Bestselling true-crime author M. William Phelps, star of the new investigative television series “Dark Minds,” takes readers to his own backyard in these eight bloodcurdling murder cases. Think New England is all bucolic landscapes and Robert Frost poems? Think again.
In Murder, New England, Phelps explores different motives, themes, and community reactions to horrific crimes:
** Murder by Blood: The Strange Death of Rebecca Cornwell (1673, Narragansset Bay, RI). A 73-year-old widow burned to death in front of her bedroom fireplace…
** William Beadle: Husband, Father, Murderer (1782, Wethersfield, CT). A man murders his wife and kids before taking his own life...
** The Angry Man: Murder in Manchester (1821, Manchester, NH). A poor widow killed in her home by a “ruffian” looking for food and drink...
** Better Off in Heaven: John Kemmler Kills His Three Children (1879, Holyoke, MA). After losing his mill job, a man kills his daughters because he fears they will become prostitutes...
** Birth of the “Big Seven”: Gaspare Messina’s Mafioso (1917, Boston). An ol’ fashioned Mafia murder tale...
** Electronic Kill Machine: “Forensic Files” Murder (2001, Somerville, MA). Teenage slackers, the show “Forensic Files,” and the murder of a grandmother blamed on TV, youth, drugs, sex, money, and rock-n-roll...
** Sings of Life (2006, Lanesborough, MA). A woman employs the help of her cocaine-snorting daughter and Goth son to help her get rid of their step-father.
** Sesame Street Murder: Death on Big Bird’s Estate (2008, Woodstock, CT). A young woman out for a jog murdered by the groundskeeper of an estate owned by the puppeteer who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
[Page Two of spread]
A chilling scene unfolds on the Woodstock, Connecticut, estate of the Sesame Street puppeteer who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch:
Near the end of the access road was a picnic area with a large pagoda-like structure topped by an A-framed roof. Two paddle boats were stored under the ceiling of the open-air building. The pagoda had that sacred, spiritual look one would expect of a place to relax and meditate. Here was a haven separated from the main living space where one could retreat and disconnect from the world.
What upset the serenity of the scene was the trail of blood. It lead from the roadway directly to the pagoda—and yet stopped in the center of the ground under the ceiling. The paddle boats, investigators noticed, had blood spatter and smudge marks on them. But what did it mean that the trail of blood just stopped?
As they continued to search, troopers looked above them and spied a set of pull-down stairs. There was a storage area or attic within the pagoda’s A-frame.
The blood trail had stopped directly beneath the pull-down stairs.
M. William Phelps will star on a TV show tentatively called “Dark Minds.” Filming began in April 2011 and it will air beginning in Jan/Feb 2012. Investigation Discovery has purchased 8 episodes. ID is currently available in 70 million homes. It is the fastest growing cable TV network on air. They predict the show to be one of its franchise shows. Author has chosen the cases—eight unsolved serial killer cases he will be chasing like a hunter, tracking the killers, interviewing people and profiling each killer with a team he has assembled. There is a major twist to the show that we are not releasing publically just yet.
Crime expert, lecturer and acclaimed investigative journalist M. William Phelps is the national bestselling, award-winning author of sixteen nonfiction books. Winner of 2008 New England Book Festival Award for I’ll Be Watching You, Phelps has made dozens of television appearances, including CBS’s “Early Show,” Court TV/truTV, Discovery Channel, Fox News Channel, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Learning Channel, Biography Channel, History Channel, Montel Williams, Investigation Discovery, Geraldo At Large, Oxygen’s “Snapped” and “Captured;” he’s been on USA Radio Network, Catholic Radio, Ava Maria Radio, ABC News Radio and Radio America, who calls him “the nation’s leading authority on the mind of the female murderer.” He’s written for the Providence Journal, Hartford Courant, New London Day, and consulted on the first season of the hit Showtime cable television series “Dexter.”
Profiled in such noted publications as Connecticut Magazine, Writer’s Digest, NY Daily News, Newsday, Albany Times-Union, Hartford Courant, Advance for Nurses magazine, Forensic Nursing, and NY Post, Phelps lives in a small Connecticut farming community. Beyond his true-crime books, in 2008 he published a highly acclaimed narrative nonfiction biography of Revolutionary War patriot Nathan Hale, NATHAN HALE: The Life and Death of America’s First Spy (Thomas Dunne Books).
Eight true tales of murder set in New England from the colonial period to today, from a true crime master and star of Investigation Discovery’s new show, “Dark Minds”