Maman, it’s me … »
Tamera Haynes struggles to recognize her son’s voice on the phone. He seems upset, he is crying.
– Alex? What’s the matter ? Everything is fine ?
– No … Mom, I did something stupid …
– What, what did you do?
– I went to Kathlynn’s, and… and I killed her.
With these words, the boy hangs up. Tamera Haynes remains petrified, as if struck by an uppercut. It is not possible. Within seconds, she calls the police in Weaver, Alabama.
– My son just told me that he killed his girlfriend. We would have to go see her. Her name is Kathlynn Jones, she lives in Jacksonville.
It is after 1 p.m., this Saturday, April 17, when a patrol stops in Juanita Lane, a paved road along which are lined up pretty mobile homes. The one with the number 97 is made of white wood, with a light gray roof. Two policemen climb the few steps, knock on the door.
– There is someone ?
Someone broke in
No answer. They go around the house. The rear door is open. Someone broke in, breaking the window … And what they discover inside is excruciating: two bodies are lying on the ground. A young blonde woman and a little boy who must not be more than 4 years old. He was shot in the head! Despite his terrible injury, the poor little one is still breathing. The cops immediately alert the emergency services. For the young woman, alas, there is nothing more to do. The killer gave her no chance: she was riddled with bullets. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, he stabbed her to death. This unfortunate woman, Kathlynn Jones, was 24 years old and lived alone here with her son, Mason, who is already being urgently evacuated to Birmingham University Hospital. We warn the family. The grandparents and the aunt of the little one run up, upset. Doctors are pessimistic. The child is in critical condition.
The traffic police are chasing him
At the same time, other police officers go to Alex Haynes, the alleged perpetrator of the carnage. He lives nearby in a modest apartment, but he is not at home… It does not take long to report it near Anniston, where he comes to force a roadblock! The traffic police are chasing him. The fugitive, at this moment, rushes onto Highway 20, then suddenly takes the exit towards Munford. Three police vehicles are on his trail, amid a noise of sirens. Nothing seems to be able to stop it. However, the driver ends up losing control of his car on exiting the turn and ends his run in a field. His pursuers do not have time to make the usual summons that a gunshot slams: Alex Haynes, 21, has just committed suicide with his weapon. It is a lifeless body that the police discover in the cabin.
When the terrible news is told to her, her mother almost faints. She does not understand this outburst of violence. Her son, she said, was a nice boy who loved nature, hunting, mountain biking with his friends… He always talked to him about his girlfriend. To hear him, they were very much in love with each other, they were making plans… Did Kathlynn want to leave him and he couldn’t stand it? This simple assumption makes the family of the young woman jump. Everyone close to her is clear: in truth, Kathlynn has never dated Alex Haynes – not even once! They were friends, nothing more, and she completely cut ties with him when she realized that he was making “films” about her. She never had feelings for him. And they never made any plans! He made it all up!
– Stop saying it was her boyfriend, it’s not true! pounding Kathlynn’s sister on CBS. It was his stalker!
The universe of the young man collapsed
We begin to guess the scenario of the drama. For weeks, Alex Haynes lived under the delusion that Kathlynn Jones was in love with him. Nothing to do with a teenage craze, it was a psychiatric disorder: erotomania (see box). The day she suddenly dotted the i’s for him, the young man’s universe collapsed. Convinced that she had taken him by boat, he came to her house to take revenge, armed with a revolver and a knife … And he let loose. Even the little boy of his prey did not escape his furious madness.
Today, Mason’s grandparents take turns at his bedside. His condition is stationary. Doctors stopped the sedation to test his reflexes. The little one moves his toes, it’s positive. He breathed on his own for a few moments when the life support was turned off. We started feeding it by probe, an electroencephalogram showed brain activity, but the neurosurgeons remain very careful. Even if he gets away with it, Mason will keep heavy consequences. His family still wants to believe in a miracle.
Kathlynn’s last pic with Mason
As if to ward off fate, the Joneses posted the latest photo of Kathlynn with her boy online. It was Easter, a week before the tragedy. She had organized an egg hunt in her parents’ garden. Mason, amazed, ran from hiding to hiding, screaming at each find:
– I have one !
Moments of happiness that will never return. This little guy who is struggling to stay alive no longer has a mother. What memories will he keep of her? Kathlynn loved the simple pleasures, the evenings around a campfire with friends, the family meals… She was far from rolling on gold. To offer him a funeral worthy of the name, his family have launched a collection on the Internet. For these people, everything fell apart on April 17th. Their life now hangs on the breath of a little boy. Mason is all they have left.
An investigation by Julia Freund