Chapter 102


    Tuesday, November 2


    There was no shortage of media interest. For the still photographers and videographers alike, the Tudor house at Chestnut Hill was a feast of images. It would probably be on the list of horror tours next Halloween. The road in front of Christa-Marie Schönburg's house was crowded with national and international media. Two days after the horror, the numbers were still growing.

    For the police, the whole story would take far longer to assemble. The investigation revealed that Michael Drummond and Joseph Novak had both attended Prentiss, had both taken private lessons from Christa-Marie Schönburg. Over the years the rivalry between the boys had grown, not for first chair in an ensemble but rather for the affections of Christa-Marie.

    On Halloween night 1990, it came to a head. Although investigators might never know exactly what had happened, they believed that Michael Drummond and Joseph Novak killed Gabriel Thorne that night. Drummond, being the dominant one of the pair, held this over Novak's head for the next twenty years.

    The two men formed a small, unprofitable company, through which they published limited-edition reproductions of sheet music, penned reproductions in the composer's hand. The paper they used was Atriana.

    When Drummond, who had taken a job at Benjamin Curtin's law firm - Paulson Deny Chambers - learned of Christa-Marie's illness, his own psychosis led him down a path of destruction, a reign of terror that would be felt for a long time.

    It was Michael Drummond who had supplied the forged visitor's pass and clothing to Lucas Anthony Thompson.

    Real-estate tax records traced back to Drummond led to a small commercial building in South Philly. Police found his killing room full of recording equipment, as well as a cache of nearly two hundred CDs and audiocassettes - all meticulously dated - of street and human sounds, some of them of people in their death throes. It would be months, maybe years, before police forensic audiologists would be able to make sense of the recordings, if ever. Michael Drummond had been building to this dark denouement for a long time.

    At Josh Bontrager's direction K-9 officers from PPD found an unconsious David Albrecht at the bottom of the ravine on Sawmill Road. Albrecht had lost a lot of blood, but paramedics reached him in time. Investigators were certain that he had been attacked and left for dead by Michael Drummond, but Drummond would escape this charge posthumously.

    None of this explained the murder of George Archer.

    Lucy Doucette, in her statement, told police about the man she had met. The man who called himself Adrian Costa. The Dreamweaver. Police checked with the management of the apartment building off Cherry Street. The landlord said that a man had rented Apartment 106 for six months, paying cash in advance. He gave police a vague description.

    They had showed Lucy the video recordings made on Halloween Night at the hotel, recordings of the hallway on the twelfth floor. Jessica had freeze-framed the image of the man in the wizard's costume and mask passing by the camera.

    Lucy said she couldn't remember.

    Jessica had also visited Garrett Corners again, researched the name Adrian Costa. No one with that name had ever been registered as a voter or resident of the area. The people knew the reclusive van Tassels to be travelers, carny people. The only photograph of the family was nearly fifteen years old. When Jessica revisited Peggy van Tassel's grave, she looked at the two plots next to it. One was the grave of a man named Ellis Adrian. The other was the last resting place of an Evangeline Costa.

    Was the Dreamweaver Peggy van Tassel's father?

    From what the investigators could gather, it appeared that Florian van Tassel had tracked Archer for years but had not known for sure that it was Archer who had kidnapped both Peggy van Tassel and Lucy Doucette back in September 2001. As the Dreamweaver, van Tassel enticed Lucy to submit to hypnosis sessions during which van Tassel determined that he had been right. George Archer had killed Peggy. It seemed that van Tassel also gave Lucy a post-hypnotic suggestion to leave a note for Archer in his room, drawing him up there at 9:30p.m., then instructed her to open the door to Room 1208 at the right moment.

    The enhanced video taken from the twelfth-floor hallway that night showed the man dressed as a wizard - believed to be Florian van Tassel - with an old-style school bell in his hand.

    While all of this was circumstantial, it wasn't until forensic results started to come in that police issued an arrest warrant for Florian van Tassel, aka The Dreamweaver. Blood belonging to George Archer was found on the old photograph left behind in the room where the Dreamweaver had met with Lucy Doucette.

    The George Archer file sat in a file cabinet at the Roundhouse.

    The case remains open.

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