The Vampire Investigative Bureau
England's Vampire Investigative Bureau, the world's first and longest serving undead abatement force, was the model for the FVZA and many other organizations across the globe.
|Crowd apprehends a vampire|
in 18th Century London
The seeds for the VIB were planted in London during the 18th Century, when the city's steep rise in vampirism forced civic leaders to offer substantial rewards for slaying vampires. Mercenary vampire hunters patrolled the streets from sunset to sunrise, collecting five to ten pounds for each vampire they destroyed. Unfortunately, the system was rife with corruption, as many slayers developed too close a relationship with the vampire underworld of London and took bribes for looking the other way or for putting the squeeze on a rival vampire pack.
In 1842, Prime Minister Robert Peel formally established the Vampire Investigation Bureau. Requirements for investigators were minimal at first:
Investigators walked beats during the night, armed only with a cutlass. As newer divisions were established in the outer suburbs, the beats became longer and the danger increased, since much of the territory was open fields between residential areas, leaving lone investigators easy prey for roving vampire packs.
- To be over 21 and under 27 years of age.
- To stand clear 5ft 9ins without shoes or stockings.
- To be able to read well, write legibly and have a fair knowledge of spelling.
- To be generally intelligent and free from any bodily complaint.
Like the FVZA, the VIB in its early incarnation was hardly a model force. Drunkenness and desertion were high. The VIB also was limited by a rivalry with the Metropolitan Police. In the late 1880s, several women were brutally murdered in the Whitechapel area of city. Even though the attacks bore evidence of the work of vampires, the Metropolitan Police refused to hand the case over to the VIB, insisting that the perpetrator was a man. Finally, after a dozen known murders (and probably many more that were undiscovered), the VIB took over the case. VIB officers conducted several raids in the Whitechapel area and destroyed a number of vampires, including Wentworth Smith, a suspicious lodger given to "nocturnal wanderings." While most people believe to this day that the Whitechapel killings were the work of Jack the Ripper, evidence is overwhelming that the murders were in fact the work of a vampire.
|Letter to police|
from Jack the Ripper
Consider the following:
- The murders all took place in the evening.
- Most of the victims were known prostitutes, a favorite vampire target.
- There was a surprising lack of blood around the bodies of several victims.
- Police found body parts in the areas of the murders, including a torso under a railway arch and another torso in the cellar of a new police building under construction. Vampires often will tear victims apart after feeding.
- The murderer sent police half of a human kidney in the mail, along with a note stating that he had eaten the other half. The body of another victim was missing a heart. Vampires have a fondness for gnawing on human internal organs, especially the kidneys, spleen and heart.
- Several eyewitnesses described the killer as "shabby genteel," suggesting a vampire who's been wearing the same clothes for some time.
Lastly, and perhaps most tellingly, the murders stopped after the VIB operation. My personal belief is that the vampire Wentworth Smith was the real Jack the Ripper.
English imperial might stretched the VIB to the breaking point and beyond at the turn of the century. The VIB snuffed out vampire packs everywhere from the mines of South Wales to the slums of Calcutta. The Bureau suffered high rates of suicide and attrition as the vampire population hit its peak worldwide. However, the VIB was able to turn the tide in the 20th Century, thanks to a number of innovations:
- 1908: officers begin working with dogs.
- 1921: zombie division formed, based across the river in Southwark.
- 1934: the VIB Academy founded.
- 1940: first women officers.
As England's overseas possessions shrank, the VIB turned its focus to controlling the undead on the homefront. The U.K.'s small size and relatively isolated geography made the job easier, and the VIB swiftly had vampires and zombies under control. By the early 1960s, the VIB was gone but not forgotten, as they received a roll of honour at Westminster Abbey.
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