In the summer of 1995, a string of three murders occurred across the greater Orlando area. These murders were essentially like any other murder, but all of them had one thing tied to them: all of the victims were found to have a certain comic book in their possession. These comics went by the title of The Oracle’s Tales, but they did not seem to have any sort of company associated with them. In fact, they did not seem to be the kind of comic books you’d purchase in a store whatsoever. Rather, they appeared to be hand-made by a single person, as if custom-made for each person. However, the chilling thing about these comics is that their stories were eerily similar to the life stories of the victims, and all ended the same way: the protagonist’s death, in the exact same way as the victim.
The first victim was 22-year-old Justin Nguyen, a student at Valencia Community College who was discovered dead in his apartment, with a bullet in his head. While searching the apartment for clues, the first issue of The Oracle’s Tales was found. The comic told the story of a man who was the son of two Vietnamese immigrants, and his struggles with having to choose between going for his musical career, or meeting his parents’ expectations of having him work at his family’s shop. The story ultimately ended with the protagonist discovering that his girlfriend had been cheating on him; when confronted about it, the girlfriend promptly shot him in the head. A police investigation of this case ultimately led to the arrest of Justin’s girlfriend Melissa Jones, who had begun dating another man almost immediately after Justin’s death.
The second victim was Janice McCarthy, a 32-year-old kindergarten teacher at the then-new Hunter’s Creek Elementary School. One night, her neighbors heard loud noises coming from her house; when police finally arrived, they found Janice’s body lying on the couch, partially naked, with a massive bruise on her left temple. While searching the house, they uncovered the second issue. This issue told the story of a woman who moved from Crystal River to Orlando seeking opportunities for a better life, only to have it tragically cut short when a man broke into her house one night and raped her before bludgeoning her to death with a crowbar. Her killer was never found.
The third and final victim was 74-year-old Marcus Price, a World War II veteran who was mugged in the street and had his throat slit with a balisong in the ensuing fight. His comic, issue 3, was discovered on his doorstep by a family member after the incident. This comic had the long history of his life, how he had grown up in poverty, fought in World War II, and eventually made a name for himself. It ended, tragically, the same way his story had ended in real life: by the blade of some random street thug.
This phenomenon ended one day when an urban explorer reported seeing a dead body while exploring an abandoned warehouse. When the police investigated, they found a woman, hanging from a noose. Lying on the floor beneath her...was the fourth and final issue of The Oracle’s Tales. This tale was different, though; while the others were all totally grounded in reality, this one was about a girl with psychic powers, known simply as “The Oracle.” No one understood her ability to see people’s lives, how they began, and how they ended. She was shunned by pretty much everyone she knew; her only friend was her sketchpad, where she could practice her drawing and escape from the real world, if only for a little bit. It was then that she decided to make her visions into comics, and have them delivered to their subjects, to warn them of their ultimate fates. Obviously, it didn’t work. No one heeded their message. No one understood her. Then, one day, she saw a future that she had never seen before: her own. The police would ultimately find her. They’d trace her to the comics. They’d peg those murders on her, assume she was responsible for them in some way. They wouldn’t understand her powers. No one did. It was then that she decided that there was only one future she could change. The story ended with the Oracle hanging herself, with a comic right beneath her: The Oracle’s Tales, Issue 4.