who ever saw me. I had no idea what I looked like, as the mirror did not reflect my image back to me. The look on the few who did deserve my appearance was unmistakable.
Oh, how the Dr. deserved to look upon my countenance. The timing had to be such that the Dr. would jump backwards and press forcefully against the weak part of the railing and fall 4 stories to the basement hopefully hitting vital parts all the way down. It had been a long time since I had made himself appear and I was hoping I remembered how to make my presence known. It was not a skill that you can practice as it cause all sorts of commotion and consternation to the people involved and if no one else was around I had no idea if it worked or not. Rats to not make a great audience for this kind of thing.
For whatever reason I was not given the ability of a poltergeist so I could not make a sound nor move objects. I did not know how it was determined why I was trapped in this house nor why I was not allowed to do what normal specters can do. I had tried to both move things and make a noise but to no avail. I could only become an apparition of the most hideous variety instantly. I did catch someone talking about the stories of one of my rare appearances and it sounded like I was missing my nose and one eye was hanging from an eye socket and I had fangs with a long black tongue emitting from my mouth. Again I wished I could see my countenance just once.
The Dr. made himself comfortable and appeared to be here for the night. Luckily he was facing the door and was about to nod off when I made sure to just barely catch his eye with the movement of my hand disappearing through the door and into the hallway. He jumped up with a start and a knife was in his hand rather quickly. After a short hesitation he slowly approached the door and opened it a crack. I once again showed myself and move quickly, as only a ghost can, past the door so he could just catch a glimpse of movement. He jumped back and then rushed out into the hall with knife drawn. I had by the that time gone through the wall and circled around the now empty room and waited for him to once again turn towards the open door and put his back to the railing.
He stared long and hard at the dead-end hallway and then started to turn to his left back towards the open door. This was my chance. I jumped out in all my hideous glory and gave what I thought was a stellar performance of malice, threat and evil intentions. He didn't react, he just stood there and stared at me. It took a full second for him to react and react he did. He quickly turned and ran full force into the railing which didn't break, to my surprise. He was moving so fast however that he cartwheel right over the rail and fell screaming down the full four stories only hitting his arm once on the third floor which sent him spinning even faster. He fell for what seemed like ages and then hit with a satisfying thwack and never moved again. His blood quickly pooling around him started for the drain in the floor before anyone come to see what the noise was all about.
I must have been still visible as the first young lady that appeared looked first at the body and then up at me and only then started to scream and promptly fainted on the Dr.'s body. I did what I do to become invisible again and moved down the stair shaft as more people poked their heads and looked at the dead body and the damsel in distress that was now on top of said body. A few shivered as I slid past them on my way down but no one saw me. Some of the men came and rescued the fair maiden who was felled by my appearance and all returned to normal quite quickly. I was quite disappointed as no one seemed to recognize the Dr. and I feared that my accomplishment was not to be recognized for what it was.
I never did learn if my involvement in the whole affair was appreciated or not. Shortly after I reached the bottom and was watching the men deal with the body and attempting to revive the young lady, I saw the light that many have described upon death. I rushed towards it with all my heart, and now apparently, my soul.