Interrogation of Frederick Johannsen - The Followers of St. Toad

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Gold Ring of St. Toad (lost)

Conducted By Inspector James Smythe
22 March 1892

The informant, Frederick Johannsen, is a Swede living in London who was apprehended at his residence at 14 Portland Square on 19 March 1892 in connection with the strange events and explosion at the Albert Embankment, the murder of Thaddeus Royce, and the shootout at 12 Fishbone Alley, London. Mr. Johannsen confesses to being a former Acolyte of the Followers of St. Toad.

Mr. Johannsen is clearly mentally unstable as during the course of the interrogation, he slipped into gibbering madness, wailing and self-destructive banging of his head against the table. The information that follows is about his recruitment into a local cult called the Followers of St. Toad.

The cult is run by Ali Hadad – now deceased. Mr. Hadad is described by Mr. Johannsen as an Arabian, short with black hair and a thick accent. He usually wears a suit and fez. Through conversations with Mr. Hadad by Mr. Johannsen, the following was learned.

Mr. Hadad is an Egyptian who was a laborer on the Albert Embankment in his teens (he is now in his early forties). The temple entrance was discovered when the swampy marsh on the east bank of the Thames was reclaimed to protect the low-lying areas of Lambeth from flooding during high tides and heavy rain in 1867. One of the few allowed into the temple below, Mr. Hadad stole a golden frog idol which contained a small papyrus scroll. He sold the frog to a collector to get money to attend London University where he received a degree in Ancient Religions. During his studies, he translated the scroll and realized that its purpose was to summon St. Toad – an ancient god of unknown powers.

Ali joined forces with an orthodox Jew turned cultist named Bronstein – who had amazing strength over magic, but preferred books to power. Both were seeking the same book from the British Museum Library – Ali to follow the scroll, Bronstein because of a small golden frog ring which he discovered. Both Mr. Hadad and Mr. Bronstein were killed in the explosion in the underground shafts of the Albert Embankment, although no bodies were recovered. Mr. Johannsen was an acolyte who came into police custody prior to the deadly events. Currently, Mr. Johannsen is being recommended to the Golders Green Sanitarium for observation and treatment.