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News stories tagged with "murder"

Three decades after Minerva murder, a search for closure

State police have begun excavating a site in the Adirondack town of Minerva that they think may be a thirty-year-old murder scene.

A local woman named June Collard vanished in November of 1980. Last month, her former husband, Thomas Collard, allegedly confessed to killing her and hiding her body. As Brian Mann reports, local officials are working with police in an effort to find the victim's remains.  Go to full article

Two killed in Vermont shooting; man in custody

Police say two people are dead and three are injured in Essex, Vermont after a gunman went on a rampage through two homes and an elementary school yesterday afternoon. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article
Convicted murderer Chester Gillette
Convicted murderer Chester Gillette

"American Tragedy" Weapon Found

Members of the Herkimer County Historical Society say they've found the antique tennis racket used in the "American Tragedy" murder a century ago. The racket's authenticity was confirmed using marks from the murder trial. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Books: Grace Brown's Love Letters

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Chester Gillette-Grace Brown murder case. The 1906 murder of Grace Brown on Big Moose Lake shocked the nation and is a big part of local history in the Adirondacks. It has sparked novels, movies, folk songs and an opera. Craig Brandon is the author of Murder in the Adirondacks, part true-crime story, part local history and part social commentary. He's researched and written about the Gillette-Brown murder case for over 25 years. Brandon has published a new book, Grace Brown's Love Letters. He spoke with Todd Moe.  Go to full article

Man Arrested In Double Murder

State police have charged a man in the double murder of a couple in Schuyler Falls just before Christmas. David and Lorraine Donivan were stabbled to death on December 20th. 37-year-old Edward Dashnaw of Plattsburgh was arrested last night and charged with 2 counts of murder in the second degree. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Police Say Donivan Murder Suspect Returned to Scene of Crime

Edward Dashnaw's attorney declined to be interviewed today when contacted by North Country Public Radio. Brian Mann spoke with state police Captain Robert LaFountain about the investigation that led to Dashnaw's arrest.  Go to full article

Robbery a Factor in Slaying of Store Owners

Investigators say robbery was a motive in the murder of a couple found dead at their residence near Plattsburgh. Police say 67-year-old David Donivan and his 46-year-old wife Lorraine were murdered between December 20th and 29th. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
A scene from <i>American Tragedy</i> (Source: Metropolitan Opera)
A scene from American Tragedy (Source: Metropolitan Opera)

An Adirondack Murder on Stage at the Met

On December 2nd 2005, the Metropolitan Opera unveiled a new work based on Theodore Dreiser's classic novel American Tragedy. Dreiser's novel was inspired by a true Adirondack story. In the summer of 1906, a young man named Chester Gillette took his pregnant girlfriend boating on Big Moose Lake, near Old Forge. The next day, Grace Brown's body was found floating in a secluded cove in South Bay. Chester Gillette tried to flee, but was captured in Inlet and tried for murder. The case sparked a media frenzy and made headlines around the world. As Brian Mann reports, over the last century it has become a part of American mythology.  Go to full article
Chester Gillette, convicted of Grace Brown's murder.
Chester Gillette, convicted of Grace Brown's murder.

On Big Moose Lake, Adirondack Murder & American Myth

One of the most controversial events in Adirondack history is back in the news this week. In July of 1906, a handsome young man named Chester Gillette was accused of drowning his pregnant girlfriend, Grace Brown, in a secluded cove at Big Moose Lake. Gillette was the nephew of a mill-owner in Cortland, New York. Brown was one of the company's workers. Gillette's trial and execution made headlines around the world. The story is the basis for Theodore Dreiser's classic novel An American Tragedy.

In the hundred years since, the murder inspired other novels, plays, and two Hollywood movies -- including the classic film A Place In the Sun. Tomorrow, a new opera based on the murder and Theodore Dreiser's novel will premier at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Brian Mann spoke with Charles Adams, who's been a summer resident of Big Moose Lake since the 1930s. Adams drives a tour boat on the lake and is part of the Grace Brown Committee that is commemorating the anniversary of her murder.  Go to full article
Grace Brown
Grace Brown

Grace Brown's Last Love Letter

At Chester Gillette's trial in Herkimer, the prosecution read from Grace Brown's love letters. The last of those letters was written a week before her murder. The letter is read by Jennifer Donnelly, who grew up in Lewis County. She's the author of a novel about the murder called A Northern Light, the 2006 selection of North Country Reads--a one-book, one community program--and is tonight's guest on Readers & Writers at 7 pm.  Go to full article

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