One by one, they're dying. Someone -- some fiendishly intelligent maniac -- is killing people at this nursing home. I have no idea why, or how to stop him. But the signs are unmistakable. Heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure -- no one at this place survives more than three years. Why do the staff not notice it? Are they somehow involved? Could the killer be hiding among them? I have to uncover the truth.
Moe Conner died suddenly last night. I heard the doctors muttering about complete organ shutdown, but they didn't know why it happened... even though they've been monitoring his vital signs continuously since he was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer. What kind of poison could cause Conner to die the way he did without leaving a trace? And Helen Trombeck, the woman in 302... she just stopped breathing while her whole family was in the room watching. What chemical would cause a 98 year-old woman to just go like that? Did he spray it on her food? Did he inject it into her IV?
Three days ago it was an unnamed stroke victim -- a vagrant who'd lived here since they found him at a bus depot. And before that, back during the heat wave in July when the power went out... it was a series of heart attack victims. Whoever is preying on these people uses a variety of weapons and tactics. It seems almost random, the way he's taking lives. Almost meaningless. I have to figure out what he's up to. But so far... I can't.
It's like a puzzle that tantalizes me with its complexity. Two people eat dinner together in the cafeteria. The next day one of them is gone, and the staff are packing away his things for a bored group of relatives trying to act stricken. Then the survivor dies a week later, but he's killed in a completely different way, probably by a completely different poison. I see new people wheeled into the rec center almost weekly. Some of them last months. Some die within the day. And no one can tell me the reason behind it all.
I must figure out his plan. The staff admitted me six weeks ago, and the doctor's tell me my tumor is not shrinking. The killer will use my declining health as an opportunity to strike if I'm not careful. It's hard to think here. The lights hurt me and the smell is awful. Down the hall, almost every day, I can hear a woman crying without relief. No one will visit me. Some days I barely know who I am. But I must be strong. Because one thing is very, very clear: If I don't stop him, he'll get all of us.
Poor Winners and the Progressive Fight - Paul Krugman's Friday column comes out just after midnight my time on Thursday. I thought for a little while about live blogging the event. Now that even...