Getting an early start on the Halloween festivities, 20-year-old Helen decided to spend the evening of Oct. 30, 1969, at the Barrowland Ballroom. Her husband offered to stay home with their two young boys, but warned his wife to be careful. Helen brushed off his concerns: She wasn't worried about the recent murder linked to the dancehall because she wouldn't be alone. She was going with her sister Jean and was confident they would be safe together.
Skelton recounts that Helen partnered with a tall young man during the evening and, according to her sister Jean, the two danced almost exclusively together.
Around midnight, Jean and Helen prepared to go home, and Helen's new friend offered to see them home in a taxi.
Skelton and Crow & Samson tell different versions of this brief cab ride that will haunt Jean for the rest of her days.
Both books agree that during the cab ride, Jean learned that the man's name was John and he told them about his history — a story that the police would later ask Jean to recall in as much detail as possible. Jean remembered that John mentioned having a sister and claimed that they had been raised in such a strict religious household that he was still able to easily quote passages of scripture. John also mentioned that while he played golf poorly, he had a cousin who had recently hit a hole-in-one.
Skelton states that the taxi ride ended without incident. After Jean was dropped off at home, she watched the taxi take Helen and John off into the early hours of Halloween.