Or nobody counts.
COMING JULY 26, 2019! TRUE CRIME SERIES that focuses on California’s Central Valley. Here’s a preview:
Coming soon to 3RNEWS, local author Jay O’Connell will ditch his historian hat (his previous books include Co-Operative Dreams: A History of the Kaweah Colony and Train Robber’s Daughter: The Melodramatic Life of Eva Evans) and don a felt fedora to become an investigative crime reporter. (Yeah, we know. Nobody wears felt fedoras nowadays, not even hard-boiled crime reporters.) His upcoming serialized report — Meth, Murder, and Bigfoot: A California Crime Saga — will offer a in-depth look into the 1987 unsolved disappearance and possible murder of a young Fresno girl, Theresa Ann Bier. In the course of telling Theresa’s sad and disturbing story, this series will also touch on two other notorious Central California crime sprees, each with startling connections to Theresa’s case.
Utilizing dozens of sources, including contemporary newspaper accounts; police reports; court documents; correspondence; interviews with the lead detective on the case, family members, associates, and witnesses; and numerous other sources, O’Connell promises to weave a tale as disturbing as it is intriguing. In March, he appeared on the podcast Bigfoot Collector’s Club to lead a deep-dive discussion of this tragic missing-person case.
And now his typewriter is humming along (Yeah, we know. Nobody wears fedoras or uses a typewriter!) churning out installments for this upcoming series exclusively available via 3RNEWS. (And, yes, the freedom from space constraint will be of great value for this true crime series.)
Jay O’Connell, whose day job is as a producer and production manager for Warner Bros. Television (The Big Bang Theory, $#*! My Dad Says with William Shatner, and 2 Broke Girls), this first foray into investigative crime reporting has been an educational experience. Even though he has previously listened to numerous true crime podcasts and read countless detective novels, he had a lot to learn about investigating a crime that, while decades old, still garnered strong opinions from those who remember it. Opinion and fact, they’re not even distant cousins or, for that matter, the same species.
And speaking of species, while this series is a true crime story about very real people, one star attraction in the story is a creature that… well, the reader can decide for themselves if it exists. Bigfoot is undeniably a part of this story. He strides through it at almost every turn. Always a presence, but never truly seen. Or is he? This series will, by necessity, take a close look at the legend and the lore and the allure of Sasquatchery.
But never at the sacrifice of telling the story that really matters. The story of an unfortunate, troubled 16-year-old girl who — sadly, it will be revealed — was a victim before she ever went up to the mountains to hunt for Bigfoot with a 42-year-old speed freak named Skip. She was a girl with no real family to protect her. A girl with no one responsible enough to advocate for her. A girl the system didn’t seem to care enough to look after.
The overriding philosophy governing the telling of Theresa’s story can perhaps be summed up by a quote from one of O’Connell’s favorite fictional detectives. As Harry Bosch once said, “Everybody counts. Or nobody counts.”