Grouse Falls is a beautiful cataract style falls in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. It plunges 210 feet down a rugged path of large boulders and sheer drops. This particular afternoon, if you happened to look at just the right moment, you would see 2 bodies tumbling down the falls, bouncing violently off each of the sheared boulders that made up the falls path and eventually ending up bobbing in the churning pool at the base.
Two men could be seen making their way down the makeshift trail that led up to the falls.
"Lenny would you hurry the fuck up?" Jeff, the smaller of the pair said. "It's gonna be nightfall soon".
"Whats the matter Jeffy?", the large man huffed and puffed as he talked. "Scared of the dark?"
"No I'm not afraid of the dark, you asshole. I'm just not sure we're gonna be able to find the campsite in the dark".
"How bout the same way we came? L turn at the lake and then north?" Lenny asked.
"I guess we'll have to feel our way, no moon tonight, gonna be pretty dark." Jeff grumbled as he looked up.
After a few more minutes of walking, Lenny stopped and sat down on a rock. "I'm really tired" he said out of breath. He leaned back against a tree.
Jeff could not argue with that; he was very tired himself. Hauling two full sized male bodies several miles up the side of a mountain and tossing them over the waterfall had been no easy task. Jeff sat down on the log of a fallen tree and looked around.
It was already getting very dark. He had miscalculated the length of the afternoon and how long it would take to do the dirtywork with those two fishermen. Suddenly, Jeff heard snoring sounds and looked over at Lenny to find him already fast asleep.
'How do ya like that' Jeff mumbled. 'It looks like we'll be staying here for the night' he thought to himself. They had not really had any sleep since the prison break two days ago. They spent the first night on the run and had not slept much the second night. Even though they managed to set up camp, neither of them had been able to sleep.
Tonight was different and Jeff felt himself feeling very weary. He went over to Lenny and put his coat over him. They were able to get two nice coats from the two fishermen; Jeff's fit fine, but the larger fisherman was not nearly as large as Lenny and Lenny had to make do with a less-than-perfect fitting jacket. But it would at least keep the big man warm.
Jeff looked around and found a nice flat place for himself on a rock nearby. After so many years in prison, they were both used to sleeping on hard surfaces. Jeff laid down and listened to the sounds of the forest. There was the ever present sound of Grouse Creek. With the spring runoff, it sounded more like a full blown river than a creek. There were other sounds too; sounds of life in the woods. Jeff soon found himself falling fast asleep.
After many hours, Jeff later woke up with a start. He sat straight up rubbing his eyes.
'huh, what?' He thought he had heard something. Looking around, he could see Lenny still asleep up against the tree and could hear him snoring. He tried to remember the sound he heard - was he dreaming?
He got up and walked over to a bush to take a whiz. As he was finishing up, he heard a SNAP from behind him. Jeff whirled around.
Jeff turned around just in time to catch some movement in the dark forest about 30 feet away. It was too dark to see much of anything; he waited and listened. Nothing.
He cautiously returned to his rock - he would not be getting back to sleep anytime soon. He glanced at his new watch -- courtesy of one of the dead fishermen -- and noticed it was 4:57am.
'May as well stay up and wait for daylight' he thought to himself. He sat back down and faced the direction of the noise. After awhile his eyes adjusted a bit to the darkness and he could make out an animal standing where he saw movement - a deer!
'Spooked by Bambi' he chuckled to himself. He sat still for long time watching the deer; the longer he watched, the more clearly he could see the animal. He realized that daybreak was beginning and some dim light was slowly making its way into the forest. Soon the deer, who had been eating something on the ground, galloped off into the forest.
By now it was light enough to see fairly clearly - Jeff could see what the deer had been eating - it was a body on the ground!
'What the fuck' Jeff walked over to where the deer had been and looked down. It was one of the fishermen. Jeff bent down to examine the body closer. Yes it was one of the men they threw off the falls.
"A, what is this asshole doing here and B, what was the deer doing eating this!" he said aloud. He realized that deer liked salt and realized the animal was probably just licking it. The body was all bashed up as one might expect for having tumbled down the falls, but it did not look eaten.
Still, he could not explain how the body got there. The creek was at least 300 feet away. Futhermore, the creek was in a canyon. Could the fisherman have been still alive when they tossed him over the edge? If so, could he have possibly survived the tumble down the falls and made his way back here? Was he still alive?
Jeff felt the man's neck for a pulse several minutes. None. Jeff grabbed the body by the arms and began dragging it back towards the creek. In a few minutes, Jeff had the body at a ledge overlooking the creek. He lifted the body up and threw it down the embankment. He watched as the body tumbled and bounced down the embankment and then landed with a loud plop in the roaring creek.
He continued to watch for a few more moments as the body bobbed in the foamy current and quickly disappeared out of sight.
'That had better be the end of that' he thought to himself as he made his way back to their overnight spot. When he got back, he found Lenny stirring and getting up. He decided to keep his early morning encounter with the dead fisherman to himself.
"Good Morning Mr. Sunshine Lazy-Ass" Jeff said.
Lenny leaned to one side and ripped a huge fart in Jeff's general direction. "There's your lazy ass".
"Nice manners! Hey chop chop, we gotta get moving," Jeff said.
"Ok Ok, mind if I piss?" Lenny got up and wobbled his way toward a tree and took care of business. "I don't know why, but I slept like a rock on that rock" he remarked.
"Mmm .... might be because we haven't slept in days," Jeff reminded him.
The two men then resumed their journey down the mountain. They had already descended the worst part; now it was a relatively gradual descent down the mountain. Jeff and Lenny followed their own trail and kept the sound of the creek in range. Soon they could see the blue waters of Silver Lake ahead and they began to hurry.
The two men soon found the deer trail that followed alongside the lake. They took it and began heading back towards their 'camp'. After a bit, Jeff slowed down and stopped.
"Why’re you stopping?" asked Lenny.
"The boat - I think it's down here," Jeff pointed to the beach below them.
They made their way down to the beach and sure enough, the boat was right where they left it. It was here on this small beach that Jeff and Lenny overpowered the two fishermen and smashed rocks into their skulls. The boat was tied up and partway up on the beach.
"Let's see what's in that boat," Jeff said as he hopped into it. The first thing that caught his attention was a small cooler strapped to the side. He popped it open and grinned with delight. It was still cold and it had 2 wrapped sandwiches and 2 beers!
He tossed a sandwich to Lenny. "Here's breakfast….. lunch and probably dinner," Jeff said. Then he tossed Lenny a beer. "And here's something to wash it down with". Lenny accepted the gifts hungrily and ripped the sandwich open.
Jeff opened the other sandwich for himself and the other beer. Both men were very hungry; it had been a long time since their last meal and it didn't take long for them to devour the two sandwiches. It had been even longer since they had last drank beer and they enjoyed every drop of the canned beers.
"Holy cow that was the best damn ham and cheese sandwich I ever tasted," Lenny remarked as he licked his fingers. "Anything else in there?"
Jeff fished around in the partially melted ice for a bit. "Just a couple of sodie pops - we can save those for later", he said as he closed the lid. He then spotted a day pack sitting in the bow of the small boat. He opened it and fished around inside for a minute.
"A cell phone, a tackle box .. and wait.. here're some chips. Our lucky morning!" Jeff tore open the bag and they ravenously scarfed down the small bag of chips.
"I'm still hungry," complained Lenny.
Jeff examined the rest of the pack. "That's all there is so it'll have to hold you for awhile."
Jeff opened the side pocket of the pack and smiled again. "Hey check this out", he held up a piece of paper. "It's a campsite receipt." Jeff began reading from it. "Boulder Point Campground - Space number 8, and they paid for 5 days. It's dated May 15th. Hey .... what's today?"
Lenny thought for a minute, "May 15th was the day we broke out so today must be the 17th."
"That means there's still 3 days paid left on this campsite," Jeff said.
"So what are we are gonna do, go roast weenies around the campfire?" Lenny cracked.
"Maybe so!" said Jeff. "Think about it, there's gonna be food and supplies there. More importantly clothing."
"Oh yeah" Lenny said as he eyed his dirty scrubs. "So what're we waitin for?"
"Dark" said Jeff. "We'll hafta at least wait for sunset. We can't go to that campground looking like this." They were still wearing their prison scrubs - even though they were badly soiled by now, they still were recognizable prison clothing.
"Now help me get this boat up out of sight," Jeff said.
Lenny untied the boat and the two men lifted it and carried just into the trees where it could not be seen.
Jeff slept most of the day at their makeshift campsite up the hill from the beach, while Lenny played fisherman with one of the fishing poles he found in the boat.
As night finally approached, the two men moved the boat back into the water.
"So you know where this campground is?" Lenny asked.
"I think so," Jeff said as he pointed to a spot a few miles away on the other side of the lake. As dusk began to set in, they could spot a few campfires in the woods across the lake, a few miles away.
They both got in and Jeff pushed them out from the shore. He started the small outboard motor and steered them out into the lake. The trip was slow going and in the remote quiet of the valley, the small motor seemed exceptionally loud in the hushed serenity of the pristine lake.
By the time they arrived in the vicinity of the campground, it had grown almost completely dark. After trolling around for a bit, Jeff spotted the boat dock and headed toward it. He cut off the motor just before they arrived at the gravel dock and the boat slid gently up on it. The two men got out and lifted the boat, setting it down on a grassy area near the dock.
Jeff looked around. The parking lot at the boat dock was deserted expect for 2 trucks with empty boat trailers attached. He presumed one of those belonged to the fishermen. "Let's go find the campground," He said.
The adjacent campground was sparsely populated and the few people who were around were busy with dinner and end-of-day camp chores. No one seemed to pay any attention to the two grubby men that were wandering around the campground. After scouting the campground for a bit, Jeff and Lenny found campsite number 8.
They both stopped and looked at the dark campsite for a minute.
"I thought I saw someone back by the tent there," Lenny pointed. "You sure we got the right place?"
"Reasonably certain," Jeff said. "I don't see anyone; com'on lets go in for a closer look."
They walked into the campsite and looked around. There was a lone car; a toyota Celica parked by a dome-style tent. The picnic table had a few things on it; including a larger cooler.
"You see what's in that cooler and what else is on that table," Jeff said to Lenny. "I'll see what's in the tent."
Jeff walked up to the tent and said out loud, "Hello, anyone in there?". After hearing no reply, he unzipped the tent's door, opened it and went inside.
Inside the tent were two sleeping bags neatly rolled up. In each corner was a piece of soft-sided luggage. Jeff opened the first one; it was filled mostly with clothing. He pulled out a pair of sweat pants and held them up. 'This must've been the large guy's suitcase,' he thought.
"Hey Lenny, I found some pants for you," he called.
"Cool, I found us some more eats," was the reply.
"Hey, save some for me!" Jeff looked out and could see Lenny woofing down stuff from out of the cooler.
Jeff looked in the other suitcase and found a suitable set of clothes for himself. He tore off his prison shirt and put on a nice clean, plaid shirt. Then he wiggled out of his prison pants and replaced them with a fresh pair of jeans.
As he was finishing dressing, he heard a loud distinct 'thud' from outside. He turned around to look out the tent door -- Lenny was suddenly not to be seen at the picnic table. Jeff quickly got out of the tent and looked around.
"Lenny?" he called.
Suddenly, Jeff could hear the sound of something being dragged across the dirt. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness on the back edge of the campground, he could see Lenny being dragged into the woods.
"What the.." Jeff said taking only one step toward Lenny before a heavy blunt object struck him the back of the head and he blacked out.
Grouse Falls is a beautiful cataract style falls in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. It plunges 210 feet down a rugged path of large boulders and sheer drops. This particular evening, if you happened to look at just the right moment, you would see 2 bodies tumbling down the falls, bouncing violently off each of the sheared boulders that made up the falls path and eventually ending up bobbing in the churning pool at the base.
Inspector Doug Hilbert looked at the four bodies laid out in a row on the beach. In particular, he was interested in two of them.
"Yep sheriff, that's them - Jeffrey MacDonnis and Leonard Daly. I have no idea who the other two are."
"The other two had ID on them - seems like they were just vacationing here" Sheriff Ron Harmon said.
"Well whoever killed MacDonnis and Daly did us a favor - those two were dangerous escaped convicts," the inspector said. "To be honest, their trail went cold until we got your call."
The sheriff handed the inspector a clipboard with a piece of paper to sign. "If you'll be so kind as to sign them over to the county, we'll get the bodies over to forensics for a full investigation."
Inspector Hilbert signed the paperwork and handed it back to Sheriff Harmon. He looked at the bodies one more time. "God, they're so bashed up. What do you suppose happened?"
"Dunno," answered the sheriff. "It's almost like someone tossed them over the falls - all four of them!"
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