The Second Call
Perhaps the most obvious next step following my meeting with Vic, was to pay a visit to the multi-storey car park in Foundation Street. As valuable as the interview had been, in terms of concrete evidence or definite leads it had provided me with very little, and the mention of a further 'memorial' was perhaps the only suggestion of anything remotely substantive. I saw no overwhelming urgency to investigate however, since a second memorial, whilst significant and worthy of documentation, seemed unlikely to yield anything beyond that provided by the tree in Christchurch Park, and therefore did not appear to warrant immediate action. I certainly had no intention of making my way there that same night. Rather I resolved to visit Foundation Street in the near - but not immediate - future.
The complexion of the week's events was altered somewhat the following Monday, 15th September 2003, when I received a second telephone call from Peter Marlin. As was the case with the first a week earlier, this call was placed shortly after 9am, directly to my office, where I answered it personally. The transcript of this call may be viewed here.
The voice was recognisable as Marlin's, yet the tone on this occasion was altogether different. He appeared more confident, more sure of himself, and more willing to assert his own (perceived) authority. The periods of silence which had characterised the first call were absent this time, and Marlin appeared more willing to engage me in some form of limited conversation.
The revelation of this call was of course that Marlin had seen me in Christchurch Park. This news came as a bolt from the blue, and immediately placed me on the back foot in the conversation, which I suspect was Marlin's intention. He naturally occupied a position of some power, being in possession of information which he knew would come as a shock to me, and he wasted no time in wielding this power.
Perhaps I should not have been surprised by this revelation. Marlin had clearly been directing me towards the park; it should not therefore come as a complete surprise that he was willing to follow me there. The reality of this situation, however, was more than a little unsettling. To be aware that my movements were being monitored to such an extent was an uncomfortable position in which to find myself.
My first thought upon hearing this news was that 'John', the man I encountered in Christchurch Park the previous week, had been Marlin himself. This had occurred to me as a possibility at the time of course, and it seemed a far stronger one now. Regarding this issue, I would simply refer readers to the comments made both previously and subsequently in this account.
Perhaps most interesting is that whilst Marlin was quick to comment on my presence in the park, he made no reference to St Matthew's Street and the encounters which had taken place there. Having mentioned Christchurch Park so readily, I find it hard to believe that Marlin was aware of my later visit to the underpass. I am doubtful of his ability to keep this knowledge to himself, and feel he would have been only too willing to demonstrate his omniscience to me at the earliest opportunity. I am inclined therefore to conclude that he had no knowledge of Friday night's events.
This being the case, it casts significant doubt on the existence of a link between Marlin and John, and furthermore suggests that Marlin may be entirely unaware of the content of my conversation in the park. He was doubtless watching, but perhaps from a distance beyond audible range. It may also be significant that I made my way to Christchurch Park directly from my place of work. Marlin naturally knows my organisation, and given a certain amount of dedication, could feasibly have monitored the building and followed me there. When visiting St Matthew's Street two days later, I did not travel directly from work. This may well explain why Marlin was aware of one trip and not the other, particularly given that he knew of the likelihood of me visiting the park, but perhaps not of a follow up trip to St Matthew's Street.
One final point worth mentioning at this stage is Marlin's reluctance to tell his story personally. This has intrigued me throughout the case, and was again apparent in this second telephone call. The man clearly craves attention and wishes his story to be told, yet is unwilling to impart the information himself. This may be due to extreme paranoia: a fear that by revealing details of his crimes he will divulge too much and thus incriminate himself, or perhaps simply that he feels it will add credibility to the case to allow other, presumably independent, individuals to tell the story on his behalf. It is difficult to be certain.
Putting these issues to one side, I felt that my first priority was to discover the extent to which my movements were being monitored.
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