In the 1990s, The Turf was a bar in Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle. Tucked in amongst the fish mongers tossing their wares before a crowd of tourists, the flower vendors with their paper-wrapped bouquets, and the very first Starbuck’s store.
But, The Turf wasn’t advertised as a tourist attraction. It was a spot just for the locals, like Denise Harris. She was a regular at The Turf and other bars in the area.
A transplant from California, Denise had moved to Washington with the hopes of rebuilding her life as a preschool teacher, or at least she’d been trying. She’d hit a rough patch and she went to the Turf that night looking to escape her troubles.
A tall, lean man sitting just a few stools down the line struck up a conversation with Denise. By and by, he ended up moving down to sit next to her.
What Denise didn’t know was that over the course of the night this stranger had been biding his time, watching her, sensing her vulnerability.
After a time, the bartender cut Denise off, and she decided it was time to hit the road. The stranger flashed a little bag with a few rocks and offered her a little more fun.
Why not?… she might’ve thought.
This vulnerable young woman had no idea that the seemingly charming man had been watching her as the hours ran down, as the crowd thinned and the drinks flowed. Their meeting was anything but random. And, he made sure that no one saw them leave together.
The next day, Denise’s body would be found half buried in a place called the Jungle, a wooded green space near the city center.
And this killer was just beginning…
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