By: Eve Carson
Genre: Memoirs, True Crime
Publication date: 7.16.2013
Pages: (paperback) 424
Amazon link: Mommy's a Mole
Date read: 3.15.2014
Recommended by: Bostwick Communications
Summary: “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is exercised under cover of law, and with the colors of justice.” - U.S. v. Jannotti, 673 F.2d 578, 614 (3d Cir. 1982).
The sun trickled through the dense tangle of the spring’s budding branches. Karen Wolfe Churgin walked her dogs on April 18, 1990, on her remote wooded property on Chebacco Road. The veterinarian spotted a white sphere obstructing a drainage ditch. Churgin’s home sat on top of the bluff overlooking Chebacco Lake, and the lower-wooded basin was often flooded with water. The sparsely inhabited wilderness in Hamilton, Massachusetts attracted hikers and bikers, but was also a secluded setting known for criminal activity. From a distance, she saw an object, a white sphere. When she reached to dislodge it, she reeled back in horror. She immediately called the police. “I saw something in the woods that looked like a punched-in volleyball,” Karen told the Beverly Times on April 25, 1990. “I looked closer and it was a human skull. It had suture-like zigzagged lines. Those are unique to human skulls.” Officer Hatﬁeld was the first to respond, and the initial conclusion determined the discovery was, indeed, a human skull. Hamilton Police Chief Walter Cullen arrived at the scene next and photographed the find. The Massachusetts State Police Crime Prevention and Control Unit, CPAC, dispatched Cpl. Dennis Marks to take charge of the crime scene. Local police sent the skull and a nearby black boot to Hunt Memorial Hospital to examine, but nothing else surfaced in the initial cursory search of the surrounding area. Notices went out to departments to assist the resident force, and names poured in to compare the cranium to known missing persons. Joan Webster’s name appeared on the list, but the resting spot was more than thirty miles from the long-speculated crime scene at Pier 7 in Boston. “Of course, it’s being checked out, but the location doesn’t seem to correlate. Circumstances pointed to her being taken out in a boat and dumped at sea. This is something way up north and doesn’t tie to anything.” -George Webster Harvard Crimson April 28, 1990
On November 28, 1981, two days after Thanksgiving, Joan Webster goes missing from Logan Airport. Eve is Joan's sister-in-law (married, at the time, to Joan's brother) and these are the events that occurred within the family and throughout the investigation since her disappearance, plus the research that Eve did on the case in the hopes to find out who the real killer is.
Included inside are documents and photos. Also, Eve included a few other documents in the envelope the book came in and informed me that if I needed to see anything else, she'd be glad to share them with me.
She is angry and understandably so - not only did she lose a close friend (Joan), but also had her husband's family destroy her family and her relationship with her daughters. You can feel her anger in her writing and can't help but become angry yourself.
She jumps around a lot while collecting all of her facts, which sometimes makes things a little confusing. She also inserts conversations and sometimes it's hard to decipher whether they really happened or are alliteration based on testimony. (In the end, she does explain these.)
This is an incredible story. I really felt sorry for this lady, her children, the man sentenced for this murder ... and for Joan. Eve and her children were not only mistreated by her husband and his family, but also the counselors who refused to look at the proof (photocopies of her daughter's journal) she provided, refused to believe her, to even talk to her, or really help these kids, this family. The behavior of the children is absolutely shocking as well. The fact that police, ADAs, special agents, etc were all able to get away with such a gross miscarriage of justice is really disheartening. These are the people we are supposed to trust. I can only hope that this book leads to the powers-that-be getting all the evidence into one place and going over it with a fine tooth comb like Eve did. And I pray that eventually her relationship with her daughters can be fixed.
(It is a very beautiful book.)