Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Sandy Knoll Murder

I have to admit when I was first given this book I thought it was about someone named Sandy Knoll - ha ha! Oh my. Well it isn't. It's about a prominent merchant (John Creed Conn) who disappeared...and seven weeks later his murdered body was found on a sandy knoll just outside of town. His disappearance and murder were, at the time, attributed to the sheepshooters - a reference to the range wars between cattlemen and sheepmen. But in this book the author, Melany Tupper, attributes his murder - and several others - on a local sociopath. Did that surprise you? It did me!

Set in Silver Lake, Oregon in 1904, this book that took six years of research (all of which is cited at the end of each chapter) was a fascinating look at an area that has a connection with my family.

My great, great grandfather was a sheepherder and the family has a few stories about the difficulties he faced. In one he was drinking from a stream when someone came up behind him and knocked him unconscious. He later awoke half in the stream - lucky he didn't drown. Also, he had a partner called Shorty who disappeared and no one knows what happened to him.

The photo below shows him driving one of the wagon loads of wool out of Shaniko.

Historically fascinating, loaded with facts and - in the end - interesting insight into the sociopathic mind I really enjoyed this book. I went into reading it with one idea and was genuinely surprised by the end. The author's ideas and insights present an interesting case and after viewing the facts she presents I think she was right on the money.

If you like history and mystery, intrigue, suspicious characters, and range feuds I suggest giving this book a read and I think you might find yourself as surprised as I was.

1 comment:

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Sounds interesting! I have been out of my comfort zone lately in my reading...I'll look for this book! Thanks! ♥