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I have attempted to record these events as clearly as possible. I first heard about Alan Pierson’s death on the news but did not think much of it until several months later. What prompted my sudden interest in the case will become apparent as you read this report.

Tracking down the full story was not easy. Some facts were simple to collect, but others were hidden—most likely in an attempt to hide the police’s incompetence in handling the case. Even now, at the end of my research, I admit I still do not have a complete picture. I doubt there ever will be a complete picture.

Alan was found by his mother the morning of Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 7:45 a.m. He was sitting upright at the computer in his bedroom, his skin an unnatural gray. His eyes and eyelids were missing, but there was no trace of blood and no sign of a struggle. There were, however, small piles of dust or ash around Alan’s feet and on his lap, and a faint burning odor hung in the air. The skin around Alan’s eye sockets appeared singed.

Alan’s Gmail account was open on his computer, but the inbox was empty, as were the “Sent Mail” and “Spam” folders.

Mrs. Pierson informed police that Alan maintained a personal blog. Upon reading the blog, several posts stood out as possible clues, and screenshots of the relevant excerpts are included in this report. The blog itself was taken offline, as per the mother’s wishes, but a digital copy was kept in police records.

Alan’s friends reported strange behavior in the days leading up to his death. He became obsessive compulsive about checking his email. Even his teachers at school took notice. Always an attentive student, it was unusual for Alan to be so distracted. It reached a point where Alan’s phone was confiscated mid-lecture; he was checking it every minute or so, according to the teacher. When asked about his behavior after class, Alan claimed to have no knowledge of his actions.

This distracted, obsessive behavior continued right up until the end. One friend claimed Alan always looked exceedingly nervous when checking his email, whether on his phone or on a school computer. When asked if anything was wrong, Alan always replied that everything was fine, and could give no account of his apparent nervousness.

These reports match well with the provided screenshots of the blog, presented here:

Got a strange email today. Didn’t recognize the sender, so didn’t open it, but the subject line read ZPV BSF EFBE.

Screenshot 1 - Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 10:36 p.m.

These emails are getting annoying. Been getting one every day. Always the same sender, different subject every time. Today’s was CSZ EVI HIEH. Anyway, marked the sender as spam, so that’s the end of it.

Screenshot 2 - Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 10:59 p.m.

This is weird. Got another one of those emails again. Guess the spam filter didn’t work. Today’s cryptic message: DTA FWJ IJFI."

Screenshot 3 - Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 10:18 p.m.

Emails still coming. I’m starting to wonder if the subjects really are random. I’ll look into it. Today’s was PFL RIV UVRU, if anyone cares. Oh, and I actually opened one for the first time. The email message itself was blank.

Screenshot 4 - Monday, September 17, 2012 at 10:41 p.m.

I’m pretty sure I cracked the pattern. It wasn’t that complicated, I just didn’t think of it right away. Still exploring other possibilities, but for the past three days I’ve successfully predicted the subject line of the next day’s email. Tomorrow’s, if I’m right, should be WMS YPC BCYB.

Screenshot 5 - Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 10:32 p.m.

Wow. Not sure what to think of this. My guess yesterday was correct, so I went ahead and plotted out the next several. I’ll know for sure if I’m right or not in two days. I kind of hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

Screenshot 6 - Monday, September 24, 2012 at 11:04 p.m.

It may be important to note that, although the last screenshot in this report is dated September 24, the most recent post published on Alan’s blog was timestamped Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. That post was blank, and so was not included as a screenshot.

The police immediately assumed foul play of some sort, and pointed to the sender of the emails referenced in the blog as the most likely suspect. Unfortunately, since all emails and contacts were mysteriously deleted from Alan’s computer and phone, there was no immediate way to ascertain the suspect’s identity.

At this point in my research, interest moved from Alan Pierson to one of his school friends, Brian Keese. Brian was one of Alan’s closest acquaintences, as well as a faithful follower of the blog. What follows are selected excerpts from the police reports:

Brian Keese, one of Alan’s school friends, claims he can still access the blog online, in spite of it having been taken down. His browser cache cannot be to blame, because according to the friend the blog has been updated regularly since Alan’s death. Currently awaiting screenshots as proof.

Police Report 1: October 10, 2012

Received screenshots from Brian. All of them show the same thing: a blank computer screen.

Brian expressed confusion when contacted over the phone. Pulled up the blog and read the contents, starting with the post timestamped September 27, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.—the post that was reported as blank at the beginning of the investigation: ZPV BSF EFBE.

Attempts by police to access Alan’s blog result in a 404 error, as expected. Brian most likely attempting a hoax.

Police Report 2: October 11, 2012

Brian Keese reported dead. Body found at home in front of computer desk, eyes and eyelids missing, piles of ash on the floor. Investigators arrived on the scene at 8:00 a.m., time of death was determined to be roughly eight hours previous. Circumstances nearly identical to Alan’s.

Police Report 3: October 22, 2012

The police were frustrated by this time, as their investigation had not turned up any significant leads. From this point on, my research became difficult. Things were starting to get hushed up. There were even rumors that the case was being dropped and that Mrs. Pierson and Mrs. Keese had been paid off to keep quiet. Most people thought it strange that a mother could be bribed into accepting that her son’s killer would never be caught—and they were right. A small task force was maintained, just enough to pacify the mothers of the two dead boys, although they hardly made any ground. What little progress they did make was too insignificant to include in this report, and was quickly undone in less than a month.

On October 22, 2012 at 12:00 a.m., the police officer who was in contact with Brian Keese over the phone received a text message. The text came from Brian’s phone and read ZPV BSF EFBE. In light of the recent suspicion over Brian’s screenshot hoax, police naturally assumed this was a similar case. The phone was taken into custody to prevent any further incidents.

On October 23, however, another text message came through. Police made certain that Brian’s phone was stored safely, and began interviewing everyone who had access to the phone in the last twenty-four hours. My source informed me that tensions were running very high at this point. The higher-ranking officers cracked down hard, certain that someone in the force was making a mockery of the case. Other police were less certain and doubted anything would come of further investigation.

I uncovered a few vague references to a psychological breakdown on the part of the officer who was receiving the texts. These were rare, and it was obvious that the ones I came across were unintentional leaks.

Things continued like this for almost four weeks, with a new text message coming in every day. There were rumors floating around the police station that the pattern referenced in Alan’s blog had been cracked, but that it was also being kept quiet. The official report stated it was of no value to the investigation.

Then, very suddenly, the case was officially dropped.

No reason was given. No amount of direct research on my part could shed any light on the matter. My only clue came from a newspaper dated Saturday, November 17. There was an obituary for a police officer named Michael Robek.

I was never able to find out for sure if Michael was related to the Alan Pierson case, although I personally believe he was the officer who had been in contact with Brian.

I could find no more direct references to the case after that. There was a two month span in which nothing was reported. My research turned up one death that I felt for sure was related—although I had no evidence to back up this assertion—and another which I thought might have been related, although I was not certain enough to draw any conclusions. However, the fact that I had turned up exactly two possibly related deaths aligned nicely with the theories I had developed so far.

Then, on Saturday, Januray 5, 2013 at 12:00 a.m., I received an email from an unknown sender. The message body was blank and the subject line read ZPV BSF EFBE.

This unexpected event brings my report almost to the present time. As you can guess, it was this email that eventually prompted my research. At first I ignored it thinking, just as Alan had several months prior, that it was only spam. As the emails kept coming, though, one every day, I began to get curious. I started by entering the subject line of the first email into Google, and thus my journey began.

I have received twenty-five emails. It is now Thursday, January 29, 2013, and if my analysis of the Alan Pierson case is accurate, I should receive the twenty-sixth at midnight, or 12:00 a.m. tomorrow. The current time is 11:56 p.m. I am printing this report because I have a hunch that any digital record of these events will somehow be deleted within the next four minutes. After that, I should probably shut down my computer and walk away—I should, that would be the wisest course of action, but…I cannot. I have to see this through. I have to.