Love historic murder mysteries and ghostly tales… whether real or folklore?

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At Clairitage Press, my writer/attorney friend Karen Dustman publishes history books and a free blog filled with intriguing sites, legendary yarns, and spine-tingling ghost stories from the high Sierra region

Karen loves nothing better than digging out great local history tales. Clairitage debuted with Silver Mountain City: Ghost of the Sierra (the history of a now-empty ghost town — no actual ghosts!) Other books soon followed, including guides to several local cemeteries. Among the most fascinating cemetery tales: a diminutive Welshwoman who foretold her own death.

A recent addition is Markleeville Ghost Tales: thirteen true ghost stories told by locals around Markleeville, a California border town founded in the 1860s.

Karen’s latest newsletter about an 1885 murder http://mailchi.mp/f233cfd49602/the-sarman-murder?e=af46ceff47 caused our paths to cross again. Karen had followed my award-winning book with co-author, artist Elizabeth Williams, The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Cases, because of her abiding interest in crime cases like the 1986 slaying of Jennifer Levin by “Preppie Murderer” Robert Chambers. Our book came to mind again when Karen wrote about the case of Zack Field and Mary Gray.

Adam Uber’s saga (http://blog.clairitage.com/2017/12/01/genoas-hanging-tree/) was another ghost story Karen found riveting. Was it founded on truth? You be the judge. As Uber was hanged (hardly rare in those days), he loudly cursed the merciless lynch mob who strung him up from the hanging tree which stands to this day. And yes, you’ve guessed it: those locals began meeting unfortunate ends.

 

Another story sprang from a lonely tombstone at Gardnerville’s Garden Cemetery proclaiming Murdered It is an enduring mystery and the headstone suggests William Moore, 67, was murdered in 1800 when his tiny cabin was set ablaze. However, some question if he ever even really died. A poor man in poor health, he lived in isolation for 20 years save for his horses and few head of cattle, near the east fork of the Carson River above Horseshoe Bend.

Law enforcement’s initial search of the charred remains came up empty as did locals’ search. On December 26, 1800 Sheriff Brockliss and Judge Dake had another go finding a few small charred pieces of matter that might have been bone. Might.

Dr. Gerdes of Gardnerville, however, pronounced them shards of a human skull. On close examination he found “three small shot” embedded in the bone. The local newspaper promptly dubbed this as “almost positive evidence that William Moore was murdered, and his cabin burned over his body.” Dr. Gerdes opined that the position of the bone might explain why the fragment was charred but the shot hadn’t melted. Read more at http://blog.clairitage.com/2017/12/07/murder-or-was-it/ .

It’s awash with wild details like the rumors that Moore always had kept a human skull in his cabin, “the victim of his rifle in former years.” Soon, a hapless fellow named Indian Mike was placed under a citizen’s arrest for causing his death, yet the savvy jury delivered a not guilty verdict in a matter of hours. So many colorful stories and lives…

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Get To Know Acclaimed Court Artist Bill Robles Whose Work Is A Standout in “The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art”, My Book with Artist/Co-author Elizabeth Williams

manson guilty nixon declaresWitness to History When No Cameras Allowed: Artist Bill Robles has built a career on drawing courtroom dramas and bringing them to life. As KCRW writes, “Bill Robles has the mellifluous baritone of a broadcaster, but he’s made a living for over 40 years with his eyes — and his hands.” See some of his spectacular work in this article and related interview here: http://blogs.kcrw.com/whichwayla/2015/02/no-cameras-allowed-artist-bill-robles-makes-a-career-drawing-courtroom-dramas. And please see the eBook and print book versions available via http://www.amazon.com/The-Illustrated-Courtroom-Years-Court-ebook/dp/B00JMV2ZVU  Thanks for your support of these great artists.

Win a Copy of “The Illustrated Courtroom” in Our Goodreads Giveaway Contest!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Illustrated Courtroom by Elizabeth  Williams

The Illustrated Courtroom

by Elizabeth Williams

and Sue Russell

Giveaway ends January 09, 2015. Four copies to be won, signed by both authors. Free to enter. Amazon price: $30.

“The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art” is in an 8×10 format with 140 iconic illustrations – many in color – from five of the nation’s top, award-winning courtroom artists. These illustrators go where cameras can’t. Recently chosen as a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year 2014 and named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014. (eBook version available on Amazon.) Cover illustration by Bill Robles: Charles Manson tries to leap over the defense table to stab Judge Older with a pencil.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Eyes Into Some Intense Human Dramas, says Katherine Ramsland, PhD.

IllustratedCourtroom_LFonCVFKatherine Ramsland has long written about crime and criminals. Indeed, she has used courtroom art to illustrate her own writing. Elizabeth Williams, my artist co-author, and I were looking forward to her review, published on “Psychology Today”, of our book “The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art.” It was worth the wait. You can read it here. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shadow-boxing/201407/mansons-menace-and-coppolas-beard

BBC’s Radio5Live Talks to “Illustrated Courtroom” artists…

Correspondent Peter Bowes writes about new book, “The Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art” here (US-based can view the piece). Peter also will be on “Up All Night” with Rod Sharp talking to artists Elizabeth Williams and Bill Robles (whose Michael Jackson piece is below.) Program airs 6 pm west coast, 9 pm east coast, etc. Tweet during show :@BBC5Live @PeterBowes and tune in tonight or for one week on website if you miss it live. (To listen LIVE – use http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/bbc_radio_five_live )

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140610-front-row-seats-courtroom-art

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Court Artist Bill Robles’ Work Exhibited at Bev Hills Bar Ass’n Event 4/30

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Court Artist Bill Robles' Work Exhibited at Bev Hills Bar Ass'n Event 4/30

It’s the L.A. Law Library’s Annual Law Week and the BHBA Barristers Committee for the Arts are co-hosting a free reception celebrating the rule of law on April 30, 2014 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the library. Wednesday promises to be an enchanting evening featuring an exhibition of the artwork of courtroom sketch artist, Bill Robles with the music of Gary Green Esq. and his Big Band of Barristers.

Our book “The Illustrated Courtoom” featured as “Rogues Gallery of Crime Revealed”

Last week, my artist coauthor Elizabeth Williams had a great write up in the New York Times for our book, ‘THE ILLUSTRATED COURTROOM: 50 YEARS OF COURT ART.” Now, we’re in the National Enquirer! “ROGUES GALLERY OF CRIME REVEALED.” Very nice piece with art included. Charles Manson, Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart. The work of 5 great artists is included in the book: 140 illustrations, covering many famous cases. Bill Robles drew this cover art of Charles Manson making a leap at the judge to try and stab him with a pencil during his trial. He also drew this great portrait of Michael Jackson. Elizabeth drew Martha Stewart many times; one of her illustrations is also in the Enquirer article.

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