In presentations to professional writing groups about my current work on Murder in a Small Town: The Tragic Death of Stacey Burns, I’ve usually begun with a disclaimer announcing that I am not an investigative reporter. When I give this presentation from now on, that disclaimer will be modified. It will now announce that I was not an investigative reporter when I started this project, but I’m much closer to being one now. Here are a few goals of investigative reporting I hope to realize during trip back to New Hampshire in late September. I know there are people out there who could help with reaching these goals.
1. I want to tour 146 N. Main Street in order to verify descriptions of the house which appear in the book but are actually second hand observations. I have not been inside the house so by definition, any descriptions are hearsay until I can actually see the layout of the house.
2. I want to visit the hotel where Ed Burns stayed on May 9, 2009. Someone (beside the police) surely knows the name of this hotel. I’ve asked before but so far no one has come forward with the name or the location of the “alibi” hotel.
3. Scott Gilbert of the N.H. State Police, in a fifteen minute or less conversation, could answer a few questions with a yes or no answer to confirm or deny my interpretation of events as written in the book. (I’ve already been turned down by two other people for similar interviews and I expect that Sergeant Gilbert will be doing the same as I haven’t received a response to my certified letter making that request.)
4. Of course, as I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, a five minute conversation with Eric Thor, Michael Brabant and/or Michael Burns would be extremely helpful as well.
Hopefully, I will move even closer to being an investigative reporter during the time between September 27 and September 30 as I try to verify details which appear in the rough draft of the book.