Michael Harkins was a very close friend of the Stackpole family. He told me a story how Ralph fed the rats in their hill home. When Micchael saw the coroners report we ordered, he said “Your sister was murdered!” Later on he said; “I am dropping my investigation. This is not worth getting killed for.: Michael is dead. He was a Private Investigator who worked for Bill Lindhart who was hired by Carl Chessman. I then sent our report to a freelance reporter for the Carmel Pine Cone, and he showed it to Jacci Belford who showed it to my family. I get a call from Shamus Dundon who says he is upset, and I accused him of murder. I added what Michael said to our report. “You have proven they lied at least once. You now have assume everything you have heard is a lie until you prove it the truth. Anything could have happened at Rocky Point, including murder.” Lindhart had taught him the rudiments of PI work. One year later, Jon Detro is dead. Yesterday, while looking at the waves break on the rocks at Depoe Bay, I understood he asked my surviving, Vicki Presco, a very important question that solicited this answer; “I was helping her (Christine) overcome her fear of the water.” Why would anyone want to do that? I read in the Register Guard a young man did not have any fear of the ocean, and he got swept off rocks, taken out to sea, where he fought for his life for almost three minutes, then drowned. He was from Georgia. Christine lived in Carmel for twenty years. She saw the reports of many people who did not own a healthy fear of the Ocean. Most were from the Midwest.
I did not spend Christmas with any member of my natal family. This is a tradition that I thought would end when my daughter came into my life. My surrogate family, are all dead, including Michael Harkins, who helped me investigate Christine’s death. He also began to help me find my daughter two weeks before she found me. When Michael saw the painting of Rena I did at Peter Shapiro’s house, he suggested we try to find her. We talked about making a film about this search.
Eight years ago Michael’s good friend, Peter Stackpole Jr. drowned. Michael was very good friends of all the creative Stackpoles. He told me a story about Ralph feeding the mice in his studio. He took me to see the Stackpole home in ruins after the Oakland Fire. We saw piles of glass negatives, destroyed. Peter photographed my kindred, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor for LIFE…
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