• 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…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: Who Killed Lue Cree Overcash Westmoreland?

    This article originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS. When 20-year-old Lue Cree Overcash Westmoreland retired for the evening at the home of her husband’s family on Jan. 19, 1937, no one expected the young bride of only two months would be murdered by the next morning. Lue Cree’s husband, Herman Westmoreland, lived in an apartment during the week so he could be close to his job at Cascade Mills in Mooresville. Lue Cree was staying at the family home in the Amity Hill area of Iredell County. According to an article that ran in the Statesville Record & Landmark, members of the Westmoreland family went to call Lue…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The N.C. Murders of Viktor Gunnarsson and Catherine Miller

    North Carolina isn’t exactly the place where one would expect to find a man suspected of being involved with the assassination of the Prime Minister of Sweden hiding out. Nor would they expect the man would be murdered as the result of a love triangle and not his troubles abroad. But that’s what happened to Viktor Gunnarsson in December 1993. On Feb. 28, 1986, Prime Minister Olof Palme was exiting a movie theater on a busy street in Stockholm when he was shot and killed. His wife, Lisbet, sustained injuries during the attack but survived. Because Gunnarsson, known to be a staunch right-wing extremist at the time, was spouting off hate speech about…

  • Lifestyle,  writing inspiration

    Always Learning

    This letter appears in the August 2021 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS. I love to learn about new things. Some of my favorite ways to consume new information is through podcasts, documentaries, and books. Sometime in this past year I realized I had gotten into a bit of a rut when it came to my personal education choices. I was reading the same types of books over and over (often women’s fiction, contemporary young adult novels and other “book club” type literature) because they were entertaining, but was I really learning anything new? I began to challenge myself, first by choosing to read books by authors with entirely different backgrounds, as well as…

  • True Crime

    True Crime Wednesday: The Murder of Foy Dixon Cooper

    Author David Aaron Moore shared the story of Foy Dixon Cooper in his book Charlotte: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem. At around 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, 1959, a group of young boys gathered in the Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte to play and chase squirrels and chipmunks like they often did. Playing in a cemetery could involve quite a bit of creative role playing for energetic children, so when one boy, Dale Jackson, dared Ronnie McCauley to enter a nearby crypt so he could meet Dracula, the youngster didn’t back down. McCauley stuck his hand and then his head into the opening of the crypt, screaming, “Hey, there’s a real dead woman in…

  • Lifestyle,  Travel

    Time to Get Away

    This letter appears in the June 2021 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS. For so many years, my weekends have been filled with “to-do’s.” I must go to the grocery store. I have to get to my kids’ sporting events. I absolutely must clean the house. A Target run is essential. All those things I couldn’t quite get to during the week because of work and weekday activities would be pushed off until the weekend. Before I knew it, the entire weekend would have been filled up with me running around from place to place only to collapse, exhausted, on Sunday evening wondering how it was already time to get back to work the…

  • Book Review

    The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

    Synopsis: Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help. The new season of Rachel’s podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3…