Jonah Spangenthal-Lee of the SeattleCrime blog was quick to discover a self-published graphic novel apparently drawn and authored by the same Jed Waits of Ellensburg, Washington who was shot and killed by police this morning after having slain special-ed teacher Jennifer Paulson as she arrived for work at Birney Elementary School in Tacoma. According to the victim's associates, Waits had been stalking her for years, telephoning her relentlessly and sending flowers and other gifts. He had been arrested last week for violating a restraining order and was released this week, awaiting a March 15 court date. Both Waits and Saunders were 30.
Titled A Captain's Tale and illustrated with highly detailed black-and-white drawings revealing a fascination with structure, the graphic novel is posted online as the work of Jed Waits of Ellensburg, Washington. Its ponderous narrative entails ominous brick walls and enormous closed doors, as well as sheer cliffs, Easter Island heads, endless-looking passageways, robotic figures with apparentlyy taped-over mouths and iris-less eyes, always facing the viewer full-on, never seeming to move or turn. Its text announces the "hallway of immortal sorrow" and, at one point, declares: "Our travails compel us further still unknown passage into this heart of darkness narrow catacombs complete with perilous traps grotesque manifestations of child-like fantasy a devilish world unfolds." (Granted: Maybe the author is a different Jed Waits of Ellensburg, Washingon.)
Waits' poor victim did her best to ward him off. She enlisted the help of law enforcement, and told coworkers of her plight, so that -- as reported in today's papers -- they kept watch around campus for her tormentor. Yet stalkers are notoriously relentless and fearless to the point of self-destruction, as we've learned yet again to our sorrow today.