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October 6, 2021 25 mins

A new suspect is arrested that has connections to the original victims. A familiar face from Henry’s past comes back to haunt him as Rachael goes into labor with Henry’s baby, and Springheel Jack’s true identity is revealed

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:08):
You were listening to Strawberry Spring, based on a short
story by Stephen King. M I couldn't leave my eyes.
I stood there staring at the two of them. The
currents were a mess. Mrs Curran's cheeks were swollen from crying.

(00:30):
Here you go, ask I have a tissue. I could
see the puffiness. The whites of her eyes, well what
was left of them, anyway, were bloodshot. She had crow's
feet around the corners of her face, nothing unexpected considering
how much time had passed. Even still, when I looked
at her, I could see the same woman that I
saw all those years ago in the New Sharon Home

(00:51):
for Boys. She was a mere image of her younger self.
In a weird way. She hadn't changed a bit. She
would damage been shattered back then, a woman who would
never have her own children, but she had a glimmer
of hope when she was looking for a child to adopt.
Now there was no hope left. She wouldn't be the

(01:13):
woman who couldn't have babies. Instead, she would be the
mother who adopted and no longer had a daughter. Here
I have some water. Please say believe me when I
tell you we have the entire department on this thank you.
Mr Curran's voice cracked. He was trying to be the

(01:35):
strong one. He wasn't even close. He was all we had.
He was her only daughter. The irony was palpable here
I was standing right in front of them. In another life,
I would have been their son, a thirty year old
man with a child of his own on the way,

(01:57):
but instead their daughter, Marcia, the latest victim of spring
heel jack. It's hard to believe was one alternate decision.
They would have never needed to know the pain of
losing a daughter, and I would have had to know
the pain of being unwanted, of being left behind a
fence for myself in an orphanage. Do you really think?

(02:24):
Do you really think it's the same man from all
those years ago? We do? But why? Why? Now? Why
would he come back after all this time? Why are Marcia?
I don't understand. I wish I could say something to

(02:45):
make you feel better. We're all here last time, and
we're going to do everything we can to help find
him and stop him. Please don't despair, Mr Mrs. Current
police work has come a long way in the past
few years. I have a file right here with the
full side report on the oiler disassociative behavior, obsessive compulsive disorder,
possible child to trauma, physical and psychological abuse. He's a

(03:08):
textbook serial killer. We will find him this time and
bring him to justice. Henry here is an expert on
spring Hill Jack. We have the latest forensics techniques, and
between the citywide man hunt and our determination, there's no
way he's going to get away. Isn't that right, Henry Um? Yes,
Chief Spencer is right. Please please don't despair. Don't despair.

(03:32):
I wonder if that's what I should have echoed to
the currents. Don't despair. They'll find her body. Don't despair.
She probably didn't feel a thing. Don't despair. There's plenty
more orphans to go around. Don't despair. Hi, everyone, I

(03:55):
don't know if you can hear me. I replaced the
transistor on my hands, so hopefully this pose well, here goes.
I have some news. President Kennedy says they'll be launching
a Saturn rocket before the end of the year. How
neat would that be in sports? For just a few
months away from the beginning of baseball season. Spring training

(04:17):
has already started, and some people are saying the Yankees
have what it takes to win the one World Series.
In other news, Henry Denton was left behind at a
new share in home for boys. It's looking like you'll
never get adopted. But why would anyone adopt him? He's
a teenager with lingering psychological issues from seeing his mother

(04:38):
and brother die right in front of his very eyes.
He sustained head injuries and his emotional scars run deep.
Isn't that right, Henry? What hi, Henry? Are you doing? Okay? Um? Yeah, fine,
I guess don't despair. We'll find a home for you. Yet.

(05:04):
I hate to have to break the news to you.
What news. I don't know if you've heard. But the
Currents who you met last week, Yes, I remember them.
They decided that adopting a teenager right now might be
too much for them, and I figured, I hope you understand.
It's all about finding the right fit. But chin up,

(05:26):
there's always families looking to adopt. Like I said, we'll
find a home for you, yet, just wait and see.
Don't despair. The Headmaster was a kind man. I'm pretty
sure somewhere deep down inside he felt for all of
us boys. He tried his best to go room to
room instead of making an announcement over the p A system.

(05:47):
I think he figured it was a little more personal,
like some sort of surrogate father and Sun chat by
the fireplace. Isn't that right, Henry? I said, isn't that right, Henry? Yes,
of course, don't despair Mr and Mrs Current. For all
intents and purposes, the Currents were too total strangers. But

(06:09):
somehow I couldn't help thinking we were connected. Maybe we
were in more ways than one. What would my life
had been like had they adopted me? Fate was cruel.
Fifteen years later and here they were standing right in
front of me. Thank you. Yes, we appreciate all of
your help. Now I remember you. You haven't changed. Excuse me.

(06:37):
The Home for Boys Henry Henry Hartigan, Oh, I'm sorry.
My last name is Denton. I was coincidentally at the orphanage.
But you must have mistaken me with one of the
other boys. No, I'm sure it's you. It's in your eyes.

(07:00):
Are you okay? Yeah? There must have been another Henry
at the boys phone. It was so long ago, I
can't remember either that, or they were so busy looking
for someone to adopt. They went somewhere else, whatever it was,
I feel bad for them. They have my sympathy. I
didn't have much sympathy for them. If I'm being honest

(07:21):
with myself, I'm not sure I felt any sympathy for
them at all. But that's when she Spencer interrupted. I
didn't want to bring this up with the currents here,
but we should go see Dancy. What do you mean
we haven't been a holding sale downstairs. He was picked
up right before they came in. Do you really think
he's spring heel jack? Let's go find out for ourselves.

(07:47):
Where are we going? Holding sales are in the BASEBA
and knew me well enough to tell with one glance.
Seeing the currents change my demeanor. Are you okay? Do
you look like you've seen a ghost? I nodded her way.
I wanted to say something, but what I feel more
like the ghosts just saw me. Follow me. Dancy cell

(08:10):
is just a back Oh my god. We got to
Dancy's holding cell and what we saw was jarring. Time
had not been kind to John Dancy. His hair was long, scraggly,
and unkept. He was filthy, wearing a beat up and
blood stained army jackets streaked with dirt. His fingernails had

(08:31):
grime under them, and his teeth were stained yellow and chipped.
He stood there with a hunch that made him look
like an old man, not someone in their late twenties.
It was hard to wrap my head around who were
what I was seeing. I didn't know him well back
at school. Wasn't that long ago? What could have happened

(08:51):
in eight short years that could have transformed him into this?
Take a good look. He's our number one suspect, John,
that's whatever it mean? Hurt you? Why would we do that?
And realized right away what I failed to see. The

(09:11):
blood on his jacket wasn't from a murdered victim. It
was his. The cops had been the ship out of him.
When he turned to the light, we saw his face.
His eyes were swollen, not like Mrs Curran's, though Dancy's
swelling was from the bare knuckles of New Sharon's finest.
He must have been in that cell for hours. They say,

(09:32):
if you corner a wounded animal, the best way to
keep them from attackinginess to make eye contact. I didn't
think Dancy was going to attack anyone, not in the
shape he was in. Plus he was behind bars, but
none of that stopped an from making the effort. What
happened to you? I'll tell you what happened to him?
He refused to confess. How long has he been in here?

(09:52):
Not long? A few hours at most, Henny, can you
form me a cup of water? Here? You got there, thirsty?
What happens here? I'll tell you what happened to him.
We picked him up and he resisted arrest, and the

(10:13):
officers they did what they had to do in order
to bring him in. You beat the ship out of me,
You and your fucking pigs. You're lucky you still have
breath in your lungs after what you've done. Come closer.

(10:33):
I want to make sure you can hear me. This
close enough, plenty, I'm gonna make sure you fry for
what you've done. You and Alma Laura, you're fucking crazy,
old man. I've been telling him for hours. I didn't
do anything. I didn't kill anyone. I mean I did,

(10:56):
but but what they were orders I had to I
had to kill. But it was Vietnam. They gave me orders.
They were orders. I didn't have a choice. They may
be kill. It was hard to watch. I couldn't just

(11:18):
stand there and do nothing. I took Anne and the
Chief aside. This guy is not a killer. Look at him,
Chief Spencer, you're grasping at straws. This guy has damaged goods.
That's exactly my point. Come on, the ward did amend
if he was spring Hill Jack? Do you think he'd
be suffering like this over his time in Vietnam? Jack

(11:39):
loves what he does. He lives for it. He takes
pleasure in killing. We're looking at a man that's been
weduce drugs and alcohol in order to live with what
he's done, not what he wants to do. Chief Spencer
didn't like hearing what we had to say. Chief. I
know your history with this case is personal. We were
friends with Chelsea too, So I'm going to cut you
some slack. You're gonna cut me some leg If you

(12:01):
don't have a reason to hold Dancy, let him go.
If he's here tomorrow with just one new bruise, I'll
make sure you're on the front page of every paper
in New England as the poster boy for police brutality.
I hope I've made myself clear. Let me make myself clear.
I want to know where he was last night, and
I want to know where Ama Lara is, and if
it turns out either one of them had anything to

(12:22):
do with this, then you'll have something to print. Let's go, Henry.
We'll be back first thing in the morning. If you
find Ama Lara, let us not JAF Spencer has lost it.

(12:48):
I know Dancy didn't kill anyone. Am Lara isn't going
to turn anything up either. Where your part, I'll walk
into your car. What are you gonna do? I'm going home.
Rachel is alone. She's gonna have pay be any day now.
The last thing she needs is for me to be
out until all hours of the night, chasing the goats
of Christmas past. M Laura will turn up, but it

(13:09):
won't matter. He's not going to be the guy. That's
to say. I'm sure you're right. Dancy is a mess.
He couldn't plant a murder scene like always thought. Tonight
let alone went eight years ago. When I look at him,
I don't think he could tell you what he had
for lunch. I'll do you one better. I don't think
he ate lunch. Come on, Skinna late, I cannot tell
you how much I hate this fog. It hasn't been

(13:31):
this bad since since when since five women were murdered
since spring heeled Jack got away. Since I had a
migraine since the murders, Yeah, since then, I'll talk to
you in the morning. Drive carefully best. I watched the

(13:53):
red tail lights disappear into the fog. I got a
chill up my spine. My visions started to blur. I
knew feeling like when an old friend comes to visitor,
except this one was uninvited. The pain was searing into
the back of my brain. My ears started to ring,
and I could feel the pressure building up through my
head like a tea kettle, except there's nowhere for the

(14:15):
steam to go. My hands clenched in A rage of
pain started to wash over me. That's when I heard
my name, Mattery, Henry Datton. Is that you. I turned
and saw a shadow running out of the police station.
It was the outline of a man, but I wasn't
sure why he was running towards me. Your wife just called.

(14:36):
She needs you to come home right away. She's going
into labor um ship. I raced across the lot. Each
time my feet hit the pavement, the pain amplified. But
before I got to my car, I saw a shadow
under the street line on the opposite side of the
parking lot. It's starting to come closer. It's the shadow
of the man, the same shadow I saw at the porphanage,

(14:59):
the same shadow from school, the same shadow that's been
following me my entire life. In the dark. I can
barely see them. Where are they? They're there? Are I've
bent over to grab hive. That's when I heard the voice,
familiar and distant, all at the same time. Henry, is

(15:24):
that you? I recognize that, police, but it can't be.
It's impossible. Tonight of all nights, ghosts all coming back
to hunting first hand, then Chief Spencer, Mr Curran, Mrs Curran,
John Dancy, one ghost after another. Why now? Who is

(15:48):
that coming closer? My head hurts. I haven't had a
headache like this year's. The pain is unbearable, and not
since the last killings, not since the first time Spring
Heeled Jack showed up. My god, I would do I
didn't think to make the pain go away. It is you?
Who is it? Who's there? I can see him, but
I can't believe my eyes. I missed you, Henry, Dad,

(16:14):
You're alive, Henry, Henry, Henry, wake up? What are you
doing here? Those are my boys. You're not taking them
from me. You can't have them. You can't even be here.
I know what you did. The army was here. It's

(16:35):
not true. They're liars and scared. It's okay. Can here,
stay close to me. He's got a mom. Liars. They
said you killed five women then went a wall. Where
have you been all this time? They were in an encampment. Commies.
The army was worried about. Goddamn commies. They showed me

(16:56):
the reports after you went missing. There were civilian and
women living in a village. You slaughtered them all. They
weren't a threat. Everyone was a threat. It was war.
Stop it. You're scaring the boys. Hey, it's okay, boys,
Daddy's home. Everything's gonna be just fine. Okay. Where can

(17:17):
it be? A family again? Hello? Operator? Get me the police.
What are you doing? Yes, this is an emergency. Get
off the phone. Hang up on my head. Don't look
stay under the table, Dad, Leave her alone? Are you okay? Henry?

(17:42):
Grab my car keys? Hello? Hello, is anyone there? Let's
go before he gets up or come out. Mommy. I
know you are honey, I am too, but we have
to hurry up and leave before she get sucked. Ah,

(18:04):
I'm bleeding, and I what you do with me? Stay
away from us. That look in your eyes you have
it to Henry. You can't help yourself. What are you
talking about? You're just like me. Get your hands off me.
That rage, I know that feeling. Fuck you, come one voice.
We have to go back here, you bitch. I'll kill

(18:26):
you before you take my son's Just keep your head down. Mom.
Where are we going? Your green parents sleeping? But he
knows that's where we'll go. I don't know where else
to go. Your grandfather will help you. Mommy can't behind.

(18:47):
Does go faster? Come on, I know, Henry, it's just
hard to see through the fog. Mom, look at it. Dad.

(19:10):
I always said women make bad drivers. Momas, she's no exception.
Stay stay away from her. I hope you're happy now, Mama, Mama, Mama, Jr. Henry, Hey,

(19:36):
can you hear me? O? My god? Where am I? Henry?
It's cold out? Come on, let me help you up.
It was you. You're the reason they died. You were
chasing us now, I remember you killed them. You killed them.
It's cold out. Let's not attract attention. Come on, let's

(19:58):
get in the car where it's warm. Let's talk about it.
What's what? What's wrong? It's been almost fifteen years. I
blamed myself. I didn't see the deer. I thought it
was my fault. They died. Oh my head, it hurts.

(20:19):
You've been alive all this time, son, that was a
long time ago. I've changed, okay. I've come to make
peace with you with my past. I'm not violent anymore.
We can get past. Why did you deal? I did

(20:43):
what you taught me to do, Henry, I need an
ambulance of the parking lot now, Hey, their new share.
Night's DJ Kevin Hard to get here for all your

(21:03):
late night knees. It's a cool night out tonight. The
fog is rolled in and it's another amazing strawberry spring.
A quick check of the calendar because it's March thirty one.
You know what that means, don't you, Henry, Tomorrow is
able Fool's day. Spring break is here. It's almost eight
years to the day spring Yale Jack disappeared into the fog.

(21:26):
Shut up, I can, Henry. I'm here for you. I've
always been here for you. Or have you forgotten? Hey?
This is Kevin Hartigan I'm not sure you can hear me. Here,
I just got my hand radio working d J. Kevin
Hartigan here the voice of New Share in college with
the latest music. Here we are again, Henry. You don't remember,

(21:51):
do you? Ah? Home, sweet home? I'm done. I mean
to you ship, Rachel. Where are you upstairs in the bathroom.
I'm on my way. Yes, Oh thank god? You are

(22:17):
you okay? We need sorry my water brook. Where's your bag?
Never mind, I see it. Come on, I'll help me downstairs.
Stay focused. There's just a few nuts from the hospital.

(22:37):
Come on, come on, just be careful. We don't want
to get into Henry. Henry, wake up, Henry. It's me, Kevin.

(23:00):
You still have time? Oh my head? What the hell
we happened? We happened you and me? Look at Rachel.
You should be put around of oistory, just like you
did with mom. Mom. What are you talking about? Who
are you? You don't remember? Don't worry, It'll all come
back to you. It's me, Henry. It's Kevin. Don't hear

(23:22):
remember I'm your brother? Yeah? Did it? A Strawberry Spring

(23:49):
executive produced by Lee Metzger, Jared Goodstadt, and Philip Albert
Stat written and directed by Lee Metzger, starring Garrett Headland,
My Love and Amelia Horizon, Gardiola, Sydney s Enie Ken Marino,
Al Madrigal and Breck Bessenger. Audio Up in house production
by Georgiana Glick, Franzheim and Laura Ramada, edited by Carry Caulfield,

(24:09):
Eric and Jeremiah's Immerman. Sound design and mix by Jeremiah's Immerman,
Score by Jeff Peters. Original songs and music by Jared
Goodstad Kuver and Jesse Stepenberg. Strawberry Spring is published in
Stephen King's story collection night Shift, available in paperback and
e book from Anchor Books and as an audio book
from Penguin Random House. Audio original score and soundtrack from

(24:32):
Strawberry Spring featuring Daddy long Legs by Yakuza and the Bear,
now available on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Music, Spotify,
or wherever you stream good music. For the full list
of production credits, please visit audio up dot com. You
will find more podcasts from I Heart Radio on the
I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen

(24:52):
to podcasts. But stupid us, the Body is the Flop
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