By Jim Graves

He stared into her eyes. To him it was the most intimate thing you could share with someone, staring them in the eye. It gave you an insight to the person’s soul. Or so he thought.

There were three stages to this. The first was shock. They couldn’t believe someone was actually trying to strangle them. This was the stage that involved the most resistance. The fighting and kicking. But once he had hold, well, it was pretty much onto the next stage.

Fear. That’s when their eyes open wider and they finally realize they can’t breathe. That was his favorite stage. To see that look of fear mixed with surprise. The struggling, the guttural sounds fighting to make way from their throats. He was no rapist but he definitely got pleasure from this. Their life was literally in his hands. For the next six minutes – give or take – he was God. He could allow them to live or he could and would take their life. What a rush.

It takes between thirty seconds and one minute of pressure for someone to pass out. And another four and a half to five minutes of constant pressure to ensure death. It’s not for the weak. You have to be in shape to strangle someone. You also have to be mentally strong. You’ve come too far to back out. If they survive, you’re looking at at least ten years in prison. His motto was, never start what you’re not going to finish. He always finished.

The third stage is acceptance. They realize there is nothing they can do and they just give up. Well, actually, they pass out. Same thing in his book. If they really wanted to live they would have fought harder, right? Right.

But his attention was always drawn to the eyes. You can actually see them change color. Not just the whites of their eyes, which will become bloodshot from the blood vessels bursting, no, the eyes will actually start to fade a little, lose color. And eventually, if you watch closely, you can see them start to turn a pale shade of gray. He always preferred to call that the death stare. The eyes are open but not for business. When you see that shade of gray, that’s when you know you’re straddling a dead body.

They’re so perfect at that point. No faults. No judging. No lies. Just perfect human beings, albeit dead, but still. He had strangled forty-seven at last count, but he never was any good at keeping count. You don’t really worry about the numbers when you enjoy what you’re doing. You just do it for the sake of doing it and go on with your life. After all, isn’t that what life is all about? Make time for the things you enjoy. If not for that, life would be pretty dull, wouldn’t it?

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