Article by Dan Foley, as provided by Kyle Yadlosky
Photography by Eleanor Leonne Bennett
Pine Lane, New Jersey, was rocked yesterday afternoon, when neighbors heard an explosion from one of the houses in the gated community. Apparently, a two-month-old Jack Russell terrier was responsible for the explosion, barking what residents claimed was “fire.”
“I saw that–that Peterson boy walking the dog back from the neighbor’s yard. The thing was real quiet then. I watched them go in. Not two hours later–bam! The whole place was up in flames. The last thing I heard was that little dog rapping out his mouth,” a resident stated.
The Petersons were all home at the time. The father, Raymond, was a college professor. Son and daughter, Ray and Lila, were 11 and 2, respectively, and going to a local private school. And the mother, Lidia, was a stay-at-home mom. No one survived.
Police arrived on the scene around 5:00 pm, roughly a half hour after the explosion.
“The house was on fire, burning rapidly. Firefighters burst in. We pulled out buckets of human remains, ashes. Most had already been burnt down to the bone. This is highly unusual so soon into a fire,” Police Chief, Mike Hutchinson said. “We also found the ashes and teeth belonging to a neighborhood cat.”
“Oh, Sila, that black cat,” Jasmine Hersha, 62, remembered. “She would always follow that little boy home and sneak in after school. The whole family would have to corner her and grab her to carry the cat out. Their dog, though, he hated Sila.”
“As far as we know, the dog had nothing to do with the fire,” Hutchinson stated for the record.
The Petersons reported their terrier stolen earlier in the week. They alleged that, while it was tied up outside, the next door neighbor, Charles Lawson, cut its leash and carried the yapping dog back to his home. Police refused to comment on this.
Charles Lawson is a weapons expert who has been working closely with Homeland Security on creating a “biological stealth laser.” The details on this are, of course, classified. Since the incident, Lawson has been moved from his home. The police have refused to release his current location, citing it as “a breach of National Security.”
“All you have to do is look at the facts,” Patrick Heart, host of the radio show ‘The Classified’ stated. “Lawson had been working on something with lasers. The government won’t talk about it; no one will talk about it. He stole a poor little dog, and the police did nothing. This little boy gets the dog back under Lawson’s nose. Lawson put something, some kind of laser, inside that dog.”
Combining Heart’s resources with our own, we’ve pieced together these facts: Lawson was not home at the time of the explosion–police confirmed this–and the front window to his home was shattered. Residents attested that Lawson was a solitary man. He kept his doors locked and blinds shut. He never attended community events. He never brought anyone home.
Months after arriving at his New Jersey home, Lawson made additions to his basement. Neighbors described the construction as “deafening.” It went on day and night. Community officials informed the police, but nothing was done. “It’s frustrating,” one official stated at the time. “Important people live in this neighborhood. If they can’t get a night’s sleep, who’s to say what could happen? It’s like Lawson is getting away with murder.”
Blueprints for any alterations have to be submitted to the community chair before they can be made. Lawson’s depicted two separate underground levels, each half the size of a football field. Residents described the materials used in the build as “mountains of metal.”
[UPDATE] A private detective hired by Patrick Heart has been arrested by police after breaking into Lawson’s home. Police report that 35-year-old Austin Marx was arrested at 2:00 am last night after neighbors reported suspicious activity at the Lawson residence. He was found inside bleeding and unconscious. As of press time, police only report that he is in stable condition at the St. Mary hospital in Clinton, New Jersey.
The private detective has successfully uploaded a video to the internet, though. The video, titled “Something Strange in the Lawson Basement” depicts Marx being shot with darts, burned, and nearly falling into pits of spikes while investigating Lawson’s additional underground floors. At the lowest level–where Marx passed out–two stretchers are shown, and across the walls are a series of diagrams, charts, and pictures of the Petersons’ Jack Russell terrier.
“Breaking and entering is a criminal offense, no matter the reason,” was Police Chief Hutchinson’s only comment on the matter.
“If you enhance the video enough you can see fur on the left stretcher,” Heart stated. “The diagrams on the walls, I have it on good authority that they depict some sort of cannon-like object being implanted into an animal’s throat. The object looks like a banana-sized laser pointer. I think it’s without question that he implanted that into the dog’s throat.”
Lawson lived in a small community in Florida five years before this incident. There, he was working with the area’s sewage department on another classified project. A year after his arrival, the septic system throughout that community exploded, backing up toilets and flushing waste out of sinks and spigots. The sewage floated across the single road through the community. Lawns were ruined. Residents claimed this was no ordinary sewage, though. Just as quickly as the waste washed up, it was sucked back down the pipes, and people were sucked with it. Several victims were flung by the sludge, fracturing their heads and suffering concussions. There were 27 injuries in total. One grandmother, 67, was sucked away into an open manhole. Her body was never recovered.
“It’s nothing unusual. Just because you haven’t seen it before doesn’t mean it can’t happen,” sewage officials said in a statement released just after the incident.
Whether Lawson will be charged with anything seems unlikely. Where he’s gone and where he’ll go is a mystery. What he’s been working on is something we may never know. The Jack Russell terrier in question is currently being held by police. They have no plans to release it.
“That dog is evidence,” Hutchinson stated.
We’ll keep you updated on any new developments.
Ever since graduating from Rowan University, Dan Foley has been reporting the stories that matter in New Jersey. Over the past decade, he’s covered floods, fires, plane crashes, and riots. He loves to investigate and will never stop uncovering the truth.
Voodoo, sideshows, and a good ghost story—if it’s outside of the everyday, Kyle Yadlosky revels in it. He lives in-between corn fields in Pennsylvania and has been published on Dorkly.com and in Shoofly and Essence literary magazines.
Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16 year old internationally award winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC News Website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United States and Canada. Her art is globally exhibited , having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles, Florida, Washington, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, Australia and The Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition (2011) amongst many other locations.