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Authors: Lewis Perdue

Perfect Killer

BOOK: Perfect Killer
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Lewis Perdue

Published by Sudden Pacific Publishing 670 West Napa Street, Suite H
Sonoma, CA 95476
[email protected]

Copyright 2010, 2012 by Lewis Perdue


Author's Website:


All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.


This book originally published in 2005 by Forge/Tor, a division of MacMillan this edition contains all the text from the original version.
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The Linz Testament Perfect Killer is part fiction and part fact.
Much of it is historically and scientifically accurate. The work addresses serious

concerns regarding well-documented military medical research as well as the cultural and ethnic struggles of my home state of Mississippi.
It is up to you, the reader, to figure out what is fact and what is fiction.
To help you do that, I would refer you to the bibliography and appendices at the end of the boot, and to the web sites, below:

Defense Therapeutics –
Xantaeus –
Perfect Killer –
Castello Da Vinci --
National Military Families Association – Clark Braxton's 2008 Presidential Campaign -- The Mississippi Center for Justice – Advocacy Foundation for Mississippi Justice -- Dr. Stone's Consciousness Studies -- U of Arizona Center for Consciousness Studies -- Operation Enduring Valor --
Books 'n Blues –
Sunflower County Freedom Project --

To Colonel A. L. "Buddy" Barner,
Every boy needs a hero.
Thank you for being mine
This book is also dedicated to every man and woman serving in every branch of the American armed forces and to law enforcement personnel who daily put themselves and their lives at risk to maintain the security and liberty of America. They are
brave heroes who deserve our deepest thanks, merit the highest respect and deserve to be treated far better than our government, Pentagon bureaucrats and popular culture see fit.


This book would not have been possible without the help and guidance of many people who selflessly gave their time and effort.
I am forever indebted to the numerous hours so freely given by Dr. Bradford Stone and Jasmine Thompson and the unfettered access to their notes, archives, and other research they were able to hide when Homeland Security seized the bulk of their files during that memorable and unconstitutional predawn raid.
I would also like to thank:

Sergeant Vince Sloane, Sonoma County Sheriff's Department (Ret.), for technical assistance.
Reserve Chief David Simon, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for inspiration.
Colonel Richard Gabriel, U.S. Army (Ret.), for his scholarly works, especially No More Hereos, which first raised the issue of the "brave pill".
Al Thompson and Lena Grayson, who kept me from hanging myself and taught me grace and self-reliance.
Jay Shanker, who could single-handedly change society's images of attorneys if they would all behave like him.
Rex and Dr. Anita McNabb, for being such valued friends and for helping my mother during her final years.
Steve La Vere, who has helped preserve Robert Johnson's legacy and advanced the cause of the Delta's original bluesmen.
Tyrone Freed for advice and ideas.
Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, who supported my love for and education in science and medicine.
Dr. Jeff Flowers, for helping explain and interpret the various types of brain scans.
My deepest gratitude to General Clark Braxton (U.S. Army Ret.), for the generous time he gave me along with the tours of Castello Da Vinci and tastings of his wine, and to his assistant Laura La-Hoye for coordinating my access.
Retired sheriff's deputy sergeant John Myers and Tyrone Freedman, for allowing me access to some awesome, disturbing, and historically important photos.
Bill Waller, former Mississippi governor and my onetime boss, who had the courage to go after the assassin of Medgar Evers back when it was dangerous to do so.
Stephen Huntington at, the world's best Web-hosting service, and tech Gary Anagnostis, who has made everything look so easy.
For the opposite reasons, I am still grateful to my grandfather - The Judge - who offered me a first-hand look into the power structure that ran Mississippi for so long. I am also grateful to have spent so much time on Mossy Plantation and fishing on the lake and having the hell scared out of me by the cotton gin in Itta Bena.
I got to keep moving, I got to keep moving… There's a hellhound on my trail.
—Mississippi Delta blues icon
who, legend holds, gained
his musical gift by selling
his soul to the devil

Anyone who claims to understand quantum theory is either lying or crazy.
winner of the 1965
Nobel Prize in Physics


A moonless black-on-black night shrouded the Mississippi delta in shades of dark and darker that flattened the feverishly humid world into a two-dimensional caricature.
Heard, felt but unseen, mosquitoes boiled out of the killing fields' stagnant pools like a biblical plague. In the distance, a scattering of lights glowed beyond a low embankment that kept the Columbus and Greenville Railroad tracks above water even in flood season. From beyond the embankment came strains of a church hymn drifting from the general direction of Balance Due, the notoriously impoverished black quarter of Itta Bena, where raw sewage fermented in open ditches along rutted dirt roads lined with battered wooden shacks.
At one with this deepest of nights, Darryl Talmadge squatted in the tall, soggy grass and held his suppressed Colt .45 Model 1911 well out of the swamp water seeping into his boots. He breathed silently through his mouth and listened with his whole body, trying to feel his quarry as much as hear him. A freight train rumbled distantly from the east, and from the darkness near the C&G berm came the sounds of a desperate man making his way through mud and tall grass. Talmadge knew all he had to do was be patient. Like hunting deer, he thought. Bag a big buck. The thought made him smile.
Talmadge had been a hunting guide in the Delta before the Korean War, before the head wound they'd fixed up so well. They'd saved his life, and for that he did what they asked. That and because he needed the medicine they gave him to keep the visions and memories away.
A sucking sound riveted Talmadge's attention. Over to his left, maybe twenty-five yards away. Then another and another. Feet liberating themselves from muck, slowly, cautiously at first, then with a labored acceleration making an angle toward the railroad tracks.
Talmadge stood up and in a single fluid motion aimed the Colt. It took only a split second to spot the faintest of shadows, night modeled on night. He sighted, squeezed the trigger, registered the mild cough of the shot and the shriek of pain as the shadow dropped with a wallowing splash.
"Give it up, nigger!" Talmadge yelled as he crashed through the mud and high grass. Then he picked up the panicked thrashes of a wounded man stumbling away
"Shit a brick," Talmadge mumbled. This was number four in the past ten days, and he was simply tired of tracking down these boys.
Ahead of him, his prey's shadow moved right, reversed course, then sprinted toward the tracks. As the freight rambled closer, Talmadge knew the boy would rush across the tracks in front of the engine and let the rest of the train shelter his escape, or hop a boxcar.
Either way worked for him, Talmadge thought as he swiftly made his way to the edge of the clinker stone at the base of the berm and hunkered down behind a clump of dead grass. He leaned against the slope and aimed the Colt down the berm, steadying it with his left arm.
Behind him the light from the train engine played shadows atop the berm. In moments, Talmadge spotted a shadow maybe thirty yards away detach itself from the brush and start up the slope. In another instant the locomotives headlight lit up a wounded man, red across his shoulder where the last shot had winged him.
Talmadge fired, then cursed when the slug scattered gravel immediately behind the man's feet. The man scrambled faster. Talmadge felt no anger, no emotion, no disappointment. He kept the aim of his last shot and its trajectory precisely in mind as he corrected his sights for the spot he figured the man would reach at the top of the tracks.
Talmadge fired as the locomotive blew its horn. The man with the wounded shoulder froze as his face turned toward the train. The slug punched through the man's torso, bent him forward over the nearby track, and fed him to the locomotive's wheels.


Monday lay on the land as gray and stone cold as a corpse. Slate clouds, winterfrosted grass, pale headstones, sucked the color and life from the Itta Bena I had loved as a child.

Down the gently sloping field beyond the rusting iron pickets of the cemetery fence, and across the pitted, often-patched asphalt of the access road, the trunks of naked trees waded in the chill, muddy shadows of Roebuck Lake. The day promised little for the handful of mourners due to gather on this raw January morning to say good-bye to my mother.

I stood alone next to a half dozen folding chairs beside the freshly dug grave. Timeworn Astroturf carpeted the ground but did little to mask the pile of dirt next to the headstone carrying the name of Mama's second husband. She'd married him only after previously marrying and divorcing my father three times.

The morning silence gave way infrequently to the occasional car or pickup passing by on Highway 7. A wan breeze brought me faint, episodic snatches of conversation from two distant men whose yellow coveralls lent the day an Impressionistic splash of color. I watched them lean against a muddy yellow backhoe a hundred yards away, smoking one cigarette after another.

When the wind strengthened, it struck my bare forehead like an ice-cream headache and slashed through my brand-new dark wool suit bought for this occasion. The gusts snatched at me with sharp fingers, which sent my testicles climbing tight and desperate against my groin. I turned my back to the wind and shoved my hands deeper into the pants pockets and felt the icy handprints on my thighs. It reminded me of cold evenings in high school when football practice would run until it was too dark to see the ball, and we'd jam our hands right down into our jockstraps to keep our fingers limber enough to function and yell loudly for coach to put us in because no matter how dead tired you were, it was even worse to stand on the sidelines and have the wind refrigerate the sweat soaking your practice jersey.

Where the hell was everyone? I turned in a half circle, taking in the deserted little cemetery. As I did, a sudden movement caught my eye over toward the stately magnolia tree's waxy evergreen leaves. I saw nothing now, but convinced someone lurked near the magnolia, I closed my eyes and tried to recall the brief image flashing across the vague edge of my peripheral vision. Nothing.

I shook my head. Stress again, I reasoned as I opened my eyes. Regardless, I walked among the dead, heading toward the tree and thinking that even if no one was there, a little walk would get my blood moving, generate some heat.

The headstones reminded me how dead people continue to hold us long after their deaths, binding us with memories as strong as love. I studied these things in my work. I tried to tease through the fabric of neurons and skeins of synapses to determine what makes us conscious, what makes us, us. But none of my scientific conclusions mattered now, only sorrow's dark gravity holding my heart in its irresistible orbit.

I navigated among the graves of children who died too young and the rusting iron Southern Crosses of Confederate soldiers who died for no good reason. So much sorrow here, each grave its own epicenter of pain and loss, each marker a final punctuation mark for a life story increasingly forgotten as its memories faded as those who could remember dwindled.

Death hurts not only because we face the inevitability of our own demise, but also because it opens a hole in our memories and robs us of the warm breathing evidence of who we have been. The loss forces us to redefine ourselves.

When I reached the magnolia, I found an old Ford hubcap, cigarette butts, two used condoms, and enough malt liquor cans to verify this as a major after-hours entertainment spot, life continuing, surrounded by death. I walked on and quickly found myself at the southern end of the cemetery, next to the Stone family plot holding the remains of my grandparents, my uncle William, and my uncle Wester, whom I had never known because, like so many in the rural South of the 1920s, he died as an infant from some now-treatable disease. The small angel on his headstone, meant to imply his innocence and express ticket to heaven, looked vaguely sinister to me this morning.

BOOK: Perfect Killer
7.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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