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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8 years of suffering under Barack Obama

Teri Carter's Library

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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…

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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.

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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

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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.