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The Marigold Killer

by Nicholas Kleinhenz 11 months ago in Mystery · updated 11 months ago
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Dead Men Tell No Tales

The Marigold Killer
Photo by Yash Garg on Unsplash

David Campbell was arrested and put on trial. Accused of being the Marigold Killer, Campbell entered a plea of “No Contest” with the death penalty hanging over his head. Had he plead not-guilty, he may have received a life sentence while the police investigated further. A no contest plea, however, allows the defendant to take the punishment without admitting to committing the crime. David Campbell insisted that he was not the Marigold Killer, but the jury just wasn’t buying it. The police had a substantial amount of mostly circumstantial evidence against him.

There was no chance that a jury would allow him to walk free when there was such a large chance that he was the Marigold Killer. David Campbell owned an entire field of marigold flowers that he had planted when his wife passed away. An officer witnessed him marking graves with marigold flowers which they knew to be the M.O. of the Marigold Killer. After a person in the town was murdered, a marigold flower would mysteriously appear on their gravestone. They believed that the Marigold Killer was leaving these behind as a sort of way to tell the world what he was doing.

Having read the newspaper article on the Marigold Killer, Campbell knew that this eyewitness account, which directly preceded his arrest, would be his undoing. His sentence was thirty days inside a maximum security prison on death row before being executed. Many inmates spent life behind bars awaiting their execution date and appealing their case in order to stave off the most severe punishment that the state could impose upon prisoners. Campbell, however, had no such appeal process offered to him. He was not savvy in abusing the judiciary system and, therefore, would be executed thirty days from his hearing.

Campbell reluctantly accepted his sentence and spent a grueling thirty days behind bars. The other inmates heard of his crimes and did not take to kindly to being housed with the Marigold Killer. Campbell was subjected to beatings and ridicule almost every day until the warden decided to place him in solitary confinement for his own safety. Campbell was a seemingly friendly man and was polite to the guards and other inmates even though they had done numerous horrendous things to him. The warden even mentioned on a few occasions that he fit the profile of a serial killer because he was almost too nice.

When the day came for Campbell’s execution, he asked for a single Marigold Flower as his last meal and the state obliged. Campbell fiddled with it in his cell for a few hours before they came to get him. The other inmates shouted obscenities and berated him as he walked down death row toward the room where he would serve his sentence through means of lethal injection. His final words were as follows: “Irony is bittersweet.” After this one sentence, David Campbell was euthanized.

His body was transported back to the town and buried in a cemetery with a headstone which read, “David Campbell A.K.A. The Marigold Killer.” His family attended the funeral and mourned their loss. They were all sure that David would not have committed such heinous acts. Most of the townsfolk were not allowed into the funeral in order to give the family time to grieve uninterrupted by disrespectful remarks from the crowd.

After the funeral ceremony had ended, Campbell’s younger brother, by two years, had stayed behind staring at the gravestone. He had told the rest of his family that he wanted to spend some time alone with David one last time and they respected his wishes. Marcus placed his hand on top of the gravestone and patted it twice before leaving behind a single marigold flower laying atop his brother’s grave.


About the author

Nicholas Kleinhenz

Aspiring author.

I write horror stories.

That's all you need to know.

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