It was a little after eight in the morning on October 7, 2014. Megan
Parker was sitting at her kitchen table having breakfast and reading the
morning newspaper. She had no way of knowing she had entered the last
hour of her life. Unaware she was about to become his first victim.
She had planned to meet her neighbor, Susan Bentley, at nine o’clock
in the lobby of their apartment building. The two elderly friends often
rode the shuttle bus together to the senior center on Tuesdays for
weekly bingo. So when her doorbell rang, she assumed it was Susan.
However, when she opened the door, a young man was standing there,
smiling. A man she had never seen before. He was holding a duffle bag in
one hand, a newspaper in the other. He offered her the paper without
saying a word.
“Thank you, but I already have one,” she said, smiling nervously.
“Do I know you?”
“No,” he answered dryly.
“How can I help you then?” she asked. “Actually, I thought you
were my neighbor. You see, I’m expecting her at any moment.”
He gave her a steely glare and whispered, “I don’t think so.” Then
he put down the bag, reached inside his jacket pocket, and pulled out a
handgun. He pointed it at her.
She just stood there, paralyzed with fear. Panic prevented screams from
escaping her mouth.
He motioned for her to move aside and let him in, and like an obedient
child, she did.
Once inside, he asked, “Where’s your bedroom?”
She swallowed hard, slowly raised her hand and pointed. “Back
there,” she said, barely above a whisper.
“Okay, let’s go,” he demanded.
As he followed her, she feared what was about to happen. She only hoped
it would be over quickly, and that he would leave soon after.
Once inside the bedroom, he pushed her to the floor. Then, without any
warning, he fired a single shot, striking her in the chest.
She closed her eyes as the bullet pierced through her skin. It felt like
a bad dream. The kind where you wake up drenched in sweat and your heart
is racing. But she knew this was no dream as her mouth filled with
blood. She knew she was dying as she lay on the floor, in pain, and
gasping for air. Only a few shallow breaths remained of her life.
He crouched down beside her. “Don’t be afraid to die,” he
whispered, a hint of alcohol on his breath. “Stop fighting and try to
relax. It’ll be over soon,” he said, before firing again in her
Afterward, he sat down on the edge of her bed and stared at her body,
admiring his work. His eyes followed a trail of blood as it streamed
down her body to the carpet. Then, he noticed some of her blood had
gotten on his clothes. “Damn,” he muttered.
However, he was prepared and went to the bathroom to change out of his
blood-speckled clothing. He stripped down to his boxers and then reached
inside the duffle bag and took out a pair of blue jeans and a T-shirt.
He placed the soiled clothes in the bag. He checked his watch, right on
At nine o’clock, Susan left her apartment and walked across the hall
to Megan’s. She rang the doorbell, but after waiting a few minutes and
getting no answer, she figured Megan had already gone done to the lobby.
She left to get the elevator.
At the elevator, she noticed a young man waiting and she smiled. “Good
morning,” she said.
He nodded, unsmiling. When the elevator door opened, he stepped back,
allowing her to go first.
“Thank you,” she said.
His cold expression unchanged.
She began to feel a sense of dread being alone with him with less than a
few inches separating them. Her gut told her he was no good. He turned
and looked at her. His blue eyes seemed to go straight through her. Her
When they reached the lobby, he stepped aside to let her out. He looked
out of place among the elderly residents who were waiting in the lobby
for the 9:15 shuttle to take them to the senior center. He was about to
follow Susan, but changed his mind when she joined the group waiting for
the shuttle. Instead, he walked over to the den, sat down, and watched
television. All the while keeping an eye on Susan. “Soon,” he
muttered under his breath.
Susan was surprised when she didn’t see Megan in the lobby. After
waiting a few minutes, she called her. No answer. And when Megan still
hadn’t shown up at 9:45, Susan began to worry. Megan would never keep
anyone waiting, she thought. And certainly not answer her phone or not
show up, unless…unless something was wrong.
Susan took the elevator back up to the fourth floor to check on her
friend. As she approached Megan’s apartment, she noticed the door was
slightly open. She tapped on the door and called out Megan’s name.
Something had to be wrong because not only was Megan not answering, but
Freddie was also quiet—unusual for him. She opened the door and went
inside. She had no way of knowing what she was about to see.
At first glance, nothing appeared out of place. But as she walked toward
the bedroom, fear began to overtake her. She had an eerie feeling
someone was watching her.
When she got to the bedroom, she opened the closed door and stuck her
head inside. “Megan, are you in here?” Silence. She began to feel
someone else’s presence, but when she turned and looked over her
shoulder, she didn’t see anyone.
Then she heard a whimpering sound. She went inside to investigate and
that’s when she looked down and saw Freddie, the little Chihuahua, at
Megan’s feet, whimpering. For a moment, she just stood there, staring
at her friend, lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
She reached in her purse and took out her phone to dial 911, but she was
so nervous, she couldn’t get her fingers to work. Her heart was
The young man had returned and entered the murdered woman’s apartment
with her key and had hidden in the closet. He figured it would only be a
matter of time before her friend came back up to check on her. So, he
waited, and he was right. After he heard Susan call out Meagan’s name,
he opened the closet door just enough to see out.
While Susan was in Megan’s bedroom, he had slowly stepped out of the
closet. Each step he made was evenly spaced and muffled by carpet.
He watched and waited in the hall, like a lion stalking his prey, as she
backed out of the bedroom. And just as she turned to leave, he leaped,
and pinned her down. His hand over her mouth and with one quick twist,
he broke her neck.
He dragged her body back into the bedroom and then picked up Freddie and
began to gently stroke his back. “There, there little fella,” he
whispered. “It’s gonna be all right.” Then he put the shivering
dog back down next to Megan’s body.
He exited the building and walked to the corner. He glanced down at his
watch —time to check in. He opened his bag, took out his cell phone,
and pressed 3.
“You’re late,” said the voice on the other line.
“There was a slight problem,” said the young man.
“What kind of problem?”
“Don’t worry about it. I took care of it.”
“What do you mean you took care of it? Took care of what?”
“Someone came to the apartment as I was about to leave,” he lied.
“What did you do?”
“What do you think? I got rid of her.”
“You shouldn’t have done that. Now it’s a double murder and that
could be a problem. And you know I don’t like problems.”
“I said I took care of it,” he repeated. “Uh…I might as well
tell you this too. I rode the elevator down with some old broad who came
out of her apartment as I was leaving the Parker woman’s place. I’m
not sure if she actually saw me leave the apartment though.”
“How can you be sure?”
“So what happened? Is she dead as well?”
“Nah, too many old-timers in the lobby. I’ll have to come back for
“Another problem I see. That will make three women dead.”
“Like I said before, I’ll take care of it.”
“Did you call the police to report the murder, I mean murders?”
“Not yet, I’ll do that after I hang up.”
“Do that now. I’ll speak with you later.”
He clicked off and put the phone in the duffle bag—on top of the
bloody clothes. Then he casually crossed the street, got in a car, and
Excerpted from "Apartment 412: Enter at your own risk." by Pamela G. McCoy. Copyright © 2017 by Pamela G. McCoy. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.