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Series: Against the Peace and Dignity of the Commonwealth
True Crime Episode Series:
Focus on crimes committed in my current State of Virginia and my home state of North Carolina. The series’ title comes from the homicide indictment in Virginia: “crimes committed against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Virginia”.
When North Carolinian crimes are included, they are explored from the angle of my viewpoint of being a resident at the time. All these crimes are approached from a personal standpoint and unique angles.
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Along with my usual fare of literature, storytelling, and things that go boo, in the next few weeks and months I am going to be telling some local true crime stories, but in my own unique way, naturally. All will have happened (or be happening) either here, in Virginia, or my home state, North Carolina, and I am sticking to cases that I experienced as a citizen.
To launch this loose series, I give you the first national PSA of Help Save the Next Girl, the amazing educational and empowerment nonprofit founded by Gil Harrington, Morgan Harrington’s mother. I will post this video with its full information and links to Help Save the Next Girl on the website momentarily. Please check HSNG out: they have amazing safety tips that don’t just apply to Virginians or to Americans, and you can start up your own branch–even in your middle school! They have materials designed for different developmental levels, designed not to frighten but to empower.
I posted this information on the Facebook page, along with Help Save the Next Girl’s very first national PSA. Here I’ll post their 2017 PSA, along with their links. Be safe, and keep each other safe.
This is the video I used to introduce you to Alison throughout the episode; now you can watch it and see how vibrant she was:
Another: WDBJ Remembers Alison Parker and Adam Ward–on this video you will get to briefly see and hear Adam’s reporting
Here’s Highway 66’s map. Given its exit list, and the fact that he had more Glock magazines and disguises in his car, leads me to believe he was headed for Washington, D.C. For what specific purpose I do not know. I can guess.
Chris Hurst’s video for Alison, made when he returned to work–you heard the audio in the episode. He is wearing the tie she gave him for Valentine’s Day.
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.
—Macbeth, William Shakespeare
podcast bookshelf at Goodreads, to which I’ve added Macbeth and The Name of the Rose, quoted in this episode; and added the suggested reading of The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker. No one is to blame for another’s violent actions, but de Becker’s refreshing message is to forgo social niceties, politeness, all we’ve been taught in order to keep the peace. We do not have to be kind if we are uncomfortable, we do not have to let the creepy guy at work slide because maybe we’re too sensitive, we do not need to let the “helpful” stranger assist us if we don’t need help. Again, the person at fault here is the shooter, period. But I am a survivor of violent crime myself, and this book was as refreshing to me as a splash of cold water on my face–I am an introverted, shy person who was a people-pleaser. No more pleasing in iffy situations.
If you have any information in the case of Alicia Showalter Reynolds, please call Virginia State Police at (540) 829-7400 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any information about the cases of Julianne Williams and Laura Winans, please call Virginia State Police at (540) 829-7400.
If you have any information in the case of Samantha Clarke, please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 540-672-1200.
Anyone with information in the case of Sage Smith is asked to call Detective Wright Settle at (434) 970-3274 or Virginia Crimestoppers at (434) 977-4000.
If you have any information about the location of Alexis Murphy, so that she may be brought home, please contact the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at (434) 263-7050.
If you knew these young women, any of them, and want to share something about who they were as people on the podcast, please contact me at email@example.com. I would love to speak with you.
In the summer of 1977, Terri Jentz and her Yale roommate, Shayna Weiss, make a cross-country bike trip. They pitch a tent in the desert of central Oregon. As they are sleeping, a man in a pickup truck deliberately runs over the tent. He then attacks them with an ax. The horrific crime is reported in newspapers across the country. No one is ever arrested. Both women survive, but Shayna suffers from amnesia, while Terri is left alone with memories of the attack. Their friendship is shattered.
Fifteen years later, Terri returns to the small town where she was nearly murdered, on the first of many visits she will make “to solve the crime that would solve me.” And she makes an extraordinary discovery: the violence of that night is as present for the community as it is for her. Slowly, her extensive interviews with the townspeople yield a terrifying revelation: many say they know who did it, and he is living freely in their midst. Terri then sets out to discover the truth about the crime and its aftermath, and to come to terms with the wounds that broke her life into a before and an after. Ultimately she finds herself face-to-face with the alleged axman.
Powerful, eloquent, and paced like the most riveting of thrillers, Strange Piece of Paradise is the electrifying account of Terri’s investigation into the mystery of her near murder. A startling profile of a psychopath, a sweeping reflection on violence and the myth of American individualism, and a moving record of a brave inner journey from violence to hope, this searing, unforgettable work is certain to be one of the most talked about books of the year.