Entry #6: The Death of Jonathan Grant by Grayson Reyes-Cole

A black and white photo, scratched, creased, faded in spots remains as testament to Johnathan Grant’s short life. In it, the little boy stands alone against what looks like a gray sky and black grass. He stares blankly up at the photographer. He could be looking into the camera.

He isn’t.

He wasn’t.

He had dark hair, pale skin, and eyes that appeared clear in the sepia tones of the picture. Maybe they were blue. Maybe green. Assuredly pale near the point of white beneath black lashes. His gaze even now is like a grasping hand…

In the picture, the boy wears a severe black suit and an inquisitive expression. His head lolls just slightly to one side, but he continues to stare, to silently request. He holds something in his hand, but the picture quality will not reveal it not matter how long and how hard it’s studied.

Jonathan Grant, a silent child, was nine years old when the image was captured. On that day, Jonathan Grant was also the victim of one of the most vicious and mysterious murders in the county’s history.

On a sunny but windy day, 54 years ago, twelve children executed Jonathan in art class.

Hair pulled off her face with a tortoiseshell band, broad cheeks, cardigan even in summer, his teacher, a Mrs. Fenton, was gone for no more than twelve minutes. Office Assistant, America Gonsalves, had met Mrs. Fenton in the main hallway and together they entered the classroom finding Jonathan and the other children. America stood stunned and silent while Mrs. Fenton screamed and screamed and screamed.

Another photo taken on that sunny, windy day: Compact, intense, the twelve stand in a circle around Jonathan’s body.

Every child-little boys and little girls in dingy, ill-fitting smocks-are bathed in blood gone black in the photo. Cheeks smeared. Hands soaked. Every child bears serious, dutiful gazes.

All hold art instruments: sculpting trowels, carving knives, precision cutting blades. Long after the photo, each of the 63 punctures and cuts on Jonathan’s body were matched to at least one of the twelve blades.

This next image is difficult. A photograph of Jonathan Grant.

Same black suit. Same wide, clear, disconcerting eyes. Except this image was captured from above his still form. A shoulder sticks out of one jacket sleeve awkwardly. Beneath, his shirt is ripped to shreds and deep lacerations cover his frail chest and arms, even one punctured his cheek in a long, swollen, black gash. The boy’s eyes are open and staring, it seems, with colorless content. His forehead is smudged with some sort of charcoal symbol. One open palm reveals another such symbol.

The children all admitted to their parts in killing Jonathan Grant. The police, psychologists, and parents asked why they did it during separate questioning sessions. Each child told the same story:


“Jonathan Grant was the devil. The angel told us there is only one way to kill the devil. Then he taught us how to do it. We learned it by heart and we used it. We did good. We killed the devil. It took all twelve of us. The angel told us it would. The angel told us how to do it.”


An angel? Yes, an angel. When they were asked to describe the angel, they all-separately-gave only a name.

Not one child blinked. Not one child breathed. When parents and psychologists and policemen sat on the edge of their seats nearly tipping forward but holding steady so as not to startle their fragile children, each one stated with calm reverence: Jonathan Grant.


2 Responses to “Entry #6: The Death of Jonathan Grant by Grayson Reyes-Cole”

  1. October 14, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    This is very creepy Grayson. Children and murder, what a Halloween mixture. Good Luck!:)

  2. October 14, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks, Kensana. I started a ghost hunting WIP wanting it to be focused on the ghost hunters… and then I started telling this story within that one. It became far more interesting than the other one. Glad you found it creepy! 😀

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