A snowstorm hit town yesterday evening, leaving us without electricity. Weather reports are saying that the unfavorable and severe weather will extend into the upcoming week. I was worried about a serious damage to the power lines that could leave me and Ethan without electricity for days. Not knowing who the electric supplier was, I didn’t know who to call for help. My phone was dying and I was running out of ideas on what to do next. An electrical outage has led me downstairs to the basement where I checked the house’s main fuses and circuit breakers to identify whether the problem was coming from the house itself or not. As it invariably turned out, it wasn’t. I sat on the stairs of the basement and viewed my options. I was about to go out and ask the neighbors for help when a gray chrome door capped my attention. I walked to it and tried opening it, but it was locked. I took a step back and peered at it some more. I envisioned a dark, neatly and meticulously arranged room where Matt planned or executed his killings.
I made it my business to figure out a way to open it. I went out to the parking garage and looked around for the tool box. I went through it and found a pick-set that contained all kinds of lock picks. I grabbed the tension wrench and the rack pick and returned to the basement. It took me half an hour to open the door. I entered the room and was stunned to see how different it was from the rest of the house. The upstairs was classy and elegant. Heartwarming. The downstairs was metallic and sterile. Distressing. The stillness of the room was eerie and unsettling. I ran my fingers along the wall, searching for the light switch. I was eager to discover what was inside, but part of me was just too scared because I knew once I got exposed to the truth, there was no way of unseeing it. Finally, the lights were on and I found myself in front of the unspeakable. I walked around the room filled with boxes, archives, and murder tools. I looked at the wall facing the door and it had an enormous board that had the map of the United States glued to it. I got closer and saw how it was covered with missing persons’ photos, each one with a small piece of newspaper corresponding to the person in question, pinned right next to their photo. I walked toward one of the shelves and picked up a box. I opened it and went through it. Files. Tons and tons of files. Each file belonged to one of his victims. There were a few photos taken by forensics, some police reports. It all started in 1995. I went through everything, my body shaking uncontrollably as I did so. Matt had a desk at the center of the room. It had too many drawers. I went through them and found an old notebook. I opened it, and it was filled with names. “Timothy Kindred, aged 16”, “Rick Nelson, aged 18”, “Madeleine O’Hara, aged 17”, “Lester Bowman, aged 21”… The list went on and on. That’s when true panic set in. Matt had killed dozens of people throughout his life. Some were too young and innocent. My theory of him killing people who “deserved to die” was slowly being proven wrong. Matt killed for fun. There were absolutely no motives that I could find that proved he held personal grudges against his victims, at least most of them. I didn’t know what to do. I managed to put everything back in place. Before heading out, I became determined to look for more evidence Matt was a calculated, heartless psychopath. The top drawer of his desk was locked. I looked for the key but couldn’t find it. Maybe he kept it with him.I grabbed a toolbox and looked in it for something to pick the lock with. After various failed attempts, I managed to open it. Among the stuff that were inside it, there was a letter. It was already open. I took it out and started to read it while constantly surveying my surroundings.
“\This is a warning to the world about the enormous danger that is my son.
Theodore Cavaliere was born on September 21st, 1983 in West Bend, Wisconsin. He’s the only son to me and my late wife. He grew up in a stable and loving home. We always made sure he had everything he needed, and we gave him every opportunity we could to grow into a normal adult. We were involved in his school and my second wife whom I married after my wife died, was a middle-school english teacher who introduced him to music, history and culture. When he became a teenager, we enrolled him at his school’s baseball team hoping he’d find some sense of belonging. One day though, things started to change. Theodore became very reserved. He’d come home and lock himself in his bedroom. Being a teenager is tough, so we made sure to give him the privacy he needed. But he wasn’t just going through a phase. We had a feeling there was something wrong with him. That was mainly due to his sudden disconnection from us where we noticed a lack of communication and a development of a secretive lifestyle.
When he turned fifteen, I found dismembered animal parts stored in jars inside our woodshed. They were carefully hidden behind a toolbox, and covered by a cloth. When we questioned him about it, all he said was that he was curious as to how each animal “fitted together.” But this disturbing fascination took a terrifying turn when he savagely beat a hedgehog at his school. We immediately intervened by putting him in a psychiatric facility and took him out when multiple clinicians agreed to his release. We were advised to enroll him in therapy to make sure he wasn’t turning into what we feared was a deranged and violent young adult. Therapy seemed to go well, but after a few sessions, we learned he was engaging in petty theft and substance abuse. When we found drugs in his bedroom we forbid him from leaving the house, and made him cut ties with all his male friends who we suspected were a bad influence. But somehow, he still managed to leave the house at night to buy drugs. He had his first trip to rehab that year, after we called the police on him.
At seventeen, he was back in school. He started hanging out with a group of delinquents, spending endless nights outside the house, drinking, smoking and practicing in sexual activity. His mother and I prayed he’d get better, but things only got worse. One day, I lost my temper and hit him. The next day, the police came knocking on our door, accusing us of child abuse and rape. Theodore manipulated the police into believing we were violent parents who sexually abused our son. The mental and physical abuse stories Theodore made up became a topic of conversation which caused many of our neighbors to stop talking to us. Our reputation at that point was ruined, and there was no other way we could prove him wrong because of how smart and cunning he was. Months later, young kids living in and around the area started to go missing. Some of their bodies were found by the police, but their killer was never caught. There was no way to prove Theodore was behind them, but I had a feeling he was. I was scared of him, and part of me wanted to disown him, but she still had hope. A year later, me and her got into an argument when he was arrested for being part of a gang rape, and I ended up leaving the house. While I was away, she’d often call and tell me that his behavior was taking a remarkable turn and that he was finally becoming an adult. For some reason, I didn’t believe her.
Theodore knew exactly how to play the victim, making himself seem weak and helpless; a damaged kid. Before I could go back to convince my wife to abandon him, the real nightmare started. One night, after she had gone to bed, he creeped into our bedroom, a knife in hand, straddled her, put the blade to her throat, and started threatening her. Somehow, she managed to escape. The incident was reported to the police and he was finally arrested. If I’d been home, I’d have killed him with my own bare hands. After serving three years in jail, he was released. Carolyn was struggling with a very deep depression, and one day, she couldn’t take it anymore, so she killed herself. Her death took a tole on me. I was afraid I might be next, so I decided to flee. I travelled overseas where I spent the remaining years of my life trying to heal and move on from the disturbing past me and her had to endure, knowing that my son is still out there somewhere, walking among people, unnoticed. He had changed his name and the last I heard, he was living in Washington. I don’t know how he managed to change his identity and wipe his record clean.
My son is a danger to everyone around him. He is a thread to this world. And I am sorry for inflicting him upon the world.”
At some point I wanted to stop. It was too much for me. I was standing frozen with fear inside the devil’s lair, reading this horrifying letter sent by his father, chronologically describing the sequence of events leading up to his son turning into a complete psychopath. I took a photo of the letter with my phone, and before I could step foot forward towards the door, I heard footsteps coming from upstairs, clattering towards the basement. Then I heard someone come down. My heart skipped a beat as the steps got closer. I thought it was him. Somehow he knew what I was doing and he came in just in time to kill me. But it wasn’t him. It was Ethan. I immediately took him back upstairs, my clothes soaked in sweat. My mind started playing tricks on me. The house seemed to be getting tighter, and I could hear echoed noises. I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t have a plan. I looked at Ethan and thought about how I could possibly keep him safe; he was all I had. We went upstairs to our bedrooms, packed our bags and walked straight out the door. I walked to my car too scared to even turn around. I opened the door, plunged the key in the ignition in one swift movement, and drove off without looking. Then I wondered: “Where to?”