Journal of Julian Everet
28 November 1968
Midnight. God help me to sleep. Keep these diaries safe after what I’ve just seen and done. I can’t believe what’s happened. I’m ashamed and I’m frightened at what I’ve become. He hit you in the face. I did nothing about it. I could have helped you. Some hero! I’ve rescued you a thousand times in my dreams. A hero would’ve run to your side. I just ran away. I’ve done a terrible thing. God help me find peace.
Can’t sleep. Don’t understand. The evening was just like the others. It wasn’t a wild and stormy night, full of foreboding. It was just another autumnal evening with a hint of mist hanging low over the streets, and the hedges were damp, bare and forlorn. In other words it was no different from all the other countless and wonderful evenings when I’ve followed you home. I was behind you as usual. This time I was clutching a bouquet of red roses to my chest. I’d written on a little card: “Dear Kathy.” It was a beginning and an end. I had and I have nothing else to say.
The cars were whooshing past, and the pavement was wet and glistening but splashed with shimmering pools of lamplight. Your shoes clippety-clopped on the paving. Half-obscured in the darkness and the mist, you were lit up in a car headlight at full beam. I lowered my head in case you should turn and see me. You were walking faster than usual, and there was something about your back that said you were worried and tense. I wanted to approach you. I wanted to put my arms around you to comfort you and ask what was on your mind.
If only I’d summoned up the courage to approach you, it would’ve saved you that slap in the face. But I wasn’t braver. I simply followed you at a distance as usual. When you turned into your street, I held back and I watched you fading away into the mist. You always need time to settle in. I know you always check the post before taking off your coat and turning on the heating.
He must’ve been in the driveway, but I didn’t see him. If I hadn’t been so respectful, I might’ve seen him there. But I am respectful of your privacy and I didn’t hurry.
So I waited for some minutes before moving forward. I kept to the edge of the pavement. I forced myself into the deepest shadows and felt the touch of moisture on my cheeks when my shoulder brushed the dripping foliage. I stopped at the hedge and parted it with my hands. There was silence except for the sound of my breathing and the rise and fall of my chest as I peered at your flat. I jumped at the sudden clackety-clack of a distant train rushing through the night.
Light bulbs burned and glimmered yellow in the autumnal evening. I can’t remember whether there were other lights, and was there a car - his car - in the driveway? It’s difficult to say. The mist was developing into a real fog.
You were suddenly at the window. Your arms were spread out as if in crucifixion, and then you tugged at the curtains as if to shut out the night. Before turning away, you did a strange thing. You stood square at the window and you raised your hand as if signalling to someone. I turned to see if anyone else were close to me. There was nobody, and when I looked back at the window, you were gone. Why did you make that strange sign?
You had switched on a light, and it threw your shadow upon the wall. There was another shadow in the room, and it tapered upwards to break over the ceiling. The two shapes danced lightly, a ghastly shadow show played out to the music of air hissing through my nostrils. One of the shapes moved forward. A hand was raised. It chopped downwards like a guillotine. The other shadow - your shadow - crumpled out of sight.
It was awful. I was paralysed, and my mouth hung open stupidly. The next thing I heard was the song of Davy Cohen. A window was opened, and his words burst from your flat like a cork exploding from a champagne bottle: “Goodbye Mary dear...,” and the rat-a-tat-tat of the snare drum beating urgently into my temples.
Then, despite the thickening fog, I saw him. He was at the window, his head poking through. His face peered from right to left before withdrawing. The window clumped shut. The words of Davy Cohen were truncated whilst in full flow: “It’s time we began to live again, to laugh again, to be...,” and then silence. But he must’ve forgotten to pull the catch. After a second or two, the window opened again, and Davy Cohen’s words emerged once more: “There was a time when we were not alone...”
Could you have fallen? Did you smash your head on the radiator? There was no time to act immediately because a dog barked, and the old cow strode towards me with her arm raised. She really meant business. Worst of all she remembered me from before.
“You again,” she said. “There’s a law against perverts like you.”
I didn’t wait to argue with the old bag. I saw the light go out in your flat. I heard a door slam shut, and I took to my heels and ran. Now I need to sleep. Sleep is as far away as I can get from perverts like me.
God, where is she? I can’t accept the fact that you’ve gone. I don’t believe that my eyes will never again rest upon you. Where are you? I turned up today at our usual place in the Aldwych. Waited for 90 minutes before realising you weren’t going to come. Not to worry. On my way back to the Hall, I stopped in a call box near Russell Square and I phoned you. Oh, how much better I felt. How wonderful to hear the tone. That purring in my ear was actually ringing inside your flat. I knew you wouldn’t be there - no matter. I was close to your presence.
Dreary and miserable evening. Pavements glistening damp, and the tops of the big buildings in the Strand disappeared into a grey cloud. The dampness worked its way through my clothes and touched my skin. I think the sky itself was crying too. No sign of her. Where are you? You didn’t come, so I shadowed your usual footsteps. Dream lover, where are you? I’ve lived with you for so long it was easy to imagine you walking across the bridge in front of me as normal.
So, the day was already several minutes shorter than when I last saw you, and it was a little colder. I actually crossed to the embankment-side of the river as you usually do. I took the time to look at the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Somehow, you’ve left a piece of yourself in these buildings. You must’ve done. I felt your presence in the gentle breeze that breathed up from the water. You caressed my cheeks.
Waterloo was crowded, and the usual commuters jostled around the departures board. These were faces that you saw every day, and they seemed special to me now. Part of you is in them. I was so sad when the Kingston train pulled away. The whistles followed me out of the station. Somehow, these sounds were desperate and forlorn. Please, please, please, I don’t want to play this game any more. Come out, come out! Please come out, come out, wherever you are.
Cutting from the Kingston Gazette. 19.12.1968
Appeal for Information about Missing Woman.
Three weeks on from her disappearance, police are reiterating appeals for any information regarding the whereabouts of a 20-year-old woman from Kingston. Kathleen Mccullagh was last seen by colleagues at work on the evening of 28 November. She has not been seen since. Kathleen is white, 5ft 3ins tall, slim build, with dark shoulder-length hair and brown eyes.
Kathleen was wearing jewellery, including a matching necklace with a shamrock-shaped pendant. When last seen Kathleen was wearing a green three-quarter-length leather coat and knee-length boots.
Kathleen lives alone in Riverside Road, Kingston. She took no belongings or money with her and has not been in contact with her friends or family since. She has missed appointments and outings that she had arranged and has not been in contact on important family occasions.
DCI Robert McKinley from the Kingston Incident Room said: “Because of the length of time that Kathleen has been missing without any sightings or contact, I am very concerned about what might have happened to her. I would urge anyone who has information about her disappearance to contact police immediately. We are particularly concerned as Kathleen had complained to police that person or persons unknown were following her and making threatening calls to her flat. We are also anxious to interview a young man who was seen in the vicinity of Kathleen’s flat on the evening of her disappearance. There is no evidence to suggest that Kathleen could have been harmed by the man, but this is one line of inquiry I would like resolved.”
If you have any information that could assist the police with their inquiry, please contact the incident room at Kingston Police Station.