The novel, “Untied Shoelace,” began as a standalone book. I planned to write the mystery/historical novel, and then dedicate this book to Manuela, my friend murdered by a serial killer in the early 80’s.
Now the first time I heard (around 2011) that Texarkana had a serial killer, a case from 1946, I became intrigued. I’m not sure why, unless it’s due to Manuela’s murder ending up being a cold case, too.
I had said bye to Manuel on a Friday. And she was dead on Saturday. She was raped, bound, bludgeoned, and someone broke into her home. I’d left her my new phone number as I’d moved inland from the coast in California. And she never got to even make a a call to me.
I would hear whispers of her being an atheist. And I was wrecked. For I had not shared my faith in Christ with her, and I was wounded and bleeding with guilt. I never wanted to live without sharing my faith again. It was such a catalyst in my walk for the Lord.
So the book began as a healing for my heart, and to write this novel while sharing how ashes rise up with hope in Christ. The local case was about a killer who lurked in the railroad town of Texarkana, and began in February of 1946 with the first attack, and these two would live. there would be five murders and three attacks on record that are attributed to him. Well, some say not all are connected.
I began researching, taking photos and using local places for the book, and I visited the murder sites. I listened to tales, truths and studied facts from the murder investigation.
So in this blog post, you’ll see a tree, and it’s on 4th Street and Beech on the Arkansas side of Texarkana. The Catholic Church is across the street, and the apartment building is across the side street from the tree.
Annie Grace Kree, who is Shoelace in the book, well, she rides into town on the rail with Tin Can Mahlee, and her Grandma Elsie lives at the manor in this fictional story which has a landscape of truth inside the pages.
See, back in the 40’s there was a two-story house on this corner, with a white picket fence, and a big ole tree.
In the book, the house is called “Beech Street Manor.”
And inside this house, you’ll meet possible suspects and possible friends. You’ll meet Grandma Elsie, Ernie from the newspaper, and Pastor Cody who preaches to hobos. And you’ll learn about the invasion of a killer who comes to town. Or could he live in town?
At the apartments, you’ll meet Taddy, who becomes friends with Shoelace, who is ten. You’ll meet his mother, Priscilla, who bakes biscuits.
So come along. Meet my characters. And enjoy the photos from Texarkana, too. Read the book. See who you think is the killer? It’s a cold case, but you just might be surprised at some of the suspects who never became suspects.
Check out my book page and get your copy!