Ep 3 | TRANSCRIPT


00:00:00

NARRATOR

In October of 2011, 4 college students disappeared in the woods near Porter Township Pennsylvania while researching a documentary on children’s author Jakob Stanley. They remain missing to this day. Last month their recordings appeared online. In an effort to aid in the investigation, the families of those missing have agreed to release the following sound files. If anyone has information on those missing or the identity of the person or persons who uploaded these files, please use the contact information provided. Anything submitted may be used in future episodes. Certain materials referenced in this podcast, including the published works of Jakob Stanley, are currently protected under U.S. copyright law and may be redacted. For legal reasons, some names have been withheld and voices altered. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are solely those of the podcasters and participants, and do not represent the official policy or position of the Iphigenia County Police Department of Porter Township Pennsylvania or its associates. This podcast contains adult themes and language. Listener discretion is advised.


00:01:07

PROFESSOR WHITAKER

File labeled: “003 Rough Cut, Episode 3 - Tell Me a Story: The True Life of Jakob Stanley.”


SFX: The mic pops on, it cuts in and out a few times. It is being manhandled as levels are adjusted. The volume fluctuates.


SFX: The team slowly trudges through deep forest leaves.


00:01:26

TOLEN

Check, check, check. ...


SFX: Tolen continues to adjust levels.


TOLEN (CONT’D)

Check, check...


SFX: The levels are set.


JANE

Sorry again for the late start. I coulda’ sworn we said 11. ... There is just so much to take care of with the house and all, I get so darn distracted.


RJ

Don’t worry about it, Jane.


AVERY

She called us at 6 friggen AM to confirm 9 AM.


CHUCK

Yeah, what the hell was that about?


TOLEN

Shhh! - Jane, how much further do you think?


JANE

Only a little ways.


AVERY

It was only “a little ways” 30 minutes ago.


CHUCK

Uhhggg. There isn’t enough caffeine in the world right now.


AVERY

We wouldn’t be so tired, if someone wasn’t jumping at shadows all night.


CHUCK

Hey, that shit freaked you out too.


AVERY

No. You - You were freaking me out.


SFX: Tolen jumps, startled.


TOLEN

BAH!


AVERY

WHAT?!


TOLEN

SNAKE-SnakeSnakeSnakeSnake!


00:02:17 RJ

Oh my God, it’s just a stick.


[Chuck starts to laugh.]


AVERY

Jesus, I thought you saw a bear.


[Chuck is in pain from laughing.]


CHUCK

Oh, Goddamn, I needed that.


TOLEN

I know what a snake looks like and that was a friggen snake.


SFX: The wind suddenly howls through the trees ominously causing Chuck’s laugh to fade.


AVERY

Wouldn’t it be great if the camper still runs?


CHUCK

Yeah, and we can drive it the hell out of here.


RJ

I wish I could shoot an episode of BOO at the Mendenhall.


CHUCK

Thank God that’s not happening.


TOLEN

That reminds me, in case the camper doesn’t start, RJ I wanna be sure we take pics and video of every square inch of it.


RJ

You got it.


00:03:00

RJ (CONT’D)

Uhm, hey Jane, out of curiosity... How far away are we from the Mendenhall?


CHUCK

Don’t you even think about it.


JANE

(over her shoulder)

Uhm, well it’s right past that ridge of trees, over there... I think.


AVERY

So, we’re currently walking in the infamous haunted Mendenhall wood?


CHUCK

Stop.


JANE

(over her shoulder)

I mean, yeah. All of it is.


SFX: An owl screeches.


CHUCK

Shit.


JANE

This looks right. Okay, back on course.


AVERY

We were off course?


JANE

I got it, right over here... come along.


SFX: The team trudges after Jane.


RJ

At least it’s not raining like yesterday.


SFX: Thunder crashes in the distance.


AVERY

You just had to say it, didn’t you?


00:03:57

PODCAST INTRO SEQUENCE


NEWS ANNOUNCER

WN [BEEP REDACTED] TV New York.


MUSIC: [80’s NEWS INTRO THEME]


NEWS ANCHOR ‘83

If your child has been to a school book fair recently, chances are they came home with one of this author’s scary books-


MUSIC: [80’s SUNDAY TALK SHOW THEME]


SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOW HOST ‘81

Our guest’s first anthology leapt to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list -


MUSIC: [LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW INTRO APPLAUSE]


LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST ‘86

- Thank you. Thank you! Over the past few years, he has become a household name-


MUSIC: [PODCAST THEME]


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- Bridging the gap between Alvin Schwartz and Stephen King -


TV PREACHER

- The devil is among us, friends.


CONGREGATION

AMEN!


TV PREACHER

He’s among us, in the form of a writer. -


SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOW HOST ‘81

- The book might have struggled during it initial release in 1977, but now “Tell Me A Story: Under the Bed That’s Over My Head”, has skyrocketed -


ALSC COMMITTEE REP

- So many parent organizations complained that his work was too sophisticated for children-


TV PREACHER

- He has infiltrated your homes, and your children’s minds-


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- His second macabre anthology “Tell Me A Story: Moonless Sky and Other Friends” sold out from bookstores in mere minutes. Becoming a controversial -


NEWS ANCHOR ‘83

- Stanley's books ranked on the American Library Association’s “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books” from 1981-1993 -


TV PREACHER

- Stanley’s books promote disobedience, violence and the occult! Lord have mercy -


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- The 3rd volume in his “Tell Me A Story” collection “The Floor That Creaks, the Closet That Speaks and the Tip Toes That You Walk On” was released in 1986 to mass acclaim -


ALSC COMMITTEE REP

- All that fussing, just made his work more popular -


TV PREACHER

- Check your children’s rooms, check their bookshelves, check their back-packs! -


YOUTUBER

- I do think his final book, released in ‘99, “TMAS: The nightmare, The Dream and the Places Between,” was by far his best work.-


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- His work has been described as “subversive” and “dark,” I simply describe it as genius.


SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOW HOST ‘81

- It is my pleasure to introduce -


LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST ‘86

- Please welcome -


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- Ladies and gentleman, please welcome -


SUNDAY MORNING TALK SHOW HOST ‘81

- Jakob Stanley.-


LATE NIGHT TALK SHOW HOST ‘86

- Mister Jakob Stanley.


PUBLIC RADIO HOST ‘92

- Author, Jakob Stanley.


[Applause.]


MUSIC: [POD THEME SYNTH]


AVERY/NARRATOR

Little to nothing is known about the life of this elusive author. And since 1999 Jakob Stanley seems to have completely dropped off the face of the earth. Until a short two-line obituary appeared in a small town paper, over a year ago.


TOLEN/NARRATOR

From BOO Labs and Red Cup Media, I'm Tolen Reid -


AVERY/NARRATOR

And I'm Avery Fischer, this is TELL ME A STORY: THE TRUE LIFE OF JAKOB STANLEY.


SFX: The team and Jane are still trudging through the haunted forest.


00:06:09

JANE

(yelling from ahead)

Ah-ha! I knew it! I just knew it. Right up here!


AVERY

It better be.


CHUCK

So, what is the deal with this camper van? Why is it so important?


TOLEN

I thought you read Stanley?


CHUCK

I did, but like a normal person, not an obsessive fanboy.


AVERY

Besides his first anthology, it is where he wrote all of his books.


RJ

He would put in little easter eggs throughout each of the books about the camper van. It is legend.


AVERY

It’s also the setting of some of his short stories.


TOLEN

There is even an entire segment in his 3rd book-


CHUCK

Right, right, whatever, this better be worth it.


TOLEN

Oh, it will be... I have a feeling.


RJ

Damn, I need to pee so bad.


JANE

Guys! I found it! It’s right down here!


SFX: The team rush to the crest of the ridge and look down into the gully.


JANE (CONT’D)

TA-DA!


00:06:58

TOLEN

Oh, my sweet dear lord!


AVERY

It’s the camper van.


CHUCK

That’s no camper van!


SFX: Chuck runs down the gully to the side of the not camper van.


CHUCK (CONT’D)

It’s an FMC 2900R!


RJ

That collection of sounds means nothing to me.


SFX: Chuck walks alongside the FMC.


CHUCK

In the 1970s the Food Machinery Corporation diversified their production. In doing so, they ended up creating one of the most monumental recreational vehicles known in the world, the FMC 2900R. They were only manufactured from 1973 to 1976, and only a few hundred still exist today. And this - THIS - is one of them.


AVERY

Damn.


RJ

Chuck has full on car boner.


SFX: RJ starts taking pictures of the FMC.


CHUCK

This isn’t a camper van, this is a Golden God, a behemoth, a leviathan. A mythological creature that commands the respect of being called: King of the Road.


00:07:54

TOLEN

So, more like an RV?


CHUCK

WHAT? Do not abbreviate, not for this, this, THIS -


AVERY

This “Golden God,” yeah we get it Chuck, very happy you’re finally on board. - Shall we?


SFX: The team approaches the RV. A woodpecker pecks in the distance. It begins to rain lightly.


JANE

Tolen would you care to do the honors?


SFX: Jane produces a key and hands it to Tolen.


TOLEN

I actually think Chuck should do it. Chuck?


SFX: Tolen gives the keys to Chuck.


SFX: Chuck puts the keys in the lock.


CHUCK

Ooooohhh! Here we go.


SFX: Chuck unlocks the RV and opens the door.


SFX: Chuck steps up to enter, Tolen stops her.


00:08:22

TOLEN

Hold on, hold on. I want everyone to be careful. We saw how the house was, no offense Jane.


JANE

None taken.


TOLEN

We don’t need another RJ avalanche.


AVERY

Got it.


TOLEN

I don’t want anyone else getting hurt.


RJ

Understood.


TOLEN

I’m serious about this.


AVERY

100% agree.


TOLEN

Maybe we should look through the windows first-


CHUCK

(from inside the RV)

It’s empty.


TOLEN

WHAT?!


SFX: The entire group except for Jane piles inside. The tires bounce a squeak with each jostling step.


RJ

Oh wow.


AVERY

So much orange right now.


TOLEN

Check the cabinets!


SFX: The cabinets click and clack open and shut, so many cabinets. The rain hits the roof of the FMC, it is coming down a little harder now.


AVERY

I got nothing.


RJ

Nothing.


CHUCK

Nope.


TOLEN

I don’t understand. Jane? - Where’s Jane?


JANE

(from outside the RV)

Out here!


TOLEN

Where is everything?


JANE

I don’t know?


TOLEN

Did you clear it out?


JANE

No.


RJ

Could it have been robbed?


JANE

I don’t think so?


TOLEN

So... so what happened?


JANE

I have no idea. I’ve actually never been inside it.


00:09:22

TOLEN

You’ve never been inside?


JANE

As far as I know, it’s exactly how he left it.


CHUCK

(from the driver’s seat)

And he left it in pristine condition! Jane, you should really be selling this, not giving it away.


TOLEN

Chuck.


CHUCK

I’m sorry guys, but come on.


RJ

She’s right, Jane. You should try to sell this.


AVERY

It is amazing.


JANE

I’ll take your word for it.


CHUCK

Bet you could get a lot for this -


JANE

I don’t want to mess around with selling. I kinda just want it gone.


CHUCK

- Maybe well over 10k.


SFX: Jane bangs the side of the FMC.


JANE

I get IT. I SHOULD sell it, but I’m NOT so you should just TAKE THE THING! ... That was one hell of a walk, I gotta go use the little girl’s tree, excuse me.


SFX: Jane walks out into the woods.


00:10:06

AVERY

Uh, maybe you should go with her.


RJ

Uhm, no thanks.


AVERY

I thought you just said you had to pee?


RJ

Her outburst made it suck back up into my body.


AVERY

Fair enough. Ok, so what should we do now?


CHUCK

Let’s see if this kitten will purr for mommy.


RJ

Gross.


CHUCK

Yup, regretted it as soon as I said it. On three! ... OOOONNE! ... TWOOO! ...


SFX: Chuck turns the key. The ancient engine of the behemoth, sputters, with he-heee-heeaaavve and another he-heee-heeaaavve.


CHUCK (CONT’D)

Come on.


SFX: Yet another round of he-heee-heeaaavve and another he-heee-heeaaavve. Nothing.


CHUCK (CONT’D)

Shit.


RJ

We can ask around at the Homestead about a tow?


TOLEN

I guess. Avery, what do you think? ... Avery? ... Avery?


AVERY

(distracted)

Yeah... I could eat.


TOLEN

What? What are you doing?


AVERY

Do you see that?


RJ

What?


AVERY

That. That riiiight there.


SFX: There is a click of a latch, and then the door to a secret compartment swings open with a haunted house creak.


RJ

Oh, damn.


TOLEN

What in the hell?


AVERY

Secret compartment.


SFX: Chuck walks back to them.


CHUCK

This can’t be good.


00:11:12

RJ

Is someone gonna look inside?


TOLEN

Avery.


AVERY

Why do I have to do it?


TOLEN

Why don’t you wanna do it?


AVERY

Why don’t you wanna do it?


TOLEN

You found it.


RJ

Move.


SFX: RJ reaches into the secret cabinet, her arm smacks inside.


RJ (CONT’D)

I got something.


SFX: She pulls out several Altoid’s tins that are rusted shut, something rattles around inside.


RJ (CONT’D)

Uh. Okay.


AVERY

Are those Altoid’s tins?


SFX: RJ shakes it, whatever is inside rattles around.


CHUCK

A little rusted metal box of nightmares.


RJ

There are a few of them back here.


SFX: RJ tries to open one.


RJ (CONT’D)

I can’t get it open.


TOLEN

Let me try.


SFX: Tolen tries and can’t get it open


CHUCK

Why do you want to open it?


AVERY

Give it here.


SFX: Avery tries. She also can’t get it open.


AVERY (CONT’D)

Damn.


TOLEN

If Avery can’t do it, it’s impossible. Those weird tiny hands are amazingly strong.


RJ

We’ll have to break it open.


AVERY

Let’s bag them for now. Is there anything else back there?


SFX: Tolen bags tins. Using her cell phone, RJ leans deep in the secret compartment.


RJ

(From inside the compartment)

Uh... I see... well there is a bunch of books... and a bible? Oh and this here.


SFX: RJ hits another secret latch and another compartment opens on the other side of the RV. It creaks open.


AVERY

Holy shit.


TOLEN

Whoa.


CHUCK

Can we all stop opening things until we are all prepared.


AVERY

Going in.


SFX: Avery approaches the secret cupboard and leans inside.


TOLEN

Chuck, can you bag up the books?


AVERY

(from inside the new secret cupboard)

Uh. Ok, in here there is ... a very old camcorder ... a sketchbook and ... a folio? ... I think? Let me see, can someone grab these ... as... I pass them out?


TOLEN

On it.


SFX: Avery passes out the camcorder and leans back in and pulls out a large folio and sketch book.


SFX: Avery sits on the floor and opens the folio.


00:12:46

AVERY

WOW. Look, the folio is full of illustrations.


RJ

Oh, my.


SFX: RJ starts taking pictures of the folio standing over Avery.


AVERY

I mean, they’re beautiful?


RJ

But...


AVERY

Yeah.


TOLEN

Oh my God, did we just find a rough draft? ... Or part of the unpublished manuscript?!


RJ

Chuck, what’s in the sketchbook?


SFX: Chuck opens the sketchbook.


CHUCK

Uhm, just a bunch of landscapes?


AVERY

Wait, wait. Do not analyze yet. We are burning daylight.


CHUCK

Yes, exactly.


AVERY

Let’s rain-proof them and pack them up.


RJ

Let me get a few more pics of those folio illustrations.


SFX: RJ snaps a few more pics.


TOLEN

This is so exciting!


RJ

Got it, thanks.


SFX: Tolen starts packing the folio.


00:13:27

RJ (CONT’D)

Might not need to worry about rain-proofing.


SFX: The rain has stopped.


AVERY

Thank God it stopped. ... Where’s Jane?


RJ

(calling out)

Jane? JANE?


AVERY

(calling out)

JANE!


SFX: The group scrambles outside the RV.


RJ

She couldn’t have gone far?


TOLEN

Yeah, it hasn’t been that long.


AVERY

The woman got us lost like 20 times on the way here. She’s probably wandering aimlessly?


RJ

Looking for the right pee-pee tree.


AVERY

[Exhale] Damn it. ...

(calling out)

JANE!


TOLEN

(calling out)

JANE?


RJ

(calling out)

Jane?


CHUCK

(calling out)

JANE!


SFX: The group begins calling out into the woods, searching for Jane.


MUSIC: [POD THEME]


SFX: The mic clicks on, Avery is alone in the FMC.


00:14:25

AVERY

(narration)

It is now 3:43 PM. We just got back from searching the woods. No sign of Jane. A) We have no idea how the hell to get back to Jakob’s house from here. And B) We finished all the snacks about 30 minutes ago. So, things are going well.


SFX: Heavy footsteps are heard approaching from the woods.


RJ

(from outside the RV)

Did you hear that?


AVERY

Oh God, please be Jane.


SFX: Avery scrambles out of the RV. RJ, Tolen and Chuck are already outside approaching the sound.


RJ

(yelling)

JANE?


CHUCK

(yelling)

Jane!


TOLEN

(yelling)

Jane?!


RJ

(yelling)

Jane, are you ok?


AVERY

(yelling)

Jane!


TOLEN

(yelling)

Jane?!


AVERY

(yelling)

Hello?!


SFX: The footsteps continue to approach, but from the distance they hear the booming yet kind voice.


WALLACE

(yelling from a distance)

HELLO?


CHUCK

(panicked whisper)

HILL PEOPLE.


RJ

(yelling)

Hello?


WALLACE

(yelling from a distance)

Hello?


AVERY

Uhh?


00:15:18

WALLACE

(yelling from a distance)

I am not Jane, I repeat, I am not Jane.


AVERY

Kinda figured that out.


WALLACE

(yelling from a distance)

Do you need assistance?


RJ

(yelling)

Uh... maybe?


CHUCK

(panic whisper)

No, RJ please... hill people!


RJ

Chuck, the man is like right there.


RJ (CONT’D)

(yelling)

We’re looking for our friend?


WALLACE

(yelling)

Ah. Well, I haven’t seen anyone... my house is right over that-a-way. So, they ain’t between here and there.


RJ

(yelling)

Uh, thank you.


WALLACE

(yelling)

No problem. ... Uhm. Are you sure y’all okay?


AVERY

This is ridiculous.


SFX: Avery walks to Wallace.


AVERY (CONT’D)

HI, I’m Avery.


SFX: Wallace approaches Avery, his hand out-stretched, they shake.


WALLACE

Wallace Embry.


AVERY

Hey. Uh. We were brought out here by Jane Stanley, not sure if you know her? She’s seemed to have wandered off and we’re a little stranded.


WALLACE

This Jane person, she at Russell’s place?


AVERY

Yeah, how’d you know?


00:16:11

WALLACE

My uncanny prowess of deduction.


AVERY

It’s the only other house for miles isn’t it?


WALLACE

Well look at you, Nancy Drew! Better step up my game.


[Avery laughs]


AVERY

Wallace, this is RJ, Tolen and Chuck.


RJ

Hiyah!


WALLACE

Hiyah, RJ. Tolen, Chuck.


TOLEN

Nice to meet you.


CHUCK

Hey, man.


SFX: Wallace helps himself to a tree stump and takes a load off.


WALLACE

Damn y’all. The way you’ve been carrying on about this Jane person, I didn’t know if I should be concerned for her safety or scared she’s loose!


[The group laughs.]


WALLACE (CONT’D)

No y’all I’m serious. Which one is it?!


CHUCK

Probably both?


WALLACE

Y’all buying the FMC? Not to pry, but I mean, I can’t imagine any other reason for y’all to be out here.


TOLEN

Yes right, the FMC. Uh, Jane was going to donate it to us... We’re doing a documentary on the author Jakob Stanley, he was her uncle.


WALLACE

No shit? A documentary. That sounds like pants of the fancy variety. ... So, Russell was a writer?


TOLEN

Yes, a very accomplished one.


WALLACE

Well, I’ll be damned. He never talked about that with me.


TOLEN

You knew him?


WALLACE

We’ve been neighbors for awhile. He was an older gentleman, so I’d help him out with things... clear trees, shovel snow, an’at.


TOLEN

Would you be willing to do an interview? We have so many questions-


WALLACE

Hold on, now ... I didn’t know him that well.


AVERY

Sorry. I guess we’re just a little overeager. We currently only have one interview and she hadn’t seen him in 18 years.


WALLACE

Eighteen years, huh?


00:17:35

TOLEN

But you on the other hand?


WALLACE

Uh-huh. Y’all would have to be pretty desperate to scrape the bottom of this barrel. I didn’t know he could write his name, let alone a book.


RJ

Guys, it’s not that bad, Jane did let us take whatever we wanted from his house?


WALLACE

Did she now?


TOLEN

We haven’t done a deep dive into it yet, but there might be some really compelling material there. And in the RV we found a few things... So you’re right maybe it’s not that bad.


WALLACE

I mean... I have lived here for the last 20 years, so... maybe I might be able to fill in some gaps for ya. Might not be worth an interview though?


TOLEN

No, oh my God, totally worth an interview. Anything, any information you have on him from the last 20 years, we would be absolutely grateful for.


WALLACE

All right, all right, I’ll think about it. ... So, what was the plan here? Get this beauty up and running?


CHUCK

And hopefully drive her home. Although, I don’t know how we would get her out of here.


WALLACE

Oh, there’s a fire road that way... you’re just gonna have to finesse that patch over there, but it’s doable.


CHUCK

There is a fire road nearby?!


AVERY

Are you kidding me?!


CHUCK

We could have driven here?!


AVERY

Goddamn it, Jane.


RJ

But, the FMC isn’t running.


WALLACE

Well that’s a goddamn travesty!


CHUCK

Couldn’t agree with you more.


WALLACE

Huh. There fuel in the tank?


CHUCK

Gauge says there is.


WALLACE

Mind if I take a look? ... Don’t worry I’m a licensed mechanic.


CHUCK

REALLY? Oh thank GOD!


TOLEN

Are you serious!?


WALLACE

Serious as a heart attack, Jack. May I approach?


TOLEN

Go right ahead.


WALLACE

Let me check the engine first before I make any promises, now.


AVERY

No worries, have at it.


WALLACE

If I’m being honest, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this for quite some time! Chuck you wanna help me out, bud, and try to start her up for me.


CHUCK

Sure.


SFX: Wallace heads to the engine and Chuck scampers to the driver’s seat.


00:19:24

AVERY

Let’s pack up and see if this guy will let us use his phone.


TOLEN

Agreed.


SFX: RJ, Tolen and Avery head to the back of the RV as Wallace and Chuck test the engine.


WALLACE

(in the distance)

Okay, starter’ up.


SFX: Chuck tries the engine it chugs like before.


WALLACE (CONT’D)

(yelling over the engine)

Alright, cut it.


SFX: Chuck cuts the engine.


CHUCK

‘Kay.


SFX: RJ stops in the doorway of the RV.


RJ

Hey guys? ... Check this out.


AVERY

What is it?


SFX: Avery and Tolen cross to RJ at the door.


RJ

Look at the back of the FMC.


SFX: Wallace and Chuck test the engine again.


WALLACE

(in the distance)

Starter up.


WALLACE (CONT’D)

(yelling over engine)

Alright, cut it.


SFX: Chuck cuts the engine.


WALLACE (CONT’D)

Gimmie a sec.


CHUCK

‘Kay.


RJ

Now come to the doorway and look inside.


AVERY

OH!


RJ

You see it?


SFX: Wallace and Chuck test the engine again.