Thursday, September 28, 2006

Real-Life Mysteries 

How often does any of us come into contact with, much less become involved with, situations that might well be stories, or even mysteries? I have two cases to relate.

First, about two years ago I read an article in the LA Times about an aspiring young Hollywood model who'd disappeared. Police went to her residence and found bloody clothing and no sign of the owner of the house where she was staying. The article described the house as in the "5000 block of Medina Road" and I realized... that was just up the street from me. In fact, I'd been in that house (it had TV reporters in front of it when I drove by later that same day); there'd been a "for rent" sign in front of it a couple months before, and on impulse I'd stopped by to see what the house was like. It was large, some 3500 square feet, on a hillside below the street, three levels from street level down, with a tennis court below that; however it was some 30 years old, so it lacked the high ceilings and large bathrooms and walk-in closets you see in new construction today. Nice, though not luxurious by contemporary standards.

Subsequently a body was found in a dumpster at a self-storage facility about three miles north of the house. Owner still missing. Several months later, another LAT article told about the discovery by police of the owner of that house, who'd committed suicide in a motel somewhere near the Mexican border. End of story... except that ever since then, the house has still been for rent, off and on, no one staying there for long. And it's for rent again today as I write.

Second, ever since I moved into my present residence a little over 3 years ago, I've been getting telephone calls and messages for someone named Kevin Terani (I'm guessing at the spelling), who apparently once had the phone number that I now have. When I answer the calls myself, I tell them I have no idea who Kevin Terani is, that I've had this phone number since 2003, and cannot help them. Still the calls come... never identifying themselves or why they want to contact this person. I can only imagine that Kevin Terani was in financial difficulties with numerous parties. But I don't know. Just this evening, two calls came asking for this person -- but they were automated recordings, unresponsive to my replies.

No doubt a talented horror or mystery writer could use these incidents as bases for much more interesting scenarios than I could possibly imagine myself. Any such writers who are reading this are welcome to them.
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Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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