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 true in a few, very specific cases, for the general public, the memories are skewed by things they have heard, television accounts, and blog posts like this one.
One wonders how the police investigators are able to sift through these skewered memories to get at the truth. Of course, that presupposes that they are still searching for that elusive “truth” with any degree of intensity.
Below is the first paragraph of Chapter Five, page 41, in Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns.
SUNDAY MORNING-May 10, 2009
Living life in blissful ignorance can be a blessing of the highest order and for several hours on that dreadful Sunday morning, those who knew and loved Stacey Burns received that blessing. While her body lay on the floor of her bedroom, her life’s blood drained by a psychopath, the people who surrounded Stacey in life went about the business of living. It was Mothers’ Day; it was an early spring day, the kind that inspires and uplifts the spirit; it was a good day in every sense of the word. There were children’s athletic activities and church services to attend; there was grass to be mowed and there were gardens to till; there were breakfasts and brunches to celebrate the special day with family. The possibilities out there in the town for this day would have seemed limitless for the population of Wolfeboro. The time between people awakening that morning and the time those people heard about the murder may safely be categorized as a period of blissful ignorance, a time for reading the Sunday paper, going for a walk, and for simply relaxing. It is a time when bad news isn’t even on the horizon. The familiar phrase, actually now a cliché, which describes an event as not being on someone’s radar appropriately fits the mental state of all but one person that Sunday morning. That person’s Mothers’ Day morning clearly had the murder of Stacey Burns front and center on his radar.
At 7:45 in the morning, her killer is the only one person who knows she is dead.
I’ve included this selection from the book because the period of time it covers is crucially related to information shared with the NHSP last May.