Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

John List

A Few Last Details

As he prepared to flee, the doorbell rang. It was the postman, bringing the special delivery letter that he had mailed to himself. He waited as it was slipped under the door and then watched the uniformed man walk away.

Around seven, List called his pastor, Reverend Rehwinkel, at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church. He said that his family was enroute to North Carolina and he was about to join them. He could not teach Sunday school the following week, as planned. The pastor said he would remember the List family in prayer. List then called Ed Illiano, to keep him from nosing around. Illiano recalled Patty's eerie words about a family vacation.

The last task for List was to sit and write the letters on a pad of paper labeled, "A Few Words from John E. List, Career Builder." He put the letters into an envelope for Reverend Rehwinkel, all ready to be mailed. Then he wrote a lengthy confession to the pastor, because he was the one person who would "understand." He asked that they be cremated, as the children had agreed to. His mother had a plot in Michigan and was to be sent there. He also mentioned that he originally had planned this massacre for All Saints Day, but had been delayed. Then he asked to be dropped from the congregation rolls. He felt sure that God would forgive him, since Christ had died for him along with all other sinners.

Feeling hungry, List prayed again and then made himself some dinner, which he ate slowly. He bedded down in the billiard room in the basement, not far from the bodies of his family, and slept until dawn. When he awoke, he turned the thermostat down to 50 degrees. Then he switched lights on in every room and put music on the intercom system, turned up loud. With nearly $2500 in his pocket, some clothes in a suitcase, and no one left to think about, he drove away toward a new life.

Ed Illiano, recalling Patty's warning, drove past the house on the evening of November 9th and saw that the lights were on. He figured everything was fine and drove away.

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