Howdy. Just a quick post from Nashville, while I have good internet access. The radio silence on the blog is due to me being away on what may now seem like an unfortunately timed holiday--immediately after completing my first round of interviews for the Pyjama Girl Project. But don't worry, the project is not on pause. While I may not be at work, I'm still working.
Over the last week, I spent some time in Chicago, where I went on a mobster tour--obviously. Purely for research, of course. In fact, there were some interesting tidbits to come out of the tour, including questions around identity (which is a key theme running through the Pyjama Girl case) and the Black Hand. The contrast between the 20s, 30s, 40s in Australia and the US is quite interesting, and the similarities, particularly the two I noted above, even more so.
While I'm away, my Magical Typewriter Monkey is transcribing the interviews/conversations I've already recorded. Most of these took place following a meeting of the Albury and District Historical Society. I was thrilled by the enthusiasm and generosity of the people who came to meet with me. Also with the offers to lend books, photocopies and other sources of information for my research. I'm looking forward to meeting with more people.
I was also blown away by interest in this project. It just goes to show that it is still relevant today. Just weeks ago, a drop of blood from the Wanda Beach murder site raised fresh hopes that the 1965 case--the murder of two schoolgirls--might finally be solved. A few people have asked me about the possibility of exhumation and
forensic testing, like DNA to confirm the identity of the woman buried
in the grave marked Linda Agostini. As a playwright, it's not a question I can answer, but it is one I plan to ask of those more qualified.
Already, I've had some media coverage of the project, which all started with ABC Goulburn Murray breakfast announcer Gaye Pattison--no media release necessary. I haven't yet had a chance to thank her, but I imagine she must have acted as my publicist, fielding calls and forwarding my contact details to other local media outlets.
Coincidentally enough, Howard from the Border Mail called me when I was sitting in the Albury LibraryMuseum looking at 1934 issues of the paper on microfiche. I'd been lamenting the fact that the Border Mail isn't available on Trove (the National Library's digitised newspaper collection) and Howard explained that it was due to a fire, which destroyed all the archives several years ago. You can read the article here.
Prime News also did a story. In it, you'll see me standing in front of the Pyjama Girl's actual death mask. You can watch the video here.
Thanks to newspaper syndication, the story was even picked up in Brisbane. The good folks at 4bc have posted the interview online.