6 Year Old Tried for Murder

•July 16, 2015 • 2 Comments

Today not so different from yesterday after all…

Historic Horrors

mahanIn Paintsville, a small eastern coal-mining town in Kentucky, Carl Newton Mahan became the youngest person ever tried for murder.

On May 18, 1929 Carl, age 6 and his friend Cecil Van Hoose, age 8, found a scrap of iron that they planned to sell to a junk dealer for a little extra money.  Cecil took the scrap from Carl and hit him in the face with it.  Carl got his revenge by running home and grabbing his father’s 12 gauge shotgun.  He ran back to Cecil, pointed the gun at him and yelled “I’m going to shoot you!”  And he did, killing the boy.

He was tried for murder, and got up on the stand to tell the court what happened.  For the rest of the day long trial he sometimes laid and slept on the defense table.  After 30 minutes of deliberation, the jury decided that manslaughter was more fitting…

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To Be Continued…or not

•June 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Time to repost this, to answer that burning question once again… Please see the list of other novels you might enjoy, and forgive me the lack of a sequel!

Trying to Touch

•June 21, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Trees trying to meetI have this crazy idea in my head that these two particular trees in my yard have been struggling for years to actually bridge the gap and touch, but each time they come close, someone cuts them back. Today I promised them it won’t be me. Let trees do what trees will.

 

Things That Inspire Horror Authors #4

•June 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Extended Visits from Family – When you’re accustomed to being lord of your own manor, eating what you like whenever you like, showering at any time of day and expecting hot water every time, keeping a sparsely populated fridge and liking everything in your home exactly as you have it…and then family members you haven’t been around in years are suddenly filling the rooms (for various reasons, including marital difficulties, moving in from out of state, etc.) and you now remember why you enjoy living alone.

You lay awake at night and remember past physical and or psychological torments inflicted by said family members and soon wonder if the dark fiction that springs from your pen was born of these wounds. You think about going outside to find a nice fat spider and placing it between their sheets… Then your fridge breaks down, you assume because it is unused to being so full and having so much food to keep cold. You call the repairman, pay the bill, and wonder why no one else in the family loves sushi as much as you do. Refrigerating leftovers is a bad idea when it comes to sushi, right? That’s why the container of spring greens has mostly beer for company. Then you remember that your favorite sushi chef Henry has gone to New York to follow his dream of becoming a Hip Hop artist and you don’t like the salmon wraps the new chef makes because he always includes cream cheese. Henry didn’t do that. You realize you miss Henry more than you would miss the family members now under your roof. He was bright and conscientious and never rearranged the pots and pans in your kitchen to his liking the way one of your relatives has. You wonder if you’ll become an alcoholic before your family leaves, because the beer and container of spring greens now have a large bottle of gin for company.

You think of things for them to do while they are ‘staying’ with you, partially to keep their minds off their troubles and partially to keep them from going through your things. When they think to tell you they aren’t invading your privacy while you’re gone, you know that’s exactly what they’ve done that day, otherwise why mention it. It’s a good thing there are no secrets, no hidden pictures or personal playthings. Nothing but invoices and stacks of old manuscripts, which you know they’ll never read and why? Because they’re family and the least interested persons on the planet when it comes to you. That’s why I can post this and not worry about a single one of them reading it.  :)

Other Things That Inspire Horror Authors – This turtle, who bears a mysterious resemblance to one of the aforementioned.

SAM_0265

One More Thing – http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2015/06/04/regrow-entire-limb/#.VXCYAOfmqlo

Great. More rats. Or more parts of rats….

Unexpectedly Popular – The Bind

•April 11, 2015 • Leave a Comment

An author never knows what readers are going to like, or why. It’s something that has to be put out of one’s head if one ever wants to get a story written, so imagine my surprise that this “spellbinding” little $0.99 tale seems to have tickled the fancy of more than a few readers. Makes it all worth it.  TheBindCover2

Amazon,   Barnes&Noble,  Smashwords

Centuries ago, an ancient alchemist’s taste for young girls saw thirteen-year-old Lura Cartaun fleeing for her life. When he catches her, the old monster gives Lura a choice. Generations later her descendants are still trying to undo the curse placed upon them, a bind that finds child after child dying because of the name given by its parents. The end to the bind may be in sight, however, with the appearance of another descendant, that of the evil alchemist, who comes to town and decides to do some grave digging. What he unearths causes the entire population of the town to be placed under quarantine, but it also brings two people together whose union has been centuries in the making.

Here’s an excerpt:

The curtain moves and August displays his badge. The door opens and Medea steps outside. She is earthy, sensual, and smiling. Her mouth opens to issue a greeting held soundless on her lips. She blinks as if in faint recognition.

August’s nostrils flare as he takes in the sight and scent of her. Up close, she looks better than he ever imagined.

Then he remembers his purpose.

“I need to speak with Medea Durham.”

“You are,” she says. “I’m Medea.”

“You’re a midwife?”

Her brow crinkles. “You sound surprised. Is this about the grave robber?”

“Yes. May I come in?”

Medea nods and stands aside to allow him entrance.

Inside her living room, he sees books, more books, very little furniture and many potted herb plants. Medea points to a sofa and August sits. She takes a chair across from him.

“Are you the sheriff? Can you explain what fell from the sky today?”

“No to both questions. My name is August McClure. I’m Undersheriff.”

Medea’s eyes flicker as she registers the name. “Then the grave robbed was a relative?”

“My great grandfather. You told the officer you saw someone leaving the cemetery in a hurry.”

“I didn’t see much. It was just before dawn. A man holding a bag was all I could make out.”

“A bag?”

“Yes. A garbage bag. One of the big ones.”

August goes still as he recalls the grinning man he exchanged stares with that morning.

“Was he an older man? Strange eyes?”

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t say. I certainly didn’t get the impression of age. He was moving fairly quickly.”

“It’s not many women who’ll jump out and go traipsing through a graveyard in the dark,” August comments.

Her mouth twists. “I’m afraid of a lot of things, Mr. McClure, but the dark and the dead aren’t on the list.”

Her frankness inspires him to look openly at her. “You have an unusual name.”

She nods. “Yes, I do.”

“From the Greek tragedy?”

“You know your literature.”

“Some hicks do. It’s a pretty name, but she was one wicked piece of work.”

“Another someone who didn’t mind the dark or the dead.”

“Or killing her own family,” August says.

 

Happy Easter — Michael Sowa

•April 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

What Was the Fate of the Five Sodder Children?

•March 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Historic Horrors

From left: Maurice (14), Martha (12), Louis (10), Jennie (8), Betty (6) From left: Maurice (14), Martha (12), Louis (10), Jennie (8), Betty (6)

On Christmas Eve of 1945 in Fayetteville, West Virginia, George and Jennie Sodder had been celebrating the Christmas season with nine of their ten children.  Their son, Joe, was away in the Army.  As the night grew later George retired for the night to bed followed shortly after by his sons John (23) and George Jr. (16).  When Jennie decided it was time for the rest of the children to go to bed, they pleaded with her to stay up and play with their toys that their older sister, Marian (17), had gotten for them.  After her children promised her that they would get a few chores done before bed, Jennie agreed to let them continue playing and then took her youngest child, Sylvia (3) to bed with her.

The phone ringing awoke Jennie a little past midnight.  Jennie answered…

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