Sunday, April 23, 2017

In the Beginning

Uhaul murders teraisa goldman
original note cards I could arrange into the entire book
Behind the scenes, there's a common theme with the U-Haul Murders and, in the long run, it belongs in a Coen Brothers' movie; it's that ironic: crazy coincidences that you just can't make up.

For me as a writer of fiction, mothering, and homeschooling articles, this was evidenced by everything being dropped over and over again into my lap, urging me to tell the story I tried to give away. Fate says otherwise.

And yet, if only it was that easy. It's now been more than two decades I've been interviewing, researching, learning, listening, reading, and writing.

The Carson City, Nevada, we knew was on the edge of the capitol city where wild horses roamed... which meant we didn't at that time have cable and, in fact, our TV would only either show the picture or emit sound on local channels, but never both. The radio was no better.

Because of this, the actual U-Haul Murders in January, 1994, went unnoticed in our house. I had seen a blip of Maria Calambro briefly later that month while the news covered the controversy of her leaving jail to attend her son's funeral (there's no surprises in true crime--Maria killed her four-year-old son, Binh) and why it stayed in my mind, well, we now understand.

It would be December of '95, when by chance a free trial week of the Nevada Appeal was delivered to our door. On the cover was Duc Cong Huynh, who made good on his threats and was found dead, hanging in his jail cell. Always some controversy for the masses, this became important because he was on suicide watch. 

My mom and I devoured the newspaper--living in the boonies does that to you--and while reading, I had a premonition: author Gary Provost would absolutely love this story littered with what he calls "...and then's."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.