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You’re listening to The Storage Papers. Episode Two: A Conspicuous Suspect
Law enforcement has to be one of the toughest jobs imaginable, especially in today’s world where there have been so many issues related to racial tension, and the growing concerns of fair treatment by the police. A police officer must find that delicate balance between maintaining an element of personal safety, and protecting the public.
As I’ve begun digging into these files, I realize now more than ever what kinds of things are intentionally placed into police reports, and what information remains hidden, regardless of their pertinence in any ongoing investigation.
This document appears to be a letter to someone named Ron, assuming he is a civilian, from a Detective Mark Anderson. It doesn’t mention which agency he is from, but it reads:
It’s been a long time. Hope you are doing well. I was told you’re still looking into these things. This is another one I will unfortunately be unable to include in our active investigation, but I do think it’s pertinent. If you could do me a favor and let me know if you have any helpful info or if you can recall anything resembling what I describe in my notes below, I’ll definitely owe you one. I’ll keep you posted if I make any headway on my end.
Notes: Benjamin Scanlon interview pertaining to submitted USB drive, Saturday, March 13, 2015.
Mr. Scanlon reported in-person to our division believing he had some sensitive information regarding an open homicide investigation. He claims he was anonymously shipped a flash drive with video footage of a local hotel parking lot showing a “conspicuous individual with odd behavior”. He believes there is a possible connection to the man found dead at the hotel just two days prior. It should be noted that we are still attempting to positively ID the victim. Mr. Scanlon indicated he recognized the hotel in the video because he saw the local news story covering the homicide the night before he received the flash drive in the mail. Apparently, the news reporter had been broadcasting from across the street with a similar wide-angle shot of the entire hotel and its parking lot.
Mr. Scanlon profusely stated he didn’t want anything to do with the video or the case, and felt that coming forward and handing over the flash drive voluntarily may not only help with the investigation, but he also wanted to know why he was being sent the drive, and by whom. He was, of course, still concerned that the man he referred to as “the Grinner” was following him, and there may be a connection to this flash drive somehow (refer to my previous notes from March 5).
He could not recall ever staying in that hotel, and he did not recognize the man in the video. Mr. Scanlon did have concerns for his own safety given the gruesome finding of the deceased who had been found decapitated due to a close-range gunshot wound. A 12 gauge shotgun was recovered from the scene that had been discharged. At this point in the investigation it has yet to be determined if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted.
Prior to my own viewing of the video, I asked Mr. Scanlon what I should expect to see on the video and in the files also included on the flash drive. He replied “I don’t know how to explain it. You will just have to watch. But it’s definitely weird.” Regarding the files, he said he didn’t feel comfortable looking at them because he thought they looked like medical records. He didn’t want to remain at the station while I viewed the video, but he provided me with his contact information with a request to update him on any findings, and in case I needed to ask him any further questions.
I plugged in the USB drive on my desk computer. There were two items present at first glance. A folder with some text files in it, and an MP4 video file. I opened the video file first. It appeared as it was described; security video footage of a hotel parking lot. There’s a time and date stamp in the lower corner. It’s dated March 11, 2015 and the video starts around 8:02 p.m. and 40 seconds. The video was just over 4 minutes in total duration. It was recorded in infrared and did not contain any sound. I watched for the first couple of minutes without really seeing anything… it was mostly dark, and there were three cars within the field of view. The camera must have been mounted above the parking lot and pointed down… I estimated the camera could have been at least 15 feet above the ground.
At 2 minutes and 56 seconds into the video, I noticed an anomaly. I rewind the video a few seconds and press play again. There’s a pole in the frame – probably an overhead street light – around the left 1/3 of the screen. You can’t see the top or bottom of the pole from this angle, but you can see an unobstructed view of empty parking spaces on either side of it. Almost as if appearing from thin air, a person just appears near the right side of the pole and can be seen walking left to right. I have to admit, this footage looks strange. What is so alarming about this is the person doesn’t enter the frame from the left side, or even the bottom. One second, you don’t see anyone, and the next, you see the person from head to toe near the middle of the screen walking to the right. It’s almost as if they come right out from behind the light pole. At first glance, I cannot see any evidence that the video was clipped or altered in any way. There’s no pause in motion from the time the person appears.
I reviewed the video again and slowed the frames down, looking for any evidence of the person on the left side of the frame. I saw nothing. It’s almost as if someone Photoshopped the person into frame, starting on the right side of the pole. The width of the person’s body once they’re out from behind the pole is far wider than the pole itself on the screen, so you would think you would be able to see them even if they had been standing behind the pole the whole time. It’s as if they appeared out of the darkness behind the pole and got caught on camera walking to the right.
I rewound once more to see if the time stamp skipped a few seconds, which may have accounted for this appearance. I was thinking maybe someone split the video in editing. I watched each second on the timestamp from 8:02 pm and 35 seconds, 36, 37, 38, 39, and boom, there he was… 40, 41. The timestamp, upon review, indicated continuous recording. I invited my partner, Detective Collins to view the video, and he immediately dismissed it as being tampered with. It was his belief that someone has pulled off an elaborate hoax given the circumstances of the mysterious appearance of the video, and the widespread media coverage. I’m not sure I agree with his assessment, but I will send the video out for further analysis.
I reviewed the video multiple times, and I couldn’t put my finger on what was so peculiar about it. I paused the video on a frame that appeared clearest and printed a still shot to place in the case file. Staring at the paused screen, I examined the person’s clothing. It looked like he was dressed in all black. It was a Caucasian man with a buzz cut, or he may have even be totally bald. The resolution on the video was somewhat fuzzy, and it was pretty dark except for what little street light you could see. I decided to continue watching at ¼ speed… the video clip was almost over.
The last portion of the video is what truly unnerved me. Either this was a hoaxed video, or it was some pretty solid evidence of the paranormal. Either way, for fear of ridicule and to avoid persecution at work, I decided not to share the video to its full extent in the homicide investigation.
The man in the video walked right up to one of the windows and peered in. I confirmed from the room number on the door that it matched the room number where the victim was found. Something about the way he moved was… unnatural. He had a kind of fast-paced timing to his stride and the way his arms didn’t swing when he walked seemed off somehow. They just dangled fairly motionless by his side. Even the size proportion of man’s head seemed strange.
The video showed about 5 or 6 seconds of the man looking in the window, then he started a combination of maneuvers with his head that to view inside the room. I’ve never seen someone with that range of motion of their head and neck before. His head darted up and down, side to side, and it even appeared as if his neck grew in length, but I couldn’t be certain due to the low resolution of the footage. Then I noticed him doing something seemingly impossible. His head turned nearly 180 degrees to face the camera so that his chin was almost behind his spine. It was almost as if he suddenly became aware of the camera, and his movement became more stealth-like.
With his head still turned completely around, he walked backwards slowly, keeping his head in the same position as he moved closer to the camera. He appeared to look upward to gaze directly at the lens, then cocked his backward-turned head to the side the same way a dog would when it gets confused. It was fairly dark where he was standing, and it was difficult to make out any facial features. Perhaps it was a result of the lighting or the infrared, but his eyes appeared large… and solid black. He just stood there in that position, still as a statue for about ten seconds. I initially thought the video was paused, but the time stamp was still counting. And then static distorted the visible image, and the video ends.
I must admit that as I viewed this portion of the video for the first time, I experienced a “fight or flight” moment. I’ve seen some strange things on this job, but I’m convinced that if I come forward with my initial impression of this video, the Captain would have my badge.
I viewed the other files included on the flash drive, and there’s over 200 individual text files and PDFs. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to refrain from sharing those with you at this time because they mainly consist of medical records and other confidential information that I’m not at liberty to disclose.
I can comment on some apparent themes of these records, and I’ll continue searching for patterns. All of these records seem to be from hospitals or doctors offices within a 50 mile radius of the hotel’s address. There are a wide range of various records from entire patient files, radiology and surgical reports, summaries of patient visits, and there’s even a few autopsy reports. All of these files have abnormal findings of some kind including symptoms like headaches, seizures, unexplained bleeding, periods of missing time, psychological evaluations, detection and removal – or attempted removal of foreign bodies of unknown origin, and some instances where pathology may appear and/or disappear from medical tests for unknown reasons.
I’m going to have a tough time validating any of these records unless I can somehow link them to an active investigation. I think it’s a little early to say that might be possible, but I will dig into these and see if I can cross-reference any of these records with the homicide investigation from the hotel. I will keep you posted if I learn anything new.
This is obviously a detective that had developed a rapport with “Ron” and has consulted with him in the past. I will be mindful to keep my eyes open for any updates to this case. I wonder if it is currently ongoing or if it was ever solved. Unfortunately, all of these papers don’t have any sort of recognizable organization. They certainly aren’t in chronological order, and individual files don’t seem to be related to others in the same box. Hopefully a pattern will emerge in the future that may shed some more light on this case.
I conducted a brief internet search of the incident at the hotel, and it appears it was, in fact, later deemed a homicide, but I was not able to find any indication that a suspect had been apprehended, and no reference has been made public about whether the case is still open or not. I also need to determine whether or not Detective Mark Anderson may still be employed by one of the local law enforcement agencies, but I’m guessing there will be additional information contained within my storage shed about this conspicuous suspect.
As a general announcement, please consider reaching out to me if you have any pertinent information regarding this case either by social media or email. You can direct-message me on Twitter and Instagram @storagepapers. I will be filing any additional information received in a much-more organized manner and will provide updates to cases as often as possible on the show.
If you believe you have witnessed something truly unexplainable yourself, and would like to share your story, I would be glad to add it to these archives. You just never know whether or not your testimony could be the vital piece of missing information for any of these cases.
As always, my mission here is to spread this information, so please share this via social media so these stories can be told. I’ve also been informed that writing a review on iTunes or any platform for listening to podcasts will also increase visibility for other podcast listeners to find. For the sake of increasing visibility and further distribution of the truth, both positive and negative reviews are always appreciated.