In the city of Stamford Connecticut, Shippan Point was a world unto itself. It is a peninsula that sticks out into Long Island Sound with Shippan Avenue being the only road running in or out.
Shippan Avenue ends at a beach at the very tip of Shippan Point. Like most Connecticut beaches it is more rocks than sand. Despite that it was very popular with young couples looking for a place to be alone at night.
It was supposed to be closed at night, but the police did not bother to enforce the rule. There had never been any trouble on the beach. That is, until the Donahue boys decided to have a little fun. There were a lot of Donahue kids around Shippan point. Ten boys and two girls to be exact. Keeping track of them was such a chore for their parents that they actually had a book in their front hall for the kids to sign in and out. The parents often only knew where all the kids were by checking the book.
No one worried about their kids. Shippan point was safe. It was a wealthy mostly Irish community and the chief of police himself (also Irish) lived their. At the entrance to the Point, where the homes were less expensive, lived Officer Mickelson. The families on the Point paid him a stipend to do extra patrols in the area.
That’s why it was such a shock to the residents when the killer attacked.
It wasn’t a real killer. On the fateful night, Jeff Donahue hid on the other side of the jetty and put on a black wetsuit. Then his brothers covered him from head to toe with seaweed, until he had a very close resemblance to the Creature From the Black Lagoon. For an added touch they gave him a fireman’s ax.
Jeff was a very good swimmer. He held his breath and went underwater and swam around the stone jetty and swam towards the beach. His brothers peered over the jetty to see what would happen.
The nighttime beach was full of young lovers as Jeff swam underwater towards it. He emerged from the water and onto the beach and screamed at the top of his lungs as he did so. He waved the ax and shook the seaweed.
The Donahue boys thought the people on the beach would scream and then laugh, just like you do when someone give you a Halloween scare. They assumed that after the initial shock people would realize it was just a silly kid covered in seaweed.
What they did not expect was that people would scream, and just keep screaming. The lovers all ran off the beach and got into their cars as fast as they could . They roared down Shippan avenue and raced away to find the police station.
The Donahue boys had forgotten that Jeff was a big guy. He was on the football team after all. And it was night. And he was carrying an ax.
It was dark enough and there was enough seaweed covering Jeff so that no one recognized him. So he got out of the costume and ran home with his brothers as fast as he could. They dried off the ax and carefully put it back in the garage. The wetsuit went into a separate bin.
Their hearts were pounding, but it still seemed very funny. It did not seem funny anymore next day when they found out that the police had set up a roadblock and sealed off Shippan Point. Half the police force was in Shippan looking for the killer.
Jeff and his brothers decided to just wait it out. The police would go away after a few hours and things would get back to normal. But police don’t really go away when they think they have a killer cornered. The search was in its third day when Jeff and his brothers had to make the terrible trip they had been dreading. They walked down the hall opened the door to their father’s den and walked over to where he was sitting behind his huge desk.
Their father showed no reaction at all. That made it even more frighting than if he had actually yelled. He simply reached over picked up his desk phone and called his friend the Chief of Police.
No charges were filed and no police reports were typed up. In those days the Irish of Stamford handled things among themselves in various unofficial ways. There are no records at all, to the point that some people claim the incident is just a legend that never really happened. But those people never knew these kids.
Another thing no one really knows, is what sort of punishment Mr. Donahue doled out. It must have been pretty bad since to this day the boys will not talk about it.
Things went back to normal in Shippan Point for the rest of the summer. The only thing different was that Officer Mickleson drove his car extra slowly whenever he passed the Donahue’s house. If the boys happened to be in the yard at the time they would quickly move into the house. The look in Officer Mickelson’s eyes told the boys that their days as practical jokers were over for good.