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 Hat eld 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.
As I began reading this book I was immediately reminded of another controversial book. Lois Duncan wrote a book called, “Who Killed My Daughter”. Both books have ruffled feathers of those they had at one time been close to. I can’t imagine the pain and agony knowing a loved one was murdered and then finding so much evidence that was tainted, twisted and misused. This review in no way says I believe either side. I will say that the author has definitely produced a lot of evidence that makes me believe that things were not what they appeared to be. There were way too many inconsistencies. To me the thing that is so difficult to deal with was the fact that her husband and his family turned on her.
Joan Webster was the sister-in-law of the author of this book. She went missing shortly after Thanksgiving. Eve Carson was not satisfied with the answers she got about Joan’s disappearance and eventual discovery. When she tried to ask questions she was attacked by those you would consider on her side. Joan has done a lot of work on her own and provided a lot of documentation to backup her beliefs. My one hope is that she finds what she is looking for, the truth in this case. Maybe by writing this book she will create enough buzz to truly have this case solved. This is definitely a book I recommend to those who love reading true stories.
About the author:
Author Eve Carson has a degree in economics and industrial management from Purdue University. She joined the Webster family when she married Joan’s brother Steve in 1980 and belonged to the immediate family when Joan disappeared. She eventually took on the unresolved case after becoming alienated from her two daughters. Carson reveals hidden and explosive evidence in this tell-all book about one of Boston’s most sensational unresolved murders. She puts a personal face on victims of covered up crime and the dire consequences of public corruption.