All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Valentine’s Day Massacre by Doug Hawley

Special Report To Stumptown Magazine by Elmer Jakes February 10, 20xx

I was at her bedside when Ginger Smith uttered her last words.  “Why did Ted do this?  I thought that we loved each other.”

Ginger didn’t know that Ted Hamer didn’t do it.  He had died before she had.  The real murderer of Ginger and Ted was Phil Jenks the billionaire owner of Fallpark, the famous maker of greeting cards and romance movies.

The why and how of Jenk’s crimes are mostly known, and the missing pieces can be filled in with reasonable certainty.

The public knows one side of Jenks who named his business after a small town in the southern Willamette Valley where he was born – Oregon’s billionaire that doesn’t import shoes, the one who started with greeting cards and then started his own network of cheap romance movies.  It isn’t as well known that the movies are all made in Canada, avoiding Oregon’s own movie industry for more incentives from the north.

Oregon also missed on any benefit from the greeting cards which were all made in Asia.  Most Oregonians didn’t even know that a subsidiary of Fallpark made adult toys and aides, which were also made in Asia.

Before the authorities connected the hundreds of greeting card deaths and thousands of disability cases to Jenks, he had left the country.  All of the cards had been saturated with a nerve agent which paralyzed and sometimes killed those who touched them.  A couple of weeks after that, hospitals were flooded by patients with diseased genitals who had used Fallpark toys and lotions.  At least five thousand people were confined to painful lives without sex and difficulty urinating and walking.

As authorities concentrated on Fallpark’s connection to what became known as the Valentine’s Day Massacre, Portland’s mayor got a letter postmarked New York City.

“Hey rubes, this is Phil Jenks.  Don’t bother to look for me in America.  I arranged this letter to go through several drops so it couldn’t be traced.  Right now I’m in a country which not only has no extradition to the USA, but hates America.  They do love my money and will do whatever they can to keep me safe here.  Why did I do it?  First I was really sick of the lies about love that from which I made my fortune.  Truth is men want good sex and women want a man’s money.  Wife witch Wendy was about to try to get half my money in a divorce.  Called me evil, controlling and greedy.  If you can find her, ask her what she thinks now.  You probably know by now that I pulled the plug on Fallpark.  You’ll have to find another source for idiotic pap.”

In next month’s issue we cover the mysterious death of Phil Jenks and the women who may have been responsible.

                Special Report To Stumptown Magazine by Elmer Jakes February 11, 20xx

Events following the reporting have turned the simple version of the Valentine’s Day Massacre which killed and wounded thousands upside down.  Despite the early report of the guilt and death of Phil Jenks, the man who had confessed to the Massacre and was presumed killed in Iran, both have been opened to doubts and conspiracy claims.

According to website The Source, Jenks was spotted in a Montana service station on June 22 by an old high school buddy weeks after his supposed death.  However, the website refused to identify the witness, stating that he wanted to remain anonymous.  Despite the factcheck 2% accuracy rate of The Source, its claim has gained credence because Iran has been very secretive about Jenks’ death and there have been more claims of Jenks sightings.  Jenks has become something of a modern Elvis Presley in that respect.

A rival conspiracy website Counterpoint calls The Source “Nutty”, then goes on to claim “Jenks’ wife Ann is the real manager of the massacre and her agents killed Phil Jenks in Iran”.

The Source responded “If Counterpoint claimed the sun would come up tomorrow, I wouldn’t believe it until I checked for myself”.

A woman who identified herself as Zekia sent a letter to Stumptown postmarked Tehran Iran and dated June 29 claiming to have inside information about the death of Mr. Jenks.  According to her, Jenks had been killed because he had an affair with the wife of an Iranian official.  Zekia would provide the details for $200,000 and American citizenship.  Her story lacked credibility and Stumptown neither paid for news, nor was it able to grant citizenship.

After the various questionable claims from dubious websites and a woman in Iran, Stumptown received some solid news from Chad Brazer on July 1, Jenks’ lawyer.  He first called and said “Check your fax machine.”  After a few minutes, we received copies of Brazer’s driver’s license and passport.  They confirmed his identity.

Brazer followed up with a call within the hour.  “Everything you’ve heard is wrong.  My client Phil Jenks was subjected to gas lighting over three weeks with drugs supplied by a gang which caused him to be paranoid and hallucinate to the extent that they could convince him that he caused the massacre.  They then extorted money from him and sent him to Iran.  They dictated the confession that you received.  I know this because he called me from Iran after his mind had cleared.  I have enough information to identify the real perpetrators and will send it to appropriate authorities.  If he is still alive, and he may be, he wants to come home and clear his name.”

Jenks’ lawyer’s claim wasn’t enough to upend Jenks’ confession, but then we got a real shock from someone else who was suspected dead.  Jenks’ wife Ann called us.  “As the president of Fallpark’s movie division, I had been in Vancouver British Columbia observing the filming of ‘Christmas in August’ when a friend offered me a cabin to stay in remote northern BC and out of contact.  I knew nothing about the Valentine’s Day Massacre until today.  There is no way he could have committed those crimes.  He knew nothing about either the Card division or the adult division.  He left all of that to other people.  He has no knowledge of poisons.  He is a good financials guy, but that is about the end of his expertise.  The part about him hating me would have been unbelievable until a few weeks ago, when he started acting crazy out of the blue.  He had always been a recreational drug dealer, but he had started to hang out with some bad people who were feeding him some really hard stuff.  As much as I loved him, I had to get away.”

Our contact at the FBI is reviewing all of the new evidence and is pursuing suspects.  The fate of Phil Jenks is unknown.


In December Ann Jenks received a phone call with no ID which started “Hello Love”.  She has not been seen since then and no one has found Phil Jenks.

Doug Hawley.

Image by S K from Pixabay 

7 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Massacre by Doug Hawley”

  1. Doug–

    I read this and was grateful that we don’t live in a world with things like Fallmark and Jenks in it. Then I had a little more coffee and cigarette, which allow cognitive functions, and admonished myself for my earlier naivete. Some will congratulate your ability to create satire. I praise your uncanny knack for painting a slice ‘o life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What I initially thought was a zany start to the week caused me to reflect that it described a possible world not so far removed from this one! Loved the style!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “The missing pieces can be filled in with reasonable certainty,” the narrative begins….pretty funny! I too enjoyed the style and satire here. At first, Jenks wife is Wendy, then she turns into Anne. That’s cool about the movies made in Canada – very true! Christmas In July is filmed anew every year up here he he. Geez, the actual nerve agent perp. remains possibly unknown. That’s scary! I haven’t received a greeting card in years, but now you’ve got me worried!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harrison – Maybe her name was Wendy Ann and she used both names? Sloppy writing and editing, but what can you expect from amateurs?

      We’ve seen the shooting in BC. Here in Oregon for Si FY and Hallmark, we assume any Seattle (show the Space Needle) or Oregon movie is BC filmed and any East Coast movie is filmed in Toronto. Montreal gets its share.


  4. Thanks for the comments. Background – this was for a VD horror issue, but it was rejected. This is a story I wanted to tell, but I think of it in order – love story, crime story, horror story, satire. If you have seen Hallmark, it is close to beyond satire. It is as predictable as Perry Mason – he gets the real murderer at the end. On Hallmark she gets the right guy at the end. My editor watches these so I have learned. This is my attempt at satirize / parodize Hallmark – Christmas in August, she is a billionaire, her intended is a billionaire. You’ll have to read it to find the AMAZING UNBELIEVABLE ending.

    Maybe I can time it so it will show up somewhere for VD next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Doug,
    When I read this I wondered if the MC’s observation on a certain type of union being incorrect??
    …Well, I’m not sure!!
    I love that this is an interesting take on how to ‘really’ serial kill. Shipman would be a toddler compared to this!
    And thoughts on finding an excuse is always interesting.
    I also liked the fucking up of the idea of ‘Hallmark’
    I really did enjoy this Doug!!
    All the very best my fine friend.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.