Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Ripper Rapists

Waking into Death

Author's Note: Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes and dialogue are from Alison's book, I Have Life.

I Have Life, by Alison Botha
I Have Life, by Alison Botha

A surge of cold into her lungs. Awareness. She is alive. But outside now. On the sand. On the broken glass. And there is an arm. Moving above her face. Left and right. Left and right.

His movements are making a sound.

A wet sound.

The sound of her flesh being slashed open.

He's cutting her throat with the knife. Again and again and again.

It feels unreal as she watches droplets of her blood flung into the night. But it isn't. She feels no pain, but this is not a dream. This is happening. The man is slashing her throat.

The fear and the horror wrench through every nerve in her body. But she is completely aware.

The man moves away. She hears their voices drifting further from her, and she turns onto her front. There is a strange rasping sound.

She realizes that it's emanating from her throat.

It seems so incredibly loud in the stillness of the night, and she tries to make it stop, afraid that they will hear her. But her breathing is no longer controllable. So she tries to close the opening with her hand. Her fingers just sink away inside.

They are speaking in Afrikaans, their voices floating towards her.

"Do you think she's dead?"

"No one can survive that."

She remains perfectly still, even when she feels something plop onto her back. The car's engine stutters into life, and slowly goes away.

She is alone. She is dying. And no one will find her here. Not in time to save her life.

She will at least tell who did this to her. She writes their first names in the sand. And "I love mom" beneath it.

And then she's drifting up, floating some ten feet above the woman in the dirt. She looks down at her body, feeling peace and a "benevolence". She realizes that she can choose: she can drift away, or she can go back and fight to live.

She wants to float — it's so peaceful and there is no fear — but there is so much that she still wants to do, so much that she still wants to live.

She sees headlights through the foliage, a car on the road, and then she's back inside her body. In her attempt to get up, she feels a wetness in her stomach. Her intestines are outside her. She tries to gather them, to put them back inside, but they're slimy and she struggles to keep them in her hold. The sheer amount of her innards bewilders her — the adult small intestine, after all, is about 23 feet long. In the end she realizes it cannot be done. Next to her is the piece of material that one of the men threw onto her back earlier. It's her denim shirt and she packs her innards inside it, pulling it close against her.

Now it's time to move. She crawls, struggling through dirt and broken glass, her one hand holding the shirt. With each successive movement she becomes increasingly tired.

At some point she collapses onto the sand, exhausted. She remembers the peace, and longs for it. But then the thought of her mother enters her mind, and she can't surrender. The trail of blood will tell the story of her struggle, and she cannot bear to have her mother know that she suffered.

So she pushes herself up again. But crawling won't suffice. It takes too long, and time and stamina are both precious. She has to get to her feet.

It takes almost everything she has, and just when she accomplishes it, she's drenched in blackness.

We're Following
Slender Man stabbing, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Gilberto Valle 'Cannibal Cop'