A 1908 Death That Inspired Twin Peaks Still Vexes

New book looks at the unsolved murder of Hazel Drew in Sand Lake, New York
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2021 10:23 AM CST
1908 Case That Inspired Twin Peaks Gets a Fresh Look
   (Getty Images)

If you're a Twin Peaks fan, you may want to put this upcoming book on your reading list. Murder at Teal's Pond: Hazel Drew and the Mystery That Inspired Twin Peaks, is set to be released Jan. 1, and as the name implies, it's about the murder of a young woman whose case helped shape the character of Laura Palmer on the TV show. And as LiveScience reports, it's an odd case that remains cold. Hazel Drew died on July 7, 1908; the 20-year-old's body was found in a pond in Sand Lake, New York, four days later. Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost heard of Drew's unsolved death as a child visiting his grandparents in upstate New York; he mentioned it at a 2013 talk attended by David Bushman and Mark Givens—the two men who went on to author the new book.

Bushman and Givens tell LiveScience some of what they learned in investigating the cold case: Drew worked as a domestic servant for three high-profile men—the city engineer and two mayoral candidates—in Troy, New York, from age 14 until she quit just days before her death. That she quit came as a shock to those who knew her, and it's unclear why she left the men's employ. The men weren't suspects, but the authors suggest the possibility she saw or overheard something she shouldn't have; an uncle was considered by police, as was a young farmhand. Though Drew was described by family as having kept close to home, Givens says she kept letters from a number of admirers, and the authors cite one with racy language and an apology for bruising her wrists. The authors share their own thoughts on the killer in the book. (Read the full piece.)

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