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September 8, 2021 29 mins

A 2nd murder haunts the campus of New Sharon, and a prime suspect is let go. Henry investigates the life of Charlotte Foster, while the campus is put back into lockdown. Captain Spencer ramps up the police presence, and Chelsea finds a new clue from her father’s police files, while Springheel Jack drags Henry further into his game of cat and mouse.

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Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:12):
You were listening to Strawberry Spring, based on a short
story by Stephen King m Rachel, Are you here, hey, honey?

(00:39):
At an early class I didn't want to wake you.
I love you, ensue you. Tonight, I was staring in
the mirror. My face looked like someone stretched it out
on a drying rack. I tried combing my hair with
both hands, but that never really works. Prying my tongue
from the roof of my mouth made me feel like
there was a plantations were the cotton absorbing all my saliva.

(01:04):
All in all, I felt like I had the world's
worst hangover, but I didn't get to have the fun
part of actually getting drunk. A cold shower usually wakes
me up. I should have been used to it by now,
the migraine hangover. But some things you never get used to,
Like murder. I kept thinking about Amma Laura, a student

(01:26):
that worked the grinder by day, a violent killer by night,
or in his case, also worked at the grinder by night.
It just didn't make sense to me. If it was
a simple lover's quarrel, I get it, he lost this temper.
He killed her, but to cut her up it just
didn't fit. DJ Kevin Hargan here. It's I don't know

(01:57):
about you and New Sharon, but after the winter we
just had I don't think anyone within the sound of
my voice wishes it would rain. I have a better idea.
I'm going to end the show with a track by Maryland.
I didn't oversleep often, but I was running a bit late.
That's when Anne called me. Hello, Oh good, you're still there.

(02:21):
What's up? Heard? What? He He killed another one? Wait?
Who killed another one? What are you talking about? They
had to let him go. Wait, slowed down for a minute.
Start from the beginning, Laura. They had to let him go.
He was sitting in a jail still last night when
it happened. When what happened? Another murder? The guy killed
somebody else last night. M Laura had an air tight

(02:42):
alibi since he was in custody, so it can't beat him.
Now they're looking all over for it. For what her head?
Whoever killed her took her head? Oh my god, I
know right, this isn't over. It's just the beginning. How
soon can you meet me at the time I'll leave
right now. Excuse me, part of me. New Sharon isn't

(03:07):
a big school now and back in n it was
even smaller, the kind of school people referred to as
a liberal arts college. It was a tight knit community,
at least in those days. Between you and your friends,
you probably had at least some passing acquaintance with everyone,
or at least one of their friends. That's what made
it so hard to believe. I bobbed and weaved my

(03:30):
way across campus, and every person I passed looked at
me with suspicion. I looked back at them the same way.
Someone on campus killed two women. Who why? Those were
the questions, but getting the answers just became infinitely more difficult.
When I got to the Times, the place was buzzing

(03:51):
with activity. We were the epicenter of something horrible. I
found Anne locked away in her office. She was tacking
up a picture of Gail Kerman on a court word.
Next to her was a new face, a face that
I'm sad to say I recognized. Oh no, Charlotte Foster.

(04:13):
You knew her, I did. I mean, I'd seen her
around eye classes with her over the years. I know
Rachel would hang out with her from time to time,
but not lately. Because you hand me some push pens
here you go. They look a little bit alike. Don't
you think it's hard to say cute, dirty blonde? Other
than that, I'm not sure. How do you want to

(04:34):
handle this. We need to write something about her. I
want to make sure it's not some faceless eulogy. We
need to make her a person. We need to make
sure when people read about her, they know her, they care.
It's the only way this thing is going to stop.
Whoever is doing this needs to see these women as
real people understood. I get it. You want me to

(04:55):
humanize her. Let me talk to a few people. Get
a snapshot of who she was in what made her
take Henry? Yeah, I knew her too. Make it more
than a snapshot, Make it a full picture. I don't
want her to be remembered for being murdered. I want
her to be remembered for being alive, not for being died.

(05:18):
Bring it back to life with your words. I will.
It's at least I can do. I'll start at the sorority.
I'm sure her sisters will be helpful. I was never
part of the fraternity system at New Sharon. It wasn't
really for me. I was happy to find a few friends,
grab some beers and get good grades. I didn't have

(05:40):
anything against him, but coming from an orphanage after my
mother and brother died, I felt like I had to
grow up pretty fast. I didn't have time for the
toga parties and campus white pranks. I wanted to put
the past behind me and get started with my own life.
Once I've met Rachel, all bets were off. I dreaded

(06:00):
telling her about Charlotte. She was one of those friends
of a friend everyone has in college. I stood outside
Charlotte Foster, a Scama Phi Beta sorority house. The front
steps were littered with flowers, candles, and a makeshift shrine.
I could barely make my way up the front steps.
It was like a memorial service had already taken place.

(06:24):
It seemed pretty ironic to think about writing a story
that brought her to life when the most significant story
I would ever write wasn't about people's lives, but about
their deaths. Hi. Can I help you? Hi? I'm Henry
Dinnon with the school paper I was. I was hoping

(06:45):
I could talk to you about Charlotte Foster. We want
to do a store on her so people can get
to know who she was a little better. Oh, oh,
I told you. Um, we had an art history class together.
Come on in you Is this the most recent picture
of everyone Gamma Phi. Yeah, it was from my Christmas pageant.

(07:08):
That's the last picture of everyone together. Mhm. What can
you tell me about Charlotte that I might not already know?
Did you know her? I did a little. We had
some classes freshman year nights here around. From time to time.
My girlfriend hung out with her a bit. Freshman year.

(07:28):
They went to a few sit ins. Do you mind
if we hang out in the parlor? No, not at all.
It's quiet. You're the only one here. Yeah. Most of
the girls of classes or are studying for mid terms
at the library. I have afternoon classes today, so I

(07:51):
guess you got lucky I was here. I appreciate your
talking to me. Charlotte was She was the best I
know when something happens to people, everyone says that, but
it's true. She was pretty. Did you know she was

(08:13):
the first runner up in the Miss New England pageant
last year? No idea. Now she was hoping to win
some scholarship money to pay for school. What's this picture from?
That's from the fourth of July talent show. I guess
that explains the flaming baton. Yeah, Charlotte twirled that while
singing Hey look me over. It was like a vaudeville

(08:36):
kind of thing. She was a really good singer. She
was a member of the Dramatic Society. Did you ever
see her in the school plays? I know school paper
reviewed them. No, we have a film and theater critic
that covers those. She was great. Wait here, I'll find
some of the clippings. Oh, it's no problem, I'll get

(08:57):
those from the archives. It won't take an it'll be
right back. I didn't know how to tell her I
probably had enough. There was so much sadness in her eyes.
Even though she lived in a house full of girls,
at that moment, she was lonely. At least I could
do was humor and hang around for a few minutes.
I could hang around all day. It wouldn't change anything.

(09:18):
I couldn't bring her back age. Thanks, there's a lot
of clippings here. Do you mind if I take them
with me to read later? As long as you promised
to bring them back, I want to make sure they
stay with the sorority history books. I promise, And thanks
for taking the time. Can I ask you a question. Sure,

(09:43):
why would why would somebody do this to her? It
doesn't make any sense. You're right, it doesn't make any sense.
Because I stood there, leaning on the door frame, I
looked at round the sorority house was pictured perfect. Nothing

(10:04):
was out of place, just like the rest of New
Sharon College. Everything on the surface looked like it was
supposed to until he showed up. Then nothing never looked
the same again. I suddenly saw things differently. The pristine
Victorian sorority house had small cracks in the paint. The
veneer was showing its age. Years of use had chipped

(10:26):
the front tiles on the walk away. But most obvious
was the girl standing right in front of me. It
was her vaneer, one that had never faced something so real.
Somebody didn't just crack her surface. Cracks can be filled
and fixed spring heeled jack brokers permanently. I didn't have
an answer for I doubted anyone ever would. I figured

(10:49):
if I could at least do my pardon, write a
nice story to remember Charlotte Foster, then maybe that would help.
Charlotte Foster, President of the Gamma Phi Batis Sorority. Charlotte Foster,
aspiring an actress, Charlotte Foster, all around nice person, Charlotte

(11:11):
Foster dead MH. I walked my afternoon classes like everyone else.

(11:32):
I nodded to the people I knew, Hey, how are you?
I said, high, with a little more force than usual,
as if that would make up for the way I
was staring people down, studying their faces, looking for a sign,
until there was someone dark among us, now a killer.

(11:56):
People would make eye contact with just as quickly avert
their gaze. They say, the eyes are the window to
the soul. But what if you don't want to see
the inside. What if what you see is so dark,
so disturbing, that you have to look away, as if
there is no other reason than to save yourself. I
decided to make a quick detour. I saw where Gale

(12:26):
was murdered. I figured I should see where Charlotte was too.
Nothing prepares you for death. The aftermath isn't much better.
As I walked up to where they found the body,
at least part of it, I could see the police
try to make it go away. But overnight the blood

(12:46):
mixed with some of the melted snow and then froze again.
Pink swirls of blood clouded in the frozen streams against
milky patches of white. It was more like an art
project than a murder scene. It was like Salvador Dolly
stopped by for surreal art exhibit the Persistence of Charlotte Foster.

(13:07):
I stood there for a few minutes, wondering what had
to happen to push someone so far that they'd be
willing to take someone else's life. Henry, you're not gonna
believe this ship. Kevin, what are you doing here staying

(13:30):
on top of current events? Uh? Fine? What'd you hear?
I heard Captain Spencer called Dean Edwards. Not only did
they have to release m Laura, they don't have any
suspects at all. Wait, not one nobody. They're freaking out now.
There's talk about the Zodiac murders and them wondering if
that could be the same person. But they think there's

(13:52):
a serial killer, wouldn't you? There's two dead girls now,
I know it's just what I haven't had a chance
to consider it yet. Well you should consider it a ship.
I see Anne coming. She hates when I hang around
here looking for in Hey, if she asks, I was
never here. See you later. Who was that h oh,

(14:15):
no one. Uh, just some guy asking for directions to
the com I just got off the phone from Adman.
He want us to put new kirkw restrictions on the
front page tomorrow. What nine o'clock at night, No if
and or bus. They're going to lockdown campus and try
and stop anyone from getting hurt. You guys, check it out.
Cops are already all over campus. Read the ship. He'd

(14:40):
show up now? Why can't they be here to catch
the guy instead? They just want to stop everyone from
having freedom. That's a lot of cops. Someone get pictures
of this. We need a shot to go with the
headline that two girls are dead and the police have
no leads. After the craziness died down, I met Rachel
at her place. With the nine o'clock curfew on the horizon,

(15:03):
it seemed like the best option. Thanks, thanks for spending
the name. If there's one thing you don't have to
thank me for, it's for spending the night with you. Funny,
but I'm serious. Just still a killer out there, and

(15:23):
I feel a lot better knowing you're here with me. Hey,
I'm sorry about Charlotte. I know you guys were friends.
That's crazy. How a minute you don't think of someone,
and a minute later they're all you can think about.
I get it. This whole thing keeps bringing back memories
of my mom. It has to be hard. Was she

(15:47):
like you never really talk about her. She was pretty,
she had blonde hair, it was shoulder length. She was good.
She was good mom. My dad left for Korean fifty two,
and I remember because we were watching Superman on TV.
I was only six, my brother was three. I don't

(16:07):
remember that much about what happened. Only one night. We're
sitting in the kitchen eating TV dinners, and then there
was a knock at the door. There were these army
officers in uniform. They handed my mom a letter and
the next thing I knew she was on the ground crime.
So is about your father? Yeah, he was killed in Korea.
They never sent his remains back. All I have from

(16:29):
him as his hat. But after that happened, I remember
my mom was like a dad. She went to the
Little League games and helped with our homework. I mean,
my grandparents helped out whenever they could, but every once
in a while, but she would have too much to drink.
And I think it was just the pressure of raising
two boys. I mean, look, we probably weren't the easiest

(16:51):
to deal with. Must have been hard. Look, I'm sure
it was, but that's no excuse. My brother was little.
He didn't know any better. I would watch him after
school while she was at work. She was a damn
secretary at a bank, so it was on me to
make sure he did his homework after school. She would
be out on dates, come home late. Sometimes she forget

(17:11):
to make dinner. Another time she was the mother of
the year. I never knew which version was going to
be hanging around the house. To be honest, it was
better when it was just me and my brother, but
then that all changed after the accident. After that, I
bounced around foster homes and the orphanage for years I
was alone. I'm so sorry. I don't even know what

(17:35):
to say. You don't have to say anything. I couldn't
seem to remember too much detail until last week, But
every foster home was the same thing. I'd have a
hard time fitting and then go back to the orphanage
to wait and see if I could be adopted. Didn't
help to keep changing schools. It's not that I was rebellious.
I think I was just angry. You were confused. You

(17:58):
had every right be It's not the same thing, but
growing up black in the South and then coming here,
there are hardly any black people in New England, especially
at the school. I could have stayed at home and
went to Howard, but I wanted to change. I try

(18:19):
to get away from home. I'm the first kid, let
alone woman, for my family to go to college. I
just need to change the scenery. Well, you sure got one.
I was just happy to find a place where I
might fit in. I wasn't. I'm sure I did until

(18:40):
I As far as I'm concerned, You'll never be alone again,
not tonight, not ever. The truth is I would have
spent the night with Rachel regardless. But she was right.
There was a killer on the loose. It didn't take

(19:01):
long before we were a few beers and and we
heard sirens. Do you think I don't know? Ye come

(19:23):
in Unit for Please confirm your position, Unit for copy.
We hear something coming from the trees outside the Tate
Alumni building and going off walking to investigate. I'll shot
my flashlight. You draw your weapon. I looked out the window,
but with the fog, all I could see was a
red and blue glow in the distance. I saw some

(19:46):
faint shadows of who I assumed were police officers. Any
chance of finding out what happened would have to wait
until morning. Are you right? Yeah, that's good something you
just turn that off? What the hell, man, what are

(20:07):
you doing? It just looks like we're doing. Man, we're
having some private time. You're out of the copy, get dressed,
you're coming with us. It wasn't until the next morning
I found out it was a couple of half naked
jr Is trying to get it on outside of her
dorm room. That was just the beginning of the chaos

(20:28):
the police brought with them. This is Patrol four checking in.
It's two in the morning and no signs of disturbances
here on campus. Copy that patrol forward. Thanks for checking in,
maintaining your perimeter and keep us posted if you see anything.

(20:49):
How long do you think this is going to go on?
For no idea anyone knows if we ever see this
guy again. Let's head back to the car. I have
a fairness flow up car, and my wife made me.
I don't know, did you read the report the stuff
he did to those two girls. I wonder if a
guy like that would ever stop if he doesn't get card.

(21:11):
That's where the big brands at the station to figure out.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm just walking to be
Is that is that a body? Jesus? It is a body,
but I could barely see a thing. Hold your flashlight
on it. It's a male age. He's not moving. Do

(21:37):
you see anything any injuries? Pull the car around quick,
help me get on the tide. Let's go. Dispatcher's patrol
for heading to New Sharon Presbyterian. We have victim in

(21:59):
roots are riding in six minutes. Can you go any faster?
I can barely see a thing, Miss Buck, I go
any faster will be the ones they were knitting will
be there any second. Can you turn that siren down?
Jesus Christ, Jesus, Chris, Jesus married Joseph. You're alive? Yeah, man,
it must have passed out. And I told my frat

(22:22):
brothers that was one beer too many. Where was up? Dispatch?
This is patrol for false alarm. We got a kid
that had too much to drink. Hey, can you drop
me at the Alpha five house? It seemed like one
misstep after another. People started to travel in small groups

(22:43):
that tended to break up and reform with surprising speed,
Rumors spread from one end of the campus to another
with the speed of light. A well liked history professor
was caught in his private office having an affair with
his student. While its moral coundas was suddenly a question,
he proved to be innocent of a cold blooded burner.
It had been five long days since Gail Kerman's murder,

(23:06):
and back at the New Sharing Times, Anne and Chelsea
weren't faring much better. I was sitting on the edge
of Anne's desk when Chelsea came running in. You guys
are not going to believe this, Sorry, but just check
this out. I was listening to my dad last night,
just outside his office. I know that I had the

(23:30):
final ring in front of me, but what the hell
does it mean? And how can we be sure? He
had just gotten pictures back from the crime scene, and
while they were blurry, there was new information I could hear.
My dad was worried. Right, we need to keep this
out of the press. The last thing we need is
to start a witch hunt. We already arrested one kid

(23:51):
and had to let him go. We can't afford to
let that happen again. As soon as you want to sleep.
I sent back into his office and grabbed a file.
You have to open it up. These pictures, they're pretty
hard to make out. It's pretty dark and grainy. Here,
lay them out on the desk. Look at these, the
ones with the white greased pin. See here where circled

(24:14):
on the ground. Let me take a closer look here,
use my glasses. I see a lot of blood. It's
so hard to make out. Is that? Yes, she wrote
something on the pavement. Let me see it says here too,
here too? What is here to mean? Chelsea? What do

(24:37):
the police think of means? They have no idea. Someone
thought it might be a quote from Shakespeare. It almost
looks like it could say where for, you know, from
Romeo and Juliet. I don't know's that's a bit of
a stretch, but there's definitely two words there. Looks like
she was trying to tell us something. Sure enough, if
there were two words, those two words were enough to
mean something and at the same time nothing at all.

(25:00):
It was like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle
without ever seeing the picture. But it didn't take long
for something new to come into focus. How's your story
on Charlotte Foster? Coming along? I'm gonna put pen to
paper right now. I'll have for you by the end
of the day. Yes, here's the latest on Charlotte Foster.
I'm reading the paper out of Boston, so bear with me.

(25:23):
She was found on a soggy patch of ground, some
twelve feet from the nearest sidewalk. There were no footprints,
not even her own. These murders remind me of the
infamous springheel Jack of English Folkhorn, a killer who stopped
the streets of London, terrorized women, A phantom with razor
sharp claws her hands. He could breathe fire, He was

(25:44):
so light on his feet that he never left the footprint.
They never caught him. And now we have our own
springheel Jack roaming our very own New England, murdering and
terrorizing the campus of New Sharing. Did you hear me?
Got scooped by who? Some reporter out of Boston. Spring

(26:05):
heeled Jack. Yeah, they gave him a name. What the
hell is spring heel Jack? It turns out some reporter
decided to give our killer a moniker. They also got
a copy of the police report. How do you think
they paid someone off a story like this, someone will
be willing to pay for information. California has a zodiac,
and I New England has spring heeled Jack, spring heeled Jack.

(26:27):
Who would have thought that they would stick? I had
it back to my place. I had enough studying to do,
and so did Rachel. I figured I'd take the night
to myself and put my insomnia had a good use
to try and pass some classes. It was a brilliant idea,
but it didn't meet with much success. Spring heel Jack.

(26:49):
I couldn't get the name out of my head, and
now the name would live on forever an infamy. But
that was eight years ago, eight years ago, and right now,
UM the least of my problems. Sometimes when I hear
the right song and make all my problems go away.

(27:10):
How about you out there in radio lane? What does
it take to make all your problems go away? Feel
free to give me a call. Maybe I can help
m There's so much blood in the trunk of my car.
I don't know where to begin. The note from spring
heel Jack was terrifying, an invitation to get reacquainted. I

(27:36):
don't know what that means, but there's blood everywhere. He
used my car to move the body. But how when
while I was teaching grading papers, he wants me to
play the game, and I want to call the cops,
But what would I tell them? I've worked late, I
had no alibi that when the fog rolls in, I
have a mental block and can't remember anything. Spring heel

(27:58):
Jack knows me better that I know my show, and
that's what I'm afraid of. Ye. Strawberry Spring is a
production of Audio Up Media and I Heart Radio, based

(28:21):
on a short story by Stephen King. Executive produced by
Lee Metzker, Jared Gootstadt and Philip alder Stack, Written and
directed by Lee Metzker, starring Garrett Headland, My Little Ventimilia, Horizon, Guardiola,
Sydney Sweeney, Ken Marino, Al Madrigal and Brett Passenger. Audio
Up in house production by Georgiana Glick, Franzheim and Laura Ramada,
Edited by Carry Caulfield, Eric and Jeremiah Zimmerman. Sound design

(28:44):
and mixed by Jeremiah Zimmerman, scored by Jeff Peters. Songs
and music by Jared Gootstadt and Jesse Stebenberg. Strawberry Spring
is published in Stephen King's short story collection night Shift,
available in paperback and ebra from Anchor Books, and as
an audio book from Penguin Random House Audio. For the
full list of production credits, please visit audio up dot com.
You can find more podcasts from I Heart Radio on

(29:05):
the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you
listen to podcasts. M. Goodbody Took Up
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