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

ghost_book_cover

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…

 murder-suicide-carson-newspaper-e1511558995275

 

8 years of suffering under Barack Obama

Teri Carter's Library

andersonlogo

3C54DC7D00000578-4140672-Barack_Obama_waves_as_he_boards_Marine_One_and_departs_the_Capit-a-77_1484945371469 Photo credit: The Associated Press

The sentence I hear most from well-meaning, conservative friends since President Trump’s election is this: “We suffered 8 years under Barack Obama.”

Fair enough. Let’s take a look.

The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled, closing at 21,414.

General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. Obama pushed through a controversial, $8o billion bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back, with interest.

While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.

Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

He…

View original post 472 more words

The Worry When Four Men Go Missing

Four Pennsylvania men have gone missing in the last week, prompting an extensive investigation from local and state authorities, along with the FBI. The men, all between the ages of 18 and 22, went missing over the course of two days in Bucks County, a suburb of Philadelphia. Authorities have said foul play is suspected…

via 4 Men Went Missing in Pennsylvania in the Last Week. Here’s What to Know — TIME

Last Chance on Sizzling Summer True Crime Read, my eBook Lethal Intent. The Price-Busting $1.99 Promo Ends (Kind of) July 1

Just a heads-up — reaching the finish line on the chance to grab my True Crime Classic eBook biography Lethal Intent on the life–and death–of serial killer Aileen Wuornos. The book biz’s great summer promo prices of $1.99 are meant to vanish July 1. In June, Lethal Intent hit #1 on Amazon Kindle rankings in three categories. Available via BookBub, Kobo, Amazon, and from Barnes & Noble Nook.

Two years work went into going deep into Aileen’s (Lee’s) life, from her childhood to her early run-ins with the law and later to conviction for holding up a liquor store with a gun and then of course the murders which meant covering her court hearings and attending every day of her trial. So for me, at least, it is great to see that the book is still around! I owe many of you out there–and you know who you are–thanks for all your support over the years.

AWincourtBBCdownload

True Crime Kitty…Does avid crime book fan Denise Hollebeke’s beautiful furry friend Daisy May have good taste? Okay, I admit I’m biased but it looks to *me* like she is staking her claim on my Aileen Wuornos biography Lethal Intent in Denise’s latest box of books. (I always love photographs of cats and books and Daisy May is such a sweetheart, so indulge me…and thanks Denise for sharing this photograph!) Lethal Intent is available from IBOOKS Canada’s Beach Reads Promotion for the great deal price of $1.99 until June 20. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/lethal-intent/id963007622?mt=11

Image

DeniseHollebekeCatLethalIntent

In Thrillers: Something Old, Something New. A Great (and Scary) British Gangland Classic by Ted Lewis Now Available in USA

Yowza. (Is that a word?) GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm in British criminal justice parlance) was the last work from the late great British writer Ted Lewis, author of “Get Carter” (eventually a film starring Michael Caine.) Ted Lewis was a major talent who died young, apparently from alcohol-related issues, gone far too soon. His work was not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

In GBH, Lewis colourfully inhabits rather than portrays British gangland brutality in the 1960s. I could feel the locations in my bones and dreamed about the book and about gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray and other notorious figures who stole headlines back then. (It wasn’t all tea and crumpets, that’s for sure.)

The novel is all the more chilling for the torture, not always graphically written (although there is plenty of that) but possibly because of what is not spelled out. Ted Lewis’s compelling writing helps you power through his last work. I really couldn’t bear to put it down.

Now it is behind me, I am still pondering the plot twists and just how he did it? I plan to go back to review a few passages to check out where I now, in retrospect, believe turning points in the plot may have lay in wait. If you are a fan of hard core crime fiction with a strong stomach (you will need it), Lewis was a master. As one reviewer suggested, Lewis’s viewpoint suggested that surely he must have been dangerously close at times to the world he painted on paper: too close to have made it all up. On that I won’t comment. Gangland brutality was a cloud shrouding areas of England: you only had to read the newspapers. But Ted took it to new levels.

His brief chapters–few exceeded three pages–accentuated the speed of the ride.

Columbus Will Pay Ohio Innocence Project For Witholding Public Records

Wrongful Convictions Blog

Click to read the original article and listen to the WOSU interview

The city of Columbus and a group that works to free wrongly convicted people ended a years-long fight this week.

The city will pay $19,000 dollars for legal expenses incurred by the Ohio Innocence Project, which is based out of the University of Cincinnati school of law. Columbus will also pay the Ohio Innocence Project $1,000 in damages for illegally withholding public records.

Attorney Donald Caster, a clinical professor of law at the University of Cincinnati who works for the Project, explained in an interview with WOSU how the case unfolded and what it means for transparency in the state.

The below is an automated transcript. Please excuse minor typos and errors.

Sam Hendren: When did the Ohio Innocence Project first encounter resistance from the city of Columbus to public records requests?

Donald Caster: We’ve been encountering resistance from Columbus…

View original post 563 more words

Extraordinary new investigation into fate of D.B.Cooper

45 years after legendary outlaw skyjacker D.B. Cooper disappeared from a plane, believed to have survived and headed off into the sunset with a pretty haul of cash, the iconic mystery involving his fate is back in the spotlight. Could the case — what happened to Cooper? What happened to the money? — be solvable? A powerhouse investigative team that includes FBI experts set about cracking this sizzling cold case. This mystery has always intrigued me as it has so many so I will be reading “The Master Outlaw” by (okay, I’m biased, my pal) reporter Tom Szollosi and Thomas J. Colbert and hanging on every word. Better still, the book is a companion piece to a new History Channel documentary, airing Sunday July 10 and Monday July 11. “The Last Master Outlaw” has been called “spellbinding” and “jaw-dropping” by veteran L.A. news anchor Sylvia Lopez. It’s available for order, Friday July 8. http://tinyurl.com/jz449m7

 

Countdown: Enter Goodreads Giveaway for Chance to Win Copy of “Lethal Intent”

Time is running out on this Goodreads Giveaway! Goodreads  members (and membership is free) — enter by 11.59 p.m. March 9 for the chance to win LETHAL INTENT, the definitive biography of executed serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Had she lived, this Leap Year baby would have turned 60 on February 29. Instead, after a decade on Florida’s Death Row, she was executed in 2002.

She was both victim and victimizer. She killed 6 men; all strangers and a seventh victim. She confessed to killing him but in a drunken state and could not recall where she left him. His remains have never been found.

Best-selling author John Douglas, a former FBI Special Agent and one of the first criminal profilers, calls the book: “Shocking, sad, revealing, and deeply researched, this true account of the life and crimes of serial killer Aileen Wuornos will fascinate true-crime fans.”   https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/173286-lethal-intent

2873_wuornos_killer08

The Michigan house where Aileen spent her early childhood years.