A brilliantly researched reinvestigation into the nearly forgotten century-old murder that inspired one of the most seductive mysteries in the history of television and film.
In 1908, Hazel Drew was found floating in a pond in Sand Lake, New York, beaten to death. The unsolved murder inspired rumors, speculation, ghost stories, and, almost a century later, the phenomenon of Twin Peaks. Who killed Hazel Drew? Like Laura Palmer, she was a paradox of personalities—a young, beautiful puzzle with secrets. Perhaps the even trickier question is, Who was Hazel Drew?
Seeking escape from her poor country roots, Hazel found work as a domestic servant in the notoriously corrupt metropolis of Troy, New York. Fate derailed her plans for reinvention. But the investigation that followed her brutal murder was fraught with red herrings, wild-goose chases, and unreliable witnesses. Did officials really follow the leads? Or did they bury them to protect the guilty?
The likely answer is revealed in an absorbing true mystery that’s ingeniously reconstructed and every bit as haunting as the cultural obsession it inspired.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month: History
“In this taut true crime page-turner…The authors effectively summarize five years of research, utilizing a range of sources, and paint a convincing picture of events that make readers feel like they’re experiencing developments in real time…this account will hold appeal beyond David Lynch fans.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The story is fascinating and the added historical details add depth. Those interested in true crime, especially of an archival nature, will relish this.” —Booklist
“In David Bushman and Mark Givens’s exhaustively researched book, Laura Palmer’s doppelganger is Hazel Drew, a young beauty with deep secrets found dead in a pond outside of Albany in 1908. One-hundred-fifteen years later, Bushman and Givens unspool the mystery of Hazel’s unsolved murder, suspect by suspect.” —Vanity Fair
“Murder At Teal’s Pond is a fascinating, haunting true crime mystery.” —Oxygen
“In the literary equivalent of an archaeological dig, authors Bushman and Givens unearth the details of a sensational murder mystery that gripped the nation in 1908 and inspired the sinister cult favorite, Twin Peaks. Now, with Murder at Teal’s Pond, the real characters emerge in a drama that proves to be every bit as darkly compelling as the TV classic—if not more so.” —John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
David Bushman, a longtime TV curator at the Paley Center for Media, is the author of Conversations with Mark Frost: “Twin Peaks,” “Hill Street Blues,” and the Education of a Writer and coauthor of Twin Peaks FAQ and Buffy the Vampire Slayer FAQ. He is an adjunct professor of communication arts at Ramapo College of New Jersey, as well as a former TV editor at Variety and program director at TV Land. David lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters.
Mark T. Givens works as a consultant for the federal government and is the creator and host of the Twin Peaks–centric podcast Deer Meadow Radio (www.deermeadowradio.libsyn.com). He lives a sometimes strange and wonderful life with his wife and three children in Washington, DC, where he is currently brainstorming concepts for his next book.