Upon deciding to write about the murder of my friend, I realized that I have forgotten some of the details such as exactly what the date was that he was murdered and found dead. I tried to find the story I read in the newspaper from about the time the murder took place. Unfortunately, I did not find anything online and I am no longer in Boise, Idaho to try a search at the library if that option still exists. So, please bear with me as I tell this story completely from my memory which means it is from a narrow perspective since I only have my own memories to draw from.
After the Beltane ritual in the spring of 1998 or 1999, a murder with an unusual twist took place not far from Boise, Idaho. As the Homicide detectives began to investigate the murder of a man found shot to death in the natural hot springs not far from Boise, the Capital of Idaho. Police uncovered some unusual clues that lead them to a strange community within their average city.
I imagine the detectives on the case were perplexed with the content of his mysterious Journal which I imagine was his Book of Shadows. They were faced with the challenge of understanding what was written within the text. What were these rituals about? What is a blood stone and why did he have this dagger? Their questions led them to the local, well known metaphysical shop and I am sure they went with hopes of making some sense from this craziness.
A few months before the murder…
I met Kelvin not long before his murder. There was a gathering for Samhain (Halloween) presented by a local pagan organization at the time. It was my first experience with the little group and if I remember correctly, it was also Kelvin’s first encounter with the group. It is one of my fondest memories because it was the beginning to a whole new chapter in my life. I began to meet with Kelvin once a week for lunch to discuss Wicca and spiritual ideas since we were both just beginning. I would not say that Kelvin and I were very close but he did become a significant experience in my life in teaching me a few things about me and my spirituality.
The last time I saw Kelvin was at the Public Beltane Ritual presented by the little group we attended. I had a brief word with him in which I pleaded with him not to go up to the mountains with the two boys this time. I offered to go with him in their place because I just knew that he was going to die that night. I don’t know why or how I knew that but I did. His reply was that it is a good day to die.
I had a lot of anxiety following that night. The next day, Wednesday, we had a Wicca 101 class and as I sat in my chair before class began, I was hoping I was wrong and that he would walk through the door at any minute. The class began and still no Kelvin. It was unlike Kelvin to miss anything even if he had to walk for 2 hours to get there. I anxiously watched the door. I was hoping maybe he was simply late. The class ended and he was a no show. I knew he was dead, not sure how I knew, but I just knew. I am sure most people have had that “gut feeling” experience at least once in their life.
I tried to put off my gut feeling by telling myself that the thought of him being dead was simply paranoid thinking and he was likely to have a good reason why he couldn’t make it to class. Maybe his car broke down or he suddenly got the flu or maybe a family emergency took him out of town. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself that the horrible feeling, the horrible thought, the gut feeling was just my imagination going wild, I couldn’t. No matter how hard I tried, I knew he was dead.
The next night, Thursday, I went out on the date I had scheduled and came home around 11pm and listened to the message on the answering machine. It was a friend from that little group, whom I had grown to admire. She told me to call her anytime day or night as she had something very important to tell me. I don’t remember if I called her that night or the next day. I had a feeling I already knew what she was going to tell me.
When I spoke to her, she told me that Kelvin had been found dead and that he had been murdered. She gave me the phone number of a detective to call if I had any information that could help the case. I remember hanging up the phone and pacing in the living room, processing the reality of my gut feeling, my warning him, my begging him not to go with those boys, and the anxiety I felt over the past few days, that it wasn’t my imagination, it had really happened. He was murdered at the location where he told me he was going after the public Beltane ritual to perform his own private and personal Beltane ritual. He usually went there to meditate and conduct his rituals.
Once I was able to accept his death as a reality, I began to go back through my memory of every conversation we had on every occasion that I had seen him leading up to the last time. I remembered a few things that might be of some help but I wasn’t sure if it would be any help at all.
I collected my thoughts about “Witches and Vampires” and I thought to myself, this sounds so freaking crazy, I am not even sure if the detective is going to take me seriously. I hesitated for a moment, then I dialed the number. When she answered, I introduced myself and explained why I was calling. I started telling her what I knew, knowing how crazy it must sound.
I told her that I am a witch; I told her that Kelvin and I met on Thursdays for lunch to discuss witchcraft, rituals, spirituality and deity. I told her about the last time we met for lunch. I told her how he brought those boys with him to the hills where he would perform his rituals. He was afraid of dogs and in that area; one could hear the howls of wolf packs that roamed the territory. The kids had a gun and they would fire the gun while he performed his ritual and he felt safe from the wolves while the boys and their gun were with him.
I told the detective that Kelvin was exploring many different types of groups; my group was a group of Witches, the boys identified as Vampires. To this day I do not really know anything about Vampires, what they do, what they believe or what they practice. From my perspective, Kelvin practiced witchcraft in a Wiccan format from the best I understood after our many lunch meetings. As I relayed my information to the detective I could almost hear her eyes rolling in disbelief of such craziness as Witches and Vampires. Describing Intuition and the meaning of Dreams, totems and spirit guides.
I do not know what happened up there that night; what events took place that left Kelvin’s body floating face down in the natural hot spring, shot in the head. All I knew is that Kelvin told me he was going to go up there with those boys; I knew Kelvin told me they had a gun and he felt safe from the wolves because of them firing the gun to scare them off. I could only speculate what may have happened. Was it an accident? Did they kill him on purpose? Did they kill him or were they simply a witness to someone else killing him? Only those boys were left alive who knew the true answers to what happened up there that night.
I told her if she found those boys she would find the killer because if they didn’t do it, they knew who did because they were there.
About three days or maybe a week after I spoke with the detective, I was told that the boys had been arrested for Kelvin’s murder and they had confessed. I don’t know what happened to the boys after that. I don’t know if they received a sentence or not. I don’t know if they walked away from it without any conviction at all. I don’t even remember their names. What I do remember was that Kelvin was a good guy; he gave as much of himself as he could. Kelvin always made good on promises or commitments to others. If he said he would do something or be somewhere, He was there.
I remember the lessons that Kelvin taught me. Because I knew him, he helped me cross the bridge from introvert to living out in the open and allowing others to see into my very private life. I went from the young girl who was so shy she could not order a hamburger at a fast food restaurant to a woman who can speak in public and who can stand up and address a whole group. More accurately, he was one of the many bridges between the quiet and shy wallflower I once was to the outspoken woman I am today.
This story of an actual event can be seen merely as a story about a witch who was murdered by vampires which sounds absolutely absurd, but in reality, it is truly a story about a man on a spiritual quest to find what he was looking for from within himself and a couple of boys who may have made a deadly mistake.
Although there are many who identify themselves under the label of Witch and there are many who identify themselves as Vampires, Pagans, Heathens, Shamans, Druids, Satanist, Atheist, etc., many are not likely identifying with the common public idea or concept of the those labels. I have to admit, the story about Witches and Vampires would make a great story in the Fantasy/Science Fiction section, however this is a true story; a story that has had a great impact on my life. Kelvin’s death was my first actual experience with death and with knowing someone personally who was taken by murder. It was also the most difficult tragedy that I have experienced thus far. I hope I never experience anything like it again.