Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

Duke Southard

Author of two novels, one memoir and one nonfiction commissioned history Born in New Jersey, lived in New Hampshire for forty years, then moved to Arizona full time in 2009 Current president of the Santa Cruz Valley Chapter of the Society of Southwestern Authors Public school educator for thirty five years.

Risky but Necessary

As promised in a previous blog, I am occasionally including small portions of Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns, which is a book waiting for the arrest/trial/conviction chapters to be written. Here is the beginning of Chapter Six. This was written over four years ago!

Chapter Six

How Is It Possible?

In 1996, Stacey Burns, a thirty year-old mother of five, moved with her family to the quiet, rural town of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Not many in that spirited age bracket give much thought to death; instead, they embrace the immortality syndrome, the… Continue reading

Winning Contests, Selling Books

 The photo show me reading a snippet of the first place winning personal essay in the Society of Southwestern Authors 2017 Writing Competition yesterday at the award luncheon.

For those  looking only for Stacey Burns posts from this blog, you are excused from this one if you wish. Please note that I really don’t want this to sound egotistical, although many will perceive it as such.  (and it probably does.) It is a dilemma for which I’d welcome any opinions or suggestions.

For three years straight, three short personal essays of mine have placed first in large… Continue reading

Memories . . .

Back to my “murder” book, I am struck by how many times I mention that this event or that conversation occurred two, or three, or more years before. Usually the reason this is mentioned is simply because the passage of time colors our perception of events. Can it be denied that eight and half years of talking about the  murder of Stacey Burns has not changed people’s perception of that horrible event? I know I’ll receive comments that the day was so traumatic that the memories are indelibly etched into the minds of those involved. While this may be… Continue reading

Hearsay and Corroboration

A perusal of the almost fifty thousand words in my unfinished narrative of the Stacey Burns murder case, Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns shows repeated use of the word, corroboration. In many instances, it is linked to another word, hearsay.

This may be a generalization, but if someone I interviewed shared a detail of a conversation with Stacey Burns when no one else was present, there can be no corroboration, thus that information becomes hearsay. I’ve found many instances in the book that fit this description. It is impossible to get one hundred percent… Continue reading

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Here are the first two paragraphs on page 11 of Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns.

Since I’ve been told (way too often) that the investigation into Stacey’s murder is active and ongoing and any steps I might take to uncover anything new might interfere with that investigation, I am selecting sections of my book that speak more in generalities. Heaven forbid that anything I do might have a negative impact on this intense and active eight and a half year old investigation.

Chapter Two-A Prelude To Murder

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Conflicting… Continue reading

Oasis Journal

I’m happy to announce that two of my short pieces were selected to be published in the Oasis Journal-2017, which was just released. One of my Green Valley Writers Forum colleagues, Bonnie Papenfuss, also had a very touching and poignant poem included in this 560 page anthology. It is available on Amazon and elsewhere. One of my two pieces is part of a larger work in progress about growing up with a “Greatest Generation” father. The second relates a few experiences as a volunteer meals-on-wheels driver.

Relections of Trust

Our pastor this morning used the phrase “failure to trust” as a lynchpin in his sermon. I started thinking about how much my trust in so many things has eroded. His reference, of course, was to the trust we have or do not have in God. My thought drifted to another area, primarily my belief that people are telling me the truth. This belief, for sure, has eroded, and I don’t think that erosion is related to my cynicism increasing with age. I think it has to do with the reality that the truth has become a tool to stretch,… Continue reading

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… Continue reading

April, 2011-85 %

In April, 2011, I was told that the NHSP investigators in the Stacey Burns murder case (or at least one them) felt they had an eight-five percent chance of conviction in the case with a particular suspect (unnamed) at that time. It is six and half years since that off-the-record conversation. If this information was true then, and I have no reason to believe it wasn’t, a fair question might be this. Are we closer or further away, percentage wise) to that illusive conviction, or even an arrest, for that matter?

I guessing that the suspect then is the same… Continue reading

A Prelude to Murder (cont.)

These two paragraphs complete page one of the first chapter of Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns.

Stacey Burns could not have anticipated how the details of this last weekend of her life would be scrutinized through so many avenues, from police interrogations to reporters’ probing, from reliable newspaper sources to wildly speculative internet blogs, from remembered conversations to embellished rumor. That weekend acts as a microcosm into Stacey’s life as a soon-to-be divorcee, even though events in her private life leading up to her brutal murder during the early morning hours of Mothers’ Day… Continue reading

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

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