Following my meeting with Vic on Friday, September 12th, I had intended to pay a visit to Foundation Street at some stage. The telephone call from Peter Marlin on the Monday morning succeeded not only in hastening these plans, but also in providing me with an added motive for making the trip. I had been unsettled by Marlin's revelation that he had observed me during my visit to Christchurch Park, and I felt a need to discover just how closely he may be tracking my movements. A search for a supposed second memorial at Foundation Street seemed to provide the perfect opportunity to do just that.
I felt it safe to assume that Marlin had followed me to the park directly from work the previous week. I hoped this had been merely a one-off: the idea that I may be under regular, or even continuous, surveillance was not one I wished to entertain, yet it demanded some attention. I chose therefore to make my way to Foundation Street on the Wednesday of that week, 17th September 2003, travelling directly from my workplace, and having told no one of my plans. I reasoned that since Marlin had no knowledge of my intention to make this trip, let alone of its timing, he would need to be keeping my place of work under constant surveillance in order to have any chance of following me there. I hoped - and expected - to find no such set of circumstances in place.
I should add here that with hindsight I regret making this journey on a Wednesday. It was perhaps foolish to choose the same day of the week as I had chosen for my visit to Christchurch Park, since it may have afforded Marlin an opportunity to second guess my movements. I will admit to feeling somewhat irritated by this simple oversight on my part, as it renders the experiment (such that it was) flawed. Nonetheless, the outcome was more than a little intriguing, not to say concerning.
Foundation Street lies in the centre of Ipswich, to the south of the main shopping areas. The car park which bears its name is situated at the northern end, close to the junction with Tacket Street, and is a four-storey, privately owned car park open until 8:30 at night. I arrived there at approximately 5:50pm and parked my car on level one. The place, whilst far from empty, was reasonably quiet.
I had prepared myself for a lengthy search, however as it transpired my task was anything but time-consuming. Making my way on foot along the second line of cars at ground level, I quickly spotted what I was searching for: a second of Marlin's 'memorials' (see Photo D). To the casual observer, it was nothing more than a simple piece of graffiti, yet to anyone familiar with the tree carving in Christchurch Park, it was immediately recognisable. The markings were situated on a concrete pillar in the south-easterly section of the car park, close to the ramp leading up to the next level. On this occasion the tag read "9PM" and had been written in what appeared to be some form of marker pen, beneath which the symbol of a fish had once again been drawn.
I should state immediately that I had at the time - and still hold to this day - certain reservations about the authenticity of this 'memorial'. I feel uneasy about several aspects of this evidence. The first is the ease with which I found it. Taken out of context, this would constitute no cause for concern, yet having already expressed a feeling that my investigation seemed at times to follow an all too 'convenient' path, this merely added weight to that view.
Other issues were more troublesome. If we are to believe that Marlin is marking his crimes in sequence by means of these memorials, then it follows that the Foundation Street graffiti pre-dates the Christchurch Park carving (the 9th of Marlin's crimes as opposed to the 11th). By how much, it is impossible to say, yet at best it must be of similar age, and at worst a great deal older. Admittedly it is difficult to compare on the one hand a tree carving which is exposed to the elements, and on the other a sheltered piece of graffiti, yet the fact remains that the Foundation Street memorial did not appear to possess any great age. This is subjective, and only my opinion, but it has to be considered before accepting this evidence on face value.
I should add that since creating this website, it has been suggested to me that perhaps the Christchurch Park memorial reads not 'eleven', but 'two' in Roman numerals, or was intended to signify the second murder simply by the use of two vertical slashes, a method Marlin may later have abandoned for the ease of traditional numbering. It is an intriguing suggestion, and would of course explain this memorial's apparent age, yet it is a theory difficult to prove, and I am reluctant to accept it.
Even discounting the issue of age, two significant factors still concerned me. The first was the noticeable absence of other graffiti in the Foundation Street car park. The place is well maintained and generally clean, and given the lack of vandalism on display, one can only assume that any such offending marks are swiftly removed by the management. That being the case, one has to ask how the Marlin memorial had survived. The obvious explanation is, once again, that it was an all too recent addition.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, there is the issue of location. We are asked to believe that these memorials each mark a murder scene of some kind. In the case of the Foundation Street car park, this seems to me highly unlikely. A brief examination of the building reveals that the place is monitored from almost every angle by closed circuit security cameras. Every entrance and exit, whether it be pedestrian or vehicle, is covered by at least one camera. In terms of numbers alone, it must feature one of the highest concentrations of CCTV cameras anywhere in Ipswich, and is therefore surely the last place anyone would select as a crime location. To my mind, it is simply asking too much to believe that a murder could have taken place within those walls.
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