Two local writers have assumed the mantle of fiction's most famous crime-fighting duo-Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. The two women are hunting down 75-year-old leads in the hopes of partially untangling Vermont's most gruesome triple murder. The pair are investigating the still unsolved murder case that first came to light along a lonely East Middlebury road May 15, 1935.
Roxanna Emilo of Middlebury and Kathy Brande of Bristol are busy researching and plotting their version of Middlebury's infamous murder-mystery. Their eight-year-long investigation has provided a realistic basis for a novel, now in the works, that will focus on the local true-crime story.
Titled "If These Woods Could Talk", Emilo and Brandt's book project is also being developed with an eye for the movie screen.
"I became friends with Roxanna a few years back," said Brande," and one day I was visiting her at her place. She happened to mention this old murder story-the victims were shot in the head and their remains had been found on (the old Luther Roscoe) property near her home. Well, I love these kinds of murder-mystery-detective stories, so I became very interested."
The idea to write a novel based on the crime evolved out of their discussion of the incident.
"We both were spooked by this," Brande said, "so we said 'we need to find out more about this because it's an unsolved mystery'."
Emilo noted that "we both like television programs like 'Unsolved Mysteries'-and this is the perfect kind of story for that show. Plus, no one ever identified or brought the murderer to justice. A woman and two children were murdered."
Just the facts
Not wanting to reveal too much about their story plotline, which is based closely on the triple murder, Emilo and Brande said their fictional retelling involves getting inside the minds of the victims. A few ghosts will appear in the story, too, they said. The writers deftly outlined their plot on index cards and are writing the draft at Brande's home office in Bristol.