Service of Say What? A Mystery in the Making

June 29th, 2017

Categories: Detectives, Fugitives


I was listening to the radio at 3 a.m. Sunday morning when I heard an unsettling news brief about two dangerous fugitives from Tennessee last seen in “upstate New York.” The newscaster mentioned a town I’d not heard of—Pine Bush, N.Y.—and described it as “40 miles south of Vassar College.” The male and female fugitives, aged 24 and 22 respectively, are on the Volunteer State’s 10 most-wanted list.

Which leads me to my first question: Vassar is in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., so why not reference Poughkeepsie since the college in no way enters the picture? In addition, Google noted that the towns are 27.5 miles apart, not 40. Pine Bush is also 21 miles from Newburgh which is as well known and is, at least, on the same side of the Hudson. [Poughkeepsie is across the river.]

Poughkeepsie, NY. Photo:

We live some 40 minutes from Poughkeepsie, so I began to think of movies and true stories in which fugitives hold families hostage and harm them.

Searching for updates, I switched to an all-news station and continued to listen on Sunday and never again heard a peep. So my second question is how come neither the original station nor the all-news one gave the news a look or follow-up?

I mentioned this to Memphis-based author Lisa Hickman who sent me the link to coverage on MSN: Tennessee that, in turn, led me to Daniel Axelrod’s story in the Times Herald-Record, dateline Mamakating, N.Y. Ms. Hickman wrote “Stranger to the Truth,” about the trial of Noura Jackson who served time for the stabbing death of her mother.

Axelrod reported that the two, who are armed, are wanted for “attempted second-degree murder, reckless endangerment, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery.” In Tennessee they kidnapped a woman, at gunpoint made her knock on a friend’s door, dragged him out of his mobile home and shot him in the chest. He lived.

Mamakating Historical Society. Photo:

In Mamakating, N.Y. Axelrod wrote that they “broke into a man’s home and terrorized him in the wee morning hours, the victim and his neighbors said.” The homeowner required stitches for a head wound. They stole his guns.

As of this writing, they haven’t been caught.

Have you been haunted by stories for which you’ve been left dangling? Does your imagination leap to the worst when hearing news of criminals like this? What detective or police TV shows or authors do you follow?



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6 Responses to “Service of Say What? A Mystery in the Making”

  1. ASK Said:

    One link led to stories about even more outrageous and scary criminals…!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Don’t want to read those as they’ll give me the shivers!

    Who knows what these two will end up doing if they are desperate? They could have killed the man they shot in the chest. That’s usually the result. They appear to have little compassion, though it was good that they let go the hostage who knocked on that man’s door. And who wants these people anywhere near where you live, especially when there is a thin plate of glass between you and anyone who wants to get in any house?

  3. Lisa Hickman Said:

    My husband and I talk all the time about news stories you hear once and then they drop off the face of the earth!

  4. Lucrezia Said:

    I was haunted by just about everything at one time, but eventually woke up to the fact that I was doing myself no good, so learned to tune 99% of the specters out. Our 21st Century version of Bonnie and Clyde is troubling, especially since they could easily be prowling about close-by. Best policy is to make sense moves, such as locked cars, yet checking out vehicles before entering, investing in security systems in single homes and etc., then forget about it, unless considering standing on guard with a baseball bat…..not recommended!

  5. Martha Takayama Said:

    Mostly the incredible onslaught of real but surreal scandal -rich domestic and international news frightens me and is wearing me out. I find it very hard to keep the characters in these scandals straight since the cast is always increasing and various plots and sub-plots metmorphosise constantly. But I don’t think anyone feels comfortable with the disaster alarm stories, especially when vaguely, but uncomfortably close to one’s location. I keep thinking of the movies also, where the escaped criminal takes a family hostage, and wonder what to do if confronted. My husband can’t tolerate focusing on horror reportage especially at dinner time. When the nightmarish stories usually accompanied by more details than one really wants or certainly needs to know are miles away, they simply induce more anxiety, fear, agitation and helpessness. The failure to get follow-up or conclusions go into a collection of disagreeable memories.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I just checked Google–it’s July 12–and I do not see any updated info about the fugitives.

    People like gore and accidents–all over the world–which is why we’re shown so much of it on TV. When I lived in Turkey 1,000 years ago, we might be driving in the middle of nowhere without a house or goat to be seen. If we got a flat tire, out of nowhere, there’d be a crowd watching us fix it. Same thing happens on any road in NY…bottlenecks occur because someone is changing a tire on the shoulder of a road and all the other drivers have to inspect the scene. Human nature I guess.

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