Meet Donald Vann, a 34 year old serial killer and convicted sex offender whom the cops have been hunting down for nearly a decade.
According to John Douglas, a former chief of the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, there are between 35 and 50 active serial killers operating in the United States at any given time. Other experts who study these rare and enigmatic monsters call that a conservative estimate, many of them suggesting that there may be in fact closer to as many as 100 of them actively operating right now. What makes them so difficult to spot is that for the most part they look just like you and me, having worked hard to blend right in and avoid detection a la Dexter Morgan.
But unlike everyone's favorite fictional blood splatter analyst these killers don't just prey on the innocent or rely on a moral code to guide their dark passenger's irresistible urges. They kill with increasing ferocity, generally according to a predetermined pattern that accelerates over time making their kill cycle shorter and their behavior more brazen. While most leave their unique signature on the bodies of their victims or at the crime scene tableau it's often a simple mistake in judgment that unravels their killing spree. As you read this 1 of their number has finished his evil work and is now behind bars, but not before he could murder at least 7 unsuspecting victims and stash their mangled corpses in some of the 10,000 abandoned homes in the city of Gary, Indiana.
A while back you may recall me talking about a woman claiming that a portal to hell was opened in the basement of her home in Gary, Indiana and that over 200 hundred demons were living in the rental along with her, her kids, and her mother without contributing a nickel to rent or heating bills. Latoya Ammons and her family claimed to experience things in that place that can't be explained to this day, including levitation, wet foot prints appearing before their eyes, and the full blown demonic possession of all of the children. While many people scoffed at what they considered to be a ludicrous religious flight of fancy others were not so easily dissuaded, including hospital workers, child family services counselors, and even the investigating police officers. Eventually the Catholic Church sent in a priest to do an exorcism, using the trusty old 'power of Christ' routine to rid the children of their unwelcome hitchhikers from hell the same way one might use medicated shampoo to clear away head lice. Latoya and her family didn't stick around after they were newly demon free. They packed up their stuff and got the fuck out of Gary, leaving the traumatic experience - as well as those pesky spirits - in their rearview mirror.
But what happens to evil once it is unleashed? Does it dissipate back to whence it came or does it linger, looking for a suitable new host to thrive inside? And did anyone ever check to see if that supposed portal to hell was once again hermetically sealed? No doubt Gary Indiana could have benefited greatly from the services and expertise of a real life Dr. Venkman and associates but, short of self-proclaimed "ghost hunter" Zak Bagans with his eccentrically coiffed jet black hair spikes, there were none to be found. It would seem that the town of Gary, much like the rhyming town of Derry from Stephen King's IT, has become a beacon for all things terrible, luring to it a monster living among the good people who call it home, one that authorities now believe has been hunting and killing for quite some time.
Meet Donald Vann, a 34 year old serial killer and convicted sex offender whom the cops have been hunting down for nearly a decade in one form or another. Police believe that Vann may be responsible for as many as 25 or more bodies, from murders taking place as far back as 2005. Born in Indiana it's believed he spent most of his adult life there, with short stints in Texas, North Carolina, and possibly Florida. Like most serial killers Vann's murders initially went unsolved, with many of them never even being reported or discovered until after he'd been caught. Despite the best efforts of several police departments to track down who was killing girls from Texas to Indiana the trail kept going cold, that is until Vann slipped up and made an amateur killers mistake last month.