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September 1, 2021 28 mins

With the arrival of a rare foggy weather pattern known as Strawberry Spring, notorious serial killer Springhill Jack returns after an eight-year absence. Henry Denton, a former journalism major who documented the murders first hand, is brought back to investigate the case. But this time, Springheel Jack is going to make it personal.

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
You were listening to Strawberry Spring, based on a short
story by Stephen King. Is someone there? I can't see
you through the fog, one of those idiot froguys think

(00:27):
this is funny, Jimmy Roger, You're not funny. Where is
the god? Damn it? Fog is bad enough, ice pavement?

(00:48):
Oh it's you, Thank God. I think there's someone else
out here and they were following me and oh please,
you don't know, don't don't Hello, good morning. You're listening

(01:24):
to W. S. K Hes with d J Kevin Hard again.
This is the morning heartbeat. It's time to rise and shine.
You share a nights at seven o'clock March sixteenth, nineteen
seventy six, and it's another foggy Strawberry Spring here in
New England. If you can see your hand in front
of your face, give us a call and request the song.
Time to scrape the ice from your windows, shovel out

(01:46):
the driveway and make your way to work. To get
you going on your morning drive, here's a brand new
one from k C and the Sunshine. Hony. Are you up?
You're gonna be lates? Did you bring another lamp? Yeah?
I'm up? How did you sleep not bad now the
baby sleep. She kicks more than you do, but it

(02:10):
SNAr as less. I'll make the coffee. I'll be right down,

(02:30):
hot and fresh, just how you like it. You were
the coffee both, Thank god? What would I do with
at you go thirsty? You leave me any hot water?
Probably not? I guess I'll have to find out for myself.
It'd be careful, would you. I'm not so sure how

(02:50):
water is good for the baby? Where did you read that?
It's common sense? Oh well, as long as they're science
behind that. Are you going to be late tonight? Well?
What day is it? Oh? Yeah, a week day? Then, yes, Jack, never,
that's all. Good morning news. This is horrible. We just

(03:14):
found out there was a murder on the campus of
New Sharon College. Police are not releasing the victim's name,
but sources close to the investigation tell us that it
was a female, co ed late teams to early twenties.
Will have more information. Hello, have you heard the news? Yeah,
just now on the radio. It was a burn around campus.

(03:35):
It has all the signs. Wait are you telling me?
Can't be sure, but as of right now, it looks
like spring Heel Jack is back. Spring Heel Jack is back.
It's a shark to the system here in that name.
It's almost been eight years to the day the last
time the fog was this heavy in New England. They

(03:57):
call it a strawberry spring. No one even knows why
got what happened at New Sharon during the last one,
and there might be a pattern for that too, but
if anyone has figured it out, they've never said. I've
heard every theory there was, especially having written the book
on it eight years and it's almost like it was yesterday.

(04:22):
Good Morning New Sharon College, or listening to k s
h R College Radio DJ Kevin Hard in here it's
time to rise and shy New Sharon nights. Another foggy,
rainy strawberry spring. Try and stay dry while ship. Damn it, Greg,

(04:43):
I have some breaking news that's just in um. I
don't even know what to say. A female student was
found murdered in the Animal Sciences parking lot. We don't
have many details right now. Stay tuned for more information
as it comes in. When I heard Kevin that morning,

(05:04):
I didn't even know it yet, but it would change
my life forever. I remember throwing out my clothes and
rushing across campus excuse me out of the way. Hey,
watch out as well. You just blasted me. Sorry about that.
I didn't know where to turn, but as a journalism major,

(05:25):
I had to get to the paper. It was the
center of my universe. If there were answers to be found,
I would find them at the New Sharon Times. Back then,
journalism was my life, even as I was about to
find out at the expense of others. Hey, Henry, did

(05:48):
you hear Gayl Kerman was murdered last night? Gayl Kerman? Yeah?
Why would somebody do that to it? Did? Did you
know her? Did anyone you know know her? What do
we know so far? You're asking me hardly anything. I
thought you were the journalist. Hey, keep yours open, would you?
And if I hear anything, you'll be the first of

(06:09):
non deal deal. All right, I gotta get back to
the station. At least now I have a name. Kevin
was out for himself, but as long as I kept
that in mind, I figured I could manage him. Everyone
knew Gail, or at least they thought they did. She
was an art major. She wore granny glasses just like
John Lennon, had a good figure. She was the kind

(06:31):
of girl who talked little and smiled lass. She was
shy but friendly, and on the morning after her murder,
everyone knew Gail Kerman even if they didn't. Someone get
me a picture for the front page of Gail Kerman
and I mean, now, Henry, get in here. I remember

(06:52):
like it was yesterday. Working with Anne at the New
Sharon Times. We would drink coffee and stay up all
night trying to hit deadlines. She was always pretty in
a non nonsense sort of way. We covered school sit ins,
police brutality, even Vietnam and the presidential election. But this
one spring heel jack, This one hit close to home.

(07:13):
You look like shit, you feel okay, hangover? We have
aspurn around here. Between that and the insomnia. I'm just
grateful for instant coffee, to be honest about, the only
thing that really helps me at night is a long
walk and fresh air. First of all, no one is
grateful for instant coffee. I can't believe you drink that crap.
Maybe that's what's giving you a headache. That's a fancy

(07:35):
word for headaches. Do you know what's giving me mine?
Let me guess. It's been over an hour since the
story broke and you still don't have a picture to run.
Good guests, Have you assigned anyone of this yet? No?
Half our staff just found out morning classes weren't even canceled,
so hardly anyone is doing until this afternoon for tomorrow's
morning paper. That's because my dad talked Dean Edwards out

(07:58):
of it. Why would Captain Spencer do that? I don't know.
I overheard him on the phone this morning. Guys. It
is way worse than we've heard. Do you know John Dancy. Well,
he found her tripped over her body in the middle
of the fog. They had to give him a sedative
just for him to remember his name. That's awful. That's nothing.
The awful part is Gail was cut apart. I overheard

(08:21):
my dad and he told Dean Edwards it's like a
modern day Jack the Ripper or something. The guy sliced
through her torso. He said, it looked like someone tried
to dissect her. Trust me, they don't have a plan
other than it's a bad press to close down. Okay,
look I'm here already. I'll run with it, and at
the very least I can get us some picture to

(08:42):
Pratt done. Why are you still standing here? I still
need ask. I'll get that, then get the story. So
us to keep eaves dropping on your dad, you might
as well take advantage of being the police captain's daughter.
You have to remind me in this case, I do
go Rachel. Sorry, Hey, I know we're supposed to have

(09:12):
a lunch date today, but things just got a little nuts.
I get it here, come out from under the rain. Hey,
do you wanna just stop at the grinder and pick
up some sandwiches? In this weather? I have food at
my apartment. We can make lunch there. I don't have
time for launch. Let me just walk you home. I

(09:32):
don't want you walking home alone. It's what, okay, I
don't know, it's it's just I don't want anything to
happen to you. Do you think there's something to worry about?
I mean, did that girl Gail? Sorry Gail? You don't
think a random stranger killed her? To you? I have

(09:53):
no idea, but let me walk you home, okay, just
to be safe. M I remember seeing the blank looks
on everyone's faces as I walked Rachel back to her place.

(10:14):
They all looked worried, but no one was more worried
than Rachel. Things were just starting to get serious between
us when it all started. I know this probably isn't
the right time, but we've both been so busy. Graduation
coming up. What are you talking about? We don't graduate
for three more months. It's like a lifetime. No, it's

(10:38):
like three more months. I just I need to know
what are we doing after we graduate? Ah? I thought
we agreed we'll move in together, get an apartment, go
to Boston or New York. I'll get my journalism career
going at a big paper, and you'll help people they're

(11:01):
crazy or whatever shrinks do Are you going to be
the one to tell my father that his little girl
from the Sabbath is going to be living in sin Well?
I hadn't really thought about it. Well I have, and
now there's this, in all seriousness, a murder right here
on campus. I'm not sure I want to live in

(11:23):
a big city like Boston or New York when you graduate.
If this happens here, it's only worse in a place
like New York. Oh my god, Henry's that Please day,
Just keep walking. We're at the parking lot where they
found the girl. Come on, let's go. I don't understand.

(11:47):
It's just alive just a day ago. Now it's emergency
and what is happening. Don't find the guy that did this.
I hope you're right. Let's go be from the rain picks. God,
I hate this weather. I don't know what's worse, the
fog or the rain. The fog always reminds me of

(12:08):
the accident. I'm sorry I should have said anything. I
can't imagine. I was like, uh, it was it was awful.
I was fourteen at the time. We just found out
my dad died in the Korean War. Everything was falling apart.
Remember my mom packing up our place. We're moving to
be closer to her family. And I think we're on

(12:29):
our way to my grandparents house. Mom, Mom, I can't
see a thing. It's a pitch black at how's your
brother m Junior sleeping? We should pull over and wait

(12:50):
for the fog to clear camp. We're in the middle
of nowhere. I told your grandfather we'd be there by morning,
and he'll be worried, sickingfore not okay, maybe just slow
down while I can barely see past the hood of
the car. I've never seen fog like that before. It
was so thick that headlights just bounced off like yellow

(13:11):
polka dots on white cotton. Mom, please slowed down. Why
are you speeding up? It all happened so fast. I
saw headlights from behind. They flashed in the rear view mirror.
He can't see a damn thing. Then from out of nowhere,
there was a deer in the middle of the road,
and my mom swerved. Look out. We had flipped over

(13:45):
a few times. The car was crushed. I was thrown
through the windshield. There were shards of glass stuck in
my face, blood dripping from my forehead. I started to
crawl back to the car. It was so dark in
the fog. Guy couldn't see. But the car was upside
down and part of the underside caught fire. It was

(14:05):
like a signal light, but it wasn't leading me to safety.
It was the exact opposite. Mom, Wake up, Mom, Mom,
wake up JR. The dome light flickered, and that's when

(14:27):
I realized my mother's neck was broken. Oh my god,
Oh my god, Oh my good. And my brother was
crushed under the roof of the car. I passed out
on the side of the road. I woke up when

(14:47):
I heard the sirens get us there throwing hurry m
The accident left me with migraines in a severe case

(15:08):
of insomnia. I spent weeks recovering. That's just about everything
I can remember, But the fog always brings it back
like it just happened. It's called emotional memory. What is
but you just described you feel the emotions come back
to you when something triggers it. I look at you,

(15:30):
diagnosing me on the spot. I didn't diagnose anything, just
letting you know why you're feeling such intense memories. So
you're saying I'm not crazy. No one's ever going to
say that, are you going to be? Okay? Yes, just
to be safe, lock your door and don't open it

(15:50):
for anyone. I'm not even for you. Okay, you can
open up for me. Well, I see you tonight. Maybe
depends on how late I stay at the paper. If
it's after midnight, do not come knocking on my door.
All right, let's just agree. Now, all right, I'll see
you tomorrow with Rachel safely locked away. I followed up

(16:17):
on some leads and headed back to the paper. And
not now, Henry and slow down. We don't have time.
We don't know anything about gil criminal. We have a
paper to print. I know that. Just take a breath.
I'll tell you what I have so far. The clock
is ticking. Okay. She lived in the dorms Shreve Hall.

(16:38):
She was an art major, mostly kept to herself. But
she does have a boyfriend, Carla and Laura. Where was
he last night? I don't know where does he live?
I don't know that either, Henry, this is a big one.
This one could put the New Sharon Times on the
map that Oh that you know? Good, Let's write what
you have. We'll do a piece on campus safety. Who knows,
maybe we have a very own New England, so each

(17:00):
on our hands, New England zodiac. I know, I know
we'll come up with something catch here. If I didn't
know you better, i'd almost say finding a serial killer
on campus sounds like wishful thinking, Oh well, it's good,
you know me. Better write what you have cover security
on campus, and we'll start with that. I spent the
rest of that afternoon writing the front page. We didn't
have a lot on Gail's murder, but I managed to

(17:22):
turn it into a pretty compelling character piece about a
talented girl whose life was cut short by senseless violence.
I remember how frieda I was that night, between the
murder Rachel and the rain and fog. It was a
long day. I headed back to my place and crashed hard.

(17:44):
But that first day was nothing compared to what came next.
Rose and sew and new Sharon Knight's tido and out
of bed. Pick a look outside. It seems like a
strawberry spring will be with us with a foreseeable future.
Shut the funk up already. Oh, good ahead, it's so shitty.

(18:12):
H Hey, good morning. How would you sleep? Not good?
Just keep thinking about Gail. I see you made the
front page. It was either that or the library dedication.
I think Anne made the right choice. You want to

(18:33):
come by and brought me the campus? Sure thing, give
me ten minutes. I'll be right over. It's foggy out today,
Hold my hand and warm me up. It's just felt

(18:57):
like it'd be better if he wants me to class,
No problem, happy to do. In the late sixties, it
seemed like there was a protest for everything. The police
presence on campus was heavy. They were looking to solve
Gail Kerman's murder, but in the process, Piste just about

(19:17):
everyone else of the police just meet things worse they're
just doing their job. That's what they said in Selma.
This isn't Selma. That's why it's scarier. That's what she
lived just met. Considering the flowers and the makeshift memorials
in front of the door on a shrew, it's so

(19:38):
sad years old. It's funny how when someone dies and
needs something to people even if they don't know. There
were at least a half dozen police cars parked in
front of Shrewd Hall where Gail leved. It was weird
to see. It wasn't like the Vietnam protests. That was
an ocean away. Tensions ran high and six no one

(20:03):
trusted anyone. Between the civil rights protests, the hippies, black panthers,
the war, and now the murder, the tension was as
thick as the fog, and no one was immune. This
was about one of our own, and everyone wanted to
know what the police were going to do about. You too,

(20:24):
have student I d S I do, and Rachel, you
have yours with I have a classic at to. I
don't have time for this. I need to see identification. Henry,
let's go. I'm going to be late. This is messed up.

(20:45):
First floor, it's like Major's lingerie rubber sheets. I know
you're just trying to lighten things up, but if you're
not careful, this is where you'll find exco friends. To
meet me later as long as I'm not a got it.

(21:12):
Look are you rolling in at the Cracker ten? What
do you have for me? Well, there's about a half
dozen cops in front of Kerman's dorm and Henry, I'm
hearing bloomers there's going to be a curfield. Really, how
would they enforce that? Their pigs and racists? I love
your passion. Jan Edwards is calling for all students on

(21:33):
campus to meet at the Quad at noon, So something
big is going to go down. You're either part of
the problem or part of the solution. In my father,
he's part of the problem. Well, it looks like we're
all gonna go so we can hear what he has
to say for himself. There's a lot of TV stations here.
We'll just say ahead of the news outlets. They're not

(21:55):
even from here. I can't believe this story is getting
that much interest this quickly. It's not every day there's
a murder on a college campus. No, that's where I
have to stay on talk of him. Hello, can you
hear me? Okay? Then? Um, I know you're all worried
about what happened to Gail Kerman last night. I am too.

(22:20):
As you know, we take great pride in our student
bodied here at New Sharon. So that is why, after
consulting with Captain s. Spencer of the New Sharon Police
Department and with our board, we have decided that starting tonight,
the campus of New Sharon College which will be under
perfume beginning at ten o'clock. I repeat ten o'clock. Now

(22:44):
Captin Spencer is here, which some additional information, and so
I'm going to turn over the microphone to him. Captain Spencer,
thank you, Jean Edwards. As you may have heard by now,
a sophomore by the name of Gail Kerman was found
dead last night just after eleven in the Animal Science's parkingline.

(23:04):
If anyone has any information or saw anything, please notify us.
Is this is an ongoing investigation. Now, as the dean said,
starting tonight at ten the campus will be under curfew.
In addition, we will have our officers stationed on campus
to enforce it. And just so you know, anyone outside
on campus after ten pm where we detain sighted and

(23:26):
arrested it now. I think you all know my own daughter,
Chelsea is I do not tell you how much I
hate him right now, and this is her view as
being put in place to protect Paul of you. We
are investigating the murder of Gail Kerman, and until we
make an arrest, everyone must remain vigilant. Thank you, and
stay sick. I want everyone to leave a plot immediately, immediately.

(23:52):
I have to go. It's not enought. You know, he's
my father, and now everyone knows well we have a
new headline. We do, but we still don't know who
killed Gayl Kerman. Why. With the curfew in place, there
wasn't anything left to do but study. I remember that
second night of Strawberry Spring. I was in my room.

(24:15):
I could barely see out the window. The fog was
so thick. When Kevin burst in, they caught him. What who?
I heard it over at the grinder. Gayl Kerman's boyfriend
did it. His name is Carl M. Laura. Thank god,
Now maybe we can all get back to normal. Yeah,

(24:35):
thank god. You could hear everyone coming out into the hallway.
It was the only thing anyone was talking about. I
remember Feeling relieved, I sat back. I was happy they
caught the guy. A lover's coral had run his course,
but at the same time, I was disappointed my journalistic

(24:58):
intentions were left unfulfilled. I had to cancel on Rachel
and made a beeline for the Times. The fog was
worse that night than any I had ever seen. As
I made my way across campus, I imagined, this must
be what it's like to be blind. We have some

(25:28):
pictures to go with the story. I called downstairs, and
the guys think they'll be able to change the front page. Thanks.
Looks like that was an open and shut story for us. Yeah,
hard to believe Anna Laura could be that violent. Did
you know him? I mean not really. He was a
dishwasher at the Grinder. I'd see him every once in

(25:51):
a while. When I was in there with Rachel, Jessie
went over the police station. She's going to try and
get a copy of the report. If nothing else, we
can do a follow up. M what are you looking at?
You still look like shot? Ah, These glorious migraines. Usually

(26:11):
coffee and aspirin does the trick. How about rest? Did
that ever work? Go home and get some sleep. There's
not much more to write about this one. Looks like
the cops got their man. As I headed home, I
noticed dark shadows and the white fog. It was probably
my imagination. No one was supposed to be out, including me,

(26:33):
But with the killer cod I wasn't too worried about
the curfew. The story had written itself, or so we
all thought, but we were about to find out there
was and still is more to the story. Hm Ye

(26:59):
did it. Strawberry Spring is a production of Audio Up
Media and I Heart Radio executive produced by Lee Metzker,
Jared Gootstat, and Philip Albert Statt, Written and directed by
the Lee Metzker, starring Garrett Headland, Milo Ventimilia, Horizon Guardiola,
Sidney Sweeney, Ken Marino, Al Madrigal and Brett Passenger. Audio

(27:20):
Up in house production by Georgana Glick Franzheim and Laura Ramada,
edited by Carry Caulfield, Eric and Jeremiah Zimmerman. Sound design
and mixed by Jeremiah Zimmerman, scored by Jeff Peters. Songs
and music by Jared Gootstatt and Jesse Stephenburg. Strawberry Spring
is published in Stephen King's short story collection night Shift,
available in paperback and ebrook from Anchor Brooks, and as

(27:41):
an audio book from Penguin Random House Audio. For the
fullest of production credits, please visit audio up dot com.
You can find more podcasts from iHeart Radio on the
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