Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

A Timeline

I throw this open for discussion-How long does one wait for justice to be done?

By the time the tenth anniversary of the murder of Stacey Burns rolls around (May 10, 2019) I’ll be 79 years old.

My friends and some family are telling me it is time to give up my motorcycle/scooter. I’m wondering when it is time to give up on finding out who killed Stacey Burns. I started (officially) in October, 2010, spending a week in Wolfeboro and conducting interviews with anyone who would speak with me.  (There were many.) Based on those interviews and many additional ones in the area later (always on my dime) plus newspaper accounts, and, of course, the famous but utterly useless 20/20 documentary, I have written a narrative of about 170 pages (50,000 words, give or take).  Of course, it comes to a screeching halt when I can’t write the “Arrest/Trial/Conviction” chapters.

So, here I am, wondering which I will give up first- my 600cc “scooter” or my quest for the solution of the Stacey Burns murder case.

By the way, I have zero confidence that the NHSP are truly interested in solving this case. It is just one of so many (read: Bobbie Miller et al) that are in the open-unsolved category.  How can they manage to solve all of them?

As always, disappointed, disillusioned but still hopeful . . .

Below are the first three paragraphs of page 2, “Murder in a Small Town.  .  .

Duke

“I only know my truth,” she says while admitting that others no doubt have their own version and would see it as equally valid. Many people in Stacey Burns’ circle of family and friends felt that they knew her well and struggle with the constantly clashing disparities in the descriptions of that final weekend. When Peggy Hart mentions in an interview on the 20/20 television show that Stacey wanted to be everyone’s best friend, she strikes a chord with most who knew Stacey. Since she was in contact with many of her friends throughout the day on Saturday, what could be so difficult about discovering the truth of those last hours before her death? In one of the first of many ironic twists in this story, the actions of Stacey Burns herself on Saturday serve as the most substantial obstacles to this discovery.

The personality of Stacey Burns is well-documented. She was a charming, vivacious young woman with a deep love of children, her family and her friends. She is described as willing to do anything for anybody, the kind of person to whom people are naturally drawn. Her kindness and compassion set such a high standard that most people would find it impossible to match. She was, by all accounts, the kind of person who would “light up a room,” as her soon-to-be ex-husband, Ed Burns says in his own 20/20 interview. What some of her friends question in the dreadful void of life without Stacey is whether that desire to be a best friend caused her to tell people what they wanted to hear. By all accounts, she was sensitive almost to a fault. Could it be that she might have altered the truth slightly if she felt that by being completely honest she would hurt someone’s feelings or perhaps have a comment reflect negatively on them?

Unfortunately but not surprisingly, one person’s truth may become another’s conjecture and one person’s conjecture becomes another’s truth. Sadly, the one witness who could tell the truth in every instance is dead, leaving behind an opportunity for anyone involved to develop a particular and, in some cases, a peculiar version of the truth. Other witnesses who could verify information about those thirty six-hours have chosen, as one said, “not to be involved in any way” with this project. Therefore, flushing out the “real” truth is not an easy task. Objectivity, that great attitudinal strength so necessary in any search for facts, accuracy, and reality, is paramount in making sense out of the senseless.

 

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I'm Duke Southard, author, educator, and lecturer.

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