• True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: What Happened to Angela Hamby of Wilkesboro, N.C.?

    What happened to a young woman named Angela Hamby, who went missing from Wilkesboro, North Carolina on October 29, 1982, remains a mystery. By all accounts, Angela was a homebody. She had graduated from West Wilkes High School in 1980, and was living at home with her parents and working at a job in data processing at the local NCNB Bank. She was also enrolled at Wilkes Community College, with the hopes of eventually transferring to Appalachian State University. On the day she went missing, Angela had errands planned for the morning, and then she and her mother and sister were going to drive to nearby Elkin to do some shopping. She left…

  • Lifestyle

    A Purposeful Life

    This editor’s letter appears in the March 2022 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS. In early January, the community of Lake Norman learned of the passing of Tom Clark, a Davidson College professor who eventually found his life’s calling working in sculpture. While planning an article on his work, we put a call out on our social media pages asking if anyone had a collection of the miniature gnomes he grew so famous for creating. We were overwhelmed by the responses of so many people, not only of those who still have his gnome sculptures in their homes but also those who had a personal connection to Clark or a memory of what his…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The Murder of Nikki McPhatter

    Nikki McPhatter’s story caught my attention after seeing it featured on the Investigation Discovery show “Web of Lies.” She was a 30-year-old woman working in Charlotte at the time of her disappearance. A goal-oriented person who always seemed to know what that next step was, she joined the Navy shortly after graduating from high school. After her time in the military, she took a job as a ticket agent for U.S. Airways at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. She was an adventurous young woman who, according to her older sister LaToya, also enjoyed skydiving in her downtime. She turned to online dating hoping to find companionship. It was on a website called Tagged.com…

  • Book Review

    Book Review: Such a Quiet Place

    Synopsis: Welcome to Hollow’s Edge, where you can find secrets, scandal, and a suspected killer—all on one street. Hollow’s Edge use to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge,…

  • Lifestyle

    A Recipe for Love

    This editor’s letter appears in the February 2022 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS. I have fond memories of food playing a strong role throughout my childhood—providing comfort, bringing me together with family, cheering me up when I was down, providing the background for celebratory events. My mom was a fan of those hearty dishes like broccoli cheese casserole, homemade macaroni and cheese, Salisbury Steak, and mashed potatoes. My grandmother loved nothing better than whipping up a batch of homemade tortillas, tamales, or a big pot of refried beans. After I got married, I dabbled in cooking here and there, but it wasn’t until I became a mom that my interest in finding and…

  • Book Review

    Book Review: Survive the Night by Riley Sager

    It’s November 1991, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, George H.W. Bush is in the White House, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer. I picked up Survive the Night this past summer while browsing at one of my favorite independent bookstores in Asheville, N.C. I read a lot of Christopher Pike novels when I was a teenager, and as this book is set in 1991, the plot description reminded me of themes Pike favored. The structure of the book, set up as if describing the narrative arc of a Hollywood screenplay, appealed to me. The protagonist, Charlie, reminded me of my…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The Murder of Sherry Hart in North Carolina

    This case was featured on “Unsolved Mysteries” on December 1, 1995. Hart was a recently divorced 24-year-old young mother who had moved back to live with her parents in West Jefferson, N.C. when she went missing after an evening out in January of 1984. For months her family wondered what had happened to her, and then her body was found on December 10, 1984, at the base of a cliff near an area called Jumpinoff Rock. Investigators received some tips about Hart’s murder after a $5,000 reward was publicized. They discovered two local men named Richard Bare and Jeffrey Burgess had met up with Hart the night she went missing, and talked her…

  • True Crime

    Five True Crime Podcast Episodes for Halloween

    If you’re an avid podcast listener like me, you’re always on the hunt for good shows to listen to. Several podcasts in my feed put out Halloween-related episodes recently, so I thought I’d share those with you. The first two cases I had never heard of before, so I’m curious to see if they are new to you as well. Of course, I couldn’t resist adding in my own ghostly episode of Missing in the Carolinas I created last year into this mix. Enjoy! Dateline: The Night Before Halloween If you’re a true crime junkie like me, you enjoy watching “Dateline” but may not always have the time to watch the episodes when…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: What Happened to Jamie Fraley?

    Jamie Fraley was a young 22-year-old from Gastonia who had lived most of her life with bipolar disorder and anxiety, but according to friends and family, she was on a medication that was working for her and excited about the future. She was taking classes at Gaston Community College and living in a nearby apartment. She was also engaged at the time to a young man named Ricky Simonds Junior. They had been living together until he was arrested and charged with theft. Despite his arrest, Fraley was supportive of Ricky Junior and stood by him while he served out his sentence. She was living alone at the apartment, but Ricky’s father, Ricky…

  • Pop Culture

    How Being a Writer Has Ruined TV for Me

    I’m going to start this post off by saying that I know I probably shouldn’t watch as much TV as I do. Darn you, multiple streaming services that give me access to all my favorite procedural and true crime shows at the click of a button! But sometimes, at the end of a long day or week, you just want to veg out and take a break from all the stress and massaging your temples that writing and editing and trying to be creative can bring. However, being a writer, we’re more observant than most people. We’ve studied storytelling formulas and the best way to plot short stories and novels. So, what should…