Putting aside the abstract issues of my circumstances, I took a few moments to examine my physical surroundings. The lay-by in question is the first on this southbound stretch of the A12, and runs adjacent to a narrow bank of trees and bushes, through which a low wooden fence is visible, bordering a cornfield beyond. The emergency telephone is the only feature of the lay-by, save for a black wheeled bin nearby. The now familiar motif of a Marlin memorial was marked in what appeared to be black ink on the orange casing of the phone (see Photo E).
Less than half an hour previously I had felt doubtful as to whether the site of the second memorial could fit the profile of a potential crime scene. I had few doubts of that nature regarding this location. The trees provide convenient cover, the fence could easily be scaled, and a getaway, whether on foot or by road, would be fast and simple. My reservations this time surrounded not the immediate location, but its wider position: if we are to believe that Marlin preys upon the homeless of Ipswich (and perhaps beyond), it seems curious to suppose that he would choose such a comparatively remote location, some distance from the town centre, for one of his atrocities. Whether this casts doubt on his claims is entirely subjective of course, and even if Marlin's story were proved to be genuine, we may never discover the circumstances surrounding each crime.
Of greater personal importance were the implications of finding myself in this situation. I had no choice but to believe that Marlin had indeed followed me from my workplace to Foundation Street, and on to the Copdock Interchange. Whether his attack was planned, or a piece of opportunism, I cannot say. Certainly Marlin was in receipt of some considerable luck: there were no guarantees that I would stop at the lay-by in question, and having done so, no certainty of my noticing the memorial. Ultimately though, Marlin had nothing to lose. If his action failed, he would have lost nothing, and indeed I would be unlikely to connect the event with this case. In point of fact, it even raises the possibility that a similar action may have been attempted - and failed - previously, and of which I remain unaware to this day.
I found it intriguing however that Marlin chose to intervene in such a forceful manner, suggesting a level of urgency which would seem on the surface entirely unnecessary. After all, if Marlin merely wanted to direct me towards another memorial, he need only have sent me a note, or mentioned its existence to me via a phonecall. My trip to Foundation Street should have indicated to him my willingness to follow up such leads. I can think of only one explanation for this: let us assume for a moment that the Foundation Street memorial is a fake, and that Marlin knew nothing of my plan to visit the place. He clearly followed me there - that much is undeniable - and would have witnessed the bogus memorial himself. Knowing it to be fake, he may have felt an overwhelming impatience to show me the genuine article, and acted accordingly, taking his opportunity to lead me straight to the 12PM site.
This is mere supposition of course, and Marlin has never indicated to me whether this theory is true, or even commented on the authenticity of the Foundation Street memorial. It is also perhaps worth noting that the two memorials to which I had been personally directed by Marlin had been sequential: the eleventh and twelfth. It remains a possibility that he had planned to show me the sites in order, and had been irritated by the intervention of Vic, and my visit to Foundation Street, prompting action of a more direct kind. Ultimately, we may never know.
My chief concern however was the closeness with which Marlin appeared able to monitor my movements. It is possible that he merely struck lucky by being at my place of work on this particular day, and thus was able to follow me when I left, but it is surely far more likely that he was staking out my workplace on a regular, perhaps even constant, basis. I also had to consider the possibility that he may have been serious enough to have placed some form of remote tracking device on my car. He appeared able to follow my movements closely, without my knowledge, and, as unlikely as it may seem, the use of such an aid cannot be ruled out. I should add however that despite a thorough examination of my vehicle, no such device has ever been discovered.
Whether electronically assisted or not, the fact remained that Marlin was clearly keeping me under a high level of surveillance, and this led to the disturbing thought that potentially Marlin knew not only of where I worked and the car that I drove, but also of where I lived. A scenario which would become far more concerning a few weeks later.
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