Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Politics and Murder

I've got a couple of things in the new issue of New Mexico Magazine.

This is the February issue, which has the theme of "Mysteries and Legends" and has a pulp-sci-fi-like cover depicting the 1964 UFO siting in Socorro reported by a state police officer.

No, that's not my story. I wrote about three unsolved homicides with severe political overtones -- the apparent assassinations of Albert J. Fountain in 1896 and Jose Francisco Chaves in 1904 and the 1949 murder of Ovida "Cricket" Coogler in Las Cruces.

Both Fountain and Chaves were Territorial-era legislators who made enemies with certain cattle rustlers with friends in high places.

Coogler was a teen-age waitress whose killing never led to a murder conviction. But the apparent cover-up eventually led to prison time for a county sheriff and state police chief and a "morals" charge against a member of the state Corporation Commission.

My other piece in the magazine is a book review of Journal of the Dead, a true-crime book by Jason Kerstan concerning the 1999 killing of a Massachusetts man by his best friend in Carlsbad Cavern National Park.

Sorry, neither of these are on the magazine's Web site. You'll have to go out and actually buy a copy. It'll be worth your $4.95.

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