On a warm 1949 summer’s night in Eastern Kentucky, Muriel Baldridge and three girlfriends did what most 17-year-old girls do in a small town on a Tuesday night: they attended a local softball game and a visited a traveling carnival that had set up camp nearby.
Later that evening, as she made her way home alone across the historic West Prestonsburg Bridge, Muriel was abducted and assaulted, meeting her untimely death along the riverbank.
Though her screams were heard throughout the community, the crime went unseen and her killer vanished into the night.
Once Muriel’s body was discovered, an investigation was triggered involving the newly formed Kentucky State Police, the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency, and the FBI. Despite only rudimentary forensics, there was no shortage of evidence: an eight-inch pipe believed to be the murder weapon was found near the body, along with several sets of footprints and an empty whiskey bottle.
Among the eyewitness testimony was a 15-year-old carnival worker who claimed he saw the murder occur. However, like all of the confessions heard in the case, it would be retracted several days after its admission.
The investigation was anything but conventional and included a jailbreak, a manhunt that stretched across the eastern United States, and the administration of a “truth serum” to several local citizens. The local grand jury would eventually indict two Prestonsburg men: one who worked with Muriel’s father, and one who was the Baldridge’s neighbor.
The trial would prove to have as many twists and turns as the investigation, and it is easy to see why the Floyd County Times called the case “probably the most bizarre and confusing in the annuals of Eastern Kentucky crime.”
Award winning documentary filmmaker Michael Crisp has over 20 years in the entertainment business as a singer, guitarist and disc jockey. His first feature film, The Very Worst Thing, revisited the 1958 Floyd County (Ky.) school bus disaster and won critical acclaim at film festivals across the country. Michael’s recent film projects include Legendary: When Baseball Came to the Bluegrass, When Happy Met Froggy, Polterguys, and the upcoming A Cut Above: The Legend of Larry Roberts. He lives in Kentucky with his son Conner.
Find out more about and purchase this exciting novel at Michael Crisp’s website and also at Amazon.
This promises to be an exciting and educational interview with an intriguing new author. Please join us on BlogTalkRadio on Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:00 pm Pacific Time for a visit with Michael Crisp and to hear about Murder in the Mountains: The Muriel Baldridge Story and his creative process and publishing experiences.