In the first half, former Coast to Coast AM host Ian Punnett, who is working on his PhD from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, spoke about his latest book, A Black Night for the Bluegrass Belle, detailing the 1936 murder of his family member Verna Garr Taylor - a story as dark and twisty as an old Kentucky backroad on a moonless night. Verna, who was Ian's grandmother's first cousin, had been dating the former lieutenant governor of Kentucky, Henry Denhardt, and he'd given her a ring but she didn't consider themselves to be engaged. On the night she decided to give him the ring back, she ended up dead, her body found on State Road 22 with a bullet through her heart, Ian detailed. Denhardt was brought to trial for the murder but claimed that Verna had committed suicide, distraught because he was breaking up with her.
Denhardt's gun was a large .45 revolver, and it would have been difficult for Verna to have shot herself in that manner, Ian pointed out. The trial ended up with a hung jury, and as he was awaiting a new trial, Denhardt was shot by two of Verna's brothers, in what was called a "code of honor" killing. Before the death of Verna, Denhardt had been questioned in the death of a woman named Patricia Wilson, who fell or was pushed down a service elevator at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville. Her ghost known as the "Lady in Blue," is thought to haunt the premises.
For more on the true crime story, check out chapter one from Ian's book, as well as audio excerpts and photos. Ian also spoke about his PhD research, and his plans to teach electronic media and journalism at Ohio Northern University this fall. He reminisced about some of the favorite C2C shows he hosted, including ones that had the theme or narrative of alternative history, such as "zombie economics." Coast Insiders can check out the transcript of Ian's Live Chat appearance that took place just before the show.
During Open Lines, several callers reacted to George's notion that time seems to be moving faster. A man from Gary, Indiana spoke of biblical end times and the idea that God will shorten the days as we reach the end of time, while Chris in Washington suggested the perception may be related to the expansion of galaxies and the universe, which increases speed. Carmen in Texas warned of a lengthy power shutdown in Southern California, and Tom shared his harrowing encounter with bed bugs that he killed by putting Noxzema on his sheets. First time caller Mark recalled being in Oklahoma City in 1995, on the day of the Murrah Federal Building bombing-- though he had a scheduled seminar downtown, he decided at the last minute to play golf, and avoided the tragedy.