Hi. Still haven’t done the review. Sorry. I promise, I’ll get there. Perhaps next week. Maybe.

Anyway, here’s the next exciting part of this excerpt from this true crime book–the story that inspired the show Twin Peaks.

And here’s where we left off:

We first visited Sand Lake in 2016 after connecting with town historian Bob Moore, a friendly, snowy-haired man with spectacles who looks exactly like the high school history teacher he used to be. Bob showed us vintage postcards, guided us on tours, answered countless emails and phone calls, even fed us seafood chowder and offered up a spare bedroom.

On our behalf, Bob even consulted a psychic, who told him maybe he was so obsessed with the case because he was the reincarnated iteration of the murderer. (We kept our eye on Bob for a while after that, and made a note never to return to that psychic.)

Most importantly, he organized a community: a group of people — some lifelong residents of Taborton, others descendants of people involved in the case, still others simply interested locals — who, over the course of the next four-plus years, would become our Baker Street Irregulars. They shared their knowledge of, and insights into, the region and assisted us as we tracked down clues. (We even roped in a former F. B. I. agent — not Dale Cooper — to help with the probe, but he disappeared somewhere along the way; we still don’t know what happened to him).

Chills crawled down our spines as descendants and family members of crucial figures in the case shared firsthand recollections of their ancestors, such as the grandchildren of Hazel’s cousin Etta Becker, who spent the July Fourth weekend with her in 1908, less than forty-eight hours before her death. Unfortunately, whatever they talked about during those final conversations never shook that far down the family tree.

We learned, among other things, that the Taborton woods may or may not be haunted by otherworldly spirits, but they almost certainly hosted feverish anti-Catholic meetings of the Ku Klux Klan-like American Protective Association inside their caves, not far from where local youngsters erected treehouses and teenagers trysted, far away from the eyes of their parents.

We heard a longstanding rumor among locals that three influential townspeople — a doctor, a lawyer and an undertaker — had played a role in Hazel’s death and the ensuing coverup, though none of the three has ever been definitively identified. In Sand Lake rumors were easier to track down than actual names.

We hit roadblocks, plenty of them. There’s nothing easy about investigating a 113-year-old cold case. Bob Moore tried valiantly to pry records from the Larkin Brothers Funeral Home, where Hazel’s autopsy was performed, but all we wound up with was an entry in a  log book. We located a photo of very young Hazel Drew with her mother, but couldn’t persuade the family to share it. We searched high and low for the county’s investigative records; turns out they were likely shipped off for storage and destroyed in a flood. Nothing remains — no paper records, no physical artifacts, no physical evidence whatsoever. One afternoon, the Rensselaer County clerk dropped a huge box of coroner reports on our laps, including parchments from as far back as the 1870s. Anything from 1908? Of course not.

Most devastatingly, we lost one of our “amateur sleuths,” lifelong Taborton resident John Walsh, who passed away on October 15, 2019, at the age of fifty-five. It was Walsh who had first helped Mark Frost research the case, years earlier, while Mark was developing Twin Peaks.

*****

And speaking of which, here’s another awesome GIF! 🙂

More to come! Including a review. I swear! 🙂

Pinky swear! 🙂 Image by Cheryl Holt from Pixabay

To enter the giveaway for one of three copies of the book, just email David Bushman at dbbushman@gmail.com.

Do it today! 🙂 What day is it? Wednesday. It is right now, anyhow. 🙂

Actually, it’s Tuesday, but who’s counting/who cares?

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