An excerpt from
Most Barbie collectors have been known to say, “I would kill to have that,” but P.J. Croesus meant it literally.
They say it’s important to look at the first kill in serial slayings because it typically hits close to home for the murderer—literally or psychologically.
P.J.’s target had been driving her crazy on a message board populated by those as manic as she to score the best vintage Barbies from the ’60s.
Every time P.J. won something vintage on eBay and shared pictures with the group, Gayle Grace would point out that what P.J. had won was far from perfect and that she herself had something better under protective glass in her very own temperature-controlled doll room. This happened for the thirtieth time (by P.J.’s careful count) on the first Saturday in January with regard to a flawless Debutante Ball gown she had won, which Gayle claimed had a replacement rosebud because the shade was slightly off.
What kind of idiot did Gayle think P.J. was? Yes, P.J. had auto-corrected the coloring in Photoshop, but only because a shadow cast across the room had ruined what would have been a perfect digital picture. For Gayle to assume the rosebud on the dress wasn’t the exact shade it should be was absolutely and definitively the moment P.J. decided to kill her, no matter what.
Getting Gayle’s address was no biggie. On the message board, they all swapped home addresses for Christmas cards. Gayle lived in Oswego, New York, and P.J. lived in Southern California. Even that was not off-putting. P.J. knew how to get on a bus, train, or plane. She knew how to rent a car. She knew how to book a hotel room. She was worldly, not to mention thin, rich, blonde, and beautiful. She even had a half-brother who spent six years in jail who could tell her ways to kill a person that hadn’t even come up on the Internet. She had money. She had time. She had opportunity.
She had picked her first victim.