No post today….

Wow! The laat two days have bsen hectic. I’ve written over 32,000 words in my new project and have spent today editing the first draft.

The amazing thing is I have written several stories over the years, and it’s always amazing when you read something, something you have written and re-read and it amazes you.

It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’ve had a few stories that I still even to this day will read and wonder how did those words come from me. Especially in a few poems I have written.

But this new project is something different, at least to me, that each time I read it has me, a former Marine, 6’5 male begin crying and choking up. It’s become such a beautiful story that I cannot wait to finish so I can share it.

I have a few more pages still left to write, and of course more editing and a few more read throughs and more editing, but it’s very close.

Much love and respect Chad.

35,000 Words and Still Going: Writing in Progress

The last two days have been for the most part sitting behind the monitor and well, just letting the story write itself. And It’s moving quickly.

This is a story that had originated a few years back and I had put it away and just recently came back to it. I opened the file a few weeks ago and fell in love with the story, a romance and although I had other projects that I could have started, this one kept speaking to me, especially after reading the first few paragraphs to my wife and she started to cry.

In many cases when writing, I start off just letting words flow, a stream of consciousness approach, a crude first draft. One of the issues I face is becoming fatigued after writing, and re-reading, and writing, is that either I become lazy and just want to find the end, or I just, well, it’s like reading the same book over and over, no matter how much you love it, eventually it becomes exhausting. So I find the best medicine is to write a few words a day 3-5000, and then without reading the entire story at once, just read the new sections, and then repeat the process. It surely does help, at least for me, that when I do come to an end point, I can then go back from the beginning and read it all as if it were still fresh ink on paper and then begin the editing process following the same steps. A few words a day. Then step away from it and come back tomorrow.

I can tell you this, that while writing it, there were moments my own words began making me want to cry, and that’s an amazing feeling to just begin a sentence and not really know what you’re going for and as you’re moving along watching the cursor move to the pace of your writing and it starts developing into something, like in a dark room watching something become  a silhouette, then a shape, and then a fully developed picture.

And that for me is the most amazing part is that process, just moving, and in many respects you aren’t writing the story, you have taken on the role of the character and they are telling the story. And when you get to the end of the paragraph and read it for the first time as a whole, and you get goosebumps from the words, that’s an amazing feeling. It doesn’t happen all the time, but that’s what I keep striving for is that emotional guttural reaction as if it’s not me writing, but I am taking on the role of the reader, knowing I had written this, but at the same time it’s like, it wasn’t me, it had come from someplace within.

I cannot wait to share this story. It is very close now to being finished. I’m currently editing some formatting issues and style and as I had written in an earlier post I am using ProWritingAid software to help, and so far it’s been helping me out immensely by finding things that as the writer are easy to miss.

So, I just wanted to give everyone an update on where I am, and I hope soon, maybe by the end of this week I’ll be finished with the entire story and then I’ll began editing, and re-editing, and may ask a few beta-readers to read it and get their feedback.

I hope everyone is doing well….Much love and respect always. Chad

Inside the Book: Forever Striking a Crucified Pose: Crazy Eights

As in most of the stories in this book, the setting is a place I’m familiar with–Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I grew up there and lived there up until around 1990. I have been back on several occasions to visit friends and family. I don’t think I mention the town within this story.

For a small town, it has a very high crime rate. You can find the statistics online. It had been ranked at one point as having the highest crime rate with a population of just below 50,000 people.

That’s not the meaning behind this story, however. There is a scene within the story that talks about a persons dying words. I mention in the book about the death of John Wilkes Booth and his last words were “Useless, useless.” For a man who had grown up in a family of famous actors and he himself being one, then assassinates Abraham Lincoln in the back, his last words were unremarkable. At least not as remarkable as his theatrical leap from the balcony of Ford’s Theater after shooting the President, and holding up his blood covered knife above his head in front of a shocked crowd and yelled “Sic semper tyrannis!” and then–The South is avenged.” before fleeing the stage with a broken leg.

At the end of his life, he knew his act of vengeance had not produced the results he had expected, with the south, having just surrendered after a long fought Civil War, decimating entire families and towns, the country was tired of war and dying. And Booth did not receive adulation and a born again south rising up to take on one last attempt to maintain its independence from the north. Let me stop. This story isn’t about that either.

I could have easily used Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” as a reference instead of Booth. I think in one draft I had used the word “Rosebud” the much talked about words uttered by the tycoon Charles Foster Cane. But in a later draft I had taken it out.

But I think the one section the conversation with the detective and the first officer on the scene is important. Not only as the detective in this story but it’s important for writers and well anyone to be blunt, it’s about details and how often times it’s the smallest of details.

In life, in relationships, in writing, in investigations we tend to get lost in the process, hung on things and in doing so it’s often the little things we miss, and it’s those little details that can change outcomes and tear relationships apart, or not to be so depressing can be the thing that makes a relationship so much better.

The difference between the letter “o” and the number 0 is easy to overlook. And in this particular story, it makes a huge difference in the case. So it’s one of my favorite stories, because of this one section, the difference between an o and zero. Can you think of something you may have over looked as small as this example that may have made a difference in a relationship, a story you are working on or just in everyday life?

So, like Noel, we too, have to as writers pay attention, but not just when we are at our computer, we have to sometimes know when to stop typing and come out of the rabbit-hole and be with people who love us. The words will still be there tomorrow. So don’t let your writing get in the way of living.

Much love and respect…Chad

Inside the Book: Forever Striking a Crucified Pose: This is Me Going Crazy

This is me going crazy. That should have been the title of this blog or perhaps even the book.

Many parts of this story do have some personal connection to me. I too, like Anthony believed I could fly. I remember right after watching Christopher Reeve star in the original (and I may argue the best Superman movie and I can speak to that to some length making that case, but won’t at this time) that I too, even though I was not an alien life form, could fly. So I taking a jacket and buttoning the top button to where it was fashioned like a cape, and found a nice open area in my yard, took three steps, jumped and just like Anthony hit the ground hard.

Other aspects of the story are fictional, at least as far as the relationship between the family, but were developed by my memory of me attempting to fly.

There are so many things as an author I love about this particular story. I especially love the scene when in the hospital Lynn orders her oldest son to see what they can “steal” from within the examination room. Not that I’ve ever done it, I have peeked in some of the cabinets while waiting on a doctor to see me. And the scene at the dinner table. I love the descriptive details and the dialogue.

The best scene to me is when Lynn is pulled over and where I found the title for this story. I guess the question is, is Anthony lying about his father’s relationship? He is known to fib and exaggerate.

I think though for me personally, the story is about how quick we are to take our kids to a psychologist and place them on medications when in many respects the kid is just being a kid.

Lynn is obviously worried, but in some respects she is also going through her own troubles at home, and I assume the question could be asked is Lynn using Anthony as a way to suppress other issues that she isn’t prepared to deal with.

This story was written about 10 years ago, and hasn’t changed much since the original version.

I hope you enjoy the story. Much respect, Chad.

Time to Re-calibrate

In some of my posts I have stated that I made a rookie mistake when self-publishing my book. I don’t know if it was a huge mistake, one that can’t be undone. It is a lesson I am learning though.

First, many of the stories I had written in the book Forever Striking a Crucified Pose had been written over a period of 15 years. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have edited, re-edited, re-written, had beta readers review them, but oft times, no matter your best effort mistakes get missed. Especially in fictional creative writing where the writer takes on the voice of another character, so the writing takes on the voice of the particular character that editing software wants to automatically correct. Then, there are times where a sentence runs on, but as the writer you aren’t necessarily going out of your way to ignore the established rules of grammar, it just feels right. It’s like a stream of consciousness way of telling your story.
And it’s not like it hasn’t be done before. I guess it just depends on your audience and then on the writer.

Most especially one of the biggest mistakes I made was rushing to publication. There were several formatting problems I did not detect when utilizing Kindle Create Software. So, those were issues I needed to fix. Problem is I had already started the promotion on social media. So here I am now still needing to re calibrate and fix issues with the first book, or let go of that for now, and focus on the three other projects I am working on.

So the key thing, is not to panic. If you’re writing is good, and you believe in yourself, don’t lose patience, and don’t lose your cool, and most especially don’t get depressed if RT, Shares and Likes don’t lead to sells and reviews of your book.

The fact is it’s a huge, (huge isn’t the word to describe it) global market, where books just like mine are being published every day perhaps every hour even (it may be higher than that). It’s really a matter of pacing yourself, realizing that when you self-publish you don’t have an agent, and you don’t have a publisher behind you helping push the book. It’s just you. And trust me it is so easy to get caught up promoting on Social Media sites, that you find a whole day has gone by and maybe you have accomplished something, getting more followers, etc, but you have let a whole day go by without writing your next project. And it too isn’t going to write itself.

Each day you have to set aside time for each, social media, blogging, writing, taking care of other things like taking out the trash, dinner, sleeping. so you have to pace yourself. And many of you have full time jobs outside of writing.

The main thing is to pace yourself. Start scheduling your day. Wake up (obviously, hopefully) maybe spend thirty minutes on Social Media. Then move away from that, put your phone aside, and focus on writing. Try to set goals to write so many words a day: 3000, 5000, etc. Then two or three times a day, because you don’t won’t those on social media getting tired of seeing your colorful advertisements for your book posted every five minutes, set times say for example, in the morning, afternoon and in the evening.

Most of all don’t forget to support those individuals who just like you are trying to promote their books, to RT, follow, reach out to, and even better, purchase or pick up their book on Kindle Unlimited if you have that option and help advertise for them.

There is also free advice online to help, well like this blog and several other blogs for example, and there is paid advertising and sites that will help you promote. I have not ruled using any of these sites, it’s just a matter of money, and it’s like gambling and pot equity odds, if you do invest in someone to assist you, and you spend x amount of money, and it helps your book go to number one, then hey, great investment. But if you invest x, and it leads to some improvement, what is the rate of return on your investment. So always weigh these odds.

So, I’m learning as I go. I am not in panic mode. These stories I have recently published sat on my computer for an awfully long time, and they may sit on Kindle for quite sometime, but that’s OK. Don’t freak out. Keep writing. Keep learning from your mistakes, even if you are a full-time writer, editor, your own agent, whatever it maybe, schedule your day, because if you do not, it will slip away, and nothing will get done.

Much love and respect to all of you….Chad

Walker County Jane Doe Homicide and Unidentified Person’s Case

Artist Reconstruction of the Walker County Jane DoeWalker County Texas Jane Doe Homicide and Unidentified Person’s CaseNovember 1, 1980 Huntsville, Walker County, Texas

By Chad M. Ard

Over the years I have reviewed many homicides, and missing persons, and unidentified person’s cases, and each one is perplexing and unfathomable. They all have plot twists, and challenges, especially when a crime is random, and a person seemingly vanishes into thin air, or when a person who had to come from somewhere, some place, had a mom or a dad, or a family or friends, is murdered or dies and there is no way to identify them and they’re buried in a plot with a nickname given to them according to a location they were found or by an item of clothing they were wearing. In many of these cases they are mourned by only a few townspeople and local law enforcement that have come out and will pay their respects and sometimes even pay the expense for the casket and burial and tombstone. Afterwards, the case grows cold, the victim, the unknown person buried in the local cemetery becomes part of the lore and maybe a few people will come out from time to time and pay tribute and leave flowers, and wonder who this person might have been and where they come from, and maybe they think about their own loved ones and hope a similar fate never befalls them. But these cases happen all across the country, even to this day, someone who has gone missing, or has only just been found murdered and is unidentified, thirty years from now they too will make up the long tragic listings on databases such as NAMUS or their DNA file kept in some vial in some national laboratory just waiting to find a match. In most of these cases all they are waiting on is someone to come forward and make a connection to them and give them a name and a story and a family, and a starting point and even perhaps a proper burial in their own family plot finally ending their long perilous journey back home, their lives taken by some brutal killer who never cared about the soul of the person, only the physical torture they could gain pleasure from, and because their crimes were random, and their victims meant nothing to them. Many of these killers may never be captured and justice rendered, maybe only in Hell, but even there it’s possible they may never suffer the same abuse they inflicted on their victims, so the only justice perhaps is to at least, if anything, is to help identify these victims, and bring them home, or find those who are still listed as missing, dead or alive and bring them home, and if anything bring closure to those living, their loved ones who live each day with an emptiness that only they can know. And this is what leads me to this particular case.

Known Facts Of The Case

Almost 36 years ago, on November 1st, 1980, a young nude female was discovered lying on the shoulder of the road by a truck driver driving Northbound on I-45 just a few miles north of Huntsville, Texas at around 920AM. The only thing she was wearing was a necklace made of gold chain and on it was a small rectangular brown pendant containing a smoky blue or brown glass stone, and near her body a pair of high-heeled red leather sandals with light brown straps. There was no identification, not even a tattoo, or birthmark on her body. Her ears were pierced, but she was wearing no earrings, and her toenails were painted pink. It was clear upon arrival by law enforcement the young woman had been the victim of a brutal attack that had left bruises across her body, her lips and right eyelid swollen, a bite mark was visible on her right shoulder.

Her body was covered and removed to the coroner’s where it would be noted that not only had she had been severely beaten, she had been sexually violated in both lower cavities by some type of blunt object, and lodged into her vaginal cavity were pantyhose and panties which the coroner believed the killer used to stop the bleeding so the body could be transported to where she was found on I-45. Even so, the autopsy showed no signs of DNA or biological evidence to suggest she was raped, although it’s not ruled out either.

Her age is unknown at the time of her death, but she is believed to have been between ages 14-20. She was estimated to have weighed about 105-115 pounds and her height was estimated to be five feet to five feet five inches. She had hazel colored eyes and her hair was light brown with a reddish tint and was about ten inches in length. There was a scar noted to be above her right eyebrow, and her right nipple was inverted. Her teeth were examined and there was evidence she had had dental work in the past and this might be an indication that she had been from a middle class family.

Her death was ruled a homicide and the cause of death was due to ligature strangulation with pantyhose and the time of death was recorded to have happened at around 3:00 AM, about six hours before her body was discovered on I-45.

To this date, the victim has never been identified, her death is still an open and active investigation, and her body is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas and her tombstone reads “Unknown White Female”.

In many cases like this, and unfortunately there are too many, the cases go cold at the moment the body is found. The only evidence is what’s found at the crime scene, and in most of those cases the evidence is miniscule, the victim was not a member of the community, no one remembers seeing them, and if they did, it was only in passing, maybe at night hitchhiking, or standing outside of a truck stop looking for a ride, but in many cases, no one remembers anything, and even if they did it might not help in identifying the victim or who killed them.

In the case of the Walker County Jane Doe (WJD), however, there were witnesses who remember seeing her the night before, Halloween night, October 31st, 1980 to be exact, and they remembered what she was wearing (jeans, dirty yellow pullover, white knit sweater with large pockets that went past her waist and even the red sandals that were discovered with her body), and remembered thinking she looked very young and was possibly a run away, and they also were able to identify her at the coroner’s as being the girl they had met the night befoe, but it was where the young female victim was going, the place she had asked directions for at two separate locations that makes this case perplexing and adds a sinister twist to WJD’S story: She was in town looking for directions to a Prison, not just any prison, but the Ellis Unit, which in 1980 housed the worst Texas inmates who had committed the most violent crimes, or as it’s better known: Death Row.

The first witness to come forward stating he had encountered the victim was the manager of the South End Gulf Station in downtown Huntsville, Texas on Sam Houston Ave. He remembered the time being around 6:30 that evening and even thought he’d seen her being dropped off by a man in a blue 1973 or 1974 Chevrolet Caprice with a light colored top. He would later tell the police that it looked like the yellow blouse she was wearing looked dirty or slept in, and that she had asked him for directions to the prison, which was approximately 15 minutes away if one were driving to the northeast of the gas station, but other than thinking her blouse appeared disheveled he assisted her by giving her directions and she turned away and left on foot heading north on Sam Houston Ave.

There is no time listed for the second encounter, but this encounter was witnessed by two people who came forward after the victim’s body was discovered, and they told a very similar story as the first witness, but were able to offer details that would seemingly help in, if not identifying her, but at least give a point of origin as to where the victim had been traveling from when she arrived in Huntsville, Texas that night.


Hitch ‘n’Post Truck Stop

This encounter took place a few miles northwest of the South End Gulf Station at a truck stop known as the Hitch ‘n’ Post (HP) on the north directional side of I-45 and in a direction heading away from the Ellis Prison Unit. It should be also noted that her body would be discovered the next morning only a few miles north from this truck stop.

It was at this truck stop the victim interacted with two witnesses, both waitresses who worked at the HP restaurant. Again, the victim approached one of the witnesses and asked for directions to the Ellis Unit, and one of the waitresses drew out a diagram for her. It is unknown whether the victim was asked by the waitress why she needed the directions or if the victim implied but the witness remembers the victim stating she was going to meet a friend there. However, one of the witnesses remembers being suspicious of the girl’s age and believed she may have been a runaway and asked the victim her age, to which the victim replied “19” and when this didn’t convince the waitress who believed the victim to be much younger, the waitress asked the victim “Do your parents know where you are?” The victim’s only response according to the witness was “Who cares?” Even so, the most telling part of this encounter is at some point during the victim’s interaction with the waitresses, either the victim again is asked, or the victim states, that she is from the Rockport/Aransas Pass area of Texas. (The importance of this information will be discussed in length later). So even though the witnesses are suspicious of the victim, they do not press for more information and the victim leaves the truck stop with better directions to the Ellis Unit, presumably on foot, and this is the victim’s last known encounter and whereabouts until she is discovered the next morning a few miles north.

After the witnesses came forward with statements claiming to have encountered the victim the night before and each giving the same details and most importantly that the victim was asking for directions to the Ellis Prison Unit and may have been from the Rockport/Aransas Pass area of Texas, Law Enforcement followed up on all these leads, interviewing prisoners, and prison guards at the Ellis Unit, and looking for anyone who might have known her from Rockport or Aransas Pass, even looking through high school yearbooks for any clues, and came up with nothing significant. However, there seemed to be some movement in the case in the late 80s when investigators noted similarities to another unsolved homicide and unidentified victim case that had happened one year to the date of the WJD murder. On November 1st 1979, in Georgetown, Texas, a couple hundred miles west of Huntsville, a young woman’s body was discovered wearing orange socks, but otherwise nude disposed of off an interstate overpass. Investigators in that case soon had a possible suspect in custody, a serial killer by the name of Henry Lee Lucas. Lucas would later confess to murdering the unidentified woman in Georgetown, as well as many other unsolved cases, and as a result was convicted in the State of Texas to death. However, this was quickly undone when researchers who began questioning the legitimacy of Henry Lee Lucas’s confessions began noting that Lucas may have been confessing to crimes he didn’t commit simply because he wanted better treatment by police, and investigators may have taken advantage of his eagerness to cooperate to close several cases that had been on the books for several years, and as a result then Governor George W. Bush vacated Lucas’s death sentence and reduced it to life in prison. Although, many investigator’s believed Lucas may have been responsible for the murder of WJD, when Lucas’s dental impression was compared to the bite mark on WJD’s right shoulder it did not match, and it most likely rules Lucas out as a suspect in this murder.

With Lucas ruled out, and no other solid evidence to go on, the case grew cold, and years later WJD’s body was exhumed to help investigators still longing to solve this brutal crime reexamine her body for anything that might have been missed, and even her high-heeled red leather shoes were sent to a laboratory to be examined for any biological evidence that may have been left by the killer or provide clues as to the identity of the victim, and all has come back with no results to provide answers to either question. However, in recent years, the victim’s DNA has been compared to several other missing girls, yet at this time there has been no match, the search continues, and the case is still open.

Nevertheless, after all these years, all that really seems to be known according to evidence is that for some unknown reason, the victim, presumably 19 years of age according to her own statement, on her own volition, hitchhiked from the Rockport/Aransas Pass area (again according to her own statement), to Huntsville, and after arriving in Huntsville and encountering the three aforementioned witnesses looking for directions to the Ellis Prison Unit to see a friend, ended up ironically encountering a killer who if were caught would most likely be sentenced to death at the very same prison the victim was allegedly going to meet a friend at.

Therefore this above scenario would be Hypothesis #1 and the operational theory is that a unknown female victim, age 19, departed location (A) Rockport/Aransas Pass area by means of hitchhiking, arrived at (B) Huntsville, Texas on Halloween October 31st 1980 and was dropped off by an unknown person, and her intended destination was (C) Ellis Prison Unit and at some point after leaving the HP, and at a time before 300AM November 1st 1980 by coincidence encountered her killer who presumably offered her a ride, grabbed her off the street while she was walking, or he was the “friend” she was supposed to meet once arriving at (C).

Hypothesis 1 however does not answer certain questions such as the witnesses at the HP stating the victim appeared to be much younger than 19, and if she was lying about her age, it calls into question everything the victim is reported to have said, and most especially her reasoning for needing directions to the Ellis Unit to meet a friend, and being from the Rockport/Aransas Pass Area. Therefore if Hypothesis 1 is misleading because the victim may have been lying about her intent, her age, and her point of origin, one has to call into question whether anything about the case, besides the “actual evidence” can be relied upon as credible.

Therefore to reach another hypothesis and create a workable operating theory, one must sort through what is known, what is unknown, what is credible, and what isn’t credible.

What is known is that an unknown white female between the ages of 14 and 20, was in Huntsville, Texas on October 31st 1980 on Halloween night, and she was seen by at least three credible witnesses that have described her clothing, and that she had been asking for directions to the Ellis Prison Unit. It is also known that at around 3:00 AM November 1st, 1980 the unknown white female was murdered by a ligature strangulation and sometime between 3 and 9 am her body was left on the side of I-45 a few miles north of Huntsville, Texas and that those three aforementioned witnesses were able to identify her as the unknown white female they had encountered the night before.

What is not known is the identity of the white female, her age, her point of origin, how she came to be in Huntsville Halloween night, the reason she needed to be at the Ellis Prison Unit, her movements throughout the evening, besides the two locations she encountered the three witnesses, or who killed her. As a result of the unknowns, it leads to several speculations and even suggests that the victim isn’t a credible witness if she is being dishonest about her point of origin, age, or reasoning for wanting to directions to the Ellis Prison Unit.

Guiding Hands: What led WJD to Huntsville, TX?

To better understand and help narrow down the identity of the WJD one place to begin is to try and determine the multiple variables that brought her to be in Huntsville, Texas that evening by looking at these three areas:

(A) Point of Origin(B) Huntsville(C) Ellis prison Unit

Each one of these areas is important to understand, because if she lied about (A) it could change the answer to (B) and her reasons for needing to be at (C). Or if she was being honest about (A) and being dishonest about (C) it could change the answer on how she arrived at (B). However if she is being honest about (A) and (C) the question then becomes why has she never been identified as having come from (A) and what would be a motivating factor for someone to travel to a Prison on Halloween night, or for that matter any other night, to presumably meet a friend, but instead ends up meeting up with a sadistic killer who had they been captured for this murder would have been most likely sent to the very prison she was intending to go meet a friend at.

So the first place to begin is (A) Point of origin and the guiding hands that led her to (B) Huntsville, Texas. Presumably based on eyewitness accounts, the victim appeared to be disheveled (at least her yellow blouse looked slept in) and the first witness stated that he believed she was dropped off around 630PM. So the theory, based on this evidence, would be that she has apparently hitchhiked from (A) to arrive at (B) Huntsville and her intended destination according to witnesses who interacted with her was (C) Ellis Prison Unit.

1. (A) is the unknown in this equation because when she arrived at (B) it is presumed she had hitchhiked there and was dropped off by someone, and we know she intended to go to (C) because she informed witnesses of this intention.

To solve (A) according to eyewitness accounts the victim is either asked or on her own states she is from the Rockport/Aransas Pass area of Texas. It is important to note that the victim may have offered this statement and wasn’t asked directly as to where she was from. If she volunteered this information versus was asked and then responded to the question it would seem it might be an honest answer, but if she volunteered this information it’s possible she is being honest, but it’s also possible it was a rehearsed statement.

If the answer to (A) is a question/response it makes her statement seem honest because if she were lying about this, there are several larger cities in Texas one would assume would have been easier for her to turn to and suggest a city like Dallas or Houston etc and the answer Rockport/Aransas Pass would seem a more intimate answer. However if the victim volunteers this information, as in she walks in and says ‘excuse me, I’m lost, I’m from the Rockport/Aransas Pass area” although it’s quite possible this is an honest answer, it’s possible this was a coached response or a dishonest answer. One could see this as a way to elude or be evasive, as she does later on when asked about her parents and why she wants to go to the Ellis Unit to meet a friend, even though that answer, at least in the context of a young female wanting to meet a friend at a prison in the middle of the night on Halloween is not much of an answer and makes the statement seem suspicious and dishonest.

In this approach, when the victim is volunteering, she’s looking to establish a background voluntarily, in the attempt to get what she wants (directions to C) by appearing sincere and betting that her sincerity alone will be enough to get her answers without having to divulge any further information. Because when this attempt fails and the witnesses press for more answers she becomes evasive towards them. However, it has to be noted that victim may have stated some other point of origin and the waitresses upon reflection stated what she thought she had heard was Rockport and because of this it may have hindered the investigation instead of helping it.

2. If (A) is unknown and unreliable, she did still come from someplace to arrive at (B) and the theory has been she hitchhiked from (A) to arrive in Huntsville. According to the first witness, the manager of the South End Gulf Station, he believed he seen the victim being dropped off by someone in a car. Then the victim approaches the manager and asks for directions to (C) which the manager gives her and presumably after the victim obtains these directions she sets back off on her journey by walking.

This proposes a possible problem of the original Hypothesis. If the victim has hitchhiked from (A) to (B) successfully, why would she not be able to convince the driver who drops her off at the Gulf gas station to continue on to (C) but instead is dropped off and decides to find (C) on her own and by walking. This also calls into question as to if the victim has indeed hitchhiked, why not once she is dropped off at (B) does she only ask for directions and not ask someone for a ride to (C). And even more, if after asking for directions and not also a ride, how does she end up in the company of her attacker if she isn’t looking for a ride and the safest place to possibly obtain a ride might be to ask someone in a public location?

In other words, if the victim’s intent is legitimate, and that she was expected to arrive at (C) why be elusive about the reason, why not ask for a ride to (C) at the Gulf Station, HP or any place in between those two locations but instead only wants directions. Furthermore if her being there was expected by someone at (C) why was she not able to reach out to that person(s) or had prearranged a meeting so she’d have been met once she arrived at (b)?

This may suggest that her reasoning for being at (B) and traveling to (C) was not prearranged in advance, meaning whoever was at (C) either did not exist or was not expecting her, and could mean that the reason she was being elusive was to protect someone else’s reasoning and she was a pawn doing the bidding of someone else, quite possibly her killer.

It would seem that the harder part of the victim’s journey would have been attaining a ride by hitchhiking from (A) to (B) yet she was persistent enough to make that happen yet after arriving at (B) and as a result she was now within 15 miles of (C) she is not as persistent and at this point her journey comes to an end when she is presumably abducted and then killed. In other words she is persistent and headstrong enough to make it from (A) to (B) but once at (B) only persistent enough to ask for directions only to (C) instead of a ride to that location.

As a result, we can improve upon this new workable operating theory and hypothesize that when the victim arrived in Huntsville (B) she was with someone she knew and not traveling by herself, and the reason this theory seems the most plausible is that if she had good reason to be going to (C) and had been persistent enough to hitchhike from (A) why become evasive once arriving at (B) and only ask for directions as opposed to doing the obvious thing, if in fact she had already hitchhiked from (A), had a legitimate reason for going to (C) and instead of asking for directions, also ask for a ride to (C).

Therefore, as a result of these calculations, one could surmise that the victim did not depart (A) alone and was with someone she trusted and had been invited perhaps under false pretenses, or departed (A) by force and was under duress.

Another way to explain this theory is that once the victim arrives in (B) at the South End Gulf Station, she is about 15 miles southwest from (C). Yet for some unknown reason, and even though there had to be other businesses open and presumably being that it was Halloween night there would have been people out and about that evening, in the direction she was supposed to go in, she isn’t persistent or personable enough to approach any one while walking away from the South End Gulf Station and with directions provided to her by the manager to get to location (C) instead the victim travels North West from her original drop off point and away from the center of the town of Huntsville back towards the interstate and ends up at HP needing better directions and at this point after having already walked several miles and realizing that finding location (C) is more challenging then she had expected again does not ask for a ride. So again the victim is being consistent about needing to be at location (C), is still lost, but not persistent to ask for a ride to that location if in fact her reasoning for being at location (C) was legitimate. This information seems more indicative of a person driving in circles versus walking in circles and the reason she’s not asking for a ride is that she has a ride and whoever she is with is also lost or has a reason why they want the victim to be remembered asking for directions to location (C).

For example, if a person was in New York City in the Wall Street district in the southern part of Manhattan and were wanting to walk to Times Square in the northern part of Manhattan, yet were directionally challenged, they might be inclined to approach people along their path to inquire as to whether or not they were still heading in the right direction. In this particular case, the female leaves presumably on foot with directions to location (C) and heads off in that direction, but does not seem to bother anyone along that route, whether it be a pedestrian or even walk into a business or other type of establishment and clarify that she is still heading in the correct direction, and instead ends up further away from location (C) at a truck stop on the Interstate. And based on this evidence, it seems to suggest she most likely was not hitchhiking between the Gulf Station or the HP, because once she does arrive at the HP she again does not ask for a ride but better directions. So in light of this, it might show that although she may have not been seen in the company of another person, and the manager at the Gulf Station believed he witnessed her exiting a vehicle and then setting out on foot after he gave her directions, that she may have well been in the company of another person, traveling in a vehicle, yet for some reason her companion(s) stay out of eye contact of all three witnesses.

This also may explain why she would state voluntarily or under questioning she had traveled from Rockport/Aransas Pass or perhaps she had been misheard by witnesses. She may have done so under duress, she may have been honest at that point and stated where she was from but had been misheard, or perhaps she felt uneasy asking for directions to the prison because of the suspicious nature and someone in an attempt to sooth her may have suggested if she go in and start off by saying she’s lost and is from a small town they may trust her sincerity and give her the directions and leave it at that. Yet, if she makes this statement under duress, this poses another question, because if at the point she entered the truck stop she is already under duress and had been kidnapped, why would her captor risk sending her in alone to ask for directions and risk her turning him in? However, how odd this scenario may seem, it cannot be ruled out, because it is completely plausible that she could be under control of her killer by this time, and he has control over her movements through some type of credible threat or some other unknown reason that made her fearful of turning him in.

Nevertheless, another scenario is she was with someone she did not feel was a threat to her, but still felt uncomfortable going in and asking for directions because she knew that asking for directions to a prison seemed odd, so the person she’s with tries and soothes her and tells her to go in and say that she is from (A) and needing directions to (C) and they shouldn’t give her any problems. So using the town Rockport/Aransas Pass, another town entirely and it was misheard by witnesses, it would still give the impression as being sincere than saying Dallas or Houston.

So in this case the victim is insecure about asking for directions because she knows it seems odd, and refuses, and her companion says to comfort her just tell them you’re from a small town and you’re lost and instead they will take you at your word and not question your motives. The victim agrees, follows through, yet the witnesses still are not convinced and they question her further and the victim becomes caustic and elusive at that point and the original message of sincerity stops when the witnesses probe for more answers. If this is true it suggests that the only honest thing the victim says is her desire to attain directions to location (C) but otherwise becomes frustrated when her sincerity is questioned.

Therefore to move this workable operational theory forward, it could be argued that the victim had already been kidnapped prior to arriving at (B) and every statement she made to witnesses was under duress, or that the victim was perhaps invited by someone she trusted or at the least by someone she knew to some extent and had asked her to go with him/her/group to (C) and she was under no duress, but frustrated because she was having to ask for directions to a place she didn’t necessarily want to go to, which made her seem elusive. In other words she is doing a favor for someone or feels obligated to help this person.

Another piece of evidence that needs to be examined is the fact that the victim, according to witnesses does not appear to be on an extended journey. No one states seeing the victim with a purse, or bed roll, or backpack and instead she is wearing high-heeled sandals. It would seem that this was an unplanned visit or one in which the victim would only be at for a short while and be taken back home afterwards but does not suggest that she had prepared to be hitchhiking for a lengthy period of time from (A) to (B) or suggest that she had prepared to be stuck at (C) for any period of time.

Therefore, the operational theory is that the victim was not there because she needed to be there for her own reasons, but was helping someone else out or had been invited there or had been kidnapped and was under duress at the time she arrived at (B). She did not appear to be prepared to stay for an extended time and when questioned was evasive as to her reasoning and it’s also reasonable to imply that no one was expecting her at location (C) and that her reason for being there was because someone invited her there, kidnapped her and forced her to be there, and she was in the company of that person and not there because of her own purpose.

Therefore, Hypothesis 2 is that at some point during the day of October 31st Halloween night 1981,the victim was approached by a friend or a casual acquaintance and asked to accompany him./her/group to Huntsville, Texas, Ellis Unit. It’s possible the friend had invited the victim to a Halloween party that was to be held near there or the friend/acquaintance had given some other reason, such as being there was work related. The victim obliges because they have nothing better to do and a road trip might be fun or feels obligated because the friend is an authority figure or the victim was engaged in a criminal activity and or working with whomever she was with. But for whatever reason, the victim is only in Huntsville by invitation or obligation only and not because she needs to be there or wants to be there because of her own reasoning. In this scenario, the friend/acquaintance is luring the victim to Huntsville Texas and subsequently making sure they aren’t seen with her and asking her to go into the truck stop and ask for directions.

Hypothesis 3 is that at some point either on October 31st 1980 or at any time before that date, the victim had been kidnapped, and held against her will until Halloween night 1980, when she was driven to (B) and under duress ordered to ask for directions to (C) and after having achieved this objective, her captor carries out his plan to kill her.

Hypothesis 2 and 3 has similar implications and conclusions, where in either case, the victim was not traveling alone on the evening of October 31st 1980, her murder was most likely premeditated and not as a result of coincidence, and in both instances the killer(s) had control over the victim or had earned the trust of the victim and she felt obligated or trusted the person(s) enough to do their bidding and travel with them from (A) to Huntsville, and was willing to accompany them to (C).

However, in each Hypothesis it may explain why she hasn’t been identified, because it’s possible she was a juvenile who had run away from home or facility and had a history of this behavior and was essentially given up on by her parents or someone who was charged with looking after her and as a result she turned to petty crimes, or prostitution and lived on the run, from place to place, and essentially disappears until the day she reappears in Huntsville, Texas. But, then again, it should be noted that she may have also been a legal adult, and had been honest when asked about her age by the witness at HP, yet also had been living a high risk lifestyle for a few years and had cut ties with her family and as a consequence still ended up in the same situation where no one reported her missing, or even if they did, and someone is looking for her, they may have lost contact for such a period of time that the details of when she went missing are unknown and her appearance may have changed dramatically since the last time she was seen.

Hypothesis 1 as a workable operating theory: Although this hypothesis cannot be ruled out, it operates under too many assumptions. It assumes that the victim for some unknown reason, and ill-prepared hitchhiked to a Huntsville, Texas, to presumably meet up with a friend at a Prison without making prior arrangements or being prepared for once having arrived to meet this friend to have a backup plan in case the friend was not there or did not want to see her. If this is the assumption then it is possible that this friend may have had a reason for not wanting to see her and if she did eventually meet up with him or her or they, wanted her to leave and when she refused this friend killed her. However, if this were the scenario the “friend” would be taking a risk of placing her body in a place that was easily discoverable and not hiding her away to keep anyone who may have known of their relationship from connecting the murder to that friend. It also does not explain that if the victim had indeed left a specific point of origin to go to Huntsville and perhaps surprise an unsuspecting “friend” what circumstances would cause her to never be identified, because one could speculate she may have told someone at (A) she was intending to travel to (C) to meet this “friend” or at least one could speculate that the “friend” who disposed of her body in such a easily discoverable manner did not know she had informed anyone beforehand of her intentions. This Hypothesis also suggests that her killer did not know her prior to this and the killing was random and it happened after she had left the HP. This scenario also seems the most steeped in irony, because if in fact she had traveled from (A) to (B) to end up at location (C) the Ellis Prison Unit, she ended up encountering a killer who if had been caught for this crime would have most likely been sentenced to the very same prison she was intending to go to. This theory seems the most unlikely because of all the assumptions one has to accept to make this plausible.

Hypothesis 2 and 3 as a workable operating theory: the only difference between these two Hypothesis is that in the second Hypothesis the victim is lured by someone or some group, authority figure or someone she trusts or perhaps is obligated to for some reason another to take the trip to Huntsville, Texas on Halloween night and her murder was premeditated by the person(s) or at some point after arriving in Huntsville the person(s) then decided to kill her for some unknown reason, or her death resulted from perhaps a Halloween prank that was originally designed to scare or her or initiate her into some group and it went wrong, or the victim may have voluntarily went along because she was playing out a sexual fantasy with her partner and she died as a result; and in Hypothesis 3 the victim was abducted at point (A) taken to Huntsville under duress, forced to enter into the two establishments to find directions to the prison unit either because the killer(s) was lost, or because the killer(s) was acting out a fantasy and wanted their to be witnesses who remembered the victim wanting directions to the Prison Unit.

Hypothesis 2 and 3 seems to offer the least assumptions and while it may not answer many of the unknowns about the events that took place the evening of October 31st 1980 and led to the death of the WJD it does in some cases answer some questions such as why the victim is presumed to have hitchhiked to (B) to reach (C) but why at no point does she ask for a ride once she in Huntsville but seems to be driving in circles instead of walking in circles because she was traveling with someone. It might also answer as to why the victim is seemingly being elusive or evasive when she approaches the two waitresses at the HP, because she was not only lost, her companion was lost, but she knew that wanting directions to the Ellis Prison Unit would seem suspicious but was not worried about the waitresses pressing the issue by contacting authorities because the victim could easily slip away and back into the vehicle she was traveling with.However it’s quite possible that the victim was attempting to bring attention to herself so the waitresses would call the law. Regardless of this it also explains why the victim does not seem prepared for a long journey or an extended stay. It could also explain more about her identity and who she was traveling with and why the killer(s) stayed out of eye contact and convinced the victim to ask for directions, (which most likely the killer(s) probably never had planned to have to do, but once they were lost had no choice but to). As a result, Hypothesis 2 and 3 seem to be the best workable operating theory because it presents the least assumptions and seemingly answers more questions than it asks.

Therefore, trying to answer the aforementioned equation to plug in the answers for (A) point of origin, (B) Huntsville, and (C) needing to be at the Ellis Prison Unit prove to be difficult, and the best way to work this case is backwards from where the body was discovered and the manner of her death, back to the HP, the Gulf Station, and back to, and if possible to (A), the victim’s point of origin.

Disposal: shoulder of I-45 North directional side a few miles from last sighted location, nude. 3AM to 920AM

Crime scene: unknown

TIME OF ABDUCTION (PRESUMABLY) 630PM OCTOBER 31ST 1980, TO 300AM NOVEMBER 1ST 1980

Point of Origin: unknown (possibly Rockport/Aransas Pass)

Age: 14-20 (19?)

Cause of Death: Ligature Strangulation w/pantyhose

Other injuries: sexual assault with blunt object to both lower body cavities, bite mark on right shoulder, severe beating to body and face. No biological evidence found, but rape cannot be excluded

Items found at disposal of body: high-heeled sandals, necklace on body, panties and panties hose lodged in body most likely to prevent bleeding during transportation to disposal site.

There is no mention in the publicly available information concerning whether the victim was dirty as if the assault had taken place indoors or outdoors, no indication that the victim had any drugs or alcohol in her system, no indication whether wrists or ankles had any signs of being tied or bound in any fashion, no indication as if there were any signs the victim struggled with killer(s), no indication of what type of blunt object was used in the assault or if any weapons may have been used to cause the bruising no indication if the victims injuries were sustained post-mortem. (in spite of this lack of details about the victim, it may be possible to deduce that there is no evidence of the above being applicable to this investigation)

Nevertheless the lack of there being any information to there being defensive wounds, any type of ligature marks on her ankles or wrists, or any indication of soil or grass stains on the body to show whether she may have been attacked outdoors or indoors, these details or the lack thereof, are missing out of the public information because of evidentiary reasons or because none of these aforementioned details were noted and makes it difficult to hypothesize who her killer(s) may have been.

Even so, if the the lack of detail is because the injuries weren’t noted because there were no signs of the aforementioned possible missing information, then it does help hypothesize who the killer(s) might have been.

If for example, unless the victim’s injuries were made post-mortem, it would mean the victim was strangled, and then assaulted and this would suggest the killer was alone and the need to restrain the victim was unnecessary.

However, if the victim was assaulted and then killed one would assume she’d have had to be restrained by some means, yet there is no indication in the public record to note any bruising to show how she was restrained. This either suggests that her killer was able to subdue her and subsequently assault her without necessarily having to restrain the victim by other means then brute force, or perhaps the victim was attacked by multiple people and she may have been restrained by the group and unable to move because she was essentially blocked and held down by multiple people (2 or more).

But, this could also support the idea that one person, in an enclosed type of area, such as the cab of a truck or back of some type of van could have been able to subdue the victim and restrain her by essentially giving her no place to run.

Therefore as a result of there being no information suggesting defensive struggling or evidence of how the victim was restrained it’s possible that the victim was abducted by killer(s) and her murder took place inside a vehicle. There is no evidence to support that the victim was subdued by being drugged or she had been intoxicated.

Maybe, even more telling in this murder is that although this attack is brutal, there are nor reported injuries such as broken bones or there being any stab wounds to the body, or even the lack of biological evidence is notable. It would seem that if there had been more than one killer there’d be several different types of injuries, and as the assault went on the brutality would have intensified. This lack of evidence to suggest that there may have been only one person who assaulted the victim does not mean there weren’t two or more active participants however, but that one person was the aggressor and the other had been more passive or even the driver of the vehicle while the attack took place.

One question that needs to be asked is were the panty hose used to strangle the victim hers or had they been brought by the killer(s). This alone suggests a few telling possibilities about the killer(s) because if the panty hose weren’t the victims this was something the killer(s) brought which indicates the killer(s) may have premeditated this murder, or it’s possible that one of the assailants was a female accomplice who had inadvertently worn panty hose and subsequently they were used to strangle the victim.

This brings up witness statements made concerning the victim from HP and the Gulf Station, and evidence noted at autopsy, was that the victim was wearing jeans and also wearing high-heeled sandals, and she was seen carrying the shoes by at least one witness, and noted at autopsy was that the victim had painted her toenails pink. Is this information indicative of a person wearing panty hose if she is wearing sandals and also walking without shoes on? It’s quite possible that she was wearing panty hose because of it being cooler in October that particular date, or this may have been a personal preference of the victim. If this is the case, then the panty hose were removed by the killer(s) from the victim and subsequently used to strangle her with and again does not tell us much about the killer besides that the killer(s) were not that organized and this was not premeditated or even if it had been, the method of killing was improvised.

The most workable hypothesis would then be that the killer(s) may have premeditated the murder but weren’t well organized and only used what was on hand to orchestrate the attack.

The disposal of the victim’s body on the side of the interstate seems indicative of other similar crimes in which have been theorized having been committed by truck drivers. There is also some similarities to a killing that had had occurred one year to the date before this one a few hundred miles west of Huntsville in Georgetown, Texas. It is unknown however, if the two crimes are related. However, it would seem the more personal the victim, the killer would be more inclined to hide the body instead leaving her in a location she’d be easily discovered and the person also takes a risk of being spotted by someone disposing her body. So even in this instance where it would suggest the victim had been attacked randomly, and the means of her disposal by her killer were by someone who seemingly had no personal connection to the victim, it by no means is conclusive that the victim had not known her killer(s) it would just indicate perhaps that the killer(s) relationship with the victim was of some other type of nature such as business related or authoritative, the killer knew important and/or intimate details about her and he knew she would not be identified and the killer(s) lured her into his vehicle and to Huntsville that evening. Nevertheless, this is one of the most elusive details of this case: did the victim hitchhike to Huntsville and subsequently by coincidence and because of her vulnerability by being alone that night make her easy prey to encounter her killer(s) or had the victim been lured to Huntsville that evening and arrived in town with her killer(s) under some false pretense. If the answer is that it was coincidence, this would be one of the most ironic of murders. If the answer is the latter than this changes the entire investigation and assumes that wherever the victim was from and whoever she was with, there’s a possibility she had had known her killer(s) prior to the time she was murdered.

So, presumably, based on the evidence, the killer(s) was not well organized, and this is based on the fact that the killer(s) only used what was on hand to assault and murder the victim (except for there has been no indication of what type of blunt object(s) were used in the sexual assault) one could assume however that this too was something the killer(s) had on hand inadvertently and was not premeditated. If this assault and murder were not well organized in advance then it may be safe to assume that the disposal of the victim’s body was also not well thought out and it too was not premeditated.

With that said, again one as to assume that the victim was unknown to the killer(s) until some point between 630pm October 31st 1980 and 300am November 1st 1980 and at some point between that time period the victim was abducted or lured in or had approached her killer(s) to obtain a ride or prior to 630pm when the victim was first witnessed at the South End Gulf Station she was already with her killer(s) and they were able to not only go unnoticed, but seemingly able to convince the victim to ask for directions while they stayed out of view. And although the first scenario is possible and it is dependent on having to explain why then would the victim put herself in that place to be vulnerable and her intended destination was to be at the Ellis Prison Unit for some unknown reason.

Otherwise, the only other conclusion would be that the victim was not in Huntsville alone, her reason for needing directions to the prison were not her own reasons, and her murder would not be a coincidence at all and her fate even before coming to Huntsville had already been sealed. And this hypothesis seems the most logical of conclusions.

In reality, for the victim to have been in the company of someone and not seen by the Gulf station manager or the witnesses at the HP doesn’t mean they were actually paying that close attention either. So even though the victim isn’t seen with anyone or appear to have been with anyone doesn’t mean that if the victim were with someone they were necessarily going out of their way to stay hidden, but the witnesses failed to see them or pay that close of attention to the victim.

But there is something significant about the victim’s stated destination (Ellis Prison Unit) that is baffling if in fact she had been traveling alone or had hitchhiked to arrive in Huntsville. Even so, if one were to suggest that the evidence supports the theory she were not in Huntsville alone and were with someone else then she is merely a person looking for directions for her companions purpose. In this theory, it explains away any holes that might be presented based on the idea that the victim for some unknown reason needed to be at the prison when the suggestion on its face seems unlikely.

So if this is the case, what motive would her companion(s) have for wanting directions to the prison? The variables can be as simple as teenagers looking to be mischievous on Halloween night, to something more sinister like the killer(s) for some reason wanting the victim to be remembered by witnesses for wanting to visit the prison and the killer is acting out some sadistic fantasy. Nevertheless, the latter theory still support the idea that the killer(s) is unorganized and it seems more likely that the killer(s) had presented some reason to want to visit the prison, the victim went along, after arriving in Huntsville they became lost and needed directions and then after obtaining directions and possibly arriving at the prison, the killer(s) then acting on some impulse attacks the victim. Even so, this doesn’t mean that the killer(s) hadn’t conceived of attacking the victim at the prison beforehand, but only that the killer(s) had improvised or acted on impulse as the events unfolded and the opportunity presented itself. In this case the killer(s) has some fascination with the prison and were somehow able to convince the victim to go along under some false pretense.

None of this explains how it is the victim could have gone missing without being reported or why she has gone unidentified for 36 years. But it could suggest the idea that the killer(s) were very much aware of the fact the victim’s identity at least to the extent they knew she was someone who had been living a high risk lifestyle, was a runaway, and her killer knew of her having no one who would miss her if she went missing.

So the operational theory is that the killer(s) had some fascination with prison and wanting to be there and lured the victim there that evening under false pretenses and that the killing had been some idea the killer(s) had beforehand but only acted out on the crime as the events unfolded and the opportunity presented itself. He used only items he had in hand or the victim had on her person. The attack then was premeditated but not organized and at any point the killer(s) could have backed out unless the opportunity presented itself.

Who is the Victim?This leaves explaining the victim’s age, and this is more difficult to discern. It’s quite possible she is being honest, because of her small stature and baby face, she has probably become very defensive about her age; however, she has every incentive to lie if in fact she is a juvenile, because this alone could arouse enough suspicion for witnesses to contact authorities. The victim’s naivete is not necessarily indicative of a young adolescent or a female who was a legal adult because she could have been naive and trusting no matter her age.

But her age is an important detail to try and determine because if for example she were 19 at the time of her death, she would have been a legal adult and seemingly could have been so far removed from loved ones and family that they may have never reported her missing or even if they had may haven’t realized it until after 1980. So in this instance you might have a case in which a family member reports her missing at a later date but doesn’t recall when she was last seen and the details would be nonspecific.

There is something significant about this case, and that was she was seen alive and presumably alone the night she was murdered and she had encountered at least three witnesses. Now one has to assume that when the witnesses speak to the would be victim, they had no reason to remember the conversations verbatim because at that point the victim was merely a customer looking for directions and had she had not been discovered murdered hours later they’d have forgotten this conversation and perhaps the victim. However, once the victim’s body is discovered the witnesses become very important and can offer details that might help solve the case or provide vital clues, but sometimes a witness’s eagerness to provide assistance could hinder a case and it’s possible that in this case Rockport may have been mistaken for for some place else. Nevertheless, if Rockport is what the victim said, then this could also be a lie, and it’s hard to determine whether or not what actually happened or what was said.

But assuming that the victim had every incentive to lie but at the same time had no real reason to if she had no reason to lie, these two variables change the case completely. If the victim is lying about one thing one could assume she is lying about everything and you can’t trust anything she is saying, but if she is being partially honest, and lying, what circumstances would be for her to say anything at all? So if she is honestly looking for the Ellis Prison Unit and her reasoning is legitimate one would assume she may not have needed directions at all and only a phone number to the prison which she could have called and tried to reach out to who she was intending to see. One could also assume that if she has indeed hitchhiked from (A) and her goal was to arrive at (C) she would have been better off getting a ride to (C) instead of only asking for directions.

So for instance if she is asking for directions to the prison for someone else’s reasoning say her travel companion, she is being honest, but not necessarily being specific as to the reasoning and therefore the evidence on its face suggests she is on her own and looking for this prison. But just because the victim isn’t being specific doesn’t mean she is lying or being honest, it just means she is heading in this direction to (c) because whoever she is traveling with has guided her there. However when the victim is challenged by witnesses she seemingly becomes more elusive or caustic towards them as in, just give me directions I don’t need you to preach to me, as in her purpose in her mind is genuine, but when her efforts of sincerity are questioned she is bothered by this and mocks the witnesses who seem genuinely worried, but the victim only sees this as an attempt to chastise her. This again does not help explain her age, but only appears to suggest that her sincerity is only as real as the sincerity she feels she is receiving. In other words the victim acknowledges in some way or another that her intended destination is on its face a strange destination and as a result because she is lost and presumably alone and depending on others to arrive at her destination, she is forced to interact with the witnesses instead of able to just get to (c) with no assistance, but even when she knows that she can’t find (c) she doesn’t feel the desire to console the witnesses worries, but instead treats them as if they are mocking her, yet it was her that came to them for help.

In this instance she is very defensive. As in I’m capable or I don’t need all this other nonsense just the directions, even though I realize that my destination and asking for directions to it are odd. Or in other words I know what I’m doing seems stupid or strange, but I’m doing it anyways. What then would make her so defensive yet at the same time seemingly dependent on others but not so dependent in which she tries and console their fears because the thing she is trying to achieve sounds strange, but does the opposite and snaps back at them for not trusting her original premise of sincerity. So she’s essentially asking to be trusted as in she’s confidant in her objective even if the premise sounds strange. However, once again, she doesn’t ask for a ride, yet she is seemingly confidant and self assured of reaching her objective yet she still is captured by her killer.

Therefore, she trusts herself but does not trust the people she has to encounter, but seemingly once she gets to her intended destination all questions will be answered and she will be safe. Again this premise seems to support the idea that she knows what she is asking for to the average person seems strange but does it anyways because she is dependent upon others to some degree to ascertain directions, but not dependent enough to be more specific and qualify her answers that might justify her intentions, and as a result this lends credence to the idea that she is not alone and doesn’t necessarily need help but directions only and she doesn’t need to explain her reasons because the reasons aren’t hers, but whoever she is with.

In this premise she is basically saying don’t worry about me, I’m a big girl, I know what I’m doing, yet she is still the one who is lost and has seemingly hitchhiked and is asking for a directions to a place her own actions indicate that she knows on its face seems strange. Yet only a few hours later this same confidant and cocky young girl the waitresses encountered asking for directions would be dead at the hands of a killer who seemingly could have been an inmate already at the Ellis Unit. This again, no matter how many variables are looked at it seems to indicate the victim was not alone and whoever she was with killed her. Yet her would be killer seemingly had earned the victims trust enough to do his bidding and travel with him to Huntsville Texas.

Again, there are multiple reasons to help explain why the victim was never seen with anyone, but when one comes to the conclusion that she was most likely with someone, and this someone most likely killed her then this unknown travel companion knew her before she arrived in Huntsville and it would be safe to assume that the reason for being in Huntsville were the killers reasons and that the victim’s fate was sealed before arriving in Huntsville, but the question then becomes at what point before Huntsville was her fate sealed.

If one can conclude that there had to be some element of trust established between the victim and her killer before arriving in Huntsville it might indicate that the victim and her killer had known each other or of each other and had some business or casual relationship prior to even the day of the murder. Even so it should not be excluded that the killer and the victim had met the day of the murder.

Final Operating Theory: Both Hypothesis 2 and 3 Answer the most questions and operates under the least assumptions, and although neither answer where it is WJD originated from or her age, these two hypothesis support the idea that she most likely did not not originate from Rockport/Aransas Pass Texas, and she knew her killer prior to the day she was murdered. She was most likely reported missing at an earlier date and was most likely between the ages of 14-16. She was most likely a run away, and had a prior history or running away and most likely had lived in youth homes in the past. Her killer may have kidnapped her prior to 1980 or had encountered her while she was a runaway and took her in, but he knew details about her that would make it difficult to identify her.

It is possible that the killer of the WJD was also responsible for the murder a year earlier in Georgetown, Texas. It’s also possible that the killer lived around the Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock Texas area, and as a result it’s possible that the victim had met the killer in this area or the killer had taken her to this area by 1979.

This theory suggests that the killer is also responsible for at least one other murder that happened one year to the date before in Georgetown, Texas, and that the killer lived near the crime scene of that murder. The killer is sadistic and predatory but is able to curb is desires for extended periods of time, he isn’t well organized, but has learned to suppress his sexual deviations or anger but also knows that if he is unable to stop he will be arrested and most likely be sentenced to do time at the Ellis Unit and most likely will be there on death row.

In this case,however, the most likely scenario is that the victim was a runaway at some point prior to the day she was murdered and may have been reported missing at an earlier date probably within 2 years before 1980 and had moved to Texas on her own as a runaway, traveled with someone or a group of people or had been abducted by a personn(s) and was taken to Texas under duress or under false pretenses. In the final analysis the victim was a runaway prior to 1980 as a juvenile and taken by her killer between 1978 and 1980 and this someone kept her very close, maybe even home schooling her and moved to Texas for work or moved around often and finally settled in Texas. Then for some reason or another, the killer decides he needs to kill her, or has to be done with her because he feels the pressure of keeping her and believes law enforcement will eventually find him out.

Although it’s possible the victim is a legal adult, the operating theory is in this particular case the victim was younger and between 14 & 16 and was in the care of her killer prior to 1980. So in this scenario the victim has been reported missing at some place by someone but the known details of her are sparse.

If the victim is a minor, and even if she had runaway, someone most likely reported her being missing, unless the person who had her in their custody killed her. They would not report her missing because the manner in which she came to be in that person(s) custody would have been illegal. Based on this assumption, then the victim would have been reported missing at an earlier time or never at all, based again on who had taken her.

NAMUS PROFILE WALKER COUNTY TEXAS JANE DOE

All theories listed on this site are of my own and I do not represent Law Enforcement. If you have any information concerning these crimes or the identity of this victim please contact Law Enforcement.

Investigation into the Pemiscot and Mississippi County Doe Murders

Email me at ard.chad@gmail.com

Copyright © 2016, Chad M. Ard, All Rights Reserved.

Inside the Book: Forever Striking A Crucified Pose– The Tire

The short story “The Tire”, has gone through many changes. The tire in the playground is an actual tire I played in during the 5th and 6th grade. It wasn‘t a good or bad memory, just a memory. Then, about 15 years ago I was at the school for some function and there it was, after all those years. So I walked over to it and hunkered down inside and I was looking at all the graffiti written and I’ll be damned if I didn‘t spot my name that some girl had written such-and-such loves Chad Ard. And the trip down memory lane inspired the story.

I wrote the story on a typewriter. I remember it being short, about five or six pages, and the ending was much darker. I believe it involved the two main characters but there was a suicide scene.
But again, like with “Bypass”, I rewrote the entire story, the one which appears in the book now, and an alternate ending I removed right before publishing. I don’t really know if the story worked better as it is now, or with the alternate ending.
The ending where Matt meets up with the school bully, the one published, had been the ending until about 5 years ago when I wrote another 10 pages showing Matt and Will grown up. I really love both endings. So it was just a matter of which one I thought worked best. I went with the original cut.
Most of the story isn”t personal. The tire as I mentioned was a place I played but I was never bullied like Will and I don’t think of myself as the Matt character. The timeline, being in the mid too late ’80s is a time I remember well, with the Rambo and Chuck Norris movies.
It really is just a feel-good story, which started out in a less cheerful way—and that is endearing. Not every story has to lead to death or have some major crisis develop. That is what I love about “The Tire”, the bond both characters share, and how it not only affected them but their families, and the bully.

Inside the Book: Forever Striking A Crucified Pose… Bypass

Self-publishing my new book Forever Striking a Crucified Pose was a long time in the making. I began some of these stories over 15 years ago. Starting on notebook paper, then a typewriter, and eventually as technology changed upgraded to Windows where there are so many clouds, and drives enabling one to work where you want, and carry the stories around with you wherever you go.
Bypass, the first story in the book was also one of the first stories I remember writing. The original story was much longer, about 30 pages, so what led me to edit so much of the story down to about the size of a page and a half. I know many writers are stubborn about taking so much away from a story they‘ve painstakingly have written. And I have no issues with that. If you feel so strongly that what you have written is important to the plot or for whatever reason, keep it in and fight to keep it in. In “Bypass”, it was having written it on a typewriter, and letting it sit for a few years, and then once I typed the story into the computer, something changed. When reading the first few paragraphs, the story reminded me of the iconic Edward Hopper painting “Nighthawks” and as the writer, I was passing by the diner in the painting, or perhaps a patron inside and listening in on Mr. Jim’s and the waitress’s conversation.
The diner in the story could be any diner I assume, but it was about a particular diner on the outskirts of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I don’t know if it is still open today, but being a night owl, and also having had a friend who worked there, I would go there often and visit with her and well, eat.
The bypass mentioned in the story is also a true story, and if you read the book throughout there is another story “Passing Time” that mentions it. I had also written an Op/Ed a few years back about this bypass being built around the city.
I believe this is an important factor when writing—letting it sit and come back to it. Writing and then revising and this one story taught me an important lesson about how to be patient and not to be too hard on yourself for letting go of parts of a story.

“Bypass” takes on the role of the waitress. I‘ve had some speculate that the word bypass has another meaning and that Mr. Jim has passed away while sitting there at the counter. And truthfully I don‘t know. That’s the fun part, is like the reader I too, even though I‘m the writer, sometimes the story just ends, as do things in life. I’m just passing through, same as you, most especially in a short story. And I think of short stories as being like Hopper’s ‘“Nighthawks”, a picture, a painting, that you can imagine sitting at the counter or are walking the dimly lit city at night passing this diner and decide whether to go in or keep walking.

And as the writer, I invite you to come in and have a seat at the counter with Mr. Jim.

CMA

Do You Believe? An Essay of Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

Several scholars argue that The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, written by Ursula K. Le Guin, was motivated by Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov and/or William James’s The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life. All three share a common theme: what if the happiness of “millions [depended] on one simple condition that a certain lost soul on the far-off edge of things should lead a life of lonely torment” (James 188). Although the two aforementioned stories and James’s essay, appear as having one central philosophical origin, Le Guin explains “[she] didn’t read James and sit down and say ‘now I’ll write a story about that “lost soul” and she clearly rules out referencing Dostoyevsky as inspiration (225). Instead she writes, “[Omelas] came from a road sign: Salem (Oregon) backwards” (225). Therefore, if one were to associate the word Salem with witches or horror, and compare the geography of both Salem, Oregon and Salem Massachusetts with the fictional city of Omelas, it is clear that Le Guin draws upon the Salem witch trials of the 1600s, utilizing the metaphorical “lost soul” in the form of a child to represent those accused of witchcraft, and the “ones who walk away,” embody the people disgusted by the gross abuse of religious and political power.

In the second foreword of three forewords in Stephen King’s On Writing: A memoir of the craft, he explains: “fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do—not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad” (11). King goes on to say:

When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done you have to step back and look at the forest…Your job during or just after the first draft is to decide what something or something’s yours is about (201).

These illustrations seem contradictory. Even so, after reading a novel or short story, there is a desire by the writer and also the reader to find some deeper meaning within the context. Often times this leads to confusion. For instance, in the bible, there are stories told using parables that illustrate a moral attitude or religious principle with allegorical explanations. Still writers and readers should expect to extract some sense of purpose. In Omelas, Le Guin intentionally evades giving the reader crucial pieces of the elusive plot. She writes that “[she] sat down and started a story just because [she] felt like it, with nothing but the word Omelas in mind” (225). Nevertheless, she goes on to say that “Salem equals schelomo equals salaam equals Peace” (225). This is a contradiction, same as Stephen King’s because she began with nothing but the word Omelas, although she was well aware of an association of Salem meaning peace in its anglicized form derived from the Hebrew word shalom. One could then postulate that Le Guin associated the word Salem with witches. Witches are synonymous with Salem. Thus, “the word witch conjures the word Salem” (Rosenthal 209). By denying she used Dostoevsky or James as a catalyst to write Omelas, Le Guin when asked, “Where do you get your ideas from,” answers, “from forgetting Dostoyevsky and reading road signs backwards, naturally. Where else” (225)? In Omelas, Le Guin asks her audience: “Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy” (228)? The reader should ask if he or she believes that Le Guin simply used the word Omelas, with nothing else in mind and he or she would find it in the same way unbelievable. Thereby, comparing the geography of Omelas, with that of Salem, Massachusetts, as well as the horrific events in Salem’s history involving accusations, trials, and subsequent executions of innocents as being the lost soul depicted in this story, one can see how Le Guin takes advantage of the ghastly imagery invoked by the word Salem.

To conclude that Le Guin’s story of the fictional town of Omelas is based loosely on the events surrounding the Salem witch hunts, it is first necessary to find credible evidence linking the word Salem with witchcraft or horror. Without Le Guin’s telling the reader Omelas is Salem spelt backwards with an “O” representing Oregon, one would most likely overlook the Salem witchcraft connections. The connotations of Salem are deeper than the “O” representing Oregon, because the author interprets Salem as meaning peace and when she does mention Oregon, it is in parenthesis, suggesting its only purpose was to add the “O” to Melas, which when placed together equals “Homme hélas, the French phrase meaning: human woe. This suggests two things, either before she wrote this story she had a purpose, and upon reading her draft, realized the concurrence of a “lost soul” in her story was reminiscent of that of Dostoevsky and James. Or from the onset she envisioned those accused of witchcraft and the city affected by the carnival like atmosphere surrounding the trials, when Salem and homme hélas, or human woe were coupled.

Comparing Salem with human woe or oppression is expected. The Salem witch trials “have emerged as one of the major images in American imagination” (Rosenthal 212). Charles W. Upham, a historian and author of Salem Witchcraft wrote in the 1800s:

The witchcraft delusion of 1693 has attracted universal attention since the date of its occurrence, and will, in all coming ages, render the name of Salem notable throughout the world. Wherever the place we live in is mentioned, this memorable transaction will be found associated with it; and those who know nothing else of our history or our character will be sure to know, and tauntingly to inform us, that we hanged the witches (3).

The city of Salem has struggled with its storied history. Nevertheless, “Salem has ambivalently accepted this connection” (Rosenthal 204). The tourist industry strives off those who visit museums and locales associated with the shocking executions of innocents accused of witchcraft. One may even ask, while touring the beautiful city of Salem, the same questions Le Guin poses in Omelas, “Do you believe?”

Le Guin begins the story “With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city of Omelas” (225). The fictional city of Omelas is set near a harbor, “bright-towered by the sea” (Le Guin 225). Comparing the geographies, Salem, Massachusetts has a prominent seaport, while Salem, Oregon is divided by the Willamette River. The “Festival of Summer” is also significant, because to this day the city of Salem, Massachusetts celebrates the birthday of one of its favorite sons and author Nathanial Hawthorne. This event takes place during the month of July at its annual Salem Maritime Festival. Hawthorne, a descendent of a magistrate and judge at the Salem hearings, offered an apology in the introduction of The Scarlet Letter:

I know not whether these ancestors of mine bethought themselves to repent and ask pardon of heaven for their cruelties; or whether they are now groaning under the heavy consequences of them in another state of being. [I] hereby take shame upon myself for their sakes, and pray that any curse incurred by them—as I have heard, and as the dreary unprosperous condition of the race, for many a long year back, would argue to exist—may now be henceforth removed (10).

Albeit, this connection to Hawthorne and the Maritime festival to Le Guin’s “Festival of Summer” could be happenstance, it is worth noting the parallels.

Le Guin paints the opening paragraphs of Omelas vibrantly. She tells us in brilliant style that the horses before the race, “wore no gear at all but a halter without bit. Their manes were braided with streamers of silver, gold, and green” (225). There was dancing in the streets and “merry women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked” (225). However, midway through this story, Le Guin creates enmity between the joyous city and the reader. The antagonist is a child that is locked away “in a basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas, or perhaps in the cellar of one its spacious private homes” (228). Although, Le Guin describes in detail “the room is about three paces long and two wide: a mere broom closet or disused tool room” (229). She will not tell the reader whether the child is a girl or a boy or the child’s age. Le Guin deliberately keeps these details from the audience. By doing so, not giving birth to the child, meaning the author could state as fact the gender, age, or specific location where the child is being held, she creates a metaphor of oppression with no comprehensible face or straightforward answers on how the child came to be in this predicament, and in the end only shows us that oppression exists. Le Guin expounds:

They all know it is there, all the people of Omelas…they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of the skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery (229).

In the above quote, Le Guin refers to the child or the metaphor as “it is.” Considering Le Guin is drawing upon the events of the Salem witch hunts, when she writes that the “people know it is there”, she is referring to the stigma surrounding the city having believed they’d been cursed and the only way to remove this curse is to hold those accused of witchcraft responsible by trial and execution.

Furthermore, Le Guin writes that some after visiting the child “will leave home. These people go out into the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas” (231). In the aftermath of the Salem witch hunts “a very considerable number of people left [Salem]” (Upham 465). These are the ones who walk away or do nothing to stop the mêlée out of fear of being accused of witchcraft or being in union with the devil. Le Guin says “they go west or north towards the mountains. They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back” (231). Most of those who left Salem, must have felt the same feeling of going “into the darkness”.

Bruce Brandt, a professor at South Dakota State University, suggests “Omelas is not ultimately about the child per se, but about the choice that confronts each of the city’s residents” (56). Brandt notes the religious implications, and compares the people who walk away with Caiaphas who plotted against Jesus. Even so, Le Guin does not advocate religion as being prevalent in Omelas. She writes, “But really it would be better to not have any temples in Omelas—at least, not manned temples. Religion yes, clergy no” (227). A Deists explanation, would rule out a Christian connotation. On the other hand, “Le Guin indicates that her story is to be read politically” (Collins 1). Le Guin explains, “The dilemma of the American conscience can hardly be better stated” (275). An explanation linking political association to Salem can be found in Bernard Rosenthal’s Salem Story:

Any historian could quickly rattle off a number of events in American history that were rooted in injustice and caused the death of more than some twenty people; but none could find an episode of injustice that has similarly shaped our metaphors of persecution or found a city to contain its symbol (212-213).

In recent years, there have been other books and television shows using the word Salem knowingly to illicit thoughts of horror or witchcraft. Stephen King, known for his fanciful tales of terror, wrote Salem’s Lot. Whether King exploits the word Salem in the same fashion Le Guin does in Omelas, one can be sure that King did nothing to improve Salem’s image. Chris Brancato, writer and executive producer of Sci/Fi Channels First Wave, takes advantage of the wicked witch similes and Salem in an episode titled Book of Shadows. The episode takes place in Salem, Oregon, in which a teenager is accused of witchcraft. There is resounding evidence Ursula Le Guin drew upon the events surrounding the Salem witch trials to create a metaphor remarkably similar to that of Dostoyevsky and James’s “lost soul” as well. In Omelas, one may find that once they enter, they are immersed in a utopian world, asking if they believe in the joy, or in the child whose pain permits the city to exists. The metaphor does exist, there is no doubt. Oppression exist, it is not hard to find. However, some will read The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas expecting to find some deeper meaning or wonder why Omelas “and other stories like it have not so far achieved any notable emancipation; they have not transformed the American conscience” (Collins 1). Omelas was not intended to change the world, and if so, Le Guin should read road signs backwards more often.Works Cited

Brandt, Bruce E., “Two Additional Antecedents for Ursuala Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” AMC Summer 2003: 16.

Collins, Jerre. “Leaving Omelas: Questions of Faith and Understanding.” Studies in Short Fiction 27 (1990): 1-7.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter.New York: Harper & Row, 1968.

James, William. Essays on Faith and Morals. Cleveland: The World Publishing Company, 1962.

King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York City: Scribner, 2000.

Le Guin , Ursula. “The Ones Who Walk away from Omelas.” The Wind’s Twelve Quarters. New York: Harper, 1975.

Rosenthal, David. Salem Story: Reading the Witch Trials of 1692. New York City: Cambridge UP, 1993.

Terras, Victor. A Karamazov Companion: Commentary on the Genesis, Language, and Style of Dostoevsky’s Novel. Madison: Wisconsin UP, 1981. 09

Upham, Charles W. Salem Witchcraft.Toronto: General Publishing Company, 2000. 
Copyright © 2005, Chad M. Ard, All Rights Reserved.

It’s Bedtime…Somewhere

Back in the rabbit hole, can’t sleep. Words are wanting, needing to be written.

Book needs promoting. Isn’t going to just promote itself.

And here I sit. Writing, promoting, creating catchy little images to appeal to those who casually scroll on Instagram, Twitter, and FB.

I certainly, at least not yet, have not found my rhythm.
Maybe by this time next week I’ll be in sync, my circadian clock will keep me on time and on track of all the things I need to do, and want to do.
All I do know is that I’m very happy to be writing again. It’s been a long time since I’ve started a project. Not that I was unhappy in my last post, working the 9-5, well more like on-call 24 hours a day.
I think I worked over 10,000 hours of overtime last year. And each minute was worth it.
But now I have to bring that same intensity to my writing.
And I can, and I will.
I’m getting there.
I can tell you though, even though at this point I haven’t sold many books, or received any reviews, it is very cool to see my stories in print and have the ability to share those stories is just an amazing feeling.
Well, that’s all for now. Much love and respect. Chad