Once again, I return to one of my favorite literary heroines for inspiration. Sue Grafton’s matchless Kinsey Millhone, a perceptive private investigator of limitless talent in the “alphabet series” begins a search for a missing person just nine weeks after he disappeared. What she observes is compounded many times over if the search for the person (or a killer, in the Stacey Burns case) stretches out to more than five years.
From P is for Peril by Sue Grafton: “. . . the passage of time seldom works in your favor. Witnesses embellish. They invent. The memory grows foggy. The truth tends to blur with repetition, and details are altered to suit various personal interpretation. People want to be helpful, which means they embroider their stories, coloring events according to their biases as the situation drags on.”
Kinsey Millhone is a fictional character but is born out of Sue Grafton’s relentless and thorough research. If she is saying this after only nine weeks, can we imagine what she might be saying after five years? I can only hope that the police reports completed at the time of the murder of Stacey Burns are so detailed and so accurate that they can overcome the issues mentioned by Sue Grafton through her brilliant characterization by the name of Kinsey Millhone.
Next post- more on the conspiracies and coincidences . . .