|ANATOMY OF AN ASSASSIN|
By Clark Kent
Smallville High School student Van McNulty allegedly went on a recent killing spree, murdering fellow student and swimming phenomenon Jake Pollen here on campus. McNulty is now also linked to the death of a local auto mechanic and the attempted murder of businessman Lex Luthor. McNulty, crudely dubbed the "Meteor Rock Assassin," was a "B" student. He had friends, and his mom said he occasionally dated. He wore camouflage clothing when he hunted deer with his father but preferred jeans and T-shirts at school. His tastes in music weren't violent. He had no known enemies. Tragically, one of his best friends would become his victim. His school records indicate no violence prior to the deadly spree of recent weeks. How could anyone have known?
Two weeks ago, police discovered the body of Leonard Wallace, an auto mechanic, murdered in B.B. Davenport's auto shop. Preliminary ballistics suggested the killer used a high-powered hunting rifle, not an uncommon possession in Smallville. But the shooter left a more cryptic clue for authorities: a green meteor rock with the word "freak" painted across the surface. Police found a similar rock next to the body of Jake Pollen at the bottom of the SHS pool after Pollen tried to harm fellow student Lana Lang. When interviewed about Pollen's demise, McNulty offered little. Acquaintances suggest McNulty was still reeling over his father's death less than one year ago.
McNulty often spent hunting seasons with his father, Ray McNulty, in their secluded cabin in Burnham Woods. Together they targeted deer, but when the elder McNulty, a veteran Marine working as a recruiter in Smallville, died at the hands of Tina Greer last year, young McNulty's quarry shifted. The orphaned son's thoughts burned with revenge, and regrettably, he may have found fuel in these very pages. When the shape-shifting Greer fell to her death on a wooden spike last year, the Torch suggested a correlation between Greer's abilities and the meteor shower. (Click here for more.)
Torch investigations uncovered a hit list at the McNulty hunting cabin that included the names of both Wallace and Pollen along with others, including Lex Luthor. Autopsy data suggest Pollen possessed abnormal aquatic abilities, which might explain his underwater attack on Lana Lang. Out-of-the-ordinary behavior on Wallace's part is rumored but unproven. His family declined an interview. Whether McNulty's intended victims were connected by the meteor shower or not, McNulty believed they were. Before his arrest, McNulty took Lana Lang hostage. Lang said McNulty left no doubt as to his motives. "[McNulty] said, 'These freaks aren't people, Lana, no matter how much they may seem like it. Look at Jake. He was my best friend for three years, and I had no idea.'"
Van McNulty is now in custody. A trial is pending.