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Hungry hungry Hippodrome

October 14th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

It took the Baltimore police several weeks before they began to string together the obvious, which in retrospect seems idiotic, but who could have accepted the truth so quickly, even amongst detectives? It isn’t as if the situation was logical. One person goes missing after a show, and then another vanishes the next night. The pattern continues, and while it’s clear the common element amongst the disappearances is that they were all last seen at the Hippodrome Theatre, the basic assumption was that there was a kidnapper or more likely murderer stalking its patrons. But of course that was wrong.

Sadly, several months passed before the authorities zeroed in on the true culprit. Thirty-seven had gone missing by then, and five more were lost while the district attorney wrestled with the protocol for and legality of arresting a building. Even when he found a narrow path through the red tape to get there, he was faced with the fact that he had no solid evidence to prove a historically renowned building was swallowing people whole, never mind that he’d be laughed off the front pages and disgraced. No trace of any of the missing bodies had been found, and he needed proof to convict.

Requesting the police team enter the theater to gather clues was perhaps the worst mistake of his career. Of course none of them came out. He never forgave himself for urging the chief on. But to dispatch yet more troops to search for their bodies was a lost cause, and any squad would likely refuse the assignment anyway, given the haunting rumors floating around the city. So he was left helpless and impotent in his job as a prosecutor, the most humiliating feeling he’d ever experienced. A building had beaten him, and a vaudeville house at that.

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