Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

Murder In a Small Town

This blog deals specifically with my work on the book, Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns.

Urgent tip response

What follows is an email received from a follower of this blog, used with permission. It explains what the NHSP say they are doing in the Stacey Burns murder case and other so-called cold cases. It also explains why I have not and evidently will not receive any response about the status of information I submitted (the “urgent tip”)to the NHSP Cold Case Unit at the beginning of May. Readers can conclude whether this is positive or negative news. Here is the email:


You may or may not get a response.
You may not get the response… Continue reading

That troublesome “tip” again!

 Followers of this blog are aware that in early May, I sent an unsolicited “tip” regarding the murder of Stacey Burns to the NHSP Cold Case unit.  This tip originated with an old friend from New Hampshire and contained what I thought was new information. It was my estimate that following up on that information would have required speaking to a minimum of seven people with additional contacts likely necessary based on those conversations. I was told by an authoritative source that “tipsters” are not informed of the results of investigations into their information so I did… Continue reading

Irresponsible and Cruel

What follows is one of the most upsetting posts for me personally since I started the “Stacey Burns murder project.” It is a  response to my post entitled “Ten Suspects.”

“Telling Stacey’s children that there could be as many as 10 people, one being their own father that might have “slaughtered” their mother is perhaps the most irresponsible and cruelest thing I can imagine. Putting the burden on them, little kids to figure it out.”

It is upsetting on two major levels. First, any post I write is designed to make a positive difference. If my post caused… Continue reading

Ten Suspects

Ten suspects in the murder of Stacey Burns? This is a revised version of a post of over a year ago because of new information I’ve received over the last few months.

I spent some time yesterday looking back through notes from interviews, e-mails, and phone calls I’ve accumulated in the years since I started the “Murder in a Small Town” project. (2010) Here is one item of interest.

Ten people (or combinations) show up as named suspects by at least one interviewee. This means that at least ten people have identified to me who… Continue reading

Tip Status Update-Stacey Burns Murder

As promised in a previous post, here is the latest update I have received thus far from a “tip” which I submitted in mid-May regarding the murder of Stacey Burns.

I would not feel comfortable releasing any details of the information I submitted as it could possibly jeopardize the “investigative steps being taken” mentioned below.

All involved with the Stacey Burns Investigation (AGs Office, Major Crime Unit, Cold Case Unit) are aware of the ‘Urgent Tip’ information. Since this matter is open and active, tipsters do not receive status updates as to what investigative steps… Continue reading

Character Flaw

The is a little different kind of post. The next post I do will fill you in on the progress of my “hot tip” of six weeks ago.

So, I’m wondering . . . Is wanting to keep everyone happy a character flaw? In Cracks in the Wall, Linda Phillips, the protagonist, has this exchange with her mother.

“Your supreme niceness is a character flaw, Linda,” her mother admonished her on numerous occasions. “You can’t keep everyone happy all the time. If you keep trying, you’re going to have some serious problems in your life.”

“What’s wrong with making… Continue reading

Intuitive Police Officers

In my novel, Agent for Justice, Detective Parker Havenot reminisces about his favorite instructor during his intensive training to be a homicide detective.

(He) spent considerable time discussing what he called the naturals, those police officers who possessed a level of intuition far above       average.

“They’ll see red flags where other investigators see nothing but black and white,” he had said. Parker dismissed the theory, feeling that every profession had its outstanding people and its average people. Not everyone can be at the top of the class.  (p. 259-Agent for Justice)

Did… Continue reading

Investigation Reassurances (again)

I just received this email and thought I should share it. I guess it is reassuring but we have heard almost the exact same words before.

The Stacey Burns case remains open and is at times an active case. The case was listed on the Cold Case Website because no arrest has been made and it was hoped that posting the case on the website would provide an alternative avenue for anyone wanting to provide information about the case. 

The Stacey Burns case has been and will continue to be staffed with a team from the NH Attorney… Continue reading

Back to Stacey

As promised just before the eighth anniversary of the death of Stacey Burns, this blog has addressed other subjects but I wanted to share this information which I received. No source is quoted because I do not have an official source but  the email made sense to me. It may be a difficult test of patience and trust but here it is. (in quotes since this is exactly how I received it)

How real criminal investigations work.  For example, if we are provided with information about a person who might be involved in a… Continue reading

“Tip” results so far

So far, I know of two people (out of three) who were mentioned in a recent post as being part of a “tip” I received on the Stacey Burns murder case have at least been contacted by the NHSP.

I was reminded by a follower in an email that it had been sixteen days since the “tip” was forwarded to the cold case unit (if there is one) of the NHSP. I also found out through this same individual  that investigators do not necessarily get back to their sources with information about the resultes of a follow-up… Continue reading

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

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