a new look at the golden state killer case

Thanks to the late true crime writer Michelle McNamara, most of the world has now heard about the infamous rapist / killer who haunted California from 1976 to 1986. His list of crimes is long and horrific, beginning with 120 burglaries, 45 rapes, before graduating to 12 cold-blooded homicides. He’s nameless except for the moniker Michelle gave to him nicknaming him the Golden State Killer.

GSK has never been caught. Over the years, different jurisdictions from northern California to Southern California and a ton of professionals in between have tried to catch this guy but failed . For the past several years a long list of amateur sleuths have also attempted to find out his identity by putting together pieces and clues from almost 40 years ago hoping some tidbit or big reveal would lead to his capture. So far, nothing. The state of California has his DNA. It was added to CODIS years ago without a match. There is a $50,000 reward for capturing GSK, who would probably be between  the ages of 55 & 65 years old now.

This week, Sacramento County issued a statement that included new information that might help catch him. Here is what law enforcement wants you to know. During his reign of terror, GSK stole certain items from his victims. Below are a few photos of some of the things he took after a rape in Carmichael and some of his writings dropped to the ground after a rape in Danville. According to Contra Costa County DA investigator Paul Holes, the map below is a detailed drawing of how to lay out a subdivision. Interesting info, since most investigators believed they were dealing with a young adult. But since it shows some knowledge of the industry, GSK might not be as young as everyone thought.

If you have any information about the items listed below, two rings or the Noritake Polonaise China pattern or the Reed and Barton Majesty silverware,  contact the FBI at 1-800-call-FBI or go to tips.FBI.gov. The more people who see the types of knots he used to bind his victims and the items he stole, the greater the chance someone might recognize these and provide a name to law enforcement. It’s pretty much a last ditch effort to reach out to the public and hope someone might see something that jogs a memory. If you’re an ID fan, PEOPLE magazine plans to dedicate their season premiere episode on Monday November 6 to the Golden State Killer case.

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Posted in California, Crime, Golden State Killer, Serial Killer, Stalking, True crime, Vickie McKeehan | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

flu shots, Halloween, & teal pumpkins

Every fall I try to do the right thing and get a flu shot. Bad move! Twenty -four hours later, I broke out in hives—a reaction I’ve never had before—and for several days I was splotchy red, itching, and feverish. Not only that, the site of the shot still hurts like blazes. And it isn’t just me. My hubby, who never has a reaction to anything, also broke out in hives and experienced terrible arm pain. Which tells me something is really seriously jacked with this year’s vaccine.

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Image Credit: Amazon

Anyhoo, after alternating between slathering aloe vera and cortisone cream on my arms and legs for several days, I’m now getting ready for Halloween, dragging out the witches and building my traditional hay bale stack with pumpkins for the front porch.

Which brings me to a question. Anyone out there know about teal pumpkins? I had never heard of them until last week. Yes, I know, I must’ve had my head buried in the sand. However, I prefer to think of it as having my head down, hard at work on my next story. But I digress.

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Image Credit: Google 

Displaying teal pumpkins on the porch means you’re offering non-food items in lieu of sugary candy or chocolate. Now even though this breaks this chocoholic’s little heart somewhat, when the doorbell rings Tuesday night, I’ll be offering trick-or-treaters, not one but two bowls. One with the tried and true assorted chocolate candy bars I love, AND another with trinkets I picked up at Target near the Halloween section. Corny stuff like plastic fangs, glow sticks, little plastic bracelets, costume necklaces, spider rings, pencils, pens, crayons, markers, Halloween erasers, mini notepads, and stickers. Cool huh? It’s not a bad plan trading orange for teal. If this chocolate lover can switch out Butterfingers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for a few  nontraditional giveaways that cut down on sugar, I’m all for it. And it  might actually be cheaper. Amazon offers a 100-piece toy assortment for only $18 bucks. Not a bad deal instead of buying bags and bags of sugar-laden candy.

Image Credit: AllergyandAsthmaCare.com

Whatever you decide, is okay by me. Here’s hoping you have a happy and safe Halloween!!! And if you must get a flu shot, ask them ahead of time if your arm might fall off before they stick that needle in you. I wish I had.

 

Posted in Amazon, Art, Autumn, Chocolate, DIY, Food, Halloween, Horror, Kindness, Novel, October, Posts, Random Act of Kindness, Teal Pumpkin Project, Vickie McKeehan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New series: A Coyote Wells Mystery

As Halloween approaches and with Thanksgiving on the horizon, I’m settling in for a long winter of writing. For starters, I’ve outlined three books for my new series, A Coyote Wells Mystery.

First up is Mystic Falls scheduled for release on Tuesday, November 7th.

Emotionally reeling after the death of her grandmother, Gemma Channing is settling into Coyote Wells, her hometown where she grew up, after a ten-year absence. While coming to terms with the loss of her Gram, MYSTIC FALLS FINAL coverdisturbing things begin to happen. Women are disappearing. Just when she begins to realize Coyote Wells has changed—and not for the better—she’s forced to bump heads with Lando Bonner, her ex, a man who still carries around a grudge. You might say Lando despises her. But since she’s digging for answers in an effort to explain exactly how her grandmother died, she needs his help. It won’t be easy. Lando has never forgiven her for leaving him. Tensions between the two rise as a killer grips the town in fear. Is it kill or be killed? Who will the killer target next? And when will it all end?

I love dabbling in mysteries and figuring out how to solve them. As you can tell by the continuing theme, Gemma and Lando will have a homicide or two to solve in each book. They’ll have help from an array of quirky characters. I hope you come to love Gemma and Lando as much as I do and hope you settle into the town with all the other odd characters who make Coyote Wells home.

Posted in Amazon, Announcements, Books, California, California Historical Landmark, Chocolate, Crime, Entertainment, Fiction, Kindle, Native American, Posts, Promote, Redwoods, Romance, Series, Suspense, True crime, Vickie McKeehan, Writers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GoT: Did Tyrion betray Dany?

As an ardent fan of Game of Thrones, last night’s episode pretty much went as we all expected without too many surprises. [SPOILERS ahead if you didn’t catch last night’s season finale.] But the show did manage to slip in a few things this fan didn’t see coming.

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Image credit: HBO

For one, I read a few reviews that suggested Tyrion might be in love with Dany, hence his look of pure despair when Jon knocks on Dany’s cabin door on the ship and she lets him in. Jon’s not there to discuss war strategy, but to spend the night. Some see that as Tyrion’s heart simply breaking at the thought of Jon and Dany finally getting together. But I see something way different.

That wasn’t love I saw last night in Tyrion’s eyes. It was deep, gut-wrenching sadness. He’d just left King’s Landing after the big powwow with his sister Cersei. The writers want you to believe that Tyrion pulled off a miracle and somehow convinced the self-absorbed Cersei into doing what was right—sending troops North to help in the fight against the Army of the Dead.

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Image Credit: HBO

 

 While the scene between the two cut away just when Tyrion gets down to the nitty gritty of the negotiations, fans know Cersei never does the right thing. Not ever. More like, she guilted Tyrion into betraying Dany—enlisting Tyrion to play along by giving the impression that she’s helping out in the Great War. Tyrion is now a party to this illusion. He knows the truth. Cersei isn’t sending a single troop North. When Tyrion gets on that boat to go back to Dragonstone, he knows he’s betrayed Dany by letting Dany and Jon believe Lannister help is right behind them. But the Lannister army is staying put in King’s Landing, minus Jaime, of course. And did Tyrion tip Cersei off about Dany having only two dragons left? Cersei seemed to suspect this during her subsequent, and very threatening talk with Jaime later on. Which prompts this longtime fan to scream at her TV. “Oh, Tyrion, why’d you do it? Why’d you betray Dany for Cersei. Cersei isn’t worth that kind of loyalty. Didn’t Jaime discover that the hard way?”

All fans are aware of Dany’s prophecy, that she will be betrayed three times—once for blood, once for gold, and once for love. Fans already know the medicine woman Miri Maz Durr betrayed her when the priestess tried to bring Drogo back and it failed miserably. That was supposedly the blood betrayal. Then there’s Jorah Mormont, who betrayed her early in Season One for gold. Back then, Jorah was working for King Robert. His job was to make sure Daenerys died. The third betrayal hasn’t happened yet. For that major plot point the writers want you to wait for Season Eight. But since watching last night’s episode, that betrayal for love seems to be all on Tyrion now. For some reason he feels guilty that Cersei’s children have all died. She’s somehow managed to convince him it’s all his fault. Deep down Tyrion loves his family and hated the way Dany ended up scorching the Lannister army like she did. It seems to be a sticking point with him that he’s unable to let go. So, that brings us full circle, back to the scene where he’s discussing the fact that Dany can’t have children. Maybe it’s a foreshadow. Tyrion is suddenly having major second thoughts—about loyalty, about the side he’s chosen, and the future of the Iron Throne.

I don’t want to believe it, but there’s no other reason I can think of for Tyrion to let Dany and Jon believe he’s fixed their Cersei problem unless he’s part of the ruse.  At best, Season Eight is a year away from wrapping all this up, maybe even longer. That’s a very long time to wait and stew about why Tyrion let Dany believe help is coming when it isn’t. Game of Thrones has its secrets and this just might be one of them. Et tu, Brute? Et tu?

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summer lavender

Does anything smell better than a summer stroll through lavender? It’s taken a learning curve for me to grow it—bright sunlight and the right kind of soil. It likes its own space, Lavenderdoesn’t like to be crowded into a pot or a flower bed. I guess you could say it doesn’t like to share. But what I’ve discovered is to prune, prune, prune. Deadhead all the brown stuff and do it quickly, otherwise the part that’s just bloomed and wilted will take over your entire plant(s). As for the soil, I was told to add in limestone or sand to let it drain, drain, drain. So don’t spend years making the same mistakes I made. With a little research you can come up with the right mix to grow lavender. Just remember it doesn’t like to be neglected. But when it blooms, the fragrance is well worth the fuss. And you can’t beat the purple color that invariably brightens up a spot where white daisies and hydrangeas thrive. If you’re hesitant to grow lavender, take the plunge. What used to be a failure in the garden, is now a summer staple for me. I love the aroma. For that alone, I make the extra effort.

Posted in Blogging, Daisies, Drought, Flowers, Gardening, Life, Nature, Posts, Southern California, Summer, Vickie McKeehan | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

summer + nature = redwoods

redwoods

No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe.

~ John Steinbeck

Summer along the California coast is inspirational, nothing more so than the Redwood National Forest, enjoying it so much I’m making it a feature in the next series.

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Mom: the root of me

Yep, I know this post is way past due for Mother’s Day. That’s probably because I didn’t write it for that reason. This is about the woman that shaped who I am, both good and bad. During my mom’s lifetime she’d be the first to admit that she lived an unconventional life. Oh, she did the usual things, like staying at home and raising three kids  But after us kids became a certain age, she also went to work, going a little wild out there enjoying her newfound freedom from the drudgery of what she’d known.

Mom was a complicated sort of woman, but then aren’t we all in some way? Truly. Don’t we all have layered sides to each of us? Maybe a secret or two hiding within us that we don’t want to share with anyone else? That was my mom. To say my mother had secrets Momwas an understatement. And if you keep reading you won’t find them out from me. Sorry. But I’m no snitch. If I’m anything at all, I’m loyal. Even her death will never drag them out of me. Besides, that’s not what this post is about either.

Many these days might consider my mom to have been on the quirky side. But that word quirky doesn’t quite cover who she truly was or the secrets she kept, even from my dad, certainly from us kids. Not by any stretch.

But upon meeting Mom something usually kicked in, people knew almost immediately she was different. At least that’s the way it was for me. After my older brother and sister would head off to school, it was just me and Mom left to our own devices back at home. One of my earliest memories was her ability to tell a story. She believed wholeheartedly in anything paranormal: psychic visions, ghostly apparitions, spirtiwalkers, ESP, you name it. If it was different, Mom was broad-minded enough to give it a chance. She made new friends, some white, some black, at a time when it was unconventional to widen your circle of acquaintances. And since she didn’t have a racist bone in her body, it seemed natural for Mom to include everyone. Let’s just say she was tolerant at a time when more people needed to be.

But again, she wasn’t perfect.

She could tell the most fascinating stories about things that happened to her growing up. Coincidentally they all included just the right amount of the paranormal. I grew up listening and believing. Engaged. Enjoying a good story. And before you go judging her, all the psychic phenomenon she  added to her life, didn’t replace her religious upbringing. She was a staunch Baptist to the day she died.

But her quirky side sometimes prevailed through the stories she told: Wild characters who had near-brushes with death, ghosts who moved things around, ghosts who guided people’s decisions, shadowy figures who walked the forest at night helping travelers get home safely. There were hundreds of tales like this and she made them all so entertaining to the child who held on to her every word from the beginning of a story right through to its ending. And then sad when the tale was over.

So to my mother, wherever you are, your quirkiness is the light that guides me on my writing path. Your being different paid off. For those who don’t believe in the paranormal, that’s fine. But you’re missing a facet of life that holds its entertaining moments closest to the heart. The heart of a story that says, close your eyes, use your imagination to conjure up the possibilities that just might be waiting around that bend up ahead in the road. It’s okay to be different. Imagine different every time.

 

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