|“||So, y'know? Can you. Um. Give me some money too? Y'know? You mind if I. Um. Pay you in bed? No, not this time. Um. No drugs this time... This time. I need money for. Um. A doctor. Y'know. I wanna stop... I, I wanna get more better than I ever was... Y'know, like Heaven. So. Can I borrow some. Money?||”|
Lisha Darken (リシュア・ダーケン Rishua Dāken) was a prostitute who was murdered by Lester in August 1932. Her death would soon be erroneously attributed to the serial killer Ice Pick Thompson, with the papers publicizing her as Thompson's 'fifth victim'.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Though Lisha is said to be in her late twenties, the dark bags under her eyes, the ghostlike paleness of her skin, and her lifeless complexion make her appear ten to twenty years older than she actually is. On the day of her death, she is wearing a skimpy dress.
Personality[edit | edit source]
In 1932, Lisha's state of mind is highly frayed. Unfocused and rambling, her sense of humor could be described as 'dark' if there were only no doubt that she is fully conscious of what she is saying. Such is her fragile mental state that she snickers when she recalls the death of her friend, and she shows no awareness whatsoever that she is putting herself in danger when she interacts with Lester. Even as addled by drug abuse as she is, there are still glimmers of her humanity within her: she recalls how she used to cook and care for Mark with fondness, to the point where she talks about him constantly to Nicola; she is able to reciprocate Nicola's interest in her; and she wants to make an actual effort to wean herself off drugs in pursuit of a better life.
Chronology[edit | edit source]
In the mid-to-late 1920s, Lisha occasionally looks after Mark Wilmens for her friend Paula Wilmens, cooking him meals now and again. Her drug usage turns into rampant addiction by the end of the decade, possibly in part due to the high-quality nature of the drugs she buys off of one of Gustavo Bagetta's men; She also meets a Gandor Family capo by the name of Nicola Casetti during this time, and the two have mutual romantic feelings for one another.
When the Runorata man with the high-quality drugs up and vanishes around January 1932, Lisha begins taking an inferior quality drug as a substitute. However, her health suffers further as a result. This, coupled with an ultimatum from Nicola that he will no longer court her should she could continue to take drugs and a refusal from Mark to lend her any more money once he realizes she has been spending it on drugs, leads her to resolve to try and wean herself off the habit by Summer 1932.
However, quitting is easier said than done, and she eventually promises to tell Mark the names of those who were involved in his mother's murder in exchange for [drug] money. He agrees, and she gives him Lester's name among with other four men – a move which serves as the impetus for his murder spree in August, in which he kills four of the men with an ice pick. The media sensationalism leads to a small boom in ice pick sales among children, as well as reporter Carl Dignis nicknaming Mark as Ice Pick Thompson.
Lisha has one such ice pick in hand when Lester accidentally comes across her loitering in an alleyway, rain cracking down on them both soon after. Lisha recognizes him, but her vacant stare and unhealthy pallor are sure signs of drug abuse. She protests Lester's allusions to her drug habit, telling him that she wants to quit considering how much of a mess her body has been on the low-quality drugs.
Lester brushes her off, in a hurry to get to his destination, and is irritated when she grabs his arm – only to flinch when he sees the ice pick in her hand. He steps back while she cackles, teasingly asking him if he thought she was Ice Pick Thompson and remarking on the recent sales boom. At Lester's clear lack of amusement, she remarks that he must know 'all about' the reason for the four men's deaths and that he must surely be worried that he will be the next target. Her observation – an accurate one – has Lester roaring out in anger, and he snatches the ice pick away from her with little resistance.
With a grin, Lisha says that it is 'funny' he is so scared of the ice pick – considering how a 'little bird' told her that he looked "right at home" when he previously used it. In a seductive tone – unaware that she is actually provoking him – she clarifies that 'everyone' said that Lester had tortured and killed Paula with obvious enthusiasm. At Lester's current obvious tension, she points out that there is no one around to hear any of this – after all, the locals are scared that they will be the killer's next victim.
Like it was 'funny' that Lester was scared of an ice pick, it is also 'funny' to her that everyone is scared of a 'cute little kid' like Mark when Mark only intends to kill certain persons. The name 'Mark' triggers Lester into remembering Paula's son, and Lisha (eerily calm despite her fraying mental state and utterly drenched state) goes on to reveal that as Paula's friend, she used to occasionally look after Mark and cook him meals – all of which Lester had been unaware.
Lisha explains that Mark used to give her money if she was a 'good girl', and that she would buy even more drugs with said money until he finally refused to give her any more of it. It was at that point that she offered to tell him who murdered his mother in exchange for money. She asks if Lester would be kind enough to give her money as well, and offers to pay him 'in bed' – only to quickly change her mind. This time, she does not want money for drugs, but for a doctor; she wants to improve her health and life.
Lester remorselessly drives the ice pick deep into Lisha's neck, which he follows up with countless more stabbings. The rain washes away the blood and stench, and though Lisha moans, her drug abuse has effectively numbed her to the pain of her own murder.
Once Lester confirms that she is dying, he wipes the blood and fingerprints off the ice pick before leaving the alley to toss it into the back of a passing truck. He then returns to her body, confirms that she has stopped breathing, and proceeds to call for help at the top of his lungs.
In the aftermath, Lester publishes an article claiming that he personally witnessed Ice Pick Thompson murder Lisha. With Lisha being advertised as Ice Pick Thompson's fifth victim – the first female one, and a prostitute at that – the public starts thinking of him as in the same league as Jack the Ripper. Mark is highly distressed when he learns of Lisha's death, while Nicola is filled with anger and a desire to see Lisha's killer caught and punished.