Archive for the ‘Who-Dun-It’ Category

Is this spirit introducing a new case?

October 24, 2018
Once again while working towards another book, something else has been dropped in my lap and I am beginning to wonder…
Is this spirit introducing a new case?
This is what I heard and was shown in the early morning hours before I awoke. Uncertain, I recorded the following at 4:23 AM, 10/24/2018.
“Mud caked shoe laces laid across the top of the shoes like soil-laden worms, crawling from under the wet earth in the early morning mist.”
Audio and visual images repeated several times at 4:43 AM.
The words were pretty, descriptive. Almost too pretty, even for fiction. But as you know, spirit and I do not do fiction…we do true crime.
They do victims.
I do killers.
They do clues.
I do research.
They do their best to get my attention.
This morning…it worked.
Perhaps this has something to do with an email I received the other day. An email on my computer with a file full of crime scene photos I have yet to review. The connection feels deliberate somehow. One minute I’m dreaming about an argument with a crazy redhead, whose throwing things about my office and the next … they show me running down a hill after a tractor trailer tipped on its side, with a set of bunk beds laying in the middle of the road that are not mine, and yet I feel a connection to them. Next, they show me a man standing by another smaller pick-up truck at the edge of the medium, looking on—looking suspicious.
He feels guilty of something to me. Somehow tied to the redhead, tied to the bunk beds… to children… to a pair of shoes and then… nothing.
While trying to figure out if that scenario was more creation of late-night sushi than actual substance, I was interrupted with the message above.
Though the words were both flowery and few, I somehow know there will be more. More words…more images. Less flowery, less suspect, less easily dismissed as a poor midnight menu regurgitation.
And even though the message about the shoe laces feels less connected to the dream, it feels very connected to the file.
Stay tuned…


T. A. Powell


The wait is over…

June 15, 2013

For Charley,

 with love…

Book Cover

On the night of October 9, 1966 after a weekend of being placed on standby, Federal Treasury Agent Charley Covington received a call from ATTD higher-ups in Atlanta, Georgia releasing him from his stay in Valdosta, Georgia. According to accounts contained in the widow’s journal, several phone calls came in that day, most of them from people she didn’t know. One of them was from a known felon and snitch who reminded Charley about the illegal and clandestine activities out on the Clyattville-Nankin Road every Sunday night and another from a man about a car. Having spent the better part of the weekend arguing with his wife over a rumored affair, the lure of an evening’s ride away from home may have been just what the doctor ordered to clear his head. Before he left he put his six-year-old daughter to bed, hollered a weak goodbye to his son, and agreed to a cup of conciliatory coffee with his nearly estranged wife. When his wife confessed the pot was empty and that he would have to wait while she made a fresh one, he noted the time and promised he would be back shortly after it was brewed.

                Two and a half hours later he was found lying dead with two bullets to the head just before the Withlacoochee River on the Clyattville-Nankin Road outside of Valdosta. By the time his body was cold, the rumors were hot. For eighteen days federal and local agency officials danced around the purported scandal of the Federal Treasury agent like a herd of long-tailed cats at a Southern lawn party. Eventually they closed the case, declaring his death a suicide and its taint a blight upon their shared profession. Odd as it may seem, if Charley Covington hadn’t lost his life in the middle of the Clyattville-Nankin Road that rainy night in 1966, he could never have come back to save mine forty-four years later. I know this to be true because in the summer of 2009, I began to write his story and several chapters in I stopped.

As a professional writer I have learned that if a story refuses to write itself, there are but two reasons why. Either a story is not yet ready to be told, or a story is not yet ready to be heard. In the case of Charles Gordon Covington, both reasons appeared to ring true.  So I put down my pen and waited for further instructions from the cosmos as to what to do next.

Seven months later the cosmos finally answered…


In the beginning…

January 9, 2010

The other day I watched the movie Julie and Julia and I got to thinking…
While I  am not Julia Child and have never been to France, I do enjoy cooking and eating French foods. Foods like… French toast, French fries and French cut green beans! Unlike Julie Powell, I don’t live in Queens. I don’t live over a pizza place , but I do share her last name, work for the government and live in a 3 story brownstone.  And like them both… I too have thoughts!!!  Thus, I have decided to blog about how I investigate and research unsolved murder cases and then write historical fiction novels about them in an attempt to lay some of their ghosts to rest.  It’s a process of fleshing out the truth from the naked bones of a case.  There was a line in that movie the other day which reminded me that you can be a writer, but until you are published… you are not an author. As far back as I can remember, that was all I ever wanted. Sounds schmaltzy doesn’t it? Slaving away for years waiting on the approval and appreciation of strangers who sit in ivory towers and read from behind designer spectacles the seeds of our souls. Those of you who live under the same umbrella of insanity know what I am talking about. It is this understanding that to write, is to breathe. As involuntary as taking in air and then giving it back… our hands take to pens like kittens to cream. We channel not only our thoughts but the unwritten verbiage of the universe and pray that the reconstruction of those thoughts becomes pleasing to the ever critical eye. And after years and years of waiting for our genre to come back into vogue… we finally decide that to err is human, but to self publish is self preservation!

Note:  T.A. Powell is a successful playwright through Heuer Publishing, LLC. and is the Artistic and Managing Director of  a theatre in North Georgia. An avid participant within the field of performing arts, T.A. Powell finds her job a natural extension of her artistic capability. Fascinated by the lure of unsolved cases, she prefers to write historical fiction pieces, finding it a more palatable format when dealing with sensitive information. Time and distance from a crime allows her characters the opportunity to separate fact from collective truth and place them both equally under the microscope of objectivity. Her process is to take the DNA of a case; what facts are known and what has been conjectured, apply the theory of Occam’s razor to each and then carefully weave a gripping tale of plausibility from the two. The goal of T.A.’s writing is not necessarily to answer all the questions surrounding these unsolved cases; but to be certain they are finally heard and works closely with researchers from C.C.IR.I. (Cold Case Investigative Research Institute) on specific projects.T. A. Powell has several other novels to her credit and is currently working on a series that will continue the storyline of her historical preservationist character, Caroline Horton. T.A.’s next novel, The Coffee Pot Conspiracy surrounds the mysterious death of an Alcohol, Tobacco and Tax agent in southern Georgia in 1966.

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