6 June 2023 - Truelove Fire (case ref. EB0153)

A brief recap. Due to extraordinary circumstances surrounding the death of local author Phillip Truelove on 4 June, the Department of Para-Scientific Research has been asked to take over the investigation, as a result of a meeting with the Fire Investigation Team and representatives from the Police Commissioner's office. The DPSR, in turn, has asked IifI to take the lead in the investigation.

We have been informed that, following site exploration of the burned house and the results of the autopsy, murder and arsony are suspected. However, it's important to note that the murder is not being treated as a consequence of the fire - while clearly related, evidence points to two different perpetrators having been involved. Whether or not they were working in league is currently unknown; the police were keeping an open mind on it so we'll proceed on that basis. Motives for either crime are as yet unclear.

The state in which the body was found is what led the police to contact the DPSR. Reports from the scene indicate that the deceased was subjected to tremendous pressure from behind, snapping his spine, and he appears to have been dropped from a height of 2-3 metres.

Also remarked upon was the pallor of the body. Although it landed among several pieces of shattered and splintered glass from a broken window, and there are minor lacerations consistent with this, no bloodstaining was detected either on the body or in its vicinity, which appears to indicate either massive or complete loss of blood. However, a bloody handprint, seemingly made at the time of the assault, was found on one of the walls in the room. It's not clear yet whether that was left by the deceased, or by the assailant.

Additionally, open areas of skin were described in the report as being covered in "unusual marks." The pathologist's report goes further - those marks are described as "roughly circular," of varying diameter; each one is clearly delineated, while the skin within the circumference of these circles is slightly raised. The conclusion drawn from this indicates some kind of suction devices having been used. All of the marks are accompanied by evidence of the skin having been punctured, which at the moment looks the most likely means by which the body was drained of blood.

By pure implication, some form of vampirism seems likely, although the pathologist's report stops short of that conclusion, and it's certainly not going to appear on the victim's death certificate. Currently, I'd hesitate to even hazard a guess at what happened, how it happened, or why.

The fire, meanwhile, seems to have been started shortly after the recorded time of Philip Truelove's death. Again, the reason why this happened is currently unknown. The body was not badly damaged by the fire - partly due to a quick response by the Emergency Services, but equally because of an unidentifiable viscous fluid which covered the deceased's skin and acted as a flame retardant. Although undoubtedly started deliberately, comments by a fireman on the site suggest that the fire would not have taken hold at all if not for the amount of paper and books in the room - in other words, it was a poor attempt at arson, which suggests it was not planned in advance.

There's a lot here which could fairly be said to be "unclear" or "unknown." What is clear is that whoever - or whatever - is responsible is extremely dangerous, and until we know more I would urge each and every member of the IifI team to exercise utmost caution.

By amazing good luck the only journalist to show up at the scene was Henry, so the statement issued by the DPSR is looking reasonably solid. Ben - appreciated your guys are busy, but can you get anyone from your team checking social media to find out whether any videos have been posted? I'm hoping that if there's anything out there we'll be able to find it reasonably quickly. Obviously, make a note of any user details so that we can get in contact with them if need be.

Have a great day everyone! Tony, Jennifer - can you let us have your site report as soon as it's ready?