The Vault


another pSecret pSociety pshort pstory

The Vault by Mike Bozart (Agent 33) | MARCH 2016

Note: The following tale is based on a true story. Names have been changed. Also, the dates and places are not exactly correct.

A few days ago, the name of his dad came up in an informal office hallway discussion. John Lowenstein, indeed, was no longer at the college; he had retired over the Christmas break I was told. “But, did they ever find his missing 30-something son?” I asked.

Heads shook. No one had an answer, or even a mild idea.

Thus, when I returned to my desktop computer, I did some searching online. John Lowenstein’s lone son, Rupert, a 33-year-old, brown-haired Caucasian, went missing on March 7, 2008 from his house on Wyanoke Avenue in east Charlotte. Several news articles confirmed this on the first page of the Google search results. However, none of them had anything about him – or his body – being found.

When I changed the keyword phrase to ‘Rupert Lowenstein found dead’, the fourth hit had the bizarre answer to this man’s mysterious disappearance.

Apparently, Rupert Lowenstein, a fluvial engineer with Mecklenburg County, had been fired on a Friday afternoon, some eight years ago. The reason for his summary dismissal was not disclosed in any of the online articles. Did he cuss out his boss? Was it due to an altercation with another employee? Did he say the wrong thing to an irate homeowner after his crew had dug up the guy’s back yard for a new storm drain line?

However, after rummaging around on the internet a little bit more, I found out that Rupert and his live-in girlfriend got into a heated argument after he returned to their residence on that fateful date. A neighbor had even called the police to report a ‘domestic situation’ that evening. However, Rupert stomped out the front door before the Charlotte cops pulled up.

His girlfriend, a pretty, 32-year-old, blonde-haired Caucasian named Doris Milwald, was not assaulted in any way by Rupert that evening. She stated that they were both just screaming at each other. It was just a heated verbal spat, nothing more.

Doris went on to tell the two CMPD (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department) officers that she was mad at him for losing his job and just venting her supreme disappointment, and that her anger just elevated his anger, causing him to go out for a walk to cool off. In fact, Rupert had walked off after arguments on numerous occasions, and usually returned within an hour or two.

CMPD seemed to believe her explanation. Thus, no canine unit or helicopter was dispatched that night. The police left twenty minutes after arriving. However, Rupert Lowenstein never returned.

Where did Rupert go? Well, Doris last saw him walking down Wyanoke Avenue towards Chantilly Park, which was only 500 feet away. Another neighbor corroborated this.

Somewhere in the ether-o-sphere, [sic] Frank von Peck (the late, great Agent 107) just nodded. Well, maybe sew. [sic]

Ok, back to the story. Pardon that diversion, though it is a psecret psociety pshort pstory after all, and such is to be customarily expected. Already, enough is enough, already. I hear your thoughts loud and clear. Trust me. “Pun off!” one of you just shouted in Kansas. Or, was it from Kentucky? Yes, we do have some clever readers.

Well, the years went by. 2009, nothing. 2010, nada. [nothing in Spanish] 2011, nichts. [nothing in German] 2012, rien. [nothing in French] 2013, ingenting. [nothing in Swedish] 2014, niente. [nothing in Italian] 2015, nimic [nothing in Romanian]

Well, if nothing else, you now know more about nothing. So, welcome to the ever-nothing-green club. Though, we were expecting yew. [sic]

Moving right along. Then in 2016, Leap Day to be more precise, the mystery of Rupert Lowenstein’s whereabouts was revealed by CMUD (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department) workers near Briar Creek. His human remains (just his skull and major bones) were found in a storm water, vault-style, sediment trap off of a culvert just 800 feet from his residence.

Exactly how did Rupert wind up in a subterranean storm water vault? Any ideas going through your mind? Was there foul play of some sordid sort? A plausible guess for sure. Was his ‘cooling-off walk’ intercepted by someone who he had recently crossed? Maybe he owed him money? Was it just a bad time to take that therapeutic walk?

Well, here’s what the police surmised. After leaving his residence in a huff, Rupert Lowenstein walked southeast one tenth of a mile to Chantilly Park. Then he started to walk southward next to Briar Creek (downstream), passing under the railroad overpass. When he came to the East 7th Street creek tunnel (just 300 feet further), he entered the westernmost culvert which had just recently undergone some reconstruction to replace missing and crumbling bricks and blocks, something that he would have been aware of, given his job – or most recent job.

In a distraught state of mind (his plum gig was now gone and his relationship with his girlfriend was ending), he entered a large, concrete, sediment-trap vault. He laid his body down and covered his legs and torso with old bricks and blocks that were left behind. Then he took some poison or a lethal dose of some drug, probably a strong pain killer like hydrocodone or oxycodone, or possibly even heroin, and died. Yes, it was an über-strange, corpse-hidden, secret suicide.

I can hear your questions as I type this. Believe me, I can. Well, some of them from some of you. Those of you in Barrow, Alaska … well, the connection is not so good right now. Barrow [sic] with me a moment. I know … not really that funny. Sorry, I’m an easily distracted storyteller.

Anyway, the first – and far and away the most popular – question seems to be: Why did he not want his body to be found by anyone?

It seems so cruel to his family, friends, and even his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend. Such a nefarious, insidious, evil parting shot. His parents must have been tormented by horrific thoughts night after night until his body was found 2,900 days later.

Then I heard footsteps coming down the corridor. An undisclosed female psecret psociety agent walked into my not-quite-at-a-right-angle corner office. She read what you have read thus far.

“Maybe he actually wanted to exit this world with a benevolent parting shot for Doris,” Agent *{* said.

“A benevolent parting shot for Doris?” I repeated.

“Yes, you heard me correctly, 33.”

“Why would you characterize his secret suicide as benevolent?”

“Well, because he chose to hide his body in such a way that would preclude anyone from finding it for at least seven years.”

“Why seven years?”

“After someone is missing for seven years, they can be declared legally dead. And, suicides void life insurance payouts in most cases.”

“So, Rupert’s intent was to hide his suicide for his ex-girlfriend’s future benefit?”

“That’s just my theory, 33. But, I’m sticking with it.”

“Well, I wonder what Doris Milwald is doing now?”

“If she buys a nice house or an expensive car this summer, I would bet my theory is correct.”

I quickly poked around on the internet, searching for anything about a Doris Milwald in Charlotte. It wasn’t long before I found a local news story about her.

“Oh, no,” I said.


“She died in a car accident in South End [an area south of uptown Charlotte] last November,” I announced.

“Such a shame. She missed her big payday by just a few months.”

“How do you know that Rupert had her named as the beneficiary in a life insurance policy?”

“You do ask too many questions, Agent 33. You really do.”

“But, you said it was just a theory.”

“I see that my theory has riveted itself onto your primary neural screen.”

The Vault

In 2008 in east Charlotte, a man walks out of his house in the early evening hours and is never seen again. Then, eight years later, almost to the day, clues to his final resting place are accidentally discovered by a storm water crew working near a creek. A very bizarre suicide. Another one in the psecret psociety pshort pstory pseries. Based on a true story. Approx. 1300 words. Mr. Malloy: Not present. Sex: No. Violence: No. Drug usage: Suspected. Strangeness level: Extremely high.

  • ISBN: 9781310841453
  • Author: Mike Bozart
  • Published: 2016-03-10 19:40:07
  • Words: 1318
The Vault The Vault