Jeff McQuede Country

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Whispers of the Stones: Book Two in the High Country Mystery Series and the Mysterious Pedro Mummy 


      When I was living in Laramie, Wyoming, I came across tales of the Pedro Mummy.  According to old newspaper accounts, a tiny mummy was discovered in the 1930s by miners near Shirley Basin.  The mummified remains of a little man only 14 inches tall was found still sitting cross-legged on a stone ledge in a cave. 

There’s no question that the Pedro Mummy actually existed.  It became an object of curiosity and scientific speculation until its disappearance in the 1950s.  It was not a fake.

   
THE PEDRO MUMMY



Uhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/The_San_Pedro_Mountain_Mummy.jpgnknown (Life time: 1936) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

     The curious little mummy, which was soon nicknamed “Pedro” because he was found in the Pedro Mountains, changed hands several times and was sold and resold.  For a time, it was displayed in a drugstore, then a used car lot, then a cigar shop in Casper.  In the care of Ivan Goodman in the 1950s, the mummy was examined and X-rayed.  It was found the mummy had a definite human rib-cage.

     At the time of the Pedro Mummy’s discovery, it was thought to be the remains of a tiny, ancient little man in his late sixties.  Many people believed that the discovery of the tiny mummy might be proof that the “Little People” of Native American legends actually existed.  The “Little People” are part of the legends and folklore of the Shoshoni, Arapahoe. and many other tribes.  In some tales the tiny men, who remain hidden in caverns and deep in the mountains, are good-natured tricksters, in others they are more mean-spirited and may shoot arrows at their larger counterparts.  In many tales the “Little People” serve as spiritual guides or helpers to lost travelers.

     In the 1980s the original X-rays were carefully studied and scientists indicated that the tiny remains were more likely to be those of a malformed infant who had been left in the cave to die instead of a full-grown man.  The infant might have suffered from anencephaly, which would account for the misshapen head.  But it didn’t explain fully developed rib-cage or reports that the mummy had teeth.  Since the mummy can no longer be found to examine, no one really knows who he was or how he got there.

     The last owner of the mummy was New Yorker Leonard Wadler.  After that, the mummy disappeared from history.  Many articles have appeared about the Pedro Mummy, including stories in the Casper Star Tribune.  Since its disappearance, scientists and collectors have had interest in finding the missing mummy, even offering rewards, so it can be examined.

     All of this caught my interest and after talking it over with my co-author and sister, Loretta, she became interested in the story as well.  We decided to write a mystery starting with the premise: what if some antique dealer actually had the mummy?  What would happen if such an artifact resurfaced?



Loretta with Shirley Basin signs




Loretta and Vickie in Mountains

     In our third Jeff McQuede novel, Whispers of the Stones, Sheriff McQuede investigates such an event.  The details concerning the mummy in this story are as true as we could make them from varying research sources.  The rest, of course, is fiction.

To read more about The Pedro Mummy:

As you read accounts of the Pedro Mummy, you will find many discrepancies, because even in newspapers and journals there are many different accounts of what happened.  When writing our story, we used those dates and sources from what seemed the most reliable references.  Here are some places on the Internet to read more about the Pedro Mummy and the “Little People”.

The Pedro Mummy:

The Little  People:





Whispers of the Stones: A Jeff Mcquede Mystery by Loretta Jackson and Vickie Britton






Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sneak Preview of Cover of An Icy Death

We're delighted to announce our fifth and latest book in the Jeff McQuede Mystery Series, An Icy Death, will be published soon in print and as an ebook. 

In the heart of a raging blizzard Sheriff Jeff McQuede discovers a woman frozen to death in her car. At first he believes her death to be an unfortunate accident--until he finds clues that point to cold-blooded murder.  Margaret’s husband, Arthur, left her in the stalled vehicle to brave the storm and manages to reach Joe Trevino’s isolated ranch.  The case becomes more complicated because of the recent warehouse robberies at Trevino’s store.  McQueede finds that Trevino is Margaret Burnell’s business partner, and that she has traveled from their Casper store to conduct a company audit.  In addition, Margaret has planned to meet with her only child, a run-away daughter she hasn’t seen in years. Trevino, the missing daughter, and Arthur Burnell would all profit financially from Margaret’s demise.  Has a relentless killer tracked and sabotaged the Burnells, or did Arthur simply abandon his wife for his share of the money, leaving her to die an icy death?