Yellow Mama Archives II

Robert Jeschonek

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Flynn, James
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Glass, Donald
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Price, Liberty
Proctor, M. E.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Stanley, Barbara
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Taylor, Richard Allen
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Murder by the Numbers


by Robert Jeschonek




9:15 p.m.

12 O’clock High Club


6' 1"

180 lbs.

45 yrs.



5' 6"


120 lbs.

24 yrs.





80 proof






10:00 p.m.



80 MPH


Exit 21

Rm #312






1, 2, 1, 2






11:15 p.m.




Exit 11

17th St.

9th Ave.

315 27th St.


6' 1" / 180 lbs. / 45 yrs. / $500,000/yr.


5' 3"

195 lbs.


49 yrs.







2:00 p.m.

315 27th St.


Ding-Dong x 3


5' 3" / 195 lbs. / 38"-38"-44" / 49 yrs.


5' 8"

240 lbs.

#1 P.I.

w/35mm SLR


8" x 10"



8" x 10"



8" x 10"








9:00 p.m.

12 O’clock High Club


5' 3" / 195 lbs. / 38"-38"-44" / 49 yrs.


5' 6" / 36"-24"-36" / 120 lbs. / 24 yrs. / V05




















11:15 a.m.

25th Circuit Court

Case #22-2354-FC


5' 3" / 195 lbs. / 38"-38"-44" / 49 yrs.


12 Jurors


15 minutes deliberation


30 years to life




Secretary to a Serial Killer


Robert Jeschonek        


Carefully, I arrange the strips of bloody flesh to form letters on the hardwood floor of the victim's home.  It has to be done just so, set up in a neat semi-circle that spells out a single word:  Parasol.

Next come the fingers, severed at the second knuckle.  I place all ten of them in the bronze bowl behind the word "Parasol" and squirt lighter fluid on them.

Then, I light a match and toss it into the bowl.  Flames dance, lighting up the rest of tonight's work for review.

Clumps of hair from other victims encircle the bowl, alternating in color.  Beyond that, bones from a rib cage—some bleached, some painted black—are laid out in two parallel rows.  Next, splotches of soft-boiled egg and little piles of cooked spaghetti that look completely random—but aren't.  Nothing here is random.

Not even the way the dead man's 87 stab wounds are situated on his body.  Everything has to be just so.

Suddenly, a camera flash goes off behind me.  I shiver, because I know he's back there—my captor, my boss.

"Very nice, Lydia.  I knew I made the right choice when I hired you."

My name isn't Lydia, and he didn't hire me, but none of that matters.  "Merci, Monsieur Le Grande."  It also doesn't matter that I don't know more than a few words of French.  He insists I speak it the best I can.

His footfalls are heavy as he steps up beside me, blood-soaked butcher's apron and all, snapping more photos with his phone.  "You've done me proud, my dear.  I am truly blessed to have you on staff."

My heart pounds so hard it hurts because he could kill me at any second.  Also because of what he might see in those photos when he takes a close look.

"You're just what every great artist needs," says Le Grande.  "An assistant.  A fellow sick mind by his side."

There's a case of the psychopath calling the kettle black.  The disorder I've got doesn't compare to his bloodlust.

Though it's true, I wouldn't be here right now if not for my extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder—my OCD.


The whole way home through the West Virginia moonlight, I can't stop thinking about tonight's photo shoot. The pictures he took—the proof of my betrayal—are right there on his phone, waiting for him to see.

All because I took a chance and broke the rules, planting the subtlest of clues within his own twisted cypher in the hope that someone out there will see what I did and understand.  Someone who can help me get free.

"We'll take a little downtime tomorrow, yes?"  Keeping one hand on the wheel of the van, he pats my knee with the other.  "We'll make breakfast, take care of the mail, and catch up on social media.  Sound good?"

"Oui, Monsieur Le Grande."  By "taking care of the mail," he means sending the crime scene photos to the cops via some distant, random mailbox...and by "social media," he means picking his next victim online.

"We're allowed to have a little downtime now and then, right?"  Le Grande chuckles.  "A day off never killed anyone, did it?"

"Non, Monsieur Le Grande."  It's been a long time since I last had a day off.  My life hasn't stopped being a nightmare in the last three months.

Not since Le Grande showed up at my home office in Wheeling and asked about hiring my company, OCD Diva, Inc., for some so-called consulting work…then came back later that night, broke in, and hauled me away.  From that moment on, my new life began…my new life of being the prisoner of a serial killer.

And being his crime scene decorator, too.  Who better than an OCD expert to make sure his intricate masterpieces are perfectly presented for the police, without a detail out of place?

And what better motivation than the promise of death to keep that expert cooperating?


When we get home—to his house in the woods outside Parkersburg—he puts me to work cleaning his implements.  As always, I'm repulsed...and also forced by my OCD to scrub them like crazy.

The three bloody knives, I wash with bleach-based cleanser in the laundry sink in the basement.  I wear yellow rubber gloves up to my elbows and scrub every surface until my hands hurt.

The bone saw takes longer.  So do some of the torture implements, like the pliers and razor wire.  But I get it done; I always do.

"Just printed out the photos from tonight, Lydia."  Le Grande swoops downstairs with a handful of color prints.  "There's just one...problem."

Every drop of blood in my body turns to ice.

"Here."  He swings over beside me and holds up the prints.  "I'll bet you thought I wouldn't catch this, huh?"

He sees it.  His eye for detail is too fanatically sharp.  He zeroed right in on the clues I so carefully concealed.

"Look."  He pulls out a scalpel and jabs the tip at the top print in the stack.  "It's right there in plain sight."

Can he see me trembling?  Can he smell the terror in my heart as death draws near?

My voice sounds faint when I finally find it.  "I was just...just trying to..."

"I know exactly what you were trying to do!"  He shakes the scalpel at my face.

Tears streaming down my cheeks, I brace myself for the end.

Then, he plunges the scalpel at the photo, sticking its point in the image of the bronze bowl with the charred remains of the fingers smoldering within.

"You were trying to make me look bad," snaps Le Grande.  "How dare you turn the bowl so the number of pentagrams engraved on the rim is not equal on either side of the Eye of Horus as it is centered over the word 'Parasol' on the floor?"

I draw in a deep breath, fighting to steady myself.  After all this, all my fear, he was looking at something else the whole time.

"You have failed me."  He sneers.

"I apologize."  I bow my head.  "It will never happen again, Monsieur."

He stares at me for a long moment, and I worry he may yet see through me.  But then he sighs, and his expression softens.

"You are only human, yes?"  He presses the prints into my sweaty hands.  "And we do have PhotoChop on the laptop, hm?  Editing is possible."

"Yes...I mean oui."

"Then I suggest you get busy.  We simply must have these in the mail to the gendarmerie first thing tomorrow."

I straighten the prints as he winks and strolls away, slicing at the air with the scalpel.  My relief is almost more than I can bear.

Today, I live.  I survive.

But tomorrow is another day.  Tomorrow is another letter of the alphabet painstakingly mapped in minute variations of soft-boiled egg splotches corresponding with Morse code.

One letter, one victim at a time, purchased at terrible cost.  Even then, will anyone see it?  Will anyone understand the full message when it's done?  Will they come for me?  All I can do is pray for someone with as much OCD as I have to be on the receiving end.

And, God help me, for Le Grande to keep the victims coming until I am done.


Robert Jeschonek is a USA TODAY bestselling author. His fiction has appeared in Black Cat Mystery Magazine, Pulphouse Fiction Magazine, Mystery Magazine, and other markets around the world.

Site Maintained by Fossil Publications