The Ink Pen
Detective Chief Inspector
Conway addressed the police officers assembled
before him, As senior investigating officer
in this case, I have called this briefing to
update you all about a critical development.
The Ink Pen Killer,
as the press have dubbed him or her, is the most
prolific serial killer in British history.
Nevertheless, this investigation has been ongoing
for two years and has failed to identify the
You will recall that
IPK has a very specific modus operandi: All
victims have taught English within primary or
secondary education in Britain since 1985. All
have been brutally stabbed to death with a
traditional ink pen of a type that would have
been in common use in the early twentieth century.
Finally, a handwritten letter has been left
beside each body.
Until now, it had
proven impossible to decipher the contents of
those letters. They had been analysed by
linguists and cryptographers but no similarity
could be found with any known language or code.
have now been decrypted thanks to the youngest
member of our team, WPC Stone.
WPC Stone was
educated in Britain during the period in which
the victims taught and recognised the script in
the letters as typical of writing by young people
who had also been educated within that time.
Fortunately, in order to complete her application
form to join the Force, Rosetta undertook an
intensive remedial literacy course. She is now
bilingual in Standard English and BSLE, or
British School-leavers English, and has thus been
able to translate the murderers words.
All the letters are
identical, and I will now read to you their
chilling, translated content:
You will never
stop me until all English teachers of the past
two decades are dead.
grandmother left school at fourteen yet could
write beautifully and spell every word.
Why is it, then,
that I and millions like me, even the cleverest
amongst us, have left British schools unable to
compose or write down a comprehensible sentence?
Why is it that
when showing to someone over fifty anything that
we have written, it is met with howls of derisive
Why are we
destined to suffer painful anxiety each time we
submit an educational assignment or job
application form? We know that our literacy
skills are diabolical but we cannot recognise our
I hold this
victim culpable, together with those I have
already killed and those who will subsequently be
They claim to
have just been following orders from the Ministry
of Education. That was no excuse at Nuremberg and
is no excuse to me. They must have known that
most of their pupils left school unable to read
or write even the words modern literacy
have blighted my life, and each death will avenge
not just me, but my generation.
As a result of this
message, it has been decided to close the
investigation. This decision has not been taken
lightly, as we realise that very many former
English teachers will remain in mortal danger.
The motive for the killings, however, implicates
millions of suspects, and it would be impossible
to even attempt to eliminate them all.
As the officers left the
briefing room, no one observed the enigmatic
smile of WPC Stone.