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John T. Cullen's two books about the ghost at the Hotel del Coronado, and the 1892 crime that created her legend.Various Opinions, Lots of Emotions, But Only One Logical Solution

Status of the Investigation

 Hello, San Diego. That fog horn you hear relentlessly and monotonously booming amid your marine layer is my attempt to reach you with this amazing story. Wake up, San Diego! Think of the 13,000,000+ tourists each year who want to be regaled with stories about our city. Here's one you haven't heard much about, so pay attention.

Status of the Work: Somewhere in the Fog… I began this investigation in 2008, and concluded its major researches around 2009. I have since moved on to many other projects in both fiction and nonfiction. As a long-time San Diego resident, I feel value and passion in this Coronado story, so I continue to press for a reading even as other projects take my time. I think it's only a matter of time before a few cognoscenti read, understand, and have that ah-hah! moment that I had in 2008. It's a complex story, requiring work to digest and understand it, but the rewards are simply amazing for anyone who cares about history and people. It's a great history story, while the personal tragedy of a beautiful Detroit shop girl named Lizzie Wyllie is compelling in the light of the 19th Century's most important artistic trope (the Fallen Angel). I speak as a fierce supporter of women's rights: This story should be a field day for feminists, considering what Lizzie's story tells us about the treatment of women in Victorian times (not entirely far from how women are still treated in certain primitive, religiously straight-jacketed societies in today's world). It is, in short, a fabulous story on many levels—and it is a *true* story about our history.

Room for All Opinions. It is amazing how many crackpots a story like this will bring out of the woodwork, while at the same time, how much denial it will occasion from media and academics who prefer not to be disturbed by new findings. I have encountered a number of individuals who are very strange and have vehement ideas about this Coronado ghost thing, about which they do not hesitate to become verbally public and violent (as my stunned experience has shown). These include at least one séance charlatan operating in the San Diego area, fleecing potential clients, to whom the truth seems a threat; a deceased imaginisto (Alan May) who claimed all sorts of dismissable things, including that he regularly ate dinner with the dead ghost in her long-ago room to discuss her demise in 1892; an obsessed individual who gets into brawls with everyone in the world, who claims to 'own' this story as it is (fog and all; no discovering or new research allowed), and if he can't figure it out, then by god neither will anyone else—I have especially been his target of abuse and online stalking for years; and any number of individuals who cherry-pick through my results, pick what they want, and inaccurately draw conclusions out of context. Luckily, these are collectively nought but sound and fury, signifying nothing—except, sadly, that they mislead trusting readers with their yaddafying, a situation I would like to correct.

Crackpot Hunters. I admit to a certain degree of frustration, not so much with the occasional nuts who march out of the woodwork (previous paragraph), but those in responsible positions who should know better. There are those in positions of opinion control—especially in a sleepy old Navy town like San Diego, where new ideas and findings are suspect—who automatically dismiss anyone who dares think or write about topics like this muddled 1892 ghostly myth without ever looking at the person's credentials or research. I include in this category a goodly coterie of media and academic infonauts who do not like to have their stately little boat rocked. I know, because I have sent them copies of the book, and so far (2014) the response has been a Berlin Wall of silence from both news media and academics. In the final analysis, I can only reiterate that my book (Dead Move) stands on its own merits, far above anyone's disdain or anyone else's crackpot ideations. If you don't have any intellectual ambition, energy, courage, or curiosity—even about well-documented history tomes on your college bookshelf (not a wrinkled paperback in some New Age vitamin shop or whatever), which are the primary source materials for this story—then you miss out on a rich feast of true history that might actually enrich your life if you allow it. So be it, and we all move on.

Classic Stages from Denial to Acceptance. In many human situations, as in a medical diagnosis, the typical response goes through predictable stages that may be summarized thus: 1. Denial, 2. Anger, 3. Depression, 4. Bargaining, 5. Acceptance. This is clearly the process that San Diego academics and media hierophants are undergoing in their Campbellian hero's journey to enlightenment. I am only asking reasonable, intelligent people to read their history books, make the obvious connections, and discard the hollow and unsupportable myths about this alleged ghost. We are still in the early stages of this pathological process. The good news is: even if you cling to your ghost myth, that's fine; don't be afraid of the light; understanding the true crime of 1892 will actually offer you a plausible explanation of how the ghost got to be there.

Making Peace With The Human Condition. Indevitably, the truth of my findings will rise to the light of day, despite all efforts to ignore or deny it. I accept the stone wall of resistance I have encountered thus far (2008-2014), just as much as I trust in the value and validity of my research, and in the fact that eventually even a backwater like San Diego will eventually wake up to the truth of its own history—and discover gems it never imagined amid the torpor of its sunny navel-gazing. Ask me in a few years, when this is once again a breaking and major story, as it was in 1892 when the Yellow Press could not get enough of it, for all the same reasons a Rupert Murdoch today cannot find a week-old fish he does not love to smell (and tell his mob of gullible Frankenstein-movie torch-carrying followers that it is 'fresh shark' or whatever). As a business executive I know once remarked at the end of a very tense corporate meeting: "As we close today, ladies and gentlemen, remember—in case of emergency, your underwear may be worn as a hat.".  TOP

QED, Case Solved.. If you are given a puzzle of 1,000 pieces, and you manage to assemble all the pieces so that they fit (as I have done with this true crime enigma of 1892, without forcing a single piece against its true location), it is a foregone conclusion that you have solved the puzzle. In fact, the more pieces there are to such a puzzle, the more likely that the total solution is also the correct one. My solution in Dead Move is the only comprehensive, plausible explanation ever offered, which satisfactorily explains every detail. It's not about ghosts, but true history.  TOP